Anyone fitted a towbar to their PVC ?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Kool Kroozer, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. Kool Kroozer

    Kool Kroozer Funster

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    As the title states, been looking at fitting one myself as they come in kit form for the Fiat Ducato chassis, ranging from £90 to £150 off the net - some with electrics or some with just the tow bar kit. I have no intention of towing anything, its basically just to mount a cycle carrier to it (already have a Fiamma one fixed to the rear door but want it off) Have just been down to my local tow bar place who i have used in the past, and been quoted over £500 and he even showed me different ones on this website where they get theirs from and i could also see the prices (ranging from £90 - £130) so why charge over £500 for something which i believe just bolts on to the underneath of the van ?
     
  2. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Are they quoting for bar + full electrics ie either 13 pin socket or twin socket for a caravan... or just the bar ?

    The full electrics kit can cost over £200

    + bar + 2 - 4 hours labour

    £500 doesn't sound too expensive
     
  3. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Had one fitted to my Relay the other week £190 fitted with one leccy plug 2 yrs gtee and fitted at my house ;)Only thing I could fault the job on was he used Scotchloks but if they start to give trouble Paul's going to replace them :DHe does not know it yet ;):LOL:
    terry
     
  4. Kool Kroozer

    Kool Kroozer Funster

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    was for supply/fit tow bar with single (7 pin) electrics... what yr is your relay Terry ?
     
  5. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    2012(y)
     
  6. Teuchter

    Teuchter Funster

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    In the dim and distant past I have fitted tow bars and electrics to 2 or 3 different cars myself, electrically connecting the 7 pin socket by "breaking in to" the appropriate wiring loom as close to the tow bar as possible using scotchlocks or similar.

    I am however now led to believe (by a dealer) that the fitting of towbar electrics to the most modern MoHos is much more complex that it used to be, apparently it is no longer acceptable (possible?) just to just parallel all the lights up near the towbar using scotchlocks or similar as the electronics of the system detect the extra load and in some cases "shut down" some of the circuits so all/some of the wires have to be run from the control panel in the engine bay.

    I can vouch for this on my van as I carry my lightweight chairs & table slung below the cycle carrier (all still within the 60kg carrier limit with bikes on :) but this partially obscures the number plate so I fitted an additional number plate (complete with light) on the cycle rack.

    Using a waterproof fitting I connected it via a terminal block to the wire connected to one of the 2 numberplate lights and switched the lights on to test it - problem!! - neither the nearside number plate light nor the additional number plate light worked!! On removing the 5 watt lamp from the new number plate then the original n/s number plate light came back on. I then replaced that lamp and again neither worked! so I removed the 5watt lamp from the n/s number plate light and lo and behold the cycle carrier mounted number plate lamp came on!!

    Diagnosis - with one 5 w lamp current at 12 v = o.417 Amps - with 2 in parallel total current = 0.934 amps and this increase in current is being sensed by some circuit in the electronic gubbins and switching the supply off (or ratcheting it down)

    Solution - (to my problem) fit LEDs in place of lamps - sorted!! :)
     
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  7. Bartyfixedit

    Bartyfixedit Funster

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    I fitted mine, it's not a big job unless you have the XLWB, then there is some fancy drilling required which is a bit tricky.
     
  8. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    dealer is correct.. if you have CANbus system you cannot just go tapping in with Skotchlocks .. hence the requirement for the correct wiring kit..

    AFAIK Ducato MKIII X250 2006 onwards have CANbus wiring systems

    Example.. http://www.just-tow.co.uk/towbar-electric-kits/plug-in-wiring-kits/fiat-1/fiat-ducato.html

    FIAT Ducato Chassis Cab 7 pin Dedicated Towbar Wiring Kits
    • Dedicated towbar wiring kits or vehicle specific kits are designed with a wiring harness, control unit and relays to fit the specific vehicle.
    • All dedicated wiring kits are complete with vehicle specific wiring harness, control units, relays, 7 or 13 pin socket, detailed picture instructions and all necassary grommets, fuses, cable ties and connectors to complete the installation fully.
    • Why should you choose a dedicated kit over a bypass relay kit? altho they are more expensive we would always recommend a dedicated kit over a bypass relay where available, see below:
      • Bypass Relays Universal, are connected directly into vehicle wiring using snap connectors or by soldering, this does not give a 100% secure connection in some cases and can result in a failure of a function. As the name surgests bypass relays bypass the vehicle onboard control unit and will not function vehicle safety features such as TSP, ESP and fog Cut-off etc where applicable. A vehicles warranty may also be affected by the fitting of a bypass relay.
      • Specifically designed to fit the required vehicle. They have wiring harness' to mate directly with a designated point on the vehicle and no cutting or splicing of wires is required as with bypass relays. Each kit will function the safety features built in to the specific model, some of which may require a activation code from the vehicle manufacturer or towbar fitters with the programing software. A dedicated wiring kit will also protect a vehicle's manufacturer warranty.
     
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  9. Bartyfixedit

    Bartyfixedit Funster

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    I smell a main stealer trying to make money for himself here.

    The modern electronic bypass relays take the tiniest control signal off the main vehicle loom and then feed the trailer board from a separate supply that you have to lay on. The current drawn is so tiny that it will have no effect on the can bus.

    I got my towbar from PF Jones including the bypass relay kit. The Scotch locks that they supply are the genuine 3M version which contain a sealant grease and so are fine to connect into the main vehicle loom so long as you install them where the cable is warm and dry. Not underneath the vehicle.

    The only point I would make is don't try and fit the towbar unless you have a torque wrench.

    Cheers,

    David.
     
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  10. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    fully agree - and make sure you know the right torques based on the vehicle manufacturer specification not the towbar ones. I fitted a towbar to my saab a few years ago and the torque on the bolts that go through the square member in the boot was incredibly low.. I could have malformed the member with hand pressure.. the towbar was type approved so had lock nuts to prevent vibration loosening them but without referring to the mfr I could easily have missed that and caused structural damage to the vehicle
     
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  11. Kool Kroozer

    Kool Kroozer Funster

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    Have just came back from Cheshire after purchasing a kit with single electrics + the relay bypass box, £119 - got time on my hands so am gonna do it myself, all the above posts regarding the electrics has been mentioned to me via sellers - it maybe true but they come across as scaremongers trying to get you to buy the full wiring loom thats well over £100 - saying these relay bypasses may burst into flames + by fitting one of these will void your warranty, sounds like bull crap to me !
     
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