How to Install Electric Trailer Brakes: A Comprehensive Guide

Electric trailer brakes are a crucial component for ensuring safe towing. They provide stopping power to the trailer, helping the driver to slow down or stop the vehicle when necessary. If you’re a new trailer owner or simply looking to upgrade your braking system, you may be wondering how to install electric trailer brakes. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to install electric trailer brakes, along with tips and tricks to make the process as smooth as possible.

How to Install Electric Trailer Brakes: A Comprehensive Guide

Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Materials

Before you begin installing electric trailer brakes, you’ll need to gather the necessary tools and materials. Here are the items you’ll need:

  • Electric trailer brake kit (make sure it’s compatible with your trailer and towing vehicle)
  • Jack and jack stands
  • Wrenches and sockets
  • Wire strippers and crimpers
  • Electrical tape
  • Screws and bolts
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Lubricant

Once you have all of the necessary tools and materials, you’re ready to get started.

Step 2: Install the Brake Assemblies

The first step in installing electric trailer brakes is to install the brake assemblies. Follow these steps:

  1. Place the jack under the trailer and raise it until the wheel is off the ground. Secure the trailer with jack stands.
  2. Remove the wheel and tire from the axle.
  3. Locate the mounting flange on the axle, where the brake assembly will be attached.
  4. Bolt the brake assembly to the flange using the screws and bolts provided in the kit.
  5. Repeat this process for the other wheel.

Step 3: Run the Brake Wiring

Once the brake assemblies are in place, it’s time to run the brake wiring. Follow these steps:

  1. Run the brake wiring from the brake assemblies to the brake controller.
  2. Strip the ends of the wires and crimp them to the appropriate terminals on the brake controller.
  3. Cover the connections with electrical tape to protect them from moisture and debris.
  4. Connect the ground wire to a clean, bare metal surface on the trailer frame.
  5. Test the wiring with a circuit tester to ensure that it’s working properly.

Step 4: Adjust the Brakes

After the wiring is complete, it’s time to adjust the brakes. Follow these steps:

  1. Adjust the brake shoes to ensure that they’re properly aligned with the brake drums.
  2. Use a brake adjustment tool to adjust the brakes until they’re just touching the drums.
  3. Back off the adjustment slightly to allow for free wheel rotation.
  4. Test the brakes by pulling the breakaway switch on the brake controller. The trailer wheels should come to a stop.

Step 5: Lubricate the Brake Components

The final step in installing electric trailer brakes is to lubricate the brake components. Follow these steps:

  1. Apply lubricant to the brake shoes and the pivot points on the brake assemblies.
  2. Lubricate the brake adjuster screw threads.
  3. Reinstall the wheel and tire on the axle.
  4. Lower the trailer off the jack stands.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed electric trailer brakes. Before hitting the road, be sure to test the brakes again and make any necessary adjustments.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need to install electric trailer brakes?

If your trailer weighs more than 3,000 pounds, it’s recommended that you install electric trailer brakes.

Can I install electric trailer brakes myself?

Yes, with the proper tools and materials, you can install electric trailer brakes yourself.

Miss Angela

Miss Angela is a technology enthusiast and expert. With a passion for all things tech, she spends her days researching, testing, and writing about the latest gadgets, laptops, printers, cameras, headphones, and more. Her goal is to provide in-depth, unbiased reviews and news to help her readers make informed purchasing decisions. With a background in both technology and writing, Miss Angela is dedicated to delivering high-quality content that is both informative and entertaining. Follow her journey as she explores the latest and greatest in the world of technology on

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