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Complete Trailer Towing Setup for Trailer with Electric Brakes on 2016 Honda Pilot EX

Question:

Folks, I would appreciate just a complete list of the items I need! 2016 Honda Pilot EX, to tow a Starcraft Tent trailer w/electric brakes and onboard battery that needs to be charged on the drive. Please provide the most appropriate of each: Trailer hitch, wiring system that will provide for a electric brake system and a 12v power line to charge trailer battery on the drive, the trailer has a six 6 pin not blade connector, a small, simple electric trailer brake device, and last an oil cooler for the DYI guy to install without tearing the whole front end off of the SUV please. I keep finding the wiring devices are either 4-pin or 7 blade and I have a 6 pin connector on the trailer now and dont wish to change this. I think I saw some adapter to go from 7 blade to 6 pin but I wont swear to it. I would like to place an order for all of these items at once as my 7 year old grand-daughter wants to go camping and fishing with grandpa soonest. Your help would be gratefully accepted. Last thing, I think I might need to replace the tires they are 155R12 and I think I will replace all three as currently two tires are poly and original to the trailer from 1990s period.

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Expert Reply:

It sounds like you're going to need a hitch, wiring, ball mount and hitch ball, 7 way plug and brake controller, and we do have all of those parts you're looking for. To start, for a hitch I recommend using the Curt # C13146 you were looking at since Curt hitches have a durable powder coating that will help ensure that the hitch holds up over time.

For wiring, I recommend using the Tekonsha # 118286 since it's the easiest to install wiring harness. This is a plug and play installation, so you'll just connect this to the factory tow package wiring located behind the trim panel in the cargo area on the driver's side. You can use the Pollack # PK12711U bracket to mount this plug. This is a 7 way connector, so it's going to give you the wiring you need to operate your trailer's brakes.
For a ball mount and hitch ball, the etrailer ball mount kit # 989900 is a great choice since it comes with 2 ball mounts with varying rise/drop, 2 hitch balls (1-7/8" and 2" hitch balls), hitch pin, clips and a carrying bag. This kit will allow you to cover a variety of different trailer heights and coupler sizes, so it's a great choice to help keep you covered if you ever upgrade your trailer. You will also need the Hopkins Heavy-Duty, Coiled Trailer Connector Adapter - 7-Way to 6-Pole Round - Center Pin 12V Power # HM47083 in order to connect the trailer to a 7 way plug in.

For a brake controller, I recommend using the Curt Echo Mobile Brake Controller # C51180. This is a wireless brake controller that doesn't require anything be installed inside the vehicle; this just plugs into your 7 way connector and accepts the trailer plug. This controller does require a bluetooth enabled smart phone to be controlled, and you'll need to have an operating system of iOS 8.0 or newer or Android 4.4 or newer. If you'd rather a traditional type controller, it will likely need to be hard wired into the vehicle unless you've got a brake controller adapter plug present that would fit the # 3070-P, which would be the correct adapter for a brake controller installation on your 2016 Honda Pilot. If you wanted to go that direction or are just looking for something a little more economical the Brake EVN # TK63VR will do a great job at a great price. This is a proportional brake controller that will apply the trailer brakes in proportion to the brake pressure applied in the tow vehicle.

To replace your tires, the Kenda Karrier S-Trail ST145/R12 Radial Trailer Tire - Load Range E # AM10140 would be the closest match to you current tires and make a good choice for replacements. These are about 1/2" shorter than your 155/80r12 tires and have a 1520-lbs capacity per tire.

We don't offer an oil pan cooler for the 2016 Honda Pilot, but you could use a transmission cooler instead to help keep that cool while towing. The Derale # D13502 would be a good choice for this and will in most cases install by sliding in front of the fan or behind it.

I've linked some installation and review videos of all of these parts for you to have a look at, as well.

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