Tow vehicle wire harness & brake controller - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Problem Solving | Owners helping each other
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-24-2015, 01:39 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: seattle, Washington
Trailer: 2016 Escape 21
Posts: 26
Tow vehicle wire harness & brake controller

I'm researching electric brake controllers for my 2008 RAV4 and a 17B. From what I've found the Toyota harness ends in a 4pin that will require a 4 pin to 7pin adapter. Also needed will be two wires to provide 12V for the trailer battery & brakes. Has anyone done this set up and what brake controller do you recommend? Thanks
__________________

bailiej757 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2015, 01:53 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 13,669
I have Prodigy, which just about everybody recommends. I had it installed at the dealership by an after market guy at time of purchase. If you go to etrailer.com I'm confident that you will find videos etc. to help you.

I think there is a bit more to it than just the adapter.
__________________

__________________
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2015, 04:24 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Vermilye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Oswego, New York
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21, 2018 Ford F150
Posts: 3,430
I've done it with a 2010 RAV4 Sport. Bought the Toyota 4 pin wiring harness (instructions) on line (cheaper than from my dealer), almost broke my neck finding the location under the dash to plug the front connector.

I used the information from this web page to run the additional wiring at the same time I ran the Toyota harness. I pretty much followed the web page, but added the wiring for a back up camera (for both the RAV4 & the trailer) at the same time. I used a Tekonsha Prodigy P3 controller mounted as shown on the web page. If you want to read about my antics running the wiring, check my Nantucket page I wrote while doing the project. #6 wire from the battery to the breaker panel under the glove box, then #12 for the brake controller & #10 for the charge line. Finding a place for the 50 amp fuse in the engine compartment near the battery was probably the most difficult part, although there are a lot of panels to remove & replace to make the run from the front to the back.

I didn't use a 4 pin to 7 pin adapter; used a sealed 7 pin connector & spliced the Toyota harness wires to the correct ones on the 7 pin connector. I prefer the sealed version of the 7 pin connector to the back wired versions - less chance of water getting into the works.

I also added a solenoid in the space above the driver's side rear tire well in the charging circuit. It is powered by the 12V receptacle in the same location so that it shuts off the charge line when the RAV4 isn't running. This is useful for preventing killing the tow vehicle battery when parked & running the refrigerator on 12V...
__________________
Jon Vermilye My Travel Blog
Travel and Photo Web Page ... My Collection of RV Blogs 2018 F150 3.5EB, 2017 21
Vermilye is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2015, 08:50 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 11,793
I wired my Sienna, but it's much the same situation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
I didn't use a 4 pin to 7 pin adapter; used a sealed 7 pin connector & spliced the Toyota harness wires to the correct ones on the 7 pin connector. I prefer the sealed version of the 7 pin connector to the back wired versions - less chance of water getting into the works.
I used an adapter that plugs into the factory 4-pin, but in hindsight I should have taken Jon's route. When I needed to use the 4-pin socket (to pull a rental trailer), the plug for the adapter was corroded into the socket, and I couldn't get it apart - I had to cut off the connection and wire in a new 4-pin socket in a parking lot.

To do this properly, I would use a receptacle with both 7-pin and 4-pin sockets (for flexibility of trailer use), and connect the tug's trailer wiring to it directly.

Whatever you use for a receptacle, remember that the ground (normally white) wire of the 4-wire lighting harness does not have the capacity for trailer brakes or a battery charge circuit, so a larger-gauge ground wire is needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
I also added a solenoid in the space above the driver's side rear tire well in the charging circuit. It is powered by the 12V receptacle in the same location so that it shuts off the charge line when the RAV4 isn't running. This is useful for preventing killing the tow vehicle battery when parked & running the refrigerator on 12V...
Power to the trailer (not power to the brake controller) should definitely be wired through a relay like this, located where ever works for your vehicle and preferably controlled by an accessory-power circuit like Jon's. Mine is under the hood and controlled by an ignition-powered circuit.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2015, 01:57 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: seattle, Washington
Trailer: 2016 Escape 21
Posts: 26
Thanks Jon, just the info I was looking for. Another question. Does it make a difference using the factory harness that hooks up under the dash or use a Curt harness that hooks up using a T-connector at the rear tail lights? The Curt looks like it would be an easier installation.
Thanks, Jim
bailiej757 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2015, 03:51 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Vermilye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Oswego, New York
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21, 2018 Ford F150
Posts: 3,430
Quote:
Originally Posted by bailiej757 View Post
Thanks Jon, just the info I was looking for. Another question. Does it make a difference using the factory harness that hooks up under the dash or use a Curt harness that hooks up using a T-connector at the rear tail lights? The Curt looks like it would be an easier installation.
Thanks, Jim
To be honest, I don't know. My concern was with the wire size used by Toyota to get to the back of the trailer. Since they use LED lighting, the current levels are low; the trailer is wired with standard incandescent lamps, so they draw far more current than the LEDs. By running to the front, there is no chance of overloading the rear lighting circuits of the RAV4.

