How to Guide - Towbars

How to Guide - Towbars

When it comes to choosing the right towbar for you things can be a bit daunting especially if you're new to the world of towing! That's why here at Witter Towbars we want to help you make the right decision for you so you can be away towing in no time. We have four main styles of towbars available to suit the type of towing you are going to be doing. Below is a simple guide to what the benefits are of the different styles to help you pick which is best for you.



Fixed Flange Ball Towbar

The Witter fixed flange towbar is used for all serious forms of towing and generally the most cost effective option. A 50mm towball is bolted to a face plate that also allows the use of accessories such as bumper protector plates, stabiliser car plates and towbar mounted cycle carrier.

  • Tow and carry cycles at the same time (subject to nose load limits)
  • Bumper shields can be fitted
  • AL-KO towballs can be fitted
  • The towing height can be adjusted on commercial and 4x4 four-hole plate towbars
  • A choice of towing couplings and accessories can be fitted

Detachable Flange Towbar

The Witter detachable flange offers you all the versatility of the traditional flange version whilst only a small part of the towbar remains visible when detached.

  • Tow and carry cycles at the same time
  • The towball is removed when not in use preserving 'shins'
  • AL-KO towballs can be fitted
  • Won't trigger reversing sensors when not towing
  • A choice of towing couplings and accessories can be fitted

Fixed Swan Neck Towbar

The Witter Fixed Swan towbar is ideal for many towing applications and offers a slim unobtrusive appearance. All the towball mounted Witter Cycle Carriers are able to be carried by the Fixed Swan bar but you cannot tow at the same time.

  • Compatible with AL-KO stabilisers
  • Less likely to trigger reversing sensors
  • Slightly more expensive than the flange towbar
  • Cannot be fitted with a bumper shield

Detachable Swan Neck Towbar

The Witter detachable Swan Neck towbar is slim, secure and simple to use and only a small part of the towbar remains visible when detached. All the towball mounted Witter Cycle Carriers are able to be carried by the Detachable Swan bar but you cannot tow at the same time.

  • Compatible with AL-KO stabilisers
  • Less likely to trigger reversing sensors
  • Slightly more expensive than the flange towbar
  • Cannot be fitted with a bumper shield

Once you've got the right towbar for you, then it is a case of which electrics are best for your car and your towing needs. It is possible that there will be a universal or a dedicated unit that will be available to fit to your vehicle. We here at Witter Towbars always suggest to go with a dedicated kit especially with modern vehicles having such complex wiring systems, you will get peace of mind with a dedicated kit that you won't come across any faults as your kit has been designed specifically for your vehicle. Although they are more expensive than the universal kits that are available on the market the expense more than outways the benefits you will get and the hassle that you will avoid.

You then have the choice between 7-pin, 7-pin twin or 13-pin electrics, again the choice is down to your towing needs, read below to help you pick which electrics are best suited for you.


7-pin Electrics

This is the most common and cost effective type of connector currently used in the UK. It will fulfil all Normal towing requirements under UK law and can be used with lighting boards, cycle carriers, caravans, garden trailers, plant trailers and horseboxes. In fact, almost anything you can connect to a towbar.

7-pin Twin Electrics

This consists of a Normal connector and a similar extra Supplementary connector that can supply a caravan, horse box or tipper trailer with a switched and permanent twelve volt power supply, extra earth connections and a reverse light facility. A 12S socket is only required if you wish to charge the battery and power the fridge when travelling. Having both connectors on the towbar can be bulky and unsightly especially when fitted to a detachable towbar.

13-pin Electrics

This is a single connector of similar size to that of a 12N connector but it contains both 12N and 12S functions in one. It is a waterproof connection with a unique twist lock system for safe and reliable contact. The socket is smart and discreet, ideal for towbars with a swing away socket plate. The cost is higher than having separate 12N/12S connectors. However, as all UK caravans manufactured after 2008 will have a 13-pin connector as standard this will soon become a popular choice.


Once you've figured out which towbar and which electric kit you want from the selection available for your vehicle you're ready to purchase what you need and get them fitted and you'll be off towing in no time. Our website offers you the easy process of buying items and booking the fitting all-in-one so you know you're getting the best price without any hidden costs.