Originally Posted by Frank Kuhl
how does it work, how is it diffrent then hooking up trailer brake lines
"Brake lines" assumes hydraulic brakes. But most trailers do not have hydraulic brakes.
Apparently, the Hidden Hitch PowerTrac brake controller was discontinued way back when, and is no longer available. But when it was available it was a controller for electric trailer brakes. Most trailers with brakes today have electric brakes, but some such as boat trailers that get dunked in the water have "surge" hydraulic brakes.
Your F-150 should have a 6-pin or 7-pin trailer connecter plug on the back end of the truck, near the receiver hitch. A horse or livestock trailer with electric brakes and a 6-pin plug would hook up to the 6-pin plug on the back of the truck. Or an RV trailer with a 7-pin plug would hook up to the 7-pin plug on the back of the truck.
One of the wires in the 6 or 7 pin plug is the electric trailer brake wire. When you step on the brake pedal, the brake controller sends a signal to the electric brakes on the trailer. They are not hydraulic brakes, so there are no brake lines going to the trailer brakes.
Electric brakes use magnets to force the brake shoes into the brake drum, which results in braking action. Hydraulic brakes use hydraulic fluid to force the brake shoes into the brake drum.
Simple electric brake controllers use the brake light to know when you've mashed the brake pedal. Then they delay for a bit and then send electric power to the magnets in the brakes.
There are usually two adjustments on a simple electric brake controller. One adjusts the amount of the delay before the trailer brakes are applied, and the other adjusts the amount of power sent to the magnets. At full power, the magnets are strong enough to lock the brakes, and you don't want locked trailer brakes, so you reduce the power that the magnets see.
On my electric brake controllers, the power adjustment goes from one to 10, with 10 being locked brakes on a heavily loaded trailer and 1 being almost no braking. With my 8,000 pound 5er, I usually had my simple controller set to a power of about 6 out of 10. On my 5,000 pound TT, I usually have the Ford integrated trailer brake controller (ITBC) set to about 5 out of 10.
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. 2012 F-150 Lariat SuperCrew EcoBoost, 6.5' bed, Platinum White/tan, Leer 100XQ camper shell, Nomad Joey 196S TT, CarMate 7x14' enclosed cargo trailer, three other utility trailers, plus a retired 2000 Keystone Sprinter 25RKS 5er we rarely tow now. ProPride hitch on the TT. Reese Strait-Line hitch on the cargo trailer.