Brake Control Wiring Help Needed - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-04-2007, 07:00 AM   #1
Name: Gail
Trailer: 2004 19 ft Scamp 19 5th Wheel (Standard Layout)
Posts: 61
Hello all,

I recently purchased a new towing vehicle. Went from a 1991 F-150 to a 2007 Ford Ranger XLT. The brake controller in the F-150 was a Impluse Electronic Trailer Brake Control by Hoppy. I have now moved it to the 2007 Ranger and am having difficulties in getting it wired correctly. It seems that the stoplight wire in the F-150 was cold when the ingnition switch was off but in the Ranger is it hot. Right now the way it is hook up when I use my turning signals the trailer brakes activate. I have sent several messages to the manufacturer but no answers yet. Any ideas on how this should be wired? The Ford garage where I purchased the truck has no idea. I really want to get camping but until I get this fixed it would not be safe for me to tow.

Any ideas/suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks in advance.


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Old 06-04-2007, 07:07 AM   #2
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Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,016
The Jeep dealer had no clue on my Liberty either...

Take it to U Haul or your local "Trailer Guy"..they do this all day long and rather inexpensively.

AFter hours of foul language and head scratching thats what I did. "Trailer Guy" had it done in no time + gave me back up lights ta boot.

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Old 06-04-2007, 08:01 AM   #3
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Trailer: Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel Custom Deluxe
Posts: 123
There should be a ground wire on the brake controller. Make sure it is grounded to the battery ground. Sounds like you might be grounding through the light circuit. Check your trailer to truck ground also, it can cause the same problem. Mike-B
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:16 AM   #4
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I gather your 2007 Ranger XLT is not pre-wired. In general, the battery positive, battery negative and the wire to the electrical trailer plug are straightforward. The wire that activates the trailer brakes is usually connected to the stoplight switch wire. Can you find the stoplight switch? You are looking for a wire that is cold until you step on the brake, then it becomes hot. It is best to research the color code of the wire you are looking for, rather than relying on trial and error. Doing your own wiring on the newer vehicles is getting more and more difficult. As recommended above, try the local U-Haul or anyone who does a lot of trailer wiring. Also, consider a proportional controller like the Prodigy (if your Hoppy Impulse is not this type). Prodigy has an excellent customer service number.
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:48 AM   #5
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Trailer: 2007 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
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What BobB said.

It took me all day on my new truck and was a pain in the A$$. From now on I will make sure I get factory pre-wiring!
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Old 06-04-2007, 01:31 PM   #6
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Posts: 4,999
If the wire which is supposed to go the brake switch were incorrectly attached to a brake light line, and if the Ranger has combined stop/turn signals (some big "if"s there...), then hitting that turn signal would turn the brake controller on with every flash. It isn't really the wire to a light you want, it is one right out of the switch on the pedal.

If this is the Hoppy Impulse™ Electronic Trailer Brake Control (Stock No. 37235), then it's just a timer "control", anyway. I would buy a proper proportional controller rather than spending time making this one work - but the new controller will still need the correct connections! Hopkins (Hoppy) doesn't seem to offer any on-line technical guidance for installing or wiring their brake controls, but other major manufacturers (including Cequent/Tekonsha) do.

Since the brake switch is usually easy to find (it's the only switch attached to the brake pedal arm), I found it easy to check each of the connections in my Sienna for the one which turns on only when the pedal is pressed. If there is a reliable source of this information specifically for the 2007 Ranger, then sure, follow that. Standard "Ford" colour coding may not apply to any particular model, and is probably based on the F-150. I notice that the Impulse packaged for installation in a Ford is not wired for a Ranger, or for any recent model.

I think the ignition switch issue is a red herring; brake lights normally work when the ignition is off, so I don't think that should be a problem for the brake controller.
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:04 PM   #7
Trailer: 2003 Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe and 1989 Bigfoot 5th Wheel
Posts: 53

Every ford that i have seen since the late 90's has a pre wired pigtail under the dash.

Go to your local ford dealer parts department and ask them for a brake pigtail.

It will come with instructions on which wire is which.

It should be a ten minute job to splice this pigtail to your controller and plug it in under the dash.

Presto changeo Instant hookup

Harv in Colo.
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Old 06-06-2007, 11:19 AM   #8
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Bear in mind that the Ranger is actually a Mazda, so there may be significant engineering and build differences between what they have and how it works compared to an actual Ford F-series truck.

The first place to go for help with a brake controller is to the maker of the controller, not the maker of the TV, because their livelyhood depends on the product working, so Hoppy tech support is the place to ask (altho you might have to go to Ford with your VIN to find out how the Ranger was equipped (my 98 Ranger XLT has the "camper relay" option for the brake lights but no provision for a brake controller).

If things are still puzzling, call Tekonsha and ask them. Based on my experience with them, they would likely be glad to assist you in identifying the correct wires for a generic controller (you don't need to tell them it isn't their product). Tekonsha maintains an extensive data base of all sorts of makes, models and years of tow vehicles.
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Old 06-07-2007, 06:02 AM   #9
Name: Gail
Trailer: 2004 19 ft Scamp 19 5th Wheel (Standard Layout)
Posts: 61
Thanks everyone for all the great help. After a couple of emails back and forth from Hoppy (the brake control manufacturer) and once again getting under the dash to check out the wires, the problem has been solved.

The first time we missed seeing a wire that we should have been using.

Now I just need to clean the camper, pack it and off I will go.


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