Beware of tow bars fitted by independent fitment centers. Four-wheel drive vehicles often stress their tow bars in excess of what would be considered normal towing operations.
Ideas about tow-bars:
• Towing off-road stresses a tow bar far more than ordinary towing.
• Tow bars are sometimes used for vehicle recovery, although this is very unsafe and ill-advised.
• Off-road trailers are bigger and heavier than the average family man’s little ‘Venter’.
• When considering a tow bar; if the one being offered looks similar in strength to those fitted to a normal road car then it is not strong enough for your 4×4.
• Broken tow hitches occurring in the wilderness are not uncommon and depending where the breakage occurs, it can be difficult to repair without welding equipment.
• The standard 50mm tow ball is rated to pull a trailer with a mass of no more than 3500kg. This rating is calculated for towing on a paved surface not over rocks or in heavy sand.
• Maximum permissible weight on a standard 50mm tow ball is
150 kgs. This is often exceeded when towing off-road.
• When calculating how much weight the vehicle can carry after the trailer is hitched up, double the tow hitch weight and deduct that from the vehicle’s carrying capacity.
Ideal vehicle – trailer combinations
• Long wheelbase combined with short rear wheel-to-tow ball distance makes for a stable tow vehicle.
• Short rear wheel-to-tow ball distance with long trailer tow hitch to axle distance improves stability.
• Trailer’s vertical C of G must be less than 40% of the trailer’s tow hitch to axle distance.
• Short vehicle wheelbase or short rear wheel-to-tow ball distance combined with long trailer tow hitch to axle distance make for
• Vehicle tow ball height must equal trailer tow hitch height when trailer chassis is horizontal. Essential when towing twin-axle trailers.
• Mud flaps must be fitted to the rear of the tow vehicle to prevent damage caused by flying stones.