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How to Install a Trailer Brake Controller?

How To Install A Trailer Brake Controller

Are you looking for a complete guideline regarding “how to install a trailer brake controller?” Then, no worries, as we are here to rescue you by giving you an ultimate guide on installing a trailer brake controller. So you can install your one easily and quickly by following the exact steps.

A brake controller is an essential device that can help one have a safe and tension-free ride throughout the entire drive, especially in trailers.  It basically acts as a crucial protective measure for stopping and slowing down a trailer.

Besides, if you can do it yourself, it will help to save your money for hiring a specialist to install a trailer brake controller. Moreover, you get to learn a new thing, which is indeed a cool thing to be proud of.

Hopefully, this article will be very useful for you. So, without further wait, let’s begin.

How To Install A Trailer Brake Controller

How to Install a Trailer Brake Controller? [5 Steps]

Many of us think installing a brake controller is a challenging and complicated job for which we spend hundreds of dollars. But in reality, it is an easy job; you just need to know the exact steps of the installation process.

In fact, by knowing these steps, you will be surprised about why you didn’t try them before. However, I will suggest researching how does a trailer brake controller work.

Moreover, along with saving a significant amount of your money for installing a trailer brake controller by yourself, it is also a great chance to master a new skill. But for successful completion of this process, you need to know about 2 most vital things:

  • Firstly, you have to know the accessories that you will require throughout your installation process.
  • Secondly, you need to know where and how to install a brake controller in your vehicle (given below step by step).

Things You Will Need for Installation

Before starting the installation process, you need to arrange all the essential things beforehand to avoid any problems later on. So, the things that you will need for installing your trailer brake controller are the following.

1. Brake Controller

Time-delayed trailer brake controllers require manual adjustment and are ideal for occasional hauling with small-sized trailers and cargo vehicles. On the other hand, proportional brake controllers get adjusted automatically and are perfect for heavy and large-sized trailers and cargo. Therefore, buy one that will serve your requirements.

2. Trailer Connector

A trailer connector is an essential part of the installation of a trailer brake controller. You need it for connecting your brake controller with your trailer.

There are 3 types of connectors available:

  1. Mostly, all vehicles come with a 4-way trailer connector. However, if your one doesn’t come, then install one at first.
  2. If you have a 7-way trailer connector on your vehicle, then you will require a brake controller 7 and a 4-way installation tool.
  3. If your trailer has a 6-way trailer connector, then you will require a brake controller 6 and a 4-way installation tool.

So check properly and then, based on your trailer requirement, buy the right one. Otherwise, you will need to change it later.

3. Screws

You will need screws for fixing the brake controller into the designated place in the dash. It acts as a support for holding the controller.

4. Screwdriver

You will require a screwdriver for installing or uninstalling the screws.

5. Drill

You will need a drill for making round holes for fixing the controller on the dashboard. A small and medium-duty drill machine will be enough for making these holes.

Hence, these are the following main things that you will require in the brake controller installation process of your trailer. So, before beginning the process arrange these tools accordingly. Otherwise, you may face difficulty later while installing.

Trailer Brake Controller Installation (Step by Step Procedure)

Once you get all the things arranged, the next thing you need to do is to get ready for installing the trailer brake controller. Without further delay, let us start the step by step installation guide so you can quickly benefit from it:

Step 1: Disconnecting the battery cable

The first and foremost job is parking your vehicle on a level area and then involving the parking brake. After these, open the front cover of your trailer for disconnecting the vehicle’s negative battery cable.

It will safeguard you from any type of electrical shorts and protect your vehicle from any damage while installing your brake controller.

Although it may look like a trivial issue, in reality, it is a vital step because if by any chance you forget to disconnect, then your life may get at risk. That’s why staying alert beforehand is a must as nothing is more important than our precious life. Hence, make sure that you disconnect the battery cable before doing anything in the trailer, as later you may forget to disconnect.

Step 2: Placement of the brake controller

The 2nd step is where the main work with the installation of the brake controller is started. Here, your job is to find an appropriate place for attaching the controller to your dash.

For the controller’s proper functioning, its placement of it in a suitable place is crucial. It needs to be placed in such a visible position within your reach so you can easily fix any issue when it occurs.

However, the perfect location that we can recommend for you to mount your brake controller is beneath and to the steering wheel’s off-side. Another ideal place is you can mount it above the dashboard. In this way, it will be both visible and within your reach.

Caution Note:

If you have a citizen’s band (CB) radio or other radio frequency (RF) transmitter, then you must ensure that the controller is not mounted adjacent to the complex electronics. Otherwise, your brake controller may be affected due to the incoming frequency from this radio.

Step 3: Mounting holes

After you select the place, the next step is making holes using the drill machine. Here, you need to make holes for every fastener that is contained within the controller.

You need to do these steps very cautiously as a slight mistake of yours can damage the trailer’s electrical parts situated behind the dashboard, which you will certainly never want. The best way to prevent any type of threats would be to take out the board that you are mounting holes into.

Step 4: Attaching the controller

Once you are done making holes using the drill machine, the next thing that you need to do is relocate the controller bracket and then set the bolts that come with the box. Nowadays, many have self-tapping screws in them.

While tightening the bolts, make sure that you don’t overtight or strip out the holes. Otherwise, the brake controller will not be attached properly. Hence, do it carefully. Afterward, the next task is to fasten the controller to the bracket using the screws.

Step 5: Plugging in

This is the last step of your installation process. Here, you need to connect the brake controller to the vehicle using a particular cabling harness. There will be two ends of the cable: one end needs to be plugged into the vehicle’s factory harness located beneath the dashboard, and another end needs to be plugged into the controller.

After connecting all the wires, the final thing you need to ensure is that all the cables are correctly connected. Otherwise, the brake controller will not work. Hence, check properly, and if required, connect again.

Therefore, these are the 5 exact steps for installing a trailer brake controller easily. If you can follow our steps properly in the exact method that we have instructed, it is guaranteed that you will be able to do it yourself easily.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, you have now got a clear idea about how to install a trailer brake controller. After going through this article, you will indeed agree that this installation procedure is very easy for everyone.

In fact, even those who don’t have any idea regarding the trailer brake controller can do it comfortably with perfection by following the above-stated steps.

We hope you have no more doubts regarding trailer brake controller installation. Still, if you have any further queries then feel free to ask us in the below comment section. Lastly, have a good day!