As summer is only a few short months away, preparation for family holidays has begun. Between the kids, the family dog and then a selection of bikes, space is at a premium. No matter how strategic you are with your packing, you will always need more space. Having the extended space of a roof box or bike rack can really free up much-needed room inside the cabin. Tow bars can be incredibly useful when it comes to adding additional space for you to use. A common misconception is that tow bars are solely used for pulling trailers, however, there are many other uses which we’ll explain in this article!
For every tow bar, there is a different specification, while there can be some confusing technical terms such as “dynamic load limits of a trailer”, easier terms like S Value and MTW are easy to get your head around and are the main figures for you to worry about. Below is the explanation of both terms.
- S Value = Is the vertical weight load in Kg that can be applied to the hitch. This is commonly known as the ‘nose load’
- Max Tow Weight (MTW) = Is the total weight in Kg that a tow bar has been manufactured to pull.
Take for example a tow bar that has an S Value of 50kg, this would be able to hold the weight of 3 mountains bike off the rear of the car. Having a bike rack that you can place on the tow car frees up much-needed roof space if you have a roof box as well. The value of having a tow bar bike rack is the fact that you can access the boot with ease, as cheaper models are hung on the rear of the car causing an obstruction to the boot itself. The image below is the Peruzzo Arezzo Bike Rack which is mounted directly onto the tow bar, giving clear access to the rear of the car.
Along with the detachable bike rack, the tow bar can also be used for carrying animals in a tow bar box, which again frees up space in the boot of the car. These boxes attach directly onto the tow bar providing secure transportation of your furry friend. The S value is the only figure you would have to worry about here, however, unless you have a bernese mountain dog or a saint bernard, weight won't be an issue!
Different Towbar Types:
- Fixed Swan Neck Towbar: This is your standard tow bar which cannot be adjusted like other models.
- Swan Neck Detachable: Bolts can be undone to remove the swan neck. Quite useful if you are finished with the tow bar for the foreseeable future and wish to remove it.
- Horizontally Detachable Towbar: Has a Locking Mechanism along with a simple means of removing it from your vehicle.
- Vertical Detachable Towbar: Has a high D-values which is good for heavy loads. Features a 3 ball locking mechanism making mounting and dismounting easy.
- Flange Tow Bar: Used for Commercial Vehicles
- Height Adjustable Flange Tow Bar: Only used for commercial vehicles and jeeps. Useful when towing trailers with different heights.
Before making any purchase there are a few things to consider when choosing a suitable tow bar. If we take the example of someone who will be using the tow bar during the summer months only, then they should avoid any fixed bars as the following can be quite annoying. Having the bar on when there is no rack or trailer in place can be somewhat of a hazard when trying to gain access to the boot. Trust me, walking into the tow bar can be a painful experience, one that can leave you effing and blinding in front of the family which isn’t a great look. Another thing to consider is the affect a fixed swan neck will have on your parking sensors (If you have them). Some sensors pick up the bar as an object so it will go into meltdown mode the minute you put the car in reverse.
We would recommend a detachable swan neck, giving the user the freedom to remove the tow bar when not in use.
With commercial use, you have the option of a fixed flange tow bar and a height adjustable flange tow bar. When deciding on which one to buy, it really boils down to what type of business you are in. A fixed flange is good for vans as chances are they will be always pulling some sort of trailer. Having a jeep it might be in your best interest to buy the adjustable height bar as you could go from pulling a low trailer with tools in it, to pulling the likes of a horse box which would be set at a slightly higher setting.
We are going to leave this one up to you, the detachable bar is more adaptable however it is more expensive so if you are not planning on transporting different type of trailers then stick with the fixing flange.
Accessories available for tow bars include adapters for brake lights and trailer brake lights. It is important to buy these extras as it is a legal requirement to have brake lights on any object you are pulling. We hope this has given you all a better insight into all things towbars. If you having questions regarding tow bars or simply send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and our team will help you to get Car parts for less. We will help you and we'll make sure that you're getting the best price every time!
Until next time,
MicksGarage.com the Car Parts Experts.