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 Post subject: curt echo brake controller needs 7 pin wiring kit?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:26 pm
Posts: 296
Hi All,

So I want to pull an enclosed trailer with the RAV4 EV, but as you all know it doesn't come with the neccessary stuff to pull a trailer. I installed a trailer hitch in the back already and have been using it for a cargo rack and bike rack and all that good stuff. Now I need to pull an enclosed trailer, so it needs to be able to have working lights and the brakes must work when I press the pedal on the rav4 ev.

So it seems I need a brake controller, but I don't want to install anything. The curt Echo brake controller seems great. It is so plug and play and easy to remove when you aren't using it plus you aren't mounting anything. I want to buy this nice unit, but the rav4 ev doesn't have that connector for the trailer.

I think it is a 7 pin connector socket? So this means I have to tap all the lights and the brake and all that. I don't want to do that, so I'm just going to take the RAV4 EV to the shop for it. What exactly am I going to be asking for? It seems there are 7 pin sockets and also I think 4 pin and 2 pin. I guess it depends on the trailer you want to use, but is 7 pin the best since it covers more lights/features?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trailer_c ... th_America

If so can anyone suggest any good 7 pin socket wiring kits?

Also I see one pin being aux power in the 7 pin.... Can we use this for powering lights inside the trailer and running tools/fun stuff, etc? How much power can we get though this pin? Is it connected directly to the battery? It seems to say ignition lock... is this limited by the ignition lock wiring? Can we wire it directly to the 12v battery instead for more power?

For the Auxiliary circuit in a 7 way socket what kind of wire gauge usually comes in the 7 way trailer kits? I'd guess that the PIN itself can withstand much larger amounts of power than the wiring it has. I guess this means that the power going through the aux circuit in the 7 way is limited by the wire gauge? What is usually the most power you can get with the wires the kit comes with for the aux circuit? For running somethings DC will be fine, but I have a pure sinewave inverter prowatt 2000 sw by xantrex. I think it can give out as much as 1600 or 1800 watts though that is much more than I'd ever use for AC unless I connect an induction cooktop or something, but I think propane is cheaper. I think maybe the most I'd use AC could possible be 500 or 600 watts. Definitely those 150 in-car power sockets aren't enough for what I'd normally use.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iaSbqCqykg

echo instructions


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 Post subject: Re: curt echo brake controller needs 7 pin wiring kit?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:05 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:55 pm
Posts: 186
Location: Duvall, Wash.
Some random thoughts . . .

From what I read, the towing capacity of the 2012 RAV4 was 1,500 lbs for most configurations. The RAV4EV is about 4000 lbs. If you don't drive insane, 1500 lbs might be OK without trailer brakes in my world. I used to do a lot of towing utility trailers behind a 3600 lb. wagon and 4400 lb. minivan, and frequently towed 1500 without trailer brakes and rarely felt the lack.

I've also towed 5000 lbs behind that minivan and trailer brakes were not optional, they were required. I won't forget coming west from Denver anytime soon . . .

If trailer brakes are truly desired, then from a simplicity standpoint, surge brakes are a lot easier to deal with . They're what you'll find on almost all of what you can rent from U-Haul, for example, and when they're in good condition, surge brakes do a great job of proportioning the braking without a brake controller or the heavy wiring needed for electric brakes. All the brake stuff is built into an articulating tongue on the trailer. The most common problems are the articulating bushings seizing (stored outdoors, never lubricated) and the inability to back a heavy trailer up a significant hill, at least on the surge brake designs I've used.

If you're determined to wire for electric brakes, the last time I looked at this there used to be two technologies used in trailer brake controllers: hard-plumbed into the hydraulics, and inertial. People swear by both, both have their advantages.

I watched the Curt video you linked, and I don't really see the point of the app over even a base level brake controller, which will have much of the app's functionality on its front panel. You're still going to need a separate "brake controller" that can provide the variable current to the trailer. That's going to be your main cost. And Bluetooth is nothing like reliable in my world, not close. Give me wires every time; wireless will always give trouble, eventually.

