New 7 pin plug in box area of truck for the 5th wheel hitch? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-28-2016, 02:14 AM   #1
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New 7 pin plug in box area of truck for the 5th wheel hitch?

Should I have a 7 pin plug put into the box area of my truck for the 5th wheel hitch to plug into? My truck did come with the tow package, I just need the brake controller which I'm getting on Monday. That's when the question about 7 pin plug came up. So what do you say? Yes,good idea or no don't need it?
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:16 AM   #2
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Do you need it? No. Is one nice to have? Yes. Without you just need to go under the trailer overhang and plug in the cable, with the extra one you need to reach into the bed to do it. Which do you prefer?

Being 6'2", I prefer reaching into the bed.
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:29 AM   #3
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Sandy, of bigger concern is what are you doing for a hitch? Your public profile indicates that you have a 5-1/2 foot bed in your F150. This sized bed is going to require a specialized set-up to allow proper clearances from the back of the cab.
And as Bob stated, the connection in the bed of the truck is much more convenient with the 5.0TA than the one down by the bumper.
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:06 AM   #4
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I have thought about this for awhile also, I asked Trademasters and they said they install one in the truck bed routinely and lengthen the factory cord. But my bed side is way too high for me to plug something in without a step stool, I'm thinking the stock bumper location with the factory stock length will be fine.
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:16 AM   #5
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I've been waffling on this decision since I bought Ten Forward. I'm the same as Jim, I need a step stool to reach anything inside the bed. What I worry about is anything in the bed rubbing against the plug. Carrying items in the bed (chairs, cooler, folding table, etc.) where space is at a premium may cause problems for the cord. While it's Fugly hanging over the tailgate, it's easily hooked/unhooked and keeps the available bed space free for needed camping items.
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:51 AM   #6
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Thank you all, my bed is also way too high to reach in. With a step stool I'd probably end up on my head in the truck bed and THAT would be a predictament!

My hitch is going to be installed by Trademasters. So hopefully, they will know what my truck needs. That is why I decided to have it done there instead of ahead of time.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I have thought about this for awhile also, I asked Trademasters and they said they install one in the truck bed routinely and lengthen the factory cord. But my bed side is way too high for me to plug something in without a step stool, I'm thinking the stock bumper location with the factory stock length will be fine.
Trademasters installed mine in the bed. I find it to be extremely convenient and its much cleaner than having the plug hang over the tailgate. I plug it in and disconnect when the tailgate is open. You have to open the tailgate to hitch the trailer anyway, it does not require a step stool from the back.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:32 AM   #8
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Maybe I can ask for a switch on the one in the bed, that way I do not have to open up the tailgate and unplug every time when I stop for any length of time....my factory 7 pin is live all the time, even when ignition is off.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:37 AM   #9
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Maybe I can ask for a switch on the one in the bed, that way I do not have to open up the tailgate and unplug every time when I stop for any length of time....my factory 7 pin is live all the time, even when ignition is off.
It might be live, but will it use power if your lights are off? I've left mine plugged in overnight, its never caused a problem.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:14 AM   #10
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With dual sixers and more amps than the auto battery it will drain the weakest until all are equalized, that is my thinking. I like to keep mine separate to prevent a dead starting battery.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:37 AM   #11
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I opted to install a plug in the box, as I did not want to have the lead dangling over the tailgate, and to have it handy. At 6'-0", I have not trouble reaching it. For a cost under around $80 USD, and less than 39 minutes to install, for me the decision was a no brainer. It still leaves the bumper plug usable if desired too.
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:27 PM   #12
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I'm 5'9" and I can easily reach the socket in the bed of the truck without any vertical aid such as a step stool. I've never had a problem with the cord rubbing on anything, and it doesn't flop around like it does when dangling behind the tail gate. And it would be easy to splice into the harness and run a two conducter line back into the cab of the tow vehicle to put the 12v line feeding the trailer on a switch easily accessible from the driver's seat. I essentially did that with the center terminal of the 7-pin harness (normally used for back-up lights) so that I could switch my rear view camera on or iff as necessary. I had Reace run a wire from the center conductor to the cabinets over the table in the rear. With the 2015 Ford F150, however, the circuitry to the 7-pin connector shuts off approximately 20 minutes after the ignition is shut off.
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Old 02-28-2016, 01:17 PM   #13
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I opted to install a plug in the box, as I did not want to have the lead dangling over the tailgate, and to have it handy. At 6'-0", I have not trouble reaching it. For a cost under around $80 USD, and less than 39 minutes to install, for me the decision was a no brainer. It still leaves the bumper plug usable if desired too.
I'm sure most of you have seen this, but this photo shows where I put mine, on the driver's side. Because of the aluminum box, I did not use the supplied screws because of the corrosion issues with dissimilar metals, but aluminum rivets instead.

