wiring on tow vehicle

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by Barbie, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. Barbie

    Barbie New Member

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    Nov 19, 2014
    Vista, CA
    I am looking to buy a small aliner trailer but discovered my Jeep just has a 4 pin connector on it. I will need a 7 pin for the type of trailer I am looking at. So I am wondering how much work and money is involved in getting that switched over? I had one shop quote me over $200 for the labor and wire kit. That sounds pretty high to me tho. My tow vehicle is a 2009 Jeep Liberty with rear wheel drive and tow package.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    Seems high to me, too. Call U-Haul for a quote. Fortunately, I have people in my family that do that kind of thing for me so have no idea how much it would cost, even though I had to do the exact same thing. All I did was go buy the 7 pin - well actually I bought a combination one that has both 4 and 7 pin on it.
     
  3. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Malvern, PA
    Your Jeep has a Tow Package and it only has a 4-pin connector? Did you buy it new? If purchased used, look beyond the 4-pin connector under the Jeep to see if the previous owner perhaps was using a 7-pin to 4-pin adapter or the wiring harness is really for a 7-pin.
     
  4. CamperMike

    CamperMike Member

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    Sep 27, 2012
    Does the trailer have electric brakes? If it does, you will need not only wiring but also a brake controller. That will probably be even a bit more than what you were quoted (another 80-100 probably). If the trailer does NOT have electric brakes, then you can just get an adapter and use your 4-pin wiring. The 7-pin essentially adds a charge line and the brake signal. None of the popups have backup lights which would be the 7th wire. You can live w/o the charge line easily. But if the trailer is reasonably heavy and has electric brakes installed, you would want your wiring to work with the brakes.
     
  5. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Jul 19, 2007
    Ontario
    Doesn't sound too bad.. maybe a bit high, but if it is being done by a competent person at a competent shop it is reasonable.. Around here avg. shop rate is between $80-100 per hour (Canadian). Depending on exactly what wiring they have to do, most will be plug and play, may need the all of 1 or two wires run, few circuit breakers, one or two harnesses and a brake controller, plus the technicians time (2 hours top, and that accounts for the two full pots of coffee they drank before starting work) ...
     
  6. Barbie

    Barbie New Member

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    Nov 19, 2014
    Vista, CA
    "Your Jeep has a Tow Package and it only has a 4-pin connector?" ...yeah, I found that odd too, altho the older Libertys I have owned only came with a 4 pin as well. Being rated for 5000 lbs, you would think they would have automatically put on the 7 pin with the tow package. I did buy this used. I will look underneath and see if I find anything. The trailer I am looking at does have the electric brakes so I will have to get the controller as well. I will probably get the 4 and 7 pin combo connector.
     
  7. CamperMike

    CamperMike Member

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    Sep 27, 2012
    It's been 6 years... so probably would be a bit more now, but last time I actually paid for 7-pin wiring and a brake controller install, it was around $250 or so. That was with a low-end Proportional Tekonsha controller. so with inflation etc I would say $250-325 would be what I'd expect to pay for the job today. I've since figured out how to do it myself, so the last time I only paid for parts and moved my same brake controller into the new vehicle.
     
  8. Barbie

    Barbie New Member

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    Nov 19, 2014
    Vista, CA
    OK, I took a peek underneath and this is what I found... the green, yellow, gray and white wires go to the 4 pin connector and then there are two more wires, the red and green that aren't connected to anything. And then another darker red wire coming off the yellow piece. IMG_5223.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
  9. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

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    Mar 8, 2017
    I have a 2008 Ford crossover with a tow package. It also came with a 4-pin connector (and a class 2 receiver). So yeah, they come like that! I think they are meant for jetskis or small boats or bike racks or something like that.

    I found a tutorial by Some Dude on the Internet on adding the wiring for my exact model and followed it right to the point where the guy hitched up some massive trailer to his 3500 lb tow capacity car. It's not a hard thing to do even if you are clueless if you can find the instructions. But $200-300 seems about right.
     
  10. Barbie

    Barbie New Member

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    Nov 19, 2014
    Vista, CA
    Just got a message from this guys shop and he says the part is $200 and the labor is $150. That is way more than I want to pay. I saw the part online for less than $100. Will check around some more and get more estimates. Thank you for your comments and suggestions! I am sure I will be back with more questions! Lol!
     
  11. Blackripley

    Blackripley New Member

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    Jul 21, 2018
    Goleta Ca
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  12. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    South Carolina
    We have a 2018 Aliner Scout. Turn signals and brake lights only. Brakes are emergency only powered by the battery on the camper. I mounted the adapter on the truck, from 4 plug on the vehicle to the 7 blade plug on the camper.
    Amazon; CURT 57184 4-Way Flat Electrical Adapter
     
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  13. Barbie

    Barbie New Member

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    Nov 19, 2014
    Vista, CA
    Thanks for those suggestions and links! I just ordered the one from Amazon. I wonder if there is any difference between that and the $200 one the shop wants to install? I have an appointment with UHaul on Wednesday. Will see what they say.
     
  14. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

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    Mar 8, 2017
    Haha. I'm sure there's not much difference. You do have to string some wire and attach it to the frame somehow and stick in a fuse or something, but not $180 worth!
     
  15. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    May 23, 2018
    South Carolina
    If you already have a functioning 4 pin connector on the Jeep, you do not need to pull any wires or U-haul. Mount the adapter close to the hitch, plug it into the 4 plug on the Jeep, and you're done. Connect the camper and check for correct function of lights.
     
  16. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    May 31, 2018
    Nj
    I would want a working break controll if the trailir had breakes. Some states its neccessary over a certain weight. Its not just for ware and tare on the tv, but as a last resort to controll sway. And it might not be you that caused it. Open bridges, or in my case a 18 wheeler passing you at 85 on the highway can make your trailer sway. I would want to spent the extra money so i could aviod situations needing the emergeny pull tab.
     
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  17. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    May 23, 2018
    South Carolina
    Just reread original post. Small Aliners have the 7 blade plug, but only basic lighting. She said what she was looking at needed to full 7 blade plug, so yes you will need to pull wires and a controller.
     
  18. CamperMike

    CamperMike Member

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    Sep 27, 2012
    You will need the brake controller, wiring and other parts. $200 is a little high for parts but decent brake controllers start at around $80 so you won't get it that much cheaper. Likewise you could find lower labor but not by all that much.
     
  19. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    Look in the manual for the Liberty and see if it has fuses for trailer lights, trailer brake, trailer charge line etc. If it does you don't need to run new wires, the connectors linked by Blackripley, post #11, are all you need. The second one would be plug and play. A typical installer will run new wires from the battery to the back, adding complexity and fuses you may not need. Call etrailer and ask. Their customer service guys know what they're talking about, and they can link you to videos for just about every possible installation. If you can use a drill, a wrench and a screwdriver either of the above is an easy install.

    When I added a brake controller to my Silvey the hardest part was finding the existing wires and how to connect them.

    When I wanted to hook up reverse lights for my trailer i looked in the tv manual and found a fuse for trailer back up lights.
     

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