Which towbar manufacturer should I choose?
When it comes to adding a tow bar to your car you have several choices. One is the car manufacturer’s own branded unit or you can look at other brands that are designed for your car. Witter Towbars have been in the business for over 60 years and as new cars are launched Witter are usually the first to be able to supply a tow bar.
I recommend you have the tow bar fitted by a skilled technician and the electrics to will need to be installed. Don’t forget a change over from seven pin dual sockets to a single 13 pin design took place a couple of years ago, so specify to the fitter which you need. My own car was fitted with 13 pin for my caravan, but my trailer is seven. Adaptors are easy to buy from caravan accessory shops, so I use one that fits into the existing 13 pin socket on the car.
You will need to know the caravan’s noseweight limit i.e. the weight applied to the car’s towball by the caravan. Your car will have a towball limit. For my car, a Skoda Octavia, it is 70 kgs which isn’t a great amount. So check the caravan’s noseweight by using a noseweight scale. Some cars may have softer suspension and once a caravan is on the back the car’s front goes up. There are suspension aids on the market, so check these out.
You will also need towing mirrors. You need to be able to have a good clear view down the side of the caravan. Most caravans are wider than the towing vehicle and with the law change that a car could potentially tow up to a 2.55 metre (8ft 4in) wide caravan, towing mirrors are essential.
With towing one crucial thing to do is check how you load the caravan. This will determine how stable it will be once on the road. Hitch stabilisers and anti snake devices are fitted to most caravans on the market these days. They are there to help in an emergency not to make a poorly loaded caravan tow better. Load the caravan sensibly – keep weighty items low and over the axle line. Also keep the weight spread and don’t overload the caravan either. A correctly loaded caravan even in windy conditions will generally be more stable.
Make sure you also have a number plate of the tow car fixed in place on the caravan too!