Join Date: Mar 2008
My Motorhome: A Caravan of all things !!
Thanked 465 Times in 391 Posts
A tow bar is still a tow bar both by design and manufacture, even if you don't use it to tow with! If you buy a pick axe as a garden ornament it still remains a pick axe.
I think you will find that the requirement is that any tow bar "fitted" must be type approved, the manner of its use is immaterial. If you make your own towbar, use it to carry bikes, and then sell the vehicle on, the new owner may subsequently wish to use it tow the max permitted weight of trailer and be unaware the home made towbar MAY not be up to the job. THATS why the requirement for type approval is in force, to protect from possible component failure.
A while ago I had an issue with my Autotrail chassis flexing when towing. I liaised closely with PWS towbar of Poole over it. They showed me the tech spec for the Type Approved towbar they make for Autotrail. VERY highly detailed and VERY complex, no way they could be made without sophisticated workshop facilities AND they were required to keep records of where all the materials used were sourced from and when. (My problem turned out to be with the original Fiat chassis being too weak, the towbar was fine)
It's a technicality BUT the above scenario is entirely possible isn't it? (I know you could tell a future purchaser, but what if it's traded in??)
Rules and regulations often seem unnecessary but they all have a sensible purpose when you look closely.
I would certainly not even think of fitting a non type approved tow bar fr all of the above reasons.
Its not the destination that matters.
It's who you share the journey with (even if itís in a caravan!) I am very fortunate to have Mrs Plodd to share mine with