The seven-pin connector is a decent design, but even if you paralleled two contacts you won't have enough ampacity across that connector to run anything like 1000W inverter (1000W @ 120v = ~95A @ 12v). A quick rule of thumb I use in automotive wiring is a 10ga wire will safely carry 50A continuous, 60A intermittant. I think the brake control contact in the seven-pin connector will carry 50A and will allow 10ga wire, but I kind of doubt the other ones will.

HTH

_________________
Regards,
Al Savage
2014 Rav4 EV, Shoreline Blue Pearl, #2609, first use 04Jun2014, 49k miles (Aug2017), OpenEVSE 40A. First DU replacement May2018 59k.
2018 Model 3 LR AWD, blue. 9.6kw solar
1999 E300 on B100 (sold Sep2018)
http://nissandiesel.dyndns.org


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 Post subject: Re: curt echo brake controller needs 7 pin wiring kit?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:26 pm
Posts: 296
Hi Al,

I totally thought surge brakes would be best, but I read that when going down hill the trailer pushing turns on the brakes. I was wondering just how this would work with RAV4 EV's regen. Do you think B mode could trigger the brakes everytime? D is pretty weak, so I feel it just might not... B... I don't know. Not that I would do a lot long distance, possibly 40-50 miles round trip, but I wanted to try and get as much regen in as I could to extend the range. If B mode triggers the brakes then that is going to cut into the range, not sure by how much. What are your thoughts do you think it would trigger them? How sensitive is the system?

I didn't know about the bushings seizing if left outdoors. I was thinking on leaving the trailer attached outside most of the time with no cover. I live in L.A. so the weather is not that bad. I hope this won't cause a lot of issues with the bushings?

I wish there was a trailer with a battery and regen breakes.


I did read about the 1500 trailers and I thought this was excellent and I plan to get an aluminum trailer so it is light. Looking at DMV it says trailers with gross weight over 1500 need brakes, but it says trailer coach or camp trailer. Then other places say trailer and semi trailers over 3000 gross weight need trailer brakes. Then some forums say the 1500 law applies to semi trailers and trailers also instead of just coaches and or camp trailers. So I am wondering just what to believe. Should I just call up DMV or my local police department just to be 100% sure?

If it is 3000 gross weight for trailers and semi trailers then I won't need brakes. I won't be carrying anything heavy at all. Just stuff that takes up space. I am thinking of an aluminum trailer 6 feet tall and 12 feet long. Could be smaller too, maybe 10 feet. I think in total the trailer will weigh about 1,000 pounds. The biggest problem here are the brakes for the trailer! More problematic is the law and the forums with people saying 1500 also applies to trailers/semi trailers and not just coach/camp trailer.

So who to call? Police Dept? DMV? Trailer Builder? All?


Also, is there anything lighter than an aluminum trailer?


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 Post subject: Re: curt echo brake controller needs 7 pin wiring kit?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:55 pm
Posts: 186
Location: Duvall, Wash.
My experience with surge brakes in the 70s, when I hauled a lot of rented light construction equipment (think Bobcats) on two lowboy trailers with surge brakes, was that they were about perfect for the loads. Except when I pulled down a steep driveway to find it was dead-end and unable to turn around. I had to unload the trailer, because I could not back it up the hill. But that was a 4000 lb. load and a steep drive.

More recently over the years I've rented U-Haul 6'x12' enclosed and open trailers probably a dozen times, all with surge brakes, and they were hit-n-miss: when they weren't high-miles, those I rented worked well; two of them definitely did not work well, meaning I had to stab the tow vehicle's brakes to get enough inertia moving in the tongue to overcome the stiff articulating mechanism's friction and get some braking back there. I reported this when turning in the trailers, but overall I'm not too impressed with U-Haul's franchisee's maintenance of their tow equipment. I've had better experiences with their vans, but the trailers . . . you just never know.

