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Tacoma towing package 7-pin and 4-pin connectors

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by kss86, Feb 11, 2021.

  1. Feb 11, 2021 at 5:24 PM
    #1
    kss86

    kss86 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I just got a 2021 tacoma, it has from the factory, the 7-pin and the 4-pin trailer connector.

    The only difference between the 7 and 4 pin is that the 7 has the brake controlling circuits....

    As far as I know there is no brake controller on the tacoma is there? If I hook up a trailer with brakes, and the 7 pin connector, does the tacoma by default put some amount of current to those brakes through the 7-pin connector?


    Like, with a brake controller you can adjust the current/braking power to the trailer/connector...

    Would be neat if by default, the tacoma just put whatever percent you are currently braking, as the precent current through the brake controller.... idk... maybe idk how trailer braking works.... or how brake controllers work.... someone help me out lol

    Currently only have a 5x8 utility trailer but may soon be looking to upgrade to a trailer that can support the full towing capacity of the tacoma... maybe a 14ft, 6000lb gvwr trailer.... which would need brakes i think

    Thanks!
     
  2. Feb 11, 2021 at 5:35 PM
    #2
    GoldenBrew

    GoldenBrew Insufficient Privilege

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    2000 lb pull weight here requires electric brakes. PNP controller(s) available - maybe check the 3rd gen BST thread. connections behind your left foot kick panel. There is a thread in the 3rd gen for brake controllers with lots of information.
     
  3. Feb 11, 2021 at 5:38 PM
    #3
    kss86

    kss86 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So does that mean, essentially, that the 7-pin is just on the tacoma for show? like why would toyota put the 7-pin there stock on the tacoma and not do anything with the 3 other pins?

    Also, in my old tacoma, a 2014 2.7l 4cyl, I pulled around 3000lbs, on a 4 pin connector obviously with no brakes.... it wasnt great.... it was doable though and manageable for sure.
     
  4. Feb 11, 2021 at 5:41 PM
    #4
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ Volunteer Moderator Moderator

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  5. Feb 11, 2021 at 5:43 PM
    #5
    GoldenBrew

    GoldenBrew Insufficient Privilege

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    7 pin is for functionality of the controller/trailer electric brakes. I can't answer what happens if you use the 7pin with a trailer that has electric brakes but you don't have a controller. To my knowledge there is not a controller built into the stock tacoma electronics as opposed to some full size trucks built in America. You will need to purchase and install a brake controller to use the 7pin connection to its' intended purpose.
     
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  6. Feb 11, 2021 at 5:46 PM
    #6
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ Volunteer Moderator Moderator

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    Without the controller, the 7 pin will operate marker/brake/service lights and signals.
     
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  7. Feb 11, 2021 at 5:46 PM
    #7
    kss86

    kss86 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha, makes sense. I had assumed, it wouldnt have been hard for toyota from the factory to put a (%brake applied * 12v => 7-pin connector circuit) into the tacoma by default. I had assumed since it had the tow package and has from the factory a 4/7 pin connector that it already would have whats needed to use the 7 pin connector

    but not a huge deal
     
  8. Feb 11, 2021 at 5:47 PM
    #8
    GoldenBrew

    GoldenBrew Insufficient Privilege

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  9. Feb 11, 2021 at 5:48 PM
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    kss86

    kss86 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Right, makes sense, essentially itll work just like the 4 pin, just the lights. Interesting that they wouldnt just put a controller in from the factory, but would put a 7-pin adpater in from the factory....
     
  10. Feb 11, 2021 at 5:48 PM
    #10
    kss86

    kss86 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks I will look into this one! thanks!
     
  11. Feb 11, 2021 at 5:51 PM
    #11
    GoldenBrew

    GoldenBrew Insufficient Privilege

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    mine is installed in the void hole left of your steering column. The pocket comes out and the controller can be mounted in that location via aftermarket kit. Can't remember manufacturer but they are mentioned in one of the brake controller threads on the forum. If if find it I will tag you.
     
  12. Feb 11, 2021 at 5:53 PM
    #12
    ColoradoTJ

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    The Tundra started installing brake controllers from the factory. Can't say it was a success the first few years. They seem to work pretty good now though.
     
  13. Feb 11, 2021 at 6:00 PM
    #13
    GoldenBrew

    GoldenBrew Insufficient Privilege

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    Oh thanks! now I will need to sell my Tacoma and buy a Tundra! Crap and I just got my Magnuson Super Charger!
     
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  14. Feb 11, 2021 at 6:00 PM
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    Sharpish

    Sharpish Well-Known Member

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    All the wiring is there for the 7 pin system, from under the dash to the hitch receiver. You just need to purchase your controller of choice and plug it in.
     
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  15. Feb 11, 2021 at 6:02 PM
    #15
    cspcrx

    cspcrx Well-Known Member

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    I just ordered a Redarc Tow-pro Liberty for my 2021 TRD Sport. In my 2009 there was a nice place for it but not on this truck, no where your not going to bump it since I don’t have the pocket in the dash.

    The Redarc mounts completely under the dash and the only thin visible is a knob. They even sell a plug to go into one of the empty dash plugs for switches. At $135 for the controller and about another $28 for the plug and play harness and dash plug.
     
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  16. Feb 11, 2021 at 6:11 PM
    #16
    Tigris99

    Tigris99 Well-Known Member

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    FYI though toyota may have wired if for the brake controller that's FAR from the only purpose of 7 pin.

    First thing is that toyota is wired for as is normal with 7pin, reverse lights on the trailer.

    Secondly is because the pins used for the controller can also be used for 12v power supply to the trailer, mostly used as a charging circuit for trailer batteries (common with teardrop style and similar trailers).

    Odd they would include the 7 pin without the controller but glad they did in my case. I have no use for the controller but my trailers are 7 pin for both purposes above (both small and no need for brakes,y crv pulls them all the time
     
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  17. Feb 11, 2021 at 6:14 PM
    #17
    VanGo3

    VanGo3 Modern vehicles are ugly.

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    Why wasn’t it a success the first few years?
     
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  18. Feb 11, 2021 at 6:16 PM
    #18
    ColoradoTJ

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    Programming is what I got out of it. You could turn the gain all the way up and still have very light trailer brake voltages
     
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  19. Feb 12, 2021 at 7:29 AM
    #19
    RustyGreen

    RustyGreen If you like to drive -- drive what you like !

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    If you have ever added the proper wiring for a 7 pin plug to a vehicle -- correctly -- you would be very glad Toyota provided everything for you to plug and play the brake controller of your choice.

    As far as not providing a brake controller, the majority of buyers don't tow anything with their trucks and most of those who do tow are below the weight required for electric brakes. Finally, many folks who do tow have their favorite brand of brake controller and wouldn't like a Toyota provided one good or bad.
     
  20. Feb 12, 2021 at 7:52 AM
    #20
    kss86

    kss86 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha, this makes a lot of sense. I didnt know much about a brake controller. I had thought the brake controller just mimics the drivers brake pedal input. Like, if I press the brake pedal halfway, it applys 50% brake on the trailer, if I jam on the brakes in the car, it applys 100% to the trailer, etc. I didnt know there was more to it than that. If it is truly plug and play then that does make a lot of sense and I am glad they at least did that! I have never wired a 7-pin before, only ever a 4-pin, but am glad they at least made it easy, even though didnt include a controller.

    Thanks!
     
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