How to install electric trailer brakes?

Installing electric trailer brakes is a fairly simple process. However, it can be dangerous if you do not have the correct tools or understanding of what you are doing.

Electric trailer brakes are a great way to make your tow vehicle more manageable. Installing electric brakes on your trailer is as easy as changing the brake pads, bleeding the system, and hooking up the cables.

You can watch this video for step-by-step instructions or read through our blog post below for everything you need to know about installing electric trailer brakes.

The following tools are needed to install electric trailer brakes :

  1. Small Screwdriver
  2. Pliers
  3. Ratchet
  4. 8 mm wrench/socket

You will need a small screwdriver, pliers, and a ratchet. You may also need an 8mm wrench or socket if you have metal brake lines. If so, the nuts under your trailer’s wheel will likely be too tight for either the pliers or screwdriver to loosen without damaging them.

Depending on how many bolts you have holding down your axle(s) and tires, you will probably find that it is much quicker to leave them on rather than removing them. It is much easier to remove the wheel every time you want to attach the electric wiring associated with using this tool kit. Otherwise, attaching and removing all of those bolts would make this process take forever.

Before you even begin to install the electric trailer brakes, make sure that it is working properly. Tug on the handbrake a few times and press down on each pedal. If there are any problems with the device itself, this might be the best time to find out about them before you put more of your time into installing electric brakes. As we all know, trailering can be stressful enough without adding unnecessary stress like faulty equipment! 

Once you have made sure that everything is in proper working order, it is time to get started on installing electric brake lines for your trailer.

Step 1

First, you are going to want to find the four mounting holes on your trailer’s frame. Two will be located near the front of the frame and two will be right in the back. You are going to drill a 3/8 inch hole into each of these locations on your trailer’s frame.

Once this has been done, it is time to take your brake line end and fittings and connect them with air hose clamps. Put those two connections onto either side of where you just drilled into the frame.

Make sure that they reach both sides of the axle easily before tightening down any bolts or washers underneath your trailer’s tires taking care not to cross-thread them due to possible weight from how your trailer is sitting while you work.

If for some reason you find that it is too difficult to fit these holes between where the axles are and your trailer’s tires, then there are two options.

First, try taking out a bolt from underneath your wheel and moving it more toward the center of the axle.

Second, if this still does not work, you will have to install cross members on which to mount them instead. This method would be a lot more complicated and time-consuming than drilling into the frame itself so make sure that you do whatever it takes to avoid having to do that if at all possible!

Step 2

Now with your electric brake line secured onto both sides of your trailer’s axle(s), it is time to attach each end of the lines to each of your trailer’s wheels. Each wheel should have a quick-disconnect fitting already installed on it but if not, then consider this step optional and proceed to the next one.

Step 3

You will now be using an air hose that has been cut in half and attached to either end of the electric brake line you just installed onto each axle. You can use either one foot-long piece for both axles or two separate pieces for each side to avoid confusion later on. 

Attach them by crimping an air hose clamp over the end of the hose attaching it to your custom-made quick-disconnect fittings – remember that these are called “quick disconnect” because they easily detach! You will not be able to detach them without first pressing down on the little tab located at the bottom of your air hose fitting.

This concludes the installation process. You have now completed the step-by-step instructions for installing electric trailer brakes. Whether you choose to use these or another set of electric brakes, only time will tell how long they last before needing replacement but this guide should help to eliminate any major problems that could arise along the way!

FAQs

How do you hook up electric trailer brakes?

The right way to hook up an electric brake is with four wires underneath your hitch receiver with two red wires going on one side of the truck and two black wires on the other side.

The light at the back of your trailer will then activate when you hit your brakes and it’ll stay lit as long as you’re braking.

Plus, wrap copper wire around a screwdriver handle or large nut for a makeshift tester that will ensure that all your connections are solid.

How much does it cost to install electric trailer brakes?

It depends on the model and size of your vehicle. The estimate for trailer brakes installation ranges from $300 – $500.

Can electric brakes be added to a trailer?

Electric brakes can be added to a trailer if the jack-up brackets are blocked off to stop the rear axle from jacking.

The addition of a brake controller for electric brakes to a tow vehicle will enable the trailer’s electric brakes to stop it safely when activated by the controller.

The activation is typically triggered with an electronic key or button on the transmitter which sends RF energy through an RF receiver located in both the tow vehicle and trailer; if there is no response from either, both lights on the transmitter flash, to indicate that there is a low power situation between vehicle and trailer.

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