Quality Answers From Queensland’s Towbar Specialists

Towbar Installation

Q. Will Towbar affect parking sensors?

A. Most times the Towbar itself will not affect your vehicle's reverse sensors however there are a few vehicles in which the reverse sensors will pick up the Towbar. Keep in mind your reverse sensors will pick up when you have a trailer attached and put the vehicle in reverse. A lot of vehicles have a button on the dash in which you can manually turn the sensors off and sometimes the Towbar harness will turn the sensors off automatically.

Q. What Towbar do I need for a caravan?

A. You will need to find out what Towbars are available for your vehicle and what their capacities are and then establish your vehicle's towing capacity and ball weight capacity. Once you have this information you will be able to determine what caravan you can tow by finding out the caravan’s gross weight and ball weight. If the caravan weighs below your vehicle and towbar capacity you will be able to tow it.

Q. What happens if the towball obstructs my number plate?

A. Your number plate needs to be visible at all times. If the towball obstructs your number plate you will need to remove the ball or tongue so that your number plate is not obstructed.

Q. Will a Towbar affect my insurance?

A. No, fitting a Towbar will not affect your insurance provided you adhere to all rules and regulations. We always recommend advising your insurance company that you have installed a Towbar to your vehicle so that it will be covered under your policy.

Q. What Towbar will fit my car?

A. This question mostly comes back to the type of vehicle you have. Not all vehicles have multiple options and some don’t have a Towbar available at all. Firstly, we will ask you for the make, model, year and shape of your vehicle and once we have that information, we will be able to let you know what Towbar or Towbars are available for your vehicle. It is important to know how much your vehicle and Towbar can tow to determine what you will be able to tow. You can check your vehicle's towing capacity in your owner’s handbook. It is very important to always adhere to your vehicle's and Towbar's capacity.

Q. What Towbar do I need for a bike rack?

A. This will depend on the style of the bike rack and how it attaches to the Towbar. In most cases, they will either attach over the towball, under the towball or slide in a hitch receiver. If the bike rack attaches over the towball or under the towbar ball they will fit most Australian Towbars. If it is a hitch receiver bike rack you will need either a class 4 Towbar if it fits a 50mm hitch or a class 3 Towbar if it fits a 40mm hitch. Most of the hitch style racks fit a 50mm hitch.

Q. Will a Towbar affect my vehicle warranty?

A. No, fitting a Towbar will not affect your vehicles warranty. Some dealers will tell you otherwise, however, this information is incorrect and is illegal for them to be providing you false information such as this. It is a scare tactic they use to make you purchase their product.

Towbar Installation Cost

Q. How much does a Towbar cost?

A. The cost of a Towbar varies from vehicle to vehicle as each one has a different Towbar and a different wiring harness. The installation time also varies between each vehicle so unfortunately there is no generic pricing available for Towbars.

Q. Will my old Towbar fit my new vehicle?

A. It’s most unlikely that it will fit. Towbars are made for a particular vehicle depending on its year, make, model and shape. If you install an old Towbar you may be installing the wrong type of Towbar. Aside from safety issues, this could also affect your new car warranty and the warranty of your Towbar. You need to install a Towbar that’s designed specifically for the vehicle you drive and its towing capacity.

Q. What parts do I need to tow?

A. You will require the Towbar, ballmount or tongue, a towball, d shackles and wiring for the lights indicators. Keep in mind it does vary from trailer to trailer and you may need additional parts, for example, a brake controller depending on what is fitted to the trailer.

Q. What Towbar will fit my car?

A. This question mostly comes back to the type of vehicle you have. Not all vehicles have multiple options and some don’t have a Towbar available at all. Firstly, we will ask you for the make, model, year and shape of your vehicle and once we have that information, we will be able to let you know what Towbar or Towbars are available for your vehicle. It is important to know how much your vehicle and Towbar can tow to determine what you will be able to tow. You can check your vehicle's towing capacity in your owner’s handbook. It is very important to always adhere to your vehicle's and Towbar's capacity.

