Select Your Vehicle
view cartView Cart

Brake Controller > 2012 > Chevrolet > Tahoe

Draw-Tite Brake Controller for the 2012 Tahoe by Chevrolet

Draw-Tite Brake Controller

ratingratingratingratingrating (8 reviews)

Code:   5520



Shipping Special

Shipping Weight: 1 pounds


Draw-Tite Activator III Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 4 Axles - Time Delayed - 2012 Tahoe by Chevrolet

Electronic controller activates electric trailer brakes with a preset intensity when you apply the brakes in your Chevrolet Tahoe. Digital display, manual override, and a simple, plug-in port included. Power output and braking aggressiveness are adjustable.


  • Brake controller activates trailer brakes with preset intensity
    • Signal is sent to trailer brakes when tow vehicle's brakes are activated
  • Adjustable output control lets you determine the amount of braking force
    • Set to maximum when you travel through hilly terrain with a fully loaded trailer
    • Back off the power output when you tow a lightweight trailer
  • Sync setting lets you adjust the aggressiveness with which the brakes are activated
    • Get full power output faster by moving switch forward to increase activation speed
    • Achieve smoother braking by moving switch in opposite direction to supply power gradually
  • Digital display is easy to read
  • Built-in, slide-bar manual override
  • Quick and easy installation
    • No need to mount level like proportional brake controllers
    • Mounting bracket, wiring harness and hardware included
    • Plug-in port makes it easy to connect to wiring harness
      • Plug-in, vehicle-specific brake-control adapter (sold separately) can be used for certain applications to reduce installation time


  • Application: trailers with up to 4 axles (8 brake assemblies)
    • Designed for use with electric brakes only
  • Dimensions: 3-1/4" wide x 4-7/8" long x 1-1/8" tall
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Time-Delayed Braking

The Activator III applies your trailer's brakes when the brake pedal in your tow vehicle is engaged. Every time you apply the brakes in your Chevrolet Tahoe, a signal is sent - via the brake switch - to the Activator. The controller then sends power out to your trailer brakes to activate them with an intensity set by you, at a rate determined by you. Both the amount of braking power (output) and rate of application (sync) can be adjusted to suit your preference, the road conditions, type of trailer and size of the load. To determine which levels are best for your application, you must test out your towing setup and choose what feels best.

A time-delay controller is so named because there is a delay between the time that you initially apply the brakes in your tow vehicle and the time that the controller reaches maximum power output. Unlike a proportional brake controller, which activates your trailer's brakes based on the deceleration of your tow vehicle, the Activator sends power out in the same way, with the same gradual delay, no matter the braking situation. Although this delay always exists, it can be adjusted by changing the sync setting.

Sync Settings

To adjust the aggressiveness of your trailer's braking action, use the slide control on the side of the Activator III to change the sync setting. If you want to reach maximum power output faster, move the switch forward. To get smoother braking action, move the switch backward, thus supplying power to the trailer brakes more gradually. You can alter the sync setting to suit your driving preferences or to improve handling based on changing road conditions or varied trailer loads.

Quick, Simple Installation

Because inertia plays no role in the functioning of this controller, you do not have to mount the unit at any particular angle. As a result, mounting options are limitless, so long as you can still easily access the controller. After mounting the unit, hardwire one end of the included pigtail harness directly into your Chevrolet Tahoe. The other end plugs into the brake controller.

Installation Accessories

For even easier installation, a vehicle-specific wiring adapter (sold separately) is available for most newer trucks and SUVs. One end of the custom adapter plugs into your Chevrolet Tahoe, and the other end plugs into the controller - no hardwiring required.

Note: If a custom brake-control wiring adapter is not available for your Chevrolet Tahoe, one of the following will be required:

20-Amp circuit breaker (9506P - sold separately) for 2- to 4-brake applications

30-Amp circuit breaker (38630 - sold separately) for 6- to 8-brake applications

See also's exclusive 7- and 4-way brake-control installation kit (ETBC7 - sold separately) if you don't already have a 7-way plug at the back of your Chevrolet Tahoe.

5520 Draw-Tite Act III Time-Delay Trailer Brake Control

Same as Reese Brakeman Ultra - 83520

Video of Draw-Tite Activator III Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 4 Axles - Time Delayed

Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer
installation instructions and specs for complete information.

