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etrailer Trailer Brake Controller Universal Kit Installation - 2019 Toyota Highlander

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How to Install the etrailer Trailer Brake Controller Universal Kit on a 2019 Toyota Highlander

Conor: Hey, everybody. Conor here today at We're going to be going over and showing you how to install the universal trailer brake controller install kit here on our 2019 Toyota Highlander. So our universal trailer brake controller install kit is going to do just what it sounds like with the title. It's going to allow us to install a trailer brake controller and tow a trailer with brakes using our Highlander here. So it is a universal kit.

So we're going to be able to use it on any vehicle, but it is going to be a perfect option here for this Highlander. It does come with everything we need for this process to install a brake controller. Some of these components are going to be the circuit breakers. We're going to have the four and seven way trailer connector adapter, and we're also going to have our bonded wire as well as any of the other connectors we need to make this possible.So what's really nice about this kit is that we're going to have both a four and seven way trailer connector. So we have the four way on the side here, when we're towing our smaller trailers without brakes.

We're also going to have our seven way over here, when we do need to tow that larger trailer. And it's going to have an additional circuit for both the battery charge line, as well as the electric brake output. So with the seven way, we're going to get this standard stop and turn signal circuits. We're going to get the running light circuits. We're also, as we talked about, we're going to get a battery charge line circuit, which is going to allow us to charge the battery on our trailer.

We're also going to get the brake output circuit, which is for the brake controller. And then last but not least, we're going to have a ground in the reverse light circuit.Now the reverse light circuit, keep in mind, isn't really going to be used on the majority of applications, but some boat trailers do have this. So if you do have reverse lights and you'd like to utilize them, this kit here is going to allow for that. So our kit here, it does come with this bracket, which attaches both of our trailer connector to another bracket on the vehicle here. So if you have the factory hitch on your Highlander, you're going to have this little bracket welded to the trailer hitch, that'll allow you to attach the bracket for the trailer connectors.

