Towbar & reversing sensors....?

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by JohnnyRob, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. JohnnyRob

    JohnnyRob Active Member

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    I'm needing a towbar on the ML and sadly Mrs JR does not trust the security of the removable items....

    This is good as the fixed towbars are cheaper and I don't mind it being fixed, but what is not so good is whether a fixed towbar will work with parking sensors which I intend to install at the same time as installing the tow bar....

    Anyone got any experience of compatibility issues and is there any way round this (save fitting a removable bar / not fitting sensors)?
     
  2. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    You would probably get away with a fixed towbar as there generally aren't sensors towards the centre of the bumper. Pretty sure the sensors don't go off with my Vito when the towbar is fiited, or the VW before that.

    OEM sensors and towing electrics work together in that the rear sensors are deactivated when you plug anything into the 13-pin electrical socket. Otherwise the caravan or trailer will set them off.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    JohnnyRob

    JohnnyRob Active Member

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    Cheers Bill; sounds like it may just work OK.

    I think I'll look at maybe a switch behind the tow panel or similar to deactivate the sensors when the tow hitch is plugged in as I'll be looking at an aftermarket reversing kit.
     
  4. richard

    richard Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    Ive got a ML (MY2002) with the fixed towbar and park sensors and it all works fine - the only thing to remember is that when the beep goes solid, you must stop - you no longer have a little bit further you can go !

    Richard

    [edit: its the standard length official Mercedes fixed towbar, rather than the longer one they do if you have the rear wheel carrier]
     
  5. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    Can I ask what you mean by that? Security as in safety, or as in theft? The removable towbars I've had (Westfalia in both cases) are as strong as any fixed towbar, and lock in place ... they can't be removed without the key.

    I had an artic. run into the back of my caravan some years ago, trashing the back of it pretty comprehensively (no surprise) and bending the towhook back until the caravan's hitch was rammed into my VW's bumper. Nothing came undone though ...

    [​IMG]
     
  6. OP
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    JohnnyRob

    JohnnyRob Active Member

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    @ Richard - that's what I wanted to hear. Thank you. Can I be a pest and ask if your sensors are OEM and if so could you post a picture showing the location of the sensors and a close up of the sensor so I can ensure that the fit will be as OEM looking as possible? The ML has no rear tyre carrier so that's one less issue to worry about!

    @Bill - The Mrs is believes that the removable bar is less anti theft then the fixed and that, as she leaves the horse trailer attached to the unattended car at times, that undesirables may be able to disconnect the bar from the car and thus steal the box.....However, I'm not convinced that is the case(!)
     
  7. lil.smartie

    lil.smartie Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Our Multipla has sensors and a towbar with no problems.

    The forfour tow bar is a detachable one and no problems, I think if they want to steal something they will regardless, we had a trailer stolen when it was locked to the tow ball a few years ago on another car so even that's not enough of a deterrent!

    Kate
     
  8. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    A fixed towbar with the standard bolt-on tow ball is about as unsecure as you can get. Undo two nuts, and it's off!

    And anyone really determined would simply cut through a swan-neck bar ... probably take 30 secs with an angle grinder.
     
  9. richard

    richard Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    Johnny

    Sensors were factory fitted. Car is away having its rust repaired (normal rusting places by the boot opening handle and the wheel arches) under warranty at the moment for a couple of weeks .. so no photos i'm afraid for the moment ...

    Richard
     

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