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Home > General > Witter detachable towbars - nose weights not what they seem
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Simon J



Member Since: 27 Jul 2019
Location: Norn Iron
Posts: 31

Witter detachable towbars - nose weights not what they seem

This has been mentioned on another thread but is perhaps worthy of highlighting in a separate one.

I recently purchased a Witter detachable swan neck towbar which is listed on the Witter website as having an S-value (nose weight) of 150kg to match the capacity of the FL2 with a UK EU Type Approval number of E11 00-6815. What they don’t tell you, however, is that this Type Approval only applies to the towing bracket bolted to the car and the detachable tow ball itself has a Dutch EU Type Approval number (E4 55R-1 0374) with a lower S-value of 125kg.


While most trailers probably don’t have a nose weight in excess of 125kg, if you bought your FL2 with a view to utilising its substantial towing capacity, don’t fit a Witter detachable towbar! I've written to Witter asking for an explanation but I’m not optimistic that this will produce anything meaningful.

Post #376633 11th Aug 2019 6:50 am
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Bobupndown



Member Since: 26 Dec 2014
Location: Upside down behind the TV!
Posts: 771

United Kingdom 2014 Freelander 2 SD4 GS Auto Orkney Grey

Never liked detachable tow bars anyway, more than happy with a fixed bar that also gives some rear end protection in the event of a bump. Landrover - turning owners into mechanics since 1948

2014 Orkney grey Freelander SD4 GS.
2004 Zambezi silver Discovery 2 Td5 (Gone)
1963 Surf blue Morris Mini Minor Super de Luxe (my little toy)

Post #376644 11th Aug 2019 9:51 am
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Simon J



Member Since: 27 Jul 2019
Location: Norn Iron
Posts: 31

So far the response from Witter is not to worry about it - the tow ball is used on other cars so is marked with the lowest nose weight of other applications and I can safely use it up to the 150kg limit of the towing bracket Yeah, right! That would be illegal, not to mention invalidating my insurance.

The saga continues!

Post #376691 12th Aug 2019 11:09 am
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SYFL2



Member Since: 16 Jun 2012
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 1572

2007 Freelander 2 TD4 HSE Auto Stornoway Grey

There was a caravan came off the hitch of a car and rolled over an old lady here in Sheffield the other week.

Post #376692 12th Aug 2019 11:12 am
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Simon J



Member Since: 27 Jul 2019
Location: Norn Iron
Posts: 31

I’m not sure what the relevance of this tragedy is to the topic of noseweights.

Post #376693 12th Aug 2019 11:35 am
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Andy131



Member Since: 10 Dec 2009
Location: Manchester
Posts: 1383

United Kingdom 

Nose weight could be a problem for those who have a caravan and electric bikes.

We had two electric bikes that fitted on a bracket between the towball and the bracket, these weighed 25kg each, add that to 100kg noseweight on the van and you are darn close to the limit (Ewok didn't like it).

Solved the problem - sold the bikes and use a taxi to the pub. Tangiers Orange - gone, missing her
Replaced by Ewok what a mistake - now a happy Disco Sport owner

Post #376696 12th Aug 2019 1:10 pm
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SYFL2



Member Since: 16 Jun 2012
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 1572

2007 Freelander 2 TD4 HSE Auto Stornoway Grey

Simon J wrote:
I’m not sure what the relevance of this tragedy is to the topic of noseweights.
i thought if it were wrong it could cause it to come off ?

Post #376697 12th Aug 2019 1:16 pm
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Simon J



Member Since: 27 Jul 2019
Location: Norn Iron
Posts: 31

The problem would seem (and I use the word 'seem' advisedly) to be that the towball with the 125kg S value supplied by Witter is not the towball that was part of the type approval of the whole assembly which had a 150kg S value. I’m waiting for a response from their engineering department tomorrow which I hope is better than the responses I got today from their Service Centre which suggested either removing the 125kg label from the towball (illegal) or ignoring the label on the towball and just applying the 150kg limit from the towbar bracket (also probably illegal).

