4 point vehicle plug to 7 point trailer plug

Roger1976

Member
Jan 31, 2021
19
We bought a new Highlander from Toyota to pull a Jayco popup.
We waited for 7 weeks for the Toyota hitch fixture parts to arrive. We just came to get the Highlander with the hitch fixture on it and it has a 4 point plug. The pup has a round 7 point plug. I see you can get a 4 to 7 adapter but I see stuff online that says that won’t operate the electric brakes. I need input from you guys cause I am not knowledgeable about all this.
 

bondebond

Super Active Member
Aug 14, 2008
2,243
It brakes my heart to see that...(hehe).

You will have to do it yourself or hire someone to properly set up a 4-to-7 way RV wiring outlet on your TV. It can be done by adding a brake controller and running all of the wiring to that 4-to-7 adapter. That's the most important bit to add on to the 7-way but the other functions could be added as well, mostly the charge line.
 

TSS

Member
Jan 17, 2022
40
NW Georgia
We bought a new Highlander from Toyota to pull a Jayco popup.
We waited for 7 weeks for the Toyota hitch fixture parts to arrive. We just came to get the Highlander with the hitch fixture on it and it has a 4 point plug. The pup has a round 7 point plug. I see you can get a 4 to 7 adapter but I see stuff online that says that won’t operate the electric brakes. I need input from you guys cause I am not knowledgeable about all this.
I have a 2020 Raw 1640 with the 7-pin as well. My Pup only weights 1500lbs. Even though it has brakes, why I am not sure, think the dealer over sold them to first owner. Anyway, I found a Camping world a 4-7 pin adapter. I did buy one from Walmart but it fit was not right. The round plug was too tight. One suggestion if you use the adapter until you add brake controller and get it fully wired use zip ties to connect it securely. I even use zip ties now with the 7-7pin plugs. Yes, no brakes or battery charging on Pup. All comes down to weight.
 

teh603

Member
Dec 28, 2020
54
Coastal Texas
So, one thing you need to ask is whether or not you can "aftermarket" the tow package. For some vehicles it's just a bigger trans cooler and a brake controller. Others, you have to replace the trans and the gears inside the pumpkin.

There's a bluetooth brake controller that you control thru an app, that takes the four- pin and only needs the extra lines for power and (I think) ground. The whole shebang is basically a tube that hangs under your TV. Maybe try one of those if you can't get anything from the stealership?
 

Snow

Super Active Member
Jul 19, 2007
11,979
Ontario
I have a 2020 Raw 1640 with the 7-pin as well. My Pup only weights 1500lbs. Even though it has brakes, why I am not sure, think the dealer over sold them to first owner. Anyway, I found a Camping world a 4-7 pin adapter. I did buy one from Walmart but it fit was not right. The round plug was too tight. One suggestion if you use the adapter until you add brake controller and get it fully wired use zip ties to connect it securely. I even use zip ties now with the 7-7pin plugs. Yes, no brakes or battery charging on Pup. All comes down to weight.
Just an FYI.. if the trailer has brakes, they must be functional, doesn't matter what the trailer weight is.. it has them, so they must be operational..
 

popup-flyer

Active Member
May 11, 2021
321
Central Texas
We bought a new Highlander from Toyota to pull a Jayco popup.
We waited for 7 weeks for the Toyota hitch fixture parts to arrive. We just came to get the Highlander with the hitch fixture on it and it has a 4 point plug. The pup has a round 7 point plug. I see you can get a 4 to 7 adapter but I see stuff online that says that won’t operate the electric brakes. I need input from you guys cause I am not knowledgeable about all this.
Further, operation of the brakes on your trailer requires a brake controller. An inline 7 pin Bluetooth controller works off of measured velocity changes and the fact that the brake lights are activated. You would still need your 4 to 7 adapter and I would strongly recommend mounting the brake controller firmly to the vehicle or trailer for travel but this could solve your brake control needs with the current wiring:

Curt Echo

Stricken because I realized I was mistaken see my post below.

