The standard type of towbar
in the UK is the flange towbar, (in most cases the two-bolt flange.)
This is the type of towbar that been available in the UK for
many decades. Perhaps the best known make of flange towbars is
Witter, the UK's largest towbar manufacturer.
With a flange towbar a separate
towball is bolted onto the towbar via bolts on each side (normally
one on either side). This system allows different types of towball
to be fitted. The most popular is the standard towball, however
long reach towballs are now becoming popular for caravans with
a integral stabiliser such as the AL-KO system. Also many commercial
vehicles also fit a combination pin, ball and jaw to allow, for
example the towing of site generators which have a towing ring
rather than a convention hitch.
The flange system also allows
for accessories to be fitted between the towbar and the towball,
these include stabilisers (such as the Bulldog or Snakemaster),
cycle carriers, tow steps or bumper protector plates.
Important Note - Towballs
When buying a two bolt flange towbar the towball is not normally
included. This is because of the different variants of towballs
(ball, pin and jaw or long reach towballs etc) available. It
is for this reason that Witter, Tow-Trust, PCT etc do not supply
a towball with the towbar.
Also many people choice to
use a towball that they have taken from their old car. A standard
towball is just £4.50.
There a number of different variants of towball/coupling available
but for most people all that is required is the standard 50 mm
Towball. Please note that an EC type approved towball is needed
for cars registered from August 1998 ('S' reg) onwards.