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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have done a search, and from that can see that several on here have both a tow bar, and an electric tailgate. Asume these are factory fit?

I'm wanting to fit a bar to my leased car, ok with the lease co, but I'm getting conflicting info regarding the interaction of the retrofit bar with the electric tailgate.

The bar would be a witter swan neck with removable hitch. Had this on a Passat in the past, and it was ok with the parking sensors, once the hook itself was removed.

This retro-fit is coming in at about £600 fitted! Rather more than I had hoped!
I tow only occasionally, a lightweight racing dinghy, and odd trips to the dump with a light general trailer.

Can anyone please advise? My tailgate works well... At the moment, and I want to keep it that way!

Thanks.
 

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Hi Grey Eddy
I have retractable towbar and electric tailgate, both factory fit.
Don't understand how a towbar could or will affect electric tailgate.
Unless you are talking about foot operated opening.
Cheers
Roy
 

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The only thing I can think of is that the factory fitted towbar electric socket is designed that when something is connected the tailgate opening switch on the drivers door, the key fob switch and foot swipe opening are deactivated. This prevents the tailgate being accidentally opened onto a bike carrier for example. Plus the sign post recognition will also show up specific signs relevant to towing (if you select this in the car settings), which may not be the case for a retrofit towbar.
 

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That's a possibility DeT, I will check it out this weekend when I tow the van.
What the factory installed towbar does do is cancel the reversing sensors when towing and provide dashboard warning of trailer indicator lights operating. This would not be provided by third party towbar if my Mk1 was anything to go by.
I don't have the foot swipe, is this positioned in the centre of vehicle where tow bar would be?
 

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Hi Roy,

I am not sure exactly where they are under the bumper I will have a look tomorrow. You are also correct about about reversing sensors and trailor indicators. I havent towed anything yet I have only used my factory fit towbar for a bike carrier so far.
 

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In case of the el. boot with an installed towbar the parking sensors will turn off (expect the same would happen with camera?) and in the reversing screen (w/o camera) the trailer image is depicted also the electric boot is disabled - all the automatic boot opening does is releasing the boot locking, but one has to open the boot by themselves.
I know that our local dealer also offers the retrofitting (in case it has not been ordered from the mill) so aftermarket compatible towbars should be available?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the above thoughts guys.

I have the electric tailgate, which with the keyless entry (I assume?) gives me the foot swipe under the bumper to open; meaning there are two buttons to operate the tailgate inside the gate itself.

The Witter kit has dedicated electrics, and plugs in to the Tig; it is then coded, so giving access to the Tig's ECU, and associate dfunctions. Note the dedicated electrics cost appx £150 v "conventional" or universal splice-in electrics of £40. Will have to have dedicated plug in on a lease car.

The two fitters I have been in touch withare confident that the reversing sensors will be dealt with by the coding; no problems.
They are less clear on the tailgate sensor - guess that's because they are relatively rare?

The quoted price includes fitting and coding.

So - it would really help if one of you with an electric swipe operated tailgate, and a towbar could give me some idea of the arrangements.
Witter are a big reputable firm, and I guess that any "approved" (EU or what-ever) tow bar must mount to the car in the same way, and in the same place as a VW fit?
After all the hook still needs to be in the middle, and at the back... :lol:

I am trying to find a Westfalia (German) brand one for the Tig, but not seen in UK so far. In any case the Westfalia bar that I have on my Golf is not perfect!

Thanks again for help/advise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
DeT said:
Hi Roy,

I am not sure exactly where they are under the bumper I will have a look tomorrow. You are also correct about about reversing sensors and trailor indicators. I havent towed anything yet I have only used my factory fit towbar for a bike carrier so far.
That would be very helpful - and a pic would be ideal!
I am away, and do not have access to my car atm
Thanks.
 

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Had a look but could not identify the sensors, I have attached a photo of the area where the foot swipe triggers the sensor. I can also confirm the reversing camera still works when something is attached, which is useful with a bike carrier on the towbar.
 

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I was brushing leaves from underneath the back of the car on Sunday and the boot opened (Key in pocket). Their must be a sensor underneath?
 

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Hi
I can now confirm the following with VW factory fit towbar.
The electric tailgate can only be operated by the tailgate handle and the close button on tailgate, the remote and drivers door switch are inactivated when the thirteen pin socket is utilised.
As mentioned previously the reversing sensors are switched off but the front sensors are still active. The dashboard also registers the fact that the trailer indicators are functioning.
The rear camera till operates as normal, see picture.
I don't have foot swipe so can't comment on that.
A third party tow bar properly wired and coded should allow use of these functions.
Roy
 

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Thanks for the info 'Roy'....as yet I have got to tow yet :roll: :oops: .... :lol: but roll on April :lol: (by the way, we also have a swift)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks again Roy.
That camera is very impressive! Far better than the (perhaps earlier gen) RRover and Nissan ones that I have seen.

So...
I'm still trying to bottom out if the foot swipe electric tailgate operation will work with the tow bar deployed in place ready to tow, but not connected, to either trailer hook or electrics.
I would not expect the swipe to work with a trailer and/ or electrics connected?

Not yet managed to get any better info on Witter or Westfalia.
 

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Hi
What I can tell you is that if the trailer is attached but no electrics connected the remote and drivers door switch both operate as normal. So as you would expect all controlled by the 13pin socket.
I had a witter detachable on my mk1, great towbar but the mount was still visible once the hook had been disconnected. It was not coded and therefore I did not have all the benefits.
The only issue I can see is if the mount somehow covers or interferes with the foot swipe sensor. But if it doesn't I would expect it to operate just as the remote and door switch.
Cheers
Roy
 

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Grey Eddy said:
Thanks again Roy.
That camera is very impressive! Far better than the (perhaps earlier gen) RRover and Nissan ones that I have seen.

So...
I'm still trying to bottom out if the foot swipe electric tailgate operation will work with the tow bar deployed in place ready to tow, but not connected, to either trailer hook or electrics.
I would not expect the swipe to work with a trailer and/ or electrics connected?

Not yet managed to get any better info on Witter or Westfalia.
99,9% the swipe will only unlock the boot in case the trailer electrics are connected - this logic goes throughout operating the el. tailgate. If unsure the easiest thing is to call to the local dealer to confirm it? ;)
 

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Factory fit electric swivel towbar when deployed does not disable tailgate swipe function.
However if electrics connected to deployed towbar tailgate swipe function is disabled.
If electrics disconnected from towbar while car is locked then car alarm is activated.

Hope this helps.
 

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DeT said:
Hi Roy,

I am not sure exactly where they are under the bumper I will have a look tomorrow. You are also correct about about reversing sensors and trailor indicators. I havent towed anything yet I have only used my factory fit towbar for a bike carrier so far.
Would you mind posting a picture of that? I am a new owner and am unsure of what kind of hitch rack to purchase. I wanted the one up Usa rack however they have both 1 1/4" and 2" hitch mounts. Also due to the fold up function of the rack I am unsure whether it affects the tailgate sensor.

I am currently away from my car so I can't tell.... cheers☀!
 

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