All Things ID.4 Towing

Discussion in 'ID.4' started by NeilBlanchard, Apr 8, 2021.

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  1. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Active Member

    I thought there was a thread on the ID.4, but I don't see one. We have had ours for a couple of weeks now, and we have about 1200 miles on it. The trailer tow bar and wiring socket came today from The wiring works easily - VW sells the 7-pin socket for $57. The same piece sells at etrailer for $12.04. We also got a 7-pin to 4-pin adapter, made by the same company, and it has a catch on it, that holds it in place when it is plugged in.

    We got a tow bar with a 3 1/4" drop, that is the right height for our 5x8 utility trailer. The only snag came from an unexpected piece - the shear pin that retains the tow bar is too short to reach through the receiver, because it is designed with a steel plate on each side, that extend down to attach the safety chains. I solved it, by grinding into the shoulder of the 'J' shaped pin, so it can extend through about 1/2" more, and the Clovis pin can be inserted in the hole.

    Here's the parts we got:
    7-pin socket: It says it is not confirmed to fit an ID.4 - but I am confirming it fits exactly, because it is the exact same part made by the same company, that VW sells.

    4-pin adapter: The tab on the side of the adapter holds it in place with the spring loaded cover of the socket.

    This is the draw bar: It is under the 7" maximum length that VW specifies. There are a number of tow bars that are a fraction longer than 7", and I can't imagine they will not work very well, but I figured staying under the max is good.

    This is the pin that is too short, so if you can find a 1/2" x 2 1/2" (or a bit longer), then that is easier:

    We got a 1 7/8" ball: A 2" ball will also fit, if that is what you need.

    The pin is still just as strong in shear as it was - the bend is still much stronger than the Clovis pin on the other end. All they are doing is holding the shear pin in place.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
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  3. ericy

    ericy Well-Known Member

    Dumb question from someone who never pulled a trailer. Do some trailers have a 7-pin connector and some trailers have a 4-pin connector? What's the difference?

    I have about 1000 miles on my ID4 as well. So far things are going well, but my wife is threatening that if I don't take it to the car wash soon, that she is going to take it away from me.
    Domenick and NeilBlanchard like this.
  4. Utility trailers generally have 4 pin connectors, ground, taillights, turn signals, and brake lights. larger trailers like travel trailers will have additional pins for electric brakes, auxiliary and battery, giving a total of 7 pins.
    NeilBlanchard likes this.
  5. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Active Member

    Right - 4-pin trailer connectors have just the bare minimum functions: tail and marker lights, brake lights, and turn signals. 7-pin adds electric trailer brakes, and backup lights on the trailer. They are sometimes called RV connectors, so they probably provide 12V power for a camping trailer, too.
  6. Thanks for posting this, @NeilBlanchard. Looking forward to hearing more about your ownership experience. I imagine some will be curious how much your trailer impacts your efficiency.
    NeilBlanchard likes this.
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  8. BobA2Z

    BobA2Z New Member

    Question on removing the cover plate, I removed the 4 screws, pulled down on the cover, can extract it partially, had to turn it to align the notch , but can't seem to disconnect the cover plate housing from the wiring harness/plug-in?

    Is there some trick to it, or just pull harder???

  9. ericy

    ericy Well-Known Member

    Yeah, there is a release button that you need to find. If you get a good flashlight in there you should be able to spot it. I dont remember which way you need to apply pressure.

    That was probably the hardest part of the install.
  10. BobA2Z

    BobA2Z New Member

  11. BobA2Z

    BobA2Z New Member

    Awesome! Thanks!!!
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  13. pescatore

    pescatore Member

    Yes - I appreciate those links. I ordered the eTrailer parts. I have a Malone Kayak trailer (that I used to tow with my Golf and then my Subaru). My hitch lock fits nicely - its a nice receiver. Plenty high. I like the hitch lock as it secures my hitch ball (trailer) or bike rack. Remember that a trailer should ride level behind the vehicle, so depending on the trailer/vehicle combo, might require a drop hitch, or flipped, a raised one.
    I am thinking that a trailer is more efficient than strapping kayaks to the roof. I am just too old to wrestle boats onto the top of a vehicle - so I am sold on the trailer for that reason.
  14. Brandon Tarbet

