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How to Install Brake Controller on 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited without Factory Tow Package

Question:

What do I need to do to install a brake controller on my 2020 Jeep Wrangler JL Unlimited without any factory wiring at all? Will I need to splice wires to install the controller in the cab? Thanks for your help!

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Expert Reply:

Since your 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited does't have a tow package, there are a few parts you'll need to install before you can use a brake controller, but I can recommend ones that will require little to no splicing, to make the install as simple and pain-free as possible.

First, you'll need to install a 4-Pole connector with a built-in powered module in order to safeguard your Wrangler's wiring and provide enough power to the trailer lights. The good news is that there's a simple T-One connector available from Tekonsha that won't require you to splice into your vehicle's tail light wiring. You will, however, need to run a power wire (supplied) from the converter to your Wrangler's battery.

From there, you'll need to install an adapter to convert the existing 4-Pole connector into a fully functioning 7-Way. This typically involves splicing the remaining wires: brake output and backup lights, as well as running a separate 12V power lead.

That being said, using a wireless brake controller like the Curt Echo eliminates the need to splice into your brake switch, since it pulls power directly from your trailer connector,. If your trailer isn't equipped with backup lights (most aren't), you'll likely only need to run the 12 volt hot lead to the battery and attach your ground wire to complete your installation. With the Echo, all you need to do is plug it into your 7-way, pair with your smartphone, and you’re ready to tow. Unlike traditional brake controllers that install in the cab, the Echo connects to any smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, allowing you to monitor and control your trailer's braking activity.

Below is a list of the parts mentioned above:

T-One Vehicle Wiring Harness with 4-Pole Flat Trailer Connector # 118786
7-Way RV Upgrade Kit for Trailer Brake Controller Installation # ETBC7L
Curt Echo Wireless Trailer Brake Controller # C51180

I've attached installation videos for each as well as a helpful wiring article for you to check out as well.

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