How do I Install & Remove an Electric Trailer Brake Controller?

How do I Install & Remove an Electric Trailer Brake Controller?
Use an electric trailer brake controller to feed power from your tow vehicle to your trailer. The controller will join the two vehicles for added braking power and easier handling of both vehicles when driving, turning and parking. You can use an electric brake controller to notify the tow trailer of the speed at which the tow vehicle is slowing and stopping. This information will keep the two vehicles from operating at different speeds.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Brake controller
  • 12-gauge butt connectors,2
  • 20-amp circuit breaker
  • 40-amp circuit breaker
  • 12-gauge wire
  • Wire tape
Step 1
Pull out the negative battery cable by hand. You can find the cable by looking for a "-" sign above the cable.
Step 2
Screw the 20-amp circuit breaker to the inside of the fender shield using two self-tapping screws.
Step 3
Connect the first circuit breaker terminal to the positive battery terminal using solderless ring connectors and a 14-gauge wire. You can locate the positive battery terminal by looking for a “+” sign above the cable.
Step 4
Hold the brake controller to the underside of the dashboard and mount it using hardware that is safe for your dash. Use nuts and bolts for a plastic dashboard.
Step 5
Attach the second circuit breaker terminal to the 12-volt lead of the brake controller. Splice the brake wire with a solderless butt connector. Use a ring connector to secure the wire to the circuit breaker. Repeat for the negative lead wire.
Step 6
Locate the white wire on the brake controller. Pull the second 10-gauge wire from the white wire and then connect it to the battery negative cable.
Step 7
Fasten the blue lead to the wire connected to the brake control pin of the electric connector. You can find the blue lead on the controller.
Step 8
Use 14-gauge wire to connect the active lead wire with the active lead on the brake controller. Check the brakes to make sure the active lead wire is engaged. (You will see an indicator light on the brake controller when the wire is engaged.)
Step 9
Reconnect the negative battery terminal by reattaching it in the same way you removed in step 1.
Step 10
Reverse the steps to remove the controller.

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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