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Are Towbars All The Same Or Are There Different Types?


offtobirtree
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Daft question alert

 

Seems there are different towbars from witter, thule to 13 pin ( what ) and god knows what other varieties of towbar out there.

 

Could some kind person tell me what I need to look out for when matching a towbar to a van and car

 

Assume no prior knowledge on my part if you could :blush:

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There are two types of towball. The standard one and one which is suitable for Al-ko stabilisers. So if you have one you need to get the correct towball

The 13 pin refers to the electrical socket. you can either have one 13 pin socket which does everything or two 7 pin sockets. In theory the two bat fitter should fit what matches your van, although I heard this week that one fitter said they are no longer allowed to fit 2x7 pin sockets. So if your van has this and the car has a 13 pin socket you can either use an adaptor or have a 13 pin socket fitted to the van.

 

There are two types of fixed towbar. Normal and swan neck. Then there are removable ones which are all very similar regardless of manufacturer, What type you have is a matter of personal preference including cost.

 

poolebob

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

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There are two types of towball. The standard one and one which is suitable for Al-ko stabilisers. So if you have one you need to get the correct towball

The 13 pin refers to the electrical socket. you can either have one 13 pin socket which does everything or two 7 pin sockets. In theory the two bat fitter should fit what matches your van, although I heard this week that one fitter said they are no longer allowed to fit 2x7 pin sockets. So if your van has this and the car has a 13 pin socket you can either use an adaptor or have a 13 pin socket fitted to the van.

 

There are two types of fixed towbar. Normal and swan neck. Then there are removable ones which are all very similar regardless of manufacturer, What type you have is a matter of personal preference including cost.

 

poolebob

Cheers poolebob

 

So the pin hook up is to run a fridge and such like while towing I guess?

 

As for the type I need, assuming the van I get doesnt have al ko stabalisers, I should be ok with pretty much any tow bar. Do you reckon?

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The electrical sockets will operate the fridge etc, and the rear lights on the caravan whilst towing. Until recently this was 2 different sockets, 7 pins in each, but the 'modern' type is now one socket with 13 pins in it. There are adapters available should you have a mis-match :)

 

All caravan hitches will fit on an alko suitable towball - youre pretty safe with a swan neck type really, fairly universal.

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The electrical sockets will operate the fridge etc, and the rear lights on the caravan whilst towing. Until recently this was 2 different sockets, 7 pins in each, but the 'modern' type is now one socket with 13 pins in it. There are adapters available should you have a mis-match :)

 

All caravan hitches will fit on an alko suitable towball - youre pretty safe with a swan neck type really, fairly universal.

Aha!

 

This illustrates perfectly just how clueless I currently am, didnt previously consider at all the need for rear/brake lights etc

 

Had hoped to get away without an electric hook up

 

Is it mandatory to have brake lights on the van whilst towing?

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Course not . ..just take to the road without any brake lights and listen for the crunch as some poor soul rams into the back of your van. I think you need to do some serious research before venturing any further.

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Course not . ..just take to the road without any brake lights and listen for the crunch as some poor soul rams into the back of your van. I think you need to do some serious research before venturing any further.

:D I'm onto it, that's why Im here. The van I'm looking at is very small and a pop up, need to read the highway code or something methinks

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A few links to help you:

 

http://westfalia-automotive. co. uk/towbars. html

 

http://www. witter-towbars. co. uk/

 

I've just booked a fitting with an NTTA QSA approved company:

 

http://www. ntta. co. uk/directory/QSA_Members. aspx

 

It's swan neck bar (so suitable for AL-KO hitches) by Witter that is detachable so I can keep the look of the car. It also has 13pin electrics that are dedicated for my vehicle which will ensure that the car's systems work perfectly while towing.

 

Well worth doing a bit of homework. Also look at a few threads on here such as those about MOT failures with 13pin sockets and removing the painted coating from a swan neck bar's ball.

Edited by Caravanarfa
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No my friend just keep reading and contributing to this forum . ..there is a world of knowledge just waiting for you to tap into and you won't go far wrong . ..good luck.

