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The difference between towing electrics

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Choosing the right electrics for your towing system is crucial in order to get the experience you are expecting. There are three different forms of electrics you can have installed for use when towing. But at the very least the minimum amount of electrics is required by law in order to tow. This is due to the requirement of visible working brake lights, as they will be covered by the object being towed. Take a look at the three kinds of towing electrics below and see which is right for you.

Single

Single 7 pin socket electrics tend to be fitter as standard with many towbars, but others can be chosen. This is because they are the minimum legal requirement for cars when they are towing large, obstructive objects such as trailers and caravans. These electrics will only allow the working of external lights or a light board. Meaning that brake lights will still be displayed but no other electrics will be functional. Such as the electrics inside a caravan such as internal lighting. This is the most basic form of towing electrics. They are best used for things such as trailers which don’t need any extra features powering.

Twin

Twin electrics consist of two 7 pin sockets and power a little more than their single alternative. They not only power the external lights such as reverse and brake lights. They also power other electrics that may be attached. For example they would allow the powering of things such as internal caravan lights and fridges so food can be kept through transport. They are mainly compatible with older caravans which use the same twin pin electrics. But adaptors can be bought to fit newer caravans as their standard electrics have changed more recently.

13 pin

To most current form of electronics that allow for more to be done whilst in use are 13 pin sockets. Unlike the twin 7 pin electrics, 13 pin only consists of one socket whilst giving of the same level of power. Meaning drivers can get more power from a more compact set of electricals. Like the twin 7 pin it allows for both external car lights and the running of internal caravan electrics such as lights and fridges. It can also be used for caravan battery charging which is much more than what a standard single 7 pin can do. This form of electrics comes as standard on most moderns caravans so is easily compatible with any newer models.

November 8, 2017 |

Guide to fitting a towbar

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Towbar fitting can be a difficult task. When deciding to fit personally rather than visiting a dealer it is crucial to know the correct installation method needed to get the job done. Making sure that the towbar you fit is secure as well as safe. So it is able to perform to the standard needed to effectively tow heavy objects such as trailers and caravans. Follow the instructions below to be sure that you are doing everything right.

Fitting steps

First of all it is important to look over the instructions that came with the towbar you have purchased. These will show you exactly what you need to do in order to get your towbar securely fixed. Each towbar from an approved company will come with a set of installation instructions, so remember to purchase your towbar from a trusted store.

Then, get access to the back and underside of your car, bolting on your towbar brackets to the underside of the vehicle. This process should be shown in more detail on your instruction pages. Giving your towbar beam something solid to be bolted on to. Keeping it in place while in and out of use. A permanent fixture for both fixed and detachable towbars.

Next, check over your main beam for any damage before installation. If the beam is in perfect condition, add it to the underside of the car. Bolting it to the towbar brackets you previously added to the vehicle. Be sure to add every bolt as this is what will keep your towbar as secure as possible. This process will also be more clearly detailed within the towbars instructions.

Once both the brackets and main beam are attached you can then add your towbar. Fitting it to the main beam as shown in your instructions. This may be a slightly different process for different types of towbars. Check over the installation and make sure the towbar has been tightened properly. As this will is important to make sure the installation is secure. Once this is complete you can then work on installing the electrics for your light boards or caravan if required.

November 6, 2017 |

How to check your cars maximum weight

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An important thing when towing any object is making sure that it is within a car’s maximum towing capacity. As this maximum is different for each car. It is important you know what the individual weight is for your particular car. The purpose of this weight is to ensure a driver knows how much weight their car can handle towing both safely and legally. Not knowing or bothering to check this weight can be dangerous. Towing more than a car can safely handle can be dangerous as it means the driver will have less control over their vehicle. It can also do large amounts of damage to the car itself. Affecting the way it performs and creating extra danger.

How to work out maximum weight

To work out the maximum weight for any car it is important to know both the kerb weight of the car and the weight of the caravan. Both are easily found in a car manual or on the inside of the door and on the caravan itself. The weight of the caravan should usually be 85% or less of the car’s kerb weight in order to be safe to tow. Alternatively to be completely sure, maximum towing weight of a vehicle should be displayed somewhere in the car’s manual and in some cases on the inside of the car door to. Be sure to check both of these before assuming your tow weight will be safe.

