Electric Brake Contoller? HELP!
Hi everyone! I need help figuring out what kind of electric brake contoller to purchase.
I have a Dodge Ram 1500 truck, and a 2500 lb aluminum Featherlite trailer. Full, I will be hauling about 5000 lbs.
Also, is it possible to install this yourself, or do you have to take it to a mechanic?
I'm unfortunately totally clueless about this aspect of trailers, since this is the first trailer I have actually owned.
There are a lot of different makes and models of trailer brake controllers. They all do the same thing but some of them are a little fancier. It mostly matters how much you are willing to spend.
As far as installation goes, I'm also clueless how that stuff works so I would take it to a trailer dealer that has a service mechanic.
With a little knowledge of wiring and ability to follow instructions it's not a hard job. If you are clueless have a pro do it or a friend you trust but be careful their. I've had to fix to many things that were done by friends who knew what they were doing.
Been a while since I've bought a trailer brake so don't know what is considered good right now. Best thing to do is try and talk to a few RV mechanics (not salesmen) and ask them what units are the good ones.
What year truck ? Anything newer than about 2004 maybe even alot older should be plug and play.
You find a convienent place to mount the controller with a couple screws, usually it has to be level,
under the dash there will be a factory plug, you simply plug it in. and ur done. '
Dont let some Bozo start cutting wires. spend the extra $15 bucks on the right adapter.
Usually you get a brake controller and a wire harness which will be specific for your vehicle. This harness has two plugs, one end plugs into the controller the other will plug in under the dash board to a plug that is already there. LIke this unit:
Brake Controller for 2006 Dodge Ram Pickup | etrailer.com
and some pictures :
Electric Brake Controller Installation on Dodge Ram Truck | etrailer.com
I think that I have this one: Tekonsha 90885 Prodigy P2 Electronic Brake Control
It works great. U-haul installed if for me but I would not let them do it again. They did a bad job on the wiring and when the Jeep dealer was servicing my car he got burnt because it shocked him! I would definitely have a professional install it.
sure take it to a professional and have them charge you $100 for a 5 minute job. If you can plug in a toaster you can hook up a brake controller. Seriously it's that easy on newer vehicles IF and a big IF you pay the little extra for the right vehicle specific adapter plug.
Joe is right. BUT, even though your truck may have the wiring built in, it may not have the wire going back to the plug. Not all trucks, even with a plug and play, have the correct wiring built for brakes into the receptacle. If your truck has a factory HD towing package, chances are that it will have the RV receptacle and the correct wiring. If not, you may have to have a dealer do the installation for you - unless you are handy and can follow directions. It isn't difficult.
My '03 Expedition has the HD package and all I had to do was find the right spot for the controller and buy the matching harness. I plugged it in and all that was left was to adjust the controller for my trailer.
If the truck has the factory round 7 prong plug I would be really surprised if it isnt hooked up. But then again I have always driven Fords, specifically because they seem to cut alot less corners like that.
I guess that's true. My car didn't come with a towing package so my hitch was installed afterwards so it didn't have any of the wiring.
My F150 already had the wiring in place, but you still need to mount the controller and connect it to the harness. Not something I'd let just someone without training do, or try to do myself. A lot depends on my truck and trailer brakes working properly, so I leave it to the professionals.
I'd especially leave it to the professionals if the truck didn't come with the tow package already installed.
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