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Old 03-17-2014, 03:57 PM   #1
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Trailer brake contoller - 2003 FDDS

Hello fellow Alpine owners. I just recently finally found and purchased a 2003 34 FDDS and would like to install a trailer brake control unit. Has anyone done this and have any suggestions on best way to proceed. I have installed brake controllers on an older class c (really a ford e350) and a Ford F250. Both had wires available for brake control under the dash. Both also came with 7 pin connector at the hitch. I know the Alpine does not have the 7 pin connector and I am not sure if any wiring already exists.

Thanks in advance
Steve
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:02 PM   #2
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The previous owner of my coach had fitted a brake controller but it was a DIY job. I ripped it all out so can't give you anymore info except to say the Alpine does come with the 7 pin connector (mine did) but this is often replaced with the 6 pin. I don't think you will find any wiring you can use.
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:45 PM   #3
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Steve, my '03 36MDDS came equipped with a 7 pin connector. The previous owner had installed a brake controller unit in the battery compartment (it's kind of hard to get to the controls from in the cockpit!!!). I just rewired the 7 pin connector with a new adapter (the original ceased to function) from 5 pin configuration (separate wires for brake lights & turn signals) to 4 pin (same wires for brake lights & turn signals) and all the wires were contained inside a plastic wire loom that runs from the wiring at the very left rear to the center rear where the trailer hitch and 7 pin connector is located. There was no wire in the loom for the trailer brake wire which had been run directly from the controller in the battery compartment to the 7 pin connector. I hope this information is helpful for you.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:01 PM   #4
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Seems like I used a 6 -pin on my trailer as the 6-pin also has a spare wire for the brake. There are probably some spare wires runs from front to back of the coach but I found it easier to snake new [larger guage] wire down the driver's side thru the basement[find a seam or crack]. Also need to tie/wire controller to brake light sensor/button on pedal linkage in the fenderwell, under the driver's seat.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies. Does anyone have a recommendation for a trailer brake controller? I am fairly certain I want an inertia device, but there are a lot to chose from.

I have a lot to discover and figure out on this new rig. I am totally new to a Class A RV. I have outgrown my Lance 1010 slide in camper!
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:51 AM   #6
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Hello & Welcome Steve

I installed a 7 Pin on my 2001 Alpine, the hardest part was running a new wire from the brake Controller to the new 7 Pin connector. I took the better part of a day because I ran it through the Bays along with the rest of the coaches wiring.



The hardest part was getting through the front bulkhead and into the Bay. Going through the firewall was easy, down to the frame along the fuel tank and into the Bay. From the bay to the rear bulkhead was easy and getting through the rear bulkhead was also easy. From the rear bulkhead to the rear of the coach I again ran it along the other wires to the new 7 Pin connector. I also ran a charge wire from a HD (switched with Ignition on) continuous duty Relay that I installed on the firewall at the same time using #10 wires. I taped off the 6 Pin Trailer connector wires for the rest of my wiring for the 7 Pin.


Since the Alpine uses a separate turn signal, I also installed a Converter for the Stop/Turn Signals for my tow vehicle.


Good Luck

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Old 03-19-2014, 07:17 AM   #7
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^ Yep, that pretty much nails what I did. It's a pain but entirely a DIY job, I did it in our '99 and it took a couple of hours to run the wires. A 25' fish tape makes it a whole lot easier. Fairly cheap at Home Depot for a homeowner grade tape.

My Cheokees are also 3 wire systems so I just wired the tow lights with diodes and use the amber turn signals so I wired a 7pin/7pin adapter with a converter that I can plug in so I can tow the TJ and trailers.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:11 AM   #8
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My 2001 had two wires from the front to the back that I used for my controllers (spare 1 and 2?). I cannot remember what they were marked, but did not take much to find. Wish my memory were better for you, but I would bet you could find.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:18 AM   #9
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Steve, you asked about any recommendations for specific trailer brake controller units. I installed a Tekonsha Primus IQ 90160 Proportional brake controller on my Dodge Ram pickup (I tow a 10,000 pound, 2 axle flat bed trailer with the pickup) that I am very happy with. I like the "proportional" function which also allows the controller to be disabled when backing. There are probably literally hundreds of different controllers available and I'm sure there are that many recommendations from happy users. So, it probably boils down to finding one that has the features you want. However, for me, I previously had a less expensive controller that wasn't 'proportional" and I can tell you that it is well worth the extra expense to get the proportional unit.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:40 PM   #10
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I purchased the Hopkins proportional controller. I also found 2 wires marked spare 1 and spare 2 in the front end, but I have not been able the locate the other ends in the rear. I will open up the loom at the very back and see if I can find them.

I think I am understanding correctly that I need to wire the brake and turn signals together with diodes to get down to 2 wires instead of 3. So that I can use that post for the brake controller instead of brake light like wired now.

Thanks everyone for the help.
Steve
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:17 PM   #11
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Fyi
Additionally, when I hooked up my race trailer I found the running lights would trip the auto reset breaker. "Lights on, lights off, lights on, lights off". So I found the running light wire for the trailer plug in the battery compartment, I cut it and used that wire to operate a relay. Found a power source and ran a larger wire to the trailer plug.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:01 AM   #12
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Regarding wiring the brake and turn signal lights together, I used a Valley 5 wire to 4 wire converter module (available on eBay) for that purpose. It makes the conversion pretty cheap & simple. It converts the 5 wire setup (brake, rt. turn, lt. turn, running lights, ground) to 4 (rt. turn/brake, lt. turn/brake, running, ground). If you use the 7 wire plug, you will still need to use a converter or diodes for the brake and turn signal wires, but there is a separate pole for the trailer brakes. This is pretty much the standard trailer wiring setup that comes on most pre-wired pickup trucks that have the trailer towing package so I stuck with the 7 pin setup on my coach as I have the 7 pin plug on my trailer. You can also purchase converter plugs that convert the 7 pin setup to 4, 5 or 6 wire plugs if that's what you need for your particular trailer plug setup.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:14 PM   #13
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Found the spare 1 and spare 2 wires under the right rear axle. Finally got my tone generator out and followed it back. They were taped on the top side of the harness right above the rear jacks. Much easier than fishing new wires. Using 5 poll to 4 poll turn/brake converter (diodes) and wiring to reverse light wire, my 7 pin is done and working.

Thanks all for the great suggestions. Now on to my next issue with this new to me very used coach. I have a leaking right rear jack cylinder. It is leaking right at the hose. I will post that question on another thread.

Thanks again
Steve
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