It’s the time of year when tow bar fitters manage to take a breath and relax a little after a hectic summer of fittings. It’s also a great time to have a tow bar fitted to your vehicle.
New Towing Regulations
New government license regulations now allow you to tow a trailer or caravan without having to pass an additional test. There are still limitations on the weight you can tow and you should check these out before hooking up and heading out on the road. Find out how the new regulations affect you by visiting > https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-rules-for-towing-a-trailer-or-caravan-with-a-car-from-autumn-2021
Do not buy an electric vehicle if you want to tow with it. We get a lot of requests from people who have invested in a fully electric vehicle but want to tow a trailer or caravan. The issue with the majority of electric vehicles is they are not designed to tow. The manufacturers make them with range as the number one priority and as such most are designed without any towing weight at all. Due to this, most tow bar manufacturers do not make a tow bar for all-electric cars.
There is still the option of having a tow bar for an electric vehicle to have a tow box or cycle carrier, currently we are one of the few businesses in the UK that can supply tow bars for electric vehicles made specifically for this purpose.
Don’t rush out and order 20 bags of chips from your local chippy. We’re talking microchips, and I don’t mean the microwave variety. There’s currently a global shortage of microchips. This is mainly due to an increase in their use and an inability for manufacturers to keep up with demand. Today’s electrical world seems to have a microchip in everything, even modern vacuum cleaners have them. This combined with people’s buying habits during the corona pandemic has led to a global shortage of chips. Why does this affect the tow bar industry?
Vehicle-specific Canbus wiring has a control module that contains a microchip. This is leading to problems with manufacturing and supply. We have some vehicle-specific kits that will not be in stock until next year (2022). Up to now, we have been able to supply customers with wiring kits, however, if things don’t improve then we may be looking at an extended wait time between placing orders and getting the parts. Luckily we have a great relationship with the six main global suppliers of tow bar wiring kits. If you want to buy a dedicated wiring kit or looking to have a tow bar fitted then now is a great time to go ahead.
Nose Weight Warning
No, not the weight of that pokey out bit between your eyes. The maximum down weight that can be safely applied to a tow ball/tow bar neck/tow bar.
We’ve noticed a lot of people having tow bars fitted for use with a bike rack and electric bikes. The combined weight of a cycle carrier with two electric bikes can be well over 50kgs. Depending on your vehicle and tow bar you might be over the legal and safe nose weight. For instance, the Citroen DS3 fixed swan neck tow bar only has a legal nose weight of 46kg. An average E-bike weighs around 13kg and a cycle carrier such as the Thule Easyfold XT weighs 20kg. (2 x 13kg + 20kg = 46kg) right on the limit and well over if you want to carry three E-bikes. . Before you order a tow bar for carrying electric bikes always check with your supplier that the tow bar nose weight is within the limits that you intend to use.
Autumn Tow Bar Fitting
The weather is currently warm and sunny, but as we all know, can change within hours. It’s very rare that the weather makes any difference to our fitting team, cold, windy, wet, and snow, they have supplied and fitted tow bars in all but the worst that mother nature can throw at them.
If it is safe to do so, we will fit your tow bar whatever the weather. BUT, there are limits, we won’t fit if the heavens have opened and ducks are happily swimming down your street like it’s the river tweed in full spate. If the weather is really, and I mean really bad, then we will contact you to organise a time or place where the fitting can be completed.
On a similar note to the above. We are unable to fit tow bars on the road. This is because of safety, we don’t want our fitters being run over by passing traffic, and also, roadside repairs and modifications to vehicles is an offence with a maximum fine of £1000. If you don’t have a driveway or off-street parking then we can usually work a way around the issue. just let us know when you book your fitting appointment.
A brief summary…
Check out the new towing legislation if you’re thinking of towing for the first time.
Be aware of the towing limitations of all-electric vehicles.
Global chip shortage is relevant to tow bar electrics and not the local chippy.
Check the maximum nose weight of a tow bar if you want to carry e-bikes.
If you see Noah floating down the motorway then we might need to re-arrange your fitting time.
Remember, if you or your friends need a tow bar then try us first. We believe we’re the best in the business and so do our customers. If you need buying advice or a tow bar fitting quote then get in touch.
You can contact us by email – email@example.com or give us a call on 0114 360 7080.