Tow-Bars-To-Tow-Cars

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by AT Fun, Dec 18, 2015.

  1. AT Fun

    AT Fun Funster

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    I am buying a car that is fitted with the above A frame towing system, I know I will have to upgrade my 7pin socket on the rear of the MH to the newer 13pin version. I called the company and they said they also fit a small indicator light on the dashboard to show the system is working OK, can anyone who has this A frame fitted tell me when the light goes on and is it really necessary as they want £100 plus me to take the MH to them to have it fitted. I presume it uses the spare pin in the socket but a wiring diagram would be useful as I may fit it myself. Please do not start a why do you want to tow a car argument, I have weighed up the pros and cons and it suits me but maybe others do not see it as I do.
     
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  2. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    I had a warning light on both my last Yank Tanks...

    But have not got one on my Rapido...

    And they did the wiring for me..

    If it`s law then I have been breaking it... :xsad:

    The system I have which is probably the same throughout.... has a button on the computer thingy by the brake pedal on the toad..

    Press the button and all systems power up and show as working OK.. :xThumb:
     
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  3. AT Fun

    AT Fun Funster

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    Thanks for the reply old-mo I did see the button in a video on their web page and presume the car I will be getting will have this button, I wonder if the light on the dash is a new thing.
     
  4. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    Does the £100 quoted include the full change to a 13pin socket on your m/h including any relays and 13 core cable?
     
  5. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Doubt it............... It was four or five years ago I had their system put on my Yank RV.... so they have been using it for at least 4 years or so..
     
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  6. AT Fun

    AT Fun Funster

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    The £100 plus vat is just to check the system and fit the light, my MH is a 2002 Ducato so not canbus. If it was to change the 7pin for a 13pin fit a light and test I would go for it but just the light sounds expensive to me.











    31
     
  7. AT Fun

    AT Fun Funster

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    Did the light come on when you powered up the system and stay on or was it linked to either indicating or braking?
     
  8. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    I seem to remember many years ago, it was a new ruling/law that a car towing a Caravan or Trailer had to have a warning light on the dash that flashed the same time as the unit being towed when using indicators... and if it did not flash it was supposed to mean you had a faulty indicator on the towed unit..

    I don`t know if that still stands and that may be why the "A" frame company fit a light...

    But as said three years ago they did not fit one on my Rapido..

    And I have had umpteen trailers of various sort`s. car trailer`s general carriers... Trike Pod`s... and none have had a warning light..
     
  9. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    Getting a cable from the back and up into the cab, drill the dash and fit the light if done properly with grommets etc won't be a two minute job I'm afraid.
     
  10. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Not 100% sure... But I think only when you initially started up..

    But as said NOT sure...
     
  11. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    When just having a tow bar fitted we have a buzzer that makes a noise as the indicators flash, no noise, no indicators.
     
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  12. AT Fun

    AT Fun Funster

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    My existing 7pin socket may have been wired up with a buzzer but I have never used it so do not know, will have to borrow a lighting board or put a 12 volt bulb across the relevant indicator pins. I have a feeling the light they refer to is just to show the system is powered up and working which is not a bad thing.
     
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  13. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    I agree that sounds pricey for the job ... I am in the same situation and a local towbar fitter has quoted me about £160 to upgrade my 2010 Peugeot (canbus) to a 13pin socket including the relays and 13 core cable.

    I'm not sure to bother ... as far as I can see I can keep the 7pin with a 13pin adapter and the only disadvantage being that the reversing light on the toad will not work and no charging feed to car battery.
     
  14. AT Fun

    AT Fun Funster

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    Yes I thought of that too but maybe the actuator applying the brake in the toad uses a fair bit of power and then brake lights and other stuff might run the toads battery down. I am a retired electrician so fitting a 13 pin socket is no problem its just is it worth running the system on light to the dash.
     
  15. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    I don't know yet if the system uses power from the car battery,
    ... our previous Car-A-Tow setup was powered from the m/h battery and did not flatted the car battery.
     
