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Redarc Tow-Pro Liberty Brake Controller Installation - 2015 Chevrolet Express Van

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How to Install the Redarc Tow-Pro Liberty Brake Controller on a 2015 Chevrolet Express Van

Hi there, Chevy owners. Today in your 2015 Chevrolet Express Van, we're gonna be taking a look at and showing you how to install REDARC's Tow-Pro Liberty Trailer Brake Controller. To assist us with this installation, we'll be using kit ETBC7 and REDARC's Universal Harness. Now there are two versions of this REDARC. You can buy the REDARC with or without the installation cable. This a proportional brake controller, so you'll notice if I go up to 10 here, even though I'm holding the brake, we have nothing because it's not detecting any inertia.

We're gonna go ahead and get a little speed and look at that, it detects that inertia. Now we are turned all the way up and you'll get feedback from the color of LED there based on how much output you're getting. Zero is gonna be no output with 10 being maximum output. Our blue color is no output while red is the max. And you can see as we increase that there, you'll get a shade between the blue and the red as it starts to ramp up that voltage.

And this operates just like your typical brake controller. So you can set your output with that. And if you press down on the button, we get our manual override, which is a lot of times you have a manual slide. That's very useful for straightening out your trailer. If your trailer starts to sway behind you, you can actually hold down that button just for a brief moment.

And what that does is it applies just the brakes on our trailer. So if we're driving along and our trailer swaying like this, if you apply the brake on your trailer, what that's gonna do is it's gonna make your vehicle wanna go in your trailer, wanna stop, and that separates you. But when you pull it taut like that, it pulls your trailer in a straight line. So you can use that to help mitigate sway. And your output on the manual button is dependent upon the setting.

So you'll see if I hold the button down as I turn it towards zero, it becomes less output. With zero again being no output whatsoever. So you can control how much of that manual output you have. But again, it is the same number as what your just regular driving around is. So depending on the weight to your trailer, you just wanna set it. Our Tow-Pro Liberty here is designed to work with trailers up to two axles. If you have more axles on your trailer then you might wanna consider upgrading to the Tow-Pro Elite to get the same slim design of just this little button here, but be able to have that full output for those bigger trailers. The Tow-Pro Liberty here, this is it. There is no other settings. You just get your output control, your manual button and you get a very discreet package that looks very nice when installed in your vehicle. We'll begin our installation here at the front of the vehicle. The first thing you would want to do is verify if your vehicle has a tow package or not. So if you do have the tow package wiring, you would find it behind your carpet here, peel that back, and there'll be your factory harness and stuff there. And that's where you would locate it. There would be four blunt cut wires if you did have it. This vehicle does not have a tow package so there was no connectors or anything in the back. So a 4-pole kit had to be installed and we sell those custom fit kits here at etrailer. We already put that on. And to get all the wiring up here, since this vehicle doesn't have a tow package or anything, we also use Kit ETBC7 and that'll take all the wiring that you'll need to wire up a brake controller as well as get a 7-way mounted at the back of your vehicle and functioning. So we are gonna be using that since we don't have a factory tow package. Before we get into the wiring though and hooking it up, let's go ahead and get our module mounted up. So to get our brake controller mounted up, we're gonna go ahead and take off this panel here. If you look underneath right here on the left and on the right, you're gonna have two screws. We've already removed those. Just 10 millimeter socket to zip those out of there. Once you've removed both of those, our paneling just pulls off of here. So just kinda pull outward. I recommend staying close to wherever you feel pressure, so like you see how it's starting to flex here. So I wanna pull over here where it's stuck. There we go. And we'll set this off to the side. With that out of the way, we're gonna have a lot more room to work to mount up our components. So I've already mounted up the module. I mounted it right there. You can see I just used cable ties to attach it to that location. So all I did was I slid my cable tie up. There's this black plastic piece here. The cable tie goes behind the black plastic piece around the top and then over our module here through the slits in the module. So now that you have the main module mounted up, we still have a button that we need to install 'cause the REDARC's designed to be a hidden brake controller. So this is gonna stay outta here under the dash and you're never gonna really touch that beyond putting in going