Always make sure you know your cars tow weight. Reminding yourself each time you tow to be sure you are not remembering it incorrectly. Do not exceed the recommended weigh. As it can do large amounts of damage and increases the dangers involved with towing. Make sure any weight inside a caravan (if being towed) is evenly distributed to ensure no extra pressure is put on the car or driver while attached. However important, weight is not the only thing you need to consider while towing. Also be sure other regulations are fulfilled before towing. Such as complying with how wide your towed object can be in relation to your car. Ensuring that adequate brake lights and number plate are being used. As well as adequate mirrors to see the road behind clearly.

November 4, 2017 |

Precautions to take when towing a caravan

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Towing a caravan may seem like a simple task, but it can be incredibly risky when not done properly. For any person thinking about taking their caravan out, whether for the first time or for the hundredth, it is always a good idea to take the necessary precautions to ensure your journey is safe. Doing checks on on both your vehicle and caravan as well as familiarising yourself with the best way to drive. So if you are planning a caravan holiday in the near future, check out the following steps to take before doing so.

Dont overload

Overloading your caravan will make towing it much harder. It can even put you over your recommended towing weight so it is important to be careful. Overloading can easily make a trailer lean while driving and potentially damage the connection to the car due to the excess weight and movement. Even with the right weight in your caravan it can negatively effect your car.

So be sure the weight in your van is properly distributed so there is not too much stress in any singular place. Too much weight in one part of a caravan can do damage. For example too much weight at the front can do damage to the caravans connection to the ca. Too much at the back can make it harder to drive, leaving the driver with less control. Spreading weight evenly makes for no extra stress on the car and no extra difficulty when driving. Overall making the towing experience safer.

Practice driving with it

Knowing how to handle a car with an attached caravan is important. Get to know how it feels to drive with the extra attachment and work out speeds that feel safe and under control. Get to know the manoeuvres that are achievable while the caravan is hooked up. Also learn how wide you have to take corners to avoid clipping the curb as the caravan will always be wider than your car is. Even reversing is more difficult with a caravan attached. So even practice this wherever you can to ensure you will not get stuck if you have to do it unexpectedly while on the road. It can also help to get towing mirrors fitted to your existing car mirrors to make it easier to see behind you. Depending on the width of your caravan this feature is a requirement for safe driving when towing.

Be wary of speed

Every car owner knows what speeds their car can handle on its own. But it is important to also know what it can do when attached to a caravan. This is crucial in order to not push it too far while driving. As too fast speeds can cause a caravan to sway from side to side. Forcing the driver to lose control while driving. Whilst a swaying caravan can be got back under control. It is much safer to do all you can to avoid this situation arising in the first place. As if not saved the caravan may tilt or even tip, causing potential for an accident. Stay safe by only operating your car and caravan within the limits you know they can safely handle together.

November 2, 2017 |

Types of towbar and their purpose

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There are many kinds of towbar available to suit any person’s needs. Whether you’re planning on towing a caravan or a simple trailer. Knowing what styles of towbar are on offer can be a huge help in selecting the right one for you. So before you install a towbar without a second thought, take the time to look at the benefits and disadvantages of the most popular kinds of towbar below.

Flange

A flange towbar is one of the most common kinds of towbar fitted on many UK cars. They are usable with other accessories such as bicycle carriers and are able to adapt in height. Meaning they can serve the purpose you need well. They can also be used alongside a bumper protection plate for your car. Flange towbars tend to be the cheaper option of the most popular choices. However the price is a compromise for its size as they are the bigger tow bar option and tend to stick out quite a lot. They are fully visible while in use and out of use. Unfortunately they have also been known to be picked up frequently by parking sensors. So many cars with this feature tend to not use them.

Swan neck

A swan neck towbar is well known for looking much better than a flange towbar. They are a little more compact and are styled better for a more pleasing appearance. This smaller, more compact size means that they tend not to have the problem of being picked up by parking sensors like flange towbars do. However there have been cases where they are noticed. Although they are a more expensive option. They are reasonably priced however they are not quite as adaptable as a flange option. They are compatible with cycle carriers with adaption. But other features cannot be used at the same time a cycle carrier is in place. Making them a little less popular.

