Converting 4-wire trailer plug to 7-pole on Outback - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-10-2019, 05:35 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Ruth
Trailer: 2014 Scamp 13'
Wisconsin
Posts: 15
Converting 4-wire trailer plug to 7-pole on Outback

My new-to-me 2014 13' Scamp has electric brakes.

The tow vehicle, a 2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i has 4-wire flat plug. Where do I go to have the wiring converted to a 7-pole so I can use the trailer brakes?

U-Haul, RV World, Custom RV Services, Scamp at Backus, other?

Thanks in advance for directing me on the next step!
__________________

RuthWI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2019, 06:12 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
Washington
Posts: 1,422
Registry
The 4-Pin flat connector does not have the wiring necessary for hooking up to electric brakes. Most tow vehicles are equipped with either a factory installed or an aftermarket electric brake controller and a 7-pin plug-in connector. You can have a controller installed in your tow vehicle, along with the 7-Pin connector you'll also need, and most any place that sells and services trailers should be able to get you set up.

And as an aside, I don't know if Scamp pre-wires their trailers for reverse lights, (I know Casita does,) but if they do have reverse lights on the Scamps, then it is most probably hooked to the center, (#7 Extra Aux. Terminal,) Pin in the connector. If you have to back up at night, it's nice to be able to see while backing. I just thought I'd mention it, because a lot of aftermarket controller/connector installers don't usually hook that one up in your tow vehicle unless you ask for it to be done. The logic is that many small utility trailers may have electric brakes, but don't have reverse lights. Most travel trailers do.
Attached Thumbnails
Connector Pin Out.gif  
__________________

Casita Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2019, 06:41 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
sokhapkin's Avatar
 
Name: Sergey
Trailer: 2014 Scamp 16 layout 4, 2018 Winnebago Revel 4x4
SW Florida
Posts: 693
Get this kit, it includes everything you need to convert 4pin connector to RV 7 pin. https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories...ler/ETBC7.html
__________________
Sergey
www.callwithus.com
sokhapkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2019, 09:39 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita 16ft.
California
Posts: 311
I wound up getting a Tekonsha Prodigy RF Wireless brake controller for use with my 2010 Subaru Forester. The wireless controller mounts on the trailer tongue and eliminates the need to hard wire a dash mounted brake controller into your Subaru's brake light circuit for a brake signal. That makes the job MUCH simpler. You will still have to add one heavy 10 ga. charge wire (with appropriate circuit protection) to a 9 pin plug mounted at the bumper / hitch. I ran my 10 ga. wire to the hot post on the car battery. You can get 9 pin plug receivers that will accept your four pin flat connector on its back side to power up your tail and turn signal lights through the 9 pin connector. Any decent trailer or RV dealer should have a tech to install it for you.

Don't be turned off by the higher price of the wireless brake controller. It will save it's additional cost through decreased labor. I also love the fact that I didn't have to touch my Forester's electrical wiring with this controller.
Nor Cal Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2019, 08:34 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Name: Justus
Trailer: Hymer Touring GT
Illinois
Posts: 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
The 4-Pin flat connector does not have the wiring necessary for hooking up to electric brakes. Most tow vehicles are equipped with either a factory installed or an aftermarket electric brake controller and a 7-pin plug-in connector. You can have a controller installed in your tow vehicle, along with the 7-Pin connector you'll also need, and most any place that sells and services trailers should be able to get you set up.

And as an aside, I don't know if Scamp pre-wires their trailers for reverse lights, (I know Casita does,) but if they do have reverse lights on the Scamps, then it is most probably hooked to the center, (#7 Extra Aux. Terminal,) Pin in the connector. If you have to back up at night, it's nice to be able to see while backing. I just thought I'd mention it, because a lot of aftermarket controller/connector installers don't usually hook that one up in your tow vehicle unless you ask for it to be done. The logic is that many small utility trailers may have electric brakes, but don't have reverse lights. Most travel trailers do.
That's some good info. On the eTrailer installation walkthrough for my vehicle, the guy doing the installation says this:

Quote:
Now the purple wire that's coming out of the back of the plug, this is going to be for a reverse light signal coming to our plug. Typically, you'll use this for a marine style application if you have surge brakes. We are not going to be using it, so we're just going to snip that off. We'll leave a little bit there in case the customer ever decides they want to add it, but for right now just kind of tuck this away."
So that's interesting to me that you wouldn't just go ahead and hook up that wire while you've got the vehicle up on a lift. It looks like the best place to tap into the reverse line is in the back behind an access panel; maybe the guy doing the video just didn't want to deal with another penetration and fishing the wire up into the trunk space.

Your diagram showed a yellow wire as #7 (aux), but it appears there is not a standard color for this. The blade arrangement is standard, so you can use a multimeter or circuit tester to test continuity and determine which wire connects which blade for your particular plug.

