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Old 07-03-2019, 01:58 AM   #1
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Model: Vegas 24.1
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Adding a brake controller to my Vegas 24.1

I want to be able to tow my car hauler trailer with my RV, as we will be taking a 2-week trip in November and we will need transport while we are there. After some quick research, it appears as though there is no writing harness to easily plug into so I thought I'd call my dealer.

When I explained to him what I wanted to do, he told me that this was something they did several times a week for customers and it simply involved tapping into tma live power wire and hooking it up. He then looked up my Vegas on his computer and said $550 in labor, plus the cost of whatever brake controller I picked out!!! Are you freaking kidding me? $550??? This is probably a one hour job for them.

So, now I'm looking for anyone who has done one of these themselves. Please tell me it can't be THAT complicated.

Advice, please?
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:58 AM   #2
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My 2017 ACE it was a plug and play. It took CW all of about 15 to install. I guess however I should ask do you have a 7 pin connection? My ACE already had one. If you do not have the 7 pin then there will be more to the install.
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by be happy View Post
My 2017 ACE it was a plug and play. It took CW all of about 15 to install. I guess however I should ask do you have a 7 pin connection? My ACE already had one. If you do not have the 7 pin then there will be more to the install.
ACE & Vegas are on different chassis (F-53 ACE, E-350/E-450 Axis/Vegas) and thus may not have the same wiring (Axis/Vegas may even be different from your average class C as its a stripped-chassis and not one with the cab included). When we had a brake controller installed on our Axis they had to run many of the wires and the 7-wire plug at the rear was wired incorrectly.

I now have one of these guys ($9 Amazon) for testing the plug.
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:25 PM   #4
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I’ve always used Uhaul for wiring harness install
They do hitches, harnesses, and generally the cheapest propane
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:01 PM   #5
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We had a brake controller added to our F150 4x4 several years ago when we bought a toy hauler. It was not cheap.

Now, we are setting up our, new to us Jeep, to tow behind the Axis. There was a time when Ron would have, capably, done the job. Now, he is deferring to the pros to do the complete install @$125.00 per hour...plus the tow equipment !! Oh, the price of having fun !!
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:14 PM   #6
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I have discovered that Curt makes a Bluetooth connected brake controller called the Curt Echo. Looks really sharp, simply plugs into your existing 7 pin connector and connects to a Bluetooth phone, which is mounted on your dash. At $250, this looks a lot more realistic. I have asked etrailer about this to see if it will work in my situation; waiting to hear back from them.
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:58 PM   #7
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OK, so just for peace of mind, I climbed under the dash today and inspected. Found this, which I am pretty sure is the gray trailer brake connector that Ford puts on their vehicles. (I had to install one last year on my 2018 Explorer and it looks like what I remember, but that was LAST year!) Anyone want to verify this for me? I really can't easily get at my Explorer. Taking apart the entire dash is not what I want to do today.



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Old 07-08-2019, 04:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TimmyB View Post
I have discovered that Curt makes a Bluetooth connected brake controller called the Curt Echo. Looks really sharp, simply plugs into your existing 7 pin connector and connects to a Bluetooth phone, which is mounted on your dash. At $250, this looks a lot more realistic. I have asked etrailer about this to see if it will work in my situation; waiting to hear back from them.
I have one on my Axis 25.2. Works great!!!!
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Glenn Briglio View Post
I have one on my Axis 25.2. Works great!!!!
Good to know. Thanks!

I am pretty familiar with how it works, as in how it stores the settings in the actual unit so that even if you lose your bluetooth connection (or lose/forget your phone) the system still works; you simply won't have the ability to make changes or apply manual braking (the latter of which I have not needed to do even once in my other unit). What has been your experience with connectivity or manual braking? Any issues at all?

Thanks, again, for the feedback.

