If I am by myself I use the controller, 4 ways and tail lights to confirm connectivity but I am always unsure.
Many Tow vehicles have separate bulbs for turn signal and brakes. Most trailers use the same bulb (but not sure about the Escape as I don't have one). One wire carries electricity from the TV to the turn and brake bulb on each side of the trailer. To address this "incompatibility" there is an electronic device
in the Tow wiring that sends an incoming brake light signal to both left and right sides of the trailer. This device can fail. It happened to me. I had turn signals, and tail lights but no brake lights. A visual inspection of all functions will confirm everything is working.