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Towing electrical systems

Cars, Motorhomes and Commercial Vehicles are becoming ever more complex, as such it is vital to consider what type of electrical wiring system and sockets you want installed.

Whether towing a large caravan, trailer box, another vehicle or used to support a bike carrier, you will need to fit an electrical socket and wiring kit. 

Electrical sockets

You have 3 options:

  •  single 7 pin (12N)
  •  twin 7 pin (12N & 12S)
  •  Single 13 pin

Wiring kits

On older vehicles there is a choice between fitting a bypass (universal aftermarket wiring) and vehicle specific electrics. With new vehicles it is essential to fit a manufacturers approved wiring kit. This will ensure the computer systems and safety features are not compromised.  Fitting a bypass or non-specific electrical system could compromise safety and could invalidate the warranty.

Dedicated wiring kits

Dedicated wiring kits are the recommended option, more so for modern vehicles, cars, vans and motorhomes, with sophisticated computerised management control systems. Electronic systems with the ability to recognise when a trailer or another vehicle is connected requiring an adjustment to the vehicles’ driving characteristics in terms of weight stability, cornering, braking and safety features. Features such as parking sensors can negatively impact on maneuverability and safety. In these situations, a dedicated wiring system will activate the onboard computer and, when towing, automatically deactivate the parking sensors.

Benefits of a vehicle specific (dedicated) wiring kit:

  • Works seamlessly with onboard computer systems
  • Parking aids disabled while towing
  • Vehicle warranty protected
  • Quality engineered solution
  • Designed with reliability and safety in mind

Our guide to choosing the correct socket should help you decide. But if you need further information and advice on best options, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Choosing the right wiring kit:

Jacques Towbar Services offer two different towbar wiring options – the CANbus system, or Univeral Bypass relay. Below is our handy guide to help you choose the best option for your vehicle.

Vehicle specific wiring kit

A Trailer Stability Program will operate automatically when sensors detect changes in operational conditions and caravan or trailer connection:

  • Lane change assistant
  • Brake electronics
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Suspension system (ASS)
  • Engine electronics
  • Engine cooling system
  • Parking aid
  • Reversing cameras


  • Approved by All Vehicle Manufacturers
  • Vehicle warranty protected
  • Trailer Stability Control and vehicle safety features activated
  • Parking aids and vehicle fog light disabled while towing


  • Higher cost


Universal bypass relay


This is a very popular option because the towing electrics are separated from the in-car wiring system. This electrical installation is commonly called ‘By-pass electrics’. This system is used to protect the car’s lighting systems from potential damage if the wiring in a trailer should malfunction. It is a tried and tested system in common use.

Due to the complexity of newer vehicles, this option is not recommended by vehicle manufacturers with an existing warranty.



  • Lower price
  • Universal fitment


  • Not approved by manufacturers
  • Vehicle Safety features not activated
  • Trailer Stability Control not activated
  • Parking aids are not disabled while towing
  • Might affect your vehicles warranty

For help or advice about any of our products or services, please contact us.

If you know what you need and you would like a detailed and competitive quote, please use the quote form. We will get back to you speedily and without delay.

Or you can call us on:  0800 772 3213 or 01904 406 321


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