Do you remove your tow bar?

Hi all
I'm interested to know why so many people don't remove the tow ball lip from their tow bar?
I'm talking about the ones where you have the option of removing the tow ball and leave the bar flush with the rest of the vehicle rather than sticking out.
I reckon even people who hardly use it still keep it on the vehicle.
The positive with keeping it is that you're less likely to damage the back of your vehicle in a low speed collision and you might save a few minutes when you actually need it.
The negative is that people get hurt by them when walking behind a row of cars parked in a shopping center, etc. and sometimes they protrude on the car parking space behind the vehicle making parking harder for the other party.
So, do you keep yours on the vehicle and why?

Poll Options

  • 7
    I keep my on because I can, even when it might take more than the normal parking space.
  • 48
    I keep my on because I can't be bothered removing and reinstalling it.
  • 16
    I keep my on to save my vehicle.
  • 30
    I remove it and install when I need to use it.


  • +11

    Mine is stuck in pretty tight so to remove it I would need to summon Thor.

  • +6

    they really don't usually stick out that far.
    if people walk that close to my car then they'll probably be touching it with upper half of body too

  • On my old Commodore I left it on because it required undoing the 2 large bolts to take it off. Older tongue style towbar.

    But my Parents new Landcruiser it is always taken off, since it is a horizontal hitch style, it can be taken off in about 20 seconds.

  • 2 words people keep it on, tap parking

    • +5

      aka parking assist

    • -1

      Username checks out.

  • I seem to recall that in Victoria it is illegal to have a protrusion of more than 150mm from a vehicle, unless it is a permanent fixture. Meaning the coupling section of the tow bar, if removable should be taken off if the tow bar is not in use.

    • Not entirely correct. It depends if it's a front, rear or side protrusion.

      I wrote a post here about it a while ago and just can't seem to find it at the moment, but if I do, I'll post it.

  • +1

    Used to take it out because I got sick of them being stolen. Brought the last one with the locking pin and still haven't used it. But as soon as I put it in and lock it, it's never coming out.

  • +10

    My tow bar has punched holes in the radiators of two idiots that’ve hit me, so I reckon it’s a fantastic damage reduction device. It’s never coming off.

    • same here it's never coming off!!

  • I have a long tounge with a c section type hitch on the end care to give me a tap up the arse?

  • Every time I leave it in I inadvertently end up bashing my knee on it, so I remove it each time to lessen the pain… ;)

  • +9

    people get hurt by them when walking behind a row of cars parked in a shopping center,

    People should look where they're going.

    • +1

      Yeah, what? That's not my problem.

  • +1

    I keep mine on because I just dislike my knee caps.

  • +3

    Great deterrent against people parking too close.

  • Take them off both our vehicles mainly because I prefer my shins without blood on them. Our 4wd has a large boot area that requires getting close to the bumper to reach all the way in. My Ute is similar, I need to get close to reach into the tub when the tailgate is up.

    2nd reason is because when I got my Ute the towbar hitch was stuck and I couldn’t get it out even with lots of force. I don’t want a repeat of that so frequent removal of the hitch helps.

    3rd. Since they are only held in with a quick release pin it prevents them getting stolen.

  • +1

    Mine is a Corolla Sedan with aftermarket tow bar I fitted myself. I typically do not back up all the way in the parking spot but leave a bit of space so no pedestrian gets hurt. If another car hits me from the back it’s their fault.

  • +1

    I bought a second hand car a few years ago from a little car yard, it had a tow bar but no tongue after asking I was directed around the back of the office where there was a huge pile of tongues and balls that they had taken off the cars to stop people banging their shins but no one ever asked for them when they bought a car. Cool story hey?

  • When I had a removable Hitch type towball I removed it as the car fit better in the garage. They are also very easy to remove.
    My current car has the fixed tongue type which is bolted on really tight so that stays on. I wouldn’t recommend removing this type unless you really needed to.

  • -2

    For those who leave it on, just make sure it doesn’t obscure the licence plate. Had an over zealous copper fine me once because of this.

    • +1

      So you had a police man do his job?

  • For those who leave it on, just make sure it doesn’t obscure the licence plate. Had an over zealous copper fine me once because of this.

  • I leave my hitch on as it has 2 lock bolts underneath and also the hitch pin which is also quite tight.
    There is also this -
    which I would like, but cant as my hitch has additional angle strength 'wings' - cant think of a better way to put it.

    I really should just take it off and put on for when it is needed

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