Is It Worth Getting A Towbar installed

worth getting a Towbar Installed on my car?

Is getting a towbar worth it 2023

Yes, absolutely, and it is safe to say that many people all over the world share this sentiment.   The global market for towbars would be close to $3 billion, with the United States and Western Europe no doubt consuming the largest pieces of that financial pie.   Getting a towbar installed on your car is a popular activity, and it is one of the few times when we spend money on cars where the benefits far outweigh the costs.  

I’m sure most people would agree that we’re becoming more fascinated with recreational vehicles, and when you consider that almost no recreational vehicle is seen without a towbar, it’s easy to see why the towbar market is a good one to be in. 

What is a Towbar and how does it work?

A towbar is a device that connects to the chassis of a vehicle in order to tow something that needs to be towed. As it pivots and adjusts to turns and curves, the towbar allows the towed item to follow the towing vehicle smoothly and safely. To ensure proper safety, visibility, and control, the towbar may require wiring for lights, safety cables, and a supplemental braking system.

Can I get a Towbar Installed on my Car?

Maybe, not all cars can get a towbar installed and whether or not you can depends on your vehicle make, model, and its specifications.   The towbar you opt for should be designed specifically for your car and installed by a professional. 

Factors to review when considering a towbar.

The type of vehicle you have is important because some vehicles, such as sports cars, very small city cars, micro cars, and possibly some hybrid and electric vehicles may not have ever been designed with towing a trailer in mind.   Some vehicles’ rated towing capacity may be so low that you won’t be able to do much more than attach a ‘single bike’ bike rack to the towbar.

High performance/sports vehicles with extremely low ground clearance have very little space between the bottom of the car and the ground.   This could make installing a towbar somewhat difficult and possibly impractical. Even if you could install one, you run the risk of damaging the towbar or your car when navigating rough terrain or bumps. In these circumstances, you’ll probably need a towbar that is specially made for your vehicle or is detachable in order to fit it.

What is the braked and unbraked towing capacity?

Before getting a towbar installed on your car, you should be aware of your vehicle’s braked and unbraked towing capacity.   The unbraked towing capacity is the maximum weight of a trailer that the vehicle can tow without the trailer having its own brakes. When the trailer does not have its own brakes, your vehicle must do all of the braking for both itself and the trailer.   The unbraked towing capacity will naturally be much lower than the braked towing capacity (where the trailer has got its own brakes). In Australia, for example, all passenger and light commercial vehicles have a 750kg unbraked towing capacity. Before towing a trailer without brakes, always check your vehicle’s unbraked towing capacity, as exceeding it can be dangerous and illegal.  

The braked towing capacity is the maximum weight of a trailer that your vehicle can tow safely and legally, when the trailer has its own braking system. The trailer’s brakes are connected to the vehicle’s brakes through a cable, so that they work together to slow down or stop the vehicle-trailer combination23. The braked towing capacity is usually higher than the unbraked towing capacity, which is the maximum weight of a trailer without brakes that the vehicle can tow45. The braked towing capacity of a vehicle depends on factors such as the engine power, transmission, suspension, chassis, tyres and tow bar of the vehicle15. You can find the braked towing capacity of your vehicle in the owner’s manual or on the compliance plate.   As an example, the unbraked towing capacity for a 2017 Holden Cruze is 750kg which is the legal unbraked limit.   The braked towing capacity for this car is a maximum of 1,200kg.

Why do people get Towbars installed?

Without a single doubt in my mind, the most common reason for installing a towbar is to tow a trailer.   There are numerous trailers that people may want to tow with their vehicles, including box trailers, motorcycle trailers, car trailers, boat trailers, caravans, jet ski trailers, ATV trailers, tiny homes, horse trailers, and even glider trailers, each with its own dimensional, weight, and other specifications that will greatly affect what type of vehicle can tow them and what type of towbar must be installed.

The next most common use I’ve seen a towbar for is to attach a bike rack. To transport up to three bicycles, a bike rack can be attached to a towbar. These bike racks are an excellent way to transport bikes to a sporting event, camping trip, or for a bike ride for you and your partner along your favourite beach or mountain trail.  The most popular brands I’ve seen are Thule, Yakima, and Buzzrack, but I’m sure there are many others, especially if you look on Amazon.

Some people may even think about adding a towbar to their vehicle to improve driving safety.   This may not be the first reason that comes to mind for most people, but it is certainly an option. A towbar attached to the rear of your vehicle can improve its safety in the event of a rear-end collision. The towbar can absorb the impact of the collision and keep your vehicle from colliding with the vehicle in front of you.

