Towing 4 pin wiring

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by Billy29, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. Billy29

    Billy29 Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    My tow vehicle which is a FJ Cruiser is setup with a 4 pin connector. Can I tow a 7 pin trailerwith electric brakes with the 4 pin adapter in a pinch? I will eventually get a brake controller but not until after I get the popup.
     
  2. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

    Messages:
    6,715
    Likes Received:
    306
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Location:
    TX
    you CAN. should you? is another question and is up to you. how fast ya go, how heavy the trailer and FJ are loaded ... likely again the law.
     
  3. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

    Messages:
    3,285
    Likes Received:
    576
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    5 Star Eagle Camper
    Short answer is yes

    If the adapter properly powers the lights at the rear of the trailer, all is good - in that department.

    Note that the electric brakes will not work on the trailer. Depending on how heavy the trailer is, it could be dangerous while stopping. Watch that it doesn't push you through a red light while trying to stop at an intersection.
     
  4. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,504
    Likes Received:
    677
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    Like others said, sure the tail and brake lights will work with an adapter that properly handles the ground. But, there could be state requirements to operate the brakes if equipped, and so on. My PUP has no electric brakes, and I pull it all the time that way, but that is okay in my state, and my TV has a little more stopping power.

    I caution you on the adapter from 4 to 7 pin since not all of them connect the ground through the adapter. Some use an external ground wire you need to hard wire into the TV to pick up ground. Ask me how I know that? [;)]

    Good luck!
     
  5. Billy29

    Billy29 Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    [?:~{]The trailer is a Viking 2465ST and the tow vehicle is a FJ Cruiser. What is a good brake controller when I decide to get one?
     
  6. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

    Messages:
    3,190
    Likes Received:
    311
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Location:
    Thornville, OH
    NO!!! Trailer manufacture don't build trailers that are below the weight limit by laws, and say let me spend some more money and put on brakes. So in some states if not most states you need brakes. 4 pin connector will light up the lights, but you will not have brakes.

    You wreck in to that minivan with 4 kids and have a lose of life, because your braking distance was increased. You will be spending time behind barsI
     
  7. frankvanw1

    frankvanw1 London, Ontario, Canada

    Messages:
    360
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    You may depending on its weight.
    See a good source here: trailers NY
    Good luck and happy camping.
     
  8. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,504
    Likes Received:
    677
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    [​IMG]
     
  9. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,900
    Likes Received:
    892
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Prodigy P3
     
  10. DanLee

    DanLee Member

    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    36
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Location:
    Virginia
    I really don't understand why auto manufacturers have switched to a 4-pin socket. My 1994 Explorer came with a circular 7-pin socket but my 2011 Forester has a 4-pin. Do they think trailers don't come with brakes?
     
  11. Fless

    Fless Active Member

    Messages:
    950
    Likes Received:
    198
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    My 1994 Exploder came from the factory with relays and a 4-pin connection, bumper hitch. To add the brake controller circuit would have required additional wire from the engine compartment and cab.

    I suspect the auto manufacturers don't envision us towing anything that needs trailer brakes. My '08 Fusion owner's manual says don't tow anything, not even 1,000 lbs, yet a 2005 Corolla's book says it's okay to tow as much as 1,500 lbs.
     
  12. JohnWI

    JohnWI Member

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2017
    I decided to cobble together a male 7 prong RV plug to connect to the camper. Into it I wired a Flat 4 set of wires to the appropriate pins to get me all the lights I needed since she has no brakes installed and for the time being I'll forego the battery recharging while towing.

    I had one of the connectors bought but the braintrust opted to only wire 3 wires off of the existing Flat 4 so I'd have to ground the new plug in addition to (possibly) leaving the "extra" wires not connected to anything and then of course attaching it with another bracket.

    My cobbling keeps all the wires (and connectors) on the camper and the existing Flat 4 on the TV which keeps it simple for my other trailers.

    Two parts... About $11. If you decide on this temporary fix, mark the two halves of the 7 prong socket or you'll need to figure out which of the the six ways it could fit back together in order to have the correct lights working.
     
  13. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave Active Member

    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    46
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    Short answer:

    yes the trailer will plug into the TV and your running lights / turn signals will work.

    You will not have working trailer brakes though.
     
  14. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    903
    Likes Received:
    351
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I've had one of these homemade 4 to 7 way adapters for years now. I originally put it together for the very rare times I pulled my uncles utility trailer with my old Dakota. I just used it again recently when we got the new TV between getting the 4-way installed and upgrading it to a 7-way. My favorite type of TV end is one like this that has both 4 and 7 way so that it works for all trailers I would be towing.

    https://www.amazon.com/Hopkins-Towing-Solutions-47185-Multi-Tow/dp/B0002Q80GS/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1488070408&sr=8-8&keywords=4+7+trailer+plug
     
  15. 94-D2

    94-D2 Happy Campin'

    Messages:
    2,279
    Likes Received:
    134
    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    Location:
    Sutter Creek CA
    I tow with an FJ. Toyota built the FJ for an out of the box off road vehicle and despite the 5,000 lbs tow rating, they do not advocate the towing of anything with the FJ other than a light duty utility trailer; hence the flat 4 pin factory harness. It does not make any sense since the factory hitch is strong enough to be a class IV receiver but whatever. I added the necessary wiring for 12v aux and brake control and installed a 7 pin RV. I use a DirecLink brake controller (direclink.com). It is by far the best I have ever used because it provides integrated braking by utilizing OBDll data from the ECM for braking logic. It is a duel speed threashold controller and fully programmable according to trailer size and weight. I tow at the upper limits of the FJ and have felt confortable with it even at Utah's 75 mph speed limit. Highly recommend it.
     
  16. Billy29

    Billy29 Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    That's what I don't get about the FJs rated towing capacity. It has a much stronger frame than a Grand Cherokee and the drivetrain has more than enough power so why isn't the tow capacity more? The wheelbase isn't that short either at 105 inches.
     
  17. Billy29

    Billy29 Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    I also have a 99 Jeep Cherokee Sport which I love but don't get why it is rated to tow the same as a FJ Cruiser? The FJ Cruiser is bigger, much more heavy duty, and more powerful.

    I'm not knocking Jeeps guys, I have owned a bunch of them and they are great vehicles. It's just something I know that I compare the FJ with.
     
  18. 94-D2

    94-D2 Happy Campin'

    Messages:
    2,279
    Likes Received:
    134
    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    Location:
    Sutter Creek CA
    Your guess is as good as mine. I suspect it must have something to do with liability since there is no factory tow package offered. No wiring harness, no trans cooler, no gear ratio options. The running gear is identical to the Tacoma. My 2007 has a rating of 7500, trans cooler, 4:10 gears and factory 7 pin. So, like I was told by Toyota on the owners forum; they "don't encourage towing anything larger than a small utility trailer" so these options were excluded.


    I can tell you with airbags, trans cooler, and a performance muffler and drop in air cleaner, it tow very well and is capable. A higher profile trailer such as a TT or anything above the roof of the FJ, the fuel mileage drops from 14 to about 8. With a 19 gallon tank, I can't pass a gas station without lightening my wallet.


    Best all around vehicle I've owned however.


    Happy Campin'
     
  19. Billy29

    Billy29 Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Only thing the Tacoma has on the FJ is a longer wheelbase. The FJ has a stronger frame. A chevy Tahoe is only ten inches longer meanwhile it can tow a lot more. FJ Cruiser engine puts out 285 hp and 289 lb ft torque using 91 octane which isn't shabby.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.