Hitching up the trailer
Steps to hitch the trailer to the towing vehicle:
- Open the clutch housing by depressing the latch on the handle and moving it upward.
- Place the opened coupler on the ball of the tow bar of the towing vehicle and release the handle. The handle should now automatically slide back into its initial position.
Closing and securing is automatic.
- Attach the auxiliary hitch and connect the plug to the towing vehicle.
- Turn the support wheel upward if present and set the wheel in the direction of travel
The support wheel should not obstruct the brake bar (if present).
- Check: the ball of the tow bar should no longer be visible when hitched.
For a safe ride, you must correctly connect the car and the bike rack, trailer, caravan, boat or horse trailer. The most important connection is the hitch of the object being towed, which is attached to the tow bar. Check that hitch for severe wear. Adequate* lubrication is advisable.
*Do not lubricate the tow bar if you have an antislinger device for e.g. a caravan.
What is the drawbar load on the hitch?
The weight that your bike rack, trailer, caravan, boat or horse trailer exerts on your tow bar is called drawbar pressure. It should never be too high or too low and must always remain within a certain margin. This margin differs per car, but is usually between 45 and 75 kg. The maximum allowable drawbar load is determined by the car manufacturer and is listed on the type plate of the tow bar and in your car's documents (owner's manual). If the maximum drawbar load on your nameplate differs from that in your vehicle papers, the data in your vehicle papers are leading.
Why is your trailer's drawbar pressure important?
- Negative drawbar pressure (or uplift) is strictly prohibited.
- Careless loading creates slip or sway danger of the trailer.
Tip: You can increase or decrease the nose weight by moving the load more forward or backward.
Auto stability function: pendulum detection system on the towing vehicle
The new generation of passenger vehicles and professional camionettes today are also equipped with a trailer stability function.
This trailer stability feature senses the "swaying" or swaying of a trailer and reduces your vehicle's speed so you quickly regain control, making pulling a trailer forward easier. The system slows the vehicle by reducing engine torque and gradually increasing brake pressure on all wheels.
Measuring the drawbar load on the hitch
You can measure the towbar drawbar pressure in 3 different ways:
- hanging, via a tension spring with scale.
- with a personal scale: put a slat in the head of your clutch. Put the lath on the scale and check the weight. Then measure the weight with the lath and scale under the nose wheel. This will ensure that the nose weight is correct.
- with a ball pressure gauge.
Unhitching the trailer
Follow these steps to disconnect the trailer from your car:
- Turn down the support wheel if present.
- Disconnect the breakaway cable (or auxiliary coupler) and plug.
- Open the clutch housing by pressing the latch button on the handle and moving it up.
- Lift the hitch off the tow bar of the towing vehicle.
- When unhitching, be careful not to drive the trailer on its own, apply the handbrake on the braked version or use wheel locks (such as a wheel chock).
Do you need to have your car's tow bar inspected?
Inspection for MTM 750 KG
If you install a towbar, you must have it inspected at the technical inspection immediately after installation. After that tow bar inspection, you will see the authorized use listed on the inspection certificate.
These are often vehicles equipped with a tow bar for towing trailers with a Maximum Permissible Mass (MTM) of up to 750 kg or for attaching a bicycle carrier. At the regular annual car inspection the following years, such a tow bar inspection is then performed again. If you have bought a new car, you will only have to go to the inspection again after four years.
Inspection for MTM over 750 KG
If your tow bar can carry more than 750 kg, you must have it inspected at the technical inspection immediately after installation. From now on, you will have to go to the inspection every year for that tow bar, even if it is a new car.