The Ultimate Guide for VW Transporter Tow Bars

Volkswagen (VW) Transporters are popular vans for many reasons. They are reliable, spacious, the build quality is excellent and the VW Transporter also enjoys some of the best residual values in its class. Overall, the Volkswagen Transporter is an extremely well-built van and has a popular cult following. But, it is also popular because of its ability to tow.

We sell VW towbars and towbar products that are like-for-like in comparison to the Original Equipment (OE) parts that Volkswagen manufactures which can make towbar fitting easier, quicker and safer. At a competitive price, we offer a comparable product in the aftermarket which is very popular and worth it for the ease of installation. In this article we will cover:

  • Do all VW Transporters come with a towbar?
  • Which towbars do we sell?
  • How competitive is the price?
  • What are the benefits of the VW Transporter bumper carrier?
  • Can you use a cycle carrier with the towbar?
  • Who do we supply the bumper carrier to?

Do all VW Transporters come with a towbar?

Not all VW Transporters come with a towbar and if you buy an older model straight from the factory, there is a chance it won't come with a towbar installed. If you purchase a brand new VW Transporter, you may be able to specify any modifications you would like making to the vehicle, prior to purchasing. However, if you buy a second hand VW Transporter and would like to install a towbar, you should contact a professional fitter who can install the correct towbar for your vehicle.

If you're wondering if you can transfer a towbar to another vehicle, we have written a guide on this subject.

Which towbars do we sell?

For the VW Transporter, we sell the OE bumper carrier which is like-for-like. It is the same as the Westfalia detachable towbar that Volkswagen manufactures for their newer model VW Transporter. We also offer a permanent fixture swan neck towbar, whilst this is popular, it slightly takes away from the aesthetics of the vehicle.

How competitive is the price?

The prices we set can be quite competitive, as the bumper carrier we manufacture is comparable with the part that Volkswagen offers. This means that if you buy an old Volkswagen from the factory, or second hand, there's a chance that it may not be included with a towbar. In this case, you would have to purchase an aftermarket towbar. The aftermarket can be quite competitive as not many other towbar manufacturers have a product as similar to the OE bumper carrier as us. This means our prices are particularly competitive in this market.

What are the benefits of the VW Transporter bumper carrier?

Previously you would have to remove the bumper of the VW Transporter and cut the crash beam at the rear of the vehicle in order to install the towbar onto the crash beam. This can be difficult, especially for DIY camper converters, because the bumper can become weaker and less supportive. The modern, preferred, solution is to install the OE bumper carrier as it is much easier to install and doesn't require any cuts to the vehicle.

The bumper carrier offers support to the bumper so it then doesn't sag, which has been a problem in the past. As well as being easier to install, the bumper carrier is quicker to fit, which makes it favourable for businesses and customers alike. It also reduces the likelihood of injury, as cutting the crash beam requires heavy tools increasing the risks of mistakes and slips, which could end up causing serious damage to the car and the fitter.

Are VW Transporter towbars safe?

Used and maintained correctly, towbars for VW Transporters are extremely safe. However, if the correct safety precautions are not followed, improper use of a towbar can result in a nasty accident.

Legal requirements for safe towing

These are just some of the legal requirements you need to consider when you are towing:

  • Notify your insurance company if you have had a towbar fitted
  • Your rear lights should always be visible with a vehicle electrics kit
  • Your number plate should always be visible
  • Never exceed the towing capacity that your vehicle is capable of towing
  • Licences issued after 1st January 1997 can tow a trailer that weighs up to 3,500kg MAM
  • Licences issued before 1st January 1997 can usually drive a vehicle and trailer with a MAM of up to 8,250kg or a minibus with a trailer up to 750kg
  • You may need to take additional tests if you are over the age of 70 or want to increase what your licence allows you to tow

Learn more about towbar safety.

How to maintain a towbar for a VW Transporter

Witter have designed and manufactured the strongest towbars for your VW Transporter and tested them to their limits. However if it isn't used or cared for correctly, you could cause damage.

To keep you towing your VW Transporter for as long as possible, here are some tips on how to keep your VW Transporter towbar in perfect towing condition.

After 500 miles of towing:

  • Re-torque all fixings to the values specified in your installation handbook that came with your towbar
  • Repair any damage and add any additional coatings to the paint finish
  • Replace any damaged components

Take your towbar to a local garage for a check up if:

  • If your vehicle is involved in an accident, incident or collision with another vehicle or object
  • If an abnormal load is applied to the Towbar
  • If the Towbar has been damaged, misused or neglected
  • If any changes, modifications or repairs have been carried out to the Towbar
  • If the Towbar is transferred to another vehicle

Learn more about maintaining a towbar here.

Can you use a cycle carrier with the towbar?

Most towbars are compatible with a towbar mounted cycle carrier. Witter and Westfalia cycle carriers require a ball clamp to keep the cycle carrier stable, which is detachable. The fact that the towbar is detachable doesn't make a difference to the cycle carrier.

The benefit of a detachable bar means you retain the aesthetics of the vehicle when the towbar isn't connected as only a small part of the towbar remains visible. By inserting the towbar into a detachable receiver, it is quick to attach or detach when not in use. A lot of camper customers like the detachable towbar for this reason. However, there is the alternative option of a swan neck towbar which is a permanent fixture on your VW Transporter.

Who do we supply the bumper carrier to?

Bumper carriers are great for DIY camper converters who are transforming a traditional VW Transit Van into a camper van. We can supply the towbar and bumper carrier directly to towbar fitters or customers can purchase from us and source their own fitter using our WebFit service. If someone were to do a DIY camper conversion, we would recommend fitting the towbar and bumper carrier whilst carrying out the camper conversion.

A VW Transporter tow bar is a great addition as it can allow for more room for packing or you can add a bike rack and take your bikes along too. So, whether you are converting a VW Transporter or have bought a secondhand van and want to install a towbar, our towbar and bumper carrier solution is perfect for you. Find your towbar now.