Tow Bars

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Zoophoo, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Zoophoo

    Zoophoo Read Only Funster

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    Hi all,

    Not sure if this is the right place for this, so apologies if its not (newbie to motorhoming and Motorhome fun).

    I'm hoping someone can help. I have a 6 month old Bessacarr E495 and very pleased with it, but as anyone who has one of these will know, they do not have a lot external storage.

    As I would like to do some wild camping and be able to carry a small generator, the only place that I can think of carrying one is in a box on the back of the van. However, to do this I need to have a tow bar fitted to which I could bolt a backbox to hold the generator and odds and sods. Being to tight to pay out £500 plus for some welded box section, being mechanically trained and having a neighbour who is a good welder with a workshop, it would be easy to make one provided I had the sizes. I should say that the tow bar will not be used for towing, only to support the back box.

    So I guess my questions are-

    1. does anyone have the sizes for a tow bar to fit a 2011 bessacar e495, especially the bolt sizes to pick up on the Alko chassis.

    2. Does anyone have a second hand one for sale.

    3. Does anyone have a picture of one.

    I know the alko chassis must not be drilled/welded, the plan is to pick up on the correct tow bar bolt holes. Once the tow bar and back box is fitted, I will install some Dunlop air assisters to cope with the extra weight at the back. Total estimated weight of back box, generator and odds and sods (without tow bar) is about 55kg at most.

    Thanks all.
     
  2. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Why not fit a good bike rack and a back box on top of that. My bike rack is rated at 50 kgs.
     
  3. lunarman

    lunarman Funster

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  4. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    Go to www.armitagetrailers.com and click on towbars, then follow the links to motorhome towbars.

    They will have just what you are looking for. :thumb:
     
  5. aba

    aba

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    ours has the towbar fixed to 2 pre-drilled holes on the sides of the alko chassis i think they are about 10mm bolts with 17mm heads.
    the towbar is essentially 2 pieces of 5mm thick flat steel welded on the end of a 3" box section.
    it is fitted to the outside of the chassis with 2 bolts either side with a 5mm spreader plate fixed to the inside of the chassis.

    from memory the box section bit is 1200mm long and the flat side bars are about 400mm long although the alko chassis does change from model to model.

    some manufacturers use 3" x 2" x 1/4" angle for the outside chassis extension bars then weld box section onto those.

    if you look under the rear of your van you will see the alko bolt holes on the sides there may be up to 4 on each side depending on which version you have.
     
  6. freelanderuk

    freelanderuk Read Only Funster

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    this weight will increase because of the counter lever effect and could in effect take you over your rear axle weight limit
     
  7. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    Beware, in the past I have had the weight of two bicycles pull the fittings through the back panel, make sure the load spreaders are BIG enough.

    Doug...
     
  8. tjay

    tjay Funster

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    tow bar

    Hi, you do not say where you are located ! I have used a guy in Frecklton near Pretson (lots of local motorhome dealers use him too.
    His name is Mick Mobile is 07887 997653 He operates from premises by his mothers house and makes the towbar from scratch,blasts and powder coats it,then fits it, he does not do electrics though.
    Workmanship is excellant, measured my Mochian in the morning, went to Blackpool for the day, back to Micks for the night c/w EHU.In the morning started at 8;30 and we were on the road by 9:30 !! cost was £240:00
    Cant reccomend him enough.We have just ordered a new Bailey Approach 740SE with delivery in March and have called him to say we will be back soon.
    Bailey want £700 for one fitted including single electrics !! :thumb:
     
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  9. Autoquest

    Autoquest Read Only Funster

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    That'l be the one and only Michael Parkinson:BigGrin:and I agree with the last post wholeheartedly. Great service:thumb:
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    I made my own bar on our last van...a Swift Kontiki.

    the only real way to find the dimensions is to get on yer back and crawl underneath.

    took me a couple of hours of very careful measuring to get the correct dimensions first time...had to do it as accurate as possible as once welded together the bar had to fit correctly first time....no cutting and re-welding was going to happen, regardless..

    60mm square tube with a 3mm wall thickness
    plates were 10mm thick

    the bolts used to fit to the existing Alko chassis holes were M12 ...and could have been better galv sprayed after i fitted them :Doh:

    the box section to mounting plates were also welded and not just bolted.....the bolts were just there to hold it all in alignment before welding.

    i also have to move the corner steadies outwards by around 1" to clear the mounting plates.


    not all Alko chassis are suitable for towbar mounting...the Kontiki had a full length rear chassis, some stop some way short of the rear 'skirt' and need extending.
     

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  11. Zoophoo

    Zoophoo Read Only Funster

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    Thanks

    Dear all,

    Thank you all for the help and advice you have given. Mr Parkinson sounds just the job but just a bit to faraway from us in South Wales, So I think its going to be an hour or two taking some careful measurements.

    Thanks all :BigGrin:

    Haydn
     
  12. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    from memory, all the steel i needed was around £65 (plus ball and electrics) and the welding was just £15....the job was so good, in a moment of madness, i gave the welder £25 and i didnt even need to grind the welds down to look good :thumb:

    shame i used poor quality paint (Hammerite Smooth :thumbdown:)
     
  13. Zoophoo

    Zoophoo Read Only Funster

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    Towbars and MOT and insurance

    Thanks again to all for your advice and help.

    Can someone please explain the the law relating to MOT'S and insurance with towbars.

    If I make my own towbar and fit it myself (it will not be fitted with a towing ball or have fixings for it, just want to use the towbar bracket as a mounting point from which I can fit a backbox for a generator and carry a mountain bike rather than put fixings through the back of the van).

    However, knowing my luck, they (mot or insurance) may say as it looks like a towbar and you made it yourself, rather than a bought item, it would fail the MOT and my insurance would be void.

    Is this correct?

    My motorhome is a Bessacarr E495 and only 6 months old.

    PS: is there a button or something for thanking everyone,as I notice my profile does not say I've thanked people when I have.

    Thanks in advance Zoophoo.
     
  14. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    Hi, sorry I cant help with your tow bar queries but if you look at the bottom right side of each post you will see 3 buttons the third one being "Thanks" and just above this there is a "Like" button........hope this helps.

    Brian
     
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  15. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    Thanks, you found the buttons ok:thumb:
     
  16. spannermanwigan

    spannermanwigan Read Only Funster

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    Without a towball or hitch it cannot be classed as a tow bar and is simply a metal extension
    of your chassis,fitted with a device to carry cycles or a box for your genny it is simply a bracket and would not come under the Mot.

    http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/articles/view.asp?id=296

    regards
    Steve:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
  17. Salamander

    Salamander Funster

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    I would be interested in your success as am also expecting a delivery in March of a 745SE
     
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