Wiring f150 brakes for casita - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-22-2015, 09:59 AM   #1
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Wiring f150 brakes for casita

Hi. I've read some threads on brake controllers. Autozone had one for $79 and I bought the thingie for $29 that goes into my trailer thingie that is round with six holes and a center hole. It has to be plugged in to the back of my truck and grounded. (I never did any of this before)

A guy at the RV park where our casita is presently living without us yet, said he could wire my truck and had me buy lots of 10 gauge wire. But the autozone guy looked at my truck and said it wasn't needed, there are already wires into my tail lights and I need to get under the dash to install the brake controller and that's all.

Then I read that some on here like a better brake controller that is smoother.

And I read about the RF brake controller that is $300. People worried it may interfere with other RF but what would that be. Is it like a radio? How does it work? Does it constantly put out a signal like wifi or cordless phones or only when you press on the brakes?

I don't know if I want anybody to disrupt my dashboard. And if I got the $300 RF controller my husband could tow the trailer w his vehicle at times. I own the f150 and its a 2005 and I also own the casita so mostly it's my baby but the flexibility might be nice.

Can anybody educate me on all this?

Thanks!!


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Old 07-22-2015, 10:29 AM   #2
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You have listened to - to many people.

The 10 Gauge wire is for the battery charging line. I think the guy at the campground may be your best bet at geting it wired correctly.
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:32 AM   #3
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I have not listened to too many people. I'm an investigative journalist and the way I learn is by asking a lot of questions. I haven't installed anything yet and am leaning to the Tekonsha RF for ease of installation and to allow hubby to tow occasionally.


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Old 07-22-2015, 10:46 AM   #4
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I'm going to buy the RF controller. Of course I've been to etrailer and read a lot. I will likely buy on amazon though because I have prime.


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Old 07-22-2015, 10:54 AM   #5
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There should be a connector under the dash , I think its a 6 pin connector for the brake controller. You can get an adapter for most brake controllers that will plug into it. On the rear there is a connector on the frame that you can get an adapter to install the 7 pin connector for the trailer. What I did was go to a wrecker and grabbed the factory 7 pin connector and wiring and installed it. If your truck has the 7 pin tow connector on the back then all you should need is the controller. One more thing, your truck may also need a relay installed in the fuse box under the hood to enable the 12v charging to the trailer.

2005 brake controller hookup
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:23 AM   #6
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Thanks, Dudley. The first helpful answer. Appreciate it.

I still think I want the RF. For ease and flexibility in the future.


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Old 07-22-2015, 12:34 PM   #7
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I did not read all these responses, so excuse me if this has already been said. My '01 F150 was stock, no trailer stuff, but every one made that year (and other years from what I understand), had a wiring harness in the left rear you could unplug, and plug an electrical "t" into that ended in a 7 pin plug. Then, very conveniently, Ford put ready made plugs under all the F150 dashes that you could plug a brake controller into. I never in my life "wired" a vehicle so quickly!

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Old 07-22-2015, 01:14 PM   #8
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I did some edits because the personal comments of unpleasant nature are not in keeping with the community rules. Need to stop, there is a legitimate question being asked up for discussion so thread is still open but.... Be nice to each other.
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Old 07-22-2015, 01:32 PM   #9
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In light of the fact that the thread has now been edited I have elected to remove my posts. Although my advice was good, I was trying to be helpful, and it appears that my posts were not edited, the revised thread will no longer reflect the conversation as it occurred and I therefore choose to remove myself from the conversation of record.
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Old 07-22-2015, 01:45 PM   #10
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The OP described the "thingy" as 6 blade with a center pin. I think this is a bargman plug typical of RV's with 7 connectors.

Many vehicles such as trucks and large RV's come from the factory with the wiring harness set up for towing. Standard plug already under the dash to plug a brake controller into that factory wiring harness. Might need a fuse added to the fuse block/box to power that plug circuit, may well be there and labeled as for that purpose or dealer can tell you which one it is.

Main reasons for RF brake controller I have heard is to use with multiple trailers by moving the units or to deal with a situation that is difficult to wire. If the truck has factory wiring the second would not be a factor.