Secondly as has been hinted at above, tow packages are the "Factory Tow" option for a given vehicle. Those maximum tow weights you see posted or in manuals are broken down in to "Add on tow" vs "factory tow package" The factor tow will always be the higher weight numbers. You can't assume because the manual says 5000 lbs with class 3 hitch etc... that your done. There will be asterisks or notes that indicate that those high numbers are "With factory tow option"
 
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Ger

Member
Apr 24, 2021
52
Boston MA
We bought a Toyota Highlander in 2015 and asked for the tow package in anticipation of buying a popup camper later (which we did in 2020). It too came with a 4-pin plug and so wouldn’t work with our popup’s 7-pin plug.

I ordered a brake controller kit from eTrailer (they are fab by the way) and had my local mechanic install it. The unit and kit cost $320 (+install cost). Not cheap, but worth the safety and peace of mind. It works like a charm and I can really feel the trailer braking when the car brakes and it’s fully adjustable. The insurance issue raised isn‘t something I had thought about because I was going to get a brake controller anyway to save wear on my tow vehicle‘s brakes. I haven’t experienced any “trailer sway” (which looks terrifying) but with the brake controller you can hit the button and it will apply the trailer brakes and get that bad boy back in line.

So, for all those reasons and the ones mentioned by others, I suggest you get a brake controller and get your trailer brakes hooked up.

Safe travels!
 

teh603

Member
Dec 28, 2020
54
Coastal Texas
Secondly as has been hinted at above, tow packages are the "Factory Tow" option for a given vehicle. Those maximum tow weights you see posted or in manuals are broken down in to "Add on tow" vs "factory tow package" The factor tow will always be the higher weight numbers. You can't assume because the manual says 5000 lbs with class 3 hitch etc... that your done. There will be asterisks or notes that indicate that those high numbers are "With factory tow option"
More like knowing exactly what goes into the factory tow package and what the most likely "weak links" are. Like I said, some vehicles can be functionally upgraded to match. Others can't. And some (like my old truck) didn't even have one- you just slap in a trans cooler and brake controller and you're as good as you'll ever be.

It's not like the factory has some kind of magic pixie dust they pour over the vehicle that makes it able to carry however many extra pounds.
 

Mytime

Active Member
Mar 20, 2022
192
SE Missouri
IMO the biggest thing is an upgraded or aux trans cooler. That one is easy to do yourself . Took 45 min to put this in. Dropped temps down considerably .
Hayden Automotive 403 Ultra-Cool...
 

Snow

Super Active Member
Jul 19, 2007
11,979
Ontario
It's not like the factory has some kind of magic pixie dust they pour over the vehicle that makes it able to carry however many extra pounds.

It depends on the manufacturer lots offer things like different final gear ratios, heavier springs, shocks, additional coolers, some have larger brakes and alternator, along with on many newer vehicles, towing mirrors and integrated brake controller in addition to all the required wiring, hitch integrated into the rear cross member .. that is why it's called a factory tow package.. and yes all of these things will increase the vehicles towing and payload capacities..
 

tfischer

A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
If you don't have trailer brakes, you can purchase or make an adapter. we did that with our old van as our pup didn't have brakes at the time.

If you have brakes, you need some rewiring AND a brake controller on your TV. Your 4 wire connector is Left turn/Right turn/tail lights/common (brake lights are LH/RH at the same time). 7-way adds charging wire, brake wire, and an accessory wire that is sometimes used for reverse lights.
 

popup-flyer

Active Member
May 11, 2021
321
Central Texas
Further, operation of the brakes on your trailer requires a brake controller. An inline 7 pin Bluetooth controller works off of measured velocity changes and the fact that the brake lights are activated. You would still need your 4 to 7 adapter and I would strongly recommend mounting the brake controller firmly to the vehicle or trailer for travel but this could solve your brake control needs with the current wiring:

Curt Echo

Secondly as has been hinted at above, tow packages are the "Factory Tow" option for a given vehicle. Those maximum tow weights you see posted or in manuals are broken down in to "Add on tow" vs "factory tow package" The factor tow will always be the higher weight numbers. You can't assume because the manual says 5000 lbs with class 3 hitch etc... that your done. There will be asterisks or notes that indicate that those high numbers are "With factory tow option"

I just realized this isnt going to work with a 4 way adapter. You still need a 12V feed that goes up to 30 amps and similarly rated ground. The 4 connector isn't good for that.
 

popup-flyer

Active Member
May 11, 2021
321
Central Texas
More like knowing exactly what goes into the factory tow package and what the most likely "weak links" are. Like I said, some vehicles can be functionally upgraded to match. Others can't. And some (like my old truck) didn't even have one- you just slap in a trans cooler and brake controller and you're as good as you'll ever be.