I do not think the RAV4EV's B regen is enough to trigger surge brakes, even on a perfectly working tongue. Now, our Model 3, it would be a problem (but I run std. regen and Chill mode when I drive that rig). You might rent a trailer for a day and play with loading it and driving down hills . . . but U-Haul has gotten fairly picky about not renting larger trailers unless your vehicle is rated for it anymore. Not like the old days when they'd rent me anything, now they want my VIN to run through their database of tow capacity.

I had a RWD minivan and used to rent their 6x12' covered trailer every year to move a bunch of light stuff that didn't weigh much but took up a lot of room. One year, they refused to rent it to me: I was stuck with a a 6x10' that year.

Then I bought the same van with AWD, and the next year, they let me rent the 6x12' again. Seems the weight of the tow vehicle made a difference, the towing capacity was 3500 lbs in both cases.

That's U-Haul.

Towing is always a compromise, but those are my thoughts.

I do not know the prevailing rules about trailer brake requirements in your locale, and I doubt your local police do, either. DMV may. I tend not to sweat the legality of something this minor, I look at the reality of how I drive and what I tow, and weigh, "is this safe". The weight schedule to require brakes on the trailer are to keep people from doing really stupid stuff, and are a lowest-common-denominator thing. Trailer brakes won't prevent a jacknife situation if you have an emergency stop in the rain, but they will definitely take the load off the tow vehicle's brakes on long downhill runs when you've got too much speed and can't "gear down". For me, constant assessment of the driving situation is how I stay safe when towing. Watch traffic, read the road ahead, always sufficient following distance, and know how and when to use the shoulder in an emergency.

If you've going to to Grapevine-like runs, yeah, I'd want brakes. Surge or wired, that's the decision.

_________________
Regards,
Al Savage
2014 Rav4 EV, Shoreline Blue Pearl, #2609, first use 04Jun2014, 49k miles (Aug2017), OpenEVSE 40A. First DU replacement May2018 59k.
2018 Model 3 LR AWD, blue. 9.6kw solar
1999 E300 on B100 (sold Sep2018)
http://nissandiesel.dyndns.org


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 Post subject: Re: curt echo brake controller needs 7 pin wiring kit?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:42 pm
Posts: 312
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
asavage wrote:
...
I watched the Curt video you linked, and I don't really see the point of the app over even a base level brake controller, which will have much of the app's functionality on its front panel. You're still going to need a separate "brake controller" that can provide the variable current to the trailer. That's going to be your main cost. And Bluetooth is nothing like reliable in my world, not close. Give me wires every time; wireless will always give trouble, eventually.
...


From what I could see, that little cylinder IS the brake controller and once it's configured using the app, you can lose your Bluetooth connection and the controller will still work. The main advantage I can see for it is that it doesn't have to be a permanent install on the vehicle.


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 Post subject: Re: curt echo brake controller needs 7 pin wiring kit?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:55 pm
Posts: 186
Location: Duvall, Wash.
That little cylinder could possibly have an inertial sensor, I suppose. I'm not motivated enough to research it.

_________________
Regards,
Al Savage
2014 Rav4 EV, Shoreline Blue Pearl, #2609, first use 04Jun2014, 49k miles (Aug2017), OpenEVSE 40A. First DU replacement May2018 59k.
2018 Model 3 LR AWD, blue. 9.6kw solar
1999 E300 on B100 (sold Sep2018)
http://nissandiesel.dyndns.org


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 Post subject: Re: curt echo brake controller needs 7 pin wiring kit?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:13 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:26 pm
Posts: 296
Thanks for the replies asavage. I'll call around and find out what the requirements really are. It looks like regardless of which option you choose you still need to wire for trailer lights. I guess the main difference is that you aren't wiring for the brake pedal? From what I saw it seems trailer kits have wire gauge of 13. I'd guess you'd have to buy your own wires and dock them to the 7-way socket if you want 10 gauge or thicker?


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 Post subject: Re: curt echo brake controller needs 7 pin wiring kit?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:55 pm
Posts: 186
Location: Duvall, Wash.
There's an EZ wire kit for the turn/stop/brake, that plugs into the existing wire harness. You'll need a circuit combiner to merge the separate turn/brake functions (wires) into the combined single circuit that trailers use, but that's pretty standard these days.