Mobile Towbar Fitting

Q. Do you need electricity for your mobile fitting?

A. No, all of our vans have the latest cordless tools. This gives us the flexibility to fit your Towbar just about anywhere, at your home or work it’s up to you.

Q. What space or area do your technicians need to complete the work?

A. For safety please have the vehicle parked away from traffic, preferably with enough room for all doors to be opened and have our van parked close by. Please also keep in mind if it's raining, our technician will require cover.

Q. Do you need my car keys?

A. Yes, the vehicle's keys will be required to complete the work. Please make sure they are available for our technician upon their arrival.

Q. What is needed during the installation?

A. Our technician needs a safe well-lighted area to work in. Your home driveway, carport or garage. If we are doing the installation at your workplace the technician will need to be able to park next to your vehicle away from traffic or other danger. Please keep in mind if it is raining on the day of your installation our technician will need cover if you are unable to provide a dry safe space for our technician to work in, we may not be able to complete your install that day.

Q. Do I need to prepare my vehicle?

A. Yes please, our technicians often need access to your boot. If possible, please make sure it's empty and the vehicle cleared of any valuables.

Q. Can I pay with Eftpos when I use your mobile service?

A. Yes you can, all of our vans have mobile Eftpos machines allowing you to pay via cheque, savings or credit. We accept all major credit cards – Visa, Master Card, and Amex. We also accept ZipMoney and AfterPay.

Q. Do I need to be home?

A. Yes, we prefer the vehicle owner or an adult representative be present at the time of installation. Our technicians will install parts in the most suitable location. We take no responsibility if the vehicle owner is not present at time of installation and parts are installed in a different location than expected.

Q. How long will the installation take?

A. The installation time varies depending on the vehicle and what work we are doing. Please ask one of our friendly team how long your installation will take.

Q. When will I find out my Installation time?

A. One of our coordinators will contact you the business day before your booking to confirm your installation time. The technicians have a number of customers to attend to on any given day, so we do ask for your flexibility and understanding.

Electric Brakes 

Q. Do I need an electric brake controller installed on my vehicle?

A. You will need a brake controller fitted to your vehicle if the trailer you are towing has an electric or electric over hydraulic brakes installed on it.

Q. What does electric brake controller do?

A. Electric brake controllers send power to the electric brakes on the trailer and allows you to adjust how hard or soft the brakes on the trailer work.

Q. How do I test if my electric brake controller is working?

A. We suggest pressing the override/emergency braking while travelling at low speed to confirm that everything is connected and electric brake are been activated.

Q. What size wire should be used for an electric brake controller?

A. Every Electric brake controller manufacturer has the specifics in their fitting instructions. This however is normally 5mm automotive cable or 2.90mm² cable.

Q. What is an electric brake controller?

A. An electric brake controller is a control unit that allows you to control the trailer brakes from the driver's seat and automatically applies the trailer brakes when the tow vehicles brakes are applied.

Q. How does an electric brake controller work?

A. Electric brake controllers are activated by the tow vehicle's brake light circuit.

The Electric brake controller takes power from the tow vehicle's battery and sends power down the electric brake circuit to the trailer brakes when the brakes on the tow vehicle are applied.

Q. Which electric brake controller is best?

A. We highly recommend the RedArc TowPro Elite V3 as it is less intrusive in the vehicle and is fully automatic.

General Towbar Questions

Q. What is the correct Towbar to fit to my vehicle?

A. It will depend on your vehicle and what you will be towing.

The Towbar must have a capacity that exceeds the loaded weight of the trailer you are intending to tow. Therefore you must check the rating of the Towbar and the vehicles rated towing capacity which is included in the towing section of the vehicle’s handbook.

