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Tow Bar Electrics


b6x
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Probably the dumbest question you'll read today, for which I apologise, however I'm totally new to this caravanning business after migrating from a motorhome. ..

 

Today I've had a towbar installed, a witter quantum something or other. Looks a pretty good job too however the installers have managed to install just single electrics. (witter apparently only sent the single kit so the installer bunged that on).

 

Am I right in thinking that I can still collect my caravan as planned on the weekend? And I'll just not have "caravanny" type electrics such as battery charging etc?

 

As a matter of interest, what else does the second electric point give? Surely not a seperate plug just for charging the leisure battery?

 

Thanks alot.

towcar #1: Vauxhall Vectra 1. 9 CDTi 150

towcar #2: Honda CR-V 2. 2 CDTi

caravan: Compass Corona 475

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I would have a quick check, they may have fitted a single plug, but it could be the new 13 pin type which powers everything, but you need an adapter to get to 12N and 12S if that is what your caravan has. (If you have bought a brand new van you will most probably find that it has a 13 pin plug.) If not it will be a 12N which is all you need to work your road lights. The 12S supplies power to charge batteries and power the fridge controlled by a relay so only supply power when the engine is running, and a constant supply that does not work via the relay.

 

Think I've got that right!....

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New caravans built after 1st September 2008 will have a single 13-pin plug - this is functionally the same as the old 12N/12S twin socket system but give more reliable connections.

 

You need to find out what plug your caravan has and what socket your towing vehicle has - I'd love to be wrong but I think you'll have incompatible connections - some towbar fitters are a long way behind, some haven't caught up with the 1998 changes yet!

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Am I right in thinking that I can still collect my caravan as planned on the weekend? And I'll just not have "caravanny" type electrics such as battery charging etc?

 

As a matter of interest, what else does the second electric point give? Surely not a seperate plug just for charging the leisure battery?

 

Thanks alot.

 

If your caravan is fitted with the Alko ATC anti-sway system you'll need the 2nd (usually grey) socket connected, cos that supplies the ATC. Otherwise yes the grey socket is unnecessary if you don't need ice for the G&T on arrival.

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Thanks all for your advice. I'm pretty sure it's a 12N plug, (although its up under the bumper so cannot see if face on). I'll buy a 12N plug tomorrow to make sure it fits in the socket prior to collecting the van. The documentation says 12N, but I best check.

 

Thanks again.

towcar #1: Vauxhall Vectra 1. 9 CDTi 150

towcar #2: Honda CR-V 2. 2 CDTi

caravan: Compass Corona 475

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The 12N socket supplies all your road legal lights and nothing else. The 12S socket supplies reversing lights (if fitted on your caravan), continuous 12v power(if you need to use your car battery, charge the caravan battery or power ATC if fitted) and fridge 12v power.

Brian

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Thanks all for your advice. I'm pretty sure it's a 12N plug, (although its up under the bumper so cannot see if face on). I'll buy a 12N plug tomorrow to make sure it fits in the socket prior to collecting the van. The documentation says 12N, but I best check.

 

Thanks again.

 

 

Hi b6x

 

No need to buy a plug to try socket, use a mirror and simply count the connectors.

 

If 7pin and only one socket it is 7N, if 13 pin[1] it is really up to date and a much more

reliable than 7N but need an adaptor to 'old' van.

What the van has may be the problem if van is new and 13pin but the car is only 7N.

Adaptors abound for just about every combination of 7 or 13pin on either car or van

so no need to worry about hitching up really.

 

neil

 

[1] 2 standards of 13pin, ISO and the westcon, if a 7N fits in the pin clutter then it is

the latter (very unlikely) but a 7N car car be used. ..

Bailey S5 Pageant Auvergne & Vauxhall Signum CDTI

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I don't want to sound a clever ***** . ..... :rolleyes: How do you buy something without knowing enough about it to find out whether you've bought what you wanted in the first place. On the couple of occasions I've paid someone to fit a towbar they've known what to fit cos I've told them exactly what I wanted before hand.

Google supplies the answer to just about every question you could possible want to know the answer to. Wouldn't it have been better to come on this or any other furum BEFORE you parted with your hard earned?

Lunar Delta 520/2 towed by Omega 3. 0 Elite

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[1] 2 standards of 13pin, ISO and the westcon, if a 7N fits in the pin clutter then it is

the latter (very unlikely) but a 7N car car be used. ..

There are two original standards for 13-pin plug/socket - Jaeger or Westcon - the NCC has standardised the UK caravan industry on the Jaeger 13-pin system, with effect from 2009 model year.

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Hi b6x

I tow a van with single electrics as the 12N gives you road lights to the van. The 12S keeps the fridge cool and charges the van leisure battery whilst on the road. So 12S useful only if you do a lot of wild camping off sites - we use EHU (elec hook-up) always. Double elctrics on tow cars is more expensive. A 2 litre bottle of water frozen in your freezer and then put in the van fridge keeps your van fridge cool for a day whilst you travel.

Edited by WispMan

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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I've also had a Witter Quantum towbar fitted to my car today, and it came supplied with a 13 pin socket as standard. The fitter offered to replace it with 12N/12S sockets, but I decided to go with the 13 pin.

 

Alec

Alec

Car & Caravan

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. ....

So 12S useful only if you do a lot of wild camping off sites - we use EHU (elec hook-up) always.

Rather a generalisation. It depends how far you want to caravan away from your house. :D and whether you want cold contents of your fridge or not. :rolleyes:

 

 

Double elctrics on tow cars is more expensive. ......
Only marginally more so, a relay & a few feet of wiring . ..... plus the know how ;)

Lunar Delta 520/2 towed by Omega 3. 0 Elite

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I don't want to sound a clever ***** . ..... :rolleyes: How do you buy something without knowing enough about it to find out whether you've bought what you wanted in the first place. On the couple of occasions I've paid someone to fit a towbar they've known what to fit cos I've told them exactly what I wanted before hand.

Google supplies the answer to just about every question you could possible want to know the answer to. Wouldn't it have been better to come on this or any other furum BEFORE you parted with your hard earned?

 

I did. I knew, and ordered, exactly what I wanted direct from Witter. ... a quantum towbar with twin electrics. I paid my "hard earned" and waited for the goods to be shipped to local installer. Dropped my car off and then went to collect it found it only had single electrics.

 

Installer now saying "we only install what we are supplied."

 

Thanks for your advice re google anyhow.

Edited by b6x

towcar #1: Vauxhall Vectra 1. 9 CDTi 150

towcar #2: Honda CR-V 2. 2 CDTi

caravan: Compass Corona 475

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. .....

 

Installer now saying "we only install what we are supplied."

. ......

 

That doesn't really sound good enough, he should have been installing what he was told to install. If there was a problem he should have contacted you for further instructions.

Lunar Delta 520/2 towed by Omega 3. 0 Elite

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