Yes, to run your inverter load, and to actually power the electric brakes if you go that way, you'll need a 10ga wire and associated inline circuit breaker (or fuse) from the 12v battery, front to back. Two, if you do electric brakes and want an inverter line. You'll also need at least one 10ga ground wire, too; not necessarily from the battery, but across your connector and to the trailer. Trying to ground through the ball/socket/receiver is never a good idea, esp. for any significant load.

_________________
Regards,
Al Savage
2014 Rav4 EV, Shoreline Blue Pearl, #2609, first use 04Jun2014, 49k miles (Aug2017), OpenEVSE 40A. First DU replacement May2018 59k.
2018 Model 3 LR AWD, blue. 9.6kw solar
1999 E300 on B100 (sold Sep2018)
http://nissandiesel.dyndns.org


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 Post subject: Re: curt echo brake controller needs 7 pin wiring kit?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:26 pm
Posts: 296
asavage wrote:
There's an EZ wire kit for the turn/stop/brake, that plugs into the existing wire harness. You'll need a circuit combiner to merge the separate turn/brake functions (wires) into the combined single circuit that trailers use, but that's pretty standard these days.

Yes, to run your inverter load, and to actually power the electric brakes if you go that way, you'll need a 10ga wire and associated inline circuit breaker (or fuse) from the 12v battery, front to back. Two, if you do electric brakes and want an inverter line. You'll also need at least one 10ga ground wire, too; not necessarily from the battery, but across your connector and to the trailer. Trying to ground through the ball/socket/receiver is never a good idea, esp. for any significant load.



Ok great. Now is the wire kit from ezwire.com? It seemed like the most logical place from a quick google. Where is the plug in the rav4 ev's existing harness? I am hoping somewhere easily accessible with out having to remove half the trims of the car. I'm going to call the places today to see if I won't need brakes. I hope it isn't needed as it would make everything easier and less expensive.

google says 10ga can only do up to 30 amps but you mentioned 50 amps is still ok and 60 on a short duration. Just how far are we pushing the wire here for 50 amps? I guess if I still need more power then I will have to add a battery outside the trailer to top it off/charge? That or run cables straight from the rav4's 12v battery, but I might need something thick like 0/2 gauge?


Ok, so I called the local sheriff then he sent me over to california highway patrol and the lady looked into it and she said that cargo trailers need brakes if they are 3,000 pounds gross or over. So, it looks like I won't need trailer brakes after all. The last aluminum trailer I looked at weighted onle 756 pounds, and I doubt it will get heavier than 1,000 pounds when I loaded so we should be good. That means I'll only need a kit for the lights. Might you have any suggestions asavage? Something more plug and play would be best instead of having to splice and dice cables :(.


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 Post subject: Re: curt echo brake controller needs 7 pin wiring kit?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:55 pm
Posts: 186
Location: Duvall, Wash.
Tekonsha 118412 powered flat-four no-splice trailer wire harness & turn/stop converter, $43

Installation video of Tekonsha 118412 on a 2010 RAV4. This is a lower-res but better overall vid than the second one of the same install on a 2012.
Installation video of Tekonsha 118412

this vid of install on 2012.

I spent almost no time getting those links, as I'm outta time tonight, but they'll give you an idea. That product does require battery power, and they show running a wire up to the battery for that; I'd probably look hard at the cigarette lighter port to power that converter, and it probably draws almost nothing.

On your 10ga/50A question: I was remembering from other installs, primarily generator-to-alternator conversions I'd done in the past, which are relatively short runs, and I remembered correctly for that situation.

Image

_________________
Regards,
Al Savage
2014 Rav4 EV, Shoreline Blue Pearl, #2609, first use 04Jun2014, 49k miles (Aug2017), OpenEVSE 40A. First DU replacement May2018 59k.
2018 Model 3 LR AWD, blue. 9.6kw solar
1999 E300 on B100 (sold Sep2018)
http://nissandiesel.dyndns.org


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