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To get your life on the move, it’s imperative that you install the right tow bar for your vehicle and your lifestyle.
A tow bar is an understated car accessory – once it’s installed, it can instantly transform your vehicle from being ‘just a car’ into a powerful utility – it can be a mobile home, a pick up and dump truck, a moving van, and much, much more.
When it comes to buying and installing a tow bar, it’s not the most difficult thing you’ll tackle in your lifetime but for the somewhat uninitiated, it can end up being a bit of a confusing task – there is a fair bit of jargon and prior knowledge required before you can begin . We can make life easier for you – read on to learn about how to select the correct tow bar for your wants and needs,
Installing Tow Bars: Models and Makes
First of all, you need to understand that there are often specific tow bars for specific vehicle makes and models. For example, if there is one vehicle model of a specific make, you would not be able to install the same tow bar as another model of the same make. You will need to make sure that you find out which tow bar is suitable for installation to your vehicle, depending on the model and make of your car.
Installing Tow Bars: What Type of Mount?
Once you’ve figured out what type of tow bars are able to be fitted to your model and make of car, you will need to decide whether you want a car mounted or da coach mounted towbar – the basic difference in the two is where they are placed on the vehicle! The car mounted tow bar is installed on the front of the vehicle, and a coach mounted tow bar is installed at the rear.
Installing Tow Bars: What Type of Tow am I?
That’s not the final thing to decide. Would you like a rigid tow bar or a collapsible tow bar? The difference between the two is as obvious as its name. However, it’s important to note that the rigid towbar needs to be fitted very carefully as once it’s installed, it cannot be adjusted. The collapsible towbar, on the other hand, can be folded and is adjustable, making it a more flexible installation option. The rigid towbar is much more inexpensive due to its limitations. The collapsible tow bar is suited for seasoned towers, who tow on a regular basis.
Installing Tow Bars: Out With the Old, In With the New
If you’re an avid mover, your tow bar may need replacing after a few years of gradual wear and tear. How can you tell when it’s time for a switch? There are two main signs to look out for:
Pins: There will be a several of them, on both the tow bar and the hook-up for your caravan or trailer. Look at each one closely and look out signs that they’re getting worn out.
Bolts: Tow bars are slightly flexible (even the rigid tow bars!) thanks to the bolts on them. In order to make good use out of a tow bar, it needs to be a little bit flexible, otherwise any small obstruction – a bump or an underestimated corner turn – will see the whole thing snap off or break apart. Look closely at the tow bar to ensure that all of its bolts are in the correct spots and screwed in properly. Toe make sure that the bolts aren’t too loose or too tight, try and get the tow bar running through a full range of motion.
These easy observations are light work that should be done on a regular basis. If you don’t check regularly and your tow bar is in fact worn out, things can quickly take a turn for the worse. To ensure the longevity of your tow bar between installations, keep it lean of dust and grime. In addition to this, do not overstress the tow bar by towing weights that it wasn’t made for and overloading the accessory.
Installing Tow Bars: How to look after them post-install
Know your vehicle’s limits: After the rigmarole of carefully deliberating over the right kind of tow bar for you, there is still a possibility of unsafely towing too much on your tow bar because you were not aware of what the vehicle’s weight limit was. Your first port of call here is to check your vehicle’s manual and see if there’s anything listed in it about tow ratings. If you can’t find anything in the manual, get in contact with your car’s manufacturer or dealer, or look up your car’s make and model online.
Prevent fishtailing or swaying: Even the most seasoned trailer or caravan traveler may encounter fishtailing, or vehicle sway, when driving. This is the term for when the trailer begins to move from side to side, regardless of how you are driving, and is one of the biggest contributors to towing-related accidents. In order to avoid swaying or fishtailing, you should assess your load before you start traveling. If the back end of the trailer is sagging, install a weight-distributing hitch on your tow bar to ensure that your trailer and its load stays level.