  16. AT Fun

    AT Fun Funster

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    If its a Tow-bars-to-tow-cars A frame they use power to operate the brake a 7 pin black socket would not give this power a 7 pin grey one as used on a caravan would so if you have a black and a grey 7 pin socket then an adaptor to 13 pin would work. car-a-tow is purely mechanical so no power needed.
     
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  17. AT Fun

    AT Fun Funster

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    Just found this on another forum and it looks like the dash light only comes on to show when the toad braking system is applying the brakes, I like this idea so will fit it to my MH when I can get around to it.


    "This is where I prefer TowBars-2-TowCars over Towtal:
    1. Better braking. You don't really notice the car you're towing (i.e. as you're braking). With Towtal we used to "feel" the tow car push us - I suppose it has to push you to operate the brake anyway. This is a biggy for us - we simply feel safer.
    2. Easier to attach the tow-car purely because the A-frame is so much lighter. Don't need to be a body builder.
    3. LED on dash to show when toad is braking. It's wired in so no worries about wireless link failing
    4. Easier to reverse (I don't know why - it just is - maybe because the brakes don't lock up on the toad while being pushed back)
    5. MUCH easier to store and handle the A-frame. Because we switched to a Puggy 107 for towing our old Towtal A-frame would no longer have fitted into the boot. As it was the Towtal rig took up the whole of our Daihatsu Hijet boot.
    6. The toad battery is charged while you drive (our toad battery ran flat once en-route and we discovered the problem at the least convenient time!).
    7. I think (time will tell) that their A-frame is less prone to rust. My Towtal frame is very rusted "as we speak".
    8. Brake pedal on toad still works pretty much as before. The Towtal rig was a bit of a hassle, and once when the cable got stuck we cooked the brakes."
     
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  18. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    To be any use the buzzer or light must let the driver know when one or more trailer flashers have failed. In other words it must replicate the function that the existing light provides for the car flashers. In the past there were two ways of doing it: the first was to use a flasher unit that had provision to connect two warning lights, one for the existing car WL and another for a WL that only operated when the trailer was connected and its flashers were working correctly; the second was a solid state relay unit fitted at the rear of the towing vehicle that was an interface between the car electrics and the trailer. This unit, because of its position at the rear, was often used with a buzzer to save running a wire back to the dashboard. I don't know whether your Ducato has a conventional flasher unit but if so it should be changed for the one I mentioned and an extra warning light, if one isn't already in place in the dashboard, should be fitted for the trailer. If the vehicle doesn't use a conventional flasher unit then the modern version of the solid state relay (usually nowadays known as an interface) should be installed. The WL for the trailer has always been a legal requirement that, like many others that couldn't in the past be checked at MoT time, has often been ignored. The MoT now includes a functional check of a 13 pin socket that's done with a plug-in tester. I'd be surprised if the tester didn't check the WL. The MoT checks 7 pin sockets but only for security of wiring - there's no functional test - so lack of a WL (or buzzer) would not be noticed.

    So your £100 might be pretty reasonable if when the work is done a correctly functioning warning light or buzzer is the result. There's no way to provide one simply by wiring it. It will need either a flasher unit or an interface and wiring of same.
     
  19. AT Fun

    AT Fun Funster

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    I will have to investigate what I have at the moment, the previous owner used to tow a small trailer with a motor cycle on it, the 7 pin socket looks to be well wired up and was presumably fitted by the same people who fitted the tow bar which is a full width chrome plated one so not a cheap job. The way I am thinking at the moment is that I have a 7pin socket correctly installed with a buzzer, when I upgrade to a 13 pin the buzzer will still work as nothing will have changed wiring wise for indicators. The extra light from the toad control unit which shows that its working will be fed using the spare pin in the 13 pin socket. Am I getting it wrong?
     
  20. AT Fun

    AT Fun Funster

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    Have now picked the "Toad" up and contacted the A frame manufacturer they said I need a 13 pin socket wired with all the normal wiring found in a 7 pin socket plus a permanent 12 volt +ve on pin 9, an earth on pin 13 and if I want the optional warning light for the dashboard that is wired onto pin 12 as its +ve and picks up an earth from the MH wiring for its -ve side.
     
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