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Discussion Starter #1
I have an opportunity to buy a 2012 with a hitch, but without the adapter plug (~$140).

I've never used a trailer hitch before, but I cannot imagine not having a connector for the trailer lights, etc.

Could someone enlighten me on a) why one would want a hitch w/o a connector, and b) how difficult is it (and what is necessary) to install the necessary wiring?

Thanks very much.
 

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Got our 2012 a month ago and found the issue of the non supplied female connector, went down to the local auto parts store and for $15.83 cdn got a 7 blade car oem socket (may be wrong but I think is was a Grote 11-893). Simple installation, unscrew the 4, #2 Phillips screws retaining the VW cover plate, attach the new connector to the existing factory wiring plug, and re-secure the connector with the 4 screws you just removed. One can easily get 7 blade to 4 or 5 pin adaptors, depending on what your trailer is fitted with.
 

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I've never used a trailer hitch before, but I cannot imagine not having a connector for the trailer lights, etc..
The receptacle is sold separately because of the variety of trailer plugs that are out there. Two basic types, blade or pin. Then number of wires; 4 or 6 or 7. that way you can install the type connector that is consistent with the type plug on your trailer.

Looking at it from the other way around - if you get the factory receptacle - you might then have to change the plug on your trailer to match. For example; I got the factory tow option with receptacle and programming. Receptacle turned out to be 7-blade. So I then had to cut the 6-pin plug off one of my trailers (with brakes) and replace it with a 7-blade. After that I had to buy a 7-blade to 4-pin adapter to connect my smaller trailer (without brakes).

Take a peek here and here; you'll see what I mean.

//greg//
 

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Pollak is direct replacement to factory unit.

My 2012 was delivered with hitch but without socket as well so OP is not alone.

Just be aware that installing the socket is not whole story, there is trailer and few other modules to be activated with VAG-COM (or by dealer) to make vehicle to give power to trailer lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
...My 2012 was delivered with hitch but without socket as well so OP is not alone.

Just be aware that installing the socket is not whole story, there is trailer and few other modules to be activated with VAG-COM (or by dealer) to make vehicle to give power to trailer lights.
First, a big THANK YOU to everyone!

Second, if I may ask, if I get the hitch without the plug, is there wiring in place that all I have to do is to hook up a plug to? (in other words, I'm not required to run wiring)

Can you describe in more detail what exactly I would have to do/pay for if the vehicle comes with nothing but a hitch? If you have an idea of the cost I would be very appreciative.

Would such costs be avoided if the vehicle came with the factory installed socket?

Thank you all very kindly.
 

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When I got mine, the deal included the tow ready hitch but as car sales people are at the bottom of foodchain, they forgot (or what ever) and mine didn't have socket nor coding.

On North America models, if the hitch 2" receiver tube (where the drawbar goes) is installed by factory (or port), then it is supposed to be prewired and all you should need is the Pollak socket and coding. While waiting the installation the parts guys said it's about 200 bucks for socket and coding together.

For the hitch they have to cut out the opening to bumper skin so you can check the prewiring by looking under the bumper and you should see the prewiring connector (that mates to Pollak) there.

From VW the socket is about $100-140 and then one hour mechanic fee for coding.

From etrailer or most RV shops you can find the Pollak socket with 8-20 bucks and then find local guy with VAG-COM to do the coding and buy him 6 pack of beer and you still saved more than half.

I happen to have Pollak on my previous Audi Q5 and Pollak socket lid actually snows the wiring diagram while VW socket haves smooth lid.

I installed 7 pin connector to my trailer so I could use the reverse light power supplied by the Audi and VW connectors.
 

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The receptacle described should come with a pig-tail connector that should plug directly into a matching connector on the car. If it doesn't, keep shopping. But you still have to program the car, so it knows there's trailer wiring now attached. That will likely cost a lot more than the receptacle alone.

//greg//
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Last question (I promise) - am I right to think that a hitch without a plug is pretty useless?
 

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We've been telling that the Volkswagen for years.
 

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Yeah, it was a pollack receptacle that I got, not a grote as I posted earlier ( a senior moment ;-) ). It is the very same unit that VW sells.
 

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And while I do think it's surprising that the dealers let it go out the door without putting in a $20 7 blade socket, having the factory tow hitch installed is far from useless. Just kit it out to match you trailer and go have fun!
 

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You can use it for the bike rack but that's pretty much it.

On VW Tiguan 4mot we had once I thought to be cheap and just have the hitch structure in case I need the bike rack. Well then came a day that bother-in-law saw the hitch and said you tow this.... #-o which I couldn't because there was no electricity.

After that day I got the harness and ever since have made sure that if I have the hitch, I will always have the electricity as well, even if I have no intend to use it.

The VW supplying the hitch without the socket could have something to with taxing as now it's "installed/completed" here in States while if it had been installed by factory, it would been exposed to higher importing tax, or it's just easy way to cash money from new owners (who haven't had time to go snoop the forum to find out the scam).
 

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Last question (I promise) - am I right to think that a hitch without a plug is pretty useless?
Well, trailer lighting and brakes are on-road requirements. So if you're using a trailer off-road only, no receptacle would be necessary. Same for a bike rack, or luggage rack, anything that doesn't actually touch the road.

But for trailer towing, you must legally conform to local/state/national highway regs, and risk a ticket if you don't have your trailer connected accordingly. So in those cases, a compliant receptacle is a must.

//greg//
 

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The VW supplying the hitch without the socket could have something to with taxing as now it's "installed/completed" here in States while if it had been installed by factory, it would been exposed to higher importing tax,
Mine was listed as a $140 option on the window sticker. That suggested to me that it was installed in Bratslavia. Or are these cars delivered to dealers w/o window stickers?

//greg//
 

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I'm loosing my track with the hitch as there is 4 possibilities,

1) Hitch structure / prewired / no socket / not coded
2) Hitch structure / prewired / no socket / coded
3) Hitch with socket and coded
4) No hitch / no prewiring / not coded


There is trailer module to be activated and if I remember right, engine and/or transmission haves bit for trailer as well.

Was mine coded? I had no opportunity to use my vag-com to check it and service guys said it have to be coded so either it's true or they lied and tried to cash out....
 

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I'm loosing my track with the hitch as there is 4 possibilities,

1) Hitch structure / prewired / no socket / not coded
2) Hitch structure / prewired / no socket / coded
3) Hitch with socket and coded
4) No hitch / no prewiring / not coded


There is trailer module to be activated and if I remember right, engine and/or transmission haves bit for trailer as well.

Was mine coded? I had no opportunity to use my vag-com to check it and service guys said it have to be coded so either it's true or they lied and tried to cash out....
I'm either a #1 or a #2. I added the socket awhile ago but have yet to hook up a trailer to see if lights work. Dealer told me it didn't need any coding but you know how that goes. Now you got me wondering. I'm going to hook up my son's dump trailer and see what happens.
 
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