t
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:37 PM   #10
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It will sometimes loses the connection. Manual brakes work the same as having a brake box mounted by driver.
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Glenn Briglio View Post
It will sometimes loses the connection. Manual brakes work the same as having a brake box mounted by driver.
Have you had a need to use the manual brake assist? I have a system on my Explorer which has a nice thumb control slider, but like I was saying, I've really never found my trailer getting out of control and needing to settle the trailer back down. I would think that would be even less of an issue given that the Vegas is 12,000 pounds vs my Explorers 5,000, but maybe I'm making a poor assumption here. (?)
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:14 PM   #12
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I have a 2018 thor vegas and the 7 pin hitch connection was installed and some of the wiring was pre-done. However, the power and another wire was not connected to the hitch. See below:
How to wire brake controller on Thor Vegas 2018
What i did was not totally correct so the trailer company re-wired the power wire directly to the battery and used a heavier gage wire.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by gte534j View Post
I have a 2018 thor vegas and the 7 pin hitch connection was installed and some of the wiring was pre-done. However, the power and another wire was not connected to the hitch. See below:
How to wire brake controller on Thor Vegas 2018
What i did was not totally correct so the trailer company re-wired the power wire directly to the battery and used a heavier gage wire.
Yeah, I saw that post when I began this search and knew I would be WAY in over my head when I saw all of those steps, and knowing my own limitations!

I am either going with the BT Curt Echo or possibly the Prodigy RF, which actually sits on the trailer itself. I am inclined to go with the Echo, since it looks truly plug and play.

Thanks for the link!
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:26 AM   #14
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If your chassis is an E-450, look behind the coin changer for trailer brake wiring connector. OReilly's has the harness and controller.
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:36 AM   #15
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The Curt echo Bluetooth is really nice. Like others mentioned, it saves settings in the 7 pin adaptor so the phone is not needed for that. The only time I could really think of needing to use the manual brake button in the app would be if the trailer got squirrely for some reason. I believe then you are supposed to activate the trailer brakes without braking the RV to get back in control. I have found a properly loaded trailer though solves most of those problems (at least for me with my Honda Pilot on a 21’ trailer).

The only other downside is that the Bluetooth device blinks a light when not paired to a phone. So if you leave it connected when you are away from your rv, it can be more prone to theft.
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:39 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Junodtim View Post
If your chassis is an E-450, look behind the coin changer for trailer brake wiring connector. OReilly's has the harness and controller.
I'm not really sure what you're saying here.
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:47 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Ferf View Post
The Curt echo Bluetooth is really nice. Like others mentioned, it saves settings in the 7 pin adaptor so the phone is not needed for that. The only time I could really think of needing to use the manual brake button in the app would be if the trailer got squirrely for some reason. I believe then you are supposed to activate the trailer brakes without braking the RV to get back in control. I have found a properly loaded trailer though solves most of those problems (at least for me with my Honda Pilot on a 21í trailer).

The only other downside is that the Bluetooth device blinks a light when not paired to a phone. So if you leave it connected when you are away from your rv, it can be more prone to theft.
I am one of the more paranoid rv'ers on this site. I don't trust anything!!! I can guarantee you I will not be leaving it in the connector if I get it. I am still debating which direction to go. It will probably be the Echo, but the Prodigy RF is a possibility, as well. That unit actually sits on the trailer itself.

I've only hauled a trailer a few times, once behind a giant U-Haul truck, and a couple of times behind my Ford Explorer. I have never had a trailer even feel remotely out of control, but I'm also a very conservative driver under those conditions.
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:05 AM   #18
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I put a trailer brake controller on my 2015 Vegas several years ago. The stripped van chassis ( at least in 2015) had neither the brake wire or the power wire hooked up - there is no little plug under the dash like most other cars, trucks, and vans these days. The brake and power wire exists in some of the wiring harness , but is not connected at either end. At the hitch, you need to find the wires and connect to the 7 wire connector. At the front end, both wires terminate in the the wiring harness under the drivers seat ( harness along the frame ) , and you need to wire everything else to the controller.

If you have not done this before , might consider having a trailer place do it ( or the dealer if you are very rich...)
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:10 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Stan fowler View Post
I put a trailer brake controller on my 2015 Vegas several years ago. The stripped van chassis ( at least in 2015) had neither the brake wire or the power wire hooked up - there is no little plug under the dash like most other cars, trucks, and vans these days. The brake and power wire exists in some of the wiring harness , but is not connected at either end. At the hitch, you need to find the wires and connect to the 7 wire connector. At the front end, both wires terminate in the the wiring harness under the drivers seat ( harness along the frame ) , and you need to wire everything else to the controller.

If you have not done this before , might consider having a trailer place do it ( or the dealer if you are very rich...)
Yeah, $500-$800 was what I was being told. Not a chance. I'll either go with BT or RF controller, especially after looking at someone else's post where he HAD wired the 450 chassis himself! No freaking chance of me doing all of that. As Detective Callahan said, "A man has got to know his limitations."
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:49 AM   #20
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I'm very happy with the Curt Bluetooth controller. Portable and zero installation.
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