View Full Version : Brake Controller?

01-21-2008, 12:01 PM
I just ordered a Outback w/tandem trailer. My brother in law said that I will probably need a brake controller installed in my Explorer. Is this true? I have the towing package with 7 pin connector.


01-21-2008, 01:01 PM
Unless I am completely off base it will be a surge brake on the coupler and because they are disc and don't have the special shoes that release when you back up like the drum brakes. You need a 5 pin because one of the pins is the backup lights. This activates a solenoid that opens when in reverse preventing the pressure from activating the calibers which will now allow you to back up! Basically you have a master cylinder in the front of the trailer and as you slow down the weight of the trailer pushes against the towing vechicle pushing the trailer mastercylinder in thus putting the trailer brakes on. It is a good system as it is self balancing, it only works if the trailer is pushing against the trailer and once the trailer is going the same speed there is no pressure on the brakes. And the force is proportional to the amount of braking the tow vehicle is doing. But just image what happens when you back up in reverse, you push against the trailer mastercylinder and you would apply the brakes, hence the bypass solenoid. Brake controllers are for electric brakes and these are never used on boat trailers, at least I have never seen them. Because people like to steal those adapters around here I have just put a 7 pin connector on the trailer. You will never had to hunt for the adapter.

01-21-2008, 01:15 PM
this is an edit, "change now to not allow you to back up"!

01-21-2008, 02:47 PM
Thanks guys! I didn't think that I needed anything else.

james yarosz
01-21-2008, 04:52 PM
The brake controller he's talking about is for trailers with electric brakes.The Moomba trailer will have surge brakes. When you get the 7 pin to 5 pin adapter if the brakes don't disengage in reverse you may need a relay that installs in the underhood fuse box on Fords. On my 06 F150 the relay came with the truck but was not installed.It just plugs in.

01-21-2008, 05:32 PM
Of course it came on my Chevy but what blew my mind was that I saw the backup lights working on the truck but it still wouldn't open the solenoid?? :roll: I got out the owners manual and found out that the trailer harness has its own fuses including one for the backup lights. So I go and check that fuse and sure enough it was blown, the previous owner of my truck must have done something incorrect and blown the fuse.