It will be interesting to see what the engineering department have to say. In the meantime I have written to the Vehicle Certification Agency for their view.

Post #376711 12th Aug 2019 8:11 pm
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Simon J



Member Since: 27 Jul 2019
Location: Norn Iron
Posts: 31

Well, the engineering department assure me that the detachable neck is covered by the type approval of the main bracket, even though that type approval was carried out using a neck with a different part number. They say that the specification and dimensions in the engineering drawings of the supplied neck will confirm that it is identical to the original one.

They don’t explain why, if this is the case, a label giving the conflicting type approval information is affixed to the neck.

I'll wait to hear from the VCA before deciding whether it’s ok to remove the label from the neck.

Post #376723 13th Aug 2019 11:32 am
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ozjeff62



Member Since: 28 May 2018
Location: Sydney, NSW
Posts: 118

Australia 2011 Freelander 2 SD4 SE Auto Ipanema Sand

If they are certain they should be happy to provide a label with the 150kg S value.

Otherwise they're just blowing smoke up your 4rse. MY11 SD4 SE Auto

Post #376729 13th Aug 2019 1:33 pm
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Simon J



Member Since: 27 Jul 2019
Location: Norn Iron
Posts: 31

The neck itself doesn’t have its own type approval number at 150kg so Witter can't provide a label for it. They are saying that it’s covered by the type approval granted to the whole assembly even though that was granted with a neck that had its own separate type approval at 150kg. Their argument is that as it’s functionally and dimensionally identical to the one used for the test the whole assembly type approval applies.

I’ll be interested to see what VCA says.

Post #376735 13th Aug 2019 3:21 pm
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seagull1



Member Since: 23 Jan 2011
Location: Loughborough
Posts: 254

United Kingdom 2007 Freelander 2 TD4 GS Auto Sumatra Black

Are you towing to a max limit that 25 kg is critical?


Richard FL2 07 TD4 GS Auto
Ex 02 TD4 Auto

Post #376738 13th Aug 2019 5:10 pm
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Simon J



Member Since: 27 Jul 2019
Location: Norn Iron
Posts: 31

Who knows? It might be. That’s one of the reasons I bought a Freelander 2. My previous tow car had a limit of 75kg which was very marginal for the car trailer I use and while I wouldn’t want the nose weight to go over 100kg with that trailer, other trailers might well be heavier. If you buy a towbar that’s sold as capable of a 150kg nose weight you expect it to be good for that, not 125kg.

Post #376740 13th Aug 2019 5:46 pm
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Dartman the one



Member Since: 04 Apr 2013
Location: Limassol Cyprus
Posts: 1141

England 2012 Freelander 2 SD4 HSE Auto Orkney Grey

My car is ex LR and was fitted with the tow bar by LR or its distributor, there is an addendum to the manual stating that at 60mph or 100kph the tow bar loading is 250kg without exceeding axle loads, is that addendum with all FL2s or only the ones with LR bars or approved bars. I suspect legally you would be on dodgy grounds with a trailer of 100kg nose weight and a couple of bikes on a bar mounted carrier if that wasn't the case my PC is slightly to the right of Genghis
2012 HSE SD4 In Orkney Grey

Post #376743 13th Aug 2019 7:01 pm
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Richard Willetts



Member Since: 07 Feb 2017
Location: Towcester
Posts: 49

United Kingdom 2013 Freelander 2 TD4 GS Manual Santorini Black

Simon

Could you keep us posted on your reply from Witter.

When I spoke to them about this subject I raised on the grounds of the Witter tow ball supplied when new only has a S value of 120kg.

Witter told me that the bar is rated at 150kg including the neck and its only the ball that is under 150kg.

I replaced the ball with a genuine ALKO which was rated at 150kg.

At the time I was disappointed with witter as I not only have a van on but 2 bikes also so I need the 150kg nose weight but they assured there would be no problem.

Post #376746 13th Aug 2019 8:22 pm
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