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Old 09-02-2014, 06:25 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Coach braking system not wired to hitch

I have a 1999 Fleetwood Bounder and the mechanic tells me that there is no brake wiring running from the coach brakes to the hitch. There is a 4 hole electrical receiver at the hitch, but he tells me this was made just for lights and is obsolete anyway because they do not make 4 prong receivers anymore.
Since this will be estimated to cost upwards of $900, I'm asking for some thoughts.

Thank you,
Linda and Tori dog

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Old 09-02-2014, 09:44 AM   #2
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1) Get a new mechanic; 2) What are you trying to tow?

The wiring you have is for brake lights. There are no wires from the coach brakes to anything - unless you count the ABS sensors.

If you are towing a car, what type of braking system do you have? If you are towing a trailer, does it have electric brakes? (this would require some additional wiring)

Roger & Mary
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:59 AM   #3
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Your coach may not have had an electric brake power wire , run from the dash to the trailer connector. But $900 to do the job.
Even if that includes the controller and 7 pin plug, that's at least double what I think it should cost.
99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
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Old 09-02-2014, 03:06 PM   #4
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Your mechanic lies,, somewhat.

First the Flat 4 connector is still very much standard and is used for cars in tow and light trailers such as the PUP and the 13 foot Scamp I used to tow.

Second there may or may not be a dedicated wire (If there is it will likely be blue) but running one is not all that complex

One word of caution... There are many towed braking systems and not all (Dang few) are compatable with each other's controllers.

For example: Some folks tow on a full trailer, either open or enclosed, This has standard Electric brakes and uses a controller such as the Tekonsha Prodigy series (Which I push cause.... Well.. I grew up in a town called Tekonsha don't you know and guess where they make 'em).

Now this is an excellent system but.. I towed 4 down with a US-Gear Unified brake Decelerator..

On the Standard electric trailer brake you APPLY POWER to engage brakes

On the US-Gear you REDUCE the voltage (The towed supplies the power and the controller loads the line) So clearly the two systems... NOT compatible.

Many folks use one of the systems that is all in the towed,, Some of these (Box in the driver's seat you install every time you hook up) I do not recommend less you change toweds often,, Others (Invisible Brake, Stay & play, Air Force One, US-Gear system mentioned above, Most any INSTALLED ONE TIME system... i do recommend...

The Invisible brake.. Works with the very same flat 4, it reads the tail/brake lights and an accelerometer, And applies brakes when it sees the brake lights on if needed, So your motor home IS wired for it.

M&G, uses compressed air from the motor home.. So no wires needed, just hoses and pipes.

Air force one.. I'm not 100% sure.

Most of the box in the driver's seat systems need no wires on motor home.. HOWEVER many include a "Sense" light (Warnign light) to let you know when the system is active this needs a wire.

All come with the needed connectors in the kit. IF, that is, they are needed.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:15 PM   #5
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If towing a car, get NSA's ReadyBrute Elite and forget about wiring for brakes. All you'll need to wire for is the lights on the back of your toad. ReadyBrute Elite has the brake controller built into the tow bar! Do a search of irv2's forums for ReadyBrute and a lot of information will come up.
Steve & Nancy
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2012 Chevy Captiva Sport AWD, ReadyBrute Elite Tow Bar, Blue Ox Base Plate, Protect-A-Tow
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:57 AM   #6
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Thank you, thank you, thank you! I really appreciate everyone's excellent ideas about the braking options for the RV. And I believe you are correct when "they see me coming", the price may double!!
To give a little more background, I have not purchased a vehicle to tow as yet, but it will most likely be a Honda CRV. My goal is to flat tow, and I've been "studying up" on how the system works.
Thank you all again--you are awesome!
Linda and Tori Dog
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:09 AM   #7
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By the way..... If you do get an electric controlled towed brake. and wish to use a 7-pin connector (or a six, But I suggest a 7) here are some suggestions.

For the lights: Get a matching flat-4 and hook it in that way rather than splicing the wire. NOTE this is an option.. NOTE also these connectors are often sold in joined pairs I would not seperate the pair but rather put the 7-pin in the middle of the joining wires (There are reasons for this which are not obvious till you need the 2nd connector)

Second: Run a 10ga wire from the RV's batteries to the battery pin on that 7 pin, via a 20 amp self resetting breaker.. Same thing on the car end This way the towed battery will be full hand happy when you finally park.

Fact: I left home on Jan 2 at about 3am.. Found out my Towed's tail lights were not lit, Stop and turn worked, but no tail

US_Gear provides such a battery charge line.. So I just hit the parking light switch on the towed and got it fixed....2,000 miles later.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:41 AM   #8
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My rv has a 4 way round receptor(female) that seems to be non-standard. I can't seem to find a compatible/matching to a 7way.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:46 AM   #9
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By the way... Great advice on the battery wiring !
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:01 AM   #10
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4 way to 7 way you should not find since the missing wires are for the brakes (And battery) an the brakes are a major safety issue

You can find round 4 to/from Flat 4 though.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:24 AM   #11
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Flat towing a car is different than towing a cargo trailer.

To tow a cargo trailer with electric brakes it requires a 7-way electrical connector at the rear PLUS an Electronic Brake Controller installed at the driver's area of the cockpit.

The 7-way connector has 7 different connections:

Tail Lights
Right Turn Signal
Left Turn Signal
Electric Brakes for Trailer
12 VDC Charge Line
Backup Lights (optional)

To Flat tow a car you need a minimum of a 4-way connector but a 6-way would be better.

The car that you plan to tow has to be wired such that tail lights and both right and left hand signals work when connected to the coach. In addition to the lights, you need to have an auxiliary braking system for the car which will activate when you use your coach brakes. Therefore you will need proper electric and/or air connections from the coach to the car. Hence the 6-way connector would be better giving you extra connections for the braking system chosen.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:09 PM   #12
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Coach braking system not wired to hitch

I am just about to wire a brake controller, newer Class A dp coach prewired with 7 way plug and appropriate pigtail at steering wheel. Next year we are going to buy a car to be a toad, 4 down. Do I need separate electrical systems? We used to tow a Jeep Liberty and a dual axle cargo trailer with our gasser Class A and a 7 way plug at the hitch.

2013 FleetWood Expedition 38B

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