How to choose the right tow bar to fit your vehicle

There are a few things to consider when choosing a tow bar for your vehicle.

Firstly whether you prefer a detachable or fixed tow bar. You also need to decide on what type of electrics you want to be wired. Choosing the appropriate socket hinges on what you will be towing.

So what is the difference between the different type of electrics?

Single Electrics

With this type of electrics, your car is wired so it can only power the lights on your caravan or trailer, which is the minimum legal requirement when towing. This would be suitable for a trailer or bike carrier.

Twin Electrics

Twin electrics use two 7 pin sockets, these wire the car to power the caravan you are towing. Powering road lights, reverse lights and interior electrics, for example, a fridge etc.

13 Pin Socket

Caravans which were manufactured in the UK after 2008 come fitted with 13 pin connectors. These essentially are twin electrics which are merged together into one socket. Often seen in Europe, these are mostly used with newer caravans.

Choosing the right electrics for your towbar can make a big difference to a fully functioning caravan with power on the inside.

Vehicle specific wiring harnesses

In addition to the above we can supply a large range of 7 and 13 pin kits which when installed can interface with the vehicle, or using their original connectors and/or communicate direct with the vehicle management system. In turn, this enables the manufacturers towing safety features (trailer stability programs), which are now present in modern motor vehicles to function.

We offer a variety of tow bars to suit your requirements whether you need a single or twin electrics.

Below are the types of tow bars we stock.

Fixed Flange Ball Tow Bar

The most common in the UK is the fixed Flange ball tow bar. Popular for towing heavy trailers and caravans. Furthermore, it will allow the towing of both a trailer or a caravan, in addition, you can carry bikes on the back of your car at the same period providing you are within the recommended weight limit. The fixed flange ball allows you to adjust the towing height if required. We find this is a flexible two bar hence its popularity.

  • Tow and carry your cycles at the same time (subject to nose load limits)
  • Bumper shields can be fitted
  • AL-KO towballs can be fitted to this towbar
  • Towing height on commercial and 4 x 4 four hole plate towbars can be adjusted. 
  • Offers a choice of towing couplings
  • Accessories can be fitted to this towbar

Detachable Flange Tow Bar

This is exclusive to Witter, they recently introduced this version of tow bar to offer all the versatility of a fixed flange bar, while leaving only a small part of the towbar visible when detached. 

  • Tow and carry your cycles at the same time
  • Towball can be removed when not in use to preserve the shins!
  • AL-KO towballs can be fitted to this towbar
  • Does not trigger reversing sensors when not towing
  • Offers a choice of towing couplings
  • Accessories can be fitted to this towbar
detachable-flange-tow bar

Fixed Swan Neck Tow Bar

This type of tow bar is not as popular in the UK, however, in other countries, it is used extensively. It is not as flexible as other designs and is not compatible fittings and accessories. Cycle carriers are available for this type of towbar but you cannot tow at the same time. 

Out of all the towbars, this one is most likely not to set off reversing sensors. Unfortunately, it cannot be installed on vehicles with a bumper shield.

  • Compatible with AL-KO Stabilisers
  • Unlikely to trigger reversing sensors
  • A little more expensive than the flange towbar
  • Can’t be fitted with a bumper shield.


Detachable Swan Neck 

Popular in Europe, this is a detachable tow bar meaning it does not have to be on your vehicle all year round. Therefore enabling vehicle owners to attach it just when they need it.  Once attached to cars it does not restrict accessing the boot. Furthermore, attachments are available to buy separately for this tow bar to carry bikes.  Cycle carriers are available for this type of tow bar but you cannot tow a vehicle at the same time. 

  • Towball can be removed when not in use
  • Unrestricted boot access
  • AL-KO and other friction stabilisers can be fitted to this
  • Does not trigger reversing sensors when you are not towing. 

To Summarize

Finally, there is not a huge difference in cost between the various towbars. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, its all about choosing the right tow bar to suit your own individual requirements. The type of electrics you require also needs to be taken into consideration. If you want further advice and information about towing or towbars please contact us .

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