Westfalia detachable towbar necks continue to grow in popularity and it's easy to see why. Sleek, stylish and almost completely disguised when not in use, Westfalia detachable towbars are the perfect choice for those who want to maintain the aesthetic of their vehicle when not towing as the towbar can be removed.
However, when it comes to towing, you need to ensure that the towbar is correctly attached so that you can tow safely and whatever you're towing doesn't become detached. With this in mind, in this guide we'll be covering:
- How to fit a Westfalia detachable towbar properly
- How to remove a Westfalia detachable towbar neck
- Westfalia detachable towbar problems and how to avoid them
- How to maintain a Westfalia detachable towbar neck
- Westfalia towbar fitting
How to fit a Westfalia detachable towbar
Attaching the detachable towbar correctly is essential for ensuring safe towing and the advice may vary by towbar manufacturer. So, you must follow these steps for attaching your Westfalia towbar before you even think about towing.
- Remove the sealing cover from the towbar receiver
- Ensure the towbar neck is in a 'pre-stressed state' before inserting it into the receiver. It should have a 5mm gap between the handwheel and towball and the red indicator on the towball should be in the green area of the towball neck (shown below)
- If the towbar neck is not in a pre-stressed state, insert the key and open the lock then pull the handwheel to the side and turn it in the direction of the arrow until it stops
- When the towball neck is in a pre-stressed state, insert it into the receiver and push it up, with your hand below the neck
- The neck should lock into place automatically and you must remove the key from the towball neck to secure it into the receiver. This is not for anti-theft protection, as many people think, but is a vital part of attaching the towbar. If the key is not removed, the neck may not be safely secured in place
- Push the cover cap into the lock
- Carry out the safety checks below to ensure your towbar has been securely attached
Once you have attached your Westfalia removable towbar in place, you need to carry out important safety checks before you start towing. This is a crucial step to ensure the towbar neck is secured in place safely. Your safety checks should include:
Check the towbar neck is properly secured and locked into place by looking for the following:
- The green marking on the handwheel should be aligned with the green marking on the towbar neck
- The handwheel should be flush against the towball neck and you should not be able to pull it out
- The towball neck should sit firmly in the receiver which you must check by shaking or trying to move it by hand
If you carry out these safety checks and find the towbar is not secured in place, remove the towbar and start the installation process again because it is not safe to use for towing. Additionally, if you find that any of the features are not functioning as they should, contact a local garage or towbar fitter to check the towbar is safe and fit for purpose.
How to remove a Westfalia detachable towbar neck
Once you have finished towing, you can remove the detachable towbar neck by following the below steps.
- Remove the cover cap from the lock of the towball neck
- Open the lock by using the detachable towbar neck key
- With a firm grip on the towball neck, pull the handwheel out the side and turn it in the arrow until it stops (shown below)
- Remove the towball neck from the receiver and release the handwheel. This should automatically lock into a cocked position
- Grease the receiver and insert the sealing cover. Greasing the receiver first will help the sealing cover to hold better and seal tighter
Important things to remember when removing the detachable towbar neck
Removing your towbar neck is fairly straightforward, but there are some things you need to keep in mind. These include:
- Remove the towbar neck when you are not towing if it covers any part of the licence plate
- Never remove the towbar neck when a trailer, caravan or bike rack is attached
- Never use any tools to insert or remove the towbar neck as this can cause damage. You can insert and remove the towbar neck with normal hand strength
- Repair, installation and removal of the towbar should only be carried out by the fitter or manufacturer
- Make a note of the towbar neck key number in case you ever need to replace it
Westfalia detachable towbar problems and how to avoid them
While we'd love to say every single product is perfect, sadly, that's not always the case. While Westfalia detachable towbars are of excellent quality and have been designed with safety at the forefront, safe use relies on the towbar being attached properly before towing.
Have Westfalia detachable towbars ever failed?
There have been very few occasions when the towbar has become detached when towing but this is because it has not been attached properly by the user. In some cases, the key has been left in the neck which has caused the towbar to become detached while in use.
Luckily, these scenarios are entirely avoidable.
How to avoid problems with Westfalia detachable towbars
The most important thing to do to avoid any problems with your Westfalia detachable towbar is to follow the fitting instructions, step-by-step before you even think about towing. Once you have followed the instructions to a tee, do not forget to remove the key from the towbar neck before hitching up. It is also a good idea to pull off in a quiet, safe area so you can check you have safely hitched up before heading out onto a main road.
How to maintain a Westfalia detachable towbar neck
To make sure your towbar is safe to use for many years, you need to maintain it properly. The good news is that it's much easier to look after your towbar than you might think.
You should ensure the towball, neck, receiver and faceplate are kept clean however you must use the right cleaning products. Any bearing points or sliding surfaces should be cleaned with resin-free grease or oil while the towball should be cleaned with brake cleaner or white spirit. If you are jet washing or steam cleaning your car, however, the towball should be removed and the sealing cover should be inserted so water does not get into the receiver.
Westfalia towbar fitting
If you are in the market for a Westfalia detachable towbar, you must have it installed by a professional towbar fitter to ensure it has been installed safely and correctly. You should never purchase a second-hand towbar or transfer it from one vehicle to another because most towbars are designed specifically for the make, model and year of a particular vehicle.
We have a broad range of vehicle-specific Westfalia towbars with dedicated electrics kits available to order. We also have a nationwide network of professional towbar fitters who can safely fit your towbar at home or in a garage. Find your towbar and book a fitting now.