In the past 15 years, Watling Engineers Ltd has specialised in producing towbars for Japanese import vehicles and now has an unrivalled range of towbars to cater for this market. Although similar to UK versions, almost all imported vehicles differ in some way and so require a special design.
Our designs include everything from the Nissan Largo, Toyota Lucida, Nissan El Grand and Toyota Alphard to the Lexus Soarer and the Mitsubishi FTO Coupé.
If you can’t find your vehicle on our list, please give us a call as we are always interested in expanding our range and so can design you an individual towbar.
People have been bringing over cars from America almost since time began, and a little after that we started putting towbars on them. We have a range of towbars available for the most common ones we have seen over the years, so if the Pontiac Transam in the style of “Night Rider” is your thing or you have a Chevrolet Astrovan then we can help you out with a towbar.
Below is a sample selection of the things we can offer.
|Fixed towbar for a Dodge Ram 1500||Hummer H2 bespoke detachable ball mount|
|Fixed towbar for Chevrolet Astrovan||Bespoke Cadillac Eldorado detachable bar|
Do you need some help to hitch up your trailer?
American Towbars, Trailer Hitches and Accessories
For those vehicles that we do not actually manufacture a towbar for, we can source towbars, or as the Americans call them, Hitches, directly from the States. We can also get a range of accessories for your American hitches including receiver covers, fold down steps and lockable retaining pins.
|Here are some sample Hitch Covers, many more are available so please ask for details and prices.||Fold down hitch steps are available with logos or blank|
We source our products from many of the leading US towbar manufacturers including, but not limited to: Curt Manufacturing, Draw-tite, Hidden Hitch, and Towready.
Because the Americans organise their towbars slightly differently you will need the following items for your American vehicle:
1 - A Hitch - This is the main framework of the towbar and ends with a 2" or 1 1/4" receiver tube.
2 - A Ball Mount - This goes into the receiver and is used to attach the towball. Different styles are available
3 - A Towball - This can either be an American size (2" or 2 5/16") to be used with American trailers, or a UK 50mm ball to be used with UK trailers.
4 - Retaining Pin - This keeps your Ball Mount attached to your Hitch and is either 1/2" (12mm) or more commonly 5/8" (16mm). You can use either a standard nut and bolt for this or we stock chromed drop nose pins (see below) which look much better!
A quick note about American Trailers and Towballs:- Due to the different construction and use regulations in place in the US and UK, American trailers often require modification to use on the public highway in the UK. Additionally, US 2" and 2 5/16" towballs are not Type Approved and should not be used in conjunction with Type Approved vehicles. They can however be used with non Type Approved vehicles which include all special import vehicles from Japan and America and UK commercial vehicles including all vans and pick-ups.
Information and Guidance on American trailers and towing
Here are a few links to some useful information regarding the use and adaptation of American trailers along with some information detailing the specific types of hitches available for American vehicles.
- A pdf with a detailed description of each type of hitch from Class 1 to Class V
- A pdf sheet with the common wiring codes for American towing plugs and sockets
Having read and inwardly digested all of the above information, you will be pleased to know that Watling Engineers can supply all of the required items to help you get your trailer on the road. From electronic brake control units to 4 and 7-way electrical connectors (not the same as UK ones) and odd sized towballs, we keep most things in stock and can fit them here at our workshops. Please call to book an appointment.
Important note regarding American electrical connections - There is no such thing as an adaptor to go from an American vehicle with an American socket to a UK trailer with a UK plug. This is a question we get asked alot but it cannot be done due to the wiring differences between the two systems. If you have an American vehicle with a socket that is pre-wired, your best bet is to re-wire it with a UK compatible socket either 7 or 13 pin - we can do this for you, please call to book an appointment..
Adaptors for American Towballs and Accessories
Watling Engineers produce a number of adaptors which enable customers to use UK and European towbars with American towballs and accessories. These are as follows:
UKUS1 – Attaches behind a 2 bolt flange style towball
UKUS1 - £55 plus VAT
Towball not included
UKUS2 – Attaches to a 2 bolt flange style towbar and will accept either a 1 7/8”, 2” or 2 5/16” towball
UKUS2 - £35.50 plus VAT
Towball not included
UKUS3 – Attaches to a swan neck towbar and is used as an American 2” receiver.
UKUS3 - £75 plus VAT - Towball not included
American 1 7/8", 2" and 2 5/16" towballs
We can supply 1 7/8 inch, 2 inch and 2 5/16th inch American towballs and have adaptors so that they can be used with a standard 2 bolt hitch mounting.
American 2" towball
American 2 5/16th inch towball and UKUS2
American 2 5/16th inch towball and UKUS2
American Receiver Hitches
Alternatively, some vehicles come over with square towbar receiver tubes already attached to the chassis. Although there is no common standard for the sizes and relative positions of the receiver hole, its cross bolt hole and its height from the ground, we produce 3 different towball mounts as off the shelf items.
All of these items will fit standard 2 inch receiver tubes. Distance from securing pin hole to towball mount or reinforcement is 65mm
USUK50 - £45 plus VAT
USUK100 - £50 plus VAT
USUK150 - £55 plus VAT
If none of these are suitable, we can also make up bespoke detachable sections to fit your receiver hitch. These are priced at £60+VAT and are engineered to be at the correct height for UK trailers and caravans. Some sample photos are below along with our measurement form.
|American receiver towbar & USUK50||American receiver & USUK50 detached||Quick release drop nose pins for securing your towball mount|
Please fill in the appropriate dimensions on the following form so that we can make the correct part for your vehicle.
American Receiver Hitch Order Form
To help us make the correct part for your towing bracket please fill in the dimensions below.
= required fields.
A 200 mph+ Dodge Viper having a detachable towbar fitted.
To be used for towing a trailer full of spare wheels and as the anchor point for the parachute brakes.