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Redarc Tow-Pro Elite Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2019 Ford Ranger

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How to Install the Redarc Tow-Pro Elite Trailer Brake Controller on a 2019 Ford Ranger

Hi there Ford owners. Today in your 2019 Ford ranger, we're gonna be taking a look at showing you how to install REDARC Tow-Pro Elite brake controllers. This controller is designed to work with trailers with one to three axles. And this is what our brake controller looks like when it's installed. And this is the best feature of this brake controller is how little footprint it takes up in your vehicle. Really all that you're gonna see is this tiny little knob here.

And this is how you're gonna make all your adjustments to your brake controller is right through this knob. It even has a manual adjustment just like on your traditional brake controllers with the manual slider. This one, you just push in on the knob to apply the brakes. And it's just like your manual slider. The only difference here between the manual slider is you can kind of vary in between what the slider.

With this one, rather than being able to vary in between it's just on or off. But as you turn the knob to the gain setting that you desire it is gonna apply it to that amount. So if you want it to, you could press it in and you could slowly ramp it up or just instantly be at the highest pressure however you'd like it. But the biggest thing about this is that it's all done with this tiny little knob. We don't have a big brake controller mounted underneath our dash near our steering wheel where we're hitting our knee on it when we're getting in and out, accidentally messing up our settings and we're bumping into it.

And it's just cumbersome to have another unit here. And most of the units that install on your vehicle underneath the column in this area, they have very particular mounting orientations that they need to be in limiting where you can place them in the vehicle. Which is why they often end up being here, 'cause this is the best spot, even though it's not an ideal spot, it usually is the best. With the REDARC, the control module can be mounted in any orientation and we can put it anywhere we want. We've actually got ours hidden behind the dash panel here, and we can easily see it by pulling down our dash panel as our module is located right here.

