How to Choose a Light Towbar for Your Vehicle

If you need to tow a caravan, horse trailer, or other such piece that has wheels of its own, you won't need an actual trailer, but a light towbar instead. There are many varieties of towbars on the market, which means you can easily find what you need for the size of caravan or other item you're towing, but it also means that you might get a little overwhelmed with your options. To ensure you choose the towbar that will be right for your vehicle, note a few details to consider and ensure you include when you're ready to shop.

Tow ball

Many towbars will have a tow ball that is used to keep a caravan or other piece in place; however, as you might know, this tow ball can become a hazard when the caravan is not hooked to the vehicle. To avoid scraped shins or bruised knees, opt for a towbar with a removable tow ball mount. This will make accessing the vehicle safer and easier for you when you're not towing an item and the tow ball would otherwise be exposed. Be sure you understand how to remove that tow ball and can also easily reattach it when you're ready to tow your caravan or other item.

Number plate

Note the overall height of a towbar, and if it would obscure your vehicle's number plate when you're not towing your caravan or other item. This can result in hefty fines, and you may even be legally required to replace that hitch with something that keeps the number plate visible. Your towbar installer can usually take measurements and note the best model for your vehicle in particular, so be sure to ask about that, rather than choosing the largest or even the cheapest towbar and assuming it will fit your vehicle.


Some upgraded and heavy-duty towbars are listed as all-terrain. This refers to a special weight and design of the bar that keeps the towed item level and secure, even if you're unhooking it on a slight hill or over rough surfaces. This can be a good choice if you have a caravan you use for rural camping, or if you have a horse trailer you're pulling, as horses can sometimes be skittish and rock the trailer while it's being connected or disconnected. In some cases, you may actually need this upgrade, as smaller and more lightweight towbars won't always disconnect when they're at an angle or there is too much weight pulling on the tow vehicle.