Randy's Electrical Corner - September 2013Posted in How To: Electrical on August 13, 2013
Ah, trailers—the little red wagon of the Jeep world. I used to love going riding in the little red wagon with my dad pulling it along. Of course, Earl would try to knock me out of it, but that's another story. A trailer is like a good dog, it is always there when you need it, follows you wherever you go, and doesn't ask for anything back. If I had a driver's license, I'd get a job doing something that had me towing trailers. How cool would that be? Getting paid to play with a grown-up version of a little red wagon? I think that would be a great job.
So I'm going on about trailers because I just wired up a '91 Comanche for trailer towing, and it got me thinking about other trucks and cars t hat I've helped people hook to trailers. Sure, the '91 and '92 Comanche wiring is kind of unique. They don't have yellow turn signals, so they are different than Cherokees, and they sure aren't a Wrangler, but maybe some of the tips here can help you in your future wiring.
Now this isn't as easy as just wiring up a flat four plug. No, no. Of course not. This truck needed to get a trailer brake controller and a 7-prong plug. The trailer brake controller is kind of cool. It varies how many amps it sends to electronic trailer brakes based on how you turn the dial and how hard you stop. That way, the trailer stays behind you instead of passing you. It also helps save the brakes on the tow rig. Of course car hauler trailers have brakes, but so do many off-road camping trailers, ATV trailers, and so on.
Most newer trucks and SUVs come from the factory pre-wired for a brake controller, but most of your Jeeps aren't pre-wired so you Jeep guys have more work to do. Although only one new wire needs to be run to the back of the Jeep, you can pick up all the other wires at the back of the Jeep.
A trailer brake controller and trailer plug should have been a really easy installation, and it pretty much was. But I hit a few curves along the way and remembered stuff that just might help you guys if you ever want to wire in a trailer plug or a trailer brake controller. Of course, I had to use a relay. What Randy install is complete without a relay?