Video Brake Controller Install 2006 Chevrolet 3500
Trailer Brake Controller with Wiring Installation - 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500
Video brake controller install 2008 dodge grand caravan
Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan
Video brake controller install 2008 GMC Sierra
Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2008 GMC Sierra

Video Transcript for Trailer Brake Controller with Wiring Installation - 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500

Today on this 2006 Chevrolet 3500 Pickup truck we are going to install part number 5520-3015P. This kit consists of the activator three brake controller and the adapter cord to go between the tow package on the pickup truck and the brake controller. The first thing we are going to do is get access to the port for the brake controller and that is behind this panel right here. Remove this nut. There are two snaps on the side of the panel. Undo those and then pull the panel off. This port right here, the second from the left, is the one we need to use. We will take our adapter cord and plug it in right here. Make sure it snaps in and then put the cover back into place. 00:45

Next we will move on to our bracket for the brake controller itself. We are going to mount it to this piece of sheet metal right here. We are going to be using self tapping screws to attach this to since the brake controller comes with screws that are really only good for going into plastic. We will route our cable over to our bracket for the brake controller and we will plug it into the brake controller. These two set screws will hold everything in place. Use a zip tie to hide the wires so they are safe and out of the way. We will check our brake controller now for function. First we will hit on the foot brake. If you see a dot that means you have got connection there. Try the manual override if you have power there too and that is without the trailer hooked up. Now we will hook up a trailer to it and we will check our ratings from there. 01:54

Try the manual override and with the trailer hooked up we have numbers now. Hit the foot brake and we have got numbers too. That means it is working properly. If this is our manual override this activates the brakes by themselves. This is our gain control right here on top and that controls the total output on a scale from one to ten. On the left hand side there is slide switch which is a sync switch. That controls how soon the brakes on the trailer are when you hit your foot brake. When you have it closest to you and you hit the foot brake it cycles through relatively fast. Go the opposite way, all the way to the front of the truck and you can see it is pretty slow going up to full power. With that, that will finish our install for part number 5520-3015P on our 2006 Chevrolet 3500.

Customer Reviews

Draw-Tite Activator III Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 4 Axles - Time Delayed - 5520

Average Customer Rating:  ratingratingratingratingrating4.9 out of 5 stars   (8 Customer Reviews)

- 5520

ratingratingratingratingrating by: Dustin K.08/10/2013

Is this review helpful?

Have this controller in my chevy. Bought it at a local store and paid a fortune for it- But it is a great product. My dad was ready for a quality controller so I looked on Same great product at almost half the price!! website very easy to operate. Shipping was inexpensive and very fast! 5 stars for etrailer.com94385

- 5520

ratingratingratingratingrating by: K Wayman04/29/2012

Is this review helpful?

Easy as can be, excellent product 38760

- 5520

ratingratingratingratingrating by: Gary D.08/16/2012

Is this review helpful?

E-trailer quick delivery, easy to follow instructions for the installation, works great.51860

- 5520

ratingratingratingratingrating by: George12/14/2012

Is this review helpful?

If it works as described it will do what I want 61490

- 5520

ratingratingratingratingrating by: Wendell09/20/2012

Is this review helpful?

Came as ordered ................10 minutes and I was ready to tow 55286

- 5520

ratingratingratingratingrating by: mark a.09/29/2011

Is this review helpful?

Arrived on time and installed no proble m.24846

- 5520

ratingratingratingratingrating by: Josh Wood08/19/2013

Is this review helpful?

Product came new in the box with all instructions and plug and play pig tail worked great. Installation took about 10 minutes and 5 of that was figuring out where I wanted it to go. 95859

- 5520

ratingratingratingratingrating by: matt younis04/04/2012

Is this review helpful?

great item install was a snap 36165

Ask the Experts about this Draw-Tite Brake Controller
Expert Answers about Draw-Tite Activator III Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 4 Axles - Time Delayed - 5520                                              Do you have a question about this Brake Controller?

  • Wiring a # 5520 Act III Brake Controller On a 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
  • Installation of the, # 5520, Act III Brake Controller On a 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited will require the following parts. T-One Vehicle Wiring Harness with 4 Pole Trailer Connector, Item # 118416, if you do not already have one. Brake Controller 7 & 4 Way Installation Kit - 10 Gauge, Item # ETBC7 These items will provide all of the wiring, brackets, circuit breakers, and connectors needed along with the brake controller for installation. We have a instructions for installing a brake contr
    view full answer...

  • No Display Of Output Strength And No Brakes When Applied On Draw-Tite Brake Controller, # 5520
  • If the Draw-Tite Brake Controller, # 5520, does not show output strength but it shows the decimal point all the time, then the red wire going to your stoplight switch is connected to the wrong side of the stoplight switch or to a wrong switch (cruise control). You will want to make sure the red wire on your brake controller is connected to the cold side of your stoplight switch, which is the side that will show power only when the brake pedal is pressed. If the brake controller shows just
    view full answer...

  • Act III Brake Controller 5520 Not Recognizing Trailer Connection with 1992 Ford E-350
  • The # 5520 Activator III brake controller will not show a decimal point constantly. You will only see the point when you do not have your trailer connected and you either press the vehicle brake pedal or activate the manual switch. If you do have the trailer hooked up and the controller does not show the brake output, this would indicate a problem on the blue electric brake wire, as you mentioned. To pinpoint where the problem is occurring, use a light tester like part # 3808 to test the
    view full answer...

