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Tow Ready Trailer Wiring Adapter Review

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Review of the Tow Ready Trailer Wiring Adapter


Today we're going to be taking a look at and also showing you how to install the Tow Ready 4 Pole to 5 Pole Trailer Wiring Adapter. Part number is 20036. This is what our kit's going to look like when we pull it out of the package. This is our 20 inch adapter. Basically, our 4 pole side's going to slide right into the existing 4 pole that's going to be on he back of our vehicle. That's a requirement for this kit; you want to have that 4 pole available.

You can see that's going to run over here to our 5 pole flat. What we're adding on, you can see here with the little blue wire, that's going to be the signal that comes from the backup lights on our vehicle. This is typically used in a marine application. When the reverse signal comes through it deactivates the surge brakes on our trailer. As we try to back up in a parking lot or maybe back down the boat ramp, we're not going to have to worry about our brakes locking up. That adapter's 20 inches and they give us a 60 inch blue wire here. This just simply plugs in just like that.

That's going to be ran up behind the taillight housing where we'll tie it in. It's going to send that signal down deactivating it. Now, they provide you with a quick splice connector, which we'll show you how to use that. What I prefer to use instead of a quick splice connector is a heat shrink butt connector. This is part number DW05745.

This is going to allow us to do the exact same thing that we do with our quick splice here, but this is going to give us a superior connection. We won't have to worry about separation, and since it's completely water-tight we're not going to have to worry about any corrosion. The great thing about a 5 pole flat connector is that any of our standard 4 pole connectors are going to slide right in and they're going to work effectively. If we're using just a utility trailer that doesn't have that 5th pole it's going to go in there, it's going to connect with no issues. We'll be able to head down the road having our lights behind us. Pull it out, we could just as quickly plug in our 5 pole at this point and we're good to go. What we want to do is come over here on the driver side taillight housing.

We're going to take out the 2 10 millimeter bolts that are holding that in place. Then we want to just kind of gently pull rear-ward on the housing itself, give us the separation we need. Now that you can see, here's the add on 4 pole wiring that's already been added on to the vehicle. We need to test out the lights here on the back to figure out which one is our reverse light. Now, we know it's the clear bulb that's here in the middle, so if we follow that around it should be one of the wires coming out of this plug here. We'll just use a test light to determine exactly which one's the appropriate one. The first thing I'm going to do is just verify that none of our wires have power to start with here. All right, now we'll want somebody to get in the vehicle at this point and place their foot on the brake, put the vehicle in reverse and we'll check these again. Whichever one we get power from, that's the one we'll need to splice into. With our reverse light on, let's run that check again. All right, looks like our green wire's the one we'll need to get spliced into. To make our life a little bit easier here let's go ahead and separate our plug. We're just going to pull out on that small red clip and then push down on the black tab located right behind it. I'm going to turn that socket just a little bit and kind of straighten that wire out. It's going to give us some room to work. If we we're going to use our quick splice what we're going to do is slide that all the way in. We're going to bring our blue wire in, place it right in there. Then it's just a matter of squeezing down the tab just like that, and running our cap over it. I'll take that off and I'll show you how to use your butt connector to make your splice as well. I'm just going to strip back the end of my wire there. I'm going to cut my green wire here and strip back both ends of that as well. I'm going to strip this one back about double of what we would typically do, that way I can double that wire up. That's going to allow my butt connector to go on there and get a good firm hold. Now it's just time to crimp that side in. I want to twist those 2 wires together, my green wire and my blue wire. Then we'll slide that in and get that crimped down. At this point you'll want to use a heat source to get our butt connector shrank down. We're going to use a heat gun, you could also use a lighter or maybe a mini torch, whatever you've got handy there. Let's replace our bulb in the socket it came out of. Tuck that down and we're ready to put our light back in place. I just want to drop my wire down behind the bumper here. In some situations if your connections are inside the car you're just going to run it through your threshold back there, it just depends on the specific car application. Follow the handy instructions. This isn't a terribly difficult thing to do. Just clip our clip back in, slide our locking tab back into place and put our light back in. Now we're ready to bring down our blue wire. We just want to run it over towards our 4 pole plug and by our 4 pole flat trailer connector that we've already had installed. At this point you've got options. One option would be just to plug our 4 pole wiring into our adapter, just like that. Plug our blue wire into the single input there. Tuck our excess kind of up and out of the way; zip tie that off of course. Then we're going to have a working 5 pole available for us to use here in the rear. What I like to do and what I think is a better method of securing this, I'm going to cut these off and I'm going to splice these wires right into it. This is going to reduce any points of failure that we might have. I'm just going to, like we said, trim off our wires. Just kind of pull these slightly to separate them. The same thing for our other side here. Now it's time to start stripping our wires back just a normal length here is all we need to do. Now, if you are going to be using the permanent mounting I recommend more heat shrink butt connectors. Again, this is going to be for superior moisture resistance, especially in this marine application. This is part number DW05744. Now we can get the end of our adapter here stripped back and we're just going to put them in the butt connectors there matching each color. Now I'm just going to use a little bit of tape, not so much because we need any additional protection, just kind of want to clean up the look here. All right, that should hold everything nice and tight. Now I've just got to figure out how we want to mount it here. I think using one of our long brackets and one of our 5 pole brackets will be an excellent solution, that way it will always be available here at the rear of the vehicle. Here's our bracket setup that we're going to be using for mounting our 5 pole. This angled down piece, that's a 5 pole mounting bracket, part number TM75478. Then this is our universal long bracket. This is part number 18136. The long bracket comes with a clamp; that's what we use to secure it. You'll just see we can just bring that up and mount it right into position there. That's going to go around our cross tube on our hitch. Slide it back together there. Once you have most of the slack out then you just want to kind of tip that bolt up. I like to move it to the back side so it's going to cinch down and it will be up there hidden out of the way. We use a 5/16 inch either socket or bit driver. We get it secured and you can see that's nice and sturdy. Now we can bring our 5 pole wiring, slide that partially way through and it's got little tabs that come in and grab ahold of it and prevent it from being pushed back out. Now it's time just to take our excess wire and get it zip tied off somewhere up here out of the way in a convenient location. You see our little bit of excess here, you can leave it hang, you can fold it up if you want. We like to just trim it off just like that. To run our test we're going to start by using our 4 pole tester. This is part number I26. You can see it's going to slide in just like any 4 pole plug will. Now we'll start by having somebody in the vehicle turn on the running lights on for us. All right, now we'll turn those off and hit the left blinker. Now our right blinker. Finally our brakes. Now with those working properly let's pull that out of the way. I'm going to use a test light, we go right off our ground there. This 4th hole over, that's going to be for the reverse light circuit so we'll just touch in there and now have him put the vehicle in reverse, and off, and back on, and off. As you can see we're getting a nice strong signal coming through. That's going to help us out when we need to back up with a surge brake style trailer. Now with everything working as it should that completes our look at the Tow Ready 4 Pole to 5 Pole Trailer Wiring Adapter, part number 20036.


Info for this part was:

Employee Andrew K
Video by:
Andrew K
Employee Kathleen M
Video by:
Kathleen M
Employee Joshua S
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Nicholas E
Test Fit:
Nicholas E
Employee Randy B
Test Fit:
Randy B

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