Which Vehicle Plug Adapter Do I Need?
Choosing the correct towbar electrics kit is essential to making sure you are safe on the road. When you are towing a trailer, caravan or bike rack, the lights on your vehicle will be hidden so it is important to have a towbar electrics kit so your car lights and signals are visible to other road users.
A towbar wiring kit connects the electrics and lights on your car to the lighting board on your trailer, caravan or bike rack. This means that when you indicate or brake, these lights will be illuminated on your trailer or caravan as well, which is a legal requirement when towing.
There are 3 types of towbar electrics plugs, including single 7 pin electrics, single 13 pin electrics and twin electrics. Single electrics use one plug to connect your vehicle and trailer electrics, whereas twin electrics require two 7 pin plugs, which is usually necessary for towing older caravans or trailers.
If you've tried to connect electrics from your caravan or trailer to your towbar, and it doesn't fit, you need a vehicle plug adapter.
How do I know which adapter is right for me?
In this section of the blog we will discuss the following adapters:
- 7 pin to 13 pin adapter
- 13 pin to 7 pin adapter
- 13 pin to 2x 7 pin (twin) adapter
- 2x 7 pin (twin) to 13 pin adapter
7 pin to 13 pin adapter
If you have 7 pin towbar electrics fitted onto your vehicle, but what you want to connect it to has 13 pins, you'll need a 7 pin to 13 pin adapter. A common use for this adapter is when you have a towbar fitted with 7 pin electrics for towing a trailer, but you want to attach a bike rack that has a 13 pin plug. As well as this, it can also be used to plug in a caravan that has a 13 pin plug.
It is important to remember that the adapter will only extend the 7 pin functions. This means that whilst it can power the brake lights on the back of your caravan, it will not be able to provide any of the battery charging or interior power like fridges etc. If your caravan has 13 pins, we would recommend purchasing a towbar that also has 13 pins, ensuring you can provide your caravan with all the necessary power it needs.
13 pin to 7 pin adapter
A 13 pin to 7 pin adapter is used when you have 13 pin electrics on your vehicle, but you want to tow a standard trailer, or use a cycle carrier that has a 7 pin plug.
A 7 pin plug only supplies basic lighting, like indicators and brake lights. Caravans are not made with 7 pin plugs, so if you have 13 pin electrics on your vehicle and want to tow an older caravan, you will need a 13 pin to 7 pin adapter.
13 pin to 2x7 pin (twin) adapter
If you have 13 pin electrics fitted on your vehicle's towbar, and you need to tow an older caravan that has twin plugs, this is the adapter for you. A common use of these adapters is when you have a 13 pin detachable towbar onto your vehicle. The electric socket on a detachable towbar folds away when it's not being used, so in this case there isn't room for twin sockets. This is why detachable towbars have 13 pins.
2x7 pin (twin) to 13 adapter
If you have twin electrics fitted to your vehicle towbar and you buy a new caravan that has 13 pin electrics, instead of buying a new towbar, you can use the twin to 13 pin adapter. This will ensure that all functions of your caravan will work whilst it is being towed, including lights and interior power.
Before you can get on the road, you need to make sure you have a towbar set up and ready. With almost 70 years of experience in designing and developing towbars, we provide high-quality products which are great value for money. We have over 5,000 towbars for sale, all designed to be compatible with individual vehicle specs. Follow the link below to find out more about our towbars.