With this being remotely mounted, we can keep it nice and hidden giving us a much nicer looking install and also just being more comfortable here in the driver's seat 'cause we have no large clunky brake controller, just this nice little integrated knob in our dash. And when it's in a blue light mode like you see it here, that indicates that we're in proportional mode, which means it's gonna be using that inertia sensor to determine how hard to apply the brakes on our trailer. We can adjust the sensitivity with our knob here and you see, as I turn it up, it's increasing because I do have my foot on the brake right now and it goes from a shade of blue to a shade of red. To change from the proportional mode which is our blue light mode here, we can turn out full counter-clockwise to zero holding our brake pedal and then double tap our knob. And that's gonna switch our light to the green light which is gonna put us in user control mode. In the user control mode, it ignores the inertia sensor just applies the brakes fully to whatever we have set on our adjustment knob here. So if we have it set to 10, every time we hit the brake, it is gonna apply it to that maximum brake pressure and vice versa. If we go down, it's going to do it to just a small amount, but it's only going to do it to exactly what we have set. It's not gonna be proportional in any way or use that inertia sensor to gradually apply and release the brakes as necessary to make it feel natural. This is most often used in off-road applications where you are in a lot of mud or loose gravel where you don't necessarily want it to be proportional, you just want your brakes to work 'cause you're in those more slippery conditions. You can switch back from this mode by just double tapping on the knob again to go back to the proportional mode. Now, as far as user input, that's really all there is to it. You can adjust the gain right here and you've got your two different modes. This brake controller does work with electric over hydraulic brakes but requires no user inputs. It automatically is able to detect the appropriate brake output for the type of system that you have. So it's gonna work with those electric over hydraulic just fine without you having to tell the brake controller that you are working with electric over hydraulic system. It also works with 24 volt systems. So that's pretty nice. A lot of brake controllers are limited to a 12 volt system 'cause the most common for vehicles, but there are 24 volt vehicles out there. And this one is ready to work with them out of the box without the user having to do anything but hook it up like they would normally. We'll begin our installation inside the vehicle on the driver's side. The panel just below the steering wheel, we're gonna take this panel down. There's an opening right here for your hand to go and you can just pull down just like that and it's gonna pop down and it's just gonna hang down like that. Now I wanna go ahead and get it out of the way. There's just two pins here that you'll need to unscrew the center and then you can pop the pin out. So we'll use our Phillips screwdriver to remove those. Once you got the center tab out, we're just gonna pull that out. We'll then pull the other one in the center out and then our panels now just kind of pop out of there. These little pins are gonna come out nice and easy. Well then just get this guy out of the way. And now we wanna mount the controller that comes with your kit. The controller does need to be mounted securely. We can mount it in pretty much any orientation that we want to, but it needs to stay in this position after you've got it mounted 'cause it's gonna calibrate itself and if it moves from this position after calibrating, it's not gonna function properly. We've decided to Mount it right here to the backside of this brace so it's nice and solid. I drilled a couple of holes right here and I just use the module on the other side as a template, just mark those holes and drill through. Once we've got those mounted down, you will have to provide your own hardware to do so. You can get that at your local store. And down here on the bottom, it didn't really sit very flush against the panel, but to ensure it didn't move around or vibrate or anything, I just drilled a couple of holes here in the bottom of this piece of metal and I ran some zip ties through it, to zip tie it through the bottom holes to ensure that it was gonna stay nice and secure. With the main brake controller module mounted up, next we're gonna need to mount the remote control. And this is mounted wherever really you'd like, and it's gonna plug in and give you remote capability. It's controlling the module so it can stay hidden behind this panel, but we can still access it to manually activate the brakes and adjust the sensitivity as necessary. Our customer wanted his to replace the 12 volt outlet on the driver's side. Since he has two, he's got one over here on the passenger side. So we're gonna be taking this out and REDARC does have a cover available. This cover is designed for GM and Isuzu vehicles, but it does work on some Ford vehicles. And this will snap right into place where our 12 volt outlet is. So now we know we're gonna put it. We need to get access to this to be able to put it there. There's a panel like this on each side of our radio and these just pull right off to remove them. So we're just gonna grab it here at the bottom and we're just gonna pull straight towards us, and that's just gonna pop right off of there. You can see the tabs here that held it in place, and those are just quick pull tabs so they just pull off. If any of the little white clips fall off, simply they're just gonna fall down on the carpet. You can grab those and they just slide right back on and then you're good to go. We're gonna remove the panel on the opposite side. Now on the same way, it's just gonna pull right off. Behind those panels, we're gonna have one screw on each side that we're gonna take off. And this is gonna use a seven millimeter socket to remove it. And we'll just take out the other side. And our panel will now slide out of there that has our 12 old outlets attached to them. In the center here, there are a couple of the little white pins like we had before holding it in. So it is gonna take a little bit of effort to get it out. But if we just grab it on one side and just pop that one side out and we'll grab it on this side, pop that side out and then we can slide it forward. And now we have our connectors, we'll need to disconnect from the backside of our 12 volt outlets. To remove the connector, you can press on the release tab here at the back, but I found