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Hopkins Trailer Wiring Harness Installation - 2020 Ford E-Series Cutaway

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How to Install the Hopkins Trailer Wiring Harness on a 2020 Ford E-Series Cutaway

Ryan: Hey everybody. Ryan here at Today on our 2020 Ford E-series Cutaway, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Hopkins 7 and 4-pole trailer connector kit. Many times the Ford E-series Cutaway is used for a number of different things, whether it be for work or like in our case, this is actually a shuttle to shuttle passengers around. The trailer connector is going to come in handy. That way you can tow a trailer safely, especially in our scenario where the van is very large on the inside, but it's really only designed to carry passengers.For example, when the van's full of people, you're going to need a way to carry all their luggage or all their other belongings.

Now you can tow a trailer and be able to get that done. And what I really like about this is the fact that we're going to have not only a four way flat connector, but also a round seven way connector.That really comes in handy, whether you're towing a smaller utility type trailer or maybe even a larger enclosed trailer. Whichever connector style that it has, you're going to be able to hook up to them. And because we have a seven way now, if you happen to pull a trailer that has brakes, you're going to be able to use a brake controller in conjunction with this. That way you can safely slow down your trailer.

Because that brake controller is going to send out that brake output signal right here to the seven way and tell your trailer brakes to apply. A seven way is also going to have a 12 volt auxiliary power.More or less what that's going to do is put out a power supply. And if your trailer has a battery on it for say a lift gate or a winch or anything like that, it's going to be able to charge your trailer battery. That way whenever you get to your destination, you know it's going to be good and you're not going to have to worry about it not working. The connector is going to last a long time.

Once you get your hands on it, you're going to be able to tell it's well built. And the caps are also going to be spring loaded. And if we hold this side back, there's actually a little rubber seal. That way when you're not using it, it sits nice and tight and keeps everything closed and helps really keep that moisture and dirt and debris out.On the seven way there's also going to be a tab here. That way when you plug your connector in, the cap is going to rest against it and that's going to prevent it from accidentally getting pulled out.