To Ruth, you should call around to see who will do the wiring for you and if they will use parts that you provide before you buy parts. I recall seeing mixed reviews for U-Haul, and that some locations won't do it or will only do it for certain vehicles. My dealership won't do it because Toyota doesn't make an OEM 7-way harness for my vehicle and they won't install aftermarket parts; I think Subaru would be much the same, as few Outback owners would need a 7-way connection. So give those places you mentioned a call; you can also try independent auto shops.
Justus C is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2019, 04:17 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
Washington
Posts: 1,422
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justus C View Post
That's some good info. On the eTrailer installation walkthrough for my vehicle, the guy doing the installation says this:
So that's interesting to me that you wouldn't just go ahead and hook up that wire while you've got the vehicle up on a lift. It looks like the best place to tap into the reverse line is in the back behind an access panel; maybe the guy doing the video just didn't want to deal with another penetration and fishing the wire up into the trunk space.

Your diagram showed a yellow wire as #7 (aux), but it appears there is not a standard color for this. The blade arrangement is standard, so you can use a multimeter or circuit tester to test continuity and determine which wire connects which blade for your particular plug.
What I did to hook up my reverse lights was to keep it simple. I just tapped into one of the existing reverse light wires going to one of my truck's reverse lights under the rear of the truck, and hooked it to the center pin of the 7-Pin Bargman plug-in connector on the rear bumper where it's mounted.
Casita Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2019, 05:47 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
Posts: 737
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
The 4-Pin flat connector does not have the wiring necessary for hooking up to electric brakes. Most tow vehicles are equipped with either a factory installed or an aftermarket electric brake controller and a 7-pin plug-in connector. You can have a controller installed in your tow vehicle, along with the 7-Pin connector you'll also need, and most any place that sells and services trailers should be able to get you set up.

And as an aside, I don't know if Scamp pre-wires their trailers for reverse lights, (I know Casita does,) but if they do have reverse lights on the Scamps, then it is most probably hooked to the center, (#7 Extra Aux. Terminal,) Pin in the connector. If you have to back up at night, it's nice to be able to see while backing. I just thought I'd mention it, because a lot of aftermarket controller/connector installers don't usually hook that one up in your tow vehicle unless you ask for it to be done. The logic is that many small utility trailers may have electric brakes, but don't have reverse lights. Most travel trailers do.
Recently I was discussing the standard 7 pin plug with our mechanic because of an electrical problem we think we have. He showed me 4 different 7 pin plugs that all have lights, brakes, etc in different locations on the plug. So they are not standard like we think. It is possible the tow vehicle doesn't match the trailer plug even on a 7 pin. Even the hot wire and the ground were in different places. When we bought our Casita and for a long time afterwards they were all standard. Guess something has changed. We had our brake controller done by an RV dealer. Fortunately our vehicle was prewired for the controller and a standard 7 pin connection on the back of vehicle.
Jann Todd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2019, 06:50 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Name: Ruth
Trailer: 2014 Scamp 13'
Wisconsin
Posts: 15
Thank you everyone for your advice. I like the idea of having the reverse lights wired to function. I also like the idea of a wireless controller for simplicity. But it seems like I can't have both, right?

I will call around and see what U-Haul, RV World, and the specialty trailer place have to say about the project.

Ruth
RuthWI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2019, 08:49 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita 16ft.
California
Posts: 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by RuthWI View Post
Thank you everyone for your advice. I like the idea of having the reverse lights wired to function. I also like the idea of a wireless controller for simplicity. But it seems like I can't have both, right?

I will call around and see what U-Haul, RV World, and the specialty trailer place have to say about the project.

Ruth
The reverse light and the brake controller, have nothing in common beyond their respective places on the 7 pin plug. This applies whether you use a conventional hard wired brake controller mounted in the tow or a wireless RF brake controller mounted on the trailer tongue.

Making a reverse light work on a trailer requires finding a power source from your reverse light system in your tow vehicle and herding that power through the proper pole on the 7 pin plug and on back to a reverse light(s) affixed to your trailer. You would have to do that with either type of brake controller. If having a reverse light is important to you it probably can be done. For me, it wasn't high enough on my priority list to want to cut into my stock vehicle
wiring loom to make it happen. But I have the love of my life for the past 38 years to stand back of the trailer with a flash light to guide me in.
Nor Cal Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2019, 12:38 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Alex Adams's Avatar
 
Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
Posts: 521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor Cal Mike View Post
The reverse light and the brake controller, have nothing in common beyond their respective places on the 7 pin plug. This applies whether you use a conventional hard wired brake controller mounted in the tow or a wireless RF brake controller mounted on the trailer tongue.

