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Subject Topic: Towbar electrics Post Reply Post New Topic
18/2/2021 at 1:29pm
 Location: Bolton
 Outfit: Avondale Dart 510 5
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Picking up a brand new tow car tomorrow, Ford Focus eco blue titanium 2l estate. Having a little difficulty because Motability insist car has to be fitted by a vat registered company and with dedicated electrics. Most mobile fitters in this area are not Vat registered so I have to go to bigger companies. I have ben asked if the car has Trailer Preparation and I haven't come across this term before. I've asked the dealer and they say they will try to find out. Does anyone out there know if the above mentioned car has Trailer Preparation?


18/2/2021 at 1:54pm
 Location: Bolton
 Outfit: Avondale Dart 510 5
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Just had a call from the dealer the car does not have Trailer Preparation. Apparently more likely to be in higher spec cars. I can now sort out the towbar fitting in the hope of getting more use from my van than last year.


18/2/2021 at 2:36pm
 Location: East Herts
 Outfit: 1992 Elddis Wisp 450CT + X Trail
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This is not a situation I am familiar with, and I too have never heard of Trailer Preparation, but I would be very wary of doing anything to the car without express permission from Motability. If they own the car you could be accused of causing damage by having a towbar fitted by someone who had not been approved by Motability.

My guess is that Trailer Preparation probably has something to do with the fitting of electrical connections for towbar wiring, but I could be wrong.

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Best Regards,
Colin


18/2/2021 at 3:06pm
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towing prep is normally a dedicated plug and play electrical socket on the wiring loom. you just plug the towbar electrics straight in.


via mobile 18/2/2021 at 3:24pm
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On VWs trailer prep means the car has the OEM trailer electrics often sitting in a unit towards the front of the car but no wiring out to where a towbar would be fitted. Then if you fit a towbar you just plug the new loom in to the trailer electrics and it all springs in to life.


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18/2/2021 at 3:36pm
 Location: Bolton
 Outfit: Avondale Dart 510 5
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Thanks. You need Motability's permission to fit a tow bar and I spoke to them this morning. They gave approval subject to the tow bar being fitted by any dealer that has a VAT registration and that "dedicated" electrics are fitted as opposed to universal. The Trailer Preparation does refer to the electrics although I have no idea exactly what this is I had assumed it was something to do with codex or coding but I'm quite happy to leave this to the professionals.


via mobile 18/2/2021 at 3:46pm
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On Fords that I have owned there was no such thing as Trailer Prep, they either have full OEM trailer module plus wiring out to the plug at the bumper or nothing at all.


18/2/2021 at 3:47pm
 Location: Bath
 Outfit: Bailey Palermo & Kampa Brean
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The preperation will determine what kit is requried. It will be something along the lines of what Broadside says with the location of the current wiring.

On some new cars/vans they will include a partial wiring (trailer prep) that was done at factory to add a towbar thus it will just need one final kit to add in the electrics.
Without the trailer prep, then there may be nothing in place from the factory wiring thus requiring a different/extra wiring kit that will allow the addition (usually costs more).
The fitter will know what it requires, and will be able to tell you if its plug and play or if it needs programming by Ford.

We had the same on our Vito as it had no trailer prep. Thus it needed a couple of parts kits that needed running from front to rear of the van to than add the final kit. Had it had trailer prep then the front to rear would have been already in situ.


18/2/2021 at 3:54pm
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Trailer prep could include dedicated wiring, uprated cooling and in some cases a different rear exhaust to clear tow bar. All depends on what the car manufacturer specifies.


18/2/2021 at 3:55pm
 Location: North Essex
 Outfit: Caravelair Alba 400
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You just need towbar fitter to use dedicated loom. Most important that you get in writing that it will be fully wired for caravan use. Otherwise you may get 13 socket only wired for trailer use so your caravan battery will not charge & fridge won’t run on 12v while towing. There are different dedicated looms for just trailer wiring & for full caravan wiring so you need to ensure correct one is fitted.



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Every day should be a holiday!


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18/2/2021 at 3:56pm
 Location: Bolton
 Outfit: Avondale Dart 510 5
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Thanks for all the replies. It was a towbar fitting company that asked if the car had trailer preparation. This is our 6th Motability car with a tow bar and this is the first time that this term has been used.


18/2/2021 at 11:42pm
 Location: 
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Hi Geoff48, have you tried indespension at Bolton, near ASDA former BW ground, they have done a couple of tow bar fits for me, they have all the kit and know what they are doing.


19/2/2021 at 1:25am
 Location: Lichfield
 Outfit: Coachman Amara 450
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Trailer preparation means that there is a towing wiring loom fitted to the vehicle as standard which is linked to the dedicated electronic circuit in order to instantly connect the 13 pin towing loom cable for the trailer connection. If there isn't then the vehicle's existing cables have to be cut and connected to the side lights, brake lights and indicators in which an audible buzzer has to be installed as well in coordination with the flashing indicators. Trailer preparation is a direct plug and socket contact which the trailer indicators are displayed on the vehicle dashboard instead and a symbol displaying that a trailer is connected. Also, when the towing plug is connected, it immediately relays a message to the electronic circuit and detects that a second battery is in circuit (the caravan leisure battery) so the output of the alternator amps increases respectively which has to return to default when detached. If it didn't then the vehicle battery would over-heat leading to the possibility of a fire but there would most likely be a safety device installed to avoid that happening such as brake failure which then means a roadside rescue and a job for the dealer from where you had the vehicle from.
The vehicle insurance which I believe is Royal Sun Alliance also has to be notified that a towbar has been fitted as it is classed as a modification under the Motabilty scheme. If you fail to this and a claim is made it could lead to a refusal of payout so it's paramount to read the terms and conditions of the insurance policy and the current Motabilty agreement first and it will tell you exactly what is required.


19/2/2021 at 6:57am
 Location: Bolton
 Outfit: Avondale Dart 510 5
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Thank you.


17/3/2021 at 1:19pm
 Location: Manchester
 Outfit: Swift Challenger 524
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Also find the tow centre in Bury very helpful, They have done all my towbars with never an issue.



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