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Switching from 7 pin caravan to 13pin


mazdavdk
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Hi all 

 

I have just put down a deposit on a newer van and it has the 13pin electric plug. My car us configured with the older double 7 pin layout. I have seen 7 -13 pin adaptors but surely this means i will lose some functionality as i will only be able to connect this adaptor to one of the sockets on the car? 

 

Thanks

 

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8 minutes ago, mazdavdk said:

Hi all 

 

I have just put down a deposit on a newer van and it has the 13pin electric plug. My car us configured with the older double 7 pin layout. I have seen 7 -13 pin adaptors but surely this means i will lose some functionality as i will only be able to connect this adaptor to one of the sockets on the car? 

 

Thanks

 

This adaptor would seem to be appropriate though I would suggest that you consider re-wiring the towing vehicle to 13 pin standards.

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2 minutes ago, Stevan said:

No, the twin 7pin (car) to 13 pin (caravan) adapter gives full functionality.

It does, but it leaves a lot of cable that can flap around. It's best just used as a very temporary measure. If you've only just ordered the van It would be best to get a proper conversion. As I have an older car, 06 mondeo estate, I did mine myself. Newer vehicles can be more complicated.

John

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My local tow bar fitter charged me £40 to change to a 13 pin  socket. Saves all the messing about with an adaptor.  

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Stevan is right and you lose no functionality and it is how I tow from a twin 7 pin car to a 13 pin caravan. I use a cable tie to keep the extra cable from the adaptor off the ground.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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If you have on your car as you say the double 7 pin. known as 12n and 12s,then yes you will have full function if using the double 7 to 13 pin adapter.

the 12n is for the lights normally black and the 12s is for the equipment normally in lighter grey and matches the lighter grey socket on your car

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The issue with using adapter from the 2x 7 pin to a 13 pin it creates another 26 wire connections that can fail and cause problems so better to change the car socket to a 13 pin and use the cost of the adapter towards changing the socket .

 

 

Dave

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The 13 pin setup is more reliable than the old 7 pin system .  It really is an advance and there's no way that I'd return to seven pin x 2.  For that reason I'd recommend having a 13 pin socket fitted to your car and lose the old 7 pin plugs completely .  

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You can get a prewired 13 pin socket using 2x7 core cables for a similar or less cost than an adaptor from Towbarsdirect in Warrington. Or just get a 13 pin socket and connect it to the existing wires - I did this when our latest caravan had a 13 pin plug after getting fed up of using the 12N/S adaptor. On our latest car the towbar wiring was from these people and uses the 2x7 core 13 pin socket and the rear rubber seal is designed for the 2 cables. I think the idea of using 2x7 core cables rather than 1x13 makes it easier to handle but I am not sure.  http://www. towbarsdirect. co. uk/universal. htm#prices

 

When using the adaptor I took it round the jockey wheel handle shaft so the excess cable did not drag on the floor 

P2180157.JPG

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An extra thought, if you are part exchanging your old caravan for the new one and they are being swapped at the same time, then you have no choice but to have the adaptor so you can take the old one in and collect the new one. If this is at a dealer then maybe they will let you have an adaptor or sell you one at a good discount.

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Having been in the situation (3 times over the last 14 years!) of a car with 2 x 7 pin sockets & 13 pin 'van plug I have the experience of both camps.
With the first 2 'vans I used a conversion cable (but fixed it to the back of the 4x4 semi-permanently) & had no problems whatsoever over the 9 years it was in use. Commander Dave is right in that there are more potential wiring faults unless you make a good job of it, but the flimsier terminals of a 13 pin can be just as much of a problem.

 

Two seasons ago I decided to change my 4x4 over to more fashionable 13 pin as this had long become the standard on British spec. 'vans. Much more convenient to use but. ....the much smaller pins (compared to 7 pin) do not allow more than about 2. 5 sq. mm wires to be used so voltage drop becomes a very real problem-especially for the battery & fridge feeds. These 2 items are much better served by 4 sq. mm (min!) cables.  
The twist action engagement of the 13 pin is also a mixed blessing but is potentially more secure than 7 pin types being subject to the usual amount of abuse/neglect that appears to be the standard these days. At least, that is,  when plug & socket actually stay in sync. LOL. But bear in mind if the plug is pulled out of the socket for any reason (& it does happen!) then it becomes a major re-wiring job, unlike the 7 pin were it is more likely to survive. There is also the problem of pin/socket corrosion which is death to a 13 pin socket & plug,  as accessibility for cleaning is so restricted.

 

My 1yo Swift has serious voltage drop problems (with the fridge using a 12v element of 14a capacity, so I'm told).  My previous 'vans were rated at 10a & I had no problems. The only efficient answer to this, that I can see, is to feed the fridge via it's own dedicated 7 pin system which will allow much bigger section cable(s).

 

It all boils down to how competent you are with 12v wiring, how fussy you are regarding efficiency, & which system you're happiest with, as either system will give you problems sooner or later.   Each to his own. The overwhelming thing is that 7 pin set-ups will pass more amps & are also easier to fix LOL.

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When my first 13 pin van came along, I just bought a 13 pin socket and 1 metre length of new cable.

Made a note  of 7n/7s colours and how thay matched to new cable, disconnected car battery, removed 7 pin sockets and cut the cables back under the towbar and used bullet connectors to connect all up and then taped everything up with self amalgamating tape and secured to towbar.

Didnt have any problems with it.

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2 minutes ago, hp100425ev said:

When my first 13 pin van came along, I just bought a 13 pin socket and 1 metre length of new cable.

Made a note  of 7n/7s colours and how thay matched to new cable, disconnected car battery, removed 7 pin sockets and cut the cables back under the towbar and used bullet connectors to connect all up and then taped everything up with self amalgamating tape and secured to towbar.

Didnt have any problems with it.

No reason why you should have had trouble, provided that your taping up was effective in keeping water out and the wires firm. Bullet connectors are absolutely fine except that they can vibrate loose and they are prone, over time, to suffer corrosion if they get at all damp.

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