Electric Trailer Brake Wiring Diagram

Hello and welcome to our comprehensive guide on electric trailer brake wiring diagrams. In this article, we will provide detailed information and instructions on how to properly wire your electric trailer brakes. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced DIY enthusiast, this guide will help you understand the wiring process and ensure your trailer brakes function effectively.

1. Understanding the Basics

Before we dive into the wiring diagram, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the basics. Electric trailer brakes require a connection to the towing vehicle’s braking system to activate the brakes on the trailer. This connection is made through the use of an electric brake controller, which sends signals to the trailer brakes when the vehicle’s brakes are applied.

It’s important to note that electric trailer brakes require a separate power source, typically a 12-volt battery, to operate. This battery can be installed on the trailer itself or connected directly to the towing vehicle’s battery.


– Electric trailer brakes provide smoother and more controlled braking compared to surge brakes, especially in emergency situations.

– They allow for independent adjustment of braking force, ensuring optimal braking performance based on the trailer’s weight and load.

– Electric brakes are more reliable and require less maintenance compared to hydraulic systems.


– The initial installation cost of electric trailer brakes may be higher compared to surge brakes.

– Electric brakes require a functioning brake controller in the towing vehicle, which adds complexity to the setup.

– In case of a brake controller failure, the trailer brakes may become inoperable, potentially compromising safety.

2. Wiring Components

Now let’s discuss the various components involved in the electric trailer brake wiring diagram:

Component Description
Brake Controller A device installed in the towing vehicle that controls the electric trailer brakes.
7-Way Trailer Connector A standard connector that provides power and signals to the trailer brakes.
Trailer Brake Magnets Electromagnets that activate the trailer brakes when a current is applied.
Breakaway Switch A safety device that activates the trailer brakes if it becomes detached from the towing vehicle.
Battery A 12-volt battery that powers the trailer brakes independently.

3. Wiring Diagram

Here is a detailed wiring diagram for electric trailer brakes:

Electric Trailer Brake Wiring DiagramSource: None

This diagram illustrates the correct connections between the towing vehicle, brake controller, trailer connector, brake magnets, breakaway switch, and battery. It’s important to follow this diagram precisely to ensure proper functionality.

4. Alternatives

If you prefer an alternative to electric trailer brakes, surge brakes are a viable option. Surge brakes use the trailer’s momentum to activate the brakes, eliminating the need for a separate power source or brake controller. However, surge brakes may not provide the same level of control and responsiveness as electric brakes.

5. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can I install electric trailer brakes on any type of trailer?

A: Yes, electric trailer brakes can be installed on most trailers, including utility trailers, camper trailers, and horse trailers.

Q: Do I need a professional to install electric trailer brakes?

A: While professional installation is recommended for beginners, experienced DIY enthusiasts can install electric trailer brakes with the help of comprehensive guides like this one.

Q: How often should I inspect and maintain my electric trailer brakes?

A: Regular inspections should be conducted before each trip, and maintenance should be performed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This typically includes cleaning, adjusting, and lubricating the brake components.

In Conclusion

Properly wiring your electric trailer brakes is essential for safe and effective towing. By following the provided wiring diagram and understanding the basics, you can ensure that your trailer brakes function optimally in various driving conditions. Whether you choose electric or surge brakes, regular maintenance and inspections are crucial for long-lasting performance. Happy towing!