12 pin plugs,

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 14:53
ThreadID: 108839 Views:5630 Replies:14 FollowUps:18
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How'dy everyone, ok here we go, I have a bit of a delema I have a 7 pin round on my tow vehicle and have ordered our new van been told need a 12 pin plug, no worries and they said we can supply and fit for a fee of ( wait for it ) $800 gulp u got to be kidding me. I have a anderson plug on already so what I need to know is can I just hook that wiring straight onto the 12 pin . Also I am have ESC fitted so do I need a separate power sorce for this or does it come off the other one. I know I'm not paying that much and I do all my own electrical work anyway have done for last 20 years or so without any trouble.
Cheers Pete
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Reply By: Green Rv - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 16:36

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 16:36
i had a mechanic do one in redcliffe for under $200.00
yes you could pinch the power from the anderson plug the retro your 12 pin
the esc don't know but use a red plug for this one so you don't plug into the wrong plug and fry the system
AnswerID: 536421

Reply By: CSeaJay - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 16:59

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 16:59
Sorry for what may be a silly question, but what makes it necessary to have a 12 pin over a 7 pin? There are only that many circuits; L&R indicator, Brake, lights, and brake assist.
Is it not simpler to just have the van receiver rewired for a 7 pin?
CJ
AnswerID: 536422

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 13:30

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 13:30
The 7 smaller pins are dedicated to the trailer navigation lights you detailed and the electric brakes. If you have trailers with 7 pin flat plugs they plug straight into the 7 small pins and the protective flap on the tug socket will still mate with the strain relief lugs on the trailer plug. The great unwashed that don't know what size conductors an plug pins are required to supply enough current to an absorption fridge to make it operate efficiently thieve pin 2 on the connectors (the reverse light) for the fridge supply. If the cabling to the fridge is heavy enough and enough current is flowing to the fridge then you will burn out pin 2.

The 5 large pins on the 12 pin connector are large enough to supply things like an absorption fridge and a DC-DC battery charger. They should be used to supply all the 12 V power for the van, some ESC installers use use the pins in the 12 pin connectors, those that are not in tune with these connectors insist in using Anderson plugs.
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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 22:12

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 22:12
Peter,
I don't understand your aversion to Anderson Plugs and the seeming attempt to belittle those who want them. Or is it a case that you don't understand the ESC system? There are circumstances where it is appropriate to be able to disarm the ESC but if you supply ALL 12V power to the van via the 12 pin connector then you have to also provide a way to disconnect that power when those circumstances arise. Your comment though doesn't provide for this possibility without adding in a user controlled switch or relay in to the ESC feed. In your simplified version you would have to disconnect everything to the van/trailer to accomplish it, which would be both illegal and unsafe. ALKO themselves advise using something like an Anderson Plug to allow for disconnection for offroad or rough road usage where the ESC may operate when it isn't required. Very soon after we acquired our van we were on a section of bitumen road that was so rough that it operated the ESC system and momentarily locked up the van brakes at a time where speed or other sway inducing issues weren't a problem.
I wired my own car with heavy enough cable from the main battery so that there is very little voltage drop to the Anderson Plug for the ESC and also to the 2nd battery in the tub and then on to the other Anderson Plug for fridge power. Even if I had used any of the larger pins in the 12 pin connector it would have been necessary to quite reduce the conductor size to fit in to the pins. I prefer to oversize cables, not undersize. ALKO state that the wiring and fusing for the ESC be 30A capable and personally I wouldn't regard even the larger of the 12 pins to be satisfactory for that potential. I'd want a much more reliable, solid and large capacity connection for those purposes.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 17:33

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 17:33
My aversion is not towards Anderson plugs perse, it is more towards those who run the 12 pin plugs down and give the impression that the Anderson plugs are the only way to go. They are quite satisfactory for applications up to 30 A. Above that current Anderson connectors are a good way to go. I like to keep things simple and have less things to do when hitching up.
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Reply By: Ross M - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 17:10

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 17:10
Get them to explain in detail, what wiring is involved and why it requires a 12 pin plug.
The ESC has to have some power I presume and it could be supplied from the anderson system perhaps.

If they can't clearly show and justify why it is required and how $800 is involved, possibly telling them to put the plug where it fits best may be an option.

12 pins wide may be painful. They may take the 7 pin round option as an alternative.
AnswerID: 536425

Follow Up By: Member - Sanantone - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 17:21

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 17:21
They are not 12 pins wide, they normal 7 pin on top & 5 pins below, the vans come with them, I would think you don't have much choice.
Tony
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 18:53

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 18:53
I have never tried but the 7 plug in fits the 12 base I believe.

