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Quality of towbar install

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Bilbobaggins
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Post by mikeelawson Sat Aug 26, 2023 10:29 am

Recently had a towbar installed by local person and looking at the underside, I dont feel the quality of the cabling / conduit work is that good (bare cables and connectors, cable ties not cut off). Given that I spent £850 on the install, I am pondering whether to make a complaint and have him tidy this up. What are your thoughts? 

Also the towbar is very close to the back of the van, is there anyway that this can be extended so that my bicycle carrier with bikes handles do not touch the back of the motorhome?

Regards,

BOOMEL

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Post by FreelanderUK Sat Aug 26, 2023 10:36 am

You can fasten an extender block in between the tow ball and tow bar frame these are made from aluminium block and vary in depth from 20mm upto 50mm, if the connections are not waterproof I would take it back , leaving the tags of the cable ties is just lazy

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Post by PLOUGHLIN Sat Aug 26, 2023 10:45 am

Re towball extention, you could try one these options.

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Post by Peter Brown Sat Aug 26, 2023 10:54 am

I have this extended neck towbar

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I think your loom installation is pretty typical but not trimming the cable ties is plain laziness.
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Post by IanH Sat Aug 26, 2023 11:07 am

If any thing is attaching a towball or extension to a towing bracket, the fasteners must be grade 8.8 (Usually in raised text on bolt head)
Especially an extension as these bolts will be more stressed.

Cutting cable ties is, of course much neater. If done though they must be flush with the ratchet block part as otherwise they can be razor sharp.
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Post by Paulmold Sat Aug 26, 2023 11:11 am

Rather than a spacer you could fit an extended towball, uses standard bolts ...

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Post by mikeelawson Sat Aug 26, 2023 11:18 am

Peter Brown wrote:I have this extended neck towbar

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I think your loom installation is pretty typical but not trimming the cable ties is plain laziness.
Just bought thanks. There is mention of an audible buzzer and I cannot see anything like that fitted.
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Post by Peatlander 2 Sat Aug 26, 2023 12:44 pm

mikeelawson wrote:There is mention of an audible buzzer and I cannot see anything like that fitted.
One way to check, plug a trailer in and use the indicators. If it's fitted you'll hear it. 

In the Land Rover I bypassed the audible warning buzzer and put a light on the dash instead to show the trailer lights working. No way in earth I'd hear a buzzer in a 42yr old diesel Landy!
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Post by Caraman Sat Aug 26, 2023 1:33 pm

mikelawson - from your photos it appears you have a coach built A-S.  If so, there should be no external connectors.  The only connector(s) should be on Sargent's VLM5 unit which is inside the van and on my Nuevo EK is on the floor beneath the cooker.  The cable from the VLM5 unit should pass through the floor directly to the external 7 or 13 pin socket.  If you're not planning to pull a caravan you only need to connect 7 wires with one connector at the VLM5 unit.  This is a very easy and inexpensive DIY task.  If you search the Forum you will see how it's done:

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Post by mikeelawson Sat Aug 26, 2023 3:04 pm

Caraman wrote:mikelawson - from your photos it appears you have a coach built A-S.  If so, there should be no external connectors.  The only connector(s) should be on Sargent's VLM5 unit which is inside the van and on my Nuevo EK is on the floor beneath the cooker.  The cable from the VLM5 unit should pass through the floor directly to the external 7 or 13 pin socket.  If you're not planning to pull a caravan you only need to connect 7 wires with one connector at the VLM5 unit.  This is a very easy and inexpensive DIY task.  If you search the Forum you will see how it's done:

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I stated this to him, however he spoke to Marquis and they advised what he was doing was correct way of doing it. 

BOOMEL
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Post by Roopert Sat Aug 26, 2023 3:47 pm

I'm not completely sure what the photos show, but the last of yours appears to show a bypass relay hanging underneath the chassis?

If that's what it is, I wouldn't be happy either. They are not really designed to hang under a van like that, and it will fairly quickly get covered in wet road crud when driving in the rain, if the suspension parts next to it are anything to go by.

[Edit: Peter Brown clarified what is in the picture, and it seems to be just an inline connector - which should be Ok. I would be concerned if it were a bypass relay as they are not typically given any proper waterproofing].


