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RedArc Tow Pro Elite install in 2nd Gen

Discussion in 'Towing' started by 1 Bored Clerk, Jul 12, 2020.

  1. Jul 12, 2020 at 5:44 PM
    #1
    1 Bored Clerk

    1 Bored Clerk [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Member:
    #112786
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    1,647
    Gender:
    Male
    Vancouver, WA
    Vehicle:
    '13 4x4 AC TRD OR
    I recently bought a small trailer for dirt bikes and home projects. Silly considering I own a truck but my truck can no longer do truck stuff because it's a camper now. I got my small trailer with trailer brakes because long downhills with my loaded truck already tax the brakes (going to upgrade to 4runmer front brakes this year). So I need a brake controller. The Tow Pro Elite from RedArc looked like the solution that fit best for me. Mainly the simple install and seamless integration.

    Here's the trailer
    IMG_20200609_130943.jpg
    Iron Eagle 5x8. 2825lb payload capacity. 3500lb axle with electric trailer brakes. Have already used it quite a lot for dirt bikes and concrete and rented tools. It's great! Love the drop down ramp.

    I started the brake controller install today
    IMG_20200617_092631.jpg
    Main brain. This gets hidden under the dash.
    IMG_20200617_092619.jpg
    This is the control interface. The only thing you see or touch is the small knob.

    IMG_20200711_100221.jpg
    I wanted to mount the control interface in one of the unused switch plate locations under the climate controls on my 2013 TRD OR. RedArc sells a switch mount that slots right in place and it's already designed to accept the Tow Pro Elite interface. Saves me time customizing the switch blank. That would have been a sucky job as there is a lot of plastic that would need to be removed.

    IMG_20200711_100341.jpg
    IMG_20200711_100327.jpg
    See! Nice exact fit.

    IMG_20200712_164512.jpg
    You do have to widen the opening back inside the recess a little for the body of the controller to slide through. Not much though. This sort of looks hack in the photo but that's mostly the fuzziness of files plastic and the fact that the edge of the plastic was notched and I didnt need to file that much off. I did the minimum.

    IMG_20200712_164938.jpg
    Running the RJ45 style cable to the driver's area was a little but of a hassle. There is a lot of interfering plastic in the area. Plenty of room behind the switches but not much room to pass anything through to the left. Removing the climate control panel (super easy) gave me a better view. Going up and to the left saw the cable going right through a natural opening into the driver side dash area.

    IMG_20200712_165004.jpg
    Hook up the cable to the controller and snap it in place.

    IMG_20200712_165025.jpg
    Now turn the shaft of the adjuster know fully counter-clockwise before pushing the knob on. Zero gotta be at zero!

    IMG_20200712_165601.jpg
    Boom! Control interface installed.

    IMG_20200712_165552.jpg
    Looks good to me.

    Next up is the main brain and it's wiring. I need to find a suitable location under the dash then get the wiring dialed. The Tow Pro came with the wiring and plug for its end and I bought a vehicle specific plug/wiring from Tekonsha for the vehicle side. Should be easy. Hopefully I'll get that done tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
    po35042 and SC3 like this.
  2. Jul 16, 2020 at 5:50 PM
    #2
    GT3North

    GT3North Active Member

    Joined:
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    Nice install. Love that controller.
     
    1 Bored Clerk [OP] likes this.
  3. Jul 16, 2020 at 5:59 PM
    #3
    Babybluetaco

    Babybluetaco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2018
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    #275343
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    1,588
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    First Name:
    Austin
    Monroe, North Carolina
    Vehicle:
    09 5 lug
    Subd. Wanting to put brakes on my 6.5x10

    C2F09099-8201-4002-894C-83FFFE2B30E8.jpg
     
    GT3North and 1 Bored Clerk [OP] like this.
  4. Jul 16, 2020 at 7:38 PM
    #4
    1 Bored Clerk

    1 Bored Clerk [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
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    #112786
    Messages:
    1,647
    Gender:
    Male
    Vancouver, WA
    Vehicle:
    '13 4x4 AC TRD OR
    I've got another project brewing that will require some dash disassembly so I'm kind of waiting for that the finish this up. Soon!
     
    Babybluetaco likes this.
  5. Jul 19, 2020 at 3:57 PM
    #5
    1 Bored Clerk

    1 Bored Clerk [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Member:
    #112786
    Messages:
    1,647
    Gender:
    Male
    Vancouver, WA
    Vehicle:
    '13 4x4 AC TRD OR
    So, I tore copious amounts of my interior apart looking for a reasonable place to mount the brains of the controller. There isn't much space anywhere that didn't seem to either compromise access to other OEM components or expose the controller to high heat (transmission tunnel).

    IMG_20200719_144740.jpg
    We're going to focus on this area. There are pickets of space that fit the controller perfectly. One on each side of the stereo.

    IMG_20200719_144745.jpg
    Two strips of VHB tape on the backside...

    IMG_20200719_144748.jpg
    One on the front side.

    IMG_20200719_145002.jpg
    IMG_20200719_145009.jpg
    Slide the controller into this space. It's tough because the available space is the same width as the controller with tape on both sides. And now both sides are very sticky. I was able to get it worked in there and it appears very secure as it's always under a small bit of pressure. If you're confused about where this space is, here's a quick description: between the wall of the radio slot in the dash and the HVAC outlet to the left of the radio.

    I used a Tekonsha adapter that plugs right into the factory trailer brake plug on 2nd gen Tacoma's that are equipped with the tow package, which my 2013 TRD OR is. That pigtail terminates in bare wire ends. The plug that came with the RedArc also terminates in bare wire. And both plugs terminate with the same color wires in the same wire gauge...convenient! A little butt connector action with some heat shrink and loom sleeve for good measure and you have a nice harness. I left it full length and ended up with about 8" more length than I needed but that was easy to loop and ziptie to a metal bracket. I ran the wiring up over the top of everything just under the dash cover. Easy and plenty of room. The RJ45 plug ran up from the switch I had already installed earlier up where the 4wd selector is. Also much too long so I wound it up and ziptied it to the harness for the 4wd selector.

    This looks really complicated but it takes about 10 minutes to access all of the wiring and components once you're familiar with how it goes together. This was the best location I could find that allowed ready access to the plugs as well as wire routing.

    Now I just need to let the ol girl learn her orientation then do some towing! I've actually been towing really often lately. One load of 40 bags of concrete would have been excellent to see the effects of the trailer brakes. Next time!
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
    po35042 likes this.
  6. Jul 30, 2020 at 9:30 PM
    #6
    po35042

    po35042 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Patrick
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Vehicle:
    2012 SR5 4x4 ACab with Old Man Package, MT, 2.7L, Spruce Mica
    Camper Shell w/roof rack, Bed stiffeners, Step Bars
    Thanks for this, Great write up and pics. I have been eyeballing the same controller.
     
    1 Bored Clerk [OP] likes this.
  7. Jul 30, 2020 at 10:13 PM
    #7
    1 Bored Clerk

    1 Bored Clerk [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Member:
    #112786
    Messages:
    1,647
    Gender:
    Male
    Vancouver, WA
    Vehicle:
    '13 4x4 AC TRD OR
    So far so good with the controller and install. I like how integrated it appears and it keeps the interior of the truck looking clean and free of clutter.
     

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