Detachable

Both flange and swan neck towbars also have a slightly modified option to choose as they are both available in a detachable option. Which simply means the tow bar can be removed from a car quickly and easily when not in use without the requirement for full re installation when it is needed again. These towbars have most of the same benefits as their permanent counterparts except they offer a much cleaner look for a car when they are removed. One of the only new issues a detachable towbars is that when not in use they are easily misplaced around the home and can be expensive to replace when needed again.

October 31, 2017 |

What is a detachable towbar

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What is a detachable towbar

A less popular option with car owners in the UK, detachable towbars are becoming more and more popular in America. Being a little more versatile in appearance detachable towbar models are catching the eye of those who value the appearance of their car. Suitable for those who do not want to see their towbar on their car while not in use. This is because they allow for the removal of the towbar itself without complete un installation. Making it quick and easy to put back on when it is required again. When removed, leaving behind only the parts of the fixture that cannot be seen.

Detachable towbar variations

There are a couple types of detachable towbar that can be chosen from to be installed. One of the main types is a detachable flange towbar. This is the best option for those who are looking to be able to tow and utilise things such as a cycle carrier at the same time. As it allows for both to be used simultaneously with the vehicle whilst driving. So if you plan on attaching multiple accessories to your towbar, then the flange detachable bar may be the best option for you. Another benefit of this towbar type is that it will not set off your parking sensors while not towing. Due to the ability to remove the towbar itself from the vehicle whenever the driver wants.

The other main type of detachable towbar is the detachable swan neck towbar. This model is a little less versatile than the flange option. As it does not allow the use of cycle carriers and towing features at once. Meaning that only one can be used at any given time, leaving you to choose between your carrier or your towing features. This option is great if you rarely need more than one accessory attached to your vehicle, as its lack of simultaneous functionality will not be a problem. This model of towbar also tends to be cheaper than its flange towbar alternative.

October 29, 2017 |

What needs to be taken into account before fitting a towbar

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Before fitting a towbar it is crucial to choose the correct kind. This is because different kinds of towbar are suitable for different uses and models of car. The same goes for the electrics installed with them. These need to be chosen to suit the specific needs a towbar will be fulfilling once it is in use. Doing so ensures that the towbar can perform to its highest standards while being completely safe. To work out which towbar is needed for your car a number of things need to be taken into account.

What needs to be considered

When looking into purchasing a towbar, it is crucial to know what you intend to use your towing system for. Whether you are planning to use it for smaller items such as trailers or cycle carriers or a full sized caravan. As different kinds of towbars are more suited for heavier weights than others. Choosing the right one for the job is important to ensure that it performs how it should. It also helps to ensure that the towing process is completely safe as the installed towbar will be specialised to handle the weights it will be faced with towing.

It is also important to decide whether you want a fixed or detachable towbar. The difference between the two being that a detachable towbar can be removed to keep it out of sight when not in use, whereas the fixed models cannot. Both are still suitable to their purpose and perform the same way to their counterpart. With detachable towbars boasting many of the same features than the fixed models. So if you would like a well performing towbar and aren’t too bothered about its appearance on the car while not in use, or whether you’d rather it not be noticeable. You can choose the right model for you.

October 27, 2017 |

Precautions to take when towing a horse box

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Towing any kind of object whether it be a caravan or a horsebox will mean that as a driver you will have to take extra precautions before and whilst driving. Unlike towing a caravan however, there are more than just technical checks that need to be done. Whilst all technical checks are still highly important, the horses you are transporting also need to be taken into account. Both their comfort and behaviours need to be predicted and ensured to reduce the risk of accidents whilst driving. Go through the list below before setting off to reduce the amount of risks you take.

Car checks

In order to tow a horsebox safely a car needs to be performing properly. Before attempting to tow be sure to make all the necessary checks on your vehicle. Just to be certain it is safe to be using for that purpose. As car issues can be dangerous alone, and will only made worse by the attachment of something as heavy as a horsebox. Be sure to check things such as brake performance and oil levels. Taking a look at your tyres to check both wear and air pressure before setting off. Running these checks will reduce the risk of accidents due to a fault in your car. Making sure nothing unexpected happens while on the road.

Horse comfortability

Nothing is worse in a moving trailer than an unhappy or restless horse. So before you set off take the time to make sure the horse you are transporting is happy to be in the trailer by getting them used to it first. Walk them in and out frequently to show them that it is okay and a safe place to be. While on the road be sure you have the necessary supplies to keep them warm. Where possible keep them company by moving them along with another horse. Make sure you plan a route that allows places for you to stop and check on the horse/s regularly. Being ready to calm them or clean up around the horsebox for the sake of their comfort during the rest of the journey.