Andersen Hitch 1.jpg
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Old 02-28-2016, 05:02 PM   #14
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Much better in bed

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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Do you need it? No. Is one nice to have? Yes. Without you just need to go under the trailer overhang and plug in the cable, with the extra one you need to reach into the bed to do it. Which do you prefer?

Being 6'2", I prefer reaching into the bed.
We had a Scamp 19 and now have 5/0TA. Both were plugged in under the bumper and I was always antsy about dragging the cord. I was also concerned when making tight turns. I'm much happier having converted it to plug in on the driver's side of the bed. At 5'11", I can reach into the bed to plug it, but prefer opening the tailgate, which I have to do anyway to hook or unhook. If I stay hooked up, opening the tailgate is not a big deal. It beats getting on a knee, especially if the ground is wet.

I've had no problem with stuff in the bed interfering with the plug. There's plenty of cord to reach over whatever is placed in the bed.
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:33 AM   #15
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I have thought about this for awhile also, I asked Trademasters and they said they install one in the truck bed routinely and lengthen the factory cord..
Lengthen? Wouldn't any cord long enough to reach under the bumper be far more than long enough to reach anywhere in the bed? The cord of my (large and not Escape) fifth-wheel comes out beside the pin box, and is long enough to reach all the way to the bumper of a typical truck; is the Escape cord somewhere else?

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But my bed side is way too high for me to plug something in without a step stool...
Do you really need a step stool to reach just inside the top edge of the box? Jim Bennett's installation looks like the sensible location to me, and while reaching down into the box of most trucks now is a problem, high on the box side doesn't look bad.

Ironically, no matter how easy Jim B's socket is to reach, he's going to be reaching way into the box anyway, to hook up the safety chains.
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:14 AM   #16
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Ironically, no matter how easy Jim B's socket is to reach, he's going to be reaching way into the box anyway, to hook up the safety chains.
While it is true that I have to hook up the chains when towing a 5th wtheel (at least in many jurisdictions), I fail to see any irony in this. I must be missing something.
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:45 AM   #17
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The chains are also easy to hook up in the bed.
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:51 AM   #18
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I don't have any safety chains for Ten Forward... are they missing? And yes, I need a step stool to hookup or unhook. The bed sides are right below my shoulders! Previously all the in-the-bed installations for the plug I've seen were quite low in the bed. If I end up doing this, I'll use the "Jim Method"!
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:58 AM   #19
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Escape 5/0 TA cord is plenty long.

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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Lengthen? Wouldn't any cord long enough to reach under the bumper be far more than long enough to reach anywhere in the bed? The cord of my (large and not Escape) fifth-wheel comes out beside the pin box, and is long enough to reach all the way to the bumper of a typical truck; is the Escape cord somewhere else?

My Escape factory issue cord is plenty long. You are right about needing less cord to reach anywhere in the bed than to the bumper.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:19 AM   #20
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I don't have any safety chains for Ten Forward... are they missing? And yes, I need a step stool to hookup or unhook. The bed sides are right below my shoulders! Previously all the in-the-bed installations for the plug I've seen were quite low in the bed. If I end up doing this, I'll use the "Jim Method"!
Donna, you don't need safety chains unless you have a ball hitch. If you have the Reese 15K that ETI sells, chains are not required.
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