That said, on every other tow vehicle I've used, I've spliced into the existing wiring with no problems. It is certainly easier & cheaper...
__________________
Jon Vermilye My Travel Blog
Travel and Photo Web Page ... My Collection of RV Blogs 2018 F150 3.5EB, 2017 21
Vermilye is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2018, 08:20 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Naples, Florida
Trailer: New 21 Escape (not classic)10/16 Sold Lil Snoozy 7/16
Posts: 391
Brake controller

we have a 07Sequoia that we ran a number 10 wire to hook into the 7 way Bargman for power we use a prodigy RF for brake controller We are thinking of getting a 2017 Ford Expedition some have a brake controller and some do not I guess we could use the prodigy RF and just run a 10 ag wire and hook into a 7way Bargman again what are your thoughts
Should I just buy a Expedition with brake controller and then forget the RF controller?
jennykatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2018, 08:28 AM   #8
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,388
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennykatz View Post
we have a 07Sequoia that we ran a number 10 wire to hook into the 7 way Bargman for power we use a prodigy RF for brake controller We are thinking of getting a 2017 Ford Expedition some have a brake controller and some do not I guess we could use the prodigy RF and just run a 10 ag wire and hook into a 7way Bargman again what are your thoughts
Should I just buy a Expedition with brake controller and then forget the RF controller?
I found using a vehicle with the built in controller as compared to the add on unit seems to function better. I had a 2009 Ram with the add on unit and now a 2014 Ram with the built in, everything else the same or or less. I find the computer while in the tow mode does engine braking and other electronic touches that the add on unit did not, just my opinion.
__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2018, 09:43 AM   #9
Site Team
 
padlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southwick, Massachusetts
Trailer: 5.0 TA #6, 2012 F150 EB
Posts: 5,759
Both the RF and the Integrated are proportional so they function the same. Other then the cleaner look of the integrated, and zero time to install, I don't think it matters. I like the integrated cause it's just there. Gave away 2 P3's when I got the F150, of course the P3's were not proportional.
__________________
Happy Motoring
Bob
padlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2018, 01:18 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Kent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Bozeman, Montana
Trailer: 2018 5.0TA / 2018 GMC Canyon/Duramax
Posts: 550
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennykatz View Post
we have a 07Sequoia that we ran a number 10 wire to hook into the 7 way Bargman for power we use a prodigy RF for brake controller We are thinking of getting a 2017 Ford Expedition some have a brake controller and some do not I guess we could use the prodigy RF and just run a 10 ag wire and hook into a 7way Bargman again what are your thoughts
Should I just buy a Expedition with brake controller and then forget the RF controller?
I've had both and hands down I would always opt for the factory built in brake controller. Technology is getting better and of late as with the new Ford Ranger coming out and with lane assist, when you hook up the trailer you program the length of the trailer and all the safety systems including the lane assist will include the trailer or extend the safety zone to include the trailer. Other words if you drift into another lane and a vehicle is next to the trailer the system will warn you to the vehicle.

I assume the technology will make it's way to other models and brands.

Yes for factory brake controller and as already stated it just seems to work better.
__________________
2018 GMC Canyon/Duramax / 2018 5.0TA

"Live Life as if everything is rigged in your favor"
Kent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2018, 03:59 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 11,793
Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Both the RF and the Integrated are proportional so they function the same.
...
Gave away 2 P3's when I got the F150, of course the P3's were not proportional.
Is that just a typo, Bob? Any Prodigy (original, P2, P3, RF) is a proportional controller.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2018, 05:27 PM   #12
Site Team
 
padlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southwick, Massachusetts
Trailer: 5.0 TA #6, 2012 F150 EB
Posts: 5,759
My mistake, they were actually the original P1's, and were indeed proportional. Don't know why I have a memory of installing a switch on the brake pedal but I do. Just too long ago to remember correctly I guess.
__________________
Happy Motoring
Bob
padlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2018, 06:38 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 11,793
Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
My mistake, they were actually the original P1's, and were indeed proportional. Don't know why I have a memory of installing a switch on the brake pedal but I do.
Bob, you would have installed a connection to a brake pedal switch for a P1. Even a proportional controller needs a brake signal to know when it should be activated - it just doesn't use the force applied to the pedal or the time of pedal application to determine the output to the trailer brakes.

The Prodigy RF gets its brake signal from the 7-pin connection to the trailer; the integrated controllers presumably get the brake signal over the vehicle's computer network.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2018, 09:12 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Naples, Florida
Trailer: New 21 Escape (not classic)10/16 Sold Lil Snoozy 7/16
Posts: 391
Brake controller

We ended up with a 2018 Ford Expedition I had them add the brake controller on the 2018 itís plug and play So we wonít need the prodigy RF or the Magellan gps I love this Expedition coming home we got 25.3 mpg . The Sequoia would get about 17-19 on a trip
Iím hoping for 15 mpg towing with Expedition.we shall see ? Jim
jennykatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2018, 09:46 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SLO County CA, California
Trailer: 2014 21
Posts: 3,357
Good to hear- seems the USA is spanking the competition with full-sized SUV's. Have 98K now on our Yukon with zero problems and seeing plenty of 2-3 prior generations still on the road I have no itch to trade.
__________________
"We gotta get as far away as we can!"
- Russell Casse, Independence Day
Rossue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2019, 12:26 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Redwood City, California
Trailer: 2017 Escape 19
Posts: 188
For a newer (last 3-5 years or so) I'd definitely go with a built-in brake controller for most trucks/SUVs. They're integrated with the vehicle's stability control and ABS systems, so they can make trailer-aware decisions when dealing with sway.

Maybe one day the standard will end up switching from a 7-pin controller to something that allows the tow vehicle to separately brake the right and left side of the trailer. That allows for very effective control of sway when things go wrong.
Defenestrator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2019, 05:09 AM   #17
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,388
You may want to save that Magellan unit, I found that factory GPS will need expensive updates after a year or two and if the Magellan unit has lifetime updates, as most do, it maybe useable later.
__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2019, 07:52 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Naples, Florida
Trailer: New 21 Escape (not classic)10/16 Sold Lil Snoozy 7/16
Posts: 391
Gps

Supposedly the ford does upgrades for free the first 5 years . Iíll have to look at paperwork but I read that somewhere in brochure or booklet ? I canít wait to hook the Escape21 up and see how this Expedition does . Jim
__________________

jennykatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
brake controller, wire harness

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×