Tow Bar Types – Benefits and Things to Consider

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Tow Bar Types – Benefits and Things to Consider

Close-up of a car towbar

If you’re shopping for a towbar, you’ll probably come across many options. To choose the right one for your vehicle, you’ll have to understand the pros and cons that come with different towbars. You’ll also have to keep the manufacturer’s recommendations in mind when making a choice.

Types of Towbars

There are either fixed or detachable towbars available. They come in two styles – the flange and the swan neck. The flange is the most widely used towbar. The assembly consists of a tow ball that’s secured to the flange plate with bolts. The flange plate is permanently attached to the vehicle. If you need to pull lighter loads (up to 1250 kg) a standard 50mm towbar with a bolt-on tongue should work. For heavy loads, use a hitch receiver.

Swan neck towbars are becoming popular because of their slimline design. They generally don’t obstruct parking sensors and they’re available as both fixed and detachable towbars. Swan neck towbars are always mounted below the vehicle. They have a narrow neck, hence the name.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Flange Towbars

Flange towbars are versatile. You can fit different tow balls and you can mount various accessories along with the tow ball. These accessories include cycle carriers, drop plates and rear steps. Both fixed and detachable towbars have the same towing capacity. The only difference between the two is that you can easily remove the detachable towbar when it’s not in use. This improves the appearance of your vehicle.

Both fixed and detachable flange towbars aren’t as aesthetically appealing as swan necks towbars. Your parking sensors will consider them an obstruction and give you false alerts when you’re reversing. Apart from this, the fixed flange towbar gets in the way of your legs when you’re accessing the boot.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Swan Necks

Swan neck towbars offer better aesthetic value than flange towbars. They don’t always get rid of the parking sensor problem, though. Some swan neck towbars aren’t as versatile as flange towbars. You can’t use tow bar mount cycle carriers along with swan neck towbars. Neither can you fit drop plates, couplings or rear steps. Their biggest advantage is their slimline design. If you use a detachable neck, your vehicle will look clean when you remove the neck.

The Price

When it comes to price, swan neck towbars are more expensive than flange towbars. It’s also expensive to replace a lost neck type towbar.

As a general guideline if you’re towing trailers up to 3.5 tonnes, look for a standard 50mm tow ball.

One of the newest towbars available is the electric swivelling towbar. This towbar goes into position at the touch of a button. You’ll also come across vertical and horizontal detachable towbars, pin system tow bars, and nut system tow bars.

Tow Hitch Installation in Melbourne

If you need help finding the right towbar for your vehicle, get in touch with Advanced Towbars. We carry a wide range of car and truck tow bars in Melbourne. From installing towbars to service and repairs, we do it all.

If you’re on the lookout for towbars for sale, don’t hesitate to contact us. We work with a network of towbar suppliers who give us high-quality products.


Call us on 1300 238 869 to get in touch with our professional tow bar installers. Also, visit us online to explore the different brands we carry.

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