the installation here. So the next thing we're gonna mount up is our button and we're gonna put that on the middle of the vehicle. So if we go to the right from our module and then up, this is our the tow button. Now if we reach our hand back here though, we can feel that there's a ton of room. I mean, there's the switch, I'm moving it around. We can easily get our hand up in here once we pull that panel off. And I know that I've got plenty of room here behind it to mount my button 'cause here's our button and you can see how long this thing is. We gotta have enough clearance back there for this to actually fit 'cause it installs behind the paneling here. We just gonna have the button sticking out. So we know this is the location we wanna put it. We're gonna put it roughly right there. So now we're gonna drill out the hole for it. The nut that you remove off of here is the size hole that you would want to drill so that way this shoulder of this nut fits in there. This is a 10 millimeter size. 3/8 is ever so slightly smaller than 10 millimeter. So I'd recommend just bumping it up a 64th of an inch from there or 30 seconds of an inch bigger than that. And that should give you enough room to get that button installed in there. All right, so we got our bit here. This is the next size up from a 3/8. It's a 25/64. So we're just gonna line it up. We wanna try to get it about centered between this button and this paneling there. Something like that should be pretty decent and send it on home. Be careful too. I'm not pushing super hard and when it grabs, it could pull your bit through. We don't want it to pull it through. 'Cause even though I got plenty of clearance back here, I can feel that there's some wire harnesses and stuff and you don't wanna wrap that around your bit. You'll be having a pretty bad time then. So we got our whole drilled out now. Let's test, let's do a quick test of the nut. The button's not gonna fit in there just yet because if you look at the button here, the top there, there's a small little LED that needs to illuminate. So we're gonna have to drill out another small hole. Let's just check our button. Cool. Our button fits in there nice and easy when we don't have a lot of slack. That's a nice fit. So at 25/64 is a good size. So now we're gonna go ahead and drill out for the button for that little LED. So here you can see this is our small washer. That's gonna go behind the button to help the LED illuminate better. So we're just gonna hold our whole button up here like this and then we'll take a small pick or something to mark where that hole is. And then we can use 1/8 inch drill bit to drill out that hole. So I'm holding it up there. We're just gonna use a pencil that we've got here. That'll work fine. We're just looking to indicate where this hole is and it's kinda hard to see probably on camera, but I can see it there. So as long as you can see it at home so you know where to drill, it's fine. We're gonna go ahead and grab our other bit, swap out to that size and we'll drill out that hole. All right, so we've got our hole drilled out. Make sure that our button lines up with it there. I mean it looks like we need to clean up the hole a little bit. The plastics fold it over inside of there. So you may need to go back with a razor knife or something and clean it up just a little bit if the button doesn't wanna insert in there. So you can just push your drill bit in and out a few times. Sometimes that works for cleaning out the little bit of debris that might be in that hole and that should work out nicely for us right there. Lines up with our hole. So we can go ahead and get our wiring now. You can see one is a 90 degree, one is a straight. We're gonna be using the 90 degree on our button side here so we can reach it, so we can go ahead and mount it. So we're just gonna grab our button here, in the back side sliding it through. You do need to line up your little LED with that hole. So there we go. We can see our LED. It's just barely kinda flush. We'll now take our washer, put it in place on there, then take our nut, slide it in between. And when you go to tighten the nut down, it is not uncommon that the washer wants to spin. And we'll probably have to just line that back up before we get it all the way snug down. And we don't wanna tighten this too tight. Threads and stuff on these nuts are pretty small so you can actually strip it out fairly easily. Once you've got it roughly started and lined up, we're gonna grab a 12 millimeter socket to finalize snugging it down. Now with this 12 millimeter socket here, and just tighten it by hand 'cause again you can over tighten this fairly easily and we don't wanna do that. We're gonna double check to make sure that we can always press our button 'cause that's how it activates the manual activation. And that feels pretty good right there. So what we're gonna do next is we're gonna turn the knob all the way counter clockwise. So I was just setting it on there, just enough to grab and be able to turn it full counterclockwise till it stops. And we're gonna switch the button around until zero is at the top where it lines up with our little hole there. And then just push that in place and just wanna make sure that with the button on there, you