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Hidden Trailer Brake Controller install (pics)

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Old 09-13-2011, 09:36 PM   #1
Kayak Taco [OP] Kayak Taco is offline
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Hidden Trailer Brake Controller install (pics)

Hey guys -
I did the following mod to install an electric trailer brake controller in my 2007 Access Cab and I thought you guys would be interested as I think it is a pretty good solution. First, I found this very small trailer brake controller on Amazon...
http://www.amazon.com/Reese-Towpower...5974379&sr=8-1
It's a pretty simple unit, but it is solid state and can be mounted at any angle.

Next, I cut out the back of the drop down change tray in front of the fuse panel to allow the controller to sit all the way down into the change tray to allow the tray to close. See the first picture to see how I cut out the tray.

Now all there is to it is to slip the controller into the tray, wire the controller up to the factory harness, and install.

After the install, I towed my 17' twin axle equipment trailer with my tractor from SC to NH. It worked great, and I don't notice anything lacking with this controller. Sure, there are more complex brake controllers, but this one worked fine, and I felt safe towing the 6000lb load over 1000 miles.

Enjoy!
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Hidden Trailer Brake Controller install (pics)-dsc_0053.jpg   Hidden Trailer Brake Controller install (pics)-dsc_0054.jpg   Hidden Trailer Brake Controller install (pics)-dsc_0055.jpg  
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:41 PM   #2
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Nice clean install, great job and a good place to put the controller
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:05 AM   #4
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Thanks guys! Before this truck I had a Titan. I had the brake controller on that truck mounted under the dash, and I was never satisfied with that location as it looked out of place and I would bump it with my knees every so often. I wanted a more out of the way location and I hadn't seen this solution before so I thought I would share....
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:08 AM   #5
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Very stealth, but wouldn't you want to have it accessible while driving? So you can manually brake the trailer if it starts to sway?
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:43 AM   #7
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well the thing does pop down easy, maybe leave it open while towing if you need to brake the trailer, and when its not needed shut the door?
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:55 PM   #8
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MJon - Yep WildWolfy's got it right. Open when in use, closed the rest of the time. All of the controls are accessible when the change tray is open, so I can use it when I am towing and have it completely hidden the rest of the time.

hookedontronix - There's a 4 wire Toyota Brake controller pigtail that comes with all Tacos with the tow package (or maybe all Tacos?). This pigtail connects to the wires that come out of the controller and plugs in under the dash. The Brake controller manual tells you which wire goes where. I just used crimp type butt connectors to join the pigtail wires to the brake controller, then plugged the pigtail into the proper spot under the dash. Look in your owners manual, it will show you where the brake controller pigtail plugs in. If you don't have the pigtail with your truck, I am sure it'd only be a few $$ from the dealer. It was very easy to do.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:38 AM   #9
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Hey Kayak Like the looks of your install. Followed the link to Amazon and when I plugged in 2012 Tacoma to check on compatability it said the Reese Towpower 74377 Pod Brake control does not fit my vehicle. For grins, I put in 2007 the same as your Taco and got the same message. What gives?
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:53 AM   #10
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Scroll down the page and there is are pictures of other controllers. Select one of them and run the compatibility check. Two of them I selected seemed to work.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:27 AM   #11
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The other models may not be as compact as this one. There's no magic compatibility to trailer brake controllers. Buy one, follow the wiring directions to wire the correct wires on the controller to the correct wires on the Toyota pigtail, and plug n play
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:29 AM   #12
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Not sure why Amazon considers some incompatible. Found similar Tekonsha "pod" model compatible with Tacoma at etrailer and ordered it. My local Toyota dealer suggests fastening it into the coin tray cavity to the right of the steering wheel, but I like your solution better, assuming it doesn't bump into the fuse panel behind it. Dimensions on model ordered are 3" wide x 5" long x 1-1/4" tall. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:14 AM   #13
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I decided to buy one from Pep Boys but its a four wire and the connector that came with the Toy is a five wire. Should I be looking into a different controller?
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:48 AM   #14
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Like the idea, but it seems like the weight of the controller mounted on the "coin tray door" would pop the tray open if going over rough or bumpy roads? Mine seems to pop open at times with nothing in it?
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:02 AM   #15
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Yeah, PSJ. It's just a pressure fit, plastic to plastic. I got mine in there and it stays put pretty well. The good thing is that the small controllers don't weigh very much. Not a perfect solution, but still better than hanging out and ripping up your knees.
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:38 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zebramidge View Post
Yeah, PSJ. It's just a pressure fit, plastic to plastic. I got mine in there and it stays put pretty well. The good thing is that the small controllers don't weigh very much. Not a perfect solution, but still better than hanging out and ripping up your knees.
Always hated the "bracket below dash mount" option- in my last truck I put one it in a little sm compartment like this but without a "door" and it fit great and out of sight except for the readout or front face of the controller. Just wondered if it popped open from time to time, but as you say the weight of these small units should keep them contained except for the occasional bang! on the trail...
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:02 PM   #18
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Ditto on the great idea.

I'm going to be wedging my new brake controller in the same spot, I think. One other guy I hit up for info said he was having issues with the little door not wanting to stay closed.

Kayak Taco, did you have any problems with that? I'm thinkin' there might have to be an exterior latch screwed on or something like that to keep it from flopping open.

If the Tekonsha box I'm getting ends up being too big, this all might be a moot point, but I definitely like the idea of "stealth mode" for the little black box.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:39 AM   #19
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Nope, never have any issues with it falling down. Spent all last week on high speed logging roads in Maine and not once did it fall open.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:33 PM   #20
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I did this mod back in September and I love it!!! Never thanked you for the idea and write up. mI ordered the same controller and its been great....THANKS!
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