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13573 posts

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  # 1405983 14-Oct-2015 22:02
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mdooher: Not sure about Mazda, but on my vehicle (BMW) plugging in the trailer changes the behaviour of the stability control and alters the gearbox change steps etc. It also allows the trailer lights to be tested as part of the bulb test system.

If  your vehicle is designed to do this then you need to find out if it uses a towing module and if it is fitted. Many BMW owners get an auto sparky to install a couple of relays to make the lights work...silly move

Likewise, Land Rovers have a small green trailer symbol that flashes in conjunction with the green left and right arrows to show that your trailer lights are working.

Also just as general info, Land Rover wire the cars for trailers in the factory so when they arrive in their delivery country, all they need is the appropriate tow ball and an adaptor to go from a UK round trailer plug to whatever the delivery market uses. The dealer told me that costs a buyer about $600 as opposed to the $3,000 to put one on an Audi Q7!

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  # 1405990 14-Oct-2015 22:28
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Mazda does do their level best to scare owners into buying the 'official' thing, eg the risks of the incorrect harness (or fitted incorrectly) at and the towbar itself at

Because there are still stupid installers that just piggyback off the cars lights, therefore overloading the lamp controllers. They think its still the 90's with the lights being wired to a switch on the steering wheel.

Also if you have reversing sensors, the proper loom will disable them when a trailer is attached, and will probably have wiring for reversing lights on the trailer which is needed with ones with a break on the coupling if you want to reverse it without hassle.



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Uber Geek

  # 1407052 15-Oct-2015 08:21
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jonathan18: You mention this brand works with a range of bar sizes - I'm assuming this includes the Whispbar range?  I'm thinking of this particular model, given our car has the side rails on already - 

Are there any other brands of bars that offer a similar aerodynamic profile that anyone would recommend?
Yep, those are the bars I use on my Volvo, and Mazda 3 previously, with a couple of different sized Hapro roof boxes. Thule also do an aero bar they purport to be just as quiet. I haven't tried them though so can't comment. 

190 posts

Master Geek

  # 1407096 15-Oct-2015 10:23
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I use a Thule roof box (X-Box?) with Aero bars (on a Merc ML350).
Certainly no downside (noise/stability) that I have notice, but do tend to remove the bars for most of the year anyway even if just for aesthetics.
Seems a good combination to me and I wouldn't have a problem recommending them... didn't really look at other brands at the time of purchase though

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Uber Geek

  # 1407765 16-Oct-2015 11:38
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We have Rhino's aerodynamic 'vortex' bars.  Very handy bars.  The roof box clamped onto them no problem, and they have tracks to take variety of accessories.

If you put heavy stuff in the car and light stuff in the box, your vehicle's stability won't be significantly affected.

The way I see it.  A roof box is a lot less hassle on a family trip than a trailer. 

I tow a lot (boat, kayaks, caravan). A trailer makes journeys longer, requires you to regularly pull over to let cars pass, makes it harder to find a park if you stop to eat, they can be PITA at a service station and make it difficult to park at hotels and motels.  Unless they are a luggage trailer, you have to shag around with covers/tie downs etc.

The benefit of a trailer is that it is useful for other things as well.

If you do go with a trailer make I suggest you get one with LED lights, they draw very little current and the light units are maintenance free.


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  # 1450107 14-Dec-2015 13:11
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So I got a tow bar installed on my car on Saturday; used East Coast Towbars, as recommended by many on GZ, and they've done a very neat job. My fears of an eyesore have not come to pass!

The only thing is yesterday I noticed I can hear a secondary 'tick' when the indicators are going - it seems like it's originating from the back right of the car, which I assume is where the wiring for the harness is wired in. Is this common and to be expected? The noise isn't super-loud  - enough to be heard faintly when the radio's on (voices, not music) - but it's still irritating!

Since starting this post I've also bought roof bars and a roof box; managed to get both s/h off TM: the bars are Whisperbars, which I couldn't hear at all when on the open road so I'm happy to leave them on over the holiday period, while the box is a Hapro box which, while not perfect (eg, opens only from one side), was still half the price of new ($350 compared to $700). Now just need to wait for a good discount off that tilting bike rack and all these transport-related purchases will be complete.

Thanks again for the advice.

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Uber Geek


  # 1450113 14-Dec-2015 13:24
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Means they have installed some relays for the lights, so you are not risking blowing up something pricy when you plug in a dodgey trailer. To be expected from a quality install really.


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