Q. How can I check my ball weight?

A. Ball weight refers to the weight on the front end of the trailer not carried on the axles. As a general rule, you should aim to have 10% of the total trailer weight as the ball weight. This can be measured at a weighbridge, by resting the jockey wheel on a scale or using a ball weight scale.

Q. Do I have to leave the trailer ballmount in the hitch receiver when I am not towing?

A. The trailer ballmount can be left in the hitch receiver as long as it does not obscure the licence plate. To prevent theft, Speedy Towbars have hitch pin locks available which replaces the standard pin and clip. Alternatively, you can remove the trailer ballmount and store it in a secure place and use a hitch box cover to provide a neat finish on the Towbar and at the same time stop dirt and water readily getting into the hitch receiver.

Q. How can I stop sway from occurring?

A. Generally correct weight distribution will contribute to controlling sway because all wheels have full traction on the road. However, sway can still occur from passing trucks, crosswinds etc. If a weight distribution hitch has been fitted and you want to ensure sway is minimised, a Hayman Reese sway control unit is highly recommended. A Friction Sway control can be used for ball weights from 0kg upwards. A Dual Cam Sway control can be used for ball weights from 160kg upwards. Just ask us to help determine the appropriate unit to suit your needs.

Q. When should a brake control unit be fitted?

A. All trailers with an aggregate trailer mass (including the trailer and load) over 750kg must be fitted with brakes to comply with national road regulations. Any trailer with electric brakes needs a brake controller to activate and operate the trailer brakes. The brake controller sets the timing and level of power output to the trailer brakes when activated by pressing the brake pedal in the vehicle.

Q. Can I purchase parts for my Towbar or Weight Distribution Hitch?

A. Yes, we sell most accessories for our Towbar ranges, including for other branded Towbars.

Q. Will my old Towbar fit my new vehicle?

A. It is not likely that it will fit. Towbars are made for a particular vehicle depending on its year, make, model and shape. If you install an old Towbar you may be installing the wrong type of Towbar. Aside from safety issues, this could also affect your new car warranty and the warranty of your Towbar. You need to install a Towbar that’s designed specifically for the vehicle you drive and its towing capacity.

Q. How can I determine the rating or capacity of my vehicle?

A. If your vehicle has a tow rating this can be found in the handbook under the towing section. The vehicle tow rating will include a trailer weight capacity and a trailer ball weight capacity. All Speedy Towbars have a compliance plate which states the maximum tow rating and the Towbar ball weight capacity. You should always check your handbook for details on your particular model.

Q. When do I need a weight distribution hitch?

A. If your trailer’s ball weight is causing the back end of the vehicle to sag, a weight distribution hitch can be used to return the vehicle to its normal height and ensure you have full traction for braking and steering control. The weight distribution hitch is designed to ensure a return to even distribution of weight across all wheels of the tow vehicle and trailer. This even distribution ensures that positive steering and braking control is maintained.

Q. How can I make it easier to hook up the chains on my weight distribution hitch?

A. The hook up process is lifting and transferring the ball weight. As this can in many cases be a large weight we recommend that you use the jockey wheel to assist in lifting the weight. Therefore always wind down the jockey wheel so that the coupling of the trailer is lifted up before you put the spring bars in place and connect the chains. You may also have to hook up a progressively higher chain link to get to the desired link rather than doing it in one step.

Q. Do I need to alter the suspension in my vehicle for towing?

A. A trailer has ball weight on the coupling which when connected to the vehicle is held by the suspension over the back axle. This load is redistributed to all wheels of the vehicle and trailer using a weight distribution hitch to return the vehicle to its normal height. If a load is being permanently carried in the back of the vehicle (e.g. if a toolbox has been fitted) then it may be appropriate to replace the standard springs with higher rated (carrying capacity) springs. These will not transfer any load away from the axle but will provide better support for the higher load being carried. It is preferable to transfer the ball weight when towing to ensure that the vehicle’s rear axle is not overloaded and to ensure maximum traction of all wheels on the road for optimum braking and steering control.

Contact us today for more answers

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