Detachable towbars?

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  • Detachable towbars?
  • Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Ali wrote:

    Would never need electrics

    How so?

    How so?

    He’s only going during the day and won’t brake or go round corners, DOH

    timc
    Member

    you will need electrics, but it doesnt change much.

    I have a Thule Euro master or similar, great rack but not cheap? £250-£300 approx? also heavy & bulky to store!

    Removable tow bar has been great, no complaints, again expensive, £300 fitted for a westfalia one.

    st
    Member

    I had a Witter removable tow bar fitted to my mini 18 months ago and it’s great. Very quick and easy to fit and remove. The single electric socket swivels out of the way nicely too. You will need the electrics as your lights will be obscured and you’ll be relying on the lighting board in the rack.

    A single electric set up costs no more than 15quid on eBay and with fitting will only be a small part of the overall cost if a professionally supplied and installed tow bar sleet up.

    ask1974
    Member

    Thanks ST. What should I expect for supply and fitting? Ball park. And are Witter a market leader? Off to Google, cheers.

    ask1974
    Member

    Need some advice.

    I’ve got a VW CC coming next week and in replacing my RAV4 I’m losing the ease of chucking a bike in the boot 😥

    Don’t like roof mounted solutions and I’m sure this isn’t an option on the CC anyway, plus the salesman wasn’t sure it was a good idea to fit a boot mounted solution so thinking about a detachable towbar and simple towbar fitted bike rack like those from Thule. Happy with the rack as a mate uses similar but no experience of the towbar end. Would never need electrics so hoping there’s a simple solution out there.

    Anyone have experience with these?

    Cheers.

    timc
    Member

    sorry mine was supplied & fitted for those prices, all from the same indi in Wigan.

    rickt
    Member

    My Witter towbar all in cost me around £600 with dedicated electrics.

    The cheaper electrics modules dont enable the tow element for the car, (not required for a bike rack but would be if towing anything bigger)

    Also, dont forget you may need a new rear skirt/defuser with cut out and hatch — this will also need painting too. (i have not looked at the new model)

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I have a 50mm box tow bar, so only the socket shows, you then have a ball fitting that can be added but getting a 50mm box tow rack is even better and easier.
    Make sure you get the right rated one for the weight of the bikes, we were advised to go for the heavy duty one just due to the potential of 3 bikes mounted a fair way back. As far as electrics for lights you will need them legally, ours just plugged in to the socket inside and the cable sits under the spare wheel and pops out the boot when required. This however is Australia where things may be a little different 🙂

    torihada
    Member

    I’ve got a witter remove-able tow bar on a Mitsubishi outlander. Went for dedicated wiring loom fitted by dealer as car was still under warranty. In fact once I requested dedicated wiring loom price between the dealer & independent wasn’t significant.

    The tow bar has worked (I’d didn’t detach) carrying a Thule 4 bike carrier with approx. 60 kg of bikes .

    Premier Icon mikey-simmo
    Subscriber

    We’ve got a skoda fabia sport and I fitted a detachable bar behind a cover factory fitted in the rear bumper.
    Single electrics with the removable ball came to about 170 but I did the fitting myself.
    When removed you’d never know it was fitted at all.

    Not a removable one, but I got mine from towequipe.co.uk and fitted it myself on my focus. It was about £60 for their ‘own brand’ which turned out to be witter which they sold for more to people who wanted to pay more, and the electrics were pretty cheep (about £15-£20 for a bypass relay which you need to keep it compatible with modern electrics, basicly is senses that the lights are on and switches the lighting board lights on from a seperate supply rather than doubling the load on the original electrics).

    Installed in a morning using a socket set, torque wrench, screwdriver and stanley knife (to cut a credit card sized hole under the bumper). Only additional bits needed were some propper screw terminal blocks to replace the crappy scotblocks they came with.

    Rack from aiston (wheel suppourting type) rather than thule, very impressed with it, I’ve stood on the end to test it (so that’s a 100kg load on a max nose weight of 60kg, plus a decent amount of lever) and the towbar was bending more than the rack! The downside is it’s not as compact, or lightweight as the thules for storage (upside, there is absolutely zero chance of the bike going anywhere once it’s on).

