Tow Bars / Roof Racks

Tow Bars / Roof Racks Information

A tow bar is a device that is fitted to a vehicle that is used to tow another vehicle or trailer. Designs vary from a tow ball to a tow pin. Within the European Union, any vehicles registered on or after the 1st August 1998 must have a type approve tow bar fitted.

The ISO standard for the tow-ball design is 50mm in diameter and must conform to BS ISO 1103:2007; this standard has now been adapted for most countries of the world, outside of the USA.

There are 2 main categories of the ISO tow ball. The first being the flange fitting which has an extended neck fitting into the tow bracket. The second main type is the swan-neck. Swan-neck tow-balls are more often than not removable and help to avoid any inconvenience caused by a tow-ball protruding from a car when it is not required. In some instances, car manufacturers are also introducing retracting tow-balls to some models.

Roof Racks are essentially a set of bars that are secured to the roof a car in order to carry additional luggage or items within specially designed containers (roof-box).

The purpose of the roof rack is to increase the luggage capacity of the vehicle without losing interior space for the passengers. Capacities for roof boxes vary from around 300litres to over 500 litres. The roof box is fitted to the roof rack via a series of catches and clips. With the roof rack is then fixed to the cars roof by either clamps or mounts. Many car manufacturers will offer the option of having a roof rack fitted when the car it purchased.

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