What’s the Difference Between Fixed Flange Ball Towbar and Fixed Swan Neck Towbar?

fixed flange ball & fixed swan neck towbars
When looking to tow for the first time, the world of towbars can seem like a daunting place. The various towbars on the market can easily leave people confused and worried about the safety of their vehicles. This article is going to help calm any nerves and dispel any confusion. We’ve detailed all you need to know about the two most popular towbars: the fixed flange ball and the fixed swan neck.

What is a fixed flange ball and what is a fixed swan neck?

Two of the most commonly found towbars, the fixed flange ball and fixed swan neck both offer top of the range towing abilities, but excel in different areas.

The physical difference between the flange ball and the swan neck is what coined their individual names. The flange ball towbar features two distinct parts — the towball and the tow neck — which are bolted together to create the towbar. In contrast, the swan neck towbar features the towball and the tow neck as one single solid unit.

What are the differences?

Beyond their appearances, the fixed flange ball and fixed swan neck towbars are better equipped to handle specific circumstances and operations.

Bumper shields – Fixed flange balls are compatible with the use of bumper shields on vehicles. Fixed swan necks are not compatible.

Al-ko stabilisers – The apparatus used to increase stability in towing performance is not compatible with fixed flange ball towbars but is compatible with fixed swan neck towbars. Al-ko stabilisers can potentially be used with fixed flange ball towbars but it is likely you will need to use an extended towball to achieve this.

Parking sensors – Fixed flange ball towbars have been known to interrupt parking sensors in cars. Fixed swan neck towbars avoid this issue.

Cycle carriers – Fixed flange ball towbars are suited to carrying cycle carriers, unlike swan neck towbars.

Price – Fixed flange ball towbars are generally less expensive than their swan-necked counterparts.

Versatility – Fixed flange ball towbars are generally considered more versatile than fixed swan neck towbars.

Which should I get?

The towbar most suitable for you will come down to a number of variables. If you are looking to carry bikes often, then the fixed flange ball towbar is certainly the right one to go for. Alternatively, if you are looking tow with a parking-aid incorporated vehicle, then we highly recommend using a swan neck tow bar so that the parking technology is not interfered with. If towing large vehicles is your main priority (a caravan perhaps), it may be wise to invest in a swan neck towbar due to its ability to easily accommodate an al-ko stabiliser.

If you’re unsure of exactly what you will need it for in the future, perhaps getting a fixed flange ball towbar is your best bet due to its versatility and cheaper price point.

Here at Towbar2U we stock a wide range of towbars with high quality towing ability. If you wish to learn more about any of our wide range of products and services, give our friendly team a call today on 0800 998 1969 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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