Choosing the right towbar electrical socket

Apr 27, 2018 | Towbars

When you are in the process of choosing the right towbar for your vehicle, you will need to consider which towbar electrics to have installed. Different kinds of electrics will impact the towing features open to you and getting this wrong can be a costly mistake to change down the line. Towing electrics are a factor many people don’t know much about, however, and so we have put together this article to help you make the right decision.

Types of towbar electrical socket

Which kind of electrics you will require depends largely on what you tow and the features you need or want. The different types of socket are distinguished by the number of pins they have – pins are connection points which are used to power different features which rely on electricity to function. There are three kinds of electrical socket which are used in the UK: single 7 pin, twin 7 pin and single 13 pin.

Single 7 pin

The most basic form of electrics, the single 7 pin socket is probably best suited to towing trailers or cycle carriers. A 7 pin socket will allow you to display all the necessary, legally required rear lights on the back of your towed apparatus. Although you could tow a caravan with a simple 7 pin socket, none of the caravan’s interior electrics would work, nor would the reversing lights, and its battery would not be charged either.

Towbar socket types

Twin 7 pin

Twin 7 pin electrics involve the installation of two 7 pin sockets and are used for towing older caravans, namely ones built before 2008. After 2008, the 13 pin socket become the standard. With twin electrics, you are able to tow a caravan with all the necessary features enabled by the single 7 pin and also run all the interior electrics and charge the battery of your caravan with the second 7 pin socket. The second 7 pin socket is grey and its typical functions include:

Towbar twin socket types

Single 13 pin

The 13 pin socket is the one to go for if you are towing a new caravan. The 13 pin socket has been used as standard across most of Europe for many years, with the UK getting on board too back in 2008. The 13 pin socket effectively combines the twin 7 pin into one, allowing a single socket to cover all your caravanning needs.

13 pin socket types

What’s more, if you want a detachable towbar, a 13 pin socket is the best option. When you aren’t towing, the towbar neck is removed and the electrics should fold up behind the bumper for a neat aesthetic. Whilst this is possible with the 13 pin, it is not with twin electrics. If your caravan is older, you can also conveniently buy 13 pin to twin 7 pin converters.

Towbar2U offers expert mobile towbar fitting services to customers throughout England. Our team of well-trained professionals can carry out a safe and efficient installation service at a time and place which is convenient for you. We supply a wide range of high quality towbars – options include different electrics, vehicle specific wiring, fixed and detachable towbars. Get in touch with our helpful team today for more information or visit our areas covered page to find your local fitter!

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