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UK Caravanning (uk.rec.caravanning) A forum for the discussion of caravanning undertaken by residents of the United Kingdom, whether in the UK or abroad. It encourages the interchange of views on the merits of models of caravan, makes of tow car, accessories, caravan sites, caravan clubs, and other related topics. The term caravan is to include trailer vans, motor caravans and trailer tents.

How difficult is it to fit your own tow bar?



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 18th 03, 02:39 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Keith Foster
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 30
Default How difficult is it to fit your own tow bar?

Only one comment to add:
Some wiring looms on modern vehicles are "multiplexed" (I think that's the
right term) and can lead to complexities. Maybe Tony Maris and/or the
Daily Telegraph's Honest John at:
http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/home/index.htm
can help. Son-in-law had to have his Omega electrics done by a
professional, my Avensis is "normal" on the lighting front so was a doddle.
Got the info from HJ.
Keith
"ossey" wrote in message
...
I'm fairly good at car DIY, i.e. wire in a new car radio/cass. How
difficult is wiring in tow bar electrics?

Any pointers to look out for

Thanks

Ian



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  #2 (permalink)  
Old August 18th 03, 11:42 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Roger Mills
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 72
Default How difficult is it to fit your own tow bar?


"Tony Maris" wrote in message
...
Hi Ian,

You didn't say (and no one has asked) what your vehicle is.

Some are easy, some are real b******s. A Land Rover Discovery TD5 towbar
will take around 20 minutes to fit the mechanicals (provided the threads

in
the 14mm captive nuts are in good order (I've had one with a bolt sheared
off inside, that was fun)). An Alfa 156 will take you 1/2 a day with luck
(just for the bar), a Fiat Marea Weekend about 6 hours first time, a new
Beetle all day if you're lucky.

Regarding wiring, using manufacturers plug-in kits may save a lot of time,
though cost more. However, on some vehicles 'plug-in' kits are very time
consuming, in some cases needing parts of the dash dismantling. Does your
vehicle have a bulb failure warning light system? Is it fully

multi-plexed?
Are the feed wires to the lamps heavy enough to handle the extra load?

Are
any of the lamps negatively switched? Are the fuses in the fusebox rated
high enough to handle the extra current? Do any of the lighting fuses

share
with vital circuits in the car? (One Honda has the fog light fuse shared
with the central processor, blow the foglight and you knock the computer
out). Where are you going to pick up the feed for the 12S power supply?

If
you know the answers to these, you are probably competent enough to do it.
If you don't, I'd reconsider.

Regards

--
Tony M
Towbars & Trailers
Chesterfield
Specialists in Towing Equipment
NTTA Council Member
http://www.towitall.co.uk
QSA accredited for Towbars and Trailers



Excellent advice - but I wonder what proportion of "professionals" establish
the answers to all those questions before embarking on the job?!

Roger


  #3 (permalink)  
Old August 19th 03, 07:54 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
ossey
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5
Default How difficult is it to fit your own tow bar?


"Tony Maris" wrote in message
...
Hi Ian,

You didn't say (and no one has asked) what your vehicle is.

Some are easy, some are real b******s. A Land Rover Discovery TD5 towbar
will take around 20 minutes to fit the mechanicals (provided the threads

in
the 14mm captive nuts are in good order (I've had one with a bolt sheared
off inside, that was fun)). An Alfa 156 will take you 1/2 a day with luck
(just for the bar), a Fiat Marea Weekend about 6 hours first time, a new
Beetle all day if you're lucky.

Regarding wiring, using manufacturers plug-in kits may save a lot of time,
though cost more. However, on some vehicles 'plug-in' kits are very time
consuming, in some cases needing parts of the dash dismantling. Does your
vehicle have a bulb failure warning light system? Is it fully

multi-plexed?
Are the feed wires to the lamps heavy enough to handle the extra load?

Are
any of the lamps negatively switched? Are the fuses in the fusebox rated
high enough to handle the extra current? Do any of the lighting fuses

share
with vital circuits in the car? (One Honda has the fog light fuse shared
with the central processor, blow the foglight and you knock the computer
out). Where are you going to pick up the feed for the 12S power supply?

