When deciding to install a towbar, we should answer a few questions - which model best suits my needs, i.e. what will I tow most often, what budget I want to spend on its purchase and assembly, and how technologically advanced is the on-board computer in my vehicle. Knowing the answers to these questions, it will be easier for us to choose the hook properly, as well as the appropriate wiring harness, which will ensure safety and comfort during the journey.
Drivers interested in retrofitting vehicles with a towbar will find many interesting solutions on the market. Basic models of hooks, screwed or clipped, are available in the offer of most Polish and foreign manufacturers. On the other hand, hooks with a more advanced hiding mechanism under the bumper are offered by the largest companies on the market, incl. company Brink. Equally important as choosing the right hitch is also equipping it with an appropriate wiring harness dedicated to specific car models.
Universal or dedicated? 7- or 13-pin?
The manufacturers' offer includes universal and dedicated, seven or thirteen-pole harnesses. The choice between a seven or thirteen pole beam depends on what the hitch will be used for. However, for legal reasons, the 7-pin harness will be used less and less as it does not support the reversing light, which is required in trailers with a GVM of over 750 kg registered for the first time after August 1, 2009  . The thirteen-pole electrical harness is also necessary when towing a caravan and other trailers with an overrun brake - it provides power to all basic lights and reversing lights, electrical equipment and allows you to charge its battery. Due to the possibility of connecting the reversing light, a 13-pole harness is also required when connecting the car to a towbar mounted bicycle rack. For light trailers up to 750 kg, however, a seven-pole harness is sufficient.
Investing more money in a dedicated wiring harness may turn out to be a good choice due to the fact that it provides a higher level of safety and comfort of driving a set of vehicles. This type of harness is created in cooperation with the manufacturers of towing eyes and cars, which ensures ease of installation and use.
- In order to meet the needs of users of towing couplings, in addition to cooperation with car manufacturers, we also work with Jifeline , a company that creates software for encoding in the cloud of electric kits - says Robert Lichocki, sales director of Brink Group in Poland. - This type of application allows you to quickly and easily load the towbar's electrical harness into the vehicle's electronic system. This is a convenience both for small assembly workshops, as well as for people who decide to assemble a towing kit on their own - adds Lichocki.
Choosing a dedicated beam may turn out to be the right choice because of the more and more modern on-board computer software responsible for the proper operation of additional functions in the car, e.g. reversing sensors or stabilization of the track. This system, used on a daily basis in cars, has also been adapted to trailers. Responsible for detecting instability in the track. Activating the overrun brake of the trailer restores its smooth track and prevents the so-called snaking, which can lead to both the trailer and the car pulling it overturning
Module - vehicle electronics support
An additional decision faced by people interested in installing a towing hitch and an electric kit in older cars is the choice between the harness with the module and the one without it. Due to the fact that most vehicles produced after 2005 are equipped with the CAN Bus control system, drivers of newer cars should opt for a harness with an additional element. The control system is responsible, among others for lighting control (informs about blown light bulbs), stabilization system or the proper functioning of parking sensors. Connecting the towing hitch cable set without the module in the case of cars with CAN Bus support may cause the vehicle's on-board computer to malfunction. After connecting the trailer, it will be manifested by the lit lamp of the blown bulb or incorrect operation of parking sensors when reversing (the trailer or the trunk will be recognized by the computer as an obstacle). In addition, the module relieves the factory-installed electronic system, which reduces the likelihood of its damage. One of the car models in which the manufacturer proposes to install a towbar with an additional 12 V module is the Ford Ranger. This should not come as a surprise, bearing in mind that the car is equipped with numerous systems that facilitate driving on the roads. Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Trailer Stability Assist (TSA), Rollover Risk Control (ROM), Hill Start Assist (HSA), or Advanced Traction Control (TCS) are some of the components that use an electronic system cars. A similarly wide range of additional systems can be found in the off-road model of the Swedish manufacturer. Volvo XC60 is equipped with the City Safety system (reacts to insufficient distance from the other vehicle), Lane Departure Warning (reacts to approaching the lane marking line) and Electronic Stability Control (controls the vehicle's path). In these and many other examples, mounting the wiring harness without an additional module could be problematic.
When deciding to equip a vehicle with an element that increases its transport capacity, it is worth getting acquainted with the opinion of other users, and above all with the opinion of an expert in the towbar industry. Regardless of the type of trailer, while moving a set of vehicles, the number of different types of road events that may happen to us increases. Therefore, it is worth taking care of our safety, as well as of other road users, with properly selected equipment.
 Announcement of the Minister of Infrastructure and Development of 30 January 2015 on the publication of the uniform text of the Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure on the technical conditions of vehicles and the scope of their necessary equipment, internet source: http://isap.sejm.gov.pl/DetailsServlet ? id = WDU20150000305.
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