How to Install Trailer Brake Controls

How to Install Trailer Brake Controls
An electric trailer brake controller delivers power from the tow vehicle to the trailer's electric brakes linking the two vehicles for easier maneuverability and braking power. It is beneficial to have the controller so a tow trailer can determine the speed at which the tow vehicle is stopping and then match it.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Brake controller
  • 2 12-gauge butt connectors
  • 20amp breaker
  • 40amp circuit breaker
  • 12-gauge wire
  • Wire tap
Step 1
Disconnect the negative battery cable.
Step 2
Mount the 20-amp circuit breaker to the inside fender shield using two self-tapping screws.
Step 3
Connect the first circuit breaker terminal to the positive battery terminal, which is marked by a "+" sign. Use 14-gauge wire and solderless ring connectors to connect them.
Step 4
Mount the brake controller under the dashboard. Use hardware that is safe for your dashboard such as nuts and bolts for plastic materials.
Step 5
Connect the second circuit breaker terminal to the 12-volt lead of the brake controller. This is a two-step process. First, you'll need to use a solderless butt connector to splice the brake wire. Then, you'll need to connect the wire to the circuit breaker using a ring connector. Do the same for the 14-gauge negative lead wire.
Step 6
Pass a second 10-gauge wire from the white wire on the brake controller to the battery negative cable.
Step 7
Fix the blue lead, which is on the controller, to the wire connected to the brake control pin of the electric connector.
Step 8
Connect the wire to the active lead on the brake controller. You will know the lead is active because the light will turn on when the brakes are engaged. You can check by mashing down on the brake pedal. Use 14-gauge wire to connect the two. Reconnect the negative battery terminal.

Tips & Warnings

Trailer brake controllers are available at RV dealerships. Contact the parts department.
Controller manufacturers are also available locally as well as online.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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