Driving speed

Be aware that horses do spook very easily, so be sure that you are driving slower than you normally would while driving or towing a different object. This will also help with vehicle control in regards to the extra weight that will be added to the car through the horsebox and horse itself. Otherwise sudden movement of the horsebox or shaking can occur while driving, evoking sudden movement or unease from the horse being transported. Making it much more unsafe to continue driving with them attached to the vehicle. Meaning more unplanned stops will need to be made to calm to horse so safe driving can continue.

October 25, 2017 |

What is a fixed towbar

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What is a fixed towbar

The most popular option for towbars within the UK. Fixed towbars are highly favoured by British drivers who use their vehicle to tow. They are great for people who do not mind their towbar being visible when not in use. Those who are happy for it to be present all year round, regardless of whether they will be towing continuously or not. As they are a kind of towbar that is designed to stay on the car once installed. Unfortunately some kinds of fixed towbar are not suitable for more modern cars. Especially those with features such as parking sensors. As some models of fixed towbar have been known to be detected by vehicle parking sensors. Setting them off before the car actually nears any dangerous objects.

Fixed towbar variations

There are a few different models of fixed towbars that drivers can choose from. The two main types are a fixed flange towbar and fixed swan neck towbar. Both have their own advantages. Firstly, fixed flange towbars are the most popular option in the UK. Usually the most expensive but it performs well for its price. This kind of fixed towbar allows you to tow and use a cycle rack at the same time. Meaning you don’t have to choose between the two. So whenever you need to do both or either, you have full freedom to do so. It also allows a range of accessories to be fitted with it to extend its usage and protect the car. Although good and very reliable, these kinds of towbar have been known to set off parking sensors frequently. So cars with this feature may have an issue using it correctly.

The other main type of fixed towbar is the fixed swan neck. Although a less popular option it is gaining ground with British drivers. It is a much sleeker and cleaner looking installation than the flange models, and is a little more compact. Due to its more streamlined design swan neck towbars have been found less likely to set off parking sensors. Meaning they can be used on cars with this feature. Although them not being detected by the sensors is not a guaranteed trait. Although they are better for vehicles with parking sensors, swan neck towbars do have their disadvantages in comparison to flange towbars. This is because unlike the flange models, swan neck towbars can only allow the use of towing features and cycle racks separately. Meaning both actions cannot be used simultaneously.

October 23, 2017 |

Planning an extended bike tour

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There’s nothing better than spending some time with your partner or friends riding through quiet streets or across the countryside on your bikes. But sometimes a more extended journey is called for, whether to take a break from work or just to enjoy some new places, and planning such a journey may be even easier than you think.

The first thing to do when planning an extended bike journey is pick a date, when will you have time? Combine this with a vague ideal of where you would like to go and work out how long it would take in correlation to the time you have spare. The more vague the route the easier the journey, as you won’t spend too much time stressing and focusing on specific routes or progress, instead you’ll find yourself taking in the scenery and enjoying the experience a little more.

To begin you’re going to need supplies, realistically all you will need is a bike, and maybe a backpack worn by you or attached to the bike itself. If you’re not a fan of sleeping under the stars and can’t afford multiple hotels or bed and breakfasts a tent may be a good idea too, but this is the most you will need, other than food and water which you can collect as you ride. There is no requirement for fancy equipment, the journey is seeing the world, not what you have with you at the time.

Once you have these simple things sorted you can start pedalling. Once on the road how you live depends on what financial decisions you made. Prefer to be a little more comfortable? Save more money beforehand and enjoy an easier life. Interested in connecting with nature and aren’t to bothered about comfortability? simply take what money you have and see where the journey takes you, even accepting invitations from friendly strangers or friends made on the ride for food and places to camp can take your journey in a new unexpected direction for very little or no money.

The most important part of planning a bike tour is to not, don’t put so much effort into planning a direct route, specific sightseeing or even time restraints. Simply set up a vague guide of an end destination and let the journey take you where it will. If you end up not making your final target it may just mean you got sidetracked by something you found more worthwhile than your original plan.

December 23, 2016 |
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