The Christmas and New Year period is now behind us; a time when many people hit the road with their caravans in tow for a camping holiday, a surf trip, or perhaps a relaxing week at a coastal caravan park. Maybe you’ve just gotten back from such a trip yourself. You’ve got the caravan safely under cover, protecting it from the elements, but what about the tow bar that it was hitched to? That probably took a few bumps throughout the journey and might even need a little maintenance of its own.
The tow bar is often overlooked when it comes to vehicle maintenance; many people just see it as the attachment at the back that we hitch our caravans to before we go on holiday. We see it all the time; a customer will contact us for electric brake controller installation or trailer maintenance and when we check the tow bar, the pins have worn or the bolts no longer provide the security that they should. Tow bars experience wear and tear just like anything, so maintaining it is important to prevent it from becoming a hazard to you and others at an inconvenient time – like when you have a caravan attached as you drive down the Hume Highway. Here are some important towbar maintenance tips to ensure yours remains loyal to you and your car for some time to come.
One of the easiest parts of the tow bar to inspect and replace if necessary is the pins that secure the tow bar to the base plate. If you take the pins out and run your finger along them, you might notice grooves running along them or some similar signs of wear and tear. Also, if the pins wiggle rather than sit nicely in place, they most likely need replacing. You can also check that the bolts are in place, allowing the tow bar to enjoy a full range of motion without being either too tight or too loose. Your safety and that of others you share the road with is paramount when you’re carrying a trailer or caravan on the back of your car, so the bolts need to enable free movement without becoming hazardous.
In addition to these factors, any reputable tow bar installation service provider will tell you it’s just basic towbar maintenance 101; things like making sure your towbar is free of dust and grime, and making sure you don’t tow above your recommended weight limit.
A mobile towbar fitting professional like Five Star Towbars in Melbourne will be able to determine whether these factors require your towbar to undergo some basic repairs or if it simply needs to be replaced. Make an appointment with us so you can be 100% confident in the safety of your tow bar before your next road trip!