If
you know the answers to these, you are probably competent enough to do it.
If you don't, I'd reconsider.

Regards

--
Tony M
Towbars & Trailers
Chesterfield
Specialists in Towing Equipment
NTTA Council Member
http://www.towitall.co.uk
QSA accredited for Towbars and Trailers



"Keith Foster" wrote in message
...
Only one comment to add:
Some wiring looms on modern vehicles are "multiplexed" (I think that's

the
right term) and can lead to complexities. Maybe Tony Maris and/or the
Daily Telegraph's Honest John at:
http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/home/index.htm
can help. Son-in-law had to have his Omega electrics done by a
professional, my Avensis is "normal" on the lighting front so was a

doddle.
Got the info from HJ.
Keith
"ossey" wrote in message
...
I'm fairly good at car DIY, i.e. wire in a new car radio/cass. How
difficult is wiring in tow bar electrics?

Any pointers to look out for

Thanks

Ian

Thanks everyone & Tony, My car is a Ford Focus Estate, registered in 2000

I really want a tow bar for sometimes towing a trailer, and to attach a bike
rack to it. I wanted one of those bars that you can disconnect a stow in the
boot. I guess the wiring would be easier as I don't require a socket for the
fridge etc.
Where could I get a pre wired socket?

Thanks Tony

Ian


  #4 (permalink)  
Old August 19th 03, 09:28 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Tony Maris
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 161
Default How difficult is it to fit your own tow bar?

Hi Ian,

For the Focus Estate, Bosal do a quick release detachable towbar. One
difficulty with these is fitting bike racks though Thule do a special which
clamps onto the ball ( you obviously can't tow and carry bikes at the same
time!).

If you want a plug in wiring kit for this, I'd go for Ford's own, however,
we happily fit our own non-plug in kit without problems. We can offer this
with a pre-wired socket if you wish. I also stock Bosal and Thule so will
be happy to quote for the lot if you wish.

Regards

--
Tony M
Towbars & Trailers
Chesterfield
Specialists in Towing Equipment
NTTA Council Member
http://www.towitall.co.uk
QSA accredited for Towbars and Trailers



"ossey" wrote in message
...

Thanks everyone & Tony, My car is a Ford Focus Estate, registered in 2000

I really want a tow bar for sometimes towing a trailer, and to attach a

bike
rack to it. I wanted one of those bars that you can disconnect a stow in

the
boot. I guess the wiring would be easier as I don't require a socket for

the
fridge etc.
Where could I get a pre wired socket?

Thanks Tony

Ian




  #5 (permalink)  
Old August 21st 03, 07:29 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
ossey
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5
Default How difficult is it to fit your own tow bar?


"Tony Maris" wrote in message
...
Hi Ian,

For the Focus Estate, Bosal do a quick release detachable towbar. One
difficulty with these is fitting bike racks though Thule do a special

which
clamps onto the ball ( you obviously can't tow and carry bikes at the same
time!).

If you want a plug in wiring kit for this, I'd go for Ford's own, however,
we happily fit our own non-plug in kit without problems. We can offer

this
with a pre-wired socket if you wish. I also stock Bosal and Thule so will
be happy to quote for the lot if you wish.

Regards

--
Tony M
Towbars & Trailers
Chesterfield
Specialists in Towing Equipment
NTTA Council Member
http://www.towitall.co.uk
QSA accredited for Towbars and Trailers



"ossey" wrote in message
...

Thanks everyone & Tony, My car is a Ford Focus Estate, registered in

2000

I really want a tow bar for sometimes towing a trailer, and to attach a

bike
rack to it. I wanted one of those bars that you can disconnect a stow in

the
boot. I guess the wiring would be easier as I don't require a socket for

the
fridge etc.
Where could I get a pre wired socket?

Thanks Tony

Ian

Thanks for your time and info Tony.

Kind regards

Ian


 



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