Tow vehicle has 4-way flat wiring and trailer has 7-way round - Fiberglass RV
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Old 06-09-2020, 04:55 PM   #1
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Name: Chantal
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British Columbia
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Tow vehicle has 4-way flat wiring and trailer has 7-way round

Hello savvy folks,

We just bought a 2020 RAV4 Trail (called Adventure in the States), which can tow 3500 lbs. Our 1974 13" boler is wired with a round 7-pin and the Toyota hitch comes with 4-way flat wiring. The trailer does not have brakes.

We were given two options, and I'm wondering which one is best:

1- get an aftermarket hitch with proper 7-way wiring installed (this option is cheaper, but the hitch will hang lower)

2- get Toyota to install their hitch with the 4-way wiring, and get someone else to install an adapter to change the 4-pin to a 7-pin

Any thoughts? Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2020, 05:33 PM   #2
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Change the hitch?

[QUOTE=boler girl;781109
1- get an aftermarket hitch with proper 7-way wiring installed (this option is cheaper, but the hitch will hang lower)
SO it has no hitch now? Get the hitch you like, but it needs to be wired for 7 pin, 4 pin will not charge the RV, and if it has a 7 pin it should be wired to charge the battery.
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Old 06-09-2020, 05:46 PM   #3
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I have installed one aftermarket hitch and had two other vehicles with factory or OEM hitches. They all do the job, but the factory units generally fit a bit nicer.

Four-pin connectors carry current for ground, left turn/brake, right turn/brake, and tail lights. You could have the factory hitch installed and operate with four-pin wiring at the vehicle side; there are inexpensive adapters available to connect to the trailer's plug.

You could have the vehicle wired for seven-pin later if you add brakes to your trailer or change to another trailer with brakes. The three extra contacts provide power to trailer brakes, backup lights, and battery charging.

Not that you asked, I'd have brakes fitted to the trailer and get seven-pin wiring at this time. First, many states require trailer brakes at 1,000 or 1,500 pounds; (it varies from state to state). The 13' Bolers in the "real world" trailer weights spreadsheet weighted 1,800, 1,880, and 1,300 pounds.

A trailer without brakes will "push" the tow vehicle from behind when you are trying to stop or slow down. So, your ability to stop or slow down quickly is reduced. The trailer will also tend to destabilize the tow vehicle and push it sideways if it gets a chance.
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Old 06-09-2020, 05:50 PM   #4
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Whoops, here's a listing of trailer brake requirements in Canada.

https://www.rvda.ca/ProvBrakeReqts.asp

Also, it seems a bit odd that someone had the trailer wired for seven-pin, though they might have done this to support charging the battery.
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Old 06-09-2020, 06:02 PM   #5
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I like this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Civilguy View Post
I have installed one aftermarket hitch and had two other vehicles with factory or OEM hitches. They all do the job, but the factory units generally fit a bit nicer.

Four-pin connectors carry current for ground, left turn/brake, right turn/brake, and tail lights. You could have the factory hitch installed and operate with four-pin wiring at the vehicle side; there are inexpensive adapters available to connect to the trailer's plug. .
I should let you add the charge wire for now and brake wires if you ever want them.



https://www.amazon.com/57672-4-Way-D...1747146&sr=8-5
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Old 06-09-2020, 06:06 PM   #6
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It might be worth it to get the tidier Toyota hitch, provided it’s a 2” receiver, not a 1-1/4”. Class II can go either way.

You might also check out aftermarket hitches on eTrailer.com. They usually have photos showing how it looks installed on a particular vehicle. Some may fit better than others, and you might conclude “that’s good enough,” especially as I’ll be saving $XXX dollars.

If you decide to go with the Toyota hitch, the wiring is not actually part of the hitch. If Toyota only sells them as a package, you can have Toyota install their part and take it to someone else for the 7-pin upgrade, or you can just buy the parts and let the third party do everything.

One way or another you will have to have a third party hitch installer do at least part of the work, so you might want to talk to them first.
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Old 06-09-2020, 06:16 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=AC0GV;781117][QUOTE=boler girl;781109
1- get an aftermarket hitch with proper 7-way wiring installed (this option is cheaper, but the hitch will hang lower)
SO it has no hitch now? Get the hitch you like, but it needs to be wired for 7 pin, 4 pin will not charge the RV, and if it has a 7 pin it should be wired to charge the battery.[/QUOTE]

That's right, it has no hitch at the moment. Thank you for pointing out that the battery would not get recharged without the 7 pin. Something else to think about. I am leaning towards this option.
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Old 06-09-2020, 06:30 PM   #8
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Civilguy, you make all good points. I do prefer the look of the OEM hitch, and do like the idea of only adding the proper 7 pin if I get brakes.

On the brake issue, we had looked into getting some added to the trailer when we first got it, but were told that it was not possible due to something lacking. I can't remember what it was. I must say that I had no idea that in BC, the weight of the trailer + its load had to be less than 50% of the weight the vehicle could tow. Yikes! I'll have to revisit the issue of brakes.
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Old 06-09-2020, 06:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
It might be worth it to get the tidier Toyota hitch, provided it’s a 2” receiver, not a 1-1/4”. Class II can go either way.

