Hi, Having recently purchased my first Dandy I'm now arranging for a towbar for my Volvo V50 SE Sport. Having spoken to a fitter it looks like there are 2 options.
1. Standard towbar with non-Volvo specific software (by-pass software wa the term used). This will power the lights, brake lights, indicators and charge Dandy internals)
2. Standard towbar with Volvo specific software. According to the fitters thre is a whole raft of additional safety features that are enabled through the Volvo software. She had said they are in the Volvo manual (had a look through and couldn't find any).
The difference in price is £200 (£230 v £430) Cna anyone shed nay light on these safety features and are there any other benefits to paying the extra for the Volvo software. Or is it just acase of Volvo charging the earth for something that you can get with similar after market products?
I don't know what the safety features could be ........ if it tows the dandy, works all indicators and lights plus powers your Dandy what more would we really want it to do. I would save myself the money and take the Dandy somewhere nice with the saving.
The original thing to contend with has been the adoption of can-bus wiring in vehicles. There is a single or fewer power cables and the function of electronic controls is achieved by modulated signals, not making a cable live through a switch. More like switching in your computer rather than the wiring in your house.
Next came stability control programs
See Volvo Dynamic Stability Traction Control.
Then some of the stability control programs were developed to adapt if a trailer was connected up.
I don't know how advanced the Volvo system is, try: If not the text catch the video enclosed.
For towing a Dandy I don't think ESP will be an issue but if you might want to tow a tin tent or may sell the car to someone who will then it starts to have a value. Just not necessarily Volvos value. See who produces full awareness systems and not just a bypass system. If the guy comming to fit the towbar didn't explain the differences might it be that the electronics of towing is getting beyond him. Bolting things up securely is good but so is the stability programme working.
If they are fitting either a full system or a bypas are they happy and knowledgeable about the kit they will use? I would ask "Can you ascertain that my system is working properly pre installation and do you warranty that the system will work post installation" We can all see the situation where the fitter says "There Was A Problem With The System". Volvo say "You Have Installed Non Approved Parts" We can all see where that dispute will go. I'm not a fan of main dealers but there would have to be a massive difference in price for me to use anyone who wouldn't guarantee that they can ascertain the system functions first. If it works when they arrive then they are responsible for it working when they leave. The car must be wrong these kits always work is no use to anyone.
After looking at this I came across this months (Last months in magazine terms) Car Mechanics. I covered someone fitting a tow bar to a Peugeot (I Think) This month they have an article on fitting Tow Bars after last months feature on Whitter. The item below should cover the issues raised (perhaps unknowingly) by Iwills. Now the scanned document bellow is outright copyright theft. Though I've not asked Bauer Media for permission to reproduce, as this forum is small circulation and a non profit group I don't believe they would be interested and I'd cost them more by wasting their time enquiring. Also the act of reproducing an item from within Car Mechanics is by definition an endorsement. I've also only stolen a small bit not the entire piece which you will all no doubt dash out and buy.
i am in same boat as looking for towbar for my car and they do vehicle specific wiring kits or bypass kit.My car would need the wiring harness fed down to front glove box and wired in so its gonna be at least £500 inc detachable towbar or about £300 with bypass. I think the only functions it will do on my car is knock the reverse sensors off when reversing with trailer attached and also turn off foglight on car but leave foglight on trailer when towing.
Nick,Westfalia do all the factory fit tow bars for VW...I bought a Westfalia kit & it's just plug & play as it has same plugs for my van...then I ran a fused 12v through to the battery to feed the smart relay
I got a price today from a NTTA approved tow bar fitting company for a detachable tow bar with single electrics and a proper model specific wiring kit. This kit is wired into the fusebox and over rides the reversing sensors also it doesn't require chopping into the existing wiring loom. The price is £385 all in which seems fair enough it's about £100 more than going down the relay bypass route but worth it.
NickB wrote:I got a price today from a NTTA approved tow bar fitting company for a detachable tow bar with single electrics and a proper model specific wiring kit. This kit is wired into the fusebox and over rides the reversing sensors also it doesn't require chopping into the existing wiring loom. The price is £385 all in which seems fair enough it's about £100 more than going down the relay bypass route but worth it.
I know you have a Skoda and tried to look back at what type. Couldn't find which one you had said. Found a Skoda forum that mentioned that Octavias have ESP. What one correspondent said was that it was difficult to explain to people what ESP does. This video with "Uncle Tiff" explains a bit more dramatically what ESP does. Now my next question is what happens to your caravan while the ESP is breaking individual wheels or is it more a case that at the point a trailer is attached the car can recognise the posibility of trailer induced snake motion? That is an open question I've no idea what happens? I've asked the C&CC a few questions does anyone want to ask what happens when ESP recognises a trailer is connected?
Kevin i own a VW without the nice bits okay then a Skoda Fabia3 estate 1.9PD.I think having looked at the wiring kit for the car that it only disables the reversing sensors other than that it just controls the lights. I don't have anything fancy like TC,ESP or bulb failure functions. Skoda wanted £812.51 to supply and fit a tow bar i think they fit some removable cover over cut out but that's about the only difference to what i will get for £385. The Skoda dealer probably get a mobile fitter to come out to the dealership to do the donkey work then add a massive mark up just because they can. The car is already booked in at Skoda next month for a Cambelt/Waterpump replacement and a service at an eye watering £558inc vat.
Some cars like volvo have a stability function for trailers i guess you must need some kind of electrically operated braking system on the caravan/trailer?
Last edited by NickB on Wed 21 Mar 2012, 4:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
VW waterpumps a quality item. No you don't need braking on the trailer for the ESP but what it does do when it knows that you have a trailer???? Trailer inertial braking I have a you tube clip from AL-KO dealing with that. Valves and pistons. The first engine I ever changed a cam belt on was a Rotax air cooled M/C engine. The guy who was the guru on such engines Mick Keogh (Might have the surname misspelt) reckoned that the timing was so conservative that he had let cambelts go on purpose and never had a piston and valve meeting.