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Complete Newbie Seeks Advice On Tow Hitch


Tiger2103
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Hi all, we're in the process of buying a 2008 swift conqueror 630, I haven't had a tow bar fitted yet but the ones I've seen on eBay state an alko compatible hitch is an upgrade, my question is do the alko hitches need a certain type of tow bar, does the van have a 13 pin connector or 7 and would you advise a twin electric hook up or single

 

Apologies if these seem basic knowledge but as I said we're completely new to this

 

Thanks in anticipation

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No special towbar just a extended necked towball

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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13 pin or 2off 7 pin - up to you. The 'modern' way is the single 13 pin but my car had a 7 pin and I regularly use a household trailer so I prefer the 7 pin sockets.

Most b

Here will be on single 13 pin.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Hi all, we're in the process of buying a 2008 swift conqueror 630, I haven't had a tow bar fitted yet but the ones I've seen on eBay state an alko compatible hitch is an upgrade, my question is do the alko hitches need a certain type of tow bar, does the van have a 13 pin connector or 7 and would you advise a twin electric hook up or single

 

Apologies if these seem basic knowledge but as I said we're completely new to this

 

Thanks in anticipation

Most towbars are sold with standard towballs. In your case you will require an Alko towball upgrade (which is taller than the standard towball) to suit the Alko stabiliser hitch on the Swift.

Nothing fancy about this, they usually cost between £25 to £30 and bolt straight onto the towbar.

Your van will have twin 7 pin connectors so you'll probably go for twin 7 pin sockets on the car.

You could fit a 13 pin socket and have an adapter cable which plugs into the twin caravan plugs if you wish but these can be fiddly.

It's all a matter of choice 13 pin if you intend to upgrade to a more modern caravan in the future but again you can use an adapter for the one 13 pin plug to the twin 7 pin on the towbar. .

Edited by springtime

Willerby Avonmore previous kit VW Splitty Camper,Ford Transit Camper, Commer Highwayman, Sprite Alpine Caravan, Rapids Export Folding Caravan, Fiat Autosleeper Harmony, Ci Granduca Motorhome, McLouis Glen 432 Motorhome, American RV Trail-Lite twin slide outs 8.2ltr petrol/lpg, Lunar Solaris Limited Edition Caravan.

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If I were you, I would specify a 13-pin socket on the car, then re-wire the caravan (if 2x7-pin plugs) to a single 13-pin one. There are double-entry plugs available online which really are a doddle to wire (I know, as I used one to make up a test rig for use with my previous towcar) - really straightforward to get 2x 7-core cables into and connect safely. You could either use the existing caravan cable ends with 7-pin plugs removed and fitted into one of the above plugs, or connect both the caravan cables into a strip connector in a waterproof box under the bedbox(eg), with a single length of 13-core cable into a "normal" 1-pin plug.

If at first you don't succeed, it may be best to give up.

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Like Wispman I also regularly tow a trailer so I prefer 7pin.

Willerby Avonmore previous kit VW Splitty Camper,Ford Transit Camper, Commer Highwayman, Sprite Alpine Caravan, Rapids Export Folding Caravan, Fiat Autosleeper Harmony, Ci Granduca Motorhome, McLouis Glen 432 Motorhome, American RV Trail-Lite twin slide outs 8.2ltr petrol/lpg, Lunar Solaris Limited Edition Caravan.

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13 pin socket on the car is the way to go, and make sure the fitter wires it up properly to allow you run fridge on 12 volts when towing.

For a tenner you can get a stubby adaptor that changes the 13 pin car socket to 7 pin, if you sometimes need to tow a trailer (like me).

Land Rover is now back towing.

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Most towbars are sold with standard towballs. In your case you will require an Alko towball upgrade (which is taller than the standard towball) to suit the Alko stabiliser hitch on the Swift.

Nothing fancy about this, they usually cost between £25 to £30 and bolt straight onto the towbar.

 

I think you will find it sticks out further I. e. From the towball to the mounting flange is a greater distance rather than taller for an alko hitch. My local caravan shop sells them at £12.

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Springtime is correct. .. The Alko has a longer neck up to the ball. ...

 

 

post-32265-0-90291100-1408321715_thumb.jpg

Lunar Solaris 1 Limited Edition 2007 Hopefully Behind A

BMW 520D MSport Touring. ...

 

***** Jack of all Trades. ... Master of None *****

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Springtime is correct. .. The Alko has a longer neck up to the ball. ...

