Detachable Tow Bar

Domirati

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I used one for 10 years, it outlived the car. No problems but to be honest after a few times we never took it off so it might have well not been detachable.
 

Devonshire dumpling

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Fitted the tow bar professionally on a jeepi in January, been towing weekly since, and not removed the towbar since it was fitted, it's double locked with a colour coding fail safe lock and lock and key, today whilst picking up a trailer after 3 miles the towbar came off, also the brakes didn't activate as towbar came off...... Trailer went off road and fell nose first down a 10 foot drop, thank god horses not on board as if the impact didn't kill them a vet would have had to .... Been a terrifying day :-(.
 

RutlandH2O

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The sociopathic creep who used to work for us, stole the tow bar...pretty easy when it's detachable. And no, it didn't have a lock. We replaced it with a permanently attached tow bar.
 

Shutterbug

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Oh no that must have been very scary. So glad nobody was hurt. Im just about to get a tow bar fitted to my new car and was advised by the guy fitting not to get a detachable one for a horse box - now I can see why.
 

Tiddlypom

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Fitted the tow bar professionally on a jeepi in January, been towing weekly since, and not removed the towbar since it was fitted, it's double locked with a colour coding fail safe lock and lock and key, today whilst picking up a trailer after 3 miles the towbar came off, also the brakes didn't activate as towbar came off...... Trailer went off road and fell nose first down a 10 foot drop, thank god horses not on board as if the impact didn't kill them a vet would have had to .... Been a terrifying day :-(.
Good grief, what a nightmare. Thank goodness the trailer was empty. I hope that you are able to find some answers as to how it failed. If there is a design or manufacturing fault then official action needs to be taken to prevent it happening again.

ETA Just seen pics :eek3: :eek3:.

Can't remember the exact spec of our westphalia detachable tow bar, but we bought it as being able to tow the loaded trailer if necessary.
 
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Devonshire dumpling

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Presently been dealing with deep shock, police attended and tow bar been recovered , need to follow this up, this must not happen to anyone else! Thank god our darling horses were not on board, which was highly unusual and ü thank god nobody was killed by the wayward trailer, someone was looking down on us today
 

OldNag

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That is horrendous.
We used to have a detachable towbar but it was factory fitted and we towed a trailer tent.
I have been toying with putting a towbar on my car and was thinking detachable. I will now reconsider.
I hope you are OK it must have been a hell of a shock.
 

Devonshire dumpling

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That is horrendous.
We used to have a detachable towbar but it was factory fitted and we towed a trailer tent.
I have been toying with putting a towbar on my car and was thinking detachable. I will now reconsider.
I hope you are OK it must have been a hell of a shock.

I have a fixed one on my car, this just wouldn't/ couldn't happen with my car, am so glad this has made you stop and think .... You know you are in deep shock when the police officer cuddles you lol .... ,my poor friend xx
 

Bigbenji

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DD- those pictures :/
No wonder your in shock you poor thing what a horrendous thing to happen.
I only ever tow with a fixed tow bar so cant comment on detachable's from a safety side. Surely that coming off is down to who fixed it? I take it the insurance or police will look into it?

Like you said thank goodness your horses and no-one else was involved.
 

skint1

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thank you very much for sharing your experience, I can't imagine how awful that must have been, even allowing for the fact your horses weren't onboard. I didn't even know you could get a detachable tow bar, but I would certainly hesitate to use one after reading about what happened to you
 

Devonshire dumpling

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Wasn't so bad for me, I just held my friend ... But still awful ..... Police advised to take it up with manufacturers ... Nothing wrong with the fitting from what we can see just catastrophic failure of the towbar
 

Devonshire dumpling

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thank you very much for sharing your experience, I can't imagine how awful that must have been, even allowing for the fact your horses weren't onboard. I didn't even know you could get a detachable tow bar, but I would certainly hesitate to use one after reading about what happened to you

Good, this was the point of the post xx
 

Clannad48

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It sounds as if I have exactly the same towbar fitted to my jeep. It was on the car when I bought it. I initially tried to detach it when I bought the car but couldn't get it off. Given your scary story I think I shall get mine checked before I tow with it.
Glad to hear no-one or horse were hurt. It sounds like you had a relatively lucky escape.
 

LizzieWizzie

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Thanks all for your kind comments and feedback! Was a pretty scary morning, am just glad our precious horses weren't on board and that the box didn't hit anyone travelling on the road behind me - was quite terrifying.

The tow bar was new and professionally fitted, had been used without issue and there was no warnings that it wasn't suitable for pulling a loaded horse box. That it could just come away with an unloaded box is shocking, I would advise anyone reading this to please not use a detachable bar to tow their horses. It's never worth the risk. If ours had been on board today it would have been catastrophic.

