Towbars and towbar maintenance gear guide

Published in Caravanning Top Tips, Motorhoming Top Tips on   - 20 Comments

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  1. Rebecca Harrison says:

    I have an Audi Q5, purchased last year and the retractable tow bar worked fine, I’ve just went to release it for the first time since October 2019 and the lever was stiff, I yanked down on it but still nothing! No red blinking light and the tow bar itself is stuck in place. It says in the manual that the towing bracket is filled with a lubricant and if it’s not used in a while it may become stiff and will have to loosen it by hand by jogging it around, however it’s not budging at all! I have sprayed wd40 and will see what it’s like. Any advice?

  2. mick goodwin says:

    i have a citreon c4 picasso 2015 wiht a thule detachable towbar the problem is i cannot remember how to put it back on any help would be appreciated

    • Craig @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Mick
      Firstly we’d recommend speaking to whoever fitted the towbar.
      But you could also take a look on You Tube. We are not responsible for the advice given in this video but it may be helpful to you.


  3. Ian Shaw says:

    I too have a detachable towbar (Westfalia) fitted to my Audi, which was fitted by the dealers a few years back. So far, all has been fine and the tower has performed well, with no issues at all. I find the tower so easy to attach and remove from the car.

  4. John Coles says:

    I have a detatchable tow bar on a Volvo XC 60, fitted by the dealer. After 12 months (but with 8,000 miles towing) there was some play (1 – 2 mm) in the mechanism. Volvo (reluctantly) changed the complete unit meeting 60% of the cost. However the new bar is just beginning to show some play after 30000 miles. Does anyone else have bad experiences with the Volvo detachable units?

  5. Colvyn Quaggin says:

    Last year bought a 2nd hand Honda CR-V from the dealer and had a new tow ball fitted, came with a black protective coating which I removed with some hard work, told by Honda that I had invalidated the warrenty by removing the coating, even though the ball manufacturer agreed that it had to come off. Still confusion out there as to what to do with coated tow balls

  6. Michael Charlton says:

    Hi John, just a quicky concerning repeater units. This IS a legal requirement to have either sound or visual when towing. I have recently had a problem so contacted appropriate authorities, although it is only a minor offence, it is illegal.

  7. John Peall says:

    is a dashboard light or audible warning still required for caravan lights when towing. As my new car has neither, with a manufacture fitted towbar. ?

    • Lucie @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi John, we recommend checking with the DVLA on that one, or the Legislation.Gov website (see here). Alternatively, there’s a forum post on the Practical Caravan website that could help answer your question, click here for details.

    • Julian Noadd says:

      interesting point there as i have a vehicle specific wiring kit on my Renault Trafic which has neither audible or light warning, however when an indicator doesnt work on the caravan the van indicators and therefore the light on the dash run at double speed.

    • Jim Dixon says:

      Hi I have a 2008 Kia Sorento that already had the tow bar fitted when I brought it 18 months ago. It does have an audible noise for the indicators when used but has no other warning either audible or visual for the othe lights when caravan attached.

      Jim Dixon

  8. Raymond Oakey says:

    I have just got a discovery 3 with detachable tow bar and I have seen comments on the Internet about them coming out when towing. Do you know if this has append to any one whilst towing a caravan?

    • Lucie @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Raymond, I’m sure someone will let you know if it has.

    • Jim says:

      Yes I can confirm that my friends new caravan that he had just picked up from a dealers came away with his newly fitted detachable tow bar within half a mile of the dealers.He too had a Discovery3.

  9. Mike Frost says:

    talking tow bars I have a 56 reg. Honda CRV with spare wheel on the back door that gets in the way when hitching the caravan has anyone got a solution without removing the spare

    • Lucie @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Mike,

      There’s actually a forum post on this very topic over on the Practical Caravan website, see here to take a look. Let me know if you need anything else.

  10. Mr Wiseman says:

    Bought a detachable swan neck tow bar,great bit of kit,Can remove when not towing .And saves banging your legs on it.

  11. Howard Mills says:

    When I had a towing hitch fitted to my 2010 Focus, the rear spreader bar on the car was removed and replaced with another with the towing hitch attached. I kept the original spreader bar in the event that I purchased another Focus (quite likely, my 1.6 TDCi Focus does a brilliant job). This would allow me to remove the items from the present car to use on it’s replacement.

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