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Old 05-01-2010, 01:56 PM   #1
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Default Do I need a trailer brake controller

Hi. I'm buying my first truck ever - probably a 2010 F150 Crew Cab XL 3 valve engine 4X4. I need to tow about 5000 lbs.I will get the towing package. I understand that means I will also get 7-pin wiring. Most of the vehicles I see on dealers' lots have the towing package but don't have the trailer brake controller. What's the point of this? If you use 7 pin wiring for your trailer will the trailer brakes work without the trailer brake controller? Thanks, bigman
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Old 05-01-2010, 02:27 PM   #2
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Get the controller. If your trailer has brakes use them. It will be less wear and tear on your truck. I have heard that the Ford brake controller is excellent. I am assuming Ford does not include the controller since not all trailers have electric brakes and to keep the cost of vehicle down.
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Old 05-01-2010, 03:14 PM   #3
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I guess my confusion is: why have a truck on the lot with 7-pin wiring if it doesn't have a brake controller? Isn't 7-pin specifically for the trailer brakes or am I missing something. Geoff
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Old 05-01-2010, 04:31 PM   #4
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I would say the reason they dont install controllers at the factory or the dealer is they have no way of knowing what kind of controller a buyer will want or need for their F150. Not all brake controllers are created equal. Not all controllers work well for all trailers or towing conditions. Some controllers work only with 2 axle trailers, some work with three or more axles. Some are proportional, some shut off when you brake going backwards, some people hardly ever tow and are happy with a $50 controller, some people tow alot or tow heavy and want a $140 controller, ect.
I think as you do some research on controllers, you will realize that your question is a little premature and naive.
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Old 05-01-2010, 04:32 PM   #5
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You need a trailer brake controller (TBC) to activate the electric trailer brakes. You can get the Ford unit installed from the factory, have the dealer put it in or you can even buy an aftermarket unit. It's your choice. Me, I found a truck on the lot with the factory-installed TBC.
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Old 05-01-2010, 04:41 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. Great replies. Geoff
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigman View Post
I guess my confusion is: why have a truck on the lot with 7-pin wiring if it doesn't have a brake controller? Isn't 7-pin specifically for the trailer brakes or am I missing something. Geoff
yes and no. I had a pop up camper that had a 7 pin harness. The trailer did not have brakes but, it had a 12 volt battery that I could charge and run the fridge off the 12 volt system. you can also have interrior lights in a small enclosed trailer. Just 2 examples. If you can get the factory installed one I say ADD it without question.
to me it's as essential as air and cruise. should NOT be optional should be STANDARD.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:20 PM   #8
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If you buy a F150 with a towing package they come with a 7 pin plug so that you have the setup to pull a heavier tandom axle trailer. They leave the brake controler decision to you on if you want one and what kind you want. Definately buy one, the rotors they put on F150's are not good for pulling any tandom axle trailer. I pulled a 12ft long by 6ft wide (16ft total length) tandom axle cargo trailer 8 times and the whole weight plus cargo was at about 3000 lbs. My rotors were warped because i didnt have a brake controler and i am not hard on the brakes and dont stop abruptly. Buy one or getting new rotors will cost you. The truck brakes can stop the load great but the rotors wont last long at all doing it.
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:03 PM   #9
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One reason Ford doesn't provide a brake controller is because all trailers don't have the same type of brakes. Most tandem axles are electric but some newer trailers have electrically actuated hydraulic brakes. The Tow Package also has a 4-wire plug for simpler utility trailers where lights are the only factor. Even the Ford OE brake controller on the newer F250 Super Duty can cause issues with some trailers. Any quality aftermarket brake controller is plug and play in most new trucks. I have the Tekonsha P3 and feel it is one of the best out there for the money and it works very well with my 27' setup.
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Old 05-03-2010, 06:01 PM   #10
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If you're going to get the tow package (and I suggest you do),
spend the extra 200 bux and op for the built-in brake controller.
I did and am VERY glad I did!

Even if there are 150's on the lot with tow packages on the lot
without the built-in controller, order your truck insted. You'll
be glad you did.
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Old 05-03-2010, 06:01 PM
 
 
 
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