Caravan 12 pin plugs

Submitted: Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 12:21
ThreadID: 134698 Views:833 Replies:6 FollowUps:8
Hi there can anyone tell me if 12 pin plugs are compulsory on new caravans in NSW please.cheers Firmy
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Reply By: Keir & Marg - Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 13:09

Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 13:09
Not compulsory, but if your van is heavy enough to require a breakaway connection and onboard battery activation of brakes, which in turn requires a battery monitor in the tug to show the battery charge for the breakaway system, then 7 pins is not enough. You will either need a 7-pin connector plus other connectors to achieve this or you could fit a 12-pin plug.

"Since January 1, 1988, all new trailers must be fitted with a minimum seven-pin connector (that complies with Australian Standard 2513- 1982), which has sufficient pins to cope with all lighting requirements and electric brakes. This connector can be type 1 (large round), type 2 (small round) or type 3 (seven-pin flat). For sake of consistency, the pin assignments for all three connector types are the same."
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 13:15

Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 13:15
They are not compulsory but are becoming the norm. If you wish to power an absorption fridge on 12 V whilst you are towing you need a 12 pin plug and power the fridge via pin 9. If you attempt to power the fridge via a flat 7 pin connector one of two things will happen. If the wiring is heavy enough to run the fridge efficiently then you will burn out the pin carrying the current. If you do run the fridge trough the small pins and you don't get pin burnout then it means that there is a lot of voltage drop in the circuit and the fridge voltage is so low the fridge will not work properly.

As an aside, those who supposedly run a fridge through those small pins and not burn them out are the Richard craniums who also lie to you and say "absorption fridges don't work properly on 12 V." The do run well on 12 V if they are installed properly and have heavy enough wiring.
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Follow Up By: Dion - Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 13:45

Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 13:45
An anderson plug on the tug and van with appropriate sized conductors to run an absorption fridge would be a much better option than using the 'lighting' socket and plugs.
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 17:31

Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 17:31
Not entirely correct. The large pins on a 12 pin plug are rated at 35A, so if you double them up, the 70A rating will outdo the 50A anderson plug !!
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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 22:43

Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 22:43
But no van does that and why would you? If one pin was accidentally disconnected then the other pin would they have twice the current applied to it resulting in a possible fire. Also we have found both the small and large pins in a 12 pin plug to be unreliable An anderson is a far better, more secure connection
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Saturday, Apr 22, 2017 at 08:56

Saturday, Apr 22, 2017 at 08:56
Plenty of vans do that. Even if it was to charge the batteries, if you "lost" one pin, reducing to one 35A rated one, most batt systems still wouldn't pull more than 30A, so to run a fridge, no probs.
Anderson plugs are good, but the 12 pin plug is more than up to the job.
If you find the 12 pin unreliable, you need to look at how you are inserting it.......don't rotate it side to side.....just push it straight in.....and out !
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Apr 22, 2017 at 09:56

Saturday, Apr 22, 2017 at 09:56
Anderson plugs aren't necessarily the 'be all to end all', plenty of people have had them come apart & grind themselves away on the road.
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Follow Up By: Member - peter_mc - Saturday, Apr 22, 2017 at 10:13

Saturday, Apr 22, 2017 at 10:13
Quick comment on the SB50 Anderson plug - they are rated to carry up to 120A by UL but only 50A when you are connecting/disconnecting it under load.

I'm not sure what the 35A of the 12 pin connector is defined as (carrying or connect/disconnect) - someone would have to look at AS4177.5 section 6.2 to find out. My guess is they are rated at 35A carrying capacity (not connect/disconnect).
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Saturday, Apr 22, 2017 at 11:34

Saturday, Apr 22, 2017 at 11:34
The 12 pin is rated at 35A ( current capacity ), but still not a problem for 95% of caravan/camping uses.

I don't make a habit of disconnecting my anderson or 12 pin while under load ?
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Reply By: RobAck - Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 14:06

Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 14:06
We need 12 pin plugs for our Quantum Plus as it has disc brakes and uses the ALKO iq7 brake controller. This avoids the need for a second Anderson plug. We purchase alloy plugs from SuperCheap and these are very strong which is what we need for off bitumen work.

As well the power pins are very large. Nothing like the smaller "lighting/control" pins. So quite able to handle the power demand

Rob
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Apr 23, 2017 at 00:09

Sunday, Apr 23, 2017 at 00:09
" We purchase alloy plugs from SuperCheap and these are very strong which is what we need for off bitumen work."

Gday Rob,
What are the alloy plugs you speak of?
The power pins on the Narva 12 pin are rated at 35A so are too small if you are running a DC-DC charger. They can get hot and melt the plastic once they have had some wear and tear and are no longer in perfect nick.
Cheers
Phil

2012 Landcruiser 200 Altitude
2015 New Age MR16E Deluxe
2003 Tvan

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Reply By: Member - firmy (NSW) - Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 17:12

Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 17:12
Thanks you all that was very helpful .cheers Firmy
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Apr 22, 2017 at 23:57

Saturday, Apr 22, 2017 at 23:57
When you buy a new caravan, the manufacturer needs to supply you with a wiring diagram and explanation of what wiring is required for your tug, so you can safely drive it out of their yard.
New Age gave me a comprehensive .pdf with diagrams and explanations of what was needed - its a lot more complicated than a camper because of the extra wiring required for the 3 way fridge to run on 12V, the charging lead for the breakaway unit, the monitor lead for Breakaway unit (in NSW), and the sway control unit if you have it fitted.

Mine needed a 12 pin plug plus a grey anderson for battery charging plus a separate red anderson plug for the Alko ESC.
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Reply By: Member - Roachie - Sunday, Apr 23, 2017 at 09:11

Sunday, Apr 23, 2017 at 09:11
I've recently added another plug to my Bushtracker.....that makes THREE.

I have the original large 7 pin round for all the "usual" things....one of the pins isn't being used. It runs (1) brake lights, (2) brakes, (3) left blinker, (4) right blinker, (5) tail/clearance lights, (6) earth. Note: the numbers quoted above are not in any particular order.

Then I have a 50amp Anderson plug to run the battery charging system.

Recently I added a 7 pin flat plug to cater for (1) rear view camera, (2) reverse light, (3) rear-mounted high-intensity red fog light. Both of those auxiliary lights are 11" long LED light bars, the clear lense being removed and replaced with red polycarbonate in the case of the fog light.

I could possibly have got away with using a 12 pin plug, but my previous experiences with that type is that the cable ends up being very thick and unwieldy, sometimes coming apart on tough/tight tracks/turns.
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