Towzone’s Buyers Guide To Towbars…

Step 1: What towbar do I need?…

Fixed Flange Ball Towbar...

Advantages

  • Allows you to tow & carry cycles at the same time.
  • AL-KO towballs can be fitted.
  • A large choice of accessories can be fitted.

Fixed Flange Towbar

Disadvantages

  • Can interfere with reversing sensors.
  • The towbar & electrics are usually clearly visible.
Detachable Flange Towbar…

Advantages

  • Allows you to tow & carry cycles at the same time.
  • AL-KO towballs can be fitted.
  • A large choice of accessories can be fitted.
  • The most versatile & least visible towbar on the market.
  • Will not trigger reversing sensors when not towing.
  • Bumper shields can be fitted.

Detachable Flange Towbar

Disadvantages

  • One of the most expensive towbars on the market.
Fixed Swan Neck Towbar…

Advantages

  • Compatible with AL-KO Stabilisers.
  • Better aesthetically than the flange towbar.

Fixed Swan Towbar

Disadvantages

  • Unable to tow & carry cycles at the same time.
  • Bumpers shields can’t be fitted.
  • Towball height can’t be altered.
Detachable Swan Neck Towbar…

Advantages

  • Compatible with AL-KO Stabilisers.
  • Towball can be easily removed, when not in use.
  • Better aesthetically than the flange towbar.

Detachable Swan Towbar

Disadvantages

  • Unable to tow & carry cycles at the same time.
  • Bumpers shields can’t be fitted.
  • Towball height can’t be altered.

Step 2: What towbar electrics do I need?…

7-PIN

The 7-pin is the most cost effective connector on the UK market, it’s also the most commonly used. It’s very versatile and can be connected to almost anything that requires towing whether it be horse-boxes, cycle carriers or plant trailers. It complies to all the normal towing requirements under the UK law. It cannot however power the inside of your caravan.

7-PIN TWIN

Unlike the 7-pin connector the 7-pin twin will provide power to both the exterior and interior of a caravan, this is the perfect socket when you wish to charge the caravan battery or power the fridge in a caravan built pre 2008. In conclusion the 7-pin twin can do everything 7-pin can, but will just give you access to more power.

13-PIN

The 13-pin is the newest of the three connectors and is the most recommended across the industry. Every EU caravan manufactured post 2008 are fitted as standard with the 13-pin connector. To summaries the 13-pin is basically a 2-in-1 socket with the same abilities as the 7-pin twin giving you one socket instead of two.

Note: Conversion leads are available for 13-pin towing electrics to twin 7-pin towing electrics.

Step 3: What towbar wiring do I need?…

Dedicated Wiring Kits

 

Advantages…

  • Are directly connected to the vehicles electronics and are programmed using the on-board computer.
  • Will not effect the vehicles manufacturer warranty. 
  • Will support all of the vehicles safety features whilst towing.
  • Can disable factory fitted parking aids whilst towing.
  • Your vehicle will know when you are towing and will auto adjust many built in systems e.g. cruise control, brake electronics, lane assist, trailer stability control & engine electronics.

Disadvantages…

  • Some vehicles may not have a dedicated wiring kit available for fitting.
  • Are generally more expensive than the universal wiring kits.
  • Depending on your vehicles make and model you may need software updates to make it aware that towing electrics are fitted. 

 

Universal Wiring Kits

 

Advantages…

  • Are usually a cheaper option than the dedicated wiring kits.
  • Will fit almost any vehicle make or model.

Disadvantages…

 

  • If your vehicle is fitted with a trailer stability control system, having a universal wiring kit fitted may in some cases leave it unactivated or null.
  • Many vehicle warranties will be affected as they specify that any towbar wiring fitted must be equal to the wiring supplied by the vehicle manufacturer.
  • A universal wiring kit may not support or badly supports many safety functions of your vehicle. 
  • When installing a universal wiring kit, problems can arise that require additional expertise from the fitter.

Step 4: Find your nearest Towzone fitter below…