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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I am after some advice regarding having a towbar fitted. I have had a read of the posts on here, mainly to do with the electrics, and had already decided that this will not be a DIY job.
I have had a quote from Tow One in Hull

The prices from TowOne are
standard fixed bar £240
fixed swan neck £228
or detachable £348

and have also found a Vauxhall order form that lists 2 options.
Fixed tow bar (with 12N electrics) £425
Detachable tow bar (with 12N electrics) £495

So is the extra for a Vauxhall towbar worth it?
What do people think about the detachable towbars? Are they worth the extra cost?
Finally how do I check to see if I have the Rear Electrical Centre in my Astra?

Any help is much appreciated.

Rich.
 

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Tow bar fitting isn't that difficult as a DIY job. Vx towbar is a generic bar, so possibly no particular advantage. Important question, though, is if the Tow One quotes include the plug-in electrics for the REC. The Vx quote almost certainly does. This isn't particularly cheap but makes the electrics a doddle and avoids any can-bus problems. REC? Open the square panel in the nearside liner of the boot and see if there's a large panel of fuses and relays in there. That's the REC. Detachable tow bars have the advantage of being invisible when not in use. One possible advantage of fixed bars is that they can protect the car in a minor rear end bump. Very much Vauxhall 1, BMW 0 when my car was nudged at a roundabout.

MM
 

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The Vauxhall detachable is only an Oris bar (who are owned by Bosal), but it's the electrics where I would recommend genuine. As above, really just plug and go. I fitted the bar to my last car, took 2 hours including electrics and a trip to Homebase to get a new 25mm hole cutter :lol:
 

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Its a very easy job, i made the mistake of fitting mine with the bumper on, only to take the bumper off to wun the electrics. I think it would have been even easier to fit with the bumper off. From memory this would be my instructions to fit the tow bar:

Remove rear lights (very easy to do)
Remove rear bumper (4 torx screws, remember to unplug the number plate lights)
Take the boot trim out ( mostly heald with clips)
You should then see 6 dimples on the boot floor that need drilled out (big enough to accept the spacers that come with the tow bar kit, the rest of holes are already in the chassis)
On the left hand side there is sound prrofing material which i chipped away (not sure if this is necessary)
Offer up tow bar to holes ( a little help may be needed here)
Fit the arms in boot and drop bolts through and tighten them to the right torque setting (if you have not got torque wrench then as tight as you can get them might be fine)
Now drill out the hole for the electics, again the dimple should aready be there
feed wire from boot to tow bar electrics holder and Wire up your 12n or 13 pin plug as per the instructions with kit (make sure u run wite through holder before wiring it up)
Secure the 12n or 13 pin plug to holder and then plug in the dedicated plug to fuse box (you might want to disconnect the battery)
Fit a 20a fuse to space 30 or 31 (handbook will tell you the correct position)
Refit the boot trim
Refit bumper and number plate lights

I think thats about it, some cars need tech 2 but mine did not
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the information.
Merman - it would appear I do have the REC as I remember seeing something similar to your description, not going to double check now, it can wait until it is at least light.
I have found a part number for the electrics kit here - 93160926 £46.92, not sure about delivery.
Tow One have dedicated kits here and they are charging £87.36, for part number 19150508
On another website I have found the same wiring kit as Tow One.
Can anyone tell me the difference between these 2?

I think a trip to Tow One is in order and then hopefully I can clarify things. They do Westfalia, Brink and Witter towbars, not the Bosal that was mentioned.

Thanks again for your help, Rich
 

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My bar (IIRC Witter) and wiring kit came from PF Jones. Wiring kit cost £70 odd about 4 years back. Icemans notes are about right, but from memory there are just 4 mounting bolts and you don't need to remove the bumper on the hatch. No need to remove rear lights either. I unhooked the exhaust to make things easier. Tech 2 not vital - it's plug and play. You can use Tech 2 to disable the rear fog when the trailer is connected, but it's up to you.

MM
 

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Mercman is right, the tow bar can be fitted without removing the rear bumper but i think it would be easier to remove the bumper since its such an easy job - instructions here http://www.astraownersnetwork.co.uk...sors-fitted-pic-heavy!&highlight=ebay parking also if you want to route the wiring properly the bumper needs to come off. If you decide to route wiring a different way and decide not to remove the rear bumber then you dont need to remove the rear lights eithier. My tow bar definately had six bolts (3 eithier side) and there will be 3 seperate dimples to drill out in the boot (best to use a stepped drill bit) however different towbars may only require 4 bolts but the instructions you get with the kit should be very clear. I also remember i unhooked the exhaust too at the rubber mounts to make fitting easier but this may not be required if the bumper is removed.

I definatly reccomend tackling this job yourself, wish i had fitted the parking sensors whilst the bumper was off.

You sometimes get good deals on second hand tow bars on ebay gumtree etc, i only paid £50 for mine with the dedicated wiring, i did have to give it a quick sand and a coat of hammerite but to be honest is i was buying new i would prob have givent it a coat of hammerite too as the tow bars seem to get surface rust on them very quickly
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the advice guys, if I am to tackle this myself then I will definitely wait until the weather improves.
I did get another quote today from TowBarExpress who want £364 for a detachable towbar and an extra £105 for the dedicated wiring loom.
I will start having a look on eBay and see what comes up.
 