  • Draw-Tite 5520 Activator III Not Providing Power to the Trailer Brakes on a 2010 Ford F-150
  • It sounds as if there may be a problem on the blue output wire from the trailer connector. This situation occurs when the brake controller cannot sense the connection to the trailer brake magnets. You will need to check the blue wire on the vehicle and trailer wiring all the way to the brake magnets, and make sure the trailer brake magnets are properly grounded. A multi-meter will not have enough draw to allow the brake controller to activate. Using a test light, item # 3808 if needed, will p
    view full answer...

  • Brakes on Trailer Lock On When Connecting Trailer To Vehicle
  • It sounds like there is a short in the wiring of your brake controller somewhere in the system. When the trailer brakes lock on when connecting the trailer wiring, this is an indication that the brake signal or Red wire is getting a constant 12 volt power. The wire may be coming in contact with another wire. I would recommend checking the wiring connection of the Red wire. This wire should only be connected to the wire that gets signal when the brake pedal is pressed. You will want to use a c
    view full answer...

  • Brake Controller Not Working on 2006 Dodge Ram 3500 When Trailer Is Connected
  • If your 2006 Dodge Ram was not equipped with a factory 7-way connector, the brake output and 12-volt accessory circuits are not ran to the rear of the truck. You will need to run a length of 10 gauge wire, like the part # 10-1-1, from the blue lead of the 7-Way connector, under the vehicle, to the engine compartment. Make sure to avoid any moving parts like the suspension and steering components and anything hot like the exhaust. In the engine compartment behind the drivers side wheel well, t
    view full answer...

  • Are Settings Maintained on Draw-Tite Brake Controller, # 5520 If Trailer is Disconnected
  • The Draw-Tite Act III Brake Controller, part # 5520, does not need to be reset if the vehicle is shut off or every time you connect a trailer. It does retain the settings. Most brake controllers are designed with that feature. The output control on the brake controller that is adjusted during initial setup, is fine if you are towing the same trailer, with the same load, in the same road conditions. If you change trailers, the load on the trailer, or if the road conditions change you will w
    view full answer...

  • Troubleshooting OL Error Code On a Draw-Tite Activator III Brake Controller # 5520
  • On the Draw-Tite Activator III Brake Controller, part # 5520, the OL designation on the display will mean overload. The cause of this is most likely a bad ground or a short to the blue brake out put wire. I am including a link to the instructions on the Draw-Tite brake controller. The first thing I would check is the connector on the back of your vehicle. Any dirt or corrosion can be causing a bad ground or a short to the brake output pin. The solution is to clean out the connector and get ri
    view full answer...

  • Draw-Tite/Reese Trailer Brake Controller Does Not Light Up or Show a Display
  • It is possible that the act of the plug coming out while driving confused the brake controller. What you will what to do is disconnect the controller for about 15 minutes and then reconnect it. After you do this, before doing anything else, go through the set up process as outlined in the instructions I have linked for you. If there are still issues, make sure that the trailer connectors are intact and that none of the pins are bent or damaged and that the wiring is not damaged. You can al
    view full answer...

  • Installing a Brake Controller on a 2012 Harley Davidson Motorcycle for Towing a Aspen Sentry Trialer
  • I spoke with Aspen trailer to get some details for you, they recommend a time delayed brake controller for their trailers with electric brakes. The representative there said that many of their customers have excellent performance from the Activator III electric trailer brake controller by Draw-Tite, # 5520. The advantage of a time delayed brake controller on a motorcycle is that it can be positioned in any way, so you can easily find a mounting location that is out of the way but still allows
    view full answer...

  • Adding Trailer Wiring and a Brake Controller to a 2012 Harley Davidson TriGlide Trike
  • The first thing you will need to do is install a wiring converter on the trike to add a 4-Way trailer connector, and then add a 7-Way connector. You can use # 119175KIT. You will connect the white wire to a grounding location. Connect the brown wire to the running light wire. Connect the yellow wire to the left turn signal. Connect the red wire to the brake light. And connect the green wire to the right turn signal. After this kit is installed, you will need to add a 7-Way using # 37185. Conn
    view full answer...

  • Hardwiring a Trailer Brake Controller to the Ford Factory Wiring Harness on a 2003 Ford Explorer
  • On the brake controller, # 5520, the white wire is ground and that will attach to your white ground wire. The brake controller black wire will connect to your pink with white stripe. The brake controller blue wire will connect to the blue wire on your harness. Brown on your harness will not be used. The red wire on the brake controller will connect to the green wire on the actual brake switch like in the yellow paper you have. the brake switch is located above the brake pedal. It will have se
    view full answer...