that you have to really squeeze hard and I don't wanna hurt my thumb. So if you take a small screwdriver, you can actually just press in on the release tab here and then just push it out and then pull it like that. It's a lot easier on your hands. We're gonna do the same thing on the other side. So we can get this panel out of here to make it easier to work with. Now, with our panel out, we're gonna take out the 12 volt outlet on the driver's side because that's where our customer wants it. So if we flip it over and look at the backside here, on each side, so this is the top of your switch where it shows top 12 volt, this flips up. So it's directly 90 degrees on each side of that. You're gonna have a little tab and you can just take your flat bladed screwdriver, and we're just gonna kind of just put it in there and twist to press in on that release tab, and we're just gonna be kind of pushing and pulling outward as we're doing that. We're gonna work the other side out as well the same way. And it is a really tight fit. So you're gonna have to kind of work at it, but it will pop out of there. Just these tabs are just a little stubborn. I found it was kinda easy to hold it like this with my thumb on the back pushing it out as I'm popping out those release tabs. Usually it's easiest if you get one side to come out first like that. Once you get the one side popped out, it usually makes it a lot easier to keep that pressure on the back and press in on those release tabs and then it'll just pop right on out of there. We can then take our new mounting switch and this is going to fit right into the hole. So we're just going to slide this guy in here, making sure we've got it in the correct orientation so we can easily read it and then snap it in place. Because once you snap it in, it does fit pretty snug in here. You can turn it, but it is quite difficult to turn. So if you can line up those lettering first, it'll make things a little bit easier. We can now put the switch parts that come in your kit. You're gonna have a knob, a ring that's gonna cover it up and also help align it as well as our nut here. Our switch is gonna poke in the backside of our switch here. And if you are using this mounting tab here, then you don't need to use the gray one, the gray ones to cover up if you just rolled out a hole on a panel, it can cover up any nasty drill marks giving it a nice little bezel. But we don't need that bezel here, it's actually gonna be in our way a bit. So we're just gonna put the nut on and then tighten it down. Once you've got it tightened down. I do recommend going a little bit more snug just to make sure your switch goes on and can click. So when you put your switch on, you wanna make sure you turn it all the way counter-clockwise. that's going to be zero straight up and down where a little light is there. So we're gonna take the zero on our knob and we're gonna line it up and push it in place making sure that when we're counter-clockwise it does light up with that little light. And you also wanna make sure that you can easily click the button. If it doesn't click and it hangs up, then you probably don't have the nut tight enough yet and just snug it down a little bit more, and then you'll be able to press on it like that. We'll now I need to connect our switch to our module. And this is the wire that comes in your kit. It's an ethernet style cable. It does have a 90 degree on one side and a straight fitting on the other. So before you go right in this cable, you'll probably wanna determine which side you want each one to be on. And I just went ahead and just kind of tested it by plugging it in. And the 90 degree, in our case, we don't really need a 90 degree. So this is gonna be the harder one to find a place for it to go. But if we test it here on the backside of our switch, it actually clicks in and fits very nicely right down our panel here. So we're gonna use the 90 degree on this side. So we're gonna disconnect it now 'cause it's gonna be easier to run it from the module over to this cavity. And once we've got it routed from here to there, we'll be able to put this back together. So to get our cable routed over to the module, there's an opening just right here so we can poke the wire in and it's gonna come out right here. And then we're just gonna plug the straight side here into the module. When I'm out of the module, I did make sure to put the ethernet female port side facing over this way and our four-pole connector side facing towards the fusebox here. So we're just gonna plug this in now. Click, and then we can route this cable over. We've got a lot of access here. We're gonna probably just take the excess and bundle it up back here behind our paneling. So for now we can just leave the excess over here until we get everything plugged in and put back together. Which is what we're gonna do now. We're gonna go ahead and plug this in and get this put back together here in the middle. So we'll just plug the 90 degree in to the back of our switch. We're then gonna route our panel back into place, plugging in the passenger side 12 volt outlet. The driver's side one, we're just gonna leave disconnected here behind our paneling. And now when we go to slide this back in. We just wanna pay attention to our cable and make sure we don't pinch it behind our panel. So this is where we're gonna start feeding this wire, the excess now over towards the module so that way we can ensure we don't damage it when going back together. When you're going back together, there are some small little tabs here that just poke into these holes, those little alignment holes. So make sure you've got both the alignment holes lined up first. And once you've got both of them lined up, we can then just take our panel here and click it back into place. You may need to just double-check this connector here. It might be in your way, just kinda tuck it back out of the way. And that'll just pop right back into place. And then just double check those, make sure those are in. Everything is looking good there so we can re-install our screws. And then we can snap our side panels back into place. These just push right back in just to make sure you've got all those lined up for you. Give it a nice little push. We'll do the same thing on this side. So now we've got our switch up to our module. We need to now hook our module to the vehicle. Our ranger here has a prep package already on it and has a seven way and a four way at the back. And if you've got both the seven way and four way at the back, you've got the wires you'll need a hook a brake controller up here at the front. There are just gonna be bare wires and they're located here