How to know if my trailer has electic brakes

Summerzzzoff

Member
May 22, 2012
47
1996 Coleman Taos - I was under it today because my trailer lights weren't working - Intermittent problem and it was connection issue when I go over large bumps. But while under it, I notice wires going into the brakes. I am assuming it has electic brakes but I have no clue - I bought it from a dude that knew nothing about the trailer. Not sure how to tell! Thanks!
 

Unstable_Tripod

Well, there's your problem!
May 20, 2008
14,278
Seattle, Washington
If you have electric brakes there will be wires (usually blue) going into the wheel hubs. There should also be a device about the size of a cigarette pack mounted on the tongue. A wire protrudes from it and this wire should be connected to the frame of the TV when towing. It is the emergency breakaway switch that activates the trailer brakes if the trailer becomes separated from the TV while towing.
 

smoreking

Active Member
Sep 15, 2009
400
Small Town, Middle TN
Wires in back of wheel hubs for sure, but my pup has electric brakes without break-away switch. You would also need more than a flat 4-pin plug to make them work. I'm just saying that because I had a pup that someone cut the 7-pin plug off of and put on a 4. the brakes were there but I needed to have all the wires hooked back up to TV.
 

Raycfe

Waterford Ct.
Oct 3, 2007
18,211
Waterford, Ct
10inchBrakes.jpg
Here is 10 inch brakes with a 13 inch wheel.
 

Summerzzzoff

Member
May 22, 2012
47
I definately have wires coming into the wheel hub - no cig pack sized thing on the tongue. So not sure it's working.
 

Unstable_Tripod

Well, there's your problem!
May 20, 2008
14,278
Seattle, Washington
As some of the others have mentioned, you need a 7-pin wiring system and a brake controller in the TV to make your electric trailer brakes actually work. If you don't have an emergency breakaway switch you should get that too.
 

Rodger D.

Active Member
Sep 29, 2010
748
Sir

That Cigarette Pack sized looking item ( that has one Electric Grounded Wire and one
Electric Wire to an 12 Volt positive source ) was not always with PoP up's when new.

This Break away item is now "The Law" every wheres with any trailer that has Electrial Brakes.
They are an "no brainer" item that is sold at any Trailer Shop.

Stop at any UHaul and they can help you out so that you may be more towards the front of
the class ( there are several here in Colo Spgs so I could ask the same question more than
once and they never knew I was like an Non-Porous Rock ).

My Brake Wires come from the back of The Brake Unit with both of them the same shade of
White. One wire is to be used as an ground on both sides. The second wire is changed to
an long blue wire that is connected to first The Passenge Side Brake and
then to the Driver's Side and is contenued to the Electrical Junction Box on the Trailer's
Driver's Side of The Trailer Tounge.

I worry more about stopping quick in Denver on I-25/ I-70 than any mountain road.
 

Sue Porter

New Member
Nov 21, 2021
7
I have a Chalet LTW which I went and looked at after reading this discussion. I have the little box with the cable that I attach to my TV but I connect with a 6 pin round connector not a 7 so my brakes aren't connected. Do I need to change this out for the breakaway cable to work?
 

Mytime

Active Member
Mar 20, 2022
212
SE Missouri
Was going to go with a 4 to 7 pin adapter because it was easier then wiring up a 7pin harness and the brake controller . Glad I didn’t . Small pup but I like the brakes . Plus my insurance told me if I have brakes they have to be operational or they can deny coverage in the case of a collision . I say if you have them use them.
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,978
Nj
I have a Chalet LTW which I went and looked at after reading this discussion. I have the little box with the cable that I attach to my TV but I connect with a 6 pin round connector not a 7 so my brakes aren't connected. Do I need to change this out for the breakaway cable to work?
A six pin should conect the brakes. If it isnt, something is wrong.
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,978
Nj
I will need nothing steve, i have brakes, lol. They asked if they needed a 7 pin conecter instead of a six pin conecter for the breaks. You are correct they also need a controller. But you might as well list everyrhing else they need, wires, a breakaway switch, drums, break pads, springs and a magnate, power source. But the question wasnt what do I need for a whole system, just about the pin wires[:D][:D].
You will need a brake controller installed in the TV to activate the brakes.
 

TheKOB

New Member
Sep 15, 2021
9
Regarding a brake controller installed in the tow vehicle, I'd recommend the Curt Echo unit, which we used for our 2004 Taos and didn't actually need to be installed....it plugs between the 7 pin on the camper and the 7 pin on the tow vehicle, rather than having wiring go inside the tow vehicle near the steering wheel, etc. It saved us the hassle of having to wire a brake controller and my brother in law can use it and the camper with his car as well. It's a very neat little gadget that uses an app on your smart phone.
 




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