Installing a towbar on your vehicle can also increase its resale value. The addition of a towbar increases the flexibility of your vehicle and increases the number of people who may be interested in your vehicle.

What is the average towbar installation cost?

The average cost of a towbar installation is made up of 3 factors:

1.     The price of the towbar itself, which can range from $350 to over $1,000.

2.     Installation costs can range from $350 for a light duty towbar to around $700 for a heavy duty towbar, possibly more in some cases.  

3.    When you get a quote, the auto electrical wiring costs of a towbar installation are most likely included in the above installation costs.   The cost of wiring will vary depending on the trailer plug kit you select, which can be 5, 7, or 12 pin in Australia or 7 or 13 pin in the UK.  In Australia, the cost of auto electrical wiring can range from $120 to $350, depending on the vehicle and the installer.

Explain the Auto Electrical side of a towbar installation.

The number of pins in the trailer plug corresponds with the number of wires they are connected to on your trailer. For example, a 5-pin plug can control the basic functions, such as brake lights, indicators and tail lights. A 7-pin plug can also control the electric brakes, reverse lights and auxiliary power. A 12-pin plug can also control the battery charging, fridge power and rear view camera. To the best of my knowledge, the only trailer plug connection used in Australian market that is ISO compliant is the 7-pin ABS / EBS plug.   A trailer plug kit is a collection of parts that the installer needs to get your towbar to be your trailer’s electrical system. The typical components of a trailer plug kit are a trailer control unit, a loom with plug-in connectors, power and communication cables, a suitable 5, 7, 12, and 13 pin socket, cable ties, fuses, and grommets. Typically, the kit should have everything required to finish the job.  

To ensure compatibility and safety, the trailer control unit regulates the signals going from your car to your trailer. The wiring harness and trailer socket on the vehicle are connected to the trailer control unit by a loom of wires. The vehicle and the trailer are connected by power and communication cables, which also transfer data. You can quickly connect and disconnect your trailer using the pin socket, which is connected to the trailer plug. Cable ties, fuses, and grommets are engaged to hold, guard against, and seal the wiring components. 

What is Towrite Towbars?

Towbars manufactured by the Australian company Towrite can be installed on a wide range of vehicle makes and models. TowRite towbars are powder-coated, rust-proof, and meet Australian Design Rules.   Towrite towbars are popular in Australia because they prioritise dependability, quality, and safety. They are made to the highest standards and engineered to fit the specific vehicle and towbar mounting points. Towrite Towbars are made with precise tolerances using cutting-edge design and manufacturing techniques such as 3D CAD systems and laser cutting.

Towrite spends a significant amount of time speaking with Australian manufacturers and aftermarket companies in order to provide the best towbar for any conceivable towing application. Towrite Towbars is a proudly Australian-owned and operated business with an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction and service.

What companies are Towrite Towbars distributors and installers?

Towrite towbars have hundreds of distributors and installers in Australia.   If you live in Queensland, you will almost certainly be able to get a Towrite towbar installed because one of their very reputable distributors, Speedy Towbars, has many stores in Queensland and also offers mobile installation.

Who are Hayman Reese Towbars?

Hayman Reese is an Australian towbar manufacturer. They offer a wide range of high-quality towbars that will fit the majority of vehicles.  Hayman Reese towbars are meticulously designed to fit specific vehicle makes and models, making them an excellent choice for those seeking a perfect fit.  

Hayman Reese towbars are built to last, are made of high-quality materials, and are designed to meet Australian safety standards while providing a safe and secure connection for your trailer.   The majority of Hayman Reese towbars are easy to install, even for inexperienced installers.   Hayman Reese towbars are reasonably priced, offer good value, and include a variety of non-standard options.  Hayman Reese offer a lifetime warranty on their towbars and related products and have over 70 years of experience in the towing industry.

What companies are Hayman Reese distributors and installers?

In Australia alone, there are over 800 Hayman Reese distributors and installers, indicating a sizable network offering their products and services.

Personally, I appreciate the fact that Pedders is an authorised distributor and installer of Hayman Reese towbars.   Because Pedders stores can be found almost anywhere, I believe the pairing of Pedders and Hayman Reese is exceptional.

Pedders, like Hayman Reese, has been in the automotive industry for over 70 years and offers a variety of products and services such as suspension, brakes, steering, shock absorbers, and towing solutions.

What are the various Towbar Types available?

