Trailer Socket: 7 pin round or 7 pin flat?

Trailer Socket: 7 pin round or 7 pin flat? Which one do I choose!

When people contact us to enquire about their new towbar, they often ask, “Trailer Socket: 7 pin round or 7 pin flat? Which one do your install?”

Let me give you a quick & brief history of trailer sockets in WA. Here in WA we used 6 pin round trailer sockets up until January 1988. Then new Australian Standards were released requiring sockets to accommodate electric brake controllers. It was at this point that WA moved to using 7 pin small round trailer sockets. We have been using this exclusively until recent times.

Now, with the increase in electronic and computer controlled accessories in vehicles, especially reverse sensors, many installers are fitting what comes from the east, whether you want that or not. Hence the introduction of 7 pin flat sockets and 12 pin flat sockets. Part of the reason for this is that ‘some’ of these type of sockets integrate with the reverse sensors. They have inbuilt into them whats called a ‘reed switch’, meaning that when you open the lid of the socket, it automatically turns off the reverse sensors so they don’t drive you crazy beeping while you’re reversing with your trailer attached. Some brands have come up with an alternative solution: they supply you with a ‘switch’ that you mount in your dash with which you can turn ‘off’ your reverse sensors manually – you just need to remember to switch your reverse sensors back on! Now, when someone asks you, Trailer Socket: 7 pin round or 7 pin flat? – you’ll know how to answer!

Trailer Connections in Australia

Here you can see some of the most commonly used trailer sockets used around Australia.

Here in WA, the TYPE 2 small round 7 pin socket has been, for the past 25 years, the standard socket in use.


In short, it doesn’t really matter which type of socket you use. As long as it suits your needs is what’s important. Generally, we will install a 7 pin round socket [unless you ask for something else], because that is still the most commonly used socket here in WA!

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