Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer
installation instructions and specs for complete information.
Electronic controller activates electric trailer brakes with a preset intensity when you apply the brakes in your vehicle. Power output and braking aggressiveness are easily adjustable to suit your preference. Includes manual override. What this means for you is a greater comfort range when driving in various road or weather conditions. The Act I lets you fine tune both the speed and amount of power going to the brakes.
The Activator applies your trailer's brakes when the brake pedal in your tow vehicle is engaged. Every time you apply the brakes in your vehicle, 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.
To adjust the aggressiveness of your trailer's braking action, use the slide control on the side of the Activator 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.
Installation of the Activator requires that you either purchase a custom wiring adapter designed to plug into the controller or that you hardwire the controller directly into your vehicle. To hardwire the Activator, you must remove the plug at the end of the integrated wiring harness.
For 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 vehicle, and the other end plugs into the controller - no hardwiring required.
Note: If a custom brake-control wiring adapter is not available for your vehicle, a 20-amp circuit breaker (9506P - sold separately) will be required.
See also etrailer.com'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 vehicle.
Same as Reese Brakeman Compact - 83501
Video of Draw-Tite Activator Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 2 Axles - Time Delayed
Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer
installation instructions and specs for complete information.
Today, on our 2008 Kia Sedona, well be installing the Draw-Tite Brake Controller, part number 5100. Well be connecting with our ETBC-7 install kit. Well also be using the Tow-Ready Universal Mounting Bracket, part number 18136. Our first step will be assembling the 7-pole mounting bracket to the 7-pole connector. Well be using the hardware provided with our install kit. With that completed, we can now go ahead and connect the 7-pole bracket to the tow ready universal mounting bracket.
With that done, well use the hardware from the mounting bracket to secure it to the hitch. As we do that, well take the wires and feed them through the bracket so they go up over the hitch. Now, with our bracket secured, we can start making connections with our wires. Well take the 4-pole plug from our 7-pole and the 4-pole plug already on the vehicle and make our connection there. Note, I will cut off the end of the vehicle side 4-pole bracket as it will be in the way to tape up and seal up this connection point.
Next, well go ahead and take our gray duplex wire, strip back a couple inches, and then strip back the wire so that we can make connections with our 7-pole wires. Well take the black from our duplex wire to the black wire on the 7-pole connector to make the connection with the yellow butt connector already pre-attached to the 7-pole. Next, well take the white wire, connect it with the blue wire from the 7-pole connector. This will be the brake power circuit going to our trailer or accessory. Now with those connections made, well go ahead and cut off the excess from the purple wire, as it will not be used in this application.
Now were ready to go ahead and take some black electrical tape and wrap up our wires. With that done, Ill use a couple of black zip ties to secure my wiring to the hitch as we route it over to the vehicle frame on the driver side. There, well take the white wire with the pre-attached ring terminal and a self-tapping screw and attach it to the frame for a ground to our 7-pole connector. Next, well go ahead and take the rest of our gray duplex wire and route it where well pull it up into the engine compartment. Stay away from excessive heat such as exhaust, or moving components such as the steering and suspension.