So that can get kind of confusing, but essentially there's going to be two brackets. The main bracket here for our trailer connector and then the bracket that allows us to attach our trailer connector to the trailer hitch. If you don't have a factory hitch, you have an aftermarket hitch.We actually sell some no-drill brackets. That'll pretty much duplicate or mimic the same bracket we have here. They offer a no-drill design. They simply wrap around the cross two on the trailer hitch and provide a connection point for our bracket here. So we talked about the kit being universal, and that's both in regards to the vehicle. It can be installed on and also the brake controller it's used with. It's going to allow you to use pretty much any brake controller. We have a great selection here at etrailer. So I definitely recommend you check those out. So in regards to install, this is definitely something you guys can do at home by yourselves. You really don't need any specialized tools and you really don't need to have a lot of mechanical know-how to be able to do this on your own. So as regards to the seven and four way, this is actually going to plug into a four way.So we're actually going to need one of these already on our vehicle. If you don't already have an existing four way, you can pick one of these up here at etrailer. We have tons of great plug and play options, but let's go ahead and jump into that installation now so we can show you how it's done. So the first step is going to be to go ahead and mount both of our trailer connectors here. Now we touched on this earlier, but if you have any factory hitch, there's going to be a bracket that we can utilize. But if not, you're going to need to pick up an additional no-drill bracket here through etrailer. So once we get our trailer connector mounted, we can go ahead and begin making a few of our connections. The first one we're going to do is going to be the four-pole, which is going to come through these two adapters here.We have part of the four-pole here, and that's going to plug into the vehicle side four-pole on the other side of here. Now in order to keep those together, in order to keep them from coming undone, we went ahead and use the zip tie to squeeze them as well as some electrical tape, rather, to make sure we seal the connection. So we don't get any electrical issues caused by water getting in there. So the next thing we're going to do is go ahead and ground our white wire. As you can see here, we just have it ran through here. We used a self tapping screw into the vehicle's body. We're going to have a few more wires. We should have three wires left a black wire, which is for the battery charge line, a blue wire, which is for the brake output and then a yellow wire, which is for the reverse lights.So keep in mind a lot of trailers don't actually have this reverse light circuit, so we just went ahead and tape that off. But then we're going to take our black and our blue wires, and we're going to attach them to the gray duplex wire that comes in our kit. If we look up here, we can actually see that duplex wire. Now, what I did is I attach the. so the duplex wire has a white and a black wire. I attach the black wire from the duplex wire to the black wire from our trailer connector, and then the white wire from the duplex wire to the blue wire from our trailer connector. So once we have those connected to the duplex wire, we went ahead and ran the duplex wire all the way up to the front of the vehicle. We'll show you the path we took for this.So a little tip when you're installing your four way, there's actually going to be a nice little grommet here, right behind the rear wheel, in this little pocket. We actually just cut a slit in that grommet. And then it allows us to pass our trailer connector from inside the vehicle where the factory tow package port is and run the wiring harness down to the plug for our four to seven way adapter. So here's how we got the duplex wire to the front of the vehicle. Actually used a ring clamp here just to hold it from falling down. We have it ran along here. And then I actually have it ran over the sub frame here. So we have it ran all the way at the top of the sub frame. And I'll be able to show you where we came out over here, but we're going to come down in this pocket here, which is right between the sub frame and our gas tank.And basically what I did is, I have it ran over this bracket to secure it. And then my first zip tie is actually going to be down here. So basically for the rest of this install or for the rest of the length that we're running this wire, we're going to be zip tying our duplex wire to some existing panels, some existing wires and cables to keep it from falling down. But we have it ran above this little black plastic panel here, all the way up to the front of the vehicle. Now we didn't actually remove this panel completely, there's going to be some 10 millimeter screws on the outside. There's two or three of them that we removed so we can drop down the panel.And then we just ran the wire on top of this panel all the way up to the front here. So once we get to the front of the vehicle here, about the midway point on this black panel, right around on this area here, we're going to need to separate our black and white wires. Because the white wire, which if you remember, we attached it to the blue wire from our trailer connector. That's going to be for the brake output circuit, and that actually needs to be run inside the cab of the vehicle.Now we'll show you a grommet next to show you how we got that white wire up inside the vehicle, but the other wire, the black wire, that's the battery charge line circuit that needs to go to the vehicle's battery. So we continued to run that wire actually all the way to the front. And you can see where it just comes out of our black panel here. We have a couple of zip ties and basically what I did from there is I went ahead and ran that wire all the way up into the engine bay, pulled it through, and we'll show you that a little later. So we're inside the vehicle here, we're directly underneath the driver's side floorboard. So the first thing you're going to have to do is you're going to have to take out, there's going to be two panels, we have a kick panel, which is actually combined with our threshold panel, we need to remove both of those.It's super simple to do so there's just going to be some push fasteners along here. And then one little hand up we'll loosen by hand on the inside there. But once we have those panels removed, we can go ahead and peel up