It was such a nice concept, 12 wide.
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Follow Up By: Member - Keith P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 22:55

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 22:55
The 7 pin plug will fit into the 12 pin socket and work if wired correctly....but not the other way around.
The large pins in a 12 pin plug are rated at 35 amps max...and the reason that caravan makers are going to them (so I was informed.....??!!) was to make a quicker and simpler hook up for the noobs about the place who get confused over working out which shoe goes on which foot....of which there are plenty apparently.

Cheers Keith
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:20

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:20
Keith P
That would be Velcro Fastened shoes too I presume. Those laces or Zips are complicated items.
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Reply By: Member - Sanantone - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 17:12

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 17:12
I got the 12pin plug fitted at the time of picking up the van for $230 (including all parts), you are being ripped, get a local auto electrician to install if you have to.
I am no expert, but the other 5 wires in the plug are much larger, presumably capable of running more amps?? maybe for all the other gear they have, e.g. ESC etc
Tony
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Reply By: Member - Brian P (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 17:23

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 17:23
I had the local auto sparkle fit a 12 pin plug. From memory I think it was about $300 and something. This included a Redarc Smart Start Solenoid and heavy wiring. Cheers Brian
AnswerID: 536427

Reply By: Member - petza - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 17:58

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 17:58
Cheers everyone for all u'r quick replys, for the record the 12 pin plugs are on vans now and some dealers will let u stick with u'r anderson set up but others don't give u a choice. And yes they are 7 normal pins bottom and the top 5 are larger pins for heavier amps.
Cheers Pete
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 18:11

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 18:11
Pete,

It would appear that the 12 pin plug/socket may be the "new" pseudo standard.
I have also ordered a new van and was asked what plug I wanted. The 12 pin was "standard" but a request for a 7 pin plug for lights and brake control and an Anderson connector equipped cable for charging the batteries from the alternator, brought the reply:- no problem. No extra charge.

The van is being built from scratch to order and obviously the manufacturer can supply either option.



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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 14:57

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 14:57
Quote "It would appear that the 12 pin plug/socket may be the "new" pseudo standard."

Nothing new about them. I have been using them on my last 3 vans, or in other words for over 20 years.
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Reply By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 18:11

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 18:11
Hi Petza,

"I have a anderson plug on already so what I need to know is can I just hook that wiring straight onto the 12 pin"

Before we can answer that we need to know what did you power with the Anderson on your old van?

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - petza - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 18:30

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 18:30
Hi Frank P, was a camper trailer and was the charging system and also the fridge when we had our van few years ago. Is the heavy duty wiring.
Bill yes u are right seems to be the way they are going now and like I said some give u a choice but mine don't and is also been built .But that's not the bother the price was and as was said I need to find out about the ESC
Cheers Pete
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Follow Up By: Member - Rosss - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 19:07

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 19:07
What do you mean, Won't give you a choice, You are paying the money for the van, if they won't give what you want don't pay until they do, there is too much of this "You will have what we want to sell you crap around these days". There are no laws saying what you must have, it is your choice.
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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 19:48

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 19:48
Petza,

If the Anderson on your tug had heavy cabling, presumably matched in your camper and it all worked ok, it is highly unlikely that any of the cabling in the 12 pin flat in your new van would match that in either cable size or performance.

If you jumpered from the Anderson to the relevant pin in the 12-pin, chances are that the results would be unsatisfactory. Even the large pins on the the 12 pin cannot accept the cable size that an Anderson can accept. Apart from that, the contacts on the 12-pin, even the large ones, are not suited to the kinds of currents required for battery charging. They may work for a short time, but they will quickly fail.

If you want to charge your van battery while driving if I were you I would insist it be via the Anderson and I would insist that the manufacturer install an Anderson on the van with heavy gauge cabling at least matching that in your tug.

If they won't do that, maybe accept the van in standard form then take it to a sparkie who could do the job for way less than the manufacturer's quote of $800.

Good luck

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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 20:49

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 20:49
Just to add to the previous two posters and to put not to fine a point on it.

12 pin rectangular plugs and the 7 pin plugs they are related to are just rubbish.

A good quaiity 7 pin round utiliux style plug for lights and brakes and a 50 amp andrson plug for power will be far better and more reliable.

worst comes to worst..make up an adaptor from what you have to the 12 pin till you can get it home and rewire it.

There is no reason why the van can not be fitted with something other than a 12 pin piece of rubbish.

$800 to wire a 12 pin plug is a joke.......but you are buying a caravan right...that means think of a figure and double it.

The caravanning community are paying over the odds every day for just about everything.

cheers
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 08:51

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 08:51
Get rid of the everyday 7 pin toy plugs and get theses...

http://www.narva.com.au/products/browse/heavy-duty-4

It's all we use and recommend unless the customer doesn't want to change.

These plugs lock into the socket and are better quality then the standard plugs used on trailers.
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:25

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:25
$800 - the cost of a 12 pin plug = Huge profit.

