Cars & Vehicles Safe Driving & Driving Test Techniques

Tow Bar Types

    Rigid Tow Bars

    • Rigid, or A-frame, tow bars are a solid, welded tow bar that does not have adjustments to assist an owner while hooking it up. To use a rigid tow bar, it must be driven to the exact location of the tow vehicle. This is necessary to put the rigid tow bar's coupler on the ball of the tow vehicle. A rigid tow bar may be the best option if towing only a few times a year, because they are the least expensive and one of the lightest options. When not in use, rigid tow bars should be removed from the vehicle and stored away.

    Self-Aligning Tow Bars

    • Self-aligning tow bars are similar to rigid ones, in that they need to be hooked up manually. The self-aligning element, however, enables the tow bar to adjust to the vehicle's position, which requires it to be driven close. The tow bar will then extend its rigid tow position as the towing vehicle moves forward. There are two types: motor-home mounted and car-mounted, self-aligning tow bars. Both, however, have been nicknamed, "temper savers" or "marriage savers."

    Car-Mounted Tow Bars

    • A car-mounted, self-aligning tow bar has been a popular option for a long time. It was the industry standard for many years, and was the first folding, self-aligning tow bars built. They are known for being easy and fast because most models have a quick-release system, and when not in use, they fold and stay in front of the vehicle. Car-mounted tow bars are often used in assisting people who deliver rental trucks or new motor homes and trucks. A common way a car-mounted tow bar gets damaged is by hitting a wall or a pole in a parking lot. It can also get stolen when left on the front the car. The weight of the tow bar can affect the suspension on the front of the vehicle. Some also find the car-mounted tow bar visually unappealing and, because of this, prefer a different type of tow bar.

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