FAQ -TOWBAR GUIDE
HOW HEAVY CAN I TOW
Each vehicle manufacturer specifies the maximum weight a vehicle can safely tow (every make + model is different) it's called a tow rating.
Your vehicle has two types of ratings, braked + unbraked, and that depends on what you are towing.
A braked trailer (brakes on the wheels of the trailer that activate when you use the car's brakes) will be able to tow heavier loads than an unbraked trailer.
For example, a 2023 Toyota Hilux can tow up to 3500KG with a braked trailer and 750KG unbraked.
We will install a towbar based on the maximum weight your vehicle is allowed to tow and put a load rating sticker on the towbar like the one to the right.
VERTICAL LOAD RATING
Also called downward force is the amount of weight pushing down on the towball, from a trailer, bike rack or load.
Too much force can affect the towbar, driving performance and safety of your vehicle.
PARTS THAT MAKE UP A TOWBAR
TYPES OF TOWBARS
Depending on your towing needs you may want to choose between a fixed or removable tongue.
FIXED TONGUE TOWBAR
Fixed tongue towbars are welded or bolted onto the towbar.
REMOVABLE TONGUE TOWBAR
Pintype, detachable or removeable types offer a lot more versatility. Great for swapping between trailers, bike racks or removing altogether.
The tongue is removed from the receiver of a pintype removeable towbar and interchanged with different size or stored away if you have a small space to keep your vehicle. Each manufacturer has a different template; however, we can make a tongue to fit your receiver.
If you have farming or industrial equipment you may need a double yoke tongue, called an agricultural tongue or clevis tongue.
BIKE RACK EXTENDER
If you are towing a bike rack or need to extend your existing trailer further out to accommodate the vehicle you can get a bike rack or towbar extender.
To ensure your taillights are visible to others on the road, your trailer legally should be equipped with lights. You will need have a wiring plug connected to your vehicle, this is done as part of your towbar installation. The types of are standard wiring, wiring kits or no wiring.
Connected directly to your vehicles wiring system this type of wiring is generally for vehicles older than 2008.
If your caravan is imported from overseas, you may require a slightly different wiring connection, please let us know.
These are required for modern vehicles. Most cars nowadays have sophisticated sensors, computers, and electrics, so getting the wiring correctly connected to your trailer lights is essential.
Protecting your vehicles sensitive electronics + sensors require quality wiring kits. ALWAYS check your wiring kit has an independent power supply, otherwise this could create faults within the vehicle electronics and on your dashboard.
Towing boats and weatherproofing your wiring is crucial, always ensure you have a waterproof kit installed.
All our wiring kits have independent power supplies and are weatherproof.
When towing very small loads like bike racks, where your taillights are not obscured, no wiring is required.
In New Zealand our towballs are 1 7/8" (47mm). However you may want to tow a vehicle from overseas such as a horse float or caravan. They can use 50MM towballs
HIGH RISE TOWBALLS
If you require a different towball or shank size you can swap these out. Available sizes and options are on our accessories page.
If you have a boat or specific trailer you may need to change the top of the towball. An interchangeable towball is called a duoball. These are available 1 7/8" or 50MM.
A high rise towball is essential for English or European imported caravans which have the AKS3004 stabiliser coupling fitted.
CERTIFYING MY TOWBAR
In New Zealand if you have a vehicle that requires a WOF (warrant of fitness) you just need to ensure that your towbar meets the NZ standards (which all our towbars do).
If your vehicle requires a COF (certificate of fitness) normally for larger or heavier vehicles your towbar must be certified. This process requires that the towbar is certified by a certified heavy specialist certifier. And a Heavy Vehicle Specialist Certificate will be issued along with a plate which is fixed to the vehicle.
We will provide all of this for you and ensure your vehicle is certified upon collection.
IMPORTANT ! Always keep the original copy of your COF certificate, you will need this for your next COF.