After watching the box disappear in my rear view mirror towards the cars behind me and veering off into the hedge, I don't ever want to put our horses in a trailer again...
 

LizzieWizzie

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The breakaway chain was around/over the swan neck as designed... But as this is the part of the tow bar that came away there was nothing left attached to brake the trailer... We have a secondary breakaway as well, to be sure, just not a chance of them being able to play their part as the tow bar itself failed leaving nothing attached.
 

dornrose

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This is why you're advised to attach the brake away cable to the car and not the tow bar itself, a problem on some cars as there's little to attach it to.
 

ILuvCowparsely

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Hi all... Does anyone have any negative experiences with using a detachable towbar for towing horses?

NO but I do tow a caravan with a detachable tow bar, just undo two bolts and its removed. I have had no problems with it in the past x amount of years I have used or had it installed in.
 

Ginge Crosby

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I've very recently had a tow bar fitted. Upon ordering I was asked 'do you want a detachable one?'. My first reaction, I'm towing horses, why on earth would I want something that is designed to come off, especially with the hills round here. Second reaction - what is the point of a detachable tow bar? I can't damage anyone's vehicle reversing into it, because the spare wheel on the back door protrudes further than the tow bar. I suppose it means thieves can't use your car to steal the trailer.... but besides that, genuine question, could someone enlighten me as to the idea behind a detachable towbar?

Also, I have one of those cars where there is nowhere else to attach the brake cable besides round the tow ball - a nono as I was always taught, for precisely the reason above, if it's the tow ball part that fails the brake won't activate. I'm looking into having a new/longer cable fitted, or if anyone could suggest another fix?

OP & friend, hope you're both ok and so glad that your horses weren't on board. As a new tower myself it would have been scary enough to watch the trailer disappearing, can't imagine the consequences should the horses have been on there.
 

MrsMozart

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Fliipping heck lass! How so very scary indeed. So glad no horses or people were hurt.

I've been looking at changing my Merc 220 for a Merc M Class (the 4x4), after someone stupidly wrote off my Discovery a few weeks ago, and I believe they have removable tow bars. Thinking of the dynamics and stresses, I've wondered before about their suitability, especially bearing in mind that Hugh the Huge Trailer is huge and heavy without a horse. This thread has decided for me. If the car I get has a detachable tow bar it will be coming off and a fixed one put on. It's just not worth the risk.
 

OldNag

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I have a fixed one on my car, this just wouldn't/ couldn't happen with my car, am so glad this has made you stop and think .... You know you are in deep shock when the police officer cuddles you lol .... ,my poor friend xx

I was only thinking detachable because on my car a fixed one will mess with the parking sensors and I will have to disable them. I am now abandoning the trailer idea altogether. would rather save up for an old and basic 7.5t
 

Devonshire dumpling

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Fliipping heck lass! How so very scary indeed. So glad no horses or people were hurt.

I've been looking at changing my Merc 220 for a Merc M Class (the 4x4), after someone stupidly wrote off my Discovery a few weeks ago, and I believe they have removable tow bars. Thinking of the dynamics and stresses, I've wondered before about their suitability, especially bearing in mind that Hugh the Huge Trailer is huge and heavy without a horse. This thread has decided for me. If the car I get has a detachable tow bar it will be coming off and a fixed one put on. It's just not worth the risk.

Never sat easy with us , but trusted the reviews .... Always trust your gut instincts . Our other horse Fred, our heffalump of 16 HH youngster climbed over the breastbar last week ... Am done with trailers xx
 

Devonshire dumpling

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I was only thinking detachable because on my car a fixed one will mess with the parking sensors and I will have to disable them. I am now abandoning the trailer idea altogether. would rather save up for an old and basic 7.5t

Yes us too, our big horses will be more comfortable I think x
 

Clannad48

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Just a couple of points, as previously mentioned it sounds as if I have an identical towbar fitted to my jeep - however, I am able to attached the breakaway brake cable to another part of the towbar - I have always been advised never to put the cable around the ball section. I have spoken to my mechanic on the phone - his response is that it must have been a faulty component and that he will check mine to put my mind at ease, however he has said that this is the first time he personally has heard of this happening. The reasons why I have never detached it is a) I can't get the damn thing off, b) when hit from behind once before the other car tried to reverse only to rip his bumper off as it had jammed onto the towbar. However I agree it mucks up the parking sensors which is my excuse for reversing into the garage door (twice).

I shall still have mine professionally checked as I expect, god forbid, if I ever had an accident the insurance company might use it as an excuse not to pay. (Not that I am cynical or anything)

Perhaps this may be one thing for ROG's advice
 
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