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Towbar
#1
anyone fitted a towbar to a K9 van i'm thinking of putting one on my van wondering how easy or not it will be to do it myself like the electrics etc is it a plug and go system or cut into the wire harness any advice/help would be great full.
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#2
I've been doing that research for my M59, and now have a towbar and electric kit in my boot awaiting install. In basic terms, I would think the same as I found would apply to newer Berlingos too:

On the M59, the back of the car already has bolt-holes in it for attaching a towbar, and the back bumper already has two small holes in its underside, to allow a small rectangular cutout to be made in the right spot for the towing hook to poke out of.
I found this out by downloading the fitting instructions as pdfs from 2 or 3 towbar suppliers.

As for the electrics, first you need to know how many pins you want in your socket - either 7 or 13. 7 is fine for trailers and more, 13 is a new euro standard best for caravans etc. But it doesn't really matter because you can also get 7-13 pin adapters.

Next you also need to know if you need a bypass relay or not. The M59 doesn't need one because it has no bulb failure detection gizmo. Therefore the trailer lights can just be spliced into the car's rear light wiring. I would guess that the K9 does have bulb failure tech, in which case a bypass relay connects to the car's rear lights but only draws minimal power so as not to set off the bulb failure warning. The relay then feeds power direct from the car batt (via a fuse) to the trailer lights. So a kit with relay also has a long cable to run from the boot to the car batt in the engine bay.

Once you have sorted these two options, then you can decide between either a universal wiring kit or a dedicated one. Either will come with 7 or 13 pin socket and relay or no relay as appropriate.

The dedicated one costs a lot more and you must get one to suit your actual car, but the upside is that it will just be 'plug and play' with no hassle.

Unfortunately for me, not one supplier stocks dedicated kits for the M59 any more - it's too old.

The universal kit is basically a long multicore wiring loom and other bits, with some Scotchlock connectors. You will have to figure out which wire to splice to which wire in your car etc, but these kits are a lot cheaper.

Several companies supply all you will need. I started with https://www.pfjones.co.uk/ because someone else mentioned them here some years ago, but they messed me about and I had to cancel an order. You can download installation pdfs from their site.

I ended up going with http://www.towbarsdirect.co.uk/ - they could not be more helpful, listing all the bits I would need and their prices, and even attaching the installation instructions to their reply as well.

HTH.
Current: 2003 1.4i MS MPV - Lucifer Red
Prev: 2003 1.6 MS Desire - Blingo Blue
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#3
The answer depends on how much (if any) factory prep your van has. If it has prep then a dedicated kit will plug and play, otherwise you're looking at a universal kit inc running a permanant 12v live to from either the battery directly or BSI to the relay.
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#4
I have been looking at fitting a towbar to my new Berlingo (actually it is a Vauxhall Combo Life). I have fitted towbars before and the physical side of fitting the bar is straightforward, about an hour without busting a gut

The electrics however are different. I will pay to have a dedicated wiring kit fitted and coded so that everything works as it should. i am doing this because the car is still under manufacturers warranty. On my last car which was older I fitted a bypass kit which is quite straightforward if you are competent at vehicle wiring and can trace wires.

Peter
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#5
i got new van and paid for it all with dedicated loom and the coding as i didnt want any problems on warranty
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#6
You need to have the onboard computer system programmed and use an OEM wiring harness for it to work properly. When properly programmed the car detects the fitted trailer and monitor it. For example applying differential braking force to rear wheels if the trailer starts to snake, deactivates lane assist and rear fog lamps. Probably other items too. Anyone know a full list?
2021 Berlingo XTR M (K9) 130D

I.T. is there to help, but unforgiving if you make a mistake
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#7
I suspect the rear parking sensors get disabled as well (I have mine off but my other cars do). It does disable rear view camera IIRC. I tow very little with the Berlingo, I have more suitable vans for that.
2021 130hp 1.5 BlueHDi EAT8 L2 XTR Gris Platinum
ex: 2003 1.4i cargo
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#8
I have paid to have my towbar and electrics fitted and the reversing sensors still work

Peter
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#9
Is that with a trailer plugged in? I think the system detects whether one is or isn't.

If the reversing things do still work with a trailer plugged in, then at least you'll never reverse into the trailer.
Current: 2003 1.4i MS MPV - Lucifer Red
Prev: 2003 1.6 MS Desire - Blingo Blue
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#10
One of our Berlingos have aftermarket reversing sensors (dealer installed when new) and these go nuts when reversing with a trailer.
2021 130hp 1.5 BlueHDi EAT8 L2 XTR Gris Platinum
ex: 2003 1.4i cargo
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