I will contract to fit any and all 12 pin plugs for that sort of money.
Even travel interstate to do the fitting.
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 13:32

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 13:32
I think there may be more to the story.... either petza isn't tell it all or petza and the caravan place have had a misinterpretation/misunderstanding between parties.

For all you know they person at the caravan place may of misquoted and instead of being a cheapish trailer plug change; has quoted on a brake controller, Anderson plug at the back with an isolator........ maybe a towbar and wiring....maybe petza asked for more then he /her has said!

Nobody would be that naive to quote that high for a simply job.
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Reply By: Member - PhilD_NT - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 21:25

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 21:25
It would be worthwhile downloading the User Manual from the ALKO website and reading about what they require to power it and their recommendation's as to any offroad or rough road usage you might encounter.
http://www.alkoesc.com.au/mediadownloads.html#.U85JBJMiPyM
AnswerID: 536439

Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:43

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:43
I have a 12 pin plug on my van and tug setup.

To carry extra power back to trailer or van for battery charging it is common to use anderson plugs

The 12 pins in my case, and is quite common, is for the 7 usual circuits of lights etc on van and the some of the other five pins are used for constant video for camera setup on back of van. That is what I use mine for.

I have constant rear video vision on a separate screen and navigation on a builtin dash unit (radio Cd etc) so that I do not have to switch between sources to look behind me.

Find the rear camera very helpful to see those cars sitting right up behind me out of sight from mirrors.

So I find it common to see 12 pin plugs plus anderson plug

Alan
AnswerID: 536463

Reply By: Ted G - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 11:01

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 11:01
Hi Petza I have a 7 pin plug on my caravan and an Anderson plug for the battery and fridge, I was told by the dealer that I required the Anderson because the draw on the fridge was too great for the 7 pin (no option for 12 pin). I am now looking at fitting a 12 pin plug because of the stupid rules in NSW that require a monitor for the breakaway battery to be fitted in the car, the only way is to use the extra pins in the 12 pin plug or fit another plug.
Regards Ted G
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 17:59

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 17:59
there has to be a wedge for the break away, so it is entirely possible to use a seperate plug for the break away, the 12 pin plug is not the only way to do it.

I am surprised that none of the breakaway system manufacturers has not come up with a breakaway wedge that encorpirates the electrical contacts to charge the break away battery and to return the charge monitoring system.

cheers
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Reply By: Member - petza - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 13:52

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 13:52
So sorry Olcoolone, my mistake I did get it wrong, just rung them back and yer it was $895, which was for the plug, cable,50amp redarc all wired up to go. My apologys if I put u crock oh and yer they only do the 12 pin plug if u want anything else u have to get it done after pick up.And there is no more to the story.
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 15:57

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 15:57
That sounds better, the only concern I would have is getting the caravan place to do the work...... most caravans we see all have below standards of workmanship and are not industry acceptable, I call it "getting it done by MONKEYS" and "business owners who don't know what they are doing".

Funny they will not swap plugs, maybe out of their comfort/experience zone or might not have the correct procedures document done for their Australian standards and quality assurance certificate....LOL
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 15:23

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 15:23
Twelve pin connectors for vans are fast becoming the norm . Over half the vans are fitted with them. They are the standard connector on Jayco vans. There are many other new vans you see them on as well.

These connectors are nothing new as some have commented (in this and other threads.) I used one on my 1993 Regent Tourer. I upgraded the wiring in both the tug and the van and achieved excellent performance from the 3 way fridge when running from the tugs alternator. That's when I discovered the true ratings of the small pins in trailer plugs, Mine welded itself into the socket during a long trip.

The average (possibly the majority) trailer connector installer does not seem to realise the voltage drop that occurs in the lengths of cable needed to wire up caravans. The same goes for very many van electricians. If they did then 7 pin flat and small plugs would have disappeared from vans by now.

When you add to the equation the new things like cameras, ESC and breakaway battery monitors 12 pin connectors should be the norm.

Pete, is your new van a Jayco? If so that is why you are getting a 12 pin trailer plug. Some agents will change the plug to what you ask for, the others refuse.
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Follow Up By: Member - petza - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 15:37

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 15:37
Hi Peter, no it's not a Jayco and it is one of the ones that refuse to change from there 12. I'm not concerned about the 12 pin just the cost in installing it. If I don't get time to do it myself I will look around for an Electrian on the sunny coast I'm sure as others have said it is a lot cheaper. It's not to bigger issue but will need to have a adaptor from 12 to 7 for when towing my camper and any other trailers.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 15:54

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 15:54
I take it your other trailers have round plugs and not 7 pin flat ones. If that is the case it will be much cheaper to mount a 7 pin round socket next to the 12 pin one. The 12 pin flat sockets were engineered to accept a 7 pin flat plug but they don't go the other way around.
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