Now with that done and our wires secured underneath the vehicle with black zip ties, we can go ahead and strip back the sheathing on our gray duplex wire as well be routing a black wire to a breaker underneath the hood and the white wire will go in to the cabin of the vehicle where it will connect with the blue wire coming out of the brake controller. Now with our wire stripped back and ready to be fed into the cabin, well first need to go ahead and drill a hole to the firewall and install a grommet. Well drill a 7/16 hole through the firewall and install a Snap Bushing Grommet, part number SWC8057. Now with the hole drilled out and the grommet installed, well go ahead and feed the white wire that we just ran from our 7-pole connector into the cabin of the vehicle. Ill then use a piece of blue tape to mark it as the wire that will connect to my blue wire coming out of the brake controller. Now, we have the white wire marked with our blue tape. This will indicate our blue wire coming from our 7-pole connector at the back of the vehicle. Well need to mount two breakers. To make room, well cut back some of the insulation here on the firewall. Here, well mount the 40-amp breaker that will supply power to our 7-pole connector at the back of the vehicle. The other breaker will be our 20-amp breaker which will supply power to the brake controller. Next, we need to go ahead and route a power wire from our 40-amp breaker to the positive battery terminal. Well go ahead and use the leftover wire from our gray duplex cable. Well simply strip back one in at our ring terminal and make our connection to the breaker. Next, well take the leftover wire from our duplex wire, the white and black wire, which will essentially become the power and ground for our brake controller. Well feed it through the firewall. We can go ahead and start making connections with the wires that weve run. We have the red wire from the brake control switch, which we identified earlier as a white wire coming out of the brake switch then we attached the red wire to give it some length to reach the pigtail coming from the brake controller. Now were ready to go ahead and mount the brake controller. We will be using the bracket and screw provided with our install kit for the brake controller itself. Now with the brake controller mounted, to make our connections, well simply strip back the ends of each wire and use the butt connectors provided with our ETBC-7 kit to connect the power, ground, and our blue wire. Now with all our connections made, we can simply take some black electrical tape and wrap them up. Now that thats completed, Ill go ahead and take a couple of zip ties to secure my wiring. Next, now that were back in to the engine compartment, we need to route the white and black power wires for our brake controller. The black wire will route to the 20-amp circuit that we mounted to the fender well and the white wire will route to the negative battery terminal. Now with our wires routed, well go ahead and strip them back at a ring terminal and make our connections. Then, well route it over to the battery. Next, I will go ahead and tighten down the three connections that weve made to our breakers thus far. Now, we can go ahead and run our power wire for our brake controller off the copper terminal to the positive battery terminal. This will be from our 20-amp breaker. Next, well go ahead and remove the positive battery terminal cover. This will allow us to loosen one of the positive battery terminal nuts where well be adding our power wires that will route to our circuit breakers. With both wires now routed from the breakers to the positive battery terminal, well cut off any excess, strip them back and add the ring terminals. Now that thats completed, we can go ahead and attach it to the positive battery terminal and secure them there. Now with our connections made and secured, well go ahead and reinstall the positive battery terminal cover. This will complete the install of our Draw-Tite Brake Controller, part number 5100 in conjunction with the ETBC-7 installation kit, our Snap Bushing Grommet, part number SWC8057, and our Tow-Ready Universal Mounting Bracket, part number 18136, on our 2008 Kia Sedona.
Average Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (36 Customer Reviews)
Brake controller installation It took longer that it should have to connect the controller, but I was being very careful, I would check and then double check to make sure everything was alright. I wanted to do a nice clean job so I took my time. The hardest part was making sure I had the right wire connected for the brake signal to the controller, but even that was not difficult to do. I took some pictures of when I started a task and the end result. I will probably move the controller from the ash tray area at a later date, but for now it is fine where it's at since I don't smoke and I don't let anyone else smoke in my truck.4920
by: Ed G.12/16/2012
The brake control took about 15 minutes to install. I watch the video for my year and model truck and then installed the unit. It was very easy to install and the adapter worked perfectly. A great product and the best how to do it website I have ever used. 61576
