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Towbar Fitting Booked


Caravanarfa
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We've owned our van for over two years now and it's been kept on a store and tow site. We've thoroughly enjoyed stopping there but we thought it's now about time for us to get out there and use the van for its fully intended purpose.

 

So we've just booked to have a Witter detachable swan neck fitted to our Zafira Tourer early next week. The electrics are dedicated and it's being fitted by the local NTTA 'Quality Secured Approved' outlet so all should be good. It's costing £580 but they seem a really professional outfit so I think it's money well spent.

 

Can't wait to get towing now. I've obviously got all the usual caravan gear needed to run it on a pitch and already have a spare rear numberplate and some chocks. I still need to get some towing mirrors, a leveling ramp and, possibly, a nose weight gauge (or bathroom scales for now). Is there anything else I should think about buying?

 

 

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Have you checked your tyres on the van before you hit the road, especially if it's been sat for two years.

 

I've stuck with bathroom scales - noseweight gauges seem to be less accurate according to the majority of forum folk.

 

Went with milenco grand aero for towing mirrors.

 

I have some brand new milenco quattro ramps in the classified section if you're interested - never used as I bought a lock n level airbag.

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Have you checked your tyres on the van before you hit the road, especially if it's been sat for two years.

 

 

Thanks.

 

I checked them earlier in the Summer and the van was serviced at the start of the season but I'll give them another check. It regularly moves back and forth from storage to pitch by the site so hopefully that will have minimise the risks of any significant tire damage.

Edited by Caravanarfa
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I bought a Witter detachable tow bar from JD Diesel cost £400 including fitting.

It took the hard working fitter 4 solid hours hard work to fit it!

Fitted to my new Citroen Picasso Grand 150HDi.

 

I was advised to remove the swan neck when not in use as it can be difficult to remove/impossible if rusted in!

Similarly the pretty flimsy/cheap lock for the neck looks very vulnerable to ingress of water and ice.

 

The swan neck is a hefty piece of iron so wind up the lock BEFORE fitting the neck.

It will click and locating spring loaded pin will lock fully compressed.

A smart push into place under the vehicle will result in a resounding bang as the whole thing locks into place

 

or

 

It fires out with a hefty wallop on the ground as it has failed to lock!

Repeat above.

 

Note the relays[all types and brands] are known to fail so be aware.

 

Similarly mine has a very common characteristic the electronics can fail to "find" the fog light circuit.

This results in the beeper beeping every 5 minutes whether the car is occupied or not!

The remedy is to switch on start the car and switch the fog lights on and off.

This resets the relay.

 

This has happened a few times with mine.

 

On my Citroen the reversing sensors "see"the swan neck and beep so fixed tow bars on my vehicle could be a problem

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Just had mine done on my new to me volvo XC70. Volvo parts and fitted at the main dealers £645 all in with the 13 pin electrics etc. Quite reasonable and is now covered under the Volvo warranty. I will now have to change my details at the side of the message to reflect the new car.

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Car and caravan breakdown cover, hopefully you'll never use them but it's just a piece of mind knowing that if you do breakdown you and the caravan will be towed home or to a garage. Were with Greenflag taken out through the CC, not sure what we paid but it was reasonable.

A friend of ours had RAC breakdown cover on his car only not giving any thought to when he may be towing, presuming i suppose you only spend a small % of time towing. Needless to say the unevidable happened and his radiator went whilst towing down in Cornwall, called the RAC and a local garage came out with a spec lift ( Frame on back of a tow truck). He was told that he didn't have caravan cover and would cost if he wanted a flat bed to recover him, which he paid for, I think it was a couple of hundred pounds and a lot of hassle.

Compass Corona (Magnum) 524 (2003) -----------VW Passat Alltrack 170 BHP DSG

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Some useful tips above- many thanks.

 

Do I need to send notification of the modifications to my insurers or to the DVLA?

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Spirit level

 

Another good point. I've actually got one of those on my phone as part of an android app called Swiss Army Knife. The pitches on our 'store and tow' site are pretty level but I've used it to alter the jockey wheel height with good results. Well worth a download for anyone with a smart phone which has a built in gyroscope.

 

Edit: No need to carry a spare bubble either. :D

Edited by Caravanarfa
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Another good point. I've actually got one of those on my phone as part of an android app called Swiss Army Knife. The pitches on our 'store and tow' site are pretty level but I've used it to alter the jockey wheel height with good results. Well worth a download for anyone with a smart phone which has a built in gyroscope.

 

Edit: No need to carry a spare bubble either. :D

 

It's really useful to get one of those triangular spirit levels ( from caravan sales outlets or ebay here for a few quid) and when the 'van has been levelled accurately - fit it to the A frame housing - THEN when you pitch-up you can see how it's levelling up without getting phones or bubbleometers out (in the rain !! )

 

Jim

"keep your motor running"

caravan: Avondale Avocet ( 2006) - tow car: Renault Laguna (2007) - play car: Mercedes 300SL (1988)

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Update from OP- Have just purchased:

 

-2X Milenco Grand Aero Flats

-1X Milenco Calibrated BS Compliant Nose Weight Gauge

-2X Fiamma Level Pro Ramps

 

Can't wait for the tow bar to go on on Tuesday now. ..

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