Newell Gurus

Full Version: To electric brake, or not to... That is the ?
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I installed a new 7 pin trailer receptacle on my coach. Original was round pin and required an adapter to work with my Jeep. I will tuck up the harness once I paint the chassis underside with Por 15 chassis paint. That said, there was no 12v+ source to keep Jeep battery charged and it would go dead at each destination. Newell had extra wires rolled up behind the engine electric box that was accessed when removing the top. I found them by accident and toned them out to ensure that's what they were for. In doing so, I toned out a wire from the spares in the rear box that go to the front fuse panel in front of the passenger seat. There was one spare fuse that I used to connect the +12v trailer receptacle for toad battery charging. All is great. So I am wondering if it is worth bringing a blue trailer brake wire online. I have the Air Force One braking system on the Jeep. Should I bother installing an electric braking controller? I don't think I will pull a big trailer but who knows, right? I did connect the backup light pin in the receptacle. Basically all pins are accounted for except the trailer brake. I would have to double up on two #14's to carry the load since it's a long trip from front to rear. Looking for opinions.
Instead of doubling up on the #14s, I would use one to activate a relay using a more suitable power source from the rear of the coach.
What Jon said………..

And if you notice, it is also what Newell did for the brake lights, running lights, and turn signals in the rear. They all use relays just for the reason you stated.
An electric brake signal varies in voltage.  Maybe one of our electronic gurus could figure out how to build a device to relay the signal from the controller to the brakes.
That's what I was thinking too Gordon. The trailer brake signal can vary from 3 amps to 30 amps which is why I figured on doubling two spare lines.
Simon, have you considered a Bluetooth-enabled brake controller? Echo: A Wireless Brake Controller for Your Smartphone

The Curt Echo is unique for its plug-and-play installation. With no wiring, modules, or knobs to install, setting up the Echo is a breeze. Just download the ECHO Smart Control app on your Apple or Android smart device and follow the in-app instructions. The brake controller unit plugs into the 7-way at the rear of your vehicle and provides a port for plugging in your 7-way trailer connector. There's also an included strap, found inside the cap, that you can use to secure the Echo to your vehicle. When all the connections are made, wirelessly pair the unit to your phone via Bluetooth. Once paired, configure your desired trailer brake settings in the user-friendly app.

Bluetooth-enabled brake controller lets you monitor and control all your braking activity directly from your phone. User-friendly mobile app saves multiple trailer profiles, and the compact unit plugs in line with your 7-way trailer connector.


Brake controller activates trailer brakes in proportion to your vehicle's braking action
Automatically adjusts trailer's braking based on deceleration of tow vehicle
ECHO Smart Control mobile app lets you set, monitor, and control all your braking activity
Adjust sensitivity and max power output
Press the manual override button in the app to control trailer sway or stop in an emergency
Drive at night with the dark mode setting
Reduce power drain on your phone by using sleep mode
Easy to transfer between vehicles - great for fleets of trucks and trailers
Create up to 5 vehicle-trailer profiles in the app
LED lights on plug-in unit provide diagnostics for troubleshooting
Fast, plug-and-play installation makes setup a breeze - no tools required
Plug unit in between your 7-way trailer connection - no hardwiring
Compatible with ABS brakes, cruise control, low-voltage wiring, multiplex wiring, and PWM systems
Built-in reverse polarity and short circuit protection
Plug-in unit, instructions, and quick reference guide included
Bluetooth PIN for initial pairing to your smart device located in quick reference guide
Assembled in the USA
I use a Tekonsha Prodigy ll which is wireless. I like flexibility offered by the cab mounted controller. I pick up all power and taillight signals from the coach rear panel . Available from etrailer. I have bought a lot of items from them. Fast and good .
I decided to go ahead with the trailer brake controller. Why not? Figured to not be limited in towing just a vehicle that has air brake controller in it. I ordered a RedArc kit. Found all my wires and brake light tap. Everything is up front for the controller and remote. The remote has a cable that cannot be modified so it has to be close to the brain box. In my decision making, I came across some wireless options but I have wires so it will be foolproof and reliable. I also did not want yet another thing to depend on my phone for operation. (God, I am getting old!) I prefer stand alone things to do their job independently of phones or tablets. In doing all this, I replaced a few connectors at the back of the coach since they had some corrosion as well as soldered some makeshift connections. Feels good getting some preemptive work done.