    Premier Icon nuttysquirrel
    Subscriber

    I would love one myself but can’t seem to find one that doesn’t destroy the diffuser on a Volvo V60 R-Design. Anyone any ideas? Took the bikes across Europe on the roof and transformed a very fast, 50mpg car into a slow car with a sail and got 35mpg!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I’ve got a VW CC coming next week and in replacing my RAV4 I’m losing the ease of chucking a bike in the boot

    You sure about that? I’m sure they have folding seats. Anyway, when I am on my own in the car I put my bike in a bag and slide it across the back seats. No damage to inerior, and doens’t hurt the fuel.

    And why don’t you like roof racks? Done properly they are perfectly safe. They do hurt fuel, but so do rear mounted racks. I go from 60mpg down to about 46-48 with just one bike on the towbar rack.

    I’ve a thule 3 bike 9503, and it’s nigh on impossible to get 3 proper MTB’s on it without rubbing. Aiston next time.

    Premier Icon wheelie
    Subscriber

    “Rack from aiston (wheel suppourting type) rather than thule, very impressed with it, I’ve stood on the end to test it (so that’s a 100kg
    thisisnto a spoon+1

    load on a max nose weight of 60kg, plus a decent amount of lever) and the towbar was bending more than the rack! The downside is it’s not as compact, or lightweight as the thules for storage (upside, there is absolutely zero chance of the bike going anywhere once it’s on).”

    Bought one of these before I Went to the Auvergne in the summer. Bikes spaced well apart, and no chance of damage either. 18mm spanner does everything. It breaks down if not using for a while or the uprights just unbolt and then an be put on a shelf or up against a wall. Superb!

    I’ve never seen the attraction of a detachable towbar. I always felt that a towball was a bit of an incentive for the guy behind to leave an adequate gap! More so would it encourage those parking behind to be careful or [/i]they ,rather than I, would suffer the consequences.

    torihada
    Member

    I’ve never seen the attraction of a detachable towbar. I always felt that a towball was a bit of an incentive for the guy behind to leave an adequate gap! More so would it encourage those parking behind to be careful or [/i]they ,rather than I, would suffer the consequences.

    I have a tailgate and when dropped it will foul the towbar. I only fit the towbar when transporting bikes. Was nervous about using a fitting that just ‘clicks’ into position but I’ve done in excess of 4000 miles carrying four bikes and it hasn’t fallen off yet.

    Brian Aiston + 3 all together ( mates )
    Very strong and don’t move at all even with DH bikes .

    Sorry no help on tow bar .

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber


    can you not get these ones over there?

    Premier Icon ads678
    Subscriber

    I had a tow bar (not removable) and electrics fitted to a Passat estate and it only cost about £150, detachable ones were about double if a remember correctly. £600 seems rather IMO.

    rickt
    Member

    Orange Crush – Member

    I’ve never seen the attraction of a detachable towbar. I always felt that a towball was a bit of an incentive for the guy behind to leave an adequate gap! More so would it encourage those parking behind to be careful or [/i]they ,rather than I, would suffer the consequences.

    Yes– but I would prefer not to have it visible all the time, plus I was unable to get a fixed one.

    ads678 – Member

    I had a tow bar (not removable) and electrics fitted to a Passat estate and it only cost about £150, detachable ones were about double if a remember correctly. £600 seems rather IMO.

    You can get a basic towbar a lot cheaper…

    I said £600 as a approx figure I paid… I have just looked at the prices online now for mine…

    Detachable towbar & dedicated 13 pin electrics = £260.00 (which is cheap as at one point the towbar alone was £220.00)
    Rear Defuser (OEM)- £96.00
    Hitch Cover (OEM)- £35.00
    Cost to prime & paint (oven baked) – £100.

    Labour – Around £150

    Total – £641.00

    We all have our own, equally valid, criteria so fair enough. I don’t mind seeing a towball all the time but, if I did, a premium of £300 or so would probably dissuade me from the detachable type, if that was the only consideration (which it ain’t in this case). But then I’m like the proverbial duck’s rear orifice when it comes to that sort of thing 🙂

    torihada
    Member

    Ignore: Double Post

    rickt
    Member

    ps… my only option was a detachable one

    Premier Icon adsh
    Subscriber

    A word of warning – cheap tow bar installation can cost. I had a Witter fitted to my Octavia by Indespension. A short while later I had elusive electrical problems that were finally traced to a ham fisted removal of a plug in the loom.

    I now have a Suberb (similar floor pan etc?) with factory detachable and once I got the knack have found it really good.

    st
    Member

    Ask1974

    Mine was around £300 supplied and fitted from memory, no visible bumper cutting was required in my case, just a small not h taken out of a piece of the bumper as it returns under the car. It varies depending in the car and the tow bar chosen. A decent independent fitter will advise on what is needed in your case.

