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Old 11-19-2016, 06:03 PM   #1
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2003 Fleetwood Flair 33R Brake Controller Wiring

We are picking up a new to us (buying from original owner) 2003 Fleetwood Flair 33r on the Ford chassis on Wednesday. I am leaving on a trip towing a trailer two days later.

I have looked everywhere trying to figure out if this coach is pre-wired with a connection under the dash for a brake controller. I have found posts by people with different model year coaches saying yes and some saying no.

The dealer I'm buying it from wants $800-850 to put one in, including the controller cost. They don't seem to think it has the pigtail. Camping World says they think it has the pigtail but they aren't sure. If it doesn't, they want $650 including the controller.

If it has the pigtail, I can easily install it. Although every single post talks about how hard it is to find. I'm in a bit of a time crunch, especially with Thanksgiving. It may be worth a couple hundred bucks more to just have the dealer handle it so it's done.

Any thoughts?
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Old 11-19-2016, 06:24 PM   #2
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If it has the big round trailer plug it's probably prewired and a good controller runs about 125.00 and would take 30 minutes to install.
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Old 11-19-2016, 06:27 PM   #3
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There is a plug in/under the dash:



Ford, and others, make pigtails to plug in.

Tekonsha pigtail @ Etrailer

What Fleetwood hooked up at the hitch I don't know. Might have to extend some wires if Fleetwood didn't.
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Old 11-19-2016, 06:36 PM   #4
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It does have the round 7 pin plug on the hitch. I guess I'll order the controller and pigtail and hope it's wired all the way back to the hitch!

Thanks!
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:30 AM   #5
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This coach has an aftermarket mud flap/rock guard. It should be safe to assume they towed something with it that didn't require a brake controller. It should also be safe to assume that the 7 pin connector has 12v power, ground, turn signals, brake lights, etc.

The only thing that could be missing then is the blue brake controller wire making it from the Ford chassis wiring and the 7 pin connector on the hitch right?
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Old 11-20-2016, 10:05 AM   #6
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That controller connector/pigtail is well hidden. On mine it was way up under the driver's side dash and difficult to get to. Also it was folded up and taped. A real PITA! You may or may not have the +12v and brake wire connected to the 7 pin connector. Easy to test for 12v with a multimeter. 12v should be on the upper right contact looking into the trailer connector with ground being on the lower left contact. It should be fused or have a circuit breaker. If not there it is not too difficult to run a wire back there from your battery. Just make sure you install a fuse or circuit breaker at the battery (20amp w/12ga wire minimum). The blue brake wire should be connected to the lower right contact. If not there it is probably taped up in a wiring bundle on top of the frame near the rear of the fuel tank. On mine it was in a bundle to the right of a wire connector at the top center of the rear of the tank. It was also well hidden.
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Old 11-20-2016, 10:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryano21911 View Post
This coach has an aftermarket mud flap/rock guard. It should be safe to assume they towed something with it that didn't require a brake controller. It should also be safe to assume that the 7 pin connector has 12v power, ground, turn signals, brake lights, etc.

The only thing that could be missing then is the blue brake controller wire making it from the Ford chassis wiring and the 7 pin connector on the hitch right?
Ford provides wiring on the F-53 chassis for all the signals except the 12V "charge line." They leave that up to the coach builder.

The Ford wiring ends at the rear of the coach, usually within four to eight feet of the end of the frame. Inside the left-hand frame rail you will find two Ford connectors. The coach builder extends the wires from the connectors to the coach and trailer hitch connector, as he wishes.

You can't assume that either the 12V charge line or electric brake controller wire are connected to the trailer hitch connector. The best thing to do is to test the connector for correct signals at all pins.
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Old 11-20-2016, 11:00 AM   #8
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That is very helpful, thanks!

I should have used the word hope instead of hope I think!

So best case I have everything wired at the 7 pin correctly. Or I may be missing the 12v charge line, which I do need because I have a battery in the race trailer I'll be towing, and/or the brake controller line.

And one or both of these wires should be located inside the left hand frame rail. It looks like sometimes there are connectors or just clipped wires. I should be able to find the proper ones and splice them to the 7 pin connector.

Does it sound like I have it right?

I really appreciate your help! I'm trying to make sure I'm ready to do this because I don't have much time after I pick it up and when I need to leave to go racing!
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Old 11-20-2016, 03:35 PM   #9
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As I said, the best thing to do first is to check the signals at the hitch connector. The charge line will likely require the coach ignition switch to be in the ACC or RUN position.

If you don't have 12V at the connector, you should call Fleetwood. In fact, it would pay to call them anyway, to get schematics (if any) for your coach. Also, look at the fuse panels and see if you can identify any fuses marked for trailer charging.

If you don't have the brake controller wire at the connector, it should be in a pigtail attached to one of the Ford connectors inside the frame rail. Test for continuity to the connector up front before you extend it to the hitch connector.

Getting to the Ford electric brake connector under the dash (see picture above) can be a real bear. I had to take the dash panel off to find it on my coach. In my case, the pigtail (at that end) was plugged into the connector. If I had wanted to install a brake controller, I would have removed the pigtail and purchased one of the Ford-specific controller cables for which "tderonne" provided a link. That way, it's all plug-and-play.

Order a Tekonsha P3 controller from etrailer, the cable, run the tests and install it yourself. It's hit-an-miss to have a dealer put it in; I find they sometimes take shortcuts I wouldn't.
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:21 PM   #10
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The Prodigy controller and pigtail will be here tomorrow.

I actually found the original owner's manual. It claims the 7 way is pre-wired for a brake controller. Looks like I hopefully just have to find that connector behind the dash! Or at least I hope so....

I'll post after I get everything done!
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:58 PM   #11
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It was ridiculously simple. The connector was right under the dash. Plugged it in and everything works perfectly. No extra work required, took 5 minutes!
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