Last edited by Roopert on Sat Aug 26, 2023 6:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Peter Brown Sat Aug 26, 2023 3:58 pm

I've got an almost identical installation on mine done by SMC last November:

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Post by Peter Brown Sat Aug 26, 2023 4:06 pm

A close up of what I believe is just a connector:

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Post by Caraman Sat Aug 26, 2023 4:17 pm

Oh dear.  Marquis were clueless about the VLM5 when I bought my Nuevo in 2019.  It seems nothing has changed.  I can assure you that all that is required is a meter of 7-core cable, a 7N or 13 pin socket and a 9 way ‘Mate N Lok’ plug.  If in doubt talk to Sargent.  On my Nuevo there was already a hole in the floor for the cable.  A competent electrician could have fitted this in minutes.  I would definitely be taking this up with your fitter.  Part of the problem is that there is no mention of the VLM5 in any of the documentation that comes with the motorhome even though the VLM5 is needed when carrying bikes or a box on the back, with or without a tow bar.


Last edited by Caraman on Sat Aug 26, 2023 6:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by FreelanderUK Sat Aug 26, 2023 6:21 pm

I see that you have just posted the same question on Facebook asking for opinions hopefully you will get one that answers your question 👍

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Post by Kemerton-bath Sat Aug 26, 2023 6:37 pm

I’ve just read the Facebook comments and it makes for an interesting comparison with those above, regardless of the subject matter. On here you get knowledgeable views, more in-depth analysis and supported by relevant pictures. Let’s just say that on FB it’s rather different. 

Tim

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Post by Tinwheeler Sat Aug 26, 2023 6:59 pm

MotorhomeFun, too. That one’s a bit of a mixture and I’m still searching for the fun. smile!

I doubt any other forum has contributors with an equivalent level of expertise as we see here. I was astounded when I joined ASOF by the amount of technical knowledge on tap. Thanks, you clever folk. allthumbz
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Post by FreelanderUK Sat Aug 26, 2023 7:04 pm

I have just recieved a warning from the Admin on the Auto sleeper page on Farcebook and my comment removed 🤣🤣🤣

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Post by Bilbobaggins Sat Aug 26, 2023 7:47 pm

Left that FB group several months ago, got fed up with inane comments. Can't say I have missed it

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Post by Paulmold Sat Aug 26, 2023 8:14 pm

John Street, the Admin, posted on this forum when he started the group and asked us to support him and the group. Peter and I joined and regularly referred to this forum. Every time we did he removed our posts. That's how fair he is. I'm still a member but maybe not for long if anyone tells him about this post. He is still listed as a member here but hasn't posted for years. He and his wife are wardens for the CAMC.

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Post by IanH Sat Aug 26, 2023 9:15 pm

I avoid FB on a par with avoiding Ryan Air!!! up!
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Post by Kemerton-bath Sat Aug 26, 2023 10:15 pm

Paulmold wrote:John Street, the Admin, posted on this forum when he started the group and asked us to support him and the group. Peter and I joined and regularly referred to this forum. Every time we did he removed our posts. That's how fair he is. I'm still a member but maybe not for long if anyone tells him about this post. He is still listed as a member here but hasn't posted for years. He and his wife are wardens for the CAMC.
That’s interesting Paul, I had no idea of that background. That sort of intolerance seems entirely in keeping with FB though. I’ll have to find a reason to mention ASOF at an appropriate moment and see what happens.!

I’m in two groups over on the dark side, the AS Owners Group and the AS Appreciation Group. The latter seems to be moderated in a more intelligent manner. They are my only contact with FB.

Tim

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Post by Paulmold Sat Aug 26, 2023 10:29 pm

AS Appreciation group is I believe run by Brian Spence, he was expelled from the Owners Group for spamming anyone who posted to get th em to join his group. Another untrustworthy one (also expelled from Warwick Group).

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Post by Tinwheeler Sat Aug 26, 2023 11:13 pm

Reading all this makes me so glad I don’t do FB  wellhappy
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Post by mikeelawson Sun Aug 27, 2023 6:25 am

Caraman wrote:Oh dear.  Marquis were clueless about the VLM5 when I bought my Nuevo in 2019.  It seems nothing has changed.  I can assure you that all that is required is a meter of 7-core cable, a 7N or 13 pin socket and a 9 way ‘Mate N Lok’ plug.  If in doubt talk to Sargent.  On my Nuevo there was already a hole in the floor for the cable.  A competent electrician could have fitted this in minutes.  I would definitely be taking this up with your fitter.  Part of the problem is that there is no mention of the VLM5 in any of the documentation that comes with the motorhome even though the VLM5 is needed when carrying bikes or a box on the back, with or without a tow bar.

Any chance of photo of connection in cupboard under cooker please?
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