    Witter and Westfalia seem to be two of the more popular brands. I have so for electrics as its only for the lighting board, my car isn’t rated for towing anyway and I don’t own or want a trailer or the like.

    I wanted a detachable one for appearances and also as the tow ball is likely to set any rear bumper reversing sensors crazy or you could pay a chunk more money for disengaging the sensors when in reverse but in the case of a fixed tow bar this would seem counter productive anyway.

    I used a local independent specialist and they did a spot on job. There seems to be no shortage of fixed and mobile installers around the country.

    In terms of cycle rack I bought a 3 bike Thule, can’t remember the model but it’s the one below the fancy led lit version. Cost around £270. It’s nice to use albeit with a few annoying features but it is bulky to store. The tow bar fitter gave me a regular tow ball FoC which I screwed to the wall in my garage so I can hang the rack on the wall when not in use. It takes up a bit of space but is set at a height where I can store my lads little bikes and other stuff beneath on the floor.

    My bike rack (Aiston)bolts directly to the anchor towbar cross member on my Rav 4 so there’s no need for any form of ball or swan neck. As a bonus the lights and indicators are unobstructed so there was no need for any electrical work, just an extra plate.

    This probably wouldn’t work on a CC

    Premier Icon alibongo001
    Subscriber

    A removable one will obviously look better.

    I would urge caution with the VW fitted items for a couple of reasons::

    1, they outsource to good independents any way and add a couple of £100 to the price

    2, They will talk about the electrics being necessary for best function of the car………..this is a bit of nonsense. Basically the factory fitted option tells the cars ECU that there is a trailer fitted when you plug in the light board. This enables some cars to not turn on the car rear fog light for instance, just the trailer one to avoid glare, is can also be programmed to ignore the rear parking sensors etc/

    However a good independent can do the job without the above features, generally for a few £100 less with a black box thingy (cant remember the name!)

    Where are you based, there is a great fitting service near Bradford I have just used!

    seb
    Member

    Hi,
    I used to have an Octavia with a Westfalia detachable towbar and dedicat electrics. This was 3 years ago and cost £600 from a local fitter.
    I changed my car and got a new VW Sharan.
    As it is under warranty, I went for the official Westfalia detachable towbar and dedicated electrics.
    The dealer wanted £1200 to supply and fit.
    Local fitter fitted it for £600. The wiring loom goes all the way to the dashboard and has to be programmed in.
    He told me if the car has ESP , then you have to use the dedicated electrics as the ECU needs to know you are towing to react accordingly.
    It also disables the reversing sensors when towing.

    craigxxl
    Member

    I have a Westfalia detachable with 13 pin electrics. It was £190 fitted at Towequipe 4 years ago. They normally do some good offers for fitting just after Christmas when they’re really quiet.
    The towbar has been great just needs a bit oil in the lock and on the swing down arm for the electrics. When the towbar isn’t fitted you can’t it would has one unlike the Witter.

    Premier Icon tonyg2003
    Subscriber

    I had a detachable Witter towbar fitted to my e-class last month. The correct Merc wiring look was used and the towbar coded to the car. This means no problems with towing (if I use it for that) stability electronics, plus no issues with reversing sensors/cameras. Well worth the extra money. BTW ask Merc what their price is supplied+fitted and it starts with a 2! 🙄

    pacerc200
    Member

    Tow bars are all pretty similar as they all have to fix to the car at the same point but electrics are a minefield. We use //www.rightconnections.co.uk/
    Most are plug and play some need coding up at dealer/specialist but the looms and instruction are top notch and not a scotchloc in sight

    rickt
    Member

    as mentioned above, the dedicated electrics will enable the tow profile on most modern premium cars when the 13 pin socket is connected (not an issue if you are only using it for a bike rack) which enabled the stability profile.. (this helps due to snaking etc and allows the car to take this into account… without this the car can over react making the situation a lot worse.

    plus.. disables rear camera, PDC, extended blub out warnings, etc…

    Rick

    “As a bonus the lights and indicators are unobstructed so there was no need for any electrical work, just an extra plate.”

    How do you illuminate the extra plate? I suspect you’d get away with it in daylight but be courting attention from an awkward rozzer at night, not to mention breaking the law. And who knows what else they might find once they’ve stopped you.

    I wonder if a small LED light would comply. I’m thinking of something similar on what might be my next car but want to avoid fiddling with electrics.

Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)

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