In order to charge the battery for the camper from the tow vehicle while going down the road an extra wire will probably need to be run from the charging circuit under the hood back to the plug. Much less likely to have this as a factory option but is possible. Basic lights are standard at a junction box in the rear, brakes wiring would be fairly common in larger tow type vehicles, power wiring would be less common than that. Typically one adds some sort of switch/relay or one way circuit to prevent trailer from drawing power from the tow vehicle battery when the engine is off and trailer still plugged in. Not 100% always but it would be considered the "standard" way to do it.

There is generally more than one way to accomplish this stuff so getting different opinions and reasons is good, one can however get into a too many cooks situation also.

Me I would use the factory wiring harness if available over the RF unit. I believe it would be less costly and be more reliable as a solid wire connection. But I decided to have wiring added for brakes rather than go RF so I guess I was not too impressed with the technology at the price it was offered for.
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Old 07-23-2015, 03:28 AM   #11
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Thanks for editing RogerDay, and thanks for the other helpful replies.

Usually this forum has been very very very helpful to me on anything from toilets to hepvo valve mods to waxing techniques but yesterday people rushed in to deride and mock (please do leave this sentence in) and I was taken aback. The forum members are here to help and celebrate each other, some may be accomplished in other venues but entirely new to trailers. (me) Why cut someone down?

I called etrailer and they immediately gave me the right answer. F150 from 2004-2008 (mine) is wired to about five feet from the back (four prong "thingie" I call it). He emailed me a diagram so someone can find that wire, which will be orange. That will connect my braking system to my battery. So I need five feet of 10 gauge. For any system.

The RF will allow me to avoid someone going into my dash. I am not keen on that. I don't particularly like people working inside my truck, and I would rather plug and play. I can also take it with me in the future, so not have to wire another vehicle ever, and if I want someone else to tow the casita, they can just use this.

The RF would only get interference with a CB radio next to it, supposedly. It works on similar wavelengths.

Once I unplug the RF module on the tongue from the truck it's off. (I was initially concerned it might somehow always be on and emanating some kind of radio frequency I didn't want). For instance, I turn my ipad and cellphone to airplane mode at night when sleeping on the assumption we don't understand everything about EMF and caution can't hurt.

Etrailer also sent me a link to exactly what I need to purchase.

Either way I wanted a proportional system.

One of my problems this weekend was, the very handy and smart guy who offered to wire my truck didn't know the details about Ford above, and thought I needed much more wire, and then someone at autozone gave me the wrong 7 prong (I call it the thingie and he gave me what I call a female) and when I went back to get the correct one and return the cheap braking mechanism because I had decided to order a proportional one, I got a young guy who thought he knew better. Without my asking he left the store and looked at my truck and announced to me that I needed no wiring at all. As DH said later, everybody was half right and half wrong, He was so sure of himself, I gave in. I returned all my 10 gauge wire. He also insisted I didn't need a proportional system. Yesterday I returned everything. The store wasn't happy and the manager insisted her employee had been right. I guess they just wanted the sale.



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Old 07-23-2015, 04:48 AM   #12
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Wow Jen, I didn't see all the posts but it does sound like you've been through the ringer. I saw that you want to be able to use different tugs and I didn't see anyone else mention this so I will. First, personally I don't like the idea of pretty much anything wireless, too many things may come up.....sun spots maybe but I'm old school and have been towing for almost 50 years . Hard wiring is very easy with the plug and play systems that are now in place for most vehicles. As far as someone being in your tow for an install, the plug and plays are basically just mounting the controller sleeve, tying into the brake light wire and plugging in the end the adaptor to the factory plug which is hanging under dash probably around the fuse panel. I use a P2 controller and am happy with it. If I were to want to have a controller on a second tug all I would do is install a second plug and play harness into that vehicle and unplug the controller and move it from one to the other. The price would also be less than an RF unit. E trailers sells that combo minus the controller and their videos are GREAT for an install too. Really the hardest part of installing a brake controller is figuring out where to put it so it's easy to see and use if you need to manually hit the trailer brakes. I have an SD 17 and tow with an '02 Ranger, your 150 should be a piece of cake. So there is my two cent worth for you.
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:21 AM   #13
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Regular brakes

Borrego Dave, thanks!! If its really that easy maybe I will go with a regular Prodigy. I just didn't want too much messing under my dash.
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Old 07-23-2015, 08:31 AM   #14
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I did see the posts, and I was frankly shocked and flagged one. I, too, feel like this forum should be a safe place for novices to ask basic questions. And it usually is. Best wishes getting your brakes wired up, Jen.
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