A Guide To Tow Balls And Tow Bars

What Is A Tow Bar?

The tow bar is affixed to the tow vehicle.  The tow bar provides the link between the vehicle and the caravan, trailer or camper trailer.  There are lightweight and heavy duty tow bars.  The tow bar should clearly identify its maximum towing weight rating, its maximum ball mass and the manufacturer’s name, trade mark and part number.

What Is the Australian Standard For A Tow Ball?

The Australian Standard for tow balls for weights up to 3,500 kg is 50 mm and the rating must be stamped on the ball.  Always check this to verify the towing weight capacity of the ball.  The rate can be between 750 kg and 3,500 kg.  The diameter of the tow ball shank should be 22.2mm.  The tow ball shank slides into a hole in the ball mount or tongue and is affixed with a locking washer and a nut.

Ball couplings on towbars are required to be installed so that the height of the centre of the body of the ball coupling is between 350mm and 420mm from the ground when laden (Refer to ADR 62/01).

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