where the wires come out of the firewall right here. And then they kind of come out and they are taped up right here. You can kind of see where they're looped up right there. And these are wires, they've got some blue tape wrapped around it. So we're just gonna take this blue tape off and separate out our wires. And then we can start hooking them up. The blue tapes pretty thin so you can really just rip through it. And here you can see the four wires that we're gonna need to connect. They do have the ends, just heat shrinked off. So that way they can't touch anything, but we're gonna need to access that. So we're gonna strip back each one of these four wires. So we've got them all stripped back now. We're gonna go ahead and start crimping our wires to our harness. We're gonna start with the yellow wire with the orange stripe, and this is our hot wire. So we're gonna crimp a Butt connector on here. We're using yellow Butt connectors for these larger wires. Now Butt connectors don't come in your kit, but you can get Butt connectors here at Once you've got it crimped on to the vehicles wire, we're then gonna crimp it onto our harnesses wire. And this is what your harness looks like. It's got a four prong connector with four wires coming off of it. Our positive wire on our harness is gonna be the black wire. So we're gonna hook that one to this one to get our power. And then we're just gonna finish crimping the rest of our colors together here. The blue wire is gonna go to the blue wire on the vehicle. So those two colors are gonna match. The white wire is gonna go to the white wire on our vehicle. So those two colors are gonna match. And then the last wire we have here is a violet wire with a white stripe that's gonna go to our last remaining wire on our harness which is the red wire. So we're just gonna get those crimped together. And for the smaller gauge wires here, we're gonna be using blue Butt connectors. We can now take our harness and we're gonna route it over to our module and then plug it in. And I'm just gonna go through the opening next to the fuse panel right here. We're then just gonna bring this over and plug the connector right into the module. The release tab is gonna be on this side and you'll be able to access it through the opening that we have here in the metal panel that we mounted the module to. So here you can see our release tab through there. So if we do need to ever disconnect it or make any repairs, we can easily get this disconnected down the line. At this point now, we're gonna take our wiring and we're gonna just take the excess that we've got here. We're gonna bundle up and zip tied all together to make sure everything stays nice and neat. Well, just ensure nothing can fall down into our pedals or anything like that or anything like that. I think we are just gonna zip tie up the excess wire that we had for the other harness as well. With everything all zip tied up and clean, we can then reinstall our lower panel here from underneath where our steering column is just reinsert the pins. And then once you put the pin in, you can put the center back in to lock it in place. Once you've got both of your pins installed, the panel will just roll up and snap right back on. At this point now, we'll need to take the vehicle out and we're gonna have to go for a little test drive here in order to calibrate for the position where we've mounted it. With all of our panels back in place, the installation on our vehicle as far as putting anything on is complete. At this point, we do need to go for a test drive, but we're gonna drive it around to get the system to calibrate. We're now in the vehicle, we're gonna go for a drive here and we've plugged in a trailer. And you can see here that it's flashing blue and green, and this is indicating that it needs to be calibrated. And it calibrates itself automatically. You just need to drive the vehicle normally, and it will calibrate itself. And it does this whenever you're stopping. As you're stopping, the inertia sensor is gonna be able to detect the direction of travel and how quickly we're breaking and it's gonna be able to calibrate itself. Now it could take up to 20 break cycles, starting in stopping for this to occur, but as it does calibrate itself, you're gonna see more and more blue and less green is gonna be flashing with a more blue on time than the green on time. If you don't have a trailer connected, then you're probably not gonna see any lights lit up here. It is still gonna be calibrating itself. If you don't have your trailer connected, you're just not gonna get this visual indicator of what's going on. We're just gonna go and put it in drive now, and then we're just gonna get up to speed and stop a few times here and we're gonna see how long it takes to calibrate. Doing a few of these, it just seems to vary from vehicle to vehicle, how quickly it's able to learn its direction of travel and also it seems to be determined upon how you've oriented the brake controller. All that kind of just plays in a factor in how quickly it's able to determine its position. And as you can see we're driving here, we've got a lot more blue than we do green now flashing. So it's getting pretty close to being calibrated now. And it looks like we've got a solid blue light now. One more stop just to make sure. And that completes our calibration. Now that we've got a solid blue light, that means that it is no longer needs to determine its position. It's completed doing that and it's ready for full function and full operation. And that completes our installation of REDARC Tow-Pro Elite trailer brake controller on our 2019 Ford Ranger..

Kevin B.


I installed one in my sisters 2022 with a little problem. My arms don't bend that way to get to the wires under the dash. I took a knife and carefully removed more of the black tape back to the breakout in the harness and that made things a little more accessible. The control knob didn't get mounted yet. I just left it on the consul beside the shift lever and will install it later. I could not remove the side panels I called Ford and they recommend bring the vehicle in because there is a special tool to release them. Everything seems to be working, the control knob changes colors with the trailer connected to the truck. Haven't road tested yet, the trailer isn't ready to go yet.

Etrailer Expert

David B.


Kevin, you can see in the video about the 7:00 mark that you can pop the panels off by hand. I don't know what the dealer was talking about but the only special tool you would need is a trim tool that you can get anywhere or a flat head screw driver.

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