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theres also swan neck towbars, also you may want to add if you havnt already got one, fit a 12s socket for the fridge and battery charging, but if you didnt think you needed break lights :o then maybe you need to fit both 12s & 12n or 13 pin socket or get someone to fit it for you ;)

 

phil

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Hi Oftobitree can I recommend you do on lot of reading from different publications such as practical Caravan magazine, Caravan Manual written by John Wickersham published by Haynes publishing available from Halfords motor stores.

Check your driving license if you passed your test after in 1997 you might not be covered under your license to tow.

Check with your Citroen is man enough to tow your caravan and you that have the correct weight ratio!

Andrew.

Ford Mondeo Estate Titaniuim TDCi mk4 (16v 140 BHP) (2008)

Towing Elddis Odyssey 544 (2008) Truma mover S towing at 98%

My web site caravanlife. updated 28/5/2017

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:D I'm onto it, that's why Im here. The van I'm looking at is very small and a pop up, need to read the highway code or something methinks

Bit confused now. Your profile shows you have a Swift towed by a Citroen, are you changing to a small pop up and changing car so you need new towbar.

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

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Is it mandatory to have brake lights on the van whilst towing?

There are several makes of tow bar which will fit your Citroen and you need to be sure that the bar you choose is specially made for that vehicle. For instance a bar made for a saloon will not necessarily fit an estate model. Also a bar made for a Mark 1 model will probably not fit a Mark 2. But for several years now, you may be assured that any make of towbar will be fine for your vehicle because by law every maker must submit a towbar for approval.

 

And in answer to your question. Yes! every road light which is on your car, must also be on the trailer. What's more, you also need a warning device in the car to tell you whether or not your trafficators on the trailer are functioning. Either by buzzer or flashing light.

 

A matter of interest - what Citroen do you tow with?

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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you also need a warning device in the car to tell you whether or not your trafficators on the trailer are functioning. Either by buzzer or flashing light.

 

TRAFFICATORS. ...there's a blast from the past

 

220px-Trafficator.jpg

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Bit confused now. Your profile shows you have a Swift towed by a Citroen, are you changing to a small pop up and changing car so you need new towbar.

No poolebob, I dont own anything as yet, have only been looking at the classifieds for just over a week so early days with the search. I couldnt find an option to state no van and at that point I was looking at a swift so for want of anything better thats what I entered. I'm looking at a pop top, best I can find is a rapido club as it will fit in my garage and there seem to be plenty around and for the money I want to pay ticks all the boxes.

There are several makes of tow bar which will fit your Citroen and you need to be sure that the bar you choose is specially made for that vehicle. For instance a bar made for a saloon will not necessarily fit an estate model. Also a bar made for a Mark 1 model will probably not fit a Mark 2. But for several years now, you may be assured that any make of towbar will be fine for your vehicle because by law every maker must submit a towbar for approval.

 

And in answer to your question. Yes! every road light which is on your car, must also be on the trailer. What's more, you also need a warning device in the car to tell you whether or not your trafficators on the trailer are functioning. Either by buzzer or flashing light.

 

A matter of interest - what Citroen do you tow with?

Cheers JD. I own a C2 which, I know, isnt the best option for towing but it can easily be upgraded. Saying that, the Rapido Club I've been looking at should be do-able with the C2, unless my calculations are mistaken, which to be fair, they might be. But I dont think so from what Ive read about weight ratios.

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No poolebob, I dont own anything as yet, have only been looking at the classifieds for just over a week so early days with the search. I couldnt find an option to state no van and at that point I was looking at a swift so for want of anything better thats what I entered. I'm looking at a pop top, best I can find is a rapido club as it will fit in my garage and there seem to be plenty around and for the money I want to pay ticks all the boxes.

Cheers JD. I own a C2 which, I know, isnt the best option for towing but it can easily be upgraded. Saying that, the Rapido Club I've been looking at should be do-able with the C2, unless my calculations are mistaken, which to be fair, they might be. But I dont think so from what Ive read about weight ratios.

I doubt that a C2 will be able to tow a rapido club. It seems to have a max tow limit of around 550kg which seems to be less than the max weight of the rapido.

Poolebob

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

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I doubt that a C2 will be able to tow a rapido club.

I agree! You need to consider this very carefully. Maximum towing weight for the C2 is around 535Kgs. Even the top of the range with a 1. 6 HDI in it only raises the limit by 30Kg. Most Rapidos appear to be way beyond that weight.

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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