some of this fabric and our carpet. In about under this area here, sort of directly below this carpet around this area, we're going to have a grommet. So I went ahead and removed that grommet, and I just fed our white wire from underneath up through that grommet and pulled it into the cab here. So this wire is going to be for the brake output. We're actually going to attach this directly to our brake controller, to the blue wire on our brake controller to be exact.So we're up here in the engine bay now, and we can just barely see our black wires that we have snaked back on the backside of the firewall up into the engine bay. We can see them tied here to this cooler reservoir line. And we basically just have it ran the backside of our fuse box here and now you're going to notice our two circuit breakers. So we're only going to focus on one now, which is going to be our 40 amp circuit breaker. So we have our black wire, that came from the trailer connector, it's going to be ran to the auxiliary post on our circuit breaker, which is this bottom one here. We're going to attach that a ring terminal. Again, this comes in the kit. So the other terminal on our circuit breaker, this top one, which is copper, this is going to be labeled battery, and this actually needs to be run to the positive battery terminal.So we'll trace this back down here using our black connectors, coming along here. And we actually have it ran to the stud here on the positive battery terminal. So this is going to be a 10 millimeter socket it takes to remove this and we'll attach it with the larger ring clamps. So you're going to get two different sizes of ring clamps. We're going to get these larger stud ones, which we have here, and then the smaller stud ones, which go to the circuit breaker. So that'll finish up our connections for our trailer connectors, but there are a couple more things we still need to do. The next one is going to be power to our brake controller. So essentially we're going to be doing a similar process to how we just did it with a battery charge line. We're going to first start by mounting either our 20 or 30 amp circuit breaker.For our Highlander here, 20 amps should be fine. So we go ahead and mount our circuit breaker. The top one here is again to the battery. We'll just do the same thing we did with the other circuit breaker we are this wire down here, and then attach it to the stud here, which is the positive terminal on our battery. And then the other stud here, which is the auxiliary. What this needs to do is This actually needs to be run inside the cab of our vehicle because this is going to be responsible for powering our brake controller. So for this one, we went ahead and just trace the wire that we did for the battery charge line back down through here, and then back down into the engine bay and down up underneath. So we have our black wire here. What I did is I just went ahead and ran it through the same grommet that we used earlier for a white wire.We have to peel back some of the carpet and there's going to be a grommet old punch out, sort of in this general area here. But then we can pull the power wire for our brake controller up inside the vehicle. And now we have both the power and ground that will connect to our brake controller. So now we have our black wire inside the cap here, which is for the power to our brake controller. We have our white wire here, which is going to be for the brake output. This will go to the blue wire on the back of our brake controller. And now we're going to have two other wires. We're going to have to use a ground wire, which is usually the white wire in the back of the brake controller and then the stoplight switch circuit, which is the red wire on the back of the brake controller.Now, in order to obtain a stoplight switch circuit on this vehicle here, we need to reach up under a dash here and on the brake pedal, we need to take off the pigtail that attaches to the brake pedal. So in order to access the pigtail to our brake pedal, we're going to have a little panel here that needs to come out. There's going to be one screw here and one screw over here, pretty easy to take out. But once we get that panel off, we're basically just going to reach our hand up in here and directly above the brake pedal, you're going to see the pigtail. Now, we're not really going to be able to show you this because it's really far back up in there. So here's what that pigtail looks like. That's the connector we're going to be undoing.Now the tabs for it are up here. They're pretty hard to reach. You're only going to be able to do it with one hand. But before we pull that down, you're going to have these two other clips here and here, which attach to a bracket up there, right where the pigtail is. We'll need to remove those so we can pull this down some. But the next thing we're going to do is, we're going to go ahead and splice off or remove some of this jacket here so we can begin testing our wires and we know which circuit we need to splice into. So with our red wire here connected to the cold side of the brake pedal, which is our stoplight switch. We have our other two wires. And then finally we just run a ground anywhere to a bare metal surface. And that'll complete the four connections we need to install a brake controller of our choosing.Now, once we plug into our brake controller, we should get this screen here, which lights up and lets us know everything was done correctly. So now with everything hooked up, we can begin testing all our circuits to make sure they're active. We're going to be using these little plug-in testers. We do sell these here at etrailer. If you have your trailer with you, you can use that as well. Just keep in mind. These testers are going to be preferred since they allow you to isolate a potential issue between the vehicle or trailer.So we have our running lights on already. As you can see the lights on both testers are illuminated. Now we're going to do our brakes, our left turn, our right turn. So now that we've verified, all the signals are working. Let's go ahead and test the battery charge line and the brake output. As you can see the battery charge line is going to be a constant on because it's wired directly to the battery. Let's go ahead and test our brake output circuit with our brake controller now. So there we go. Now we know everything's working correctly. And that'll do it today for our look and installation of the universal trailer brake controller install kit here on our 2019 Toyota Highlander..

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