Vehicles of today can have extremely sophisticated computer-controlled electrical systems that monitor engine, lighting, braking and other mechanical performance. Some can automatically enable towing-related safety functions (such as Trailer Stability Program - TSP - which helps to prevent snaking) to operate when you electrically connect a caravan or trailer to the vehicle. For this reason and particularly for vehicles with built in towing-related safety functions, a dedicated towing electrics kit may be obligatory to avoid any insurance issues in the event of an accident whilst towing.
The advantages of Dedicated electrical kits are –:
They are specially designed to work with your vehicle’s electrical system
Some will communicate with other vehicle control units to alter vehicle settings accordingly
They can usually activate, if fitted, a dash trailer indicator warning light
Automatic deactivation of factory-fitted parking aids
They automatically disable a vehicle’s rear fog lamps when towing to reduce reflective glare
They automatically activate the TSP (Trailer Stability Program), if installed
The automatic lockout of speed-dependant adjustable suspension, if installed. This can be a critcal safety issue when towing.
Provision of a pre-allocated fuse position on the main fuse board, (often listed in the owner's handbook) allows safe/stable power draw from your vehicle which is critical when your vehicle has state-of-the-art engine monitoring.
They provide the safest, most reliable and long-lasting type of towing connection.
They meet or exceed your vehicle's warranty requirements.
They allow the full function of the vehicle’s towing safety features to be used
NB. Dedicated kits are not available for all vehicles and Universal fitting kits may be your only option. Some vehicles may need coding which may have to be done at the vehicle main dealer's workshop and can incur a modest additional cost. Dedicated kits may cost significantly more than universal fitting electric kits but are increaslingly coming down in price as availability increases.
Dedicated (Vehicle Specific) Tow Bar Wiring Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do I need to fit a Bypass relay when installing a Dedicated kit?
No, The whole rationale behind dedicated towbar wiring is that they plug into existing plugs found on the vehicle
Are Dedicated Tow Bar Wiring Kits Simply "Plug N Play"?
Indeed some are simply plug and play. However, many are not and need a great deal of time (to remove interior trim panels) and skill (some need delicate electrical components dismantled - Read Mercedes and VAG / PSA group models). Also some vehicles need ECU coding for all or parts of the cars and kits functions to operate. The best suggestion would be to look up the vehicle you wish to install and read the fitting instructions. Click here to find your vehicle make and model