It's not like the factory has some kind of magic pixie dust they pour over the vehicle that makes it able to carry however many extra pounds.

I am a HUGE proponent of DIY and the fact that I will often do it better than someone I pay to do it because I will actually be using it and suffer the consequences of any error or inadequate design/build.

Normally I won't disagree with you that the manufacturer doesn't have magic pixie dust but this goes above and beyond what you and I are likely capable of including engineering studies of the affects of towing those weights with/without factory tow.

In a serious accident situation a lawyer could argue you were not operating the vehicle safely because you were not within its safe operating rating.

Having said that I purchased the oil cooler for mine from Ford that would have come on factory TOW. I also added the button panel with "tow mode" on it. I had the panel with 1 button and 2 blanks, now I have 2 buttons and one blank. The act of pressing the button lights up "tow" on the dash and changes my shift patterns and significantly improves driving performance as well as turning off overdrive. Fortunately no software or wiring changes had to be made for that to work. What am I missing? Stronger axles, slightly larger brakes, bumper with tow receiver built in, fiberglass rear cover with tow opening and cover and the wiring harness with 4/7 way plug as far as I know. I am not that concerned about the brakes/axles because I am not towing up to 5K lbs and the trailer has its own brakes. I added my own class 3 receiver rated for WDH and my Explorer came "tow ready" with an under-dash plug for brake controllers and you can add the rear 4/7 way plug aftermarket with a simple kit that is a "shim" at a harness point above the passenger rear wheel. I had to run custom wires from the front battery/fuse box area to the back on other vehicles. Compared to those, this was a snap.

How did I figure out what is on the factory tow? I looked at parts diagrams for my car as if I were buying parts and looked for "w/Tow" etc... to see what else there is. I looked through engine, cooling, axles, braking, suspension and body.
 
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Roger1976

Member
Jan 31, 2021
19
It brakes my heart to see that...(hehe).

You will have to do it yourself or hire someone to properly set up a 4-to-7 way RV wiring outlet on your TV. It can be done by adding a brake controller and running all of the wiring to that 4-to-7 adapter. That's the most important bit to add on to the 7-way but the other functions could be added as well, mostly the charge line.
A follow up question- we are having 7 point wiring and plug installed on our Highlander Monday. Also a brake controller. One mounts on dash. One controller has nothing on dash, instead is operated by your cell phone. We need to decide which one to get. What is best?
 

Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
840
Minnesota
My question is about our new brake controller, the old one was like speaker wire, you know what I mean I hope, it was taped up all over it because of bends and almost breaks. So I bought this new one , I followed the instructions and now I'm asking you guys and gals, does it look good? Anything I need to do ? We're going to test it out to make sure of the connection, to see if the brakes work correctly, but can anyone try and explain how that would feel? As in pulling, braking, we'll start out very slowly, just need a bit if guidance. Thanks.
 

Dugk44

Member
Apr 17, 2022
30
My question is about our new brake controller, the old one was like speaker wire, you know what I mean I hope, it was taped up all over it because of bends and almost breaks. So I bought this new one , I followed the instructions and now I'm asking you guys and gals, does it look good? Anything I need to do ? We're going to test it out to make sure of the connection, to see if the brakes work correctly, but can anyone try and explain how that would feel? As in pulling, braking, we'll start out very slowly, just need a bit if guidance. Thanks.
You can tell right away, without pulling out of your driveway. On mine, when i start to roll, i reach down, slide the lever over on the brake controller, and the pup starts holding me back. I like to feel the "trailer" brake, before i feel the vehicle. Now, i'm not saying it's stopping me, but it's stopping/slowing it's own weight. Hope this helps.
Edit- on mine, it has a numerical read out (when brake is applied), and a red dot (when no brake is applied).
 




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