Typically when we go camping, we go pretty spartan. A tent, a few sleeping bags and half a car of camping gear is all we really need. Late last year though, we decided to go a bit more “classy” and hired a caravan instead. It was a pleasant change. In order to pull the caravan though, I needed a new towbar installed on the jeep.
So I made my way down to All Vehicle Accessories (AVA) in South Melbourne with the intention of getting a cheap towbar installed. On arrival I was thinking the less money I spent on the towbar, the more I’d have for the holiday. In discussing these ideas with the AVA professionals though, I quickly learned just how silly this attitude was.
The first thing they asked me was what I wanted to tow. I told them about the camping trip and the rented caravan. Also, we enjoy riding, my wife in particular loves competing in triathlons. So I’d probably come back later and get car bike racks (which I now know are called bike beaks) for the towbar.
Having compiled my list, we discussed the cost of the items we were going to tow. Our bikes (two of them) are worth about $6,000 all up. Mine isn’t all that valuable, but my wife, boy she spent a mint on hers. Such is her love for the triathlon.
I didn’t know how much caravans were worth, I had to do some research on them to figure that one out. But I now know that you’ll be lucky to get anything under $5000 for a caravan and they actually go all the way up to about $120,000. That certainly is a “heavy” load for the towbar.
I really valued the advice I was given on this day. It completely changed my perspective in what I was buying when shopping for a towbar. It changed my mind regarding what I was looking for. Instead of shopping for price, I was shopping for quality, reliability, robustness and efficiency. Yes, that’s right, efficiency. Different towbars actually make you vehicle perform differently too.
Having a better idea of what I was looking for made the product choice a little bit easier. For example, did you know that Hayman Reece are the only towbar that comes with a lifetime warranty anywhere in Australia. Personally I think this speaks volumes for the quality of their products. They are clearly the only brand which fully trusts their own product. The great thing about Hayman Reece towbars too ,are the accessories you can get with them. They have accessories which make their towbars safer and work better with your vehicle.
To start with, they have a Weight Distribution Hitch which will take the extra money you spent on the towbar and hitch, and put it right back into your pocket with fuel savings. That’s right, it makes the trailer work better with your vehicle. It does this by reducing the ball weight on the towbar and therefore drag. Less drag means your vehicle drives easier, giving it better efficiency and a lower consumption of fuel. Sometimes you just need to spend a bit to save.
The other thing they sell is an accessory called Sway Control. This one I definitely wanted as it makes towing so much safer. Given that my family are going to be in the vehicle with me as we drive on our holiday, safety really is my first priority. Sway control is simply the add on that stops the caravan from swerving all over the road, every time a truck drives past the other way. A very nifty accessory which makes for a much safer trip.
I have to thank the guys at AVA for their help on this one. They gave me perspective, an understanding that finding the cheapest towbar is probably not the cheapest way to tow and ensured my tow set up was as safe as it could be. What more could you ask for?