Making a reverse light work on a trailer requires finding a power source from your reverse light system in your tow vehicle and herding that power through the proper pole on the 7 pin plug and on back to a reverse light(s) affixed to your trailer. You would have to do that with either type of brake controller. If having a reverse light is important to you it probably can be done. For me, it wasn't high enough on my priority list to want to cut into my stock vehicle
wiring loom to make it happen. But I have the love of my life for the past 38 years to stand back of the trailer with a flash light to guide me in.
Same here. reverse lights not a priority and don't want to void warranty. I use two of those free work lights from Harbor Freight. They are magnetic so I turn them on and stick them to the rear bumper of my boler. Instant reverse lights.
Alex Adams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2019, 01:53 PM   #11
Member
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 77
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Adams View Post
Same here. reverse lights not a priority and don't want to void warranty. I use two of those free work lights from Harbor Freight. They are magnetic so I turn them on and stick them to the rear bumper of my boler. Instant reverse lights.
Now that's an idea! Thanks!!
bobdobqb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2019, 02:00 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 6,534
I wouldn't stick the lights on the bumper. I'd use them left and right of where I wanted to place the trailer.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2019, 02:51 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Alex Adams's Avatar
 
Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
Posts: 521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
I wouldn't stick the lights on the bumper. I'd use them left and right of where I wanted to place the trailer.
I should have been more specific, I put each one towards the ends of the bumper. That way they illuminate behind and to the right and left sides of the trailer.
Alex Adams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 02:12 PM   #14
Member
 
Name: Tony
Trailer: Scamp
Ohio
Posts: 66
Thermal breakers

So I had the same thing done to my wifeís 2015 Outback. We went to a local RV maintenance shop. Had to wait a month for our appointment. Anyway, he picked up the brakes lights, turn signals and lights (running and rear) from the flat four pin. He also ran a power wire from the battery to the 7 pin and another power wire from the battery to the dash for a brake controller along with another wire from the dash to the 7 pin for the brake controller.

I do have a question on the fuses used. He used two 30 amp thermal fuses mounted on the side wall of the engine compartment. One for the power line and one for the brake controller. They disconnect with too much current (ie heat) but are usable after they open if the current draw is acceptable. I think power needs to be removed for them to reset. That seemed fine to me, but is that standard? Is it safe?
Tony D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 02:28 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 3,657
Self-resetting breakers are standard for electric trailer brakes. I would not think the same for the charge line but maybe. I do see a possible problem if you have an intermittent short that causes occasional tripping and you dont fix it because the breaker resets. But at least when it does reset, you have brakes again (until the next over current condition). Whether a fuse or breaker, when it trips, thats a good sign that something needs to be fixed.
gordon2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 02:55 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
sokhapkin's Avatar
 
Name: Sergey
Trailer: 2014 Scamp 16 layout 4, 2018 Winnebago Revel 4x4
SW Florida
Posts: 693
If brakes are short, you should get a visual indication on the brake controller.
__________________
Sergey
www.callwithus.com
sokhapkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 04:06 PM   #17
Junior Member
 
Name: Robert
Trailer: Currently looking
Washington
Posts: 18
Right on! I installed the Tekonsha RF in my Santa Fe and loved it! Before running a power wire from front to back, check to see if a supply might be near the four pin connector already. Itís likely there is because the existing 4-pin connector has to have a powered electrical box back near the hitch; this box converts the separate brake light wires and turn signal wires into a single, 4-pin connector compatible signal. (Think of it, if your TV has separate turn signal and brake lights, there has to be a way of blending those two inputs into a single wire for the trailer.) IN the case of the Santa Fe, there was already a 20 amp supply right at the 4-pin.
Anyway, the Tekonsha RF worked wonderfully, required no complicated messing with existing car wiring, and didnít need to mount a controller near the driver (big problem these days to figure out where to mount a controller that wonít interfere with airbags -especially knee airbags)
RockyBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 06:21 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita 16ft.
California
Posts: 311
RockyBob, You do have the plug into the cigarette lighter RF control box too, do you not? The one which allows you to adjust the braking values or hit the brake lock up button used in emergencies from the drivers seat.
Nor Cal Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2019, 09:51 AM   #19
Junior Member
 
Name: John
Trailer: Currently shopping
Maryland
Posts: 4
What do you pull with your Forester?
OgleJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2019, 11:38 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita 16ft.
California
Posts: 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by OgleJohn View Post
What do you pull with your Forester?
John, Are you referring to me? If so, I pull a 16ft Casita Standard with a 2010 Forester. I have since switched to using a 1997 Jeep Cherokee XJ with a 4.0 I-6.

The Forester gets 16 mpg while towing. The Jeep gets 15 mpg but is a lot better for the fairly remote boondocking that I like to do.

For me, the nice thing about the RF brake controller is that one controller serves both vehicles.

Edit: I changed the 17mpg towing on the Jeep to 15mpg. The 17 was a typo.
__________________

Nor Cal Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
7 WAY PLUG WIRE Billreedred Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 8 07-30-2018 09:04 PM
7 way plug to 4 way plug back to 7 way plug immrbill Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 3 08-10-2015 11:08 AM
Bargman Plug Purple Wire Conundrum fusedlight Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 3 04-20-2014 03:45 PM
2004 Trillium Outback Drain Plug for Water Tank? BarbinBC Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 5 09-08-2013 06:41 PM
cost to have 7 wire rv plug installed in tow vehicle? Brian1 Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 3 08-18-2009 01:27 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
×