  • Constant 12 Volt Power on Brake Output Circuit on 7-Way Trailer Connector
  • You can test your brake controller to determine if it is damaged on the inside or if the problem is from somewhere else. Sever the blue wire a few inches from the back of the controller. Test the blue wire on the brake controller side after you have cut it. If it shows power when not using the manual override, then there is a problem inside the controller and it will need to be replaced. If the controller functions like it should then the problem is further back. A short to the blue wire or s
    view full answer...

  • Troubleshooting a Draw-Tite III Brake Controller OL Code on a Trailer with New Brake Assemblies
  • The OL code you are seeing indicates that you have a short on the brake output circuit. This can be a lot of things such as corrosion on the trailer plug to exposed wire somewhere on the circuit. Since you just changed the brake assemblies I would start by checking the connections you made to wire in the brake assemblies. There may be a loose wire thats not making good contact or shorting out. Or, there could be corrosion on the connector as that is usually the culprit in these situations.
    view full answer...

  • What Does it Mean When Draw-Tite Activator III Brake Controller # 5520 Displays Code SH
  • The display code SH on your Draw-Tite Activator III Brake Controller, part # 5520, can indicate that there is a short or overload condition in your trailer brake circuit. This condition may also result in the display showing a flashing OL code. Please refer to the included instructions from Draw-Tite for a description of all error codes. Either of these fault codes points to a need to check the brake circuit on your trailer. I have linked two help articles, one concerning troubleshooting brak
    view full answer...

  • Parts Needed to Install a Trailer Brake Controller on a 1997 Dodge Caravan
  • To install a brake controller on your 1997 Dodge Caravan you will need to add a 7-Way trailer connector. In order to install a 7-Way trailer connector the van will either need to already have a 4-Way flat trailer connector or you will need to install one using # 118334. Then you will need 4- and 7-Way installation kit # ETBC7. This provides the 7-Way, retains the 4-Way, and provides the wiring an accessories you will need to install a brake controller. I have included some links that explain
    view full answer...

  • After Installing Brake Controller Brake Lights On 1985 Dodge Ram Stayed on Then Stopped Working
  • On a brake controller, the white wire is usually the ground. It needs to be attached directly to the negative battery terminal. The black wire sends power to the brake controller. It needs to be attach to the positive battery terminal via a 20 amp circuit breaker, # PK54520, for 2 to 4 trailer brakes or a 30 amp circuit breaker, # PK54530, for 6 to 8 trailer brakes. The blue wire is output to the trailer brakes. The red wire connects to the cold side of the brake switch like you have said. It
    view full answer...

  • How does the Disply on the Draw-Tite Activator 3 Brake Controller # 5520 Function
  • You asked an excellent question that can be difficult to understand with the included instructions. Without the truck connected to a trailer, the display on the Draw-Tite Activator 3 Brake Controller, # 5520, will show a single red dot when you step on the brake pedal or use the manual override. You will only see numbers, or the power output, if the trailer is connected to the truck. I pulled the Activator 3 from my warehouse and used a bench tester to make a short video for you showing how
    view full answer...

  • Will the Draw-Tite Activator III Trailer Brake Controller Fit a 2011 Ford F-150
  • Trailer brake controllers, including the Activator III, # 5520, are not vehicle specific so you can use it on your 2011 Ford F-150. If your truck came with a factory 7-Way you will also need harness # 22292 to plug into the factory connection point on the truck. If your truck came with a factory 4-Way flat connector then you will use the same harness but you will also need to add a 7-Way, # 37185. To install the 37185 you will plug in the 4-Way from the truck to the adapter. Then there are ad
    view full answer...

  • Parts Needed to Install Brake Controllers in a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2006 Dodge Magnum RT
  • Both your 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee and your 2006 Dodge Magnum RT with tow packages will require hardwiring to complete the install for a brake controller like the Draw-Tite Activator III Trailer Brake Controller # 5520. For the Jeep you would need a Wiring Kit for 2 and 4 Brake Electric Brake Controllers # 5505 since this vehicle has a 7-way already. This kit will include wires and breakers for the power wire to the controller and the brake output circuit run from the controller to the 7-way
    view full answer...

Chevrolet Tahoe Accessories

Info for this part was:

Expert Research:
Michael L

Video Edited:
Zack K

Expert Research:
Sarah L

Expert Research:
Robert G

Expert Research:
Michael H

Expert Research:
Jeff D

Expert Research:
Reno H

Expert Research:
Jameson C

Expert Research:
John H

Expert Research:
Adam R

At we provide the best information available about the products we sell. We take the quality of our information seriously so that you can get the right part the first time. Let us know if anything is missing or if you have any questions.

Subscribe to email newsletter


privacy - we don't send unsolicited email

Only 17 Hours 34 Minutes Remaining reviews

All images, layout and content copyright