 

Or, from alko website. ....

 

AKS 1300 = 65mm

AKS 2004 = 67mm

AKS 2007 = 60mm

AKS 3004 = 68mm

 

This measurement is taken from the centre of the towball to the nearest point of contact with the towing vehicle.

 

Insufficient clearance will prevent the stabiliser from correct articulation and could damage your car or possibly become detached.

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13 pin socket on the car is the way to go, and make sure the fitter wires it up properly to allow you run fridge on 12 volts when towing.

For a tenner you can get a stubby adaptor that changes the 13 pin car socket to 7 pin, if you sometimes need to tow a trailer (like me).

 

Definitely make sure the fitter does as suggested above. I had specified a 13 pin on my new Navara when I ordered. Delivered with a 7 pin. ..Argh! It went back in to Evans Halshaw Nissan to have it changed and several months later having picked up the caravan and setting off for our summer holidays I could not get the fridge to work and did not here the solenoid for the ATC energise when I plugged it in.

I stopped at the service dept. on my way out of YC Leisure where I store it, and asked them what I was doing wrong again. ...being a total novice. They checked it out and said it had not been wired correctly. I asked if it was safe to tow without the ATC being in operation and was told it was but I must admit I was a little tense on the drive down south and emptied the fridge into the cool box for the journey.

Numerous calls to Nissan in Doncaster ensue on the journey

We were on our way to Longleat with the site booked, and VIP experiences booked for the girls for the next day two days.(You cannot get refunds). Therefore I could not take it to back to Nissan as suggested that afternoon for them to check out. .Someone was not listening to my; Can I take it to a Nissan or Evans Halshaw in Wiltshire somewhere question?

Before I lost the will to live trying to organise it with Nissan. I decided to sort it my self and It cost me £85 to get the very nice chap from Trowbridge tow bars to come out check it and install the additional wiring on site at Longleat.

I bought a13 to 7 pin for the trailer from Towsure online about a tenner I think, and a new genuine Alko ball on Fleabay to replace the Thule ball, although when I did a visual comparison they looked to have the same neck dimensions.

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Or, from alko website. ....

 

AKS 1300 = 65mm

AKS 2004 = 67mm

AKS 2007 = 60mm

AKS 3004 = 68mm

 

This measurement is taken from the centre of the towball to the nearest point of contact with the towing vehicle.

 

Insufficient clearance will prevent the stabiliser from correct articulation and could damage your car or possibly become detached.

It is the extended neck that allows the correct articulation see Alko website http://www. al-ko. co. uk/pages/towball. html

Articulation in this case refers to the side to side movement of the coupling. If using a standard towball pressure against the side of the coupling could cause it to become detached.

With regard to measurements from the centre of the towball to the nearest point of contact on the vehicle this can vary greatly depending upon the design of the towbar and its location with regard the the rear bumper or the actual towbar on some 4x4 vehicles.

Willerby Avonmore previous kit VW Splitty Camper,Ford Transit Camper, Commer Highwayman, Sprite Alpine Caravan, Rapids Export Folding Caravan, Fiat Autosleeper Harmony, Ci Granduca Motorhome, McLouis Glen 432 Motorhome, American RV Trail-Lite twin slide outs 8.2ltr petrol/lpg, Lunar Solaris Limited Edition Caravan.

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Make sure you remove any and all black paint from the new tow ball, and that there is no grease left on it.

 

 

K

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13pin is the way to go, no doubt at all. Far fewer issues and a much better electrical contact.

If you tow trailers then you can get some very smart and simple plug in adapters that are very easy to use.

If you specify 13pin then you must also specify the additional (leisure wiring) as there are essentially two parts to the wiring system. The first part is the road lighting system, ideally this would be 'vehicle specific' which means it should simply plug into a can us outlet or a lighting loom at the back of the vehicle and power your trailer lights. The second type of road lighting system involves splicing electrical piggyback connectors onto all of the cars rear lights (nothing wrong with this system as long as it then goes through a wiring multi-way relay to protect the towing vehicle.

The second major part to the electrical socket is the 'suplimentary feeds', these power your fridge, charge your battery, power your ATC (if fitted). This should be specified as a decent sized cable coming straight from the battery and into a voltage sensing relay or an ignotion switched relay to power ignition switched items. Be sure to avoid the trick a lot of 'professional' towbar fitters seem to use of splicing into the 12v output in the boot! This is just not man enough for the job.

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

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