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New Towbar Installation


bob1982
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Hi All,

 

I am a brand new user and just starting out caravanning. We have just bought our first van and I am trying to get ourselves all setup for next year. One job to do is fit a tow bar to our car and I am getting some conflicting advice. Wonder if people would agree with the following:

 

Our car is a Skoda Superb 2012 Hatch with parking sensors. Our caravan is a 1997 Crown Regent (Eldidis). The van at present has an older style hitch (not AlKo).

 

It has been suggested we go for a fixed swan neck to reduce the chance of parking sensor issues. We cannot really afford a detachable. We have been told in any event it would be easy enough to remove the swan neck if there was a parking sensor problem as its just a couple of bolts. But we dont think it will affect the sensors anyway.

 

Suggestion is to NOT go to the expense of a older style stabiliser bar/ brackets, but to change the hitch on the van to an ALKO type at a later date.

 

I wonder also if this type of towbar will work with the existing older hitch for a short while until we can afford to change it to an AlKo type - and would is also be compatible with an Alko type when we do change or is it a real faff.

 

Any thoughts or comments welcome. .... all new to me. Thanks.

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An alko hitch head needs an alko compatible ball on the car so make sure your towbar has one if you intend to fit an alko to the caravan at a later date.

 

I always thought that if you used the correct wiring loom to connect the electrics then there would be no parking sensor issues, if you are going down the bypass relay type wiring route then although it is cheaper than a loom specifically designed for your car you will have the issue you are worried about. As the car is almost new I would be careful about using anything other than the manufacturers approved wiring loom as it may give them an excuse to wriggle out of any electrical related warranty issues.

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When we fitted a fixed towbar to our old BMW, it played havoc with the sensors. ...

Lunar Solaris 1 Limited Edition 2007 Hopefully Behind A

BMW 520D MSport Touring. ...

 

***** Jack of all Trades. ... Master of None *****

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I am assuming 1997 caravan you do not want to waste money on your set up.

 

If you are fit and healthy why waste money on an Alko hitch?

 

I am disabled so bending that spring for the anti snake is not an option for me.

 

On to the sensors.

 

I own a 21/2 year old ford galaxy with sensors

 

. I spent £400 on a non remove able tow ball type tow bar fitted by ford approved fitter.

 

The sensors "see" the tow ball more often than not.

 

I just press the switch on the dash that switches the sensors off.

 

Mind you I thought sensors were a valuable aid.

 

Till I got them.

 

Just another gimmick.

 

In my opinion :)

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If you want good advice try talking to Top Fit of Quedgeley 01452 722174. They fitted my tow bar and electrics. I have parking sensors and have no problems. Found them to be very helpful and professional. Plus they must be fairly local to you being in Gloucester.

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We have a Seat Alhambra with a fixed swan neck tow bar. It does not affect the sensors, and in any case they can be switched off.

Burstner Nexxo T685 55 Edition

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If the vehicle is still under warranty it should have a plug in dedicated wiring loom to maintain the warranty and the trailer wiring will interact with the vehicles wiring and in some vehicles it's automatic transmission and stability systems. This will also turn off some of the rear lights like fog lights while a trailer is attached as well as sensors usually.

 

 

Dave

Jeep Commander 3. 0 V6 CRD

Isuzu D- Max Utah Auto

Elddis Crusader Storm 2000 Kgs, Unipart Royal Atlas Mover .

 

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Some confusing info here.

 

An Al-ko hitch doesn't necessarily need an Al-ko ball. It just needs sufficient clearance as follows:

This varies according the the stabiliser.

AKS 1300 = 65mm
AKS 2004 = 67mm
AKS 2007 = 60mm
AKS 3004 = 68mm

This measurement is taken from the centre of the towball to the nearest point of contact with the towing vehicle.

Insufficient clearance will prevent the stabiliser from correct articulation and could damage your car or possibly become detached.

 

Any swanneck or removable ball will normally give sufficient clearance.

 

A fixed towball may not but then you can always replace it if and when you fit an Al-ko stabiliser. If you buy new then you get one with the stabiliser.

 

Why not speak to some tow bar fitters about whether a fixed one will affect your sensors. It does vary from car to car,

 

poolebob

Honda CRV Diesel Petrol & No caravan now. :angry:

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Some confusing info here.

 

An Al-ko hitch doesn't necessarily need an Al-ko ball. It just needs sufficient clearance as follows:

This varies according the the stabiliser.

AKS 1300 = 65mm

AKS 2004 = 67mm

AKS 2007 = 60mm

AKS 3004 = 68mm

This measurement is taken from the centre of the towball to the nearest point of contact with the towing vehicle.

Insufficient clearance will prevent the stabiliser from correct articulation and could damage your car or possibly become detached.

 

Any swanneck or removable ball will normally give sufficient clearance.

 

A fixed towball may not but then you can always replace it if and when you fit an Al-ko stabiliser. If you buy new then you get one with the stabiliser.

 

 

 

poolebob

 

 

It's not just the clearance to the rear of the car as an ALKO stabiliser hitch will only achieve the specified articulation in all directions if a bolt on, flange mounted, ball is the special type with extended clearance below the ball centre line.

 

Most swan neck balls will provide the necessary clearance.

 

Alko no longer supply a special ball with a new stabiliser.

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It's not just the clearance to the rear of the car as an ALKO stabiliser hitch will only achieve the specified articulation in all directions if a bolt on, flange mounted, ball is the special type with extended clearance below the ball centre line.

 

Most swan neck balls will provide the necessary clearance.

 

Alko no longer supply a special ball with a new stabiliser.

I was quoting the Al ko web site which only mentioned those criteria.

 

Al-ko still supply the towball with a new stabiliser according to their on line shop.

 

poolebob

Honda CRV Diesel Petrol & No caravan now. :angry:

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Thankyou to everyone for their helpful and informative comments. We aint been out yet and caravanning is seemingly very complicated. My tow bar fitter is basically suggesting a swan neck to reduce chance of parking sensor problems and to allow for an alko stabiliser hitch at a later date. The suggestion is that this is better than usimg the exising hitch with a stabiliser bar. We need to make a decision as if we go for the wrong bar we could have a problem later. Is the best thing to go with thr swan neck which will allow us to use the existing older style hitch on the van until such time as we change it to a alko hitch. ..

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I have a 2012 Superb. Fantastic towcar BTW. I have a detachable swanneck, but if I do leave it in the parking sensors don't pick it up. Can't guarantee that for your s of course.

 

My bar is a Westfalia one that is only just enough clearance for the 2004/3004 Alko hitches so one with more clearance could cause a problem wit the sensors, I don't know.

 

You can recode the parking sensors, but that just compensates for the length of the towbar / ball and beeps sooner. If you fit the dedicated towing electrics, it actually switches off the rear sensors when you are towing, and if you have the Columbus satnav it even reminds you by showing a picture of a trailer in place of the rear sensors!

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