Reviews

IS THIS THE END FOR WIRED TRAILER CONNECTIONS?

Wireless tech comes to the fore with the WiTi trailer interface, and it might stop your van getting flogged too

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Alright, put your hand up if you’ve ever had to rewire or repair your trailer lights connections. I’ve done it more often than I care to remember. And even if they are wired up correctly, the plugs themselves are poorly designed and, often, very unreliable. It’s amazing that, in this day and age of wireless technology, there hasn’t been a more reliable alternative available. That is, until now.

Today, there’s a new product on the market and it could potentially revolutionise towing as we know it. It’s called WiTi and it is a fully wireless trailer lighting and braking system.

The WiTi system consists of two small control boxes. One for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer. The trailer unit also doubles as a security device for your trailer, but more about that later.

Installing the WiTi is quite simple for anyone who has ever had to repair wired connections. If you’re not confident, hand it over to a caravan repairer or auto electrician.

The wires coming from each control box match the seven wires required for LED trailer lights and electronic braking. The wires are connected in parallel to the existing trailer wiring. There are additional wires for power and, in the case of the trailer module, a breakaway brake feature and the supplied external horn for the security alarm. It’s worth noting you will need some seven-core trailer cable to complete the installation as none is supplied in the kit.

Fitting the system into our 200 Series was a cinch. Mounting the trailer unit into a caravan is a little more complex. You have to decide on a suitable location to mount the WiTi control module and be able to run the seven-core trailer cable to a position where it can be connected to the existing wiring.

At this point, anyone with any knowledge of wireless technology may be asking the question if there’s a maximum distance the two control modules can be apart and whether or not they are affected by metal structures blocking the signal. I can assure you that is not an issue. My lights worked perfectly when the trailer was nearly 40 metres away from the Cruiser.

In operation, the WiTi works just as if the trailer was using the old wired connections. Even the proportional braking system worked perfectly and without a hint of delay. The day I had the WiTi installed, I had to drive my rig back home from Pakenham in Melbourne’s outer south-east, all the way to Wallan in the outer north, along Citylink in football night traffic. Anyone who’s towed a large rig on Citylink in heavy traffic will understand this is no place for dodgy lights or brakes. I’m pleased to say the WiTi performed perfectly.

As I mentioned earlier, the WiTi trailer module doubles as a security system for your caravan or camper. The WiTi caravan module has a sensor that, when it detects movement in the trailer, sets off an alarm and activates the trailer’s electronic brakes and flashes the tail lights. This renders the trailer almost impossible to tow away as well as attracting a lot of attention. It’s a brilliant feature and it’s probably the most effective anti-theft system I’ve ever seen for a caravan.

WiTi has recognised how good the alarm feature is and how popular it could be. It now offers the trailer module on its own for those who just want the security system for their caravan without committing to the full WiTi system.

A couple of things to keep in mind. The WiTi will only work with trailers equipped with LED lights. Older incandescent lights draw too much current for the WiTi to handle. The WiTi also requires the trailer to have an on-board 12V battery backed by a suitable charging system. Since most modern caravans have a 12V deep-cycle battery and solar charging system, this shouldn’t be an issue. The WiTi modules are not weatherproof so they need to be mounted in a sheltered location. A toolbox on the drawbar, tunnel boot or front storage boot are all completely suitable.

The WiTi system is fully compliant with all design rules and state towing regulations including Australian Design Rule ADR38/04 and New South Wales VIB06, so you can install the system confident you will not affect the road-worthiness of your rig. It will work with existing emergency breakaway systems or you can utilise the WiTi’s own built-in emergency breakaway feature. You can also continue to use your traditional wired trailers without affecting the WiTi or vice-versa.

It’s not often a product comes onto the RV market that has the potential to be a total game changer. WiTi is that sort of product. It eliminates one of the biggest bugbears of towing and it has the added benefit of providing effective anti-theft protection for your caravan or camper. If you tow any large trailer, you should take a close look at the WiTi system. RRP$699 (interface and alarm).