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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a need to tow a car hauler trailer with one axle equipped with brakes but my van didn't come with the towing package. I had already added a Curt hitch and a four way trailer control late last year but the trailer brake controller is a separate item entirely. I got a standard 7 pin connector and an adapter since my trailer has a six pin connector. I also should say that I have not fully tested my installation but do believe it should work okay if my brakes work on the trailer, I replaced them in the last few weeks, trailer had not been used for several years.

The brake controller I bought is an inertia driven device, new to me, last time I installed a trailer brake almost 20 years ago, it applied more power the longer your brake pedal was applied, the inertia system should be better, I hope anyway. The wiring kit I also ordered had a 20' cable with two 12 gauge stranded wires and various connectors. One of the two 12 gauge wires is for the brakes and the other seems to be for a more general application at the trailer connection plug, I assume for power to a camper trailer, etc.

I mounted the controller in the small trim piece just above my fuse panel which gives me easy access to the controls and readout. The 20' cable only reached from the 7 pin plug, which I mounted on the drivers side end of the Curt hitch, up to the drivers side step area. I couldn't easily access the cable chase from the back of the van to the step area despite having done it several months back when I installed the four way plug so I ran the cable under my cargo safety wall in a way that it should not be rubbed by anything I will carry in the back. I use my van for hauling stuff not a camper for the time being.

The wiring kit comes with three circuit breakers, 20A, 30A and 40A, the 40A is the extra lead that is not used for my immediate situation. Since my trailer only has one axle with brakes the 20A breaker is sufficient for that need. I had just enough of the twin cable to run short leads from the battery connection to the step area where I mounted the circuit breakers. I only tied in the 20A lead but have the 40A lead right at the battery if I decide to use it in the future.

The connections to the controller are a ground, the 20A power input, the brake power output and the brake light circuit detection. The controller is new but the instructions really don't seem up to date for today's vehicles since it shows the conventional brake pedal switch with a always hot power in, the SPST button switch and the brake light power out and says to tap onto the brake light power out. However the brake pedal switch has at least four small gauge leads and really sends the signal to a control module which in turn provides the power to the van's brake lights. Finding the power lead to the brake lights in the bundle running back there would seem to be a formidable task so instead I simply tapped into the brake lead that goes to my four way trailer light control box. That box has a simple connector that is plugged into the light fixture and the original plug plugs into a female plug on the cable, from there three leads run to the four way controller, running lights, brake light (red) and left turn signal light. So I tapped onto the brake light lead and ran a 25' 16 gauge stranded wire all the way up front again that is connected to my brake controller.

Hopefully my pictures will upload and what I wrote will be more apparent.

Also I measured the power drain of the battery when not running while I had the negative cable pulled off. The power drain for my van was right at 72mA and the controller which was not in the circuit at that time pulls about 18mA so nearly a tenth of an amp will be drawn just sitting there parked in the driveway. The key fob presence didn't seem to make a difference, that was a concern I saw brought up in another thread discussing batteries going dead after a month of non use.


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