You might also check out aftermarket hitches on eTrailer.com. They usually have photos showing how it looks installed on a particular vehicle. Some may fit better than others, and you might conclude “that’s good enough,” especially as I’ll be saving $XXX dollars.

If you decide to go with the Toyota hitch, the wiring is not actually part of the hitch. If Toyota only sells them as a package, you can have Toyota install their part and take it to someone else for the 7-pin upgrade, or you can just buy the parts and let the third party do everything.

One way or another you will have to have a third party hitch installer do at least part of the work, so you might want to talk to them first.
The Toyota hitch does come with a 2" ball.

The other place sent me 2 photos side by side of an OEM hitch vs their hitch on a RAV4, and the real difference was that the aftermarket hung ~3" lower. Toyota cuts into the bumper to fit their hitch, so for that reason, I would not want anybody else to install the Toyota hitch.

I did talk to the third party installer, and he said that going for their hitch and 7 pin was the better solution.

Thank you all for your replies, I'll ponder some more on the new facts!
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Old 06-09-2020, 06:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boler girl View Post
On the brake issue, we had looked into getting some added to the trailer when we first got it, but were told that it was not possible due to something lacking. I can't remember what it was.
I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the specifics of Bolers. A quick search indicates that some axles have a flange that you can mount brakes directly to, while other trailers would require a new axle.

If you have an original torsion axle, it would benefit from replacement as they do wear out.

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ike-42018.html

Maybe some of the folks who are familiar with Bolers will be able to provide more help.
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Old 06-09-2020, 06:58 PM   #11
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My RAV4 is 12 years old so I'm not sure how much of my experience applies.
As a condition of sale, I specified a Class III hitch receiver for weight distribution. The Toyota dealer brought in an third-party installer who installed the hitch, brake controller ( I provided ) and 7-pin wiring, using #10 wire that I specified.

It cost me $650 versus $950 for the Toyota OEM Class II hitch alone.

I know of several people who recently bought Highlanders and had Toyota OEM Class III hitches installed. They are happy with the appearance and performance.
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Old 06-09-2020, 07:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Civilguy View Post
I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the specifics of Bolers. A quick search indicates that some axles have a flange that you can mount brakes directly to, while other trailers would require a new axle.
Yes, the missing flange sounds familiar! I'll look into that. Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2020, 08:41 PM   #13
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Name: Chantal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
My RAV4 is 12 years old so I'm not sure how much of my experience applies.
As a condition of sale, I specified a Class III hitch receiver for weight distribution. The Toyota dealer brought in an third-party installer who installed the hitch, brake controller ( I provided ) and 7-pin wiring, using #10 wire that I specified.

It cost me $650 versus $950 for the Toyota OEM Class II hitch alone.

I know of several people who recently bought Highlanders and had Toyota OEM Class III hitches installed. They are happy with the appearance and performance.
Interesting idea. Thanks for the reply!
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Old 06-10-2020, 06:11 AM   #14
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If your axle is original, I would not add brakes to that axle. Instead, I would replace it with one that has brakes. Spending $$ to add brakes to a 46 year old axle sounds like a bad idea to me. Torsion axles are rated to last 15 years.... Many people wait until complete failure to replace, so lots of worn out axles out there.

I would always go 7 pin. Just for charging the battery its worth it. And then for future brakes.

I'd go with the Toyota hitch since it is 3 inches higher. You may well be dragging that lower hitch.
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Old 06-10-2020, 06:27 AM   #15
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If the axle is original you definitely want to replace it with a new one and brakes. One more thing to consider, some vehicle warranties will be voided if you break into the wiring harness. If you install a traditional brake controller you would need to modify the factory wiring harness unless Toyota has a brake controller connector prewired. If you have to break into the wiring, you can get a device called the Autowbrake instead which mounts in the trailer and does not require any modification of the wiring harness in the tow vehicle. I have one in my Boler with my Crosstrek tow vehicle and it works great. You definitely want brakes, I can now stop within 1/2 a car length's distance when towing compared to not towing at 35 MPH. I couldn't do that before the brakes.
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Old 06-10-2020, 10:27 AM   #16
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I think this adapter is one way to solve the wiring issue.

https://www.etrailer.com/Wiring/Tow-Ready/30717.html
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Old 06-10-2020, 10:49 AM   #17
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thrifty bill:

I don't know how old the axle is. The frame was replaced in 2006 and new tires were put on at that point. I will change the axle when I get brakes installed, which now sounds like a priority.

Alex Adams:

The Toyota wiring does not come with a brake connector, and I definitely don't want to void the warranties.

bertherr:

I think these adapters are great, but would not allow me to charge the battery, so I'm going to get the 7 pin wiring.

Thank you all!
boler girl
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:03 AM   #18
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Don't know where you are, but Burnaby Hitch knows what they are doing. They are the company Jim Pattison Toyota used for my vehicle and who I used to fix mine after ten years on the road.
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:21 AM   #19
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Hi Glenn,

I'm in Victoria, and will be going to Cap-it, which was recommended by Toyota.
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Old 06-10-2020, 12:01 PM   #20
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Yes it will, Thats what it's for

Quote:
Originally Posted by boler girl View Post
I think these adapters are great, but would not allow me to charge the battery, so I'm going to get the 7 pin wiring.
https://www.etrailer.com/Wiring/Tow-Ready/30717.html
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