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Towing electrics

Question

Posted

Me Again. I have just bought a new Tow Bus and Yes its Another Vito, As part of the deal they are fitting it with a tow bar (handy that) and it will come with a 13pin plug.  Now my old caravan has two 9pin plugs a Black which is what we have all ways used and it also has a Grey plug that we have never used.  I know that I can buy an adaptor to convert my new 13pin to a single 9pin or a double 9pin.

My Question is.... The black 9pin does all the towing lights and stuff, But what does the Grey 9pin do ?????

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Posted

Gary

All the 13 pin plugs I have bought have come with the alignment widget as standard. They probably come with the plugs the caravan builders buy too, they just don't get as far as the end users . . . 

Cheers

Keith

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Posted

Reversing light, power feed to charge battery†, battery feed to van when stationary*, Fridge power

†this feed is still on modern caravans but is switched by the fridge power to charge the battery while moving and to feed the van 12v when stationary

*this feed is no longer used on modern caravans (see above)

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Posted

Thanks for the reply, unfortunately Im a plasterer so didn't understand much of it,  does the fridge work all the time you are driving, or does it just charge the battery.

The big question I guess is, is it worth having.

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Posted

I would go with the 13pin option on the Vito. You can, as you say, get a 13 to grey and black converter as well as just a 13 to black converter. (I use one when I am just towing a trailer).

You could opt to have your caravan updated to 13 pin and so you would not need a converter and make use of the much more reliable pin to pin connection inherent in the 13 pin system.

Most 'vans have been supplied with 13 pin as standard for the last few years, so if you update to a newer 'van in the future the job is a good 'un!

Yes you get battery charging and fridge operating on the move.

Don't apologise for being a plasterer, my wiring skills are OK but you would not let me loose with polyfilla - never mind render!

Cheers

Keith

 

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Posted

Hi Dillon,

Of course it's worth doing, it's not expensive either.

You don't want to be sat there drinking warm beer whilst your wife is putting the awning up !!!

Happy caravanning, indoors.

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Posted

MY OPINION ONLY

Go with the 13pin

get whatever you have converted to it - - been using the twin plugs for far too long the 13 pin is so much more secure and less wires and so easy to to connect 

 

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Posted

Hi Dillon,

Of course it's worth doing, it's not expensive either.

You don't want to be sat there drinking warm beer whilst your wife is putting the awning up !!!

Happy caravanning, indoors.

Love It Thanks. My God that made me chuckle.

 

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Posted

Ok I have repaired the grey lead on my caravan which was damaged by the previous owner and why I have never used it, just waiting for delivery of the new Vito next week to be certain they have fitted a 13pin then will pop out and get a converter, I did have a look on ebay and there are two main types, the one with three plugs joined by two cables, and the more expensive all in one unit which might not be suitable depending on the van plug location.

 

Any way Ill let you know when Im sorted

 

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Posted

Now you have got your eye in repairing the grey cable, you can buy a 13 pin plug which is designed to take both cables into it.

A bit of a faff fiddling all the wires into place but you will remove a potential bad connection point between the caravan and your converter lead.

 

Cheers

Keith

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Posted

The grey 7 pin cable on the caravan has a known fault with the centre pin which is the earth, it makes a very poor contact with the corresponding one on the car grey 7 pin socket and melts.  I had this happen twice on previous caravans.  The 13 pin Euro-socket is much better and as others have said, it is worth converting the caravan to a single 13 pin plug if possible.  The only downside of the 13 pin caravan plug is that the centre part rotates (you plug the caravan into the car and rotate the plug 90 degrees to a "stop") and it is known for the central part to rotate out of alignment while unplugged from the car making it impossible to connect it to the car.  You can (just about) re-align it with screwdrivers and a healthy dose of swearing, but a better option is to buy a cheap plastic alignment tool (a couple of quid from a caravan shop or online) and keep it in the caravan and use it if/when you need to.  It has got me out of trouble a couple of times.

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Posted

Of course you could buy the slightly more expensive better quality one Gary :;)::jump:

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Posted

I've only ever had a problem with the plug on this particular caravan.  Before I plug it into the car I twist it (like a pig-tail) to stop it touching the ground and it's doing this that seems to twist it.  The first time it happened we were just about to leave the house for a site, there was some new language in the air as I tried to re-align it with screw drivers without stabbing myself!  I now temporarily use the alignment plug as I twist the cable which makes things easier. 

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Posted

Now you have got your eye in repairing the grey cable, you can buy a 13 pin plug which is designed to take both cables into it.

A bit of a faff fiddling all the wires into place but you will remove a potential bad connection point between the caravan and your converter lead.

 

Cheers

Keith

Im not bad with a soldering iron and sledgehammer, Because time is short the new van arrives on Thursday and we leave Friday I have bought a 13pin to 2x9 fly lead just to get started, Then when I have some time I can use the 13pin plug from that to wire in my two cables from the caravan. Its an expensive way of buying a 13pin male plug but it will get me on the road for Friday. .

Ps If any one would be interested we are now selling outr 2007 Citroen xsara Picasso VTX that we have owned for 9yrs, fully loaded 72000miles FSH 12months mot  blah blah blah

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Posted

Ok guys just a quick update and yet another question, Took delivery of my new Vito 116 sport today and sure enough it have a 13pin socket so I hooked it up to my caravans two leads using an adapter. All the normal Black electrics work, lights indicators etc, BUT how do I know if the grey is working, do I have to have the master switch in the on position or should things work as if it was connected to the mains.

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Posted

An Elddis Advante should be new enough to have a habitation relay fitted so the following would apply:

With the engine running at around 1500-2000 rpm turn on the 12v fridge switch - the light should come on (with the engine stopped it should go off) (If the light doesn't come on the bulb could be blown)

When the engine is off the following will happen:

On your 12V electric board with the switches and fuses etc., there should be a switch marked "car/off/van", switch this to car - all your 12v (lights etc.) should be working  If you start your engine at this point the lights will go out and your 12v fridge switch light will come on (if switched on)

There are two reasons for all this switching:

1) The fridge, although 12 will drain a 110ah battery in 2 hours or so and needs the engine running to stop this

2) Switching the 12v power off with the engine running ensures that nothing is left running while you are in transit and also discourages you from using the caravan while it is being towed

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Posted (edited)

Oh...........

 

And if you have a reversing light on the van it will come in when you are in reverse gear :jump::jump:

Edited by Rune Caster

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Posted

Rune caster thank you very much for the clear explanation I have checked everything and all seems to be good. We are ccurrently pitched on site enjoying the sun. Then I decided to take the 13 pin plug of the adapter I bought and fit it direct to the black and grey caravan leads. Now I have done that I realise I have to check its all working again but its looking much neater now. 

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Posted

Oh and yes even the reverse light now works.  

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Posted

Rune caster thank you very much for the clear explanation

I'm glad on that - it's difficult to describe, an "I know what I mean" sort of thing :jump:

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