Trailer brake plug

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What Is The Best Plug And Play Electric Brake Controller?

Is the cost of electric brake controller installation holding you back from buying your own controller?  You may be thinking that you don’t have the know how of electric brake controller wiring to install it yourself. And you might not want the expense and time off the road that professional installation would entail.  Elecbrakes has solved this dillema with a zero cost, ‘plug and play’ electric brake controller installation option.

The  plug and play installation provides the smooth, proportional brake control you’ve come to expect from our trailer-wired device. The only change is the way the device is installed. The plug and play model requires no wiring into the trailer at all. It can simply be plugged into the tow vehicle’s trailer connection.

Benefits of a Plug and Play Electric Brake Controller

Elecbrakes plug and play electric brake controller comes with waterproof connecters and pre-wired adaptors. It completely removes the need to  manually splice Elecbrakes into the trailer’s existing circuits. Here are some of the key benefits offered by Elecbrake’s plug and play installation:

10 Minute Electric Brake Controller Installation

The tow vehicle mounted brake controllers offered by our competitors need to be hard wired into the tow vehicle. This requires the services of an auto-electrician. Which can an an extra electric brake controller installation cost. It also might mean that your car is off the road for a day or more.

With Elecbrakes’ plug and play option you can be on the road in as little as ten minutes. Simply mount the unit to your trailer, plug the adaptor into your tow vehicle’s trailer socket and you’re good to go.

No Tow Vehicle Modification Required

Elecbrakes trailer mounted solution means that there is no tow-vehicle modification required. This saves you the time and the cost of an  installation. It also keeps your truck in pristine condition with no need to cut into the dash. No hard wiring means no extra holes in the rear of the vehicle for additional cables to be accomodated.

Powered entirely from standard trailer wiring

One of Elecbrakes’ key features is the fact that it’s only mounted to the trailer. When you install your plug and play brake controller you don’t have to worry about any additional power supply. Although, the device will make use of an auxiliary power feed if it’s wired into the tow vehicle’s socket.

Once you connect the plug and play adaptor to the trailer’s cord and then plug the other end of the adaptor into the vehicle’s socket, all the power requirements are taken care of. Smart software engineering powers every Elecbrakes system and delivers a revolutionary efficiency in managing the existing amperage in the trailer’s loom. This means that Elecbrakes is able to provide sufficient amperage to the brake magnets in an electric brake system using only standard trailer wiring, without the need for hard wiring into the tow vehicle.

For a detailed explanation see the blog article: Can standard trailer wiring power electric brakes?

Installing Plug and Play Brake Controller

Installing an Elecbrakes electric brake controller with our plug and play adaptor is so easy that anyone can do it. There’s just three simple steps:

  1. Mount the electric brake controller onto the trailer draw bar.
  2. Plug the electric brake controller into the trailer cable and the tow car socket.
  3. Connect the electric brake controller using the free Elecbrakes smartphone app.

You can read a more detailed step by step demonstration here of our 10 minute Electric brake controller installation with Elecbrakes.

Electric brake controller installation cost

Having a conventional brake controller installed might keep your tow vehicle off the road while costly modifications are made by an auto electrician. The cost of this installation can add up. Not only will you need to pay for the time of the installer but you would also need to arrange for a replacement vehicle while yours is off the road.

A plug and play elecbrakes installation costs no money at all. You can simply mount the controller to your trailer draw bar using any standard drill and screws (or even cable ties if you’re really in a hurry). Then all you need to do is plug the device in and you’re good to go. No electric brake controller wiring. No electric brake controller installation cost.

Which Electric Brake Controller Is Best?

Elecbrakes has revolutionised the towing experience with our wireless electric brake controller that mounts to the trailer instead of the tow vehicle. Furthermore, our plug and play option has made this trailer mounted brake controller even more user friendly. We did this by delivering a completely DIY option that anyone can install. The device is powered entirely through the standard trailer wiring, and therefore does not require any additional auto electrical modifications. Meanwhile, the brake response is modified either by an in-car wireless remote control or through the Elecbrakes smartphone app.

Read more about electric brake controllers for caravans.

Get Brake Smart. Get Elecbrakes.


Best Trailer Brake Controllers For 2021

Trailer brake controllers are an essential piece of safety equipment, and as the name implies, they control a trailer’s electric brakes. Without one, the towing vehicle’s brakes must stop all of the weight and momentum of both vehicle and trailer. That can result in far longer stopping distances and heat-damaged brakes at best, or a collision at worst. 

A good trailer brake controller not only activates the trailer’s brakes smoothly when the driver steps on the brake pedal up front, but it also keeps the wheels rolling smoothly when it’s time to back the rig into a campsite or parking space. It can also alert the driver to any failures in the electronic chain that links the trailer to the towing vehicle or the trailer brakes themselves.

When shopping for a trailer brake controller, there are a lot of options to consider. Ease of installation, clear readouts and intuitive controls can be just as important as the range of brake gain a given trailer brake controller offers. Here are five top-rated controllers designed to help keep trailering trips safe.

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Take a look at the major parts that make up a brake assembly:

  • Reactor Spring
  • Actuating Arm
  • Shoe Hold-Down Spring
  • Primary Shoe
  • Adjuster
  • Adjuster Spring
  • Magnet
  • Secondary Shoe

Components of an Electric Brake

The large center circle represents the hole through which the trailer spindle goes, so we can install the backing plate on the axle. The 4 smaller holes represent bolt holes which are used to bolt the backing plate onto the Brake Flange which sits behind the spindle.

How does electricity make this brake work? The magnet in the backing plate has 2 conductor wires which tap directly into the trailer wiring. When electricity is on, it magnetizes the brake magnet. The magnet is attracted to the drum face. When it contacts this area, the friction causes it to rotate, which moves the actuating arm, and pushes the shoes out against the drum. Those shoes have a special brake pad material on them that resists the heat caused by that friction. When the shoes press against the inside of the drum, they prevent the hub, and consequently the wheel that's touching the ground from spinning.

How does the electricity get to the trailer brakes? Where does it come from? How do we know which brake to use? Here's how it works: An electrical connection on the trailer plugs into the connector on the vehicle. There are electrical wires running from the trailer connector back to each brake on the axle, as well as to the trailer lights, to create a complete circuit. When the driver steps on the brakes it sends a current to the brake control in the vehicle. The brake control then sends a current back to the trailer to activate the brakes. Here's what that looks like:

How an Electric Brake works



Now that you know how an Electric Brake works, go ahead and find the part you need from the trailer brake assembly


Posted in Trailer Parts


Plug-In Simple® Brake Control Connectors

Brake Controller Connectors

Quick and Easy Installation

Many of today's vehicles come equipped with trailer towing packages that include a quick-connect brake control harness. Simply take our Plug-In Simple brake control connector and attach it to that harness, usually located under the driver's side dashboard. It's that easy.


Hopkins also makes an entire line of universal brake control connectors for those consumers that have a brake controller that does not have a Plug-In Simple! connector on the back of their brake control. These vehicle specific wiring harnesses still plug into the factory connector under the vehicle's dash and allows you to splice on to any of your favorite Hopkins brake controllers.

To find the correct brake control connector for you, narrow your choices in the application guide on the right.



Narrow your choices


Brake plug trailer

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How To Wire Trailer Brakes

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