get a nice audible click. If not, you probably need to tighten the button down a little bit more. So now we got our button installed, our modules mounted up there. Let's go ahead and grab our harness. So we're just gonna undo this. We're gonna grab our 90 degree side, plug it into our button, then head over to wrap the rest of it to the module and then plug that one in. Now your Tow-Pro Liberty modules, they actually do not come with a harness that allows you to hook it to your vehicle, whatsoever. You wanted to get the connector end. So you will have to purchase that separately. We do have one of those that we're gonna be using. If you get the Tow-Pro Elite edition, it does come with the harness. So you might just wanna look at that, see what the cost difference is and if the extra features of the Elite lines up with what you're wanting to do, you'll get that harness with it. All right, so we got the button that we just plugged right into the back or put the cable right into the back of the button. Now we're gonna take the other end over here to our module and plug it in. And just bringing that around, logging it into our module here. It can be a little stiff of a cable sometimes to work with. Here we go. So we've got that plugged in. All the excess will be using cable ties to secure up here out of the way back behind our module. All right, so that is all the components you'll get in your REDARC kit hooked up. So this is the extra component that we we're talking about. So we're gonna go ahead and open this up. If you look on here, we've got four wires. This is your typical setup for a brake controller. We've got blue, which is the output from the brake controller. This is what actually sends it out to go back to activate your trailer's brakes. Red wire is going to be the vehicle's brake signal. So this is what tells the brake controller that you're pressing the brake. Black is just power. That'll power up our REDARC module. And white is just ground. So if you have the blunt cut wires, those blunt cut wires for the factory tow package will wire directly to each and you'll have four, and it will be exactly these four circuits that the vehicle's providing there. So you would just hook it up by function for each of these colors so that way it would work. Now we don't have that. We don't have a tow package so we're using kit ETBC7. I've already got the wires run and we'll cover that here, but we're gonna go ahead and start hooking them up. So on the wires that we've run here, the red wire is our brake signal. This one actually is not part of the ETBC7 kit, but we'll be showing you how to make that work as well. And then the black and white wire you see here is from the ETBC7 kit. The black wire is gonna be the module power and this white wires actually ran all the way back to the 7-way connector. This is gonna be the output. So we're gonna hook this to the blue wire. So I've got some excess here that we're gonna be trimming back. We'll just get our wires here. This is where our module plugs in right there. So we've got more than enough wiring here to be able to make this run. We'll probably make a nice path there that keeps it out of the way, something like this. So we're gonna trim our wires off here. Now these wires, as far as like the power wire, when I ran the wire, I don't have it hooked up to the battery yet. I ran it over towards the battery so that way it's there. But if you hook it to the battery, that means this wire's gonna be live. So now we trimmed them back, we're gonna strip back each one of these and start connecting it to our harness that we've got here. So now we're gonna hook them up. We're gonna use these butt connectors. Now you do not get any butt connectors with your Tow-Pro Liberty or with that other harness. So if you're hooking this up to a factory tow package, you're gonna have to provide your own butt connectors. If you're hooking it up to the ETBC7 kit, you will get some butt connectors in there, and that's what we're using here. We're gonna go ahead and just start with the power wire here. So we're sliding that over our power wire, crimping it on there. And on the other side, the power circuit is our black wire. These do come pre-stripped so you can just pull the end off of it there. That'll slide in to our butt connector and then we can crimp that down. All right, so that one is good. So we're just gonna move on to the next one. The white wire that we had routed here again, this white wire is the output that's going all the way back to the 7-way connector. That is what's gonna send the voltage directly to your trailer's brakes. So this needs to hook to the output wire from our REDARC module, which is going to be the blue circuit. So next we'll just grab the blue wire pre-stripped so just peel that off of there, slide that in, and then make your connection there. This red wires one that I ran myself from a fuse under the hood, you can find your brake signal there under the hood. If you have the tow package wiring, I'd recommend using that. But if you don't have that tow package wiring, your brake pedal here doesn't have a normal on/off brake switch. It has a pedal physician sensor, which is a variable voltage, which will not work with our REDARC. We needed a simple on and