That way you're not going to really have to stress about it or worry about it whenever you're driving out in the road. And one thing I do recommend from time to time just to help prevent any potential corrosion or anything like that that might possibly happen is this to get some dielectric grease and put it on the terminals, but we're not going to yet.Now the kit does come with this bracket here that our trailer connector actually mounts into and that gives you a good start and gives you a few options on how you can mount this. However, in our case we prefer just to have it come out a little bit further and mount it a little differently. I'm using a long bracket to do that. And there's many different types of brackets available here at etrailer if you choose to do it in this orientation. Now what's different and nice about this setup compared to some of the other ways to get a seven and four pole back here is that this setup is going to essentially utilize what's already there.What I mean by that on the E-series, there's actually some wiring not too far behind this that is from the factory and has all those outputs. We just need to tie into it with our connector kit as opposed to the other ones where you more or less have to run all these different wires and tap into your tail lights and things like that. This one's just going to be much more straightforward and simple. Just an overview, this is going to be a quick, easy way to give our trailer all the necessary lighting functions.The four way connector is going to give us the tail lights and the stop and turn signals. The seven way is also going to give us those tail lights, our brake lights, and our turn signals. And it's also going to give us that 12 volt auxiliary power, the trailer brake output signal as well as the reverse lights.Now since this kit does utilize those factory wires, it's going to be really easy to get installed, shouldn't take you hardly any time at all. Speaking of which, let's go ahead and do that together now. To begin our install, we're going to need to locate our factory harness, which is here at the back on the driver's side right here in this area. If you look on the driver's side frame rail right here, we're going to have some wiring and the wiring that we need are these two cap ends. Now we can take these caps off. These are just dummy plugs, just so no water or anything gets into the connector itself. We'll pull those off. You push down on this center tab, just pull out. Do that for both of them.Now by just looking at it, we're not able to identify what wire does what as far as our functions go. What I'm going to do now is test each one of the wires. That way we can figure out what each wire does. Just to give you an example on how you would test your wiring, one plug is going to have four wires, the other one is going to have three. And so right now I have my left turn signal on. If I'm going to take my buzzer here and whenever I touch each terminal, I'm looking for a sound to match the light of our blinker.Right there, that's going to be our left turn. It's going to be the yellow wire. I'm just going to repeat that same process to find each individual wire. We're going to look for the right turn, the tail lights, our ground, we're going to have a 12 volt power, our reverse lights, and our brake output signal. Again, I'm just going to run through each one of the functions and write down what each wire does.I went ahead and tested all of her wires and what I've done is just peeled back and stripped off some of this tape and wire them just so we have more access and visibility to our wires here. And we'll go ahead and start with the plug here that has four wires going into it. The yellow wire, that's going to be our left turn signal. The green wire, that's going to be our right turn signal. The brown wire, that's going to be for our tail lights. And this thicker white wire, that's going to be our ground. Now if you move to the other plug here with three wires going to it, the blue wire, that's going to be our brake signal or our brake output signal if you're using a brake controller.The orange wire is going to be our 12 volt auxiliary power. Then there's going to be a thinner wire in here, which is gray, kind of a light gray. It looks like there's a peach or orange small stripe going down it. That's going to be for our reverse lights. Now since we're going to be hard wiring our seven way connector in what we need to do is get rid of these factory ends. I'm just going to cut them one at a time here and I'm going to leave enough wire off the back of the connector. That way if you ever did want to hook them back up for whatever reason, at least you can still have that opportunity with a little bit extra wire here.Clip those off and do the same thing for the other one. Then once all of these are clipped, what we can do is strip back the insulation. And we do that to all seven wires. Once you have it stripped, I like to give it a twist. That way all the wire stays nice and tight. Now that this factory wiring is all prepared, we can grab our new seven way and get that ready to make everything get connected.Now we can grab our new seven pole wiring and attach our butt connectors to it. I went ahead and just stripped back the insulation a little bit on each end. Now I am using heat shrink butt connectors. The ones that come in the kit will work just fine. However, these just give us a little more protection. And if you'd prefer to use these, you can find them here at etrailer. The way this is going to work is the butt connector just simply slides over one end and we'll just crimp it down. It's easier to do this side first of our seven connector. That way these are already attached and then once we go underneath the vehicle you can simply just connect the two together.We're not trying to hold everything steady and do it that way. I'm going to repeat that process just with the smaller blue butt connectors for the rest of our wires. Now that we got our new seven way trailer wiring all prepared, we can get it connected to our factory wiring. The first ones that we're going to do is this little harness here that has three wires coming out of it, our blue, orange and gray. The ones that we're going to use from our new trailer wiring will be the blue, black and yellow.Some of these will be colored for color, other ones won't, so we'll run through that now. The blue one from our new harness will go to the factory blue wire, and get it connected just like that. And so that's how you're going to connect the new trailer wiring to the factory wiring. And so I was just going to repeat that same process to get all of our wires connected. Now once we have them connected, I can show you the way it looks and that way you can get a really good idea on what wire goes to what. Once you have everything connected and if you're using the heat shrink butt connectors like I am, you'll take a heat source to get everything sealed up.This is what our wiring looks like once it's all hooked up and we have our heat shrink all sealed. Now we can go over the colors and what does what. The new seven way wiring, the yellow wire, that's going to get connected to the gray and orange factory wire, and that'll be for our reverse lights. The new seven way black wire, that's going to get connected to the factory orange wire, and that's going to be our 12 volt auxiliary power. Seven way blue wire is going to get connected to the factory blue wire and that'll be for our electric brake signal. We're going to have the seven way white to the factory white, that's going to be our ground.The seven way red wire, that's going to get connected to the factory yellow wire and that's going to be for our left turn signal. The seven way brown wires going to get connected to the factory brown wire. That'll be our tail light signal. And last but not least, we're going to have the seven way green wire connected to the factory green wire and that'll be our right turn. I went ahead and mounted our seven way bracket here that comes with the kit. This piece does. With that being said, everything's secure, you can take the other end of our trailer wiring, just loosely route it over to our mounting location. I'm just going to feed that through. And we can take our seven way plug and get that plugged in. Now before we actually plug it in, what I like to do is grab some dielectric grease and coat all these terminals. We grab our grease and this'll just help prevent any potential corrosion issues or anything like that. Smear that on real good.The plug will simply line up one way, push it down. Now the small gray tab here, it's kind of a retainer almost. We want to push that down as well. Now what you can do is connect our seven way plug to the bracket, work that in and this just pops into place. Now once we have our seven way in position, we can go back and tidy up our install look. I taped up all of our connection points here with some electrical tape. Then just use a couple of zip ties to secure our new trailer wiring to some of this existing factory wiring up along the way.Just ran it along through here, brought it up and then just drop it down to our plug. Now that we have everything hooked up, it's a good idea to test it to make sure it's working properly. I just plugged in a tester box. If you don't have one of these, you can always just use your trailer. First thing we'll do is just see if we have our 12 volt power, which we are getting that here at the DC volt gauge is indicating to us. We'll turn that off and I can hop inside of our vehicle and run through all of our signals. We'll go ahead and use our left turn, our right turn, our brake lights, our clearance lights.And since our vehicle is equipped with a brake controller, we can hit the manual override, get our voltage out there. And lastly we can put it in reverse, make sure our reverse lights are working. And since our plug is also equipped with a four way flat connector, we'll go ahead and check that too. We've got our left turn, our right turn, our brakes, and our clearance lights. And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Hopkins seven and four pole trailer connector kit on our 2020 Ford E-series cutaway.

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