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How to Choose a Towbar for Your Vehicle

The space in your car’s trunk or back seat is usually enough for carrying all sorts of things until you need to carry bigger stuff like bicycles, camping gear, skis, canoe and other bulky stuff. For these, you can just install a custom roof rack and you are good to go. But for bigger items like for example a jet ski, or even speedboats, a roof rack definitely won’t cut it.

If your planning on carrying bigger and heavier things, one thing you should definitely get is a fitted towbar. Don’t have any idea about towbars? Don’t sweat it, all you ever need to know about choosing the right towbar for your vehicle is right here. Just read on below.

 What is A Towbar?

A towbar is a device that you can attach to your vehicle’s baseplate or chassis. It basically allows you to connect your car to a platform that you can use to carry heavier and bigger objects.

If you go look for a towbar at a car accessory shop today, you will find four different types of towbars including the horizontal hitch, swan neck, rear step, and the flat tongue. Each of these types differs in shape and ergonomics.

The horizontal hitch comes with a square tongue that gets connected to the hitch receiver. It’s the type you should use if you want to haul heavy loads. It works by having a durable metal pin placed through the hitch to keep it secure. Because of so, this type is compatible with a weight distribution hitch.

The swan neck towbar, on the other hand, resembles modern vertical hitch towbars. They were developed in Europe and are mostly used in European regions. This type of towbar usually comes with a swan neck tow ball permanently attached to it. It usually comes in an L or U shape.

As for the flat tongue, it’s the towbar of choice for people who plan to carry lighter loads. Flat tongue towbars are distinguished by the detachable tow ball that snugly fits into its horizontal slot. Its tongue is secured by a pair of bolts at the top of the hitch.

Last but not least is the rear step towbar. This type of towbar was developed for 4WDs. This type of towbar protrudes out from the vehicle’s rear. The protruding portion is where the rear step will be fitted on to. Despite being heavier than normal towbars, this type does have better ground clearance and is very much well suited for off-road driving.

 How to Choose The Right Towbar for Your Car

So how do you choose the right towbar for your car? Well, the first thing you should do is check your owner’s manual. Your car’s manual will have a section that will specifically identify what type of towbar is right for your car.

If you don’t have your owner’s manual with you, all you have to do is take note of your car’s make, model, and tow points. Another thing you should figure out is your car’s towing capacity. If you can figure out your vehicle’s towing capacity by checking out your car’s Vehicle Identification Number Plate. The towing capacity should be stamped right on it.

Lastly, do some research on towing regulations in your region. Some regions have strict rules regarding towbar designs and use.

Once you’ve figured all these pieces of information out, all you really have to do is let the people at the accessory shop know this info along with your towbar type preference, and plans of use.

 Tips for Choosing A Towbar

Now that you’re well aware of the different types of towbars you can choose from and the different info that you need to know to choose the right towbar for your car, here are a few tips to remember before you purchase a towbar.

Do not use a heavier class towbar on a car with a low towing capacity. (Choosing a heavy tow bar for a car with a low towing capacity will only limit the weight of things your car can tow.)

When choosing a towbar, always consider the things you plan to tow.

Always use the appropriate weight class of towbar for your car.

Do not try to use a towbar that’s not developed for the make and model of your car