Urgent advice needed - Towbar Electrics

1Tracey1 replied on 21/08/2019 12:58

Posted on 21/08/2019 12:58

We are using a courtesy car which has a tow bar. We are hoping to get away at the weekend so yesterday we checked our caravan hitch lock was compatible...which it is. However, we then tried to plug in the electrics but found the end of our electrics (male) was too wide to go in to the electric point on the car/tow bar (female). We took some photos but I'm unable to add them..

It looks like the male end (our caravan electric) may have an additional cover on it which helps to secure it in to the female point on our car...it looks like this cover could be removed but we have been unable to do this and don't want to force it and damage it as not sure if the male end can be changed for a different set up.

So...would anyone know

1. Can this cover be removed so we can plug the electrics in to our courtesy car.

2. Can we buy an adaptor so we can plug the electrics in to our courtesy car.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated as we don't have much experience having only ever had one caravan and tow car. Thank you.

replied on 21/08/2019 13:12

Posted on 21/08/2019 12:58 by 1Tracey1

We are using a courtesy car which has a tow bar. We are hoping to get away at the weekend so yesterday we checked our caravan hitch lock was compatible...which it is. However, we then tried to plug in the electrics but found the end of our electrics (male) was too wide to go in to the electric point on the car/tow bar (female). We took some photos but I'm unable to add them..

It looks like the male end (our caravan electric) may have an additional cover on it which helps to secure it in to the female point on our car...it looks like this cover could be removed but we have been unable to do this and don't want to force it and damage it as not sure if the male end can be changed for a different set up.

So...would anyone know

1. Can this cover be removed so we can plug the electrics in to our courtesy car.

2. Can we buy an adaptor so we can plug the electrics in to our courtesy car.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated as we don't have much experience having only ever had one caravan and tow car. Thank you.

Posted on 21/08/2019 13:12

Are you sure it's just not stiff?

In all the years of car ownership, let's say 35, I've always had a towbar fitted and towed alsorts of different things, never come across plug and socket that wasnt compatible, apart from today's two variants.

Is the socket on the car in the correct position, is it bent or of the rotating type found on detachable.

Also I have never come across a trailer plug that has a built on cover.

EasyT replied on 21/08/2019 13:19

Posted on 21/08/2019 13:19

It looks like the male end (our caravan electric) may have an additional cover on it which helps to secure it in to the female point on our car...it looks like this cover could be removed but we have been unable to do this and don't want to force it and damage it as not sure if the male end can be changed for a different set up.

I have always seen a cover on the female socket on the car .... never seen a flap on the male end from the caravan

1Tracey1 replied on 21/08/2019 13:30

Posted on 21/08/2019 13:30

The end on the car (socket) is definitely different pin holes and size and is not currently compatible. 

We have perhaps not worded it correctly when we refer to the caravan end as having a cover.  It has two small squares at each side which looked like they had plastic inside which could be de-pressed.  We didn't know if pressing this would allow 'the end' to be removed and offer a different option to plug into the car.

Really sorry I cannot add photos.

  

replied on 21/08/2019 13:35

Posted on 21/08/2019 13:30 by 1Tracey1

The end on the car (socket) is definitely different pin holes and size and is not currently compatible. 

We have perhaps not worded it correctly when we refer to the caravan end as having a cover.  It has two small squares at each side which looked like they had plastic inside which could be de-pressed.  We didn't know if pressing this would allow 'the end' to be removed and offer a different option to plug into the car.

Really sorry I cannot add photos.

  

Posted on 21/08/2019 13:35

Is the tow car one socket or two, how many holes for the pins?.

Is the caravan one plug or two.

How many pins?

 

Quick guess your tow car may be of the older twin socket arrangement but only has one socket as it's not got the extra wiring for the caravan.

Count the holsles and pins and post back

replied on 21/08/2019 13:38

Posted on 21/08/2019 13:38

If your car has 7 holes and caravan 13 pins dont panic all you need is a euro adaptor sold at most caravan shops.

All it would mean is the extra functions the second socket provides you wont have, no big problem.

No idea re caravan plug cover is other than if its 13 pin is it some sort of aligning tool, again not unusual, but I've never owned one so cant comment.

replied on 21/08/2019 14:07

Posted on 21/08/2019 14:07

So I'm guessing sorted?

Car has towing electrics for a trailer, more usual on hire cars and van's, this provides legal lighting for caravans, the second socket missing is for caravan specific battery charge and fridge on whilst towing, not required.

Your caravan plug, looked at you tube, the cover you refer to isnt actually an end cover, more sleeve? You can still see the pins in the plug? The two square holes I you refer to are the clue.

So given all of the above is true, you just need an adapter and your good to go.

1Tracey1 replied on 21/08/2019 14:40

Posted on 21/08/2019 14:40

I think you have helped.  Looking at the photo I took of the tow bar electric point (other half currently has it at work), I think it is a 7 pin. It has what looks like three connectors in line across the middle and 4 holes outside in a square.  My caravan is at the storage place and I'm guessing the plug on that will have the 13 pins (it's a 2014 caravan).  It looks like I can get an adaptor from Halfords but I have a final question relating to this.  They offer 13 to 7 pin convertors and 7 to 13pin.

I'm thinking I would get the 7pin to 13 and put in on the car tow bar and stick my caravan end into that?  Would that be right?

replied on 21/08/2019 14:55

Posted on 21/08/2019 14:55

Yes.

https://www.halfords.com/camping-leisure/trailers-towing/trailer-accessories/ring-7-to-13-pin-adapter

 👍

 

One last thing if your not aware, your caravan plug you push it in and twist clockwise, to unplug carefully twist anti clockwise, dont pull it out until it feels it wants to, that's the alignment thing mentioned.

Look on you tube if not sure.

The adaptor to car socket is just a simple push in, theres a slot to align it.

1Tracey1 replied on 21/08/2019 15:07

Posted on 21/08/2019 15:07

Thank you very much for your help.  This place is a lifesaver for those of us that are caravan novices and on top of that useless at electrics/diy type stuff.  Thanks again folks.