Manufacturers are developing more environmentally friendly and efficient vehicles. To keep up with the times we offer many options to make sure you, as the customer choose the right products at the right price.
There are many things to consider when you select the type of electrics and we are confident that we can guide you to the correct option that suits your vehicle.
Which socket type should I choose?
7 Pin Electrics
Single 7 Pin Electrics are fitted as default with a towbar installation. They provide power to operate the lights (indicators, brake lights, side lights, fog lights) on a standard UK trailer, caravan, horsebox or cycle carrier. The 7 Pin socket will not activate the reverse lights on a cycle carrier or trailer; however, this is not a legal requirement. If your trailer has reverse lights, or ALKO-ATC Control fitted, you may need 13 pin electrics.
Even if you are only using your towbar to support a cycle carrier you will still need these electrics to power the lights on the cycle carrier, or on a light board over the bikes.
This is a legal requirement because bikes on the carrier may obscure the lights on your car.
Twin Electrics (12S) Electrics are fitted in addition to the standard Single 7 Pin Socket if you will be towing a caravan built pre-2008 that has 2 power cables.
The 12S socket provides power for:
-Your caravan reverse lights.
-A permanent 12-volt live feed to your caravan.
-Live feeds to your caravan that are only live when your car engine is running to provide charge to your caravan battery, charge your fridge as well as giving power to your interior lights.
-The twin electrics was a standard fitment until 2008 when it was replaced by the 13-pin socket.
13 Pin Electrics
13 Pin Electrics are fitted when you will be towing a caravan built from 2008 onwards. The 13 Pin socket combines the old-style twin 7 pin sockets in to one. The socket provides all the power needed to operate the road lights on your trailer or caravan and provides 12-volt power to operate all the other functions of your caravan.
You can use a trailer or cycle carrier that has a 7-pin plug, but you would need an adaptor which is available in our Accessories section. The 13-pin socket is a neater fitment compared to the twin electrics as the socket will usually fold under the bumper when you are not towing, making it discreet and a neat fit.
Which wiring should I choose?
Universal Aftermarket Wiring
Universal Aftermarket Wiring is fitted to your vehicle using an interface relay to protect your cars electrics. This type of wiring is available for most models where the vehicle is out of its warranty and does not have built in safety features that must be activated. The universal wiring is connected to a 7-way bypass relay that protects the cars canbus system which won’t cause any faults on the dash as the car doesn’t detect the towbar system.
If your vehicle is still within its manufacturer’s warranty, we would recommend the fitment of Vehicle Specific Wiring.
Vehicle Specific Wiring
Each kit is designed specifically for the vehicle that it is fitted to, and rather than soldering or using 'Scotch Locks' to connect the towbar wiring, which is the case with universal aftermarket wiring, these kits interface with the vehicle systems in the same way as the vehicle manufacturer intended. If your vehicle is less than 3 years old, or is still within its manufacturer’s warranty, you would need vehicle specific wiring to protect that warranty. Other towing functions such as Trailer Stability Control that are available on your car could be activated when vehicle specific wiring is fitted. This is vehicle dependant as towing functions vary from car to car.
What is coding and does my car need it?
With any vehicle specific wiring loom there is a chance your vehicle will need coding. All our engineers are equipped with coding machines which they will plug into your car to update the system. Most new vehicles have towing functions and without the coding it is possible they won’t work. Some functions include de-activating your parking sensors, trailer stability control, and deactivating some safety functions such as lane assist.
Although this may sound daunting, we have invested heavily into up-to-date coding equipment and all our engineers have been trained in using, which means you will have the whole installation done the right way and saves you from having to take your vehicle to a manufacturer to finish the job. There are the minimal occasions where we cannot code a vehicle and you may need to get the dealership to complete this for you.
Towbars that we supply have a manufacturers lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects. This guarantee covers the fixed parts of the towbar assembly, and not moving parts such as detachable necks, or other accessories.
Towbar Neck Warranty
The neck section of the towbar has a 12 month warranty. It is very rare that these necks have a fault. Most of the time when there is a fault it's usually that the neck wasn't released from the car properly last time it was used. It simply needs to be reset, and you can view a video guide here.
Once your towbar and electrics have been fitted, we offer a 12-month guarantee on the installation of your towbar, electrics and other parts that are not covered by the manufacturer's warranty. Any electric faults that appear during the 12-month period that has been reported to us, will be fixed completely free of charge. If the fault isn't to do with the towbar fitment then you may be charged a call out fee, however this will be discussed at the time of booking.
Dependant on the make and model of your vehicle, the manufacturer may have offered a 3 year warranty at purchase or you may have taken an extended warranty to cover the electrics of your vehicle. If this is the case, then we recommend you choose the dedicated wiring loom. If you choose to have the universal electrics fitted to your vehicle then its possible you may lose your manufactures warranty. If you are unsure which wiring type to choose then please click here for more information.
Cycle Carrier Warranty
The Thule Cycle Carriers have a 5 years warranty. If you do have any issues then please get in touch so we can contact Thule as they will need to see the cycle carrier and determine the fault and then either fix the issue or replace the carrier. The decision is final from Thule.
For more detailed information about warranties please click here.
All of our warranties do not cover faults or damage caused by improper use or wear and tear from normal use.
You should be careful not to overload your towbar, as this is the most common cause of damage. You can check the maximum towing weight for your car here.
Please note: The below information is to be used as a guide only!
Vertical Load; is based on the Towbar's Vertical Capacity. Each may be different dependent on the towbar manufacturer's recommendations.
Towing Capacity; is based on the Towbar Towing Capacity and not your Vehicle's Towing Capacity.
Bumper Cuts; are as a guide only and some vehicles will need a tow panel from the manufacturer.
Visible Cut; again, is as a guide only as it depends on your bumper shape and the towbar fitted to your vehicle.