Tow bar help

Jul 20, 2020
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Hi all, we are new to towing caravans. We have bought a 2001 sterling caravan and have a Mondeo 65 plate. When looking to have tow bar fitting we are receiving all sorts of different views, I am getting worried we will pick the wrong tow bar, looking into it we wanted to get a fixed swan. Then we are being told to get a flange fixed with 2 sockets?? Some saying it doesn’t matter which.
Confused! Any advice greatly appreciated.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Does the caravan have a 12S (black) and a 12N (grey) plug? If that is the case, a fixed flange with two sockets would be the easier, if not the best solution as far as the electrics go. However, it would be preferable to convert the caravan to a single 13 pin system because that is the more modern one and less prone to poor electrical connections. In that case it is basically a matter of personal taste whether you go for a swan neck or bolted flange. Personally, I'd go for a swan neck because it looks better. A flange mounted towball always looks a bit crude to me - bit like a bit of scaffolding bolted to the back end of the car.
 
Jul 20, 2020
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Does the caravan have a 12S (black) and a 12N (grey) plug? If that is the case, a fixed flange with two sockets would be the easier, if not the best solution as far as the electrics go. However, it would be preferable to convert the caravan to a single 13 pin system because that is the more modern one and less prone to poor electrical connections. In that case it is basically a matter of personal taste whether you go for a swan neck or bolted flange. Personally, I'd go for a swan neck because it looks better. A flange mounted towball always looks a bit crude to me - bit like a bit of scaffolding bolted to the back end of the car.
Hiya, thank you for taking the time to help with my query. Yes the caravan has the black and grey cables. I would prefer a swan tow bar. If we go with that is it easy enough to convert the caravan to a 13 pin system?

Thank you
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Hiya, thank you for taking the time to help with my query. Yes the caravan has the black and grey cables. I would prefer a swan tow bar. If we go with that is it easy enough to convert the caravan to a 13 pin system?

Thank you


Quite easy to convert Caravan but you can get short converter units that would be 13 pin at the car towbar and allow your caravan black and grey to fit into the other end. 13 pin overall however is a much superior connection compared to the two socket-plug arrangement.
 
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Jul 20, 2020
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Quite easy to convert Caravan but you can get short converter units that would be 13 pin at the car towbar and allow your caravan black and grey to fit into the other end. 13 pin overall however is a much superior connection compared to the two socket-plug arrangement.
Prefect, thank you. I have a much better understanding now.
 
May 7, 2012
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The actual choice of the tow bar design is up to you and your budget. Fixed ones of both types are cheaper and equally effective although Personally prefer the more streamlined look of the swan neck, You may no agree but it does not matter get what you like best or which is cheaper.
As for the electrics then, if the car is likely to be changed before the caravan, simply get the sockets that match the caravan. If you do change the caravan first to one with a 13 pin socket you can use a convertor or have the cars changed relatively cheaply. There is no right or wrong answer, it is just what suits you best.
 
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Jan 19, 2002
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Worth ringing around to get a good fitted price whatever you decide - there is little price difference between flange and swan-neck unless you want a removable bar which is rather more expensive than fixed. Worth stipulating a mondeo specific wiring kit rather than generic as usually these with have a multiwire plug and prewired connector, although you will also need an ignition controlled live so that the fridge can be kept cool while towing. With all of these considerations you will find some quotes 40% higher. If you google towbars for mondeo you will find the common manufacturers that will be fitted whoever you commission.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the the type of towball, (just to be clear the tow bar is the structure that fits to the car, and you can have different types of tow ball fitted to the tow bar).

If your caravan has a built in friction stabiliser coupling head, then you will need to ensure the tow ball on the car is compatible.
 
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Oct 8, 2006
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I would have thought unlikely on a 2001 van Prof? More likely a Scot leaf spring type, in which case a fixed bar is almost mandatory.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the the type of towball, (just to be clear the tow bar is the structure that fits to the car, and you can have different types of tow ball fitted to the tow bar).

If your caravan has a built in friction stabiliser coupling head, then you will need to ensure the tow ball on the car is compatible.

Just to add to the above reply, a swan neck is always compatible with an AlKo coupling.

I would have thought unlikely on a 2001 van Prof? More likely a Scot leaf spring type, in which case a fixed bar is almost mandatory.

The caravan that I bought new in 1992 already had an AlKo stabiliser, albeit the old AKS 2000.
 
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