About tow hitch

Jun 18, 2005
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As I said before, English is not my native language. So, you may excuse me for some mistakes.

I want to know more about tow hitch. GEOFF2 said to me that it is basically a steel tube with another sliding tube inside which is connected to your brakes. So I have 3 precisely questions :

1. Besides the electric connection, it must be a connection for brakes (a pipe or a flexible tube) ?

2. If the tow hitch is conected to the car brakes, which is the functioning principle of the tow hicth (it's mechanism) ? In other words, what happens when I push the brakes from my car ?

3. What happens (the worst think) when the tow hitch is not full of grease or is blocked ?

Thanks for your answer.


Mar 14, 2005
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Kantor, first of all, regarding the brakes of the van being connected to your car,,,,they are NOT . The caravan braking system is entirely separate , so ther are no extra tubes or pipes to connect.

The hitch works in a similar way to your car shock absorbers, one end being fixed to the A frame, the other to the towing hitch, and the they have a spring and grease filling between the two tubes. On the rear of the moving tube is a rigid steel rod which is connected to the braking mechanism, and is only operated when you apply the car brakes, and the force of the van moving forward compresses the moving part of the tube setup backwards towards the van, putting pressure on the steel rod, which activates the brakes.

If the damper part of the hitch is damaged, as to allow the grease to leak out, or the spring breaks, then the system will not operate properly, and could cause the brakes to be applied at the wrong times, as the van movement will be uncontrolled by lack of damping resistance.

Hope this helps.
Mar 14, 2005
You asked about the tow hitch not being properly greased, Kantor. Note that if the caravan is fitted with an integrated stabiliser like the AlKo or Winterhoff, the hitch MUST NOT be greased because it relies on friction at the joint to function properly.

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