Tag Archives: Harness

Digital & CAN-Bus wiring for Towing

Digital & CAN-Bus wiring for Towing

1. What is it?

Many modern vehicles use CAN-Bus or some form of digital wiring to relay messages around the vehicle. These messages convey instructions to the vehicle about such things as engine management, braking, stopping, reversing, cruise control etc. In addition to this many new vehicles contain such features as lane change indicators, bulb out or reversing sensors. Adding a towing unit such as a caravan, boat trailer or box trailer to the vehicle means that these features can be affected. Using specialised vehicle specific digital or CAN-Bus wiring harnesses allows the vehicle to manage these features for safe towing.


2. Who should use them and why.

Traditional towbar wiring systems in Australia usually consist of bypass wiring looms, this means that the vehicles wiring system or “control system” is bypassed, effectively ignoring the towing unit in order to allow the vehicle to tow without affecting the running of the vehicle.

The problem here is that by bypassing the vehicles “control system” on a modern vehicle with so many in built safety features you are effectively overriding all of the safety features the vehicle was designed with and therefore potentially placing lives at risk.

Who should use CAN-Bus or digital wiring solutions? Anybody charged with the responsibility of activating towing solutions to a vehicle, to not do so puts lives at risk. It should also be the responsibility of any towing products retailer to offer these Digital & CAN-Bus systems to each customer, therefore removing the risk of future liabilities.


3. What is the range?

Virtually all new vehicles regardless of make or model have some sort of digital wiring to control the vehicles operation. The Zetti Erich Jaeger range of wiring harnesses now exceeds 100 different vehicle applications with new makes and models being added regularly. It is important to note that the Zetti Erich Jaeger harnesses are vehicle specific to the Asia Pacific region, this means you can be confident that they work correctly on Australian released vehicles.

Recently released models of the Mitsubishi Triton, Ford Ranger, VW Amarok, Nissan Navara, Holden Colorado, Isuzu D-Max and the Mazda BT50 all have Zetti Erich Jaeger digital wiring harnesses available.

Search the full range online at www.zetti.com


4. Are they cost effective?

Zetti Erich Jaeger wiring harnesses are cost effective against OEM (manufacturers) equipment. They will usually be more expensive than the traditional bypass wiring harnesses. The real question here is what risks are people prepared to take with a customer’s safety?

Erich Jaeger harnesses are also “precoded” meaning no additional trips to the dealer, incurring extra costs. Erich Jaeger harnesses are also fully self contained meaning you don’t need to purchase a loom, tail or ECU separate, all of which adds extra cost to each build.

Back to Basics for Towing

We all like to get away at holiday time and grab the boat or the caravan to enjoy a trip, but when was the last time you had your Towbar or your Wiring system checked?  Every couple of years it is a good idea to have your trailer, towbar & vehicle inspected by an authorised technician.  This could be as easy as booking it in at your preferred dealership/mechanic or having a mobile safety inspection visit your place.


The last thing we need when we are on holidays is to have a problem with our Towbar or the wiring.  Over time the connections can wear on the wiring pickup points, so it is advisable to test the trailer wiring on your towing vehicle before you hook up the boat or van.  This can be carried out by you with a simple test kit (available here) or easily checked by your mechanic.

Once your vehicle has been checked, take a look at the trailer and make sure it’s up to scratch.  They often get neglected and spend most of their life in the weather.  Have you nearly rear-ended a trailer being towed with non-working brake lights?  Pretty dangerous, right!  What about those poor souls on the side of the highway with the trailer missing a wheel?  Not ideal.  Get it checked out by your mechanic to make sure it’s safe to use.


    Do I have the right towbar for what I am towing?

Always check the towing capacity for your vehicle. Make sure the load you are pulling does not exceed this and make sure your towbar & ball is rated for the specified load.

    Do I need to adjust my driving skills now that I have a caravan or trailer on the back?

Now that you’re towing, your vehicle is heavier and will take further to stop.  Make sure you leave enough distance between you and the car in front so you can slow down in time.  You will also need to be more considerate of other vehicles now that your vehicle is longer.  Changing lanes should be done with plenty of warning and only when safe.  Reversing should be carried out with an extra set of eyes, preferably outside the vehicle.

    How should the Towing Mirrors be positioned?

Clip on extension mirrors should be set to see down the outside of the van, the cars mirrors should be set to see the caravan’s wheels. This way you can make sure your van is staying in your lane.

planning-travel-map ALWAYS PLAN AHEAD:

Is your GPS up to date?
Have you planned your rest stops?
Do you know how far you will travel in a day?
Can you access money and fuel easily on your journey?