off, more old school style switch so we can actually get that from our fuse box. So that's what we did and we'll show you that there here when we get outside. We're just crimping that on there. And then we're gonna crimp this to our harnesses brake signal input, which is the red wire on our harness. Now for the white wire here, we're just gonna peel that back. We're gonna slide that into a ring terminal and then we'll connect that to ground. Now if you have the factory tow package, you just use a butt connector and hook it to the ground wire and your tow package wires. But if you're doing the ETBC7 kit to get it hooked up, this is how we're gonna do it. This ring terminal came with our ETBC7 kit. All right, we got that crimped on there. And I think for our ground circuit, we are probably just gonna run a self-tapping screw right into maybe this panel here or we may run it to this side and then do it from the side. 'Cause this piece right here, this flat surface is where our covering goes so we can't put it on the outside of that. But the bottom side here would work pretty well. So I think we're gonna do that. This is a little bit of a flimsy piece so just be careful when we're running your screw into it 'cause it is probably gonna bend some when you're trying to do that. We're just gonna run it straight up into the bottom there. So we're gonna grab our self-tapping screw and 1/8 millimeter socket. You can slide it through your ring terminal first if you want. I'm just gonna get the hole started since it's paneling, I'm gonna have to hold it since it's kind of flimsy. All right. So we ran it through there. I'll just take the screw back out, grab our ring terminal, slide our screw through it. We're gonna push that. I'm gonna feed it just over top of the park brake release just so it holds the wire up a little better and then we'll run that down. Okay. That's good ground connection there. So we can go ahead and take our harness now and we're gonna plug it into our module. We'll be cable tying it likely to this factory harness here to keep our wiring up and out of the way. There we go. And again, we're just gonna be securing all this wiring with the cable tie. So now we're outside the vehicle. This is the driver's side. The opening that we're looking at here has the power steering reservoir right here, the brake reservoir right there, and there's your fuse box right there. So we're just in front of the driver's seat here under the hood. I already pulled the fuse box cover off 'cause that's where we're gonna hook to our battery as to one of these studs here. You can hook directly to the battery, but it's all the way on the other side so it's a lot longer run of wire and in the ETBC7 kit you may not have enough 'cause this excess black wire that you see I got here is all the wire that we had left. So we got just enough to be able to hook up this last little bit here with what we've got. So we're gonna use a 10 millimeter socket to remove the nut off of here. Be careful when you're doing this 'cause this is live. So we're just gonna do it first just with the gun and then I'll reach in there by hand just 'cause it's such a long run. It's easy to accidentally cause a short. All right, we got that plenty of loose. I'm also gonna get my wires in my hands so we can try and do this quickly. So we got both of these here, slide the nut off, slide your circuits on and then just snug it on down. All right, so we got that most of the way snug down, we're gonna go ahead and grab our gun now again. And again, be careful. Try not to touch anything with your gun except for the one spot you wanna be. One on up there. So here we are inside again, there's our button. And if you look at the button, you can see it's flashing between green and blue. That is indicating that it is powered up, but it needs to be calibrated. 'Cause since this module can be installed in any orientation hidden behind our dash, we now need to drive the vehicle so it can learn the position that it's in, so it knows the proper movement and inertia to be able to detect to be proportional. We can still check to make sure too if you are installing the ETBC7 kit and stuff like that, you can go ahead and apply your brakes. So our test boxes here, we'll see the brakes move. You will wanna make sure you gotta turn all the way up to 10 'cause if you're at zero and you press the button, you don't really get any output. It's just nothing. So all the way maxed out with 10, hit our button and it is sending an output to our brakes. So at this point, all we need to do is go drive it to get it to calibrate. I do recommend having a trailer plugged in so that way you can get this light feedback because as you're driving it, the light that's flashing from green to blue will slowly become more blue and less green the closer it gets to programmed, and then it'll be solid blue once it's fully programmed itself. All right. So we know our controller and all that works. But for you guys at home that are gonna be using the ETBC7 kit, we're gonna cover that here for you. This is the connector that comes in the kit. Now it doesn't normally mount in this orientation, but since the customer had this type of hitch and we wanted to mount it right to here, we we're unable to use this