    Brandon Tarbet New Member

    I am new to InsideEV's and joined because I have a confirmed reservation for a 2022 ID 4 ProS Gradient AWD. I do some occasional towing and in seeing this thread, will be ordering the e-trailer adapter and socket. Is there wiring behind the plate under the rear bumper for the 7-pin socket to connect to? I've seen youtube videos of using a generic 4-pin wiring harnes and installing it by tapping into vehicle power in the back cargo area and then tapping the tail lights for the turn and running light signal wire. Is that not necessary, if the ID 4 came with the hitch installed from the factory? Thanks for any explanation.
  15. BobA2Z

    BobA2Z New Member

    Yes, my 2021 ID.4 Pro S AWD with hitch, came pre-wired. Remove the cover plate, it's all there.
    Domenick likes this.
  16. Brandon Tarbet

    Brandon Tarbet New Member

    Thanks a million, I'll order the adapter and connector you linked to above. Appreciate the info.
  17. wiltjer

    wiltjer New Member

    This is very helpful. Thank you.

    Just ordered the parts.

    Curious what you're towing and how it has impacted range.


  18. stuvw

    stuvw New Member

    New to this forum; 2022 Pro model arrived a week ago.
    I ordered it with trailer hitch, and about 3 weeks before delivery I received email that VW was "modifying my configuration" and not including the hitch. Can I install this etrailer aftermarket hitch to my RWD ID.4? The plastic undercarriage doesn't look like this is easy.
  19. BobA2Z

    BobA2Z New Member

    Not towing, have a cargo carrier/rack for large cooler. Hauling in the winter, so cold weather was the real impact on range, didn't notice any change with the cargo carrier
  20. David Towle

    David Towle Well-Known Member

    That's awful, you custom order something and at the end of the process they blow you off. FYI when you get yours, all 2021 First Edition models have a hitch so it should not be hard to find one to see how the hitch attaches.
  21. WA7S

    WA7S New Member

    I did the same wiring routine last week.
    The red release tab, it’s towards the upper end of the socket, push it upwards with a flat blade screwdriver. Then the parts will separate.
    I had difficulty getting the original 4 bolts (Torx 20, if I recall) to go thru the new adapter plate and still line up with the original 4 holes. So I drilled each hole in the adapter plate out just a tiny bit with a drill bit that was just barely larger than the existing hole. Then all 4 bolts lined up easily and nicely.
    Grinding down the hitch pin is a good idea, but I had a longer one in the garage which worked fine.
    I needed a lesser drop on the bar, so I got a hitch with 1.25” drop. Unfortunately that hitch was longer than VW recommends, so I cut it shorter and drilled a new hole for the pin. It came out great; but don’t try this mod unless you have the skills and equipment to drill the hole very precisely and cut a solid 1.25“x1.25” steel bar.
    I’ll be towing a 12’x6’ flatbed, but so far I’ve just used the receiver to carry a steel basket for 3 to 5 gas cans (for our 12 ICE vehicles and tools).

    Attached Files:

    Domenick likes this.
  22. ironchefboyardee

    ironchefboyardee New Member

    I know this is really old thread, but does anyone know if the length of 7" is a minimum, maximum or simply a recommendation. I am not finding a ball mount with the right rise to meet Uhaul trailer recommendation of 18.5" (middle of ball). This is complicated by the fact that different retailers and ball mount mfg's use different criteria for length (some are overall length, some are from pin center to ball center).

    I found in the manual where it has some dimensions listed for hitch retrofit but even there it doesn't specify if anything is a minimum or maximum. told me the length is not critical for tongue weight (moment arm). They said it's just an issue if you have too long of a mount, and it is sagging, you'll be closer to hitting the pavement.

    Attached Files:

  23. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Is there a reason to doubt the measurements of the aftermarket ID.4 hitches from Torklift, Curt, or Draw-Tite? Perhaps you could ask these manufacturers about U-Haul's recommendation. Here's a discussion of the quality of these 3 hitches for VWs (but, unfortunately, not mentioning the ID.4).

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