Some Towbar Dos and Don’ts

Having a towbar fitted to your vehicle opens up a world of possibilities. You can hitch a trailer to it to expand your luggage space for when you go on holiday. You can hook up a caravan as well, to take an actual home away from home and enjoy more comfort at the campsite than is possible if you were to stay in a tent. It is even a great mounting point for a bicycle rack for avid cyclists. In fact, there are so many advantages to having one on your vehicle that people forget that there are also a few common-sense rules to adhere to if you want to be safe on the road when towing something.

It starts with your car. Make sure that your car is allowed to have a towbar fitted because not all cars are allowed by their manufacturers to be used for towing and it may void certain warranty conditions if you do. If your vehicle is allowed to tow, make sure that you are aware of the maximum braked and unbraked weight the towable is allowed to be. The maximum limit has been imposed for a reason and exceeding it may compromise your safety.

Then we get to the towbar itself. Always make sure that you buy one from a reputable supplier that sells SABS-approved equipment that is fit for the job and comes with a warranty. Never have one made up by a questionable supplier that welds together a few pieces of tubing and make one on the spot for your car. Plainly, there can be no guarantee of its safety and since each is unique, it is impossible for these types to be SABS-approved. These types of suppliers may also be perfectly willing to fit a towbar to a vehicle that is not allowed to tow and then resort to unethical and unsafe practices to make it fit.

Then we get around to the actual towing and here it is important that you make sure that the vehicle and the trailer or caravan is properly maintained and that everything from their tyres and wheel bearings to their licence discs are in good order. Mass distribution is especially important and you should never exceed the maximum ball weight of the towbar. You can measure it by resting the trailer’s or caravan’s jockey wheel on a bathroom scale when loaded up.

Talk to Electronic Fitment Centre today for a safe, SABS-approved towbar for your vehicle.