factory style of connector because it has factory connector on it, but he doesn't have any of that wiring here on the vehicle. So we would have to run all the wires anyway and would be more costly to try to adapt it for this. So in your ETBC7 kit, you're gonna get a 4-way and a 7-way. Our four normally is on the left and your 7-way would normally be on the right, but I mounted the bracket sideways so we could put it on there, which put our 4-way at the top. Now if you do wanna mount it sideways, if this is a similar setup to what you have, the holes do not line up with your connector and the brackets pre-drilled holes. So I did have to drill my own holes for it to be able to mount on there. After we got our bracket mounted up though, which we just use self-tapping screws to run it in the side. You're gonna get extras of those in your ETBC7 kit to do so. And then you'll get some hardware, just slide your bolts through. It'll be a washer, lock washer and a nut. You'll have four of each of those to be able to secure your connector to your bracket. The 4-pole one actually just slides in there like that. Here at the back of it, it actually has a 4-pole connector coming out of it and three additional wires, I'm sorry, four additional wires. The 4-pole that comes out of this ETBC7 kit is just simply plugs into the 4-pole wiring that you have on your vehicle. And we do sell custom fit wiring harness here for 4-pole connectors if you need that. We actually installed that on here previously. So we had 4-pole wiring, that's how we get all of our lighting signals here at the back. But the remaining four circuits that we've got out here, we'll need to hook up. One of them is just ground. So ground we just use a self-tapping screw. The ring terminal is pre-installed on there and just ran it right into the paneling and we used a 10 millimeter socket to run that in. The yellow wire we're actually not gonna hook up. That's gonna be for your reverse light circuit. If you need reverse lights, you can run it up to your lighting signals up there and tap it in. In most cases, people don't usually use that. It's mostly used for like boat trailers and stuff like that for reverse lockout or if you do actually have reverse lights, but it's not very common. So we're just gonna tuck those guys out of the way and focus on the two that we really care about. And that's the blue and the black one here coming out of our 7-way connector. Blue is gonna be the output from the brake controller that's coming back here to turn the brakes on our trailer. And black is gonna be the auxiliary power circuit. So if your trailer has a battery or anything like that, it will trickle charge your battery. These wires will hook to the duplex wiring that comes in your kit. So in your duplex wiring, you're gonna have a white and a black wire. Just use butt connectors to connect those. Now we didn't use the butt connectors that came in the kit back here. We actually swapped those out with heat shrink butt connectors. I would highly recommend that for any butt connector that you're gonna use outside the vehicle where it's exposed to the elements. After connecting them, we use our heat gun to shrink it down. From there we route our wires up to the front. So we stay above the cross braces for our spare tire there. It comes out the other side here. Once we come out the other side, we do poke it over the frame to where it's just on the other side of the frame there 'cause we have a factory wiring harness that runs pretty much all the way up on the outside of the frame and we'll follow that up. So here we are on the outside of the frame. You can see this is the factory harness we we're talking about. We just follow this harness all the way up. So just use your cable ties. There's another one I put on there. Just keep it on, following this harness. When we get up to here, we just can even follow the same path that all that factory harnesses run. And we're gonna go back there and we'll trim off all of our zip tie ends. But you wanna make sure you get everything nice and secure where it's not gonna get damaged by anything. So that's why I always recommend following your factory harness 'cause it's routed in a way it's gonna avoid hot things like you're exhaust and moving components like your steering and suspension. Now once we get past the body mount located right there that if you peel back on this rubber piece, you can actually see where the harness continues on. You can just poke most of your wiring up in there and then we can head back up top in our engine compartment. We should be able to reach down and grab our wiring from there. All right, so down in that area there where you see that factory harness, that's exactly where the little rubber piece was. We just reached out and pulled it up. Here's our wiring here. I pulled it up so it was tight to the bottom of the body to keep it away from our suspension components. Then we just go up to the factory harness up here and we secure it with a cable tie there. Now from here we do have to cut the gray duplex off from here onward to the rest of our wires. So once you get to this point, we don't want any more duplex on it 'cause they gotta branch out from there. The white wire routes inside because that's the brake