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Mercman is right, the tow bar can be fitted without removing the rear bumper but i think it would be easier to remove the bumper since its such an easy job - instructions here http://www.astraownersnetwork.co.uk...sors-fitted-pic-heavy!&highlight=ebay parking also if you want to route the wiring properly the bumper needs to come off. If you decide to route wiring a different way and decide not to remove the rear bumber then you dont need to remove the rear lights eithier. My tow bar definately had six bolts (3 eithier side) and there will be 3 seperate dimples to drill out in the boot (best to use a stepped drill bit) however different towbars may only require 4 bolts but the instructions you get with the kit should be very clear. I also remember i unhooked the exhaust too at the rubber mounts to make fitting easier but this may not be required if the bumper is removed.

I definatly reccomend tackling this job yourself, wish i had fitted the parking sensors whilst the bumper was off.


You sometimes get good deals on second hand tow bars on ebay gumtree etc, i only paid £50 for mine with the dedicated wiring, i did have to give it a quick sand and a coat of hammerite but to be honest is i was buying new i would prob have givent it a coat of hammerite too as the tow bars seem to get surface rust on them very quickly

Probably a different make to mine as I only had 4 bolts! On the advice of the tow bar suppliers, I ignored the 'official' routing and ran the wiring behind the trim at the bottom lower edge of the boot, drilled through the rear panel just to one side of centre (yes, stepped drill bit - vital) and the wire came out near the socket.


Yes, my new bar was given a coat of Hammerite for just that reason.

MM
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A coat of Hammerite seems like a good idea. The towbar on my previous car was covered in rust and was a nightmare to try to paint while on the car so much easier to do before. You are slowly persuading me to have a go myself, will have a good look round as to what I can get. Is a Vauxhall dealer the best place to get the wiring?
Thanks again.
Rich
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Had a chat to one installer yesterday and they have suggested that a 7 way bypass relay is the way to go rather than the dedicated electrics. What do people think?
I have had quotes of up to £180 for dedicated electrics which seems ridiculous. I have yet to hear back from my local Vx dealerships as to how much they would charge for just the electrics.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks

Rich
 

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Had a chat to one installer yesterday and they have suggested that a 7 way bypass relay is the way to go rather than the dedicated electrics. What do people think?
I have had quotes of up to £180 for dedicated electrics which seems ridiculous. I have yet to hear back from my local Vx dealerships as to how much they would charge for just the electrics.
As several people on here have said, the car has a socket designed to take the towbar electrics which is guaranteed to work and takes no time at all to fit, why do it another way? The electrics kit can be purchased for £70/80 and is so easy to fit £180 is stupid.

MM
 

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Had a chat to one installer yesterday and they have suggested that a 7 way bypass relay is the way to go rather than the dedicated electrics. What do people think?
I have had quotes of up to £180 for dedicated electrics which seems ridiculous. I have yet to hear back from my local Vx dealerships as to how much they would charge for just the electrics.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks

Rich
I would not go down this route as there are stories out there that it messed up the whole canbus system! As previous posters have said you can pick up the vx part for £70 to £80 and its simple to fit and does not risk "frying" the electrics!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Cheers guys,
Having had a think about it today I was coming to this conclusion, good to get some reassurance.
Looks like i may well be going for a DIY install then :)
Rich
 

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Cheers guys,
Having had a think about it today I was coming to this conclusion, good to get some reassurance.
Looks like i may well be going for a DIY install then :)
Rich
You wont regret it, it such an easy job, remember and give the tow bar a lick of paint (hammerite) before fitting, it will hopefully stop it from rusting
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Right, it would now seem that I was wrong and I do not have the REC. This pushes the cost of the electrics up from £51 to £163 including VAT from Vauxhall. There are a number of other suppliers who will supply a dedicated wiring kit, most seem to be made by Right Connections for around £110.
I am still going to go with the genuine Vauxhall electrics to be on the safe side, I am still not convinced by the fitters who have said that the other kits are as good and they had never had any problems with them.
Are the Vauxhall swan neck tow bars OK, they are coming in cheaper than the other swan necks I have found?

Can any one shed some light on the difference between these 2 tow bar electrics?
93199180 - Kit, Trailer Coupling Electrics, 7 Pin
(For Vehicles Without Rear Electrical Connection Module) (Except Vauxhall)

93199654 - Kit, Trailer Coupling Electrics, 7 Pin
(For Vehicles Without Rear Electrical Connection Module)

It is the Except Vauxhall that has me confused. Both are listed as being suitable for the Astra H. Are they referring to the tow bar? The first one can not be used with a Vauxhall tow bar. I will try to get a part number from the dealer who has quoted me for the electrics and see which it matches.
Any thoughts or help would be very much appreciated.

Cheers

Rich
 

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Hi mate,

Did you ever get this towbar fitted???

I also dont have the REC in the rear boot, was it difficult to wire up??

Regards.

Mike
 

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Dunno if this is still relevant but except Vauxhall in the parts catalogue means stuff specifically not for the UK market.

e.g. would fit an Opel and comply with continental laws, but either not suitable, or a different spec to the part required for the UK.
 

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Hi mate,

Did you ever get this towbar fitted???

I also dont have the REC in the rear boot, was it difficult to wire up??

Regards.

Mike
Hi,
I helped my son fit a Witter towbar on Monday we used the dedicated Electrics from Vauxhall cost us £51 his car had the REC, the other kit I assume for the non REC car was £80.
We didn't remove the hangers on the exhaust one of us just pulled on the tail pipe while the other slipped the towbar in.
Vauxhall quoted £96 for the towbar
His car is a 5 door hatch.
 
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