Underslung towbars, which are the most common type of towbar and are mounted underneath the vehicle. They are relatively simple to install and are available for the majority of vehicles.

Hidden towbars are cleverly designed and made towbars that are only visible when the tow ball is attached and are concealed inside the bumper of the vehicle. They are a great option for those looking for a more visually appealing towbar or for vehicles with low ground clearance.

Ball-in-ball towbars are popular among tradies because the tow ball is integrated into the design of the actual towbar. They are a good choice for tradespeople vehicles that are often towing heavy loads because they offer a strong connection that is more secure.

Off-road towbars are the option you choose when whatever you’re towing is subjected to harsh off-road conditions on occasion.   They are made of stronger materials and are the preferred option for vehicles used for towing in the wilderness or on rough terrain.

Standard towbars are the most affordable and basic type of towbars, suitable for light-duty towing. When not in use, they have a flat tongue that can be removed.

Heavy duty towbars, which are suitable for medium to heavy-duty towing, are a very common and adaptable type of towbar. They have a square hitch receiver that can accept various hitch accessories, like cargo carriers or bike racks.

The ‘European Towbars‘ I’ve seen are by far the most sophisticated and fashionable towbars, and they go well with contemporary cars that have sophisticated electronics and safety features. In order to preserve the vehicle’s aesthetics and ground clearance, they have a swan neck or detachable ball that can be concealed when not in use.

Custom Towbars are where the rubber meets the road when it comes to towing things.   This is where towbar manufacturers are put to the test to create highly specialised towbars, designed for specific applications or vehicles that do not have standard towbar mounting points. They are custom-made and tailored to your specific requirements.

What are Hitch-Ezy self-locking off-road couplings?

Hitch-Ezy self-locking off-road couplings are 3.5-tonne-rated off-road pin couplings. It has a very unique double-locking mechanism that activates as soon as the main sleeve is lowered onto the tow-pillar, hence the term “self locking mechanism.”   The couplings are a fantastic Australian invention that makes connecting and disconnecting a heavy trailer or caravan a breeze.   Hitch-Ezy, an Australian-owned company, manufactures these couplings, which are designed and manufactured to the highest standards.

Hitch-Ezy self-locking off-road couplings have a full 360-degree rotation as well as a 90-degree vertical articulation for improved manoeuvrability.   Hitch-Ezy self-locking off-road couplings are popular as caravan couplings because they allow for easy and secure attachment and detachment.   They also have excellent articulation and durability for off-road caravans.   A Hitch-Ezy Self Locking Off-Road coupling can be purchased from Hitch-Ezy (the OEM) in Victoria, Caravan RV Camping, or Caravan Pro, both of which are located in Queensland.

What constitutes a successful towbar installation?

The following requirements must be met for a towbar installation to be successful:  The towbar is suitable for the trailer’s weight and size, as well as the vehicle’s model. 

1.     The towbar is firmly bolted to the car’s chassis using the right torque and positioning. 

2.    The harness and brake controller are properly installed and connected to the vehicle’s electrical system, as is the trailer wiring as a whole. 

3.    Without causing any damage or interference to the towbar, the bumper is reinstalled on the car. 

4.    The towbar and coupling are AVE-certified and adhere to AS4177 and the Australian Design Rules (ADR).  

Will mobile Towbar Installers come to your home or office?

Yes, there are mobile towbar installation services available for those who are unable to leave their home or leave their busy office. As long as you can offer a safe, secure and suitable location for them to work, these services can visit your home or place of business and install your new towbar during normal business hours.

Is a cheap towbar installation worth consideration?

Although theoretically possible, opting for an unusually low-cost towbar installation may not be the best option for you, your vehicle, and your trailer. A towbar at an extremely low price is most likely a low-quality towbar that does not meet the make, model, weight, and size specifications of your vehicle and your country, and you will be best served to avoid such situations for a variety of reasons.   It is preferable to pay a little more and purchase a high-quality towbar through a reputable and professional installation company that can guarantee your satisfaction, safety, and legal compliance. 

Is it better to get a professional towbar installation?

Yes, unless you are a motor trades professional, getting a professional towbar installation will be better for you, your car, and the expensive thing you wish to tow.   A professional towbar installation can provide you with the following five advantages:

1.     Quality Towbars and accessories are available to suit your vehicle and trailer requirements.  

2.    There is expert advice and guidance available on how to use and maintain your new towbar and trailer.  

3.    Adhering to Australian standards and regulations is ensured and you need this if you want your towbar installation to be done correctly, safely and legally.  