output. We hook that to our REDARC's brake controllers blue wire. The black wire here will go over to a couple of circuit breakers and we just mounted these circuit breakers right here using self-tapping screws that come in the kit. Just ran it right in. The wire coming out of the duplex goes to the this one over here because this is the 40 amp breaker. Our 40 amp breaker in our kit is the one that we wanna use for the charge line that's going back to the 7-way connector. You'll also get a 20 and a 30 amp breaker in your kit. We chose to use the 30, but you can either wanna work, the more axles your trailer has, the higher breaker you would want. We just put the 30 in there just in case you have upgrades to bigger trailer and stuff like that down the road. So this one we used the small ring terminals in our kit and we attached it to the silver post and this runs inside. This is the black wire that we hooked up to the black wire on our REDARC to power it up. And you'll tighten down these nuts here using a 3/8 socket. The bronze posts are the battery side of our circuit breakers. So both of those run down and we'll connect to the fuse box on the battery. You saw us hook that up. But this is the part where I tell you to, you don't wanna hook those up until the very end so that way your wiring's not gonna be live on either of those while you're getting everything set up. That's the last connection you'll wanna do. So now we need to get our brake signal and now if you have the factory harness inside, you don't need it. But for our ETBC7 kit here, we need a way to get an on/off signal when our brakes are present. And there's an upfitter fuse that's located here. This is designed for auxiliary outputs such as your brake controller. There's a 15 amp fuse installed in there. It's fuse number 68. Now what we did is we've actually pulled that fuse out of there and we're using this fuse harness here and just pull that out of there. This little fuse tab harness, you'll take the fuse you pull out and put it in the bottom row. And the top row, this is for whatever we're gonna be using the circuit for and we're just using it for the brake signal. So I just put a small five amp fuse in there 'cause there's not a high amperage circuit that we're running there. So this just needs to poke back into the fuse hole that we had removed it from. But it is important you insert it the correct direction. One of those two prongs in there for your fuse is the hot prong. The other one is the output. We wanna make sure that the hot prong goes on this side here. The output is the side that has the wire coming out of it. So I've already tested and it is this side here. If you wanted to test this at home, you would use your test light and have an assistant turn the key on and hold the brake down. And then you can touch the prong and hook your test light to see which one lights up. But we know it's the one towards this side right here closer to the stack of fuses. So we're just gonna slide that back in there and that'll ensure that we get proper circuit protection that the power goes up. It travels through our five amp fuse and out this wire, which we just route inside and connect to the red wire on our REDARC harness to get that brake signal. We've got our REDARC installed, then I do have our test box plugged into it so that way we're gonna get some feedback. And you'll notice here as we drive, every time I hit the brake, it's gonna get a little bit less green and a little bit more blue. You wanna drive on a straight path, maybe get up to about 15 miles an hour and then hit the brakes and that will help it learn its position. But we're already off where about 50% blue and green on time now. So we've got a pretty good long way with just a couple of presses there. So let's just head back towards the shop now. All right, and there it is solid blue. So it's about eight brake presses. Probably took us maybe two to three minutes to get it programmed, but it is now solid blue, which means it knows its orientation, it's ready to work. And that completes our installation of REDARC's Tow-Pro Liberty Trailer Brake Controller on our 2015 Chevrolet Express Van..

Info for this part was:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Joshua S
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Joshua S
Employee Jacob T
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Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
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Dustin K
Employee Chris R
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Chris R
Employee Shane H
Test Fit:
Shane H
Employee Conner L
Test Fit:
Conner L
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F
Employee Clayton O
Test Fit:
Clayton O
Employee Kevin C
Test Fit:
Kevin C
Employee Bradley B
Test Fit:
Bradley B
Employee Jonathan Y
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Jonathan Y
Employee Michael B
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Michael B
Employee Ryan G
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Ryan G
Employee Thomas T
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Employee Schuyler H
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Schuyler H

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