Tow bar types explained
There are two different styles of tow bars, fixed and detachable, both of which are available in swan neck and flange styles. Choosing a tow bar can be confusing due to the wide variety of options. Tow bars are vehicle specific so the options of tow bar types can be limited depending on the car make and model. However, most modern vehicles have options for all tow bar styles and types.
Flange tow bar types
The most commonly used type of tow bar in the UK is the flange tow bar; where the tow ball is bolted to the tow bar with two 24mm bolts. There are also some variations of the flange tow bar type that have four bolts instead of two. This is the most versatile design of tow bar because it can be used with tow ball mounted accessories i.e. cycle carriers, bumper protectors & all types of stabilisers, all mounted between the tow bar & ball. The flange tow bar is available in both fixed and detachable styles.
Benefits of the fixed flange tow bar are:
Things to consider before purchasing a fixed flange tow bar are:
Detachable flange tow bar
Detachable flange tow bars have all the benefits of a fixed flange tow bar with the additional option to remove when not in use.
Benefits of the detachable flange tow bar are:
Things to consider before purchasing a detachable flange tow bar:
Swan neck tow bar types
In the E.U. the most common tow bar type is the swan neck tow bar. This is where the tow ball and the neck are all one piece of the tow bar. This type of tow bar is becoming more popular in the U.K. due to the appearance of the bar looking neater and with the bar being narrower it is less likely to trigger your parking sensors.
This type of bar is a little less versatile than flange style; you can either tow or attach a cycle carrier but you can’t use both at the same time. The swan neck tow bar can also be used with an AL-KO stabiliser without the need for modification. The swan neck type is available in both a detachable than fixed style.
Fixed swan neck tow bar
Benefits of a fixed swan neck tow bar:
Things to consider before purchasing a fixed swan neck tow bar:
Detachable swan neck tow bar
Benefits of a detachable swan neck tow bar:
Things to consider before purchasing a detachable swan neck tow bar:
The electric swivelling trailer tow bar system is the newest type of tow bar developed by Westfalia. The tow bar is released by pressing a button inside the car and automatically manoeuvres itself into place.
The automatic vertical detachable tow bar type is invisible when removed. This type of tow bar allows easy removal and fitting of the tow ball neck. The neck of the tow bar is inserted vertically into the actual tow bar receptacle fitted to the vehicle. To prevent theft or unwanted removal of the tow bar neck a lock and key has been added.
The automatic detachable type tow bar can be invisible just like the one above. The only difference between the vertical detachable tow bar type and the horizontal detachable tow bar type is the direction in which the tow bar neck is inserted into the tow bar receptacle fitted to the vehicle.
This type of tow bar made by Westfalia is a smaller and cheaper version of the vertical/ horizontal detachable tow bar types. The neck of this type of tow bar fits into the tow bar fitted to the vehicle horizontally and like most Westfalia products, this type of tow bar is secured using a lock and key.
This type of tow bar is another similar to the detachable type tow bars. The pin system tow bar’s neck is inserted horizontally into the fitted part of the tow bar unlike other types of tow bar this system does not have a lock and key. Instead, it is secured by a pin, which itself is made secure by a leg spring.
This type of tow bar is nearly identical to the Pin System tow bar type. The only difference is where the pin system is secured with a pin the nut system is secured with a nut.
This type of tow bar is a Westfalia version of the commonly known flange tow bar type. Both (F10 Welded) and (F20 Bolted) are available, although the bolt type tow bar is preferred to the welded. Fixed Flange otherwise known as permanently attached is the cheapest model of the tow bar.