4.    If you have any issues or problems with your towbar or installation, you can take advantage of the warranty and after-care service that a professional company typically offers you.  

5.    A professional towbar installation can give you peace of mind and confidence when towing your trailer. It can also save you time, money, and hassle in the long run.

What is a Towbar Tongue?

The part of the towbar that joins the towball to the vehicle is called the tongue. The towbar can be fixed or adjustable, flat or hollow, depending on its type and capacity. 

The force that the trailer applies to the towball as it descends is known as the tongue weight.

What is a Pro series Hitch?

Several towing accessories, such as bike carriers, weight distribution hitches, gooseneck hitches, and trailer ball mounts, go by the name “pro series hitch.” A pro series hitch can be connected to a towbar to increase towing stability, safety, and clearance even though it is not a towbar itself. 

What are the most common Towbar accessories?

Some of the most common towbar accessories are:

Tow balls are the spherical or ball-shaped fasteners that join the trailer tongue to the towbar. Depending on the weight and coupling of the trailer, they come in various sizes and ratings.

The component that slides into the receiver hitch and holds the tow ball is called a tow ball mount. They come in a variety of lengths and drops to fit various trailers and vehicles, and they can be fixed or adjustable.

The metal pins known as hitch pins are used to fasten the tow ball mount to the receiver hitch. In order to prevent theft or unintentional detachment, they may have locks or clips.

D-shackles are metal loops in the shape of a D used to link the trailer’s safety chains to the towbar. They ought to be rated at the same weight as the trailer or higher.

Protective guards and covers are typically plastic or rubber covers that keep dirt, rust, and damage away from the tow ball, hitch pin, or receiver hitch. They can also keep innocent bystanders walking around the back of your car from colliding with the towbar and cutting their leg.

Because there is such a large market for bike racks, they should be considered more than just a towbar accessory.   They attach to the towbar or receiver hitch and allow drivers to transport bikes on the back of their vehicles. Depending on the needs of the owner, they can have a variety of capacities, designs, and features.

These are some of the most common towbar accessories, but there are many more available for different purposes and preferences. You can find a wide range of towbar accessories online or at your local towing store56. Do you have a specific accessory in mind?

In what situations can a Towbar be dangerous?

A towbar can be hazardous or dangerous under certain conditions, such as when it is incompatible with the car or trailer.   A towbar that is not suited or compatible with your vehicle can cause trailer instability, damage, or detachment while being towed.   It would be very upsetting to see your trailer or caravan heading off in a new direction in the rear view mirror.  This can unfortunately happen because your towbar was low quality and broke apart or it was is not securely or properly attached.   In these cases, you may be held liable for any damage caused by your trailer or caravan in an uncontrolled situation.

Avoid worn-out towbar components, corrosion, or loose or broken parts by getting your car serviced on a regular basis.  Any defects with your towbar will be identified during a routine vehicle service from a reputable mechanic.

What is a Reese Weight Distribution Hitch?

A Reese Weight Distribution Hitch is a towbar that increases stability, steering, braking, and traction by evenly distributing the trailer’s weight across all of the tow vehicle’s and trailer’s wheels. Three parts make up a Reese Weight Distribution Hitch: a weight distribution-rated hitch for the towing vehicle, a weight distribution assembly for the hitch, and spring bars to connect the weight distribution assembly to the trailer. 

Reese offers a range of weight distribution hitch models and sizes to accommodate various towing requirements and capacities. When towing heavy loads, a Reese Weight Distribution Hitch can decrease trailer sway, fix headlamp alignment, stop tyre wear, and improve fuel efficiency.

Are there bike racks that attach directly to the towball?

Yes, bike racks that attach directly to the tow ball are known as tow ball mount bike racks or tow ball bike racks. They are intended to be mounted on the back of your vehicle, with your towball serving as the primary point of attachment. They can transport up to four bikes with ease and tend to lock into place with a fairly easy to use mechanism.

How to Stop people from hurting their legs on your towbar!

There are several options for covering your car’s towbar and preventing people from injuring their legs when walking into it. 

Among them are:

Tow bar ball caps are covers that fit over the tow ball and keep it safe from dust, water, and rust. They also reduce the likelihood of people colliding with the metal ball and injuring themselves. Some examples of these can be found on Amazon.

Stone guards are mesh or rubber deflectors that attach to the drawbar and prevent stones from flying up and hitting the back of your car or trailer. Stone guards can also serve as a visual warning for people to avoid walking around the back of your car, preventing them from walking into the towbar and injuring their legs. 

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