Have yet to use it Fastest installation ever! Took less then 5 min Wiring harness snapped right into place Shipping was lighting quick, ordered it Saturday night received it Thursday with regular shipping....there was even a holiday in between!!!! From this experiance alone I will only buy from e-trailer.64070
by: Tom O.07/18/2013
I bought this unit with the specific connecting cable for my truck and everything worked just like it was supposed to. It took me about 10 min. to install it once I found the connector in my truck. Also, there are a number of videos on youtube from etrailer.com, one of which showed me exactly how to connect the trailer brake to my specific truck.90141
by: Randy Y07/12/2013
watch a video on line about this part. And for once ,something worked like it says it would. I just pluged it in and presto my trailer brakes worked Allso paid extra to have it here in 3 days and sure enough it was here in 3 days89291
by: Al S05/27/2013
One of the videos on your website was very helpful to me in locating and accessing the trailer harness plug on my Ford F-150. Once that was accomplished, the installation went very smoothly and the controller is working perfectly.82054
Let me start by saying etrailer.com is the way to go. There prices even with shipping are about the same, if not cheaper, than a brick and mortar store with a lot more to choose from. Shipping was very fast and everything installed and worked in about 15 minutes. That being said, I'm not real impressed with the brake controller. It's about as basic as it gets. No numerical output reading, just a little red light that is supposed to get brighter the harder you push your brakes. Kind of hard to tell when the sun is out. It does work, and if bare bones is what you want, this would probably work for you. I will be calling or emailing to see about an exchange. I would rather spend an extra $10-20 and get something a little nicer. Will let you know how that goes. 43619
by: Rod radovanovic09/07/2013
The product and instructions are very good. The only reason I did not give an excellent rating is that instruction can be more clear about the ground connection of the unit. I do not think that is necessary to ground the unit all the way to the battery negative terminal (as shown in the wiring chart). It is comber some to do that since another 10 gage wire would need to thread through the engine firewall and rout all the way to the battery. It is sufficient just to use a solid metal underneath the dash and attach it to that location. I have to give a great paradise to the sales people that my unit was shipped on the same day. 98742
by: Dave R.06/04/2012
Product was as described. Installation was a breeze with the included harness. I had it installed and tested in 15 minutes. Shipping was very fast, ordered on Wednesday evening at received it on Saturday. This was my first time using etrailer.com and I will definitely be using them for all my trailer needs. 42764
by: Al S.01/24/2011
After I placed the order it was expedited and shipped in lightning speed. All items were delivered, being exactly as described on the e-trailer website. You can't get much better than that.5995
by: Carl Brink03/09/2011
bench test is a good idea it worked gre at.8935
by: Paul D01/21/2011
Got item in 3 days easy to install 5842
This product came as listed & works gre at.78138
by: Don T.12/14/2011
Fast installation with vehicle specific harness sold with the unit. Product does exactly as advertised. Very good product for the price.28098
by: Charles Waguespack07/18/2011
The product works well. I put it in about 30 minutes.19633
This product was very easy to install. Works like it should. Thanks!!!!62932
by: Russ R09/01/2011
clear instructions simple to install 23326
by: tom c05/20/2011
very esey to instal 14907
Works as advertised 78317
by: Britt C05/23/2012
product works great super fast shipping 41459
Very easy to install 68195
by: Nancy D.09/21/2012
Easy install with adapter. 55389
by: Greg K.07/17/2011
Easy installation, clear and effective instruction Unit works perfectly!19557
by: John Y09/30/2011
Works as described. Economical, compact, versatile, easy to install. So far, it seems to be great product.24907
by: Linda C.10/16/2013
Very please with everything,t.hank you 104064
by: Jay F08/25/2013
Great, Great did I say Great!! 96781
by: Donny C05/28/2012
Great product, installed in 20 minutes. 41865
I installed this on my 2002 F250 in a matter of minutes with the adapter cable they sent with it. Easy and I love it.31596
by: J Cole06/22/2011
Good product. great service arrived earlier than expected.17691
by: John C.05/02/2012
Great product, and installation a snap. 39145
Works Great 28038
by: James Kasicky10/13/2011
Offers great products and fast shipping! 25541
by: Ray K09/16/2011
Website was extremely helpful, video on installation and ordering made things simple. Product was shipped and received promptly and installation was literally a snap, it took longer to find the factory plug then to install this unit.24058
Good brake controller and great price. Fast service from Etrailer.55070
by: Britt C05/23/2012
product works great super fast shipping 41461
Great product as a reasonable price. Quick delivery.23987
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