Does it matter what type of tow bar I have on my Defender? 

Before ordering the MaxxRaxx cycle carrier for your Land Rover Defender, you need to be aware that there is sometimes an issue with the Defender tow bar. Please have a look at the information below to see if any of the examples apply to you.

On this page we explain how different tow bar types can be configured, if necessary, to accommodate a MaxxRaxx Explorer Flange rack. The information below details the steps you may need to take to ensure that your MaxxRaxx will work for you and that our product fully satisfies your cycle carrying requirements.


Fixed Multi-Height Tow Bar 

Land Rover Defender 2 Bolt Flange standard tow bar

To make your Fixed Multi-Height Tow Bar work with your MaxxRaxx you will need a 25mm Spacer Plate to enable our Foot Plate to clear the steel hoop to the left of the tow ball:


MaxxRaxx Defender spacer diagram      

This can be found on our Website at

Product Code: 30SP25 - £17.50


Sliding Multi-Height Tow Bar 

Land Rover defender multiheight lockout anti rattle modification        Land Rover defender multiheight lockout anti rattle modification Plan View

What you need to do:

The MaxxRaxx will work for you however, we have discovered that on this type of tow bar, there is some movement with the sliding plate bracket. If this movement is not “locked-out” then it will put extra stress on the MaxxRaxx Flange Foot Plate.

We have managed to lock out this movement with the use of two grub screws (pictured above) and can do this for you for £30.00. Alternatively, you may have someone local to you or you may be able to do this yourself.

If you would like us to fit the 2 grub screws for you then you will need to send us the sliding section of your tow-bar. Please contact us if you would like help on how to proceed.

DIY Instructions on how to ‘lock-out’ your towbar:

The Lock-out grub screws need to be positioned at the bottom of the sliding plate to ensure the bike rack S-Tube (upright tube) remains vertical. Therefore if the flange ball is currently on the lower set of holes (some sliding plates have 3 pairs of holes rather than just the 2 seen above) it will need to be re-positioned to a higher set of holes.

1. Remove the sliding part of your tow bar assembly and remove the flange ball if it is on the lowest set of holes.

2. Mark up and centre punch the drill positions 20mm up from the bottom of the sliding plate at points A and B in line with C and D.

3. Pilot drill each of the holes, preferably using a pillar drill and finish with an 8.5mm drill. 

4. Tap each hole with an M10 tap.

5. Re-assemble the sliding plate onto the rail section of the tow bar and attach the flange ball to a higher set of holes, if you had to remove it earlier. The two M16 tow ball flange bolts should be torqued to 214Nm. (150 lbf ft).

6. Insert an M10 socket set screw into each of the tapped holes and drive them in with a 5mm Allen key until the sliding plate is locked solid. 

7. Slide a shakeproof washer onto each socket set screw. 

8. Wind one of the M10 nuts onto each socket set screw, tightening each with a 17mm spanner. 

9. A second M10 nut can be tightened onto the 1st nut on each set screw to act as a locknut.


NAS style Tow-bar

Land Rover NAS Style Tow Bar

The NAS style Tow Bar is ideal for the MaxxRaxx set up and should work fine requiring no further modifications.                                                           


Shown below is an example of the Defender 110 with a NAS tow bar but also with a spare wheel carrier. To identify whether or not our rack will work with your vehicle there needs to be adequate clearance between the wheel and the rack. The Explorer MaxxRaxx is primarily used for the Defender and has an offset of 250mm to clear the spare wheel. If the relevant distance on your vehicle is greater than 250mm, unfortunately the MaxxRaxx will not work for you.

To obtain this measurement, we recommend for any tow bar type, that you drop a vertical line down from the rearmost part of the spare wheel and measure forward from the line to the face of the back plate of your tow bar as illustrated below. 

Defender dimension corbel 1