Single electrics or 12N electrics are used for towing trailers and for use with cycle
carriers to power the cycle carrier lighting board which is needed if the cycles
or carrier obstructs the view of the car rear lamps. Some newer vehicles may need
a universal bypass relay fitted. You can l find out if your vehicle needs one on
our tow-bar application lookup.
12N usages outlined
• Trailers without Leisure batteries
• Boat trailers
• Cycle carriers
• As a fly lead on clip on cycle carriers
Twin electrics 12S or 7 pin secondary towing electrics
12S electrics commonly referred to as the twin electrics socket and has a grey cover
are used in conjunction with the 12N socket when towing caravans, trailer tents and
alike. The 12S electrics are used to charge the leisure battery, the charge for this
is taken from the towing vehicle charging system via an automatic split charging
relay so that both leisure battery and vehicle battery have sufficient power. The
12S socket also contains a power feed for the reversing lights on the caravan.
12S usages outlined
• Caravans with a leisure battery.
• Trailer tents with a leisure battery.
• Catering trailers with a leisure battery.
Auxiliary batteries or leisure batteries are used in caravans or trailer tents to
power fridges whilst towing so that your food can be chilled whilst towing. To allow
a leisure battery to charge a 12S (grey) socket is required.
Split charge relay
Split charge relays or tandem charge relays are used to divert charging current from
the alternator on a towing vehicle and divert the charge via the 12S socket to the
leisure battery in a caravan or catering trailer. Split charge relays are intelligent
relays that can automatically sense when the vehicle that is towing needs the charge
for its own battery and so switches back the charge to the vehicle. Split charge
relays are wired into the grey 12S socket or 13 pin socket and come in two amperage
sizes 20 amp and 30 amp we only supply the 30amp version as it is suitable for all
vehicles including those with gas fridges.
13 pin towing socket
13 pin towing sockets are the newest style of towing socket and as of September 2008
all caravans manufactured will be wired up with 13 pin plugs that meet ISO11446 (
international standards organisation ) and the U.K. representative B.S.I. ( British
standards institute ) requirements. The 13 pin socket is also more adaptable for
detachable tow-bars that have a spring mounting single socket plate that can be folded
up behind the bumper so that it is invisible.
• If your car has a 13 pin socket and your caravan has 2 x 7 pin towing plugs
(12N + 12S) you can purchase a conversion lead MP603 from us to allow you to tow.
• If your caravan has a 13 pin plug but your car has 2 x 7 pin sockets (12N +
12S) you can purchase conversion lead TF1360 to allow you to tow.
Universal bypass relay
Bypass relays or bulb failure relays are fitted to stop the vehicles light check
control system putting a warning light onto the dashboard to suggest that one or
more bulbs has blown when actually the trailer lights are taking away a small amount
of electrical current.
Bypass relays are also used when wiring onto canbus systems to prevent any electronic
• Universal bypass relays do not interact with TSP or cut the reverse sensors
• TSP trailer stability program is a design is some vehicles to reduce snaking
• Canbus Controller area network allows sensors in a vehicle to interact without
a master controller.
• ACC Adaptive cruise control adjusts the power to the cruise control when
Vehicle specific wiring kits
Vehicle specific wiring kits in the majority of cases connect directly into the manufacturers
dedicated socket. In some vehicles it is necessary to run other cables which are
all supplied within the dedicated kit with detailed instructions of where to find
the plugs and wires that you need from around the vehicle.
Some vehicles also need a compulsory download from the vehicle main agent to make
the vehicle aware that these towing electrics are fitted, but again that is dependent
on the make and model of the vehicle. Please refer to your vehicle handbook or spec
The advantages of a dedicated wiring kit are that the vehicle will know when you
are towing and will automatically adjust the following (only if the vehicle has them).
• Brake electronics
• Engine electronics
• Cruise control or A.C.C.
• Parking aids
• Reversing cameras
• Lane change assisting
• Suspension system
• Engine cooling system
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