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  1. Trailer Brake Controller
  2. Draw-Tite
  3. Electric
  4. Time Delayed Controller
  5. Under-Dash Box
  6. Up to 4 Axles
Draw-Tite Activator IV Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 4 Axles - Time Delayed

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

Item # 5504
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Retail:$168.21
Our Price: $59.19
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Trailer Brake Controller
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5504 - Automatic Leveling Draw-Tite Trailer Brake Controller
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Product Expert Kathleen M

Is this right for you? Product Expert Kathleen M says:

Yes, if you:

  • Only need a basic controller that gets the job done and doesn’t break the bank
  • Have a hard time finding a spot to mount a controller in line with the direction of travel
  • Are big and tall or your cab is pretty cramped and are looking for a smaller brake controller to save your knees from whacking into the controller

No, if you:

  • Have issues with your trailer brakes locking up
  • Haul a trailer that has hydraulic brakes
Palm-size brake controller activates trailer brakes with preset intensity when you apply the brakes in your vehicle. Adjust power output and braking aggressiveness with easily accessible, up-front buttons. Digital display and manual override. Lowest Prices for the best trailer brake controller from Draw-Tite. Draw-Tite Activator IV Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 4 Axles - Time Delayed part number 5504 can be ordered online at etrailer.com or call 800-298-1624 for expert service.
  • All Info
  • Reviews (324)
  • Q & A (0)
  • Photos
  • Why etrailer?

Draw-Tite Trailer Brake Controller - 5504

  • Electric
  • Time Delayed Controller
  • Draw-Tite
  • Under-Dash Box
  • Up to 4 Axles
  • Automatic Leveling
  • Dash Mount
  • 360 Degrees
  • Digital Display

Palm-size brake controller activates trailer brakes with preset intensity when you apply the brakes in your vehicle. Adjust power output and braking aggressiveness with easily accessible, up-front buttons. Digital display and manual override.


Features:

  • Brake controller activates trailer brakes with preset intensity
    • Signal is sent to trailer brakes when tow vehicle's brakes are activated
  • Adjustable power output lets you determine the amount of power sent to the trailer's brakes
    • Set to higher output when towing in hilly terrain or with a fully loaded trailer
    • Back off power when towing a lightweight or empty trailer
  • Sync setting lets you adjust the aggressiveness with which the brakes are activated
    • Increasing activation speed gives you full power output faster
    • Supplying power more gradually gives you smoother braking
  • Easy-to-read digital display communicates brake power output, sync setting, and error codes
    • Shows diagnostic codes for overloads and open grounds
  • Short circuit protected
  • Slide-bar manual override
  • Quick and easy installation
    • Can be mounted at any angle in any plane, and in any direction
    • Mounting bracket with hardware included
    • Plug-in, vehicle-specific brake-controller adapter (sold separately) can be used for certain applications to reduce installation time


Specs:

  • Application: trailers with up to 4 axles (8 brake assemblies)
    • Designed for use with electric brakes only
  • Dimensions: 4-3/16" long x 2-3/4" wide x 1" tall
  • Harness length: 8"
  • Limited lifetime warranty


Time-Delayed Braking

The Activator IV 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 the set 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 user-set delay, no matter the braking situation. Although this delay always exists, it can be adjusted by changing the sync setting. The controller will continue to send out power to the trailer brakes as long as your foot is on the brake pedal, even when your truck and trailer have come to a stop.


Built-In Controls on the Activator IV


Built-In Controls on the Activator IV

The diagram above shows the controls and components of the Activator IV electric trailer brake controller.


Power Output Control

The power output control lets you set the maximum amount of power that will be applied to your trailer's brakes. Typically, the power output is only readjusted if you switch from a heavy, loaded trailer to a much lighter, empty trailer - or vice versa. During the initial setup process, use the plus and minus adjustment buttons on the top left of the Activator IV to adjust the output.


Sync Control

The sync setting represents the elapsed time from the point that the brakes are first applied to the point that the set power output reaches its maximum. This setting is responsible for determining the aggressiveness of the braking action.


To adjust the sync, use the plus and minus buttons on the top of the unit. If you want to reach maximum power output faster, press the plus button. To get smoother braking action by supplying power to the trailer brakes more gradually, press the minus button. You can alter the sync setting to suit your driving preferences or to improve handling based on changing road conditions or varied trailer loads.


Digital Display

The Activator IV brake controller features an easy-to-read LED window that displays the power settings as you adjust them. The power output is shown as a number, with 0 indicating minimum output and 10 indicating maximum output. The sync setting is shown as a number followed by the letter "o" to differentiate it from the output reading. The least aggressive sync setting is 0o and the most aggressive is 9o.


While braking, the unit displays the power output. To see or adjust the sync setting, step on your brake pedal and press either the plus or minus button at the same time.


The display will also show trouble codes to alert you to any potential problems, such as short circuits or overloads, or if there is an internal problem with the controller.


Slide-Bar Manual Override

The manual slide lever overrides the preset power output and allows the operator to engage the trailer brakes without using the vehicle's brakes. In addition to being a necessary safety feature, this option helps to control trailer sway by slowing the trailer to put it back solidly behind the tow vehicle.


You can also engage the manual override to help you move a sliding 5th-wheel hitch closer to your truck's tailgate for tight maneuvering during slow speed turns. Just apply the manual override to hold the trailer in place while slowly moving the tow vehicle forward.


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 or position it in any particular direction. As a result, mounting options are limitless, so long as you can still easily access the manual override.


Installation of the Activator IV 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 controller, you must remove the plug at the end of the integrated wiring harness.


Installation Accessories

A vehicle-specific, dual-mated wiring adapter is available for most newer trucks and SUVs with tow packages. One end of the custom adapter plugs into your vehicle's brake controller port, and the other end plugs into the controller - no hardwiring required.


A universal wiring harness (20127 - sold separately) that plugs into any Draw-Tite brake controller is also available. The 4 leads on the universal harness can then be hardwired into your vehicle. By splicing the universal adapter into your wiring instead of directly connecting the brake controller to your wiring, you gain the ability to unplug and remove the controller from your vehicle should the need arise.


Note: If a custom brake-control wiring adapter is not available for your vehicle, 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 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.



5504 Draw-Tite Act IV Electric Trailer Brake Controller - Time Based

Replaces 5500

Installation Details 5504 Installation instructions


California residents: click here



Customer Reviews

Draw-Tite Activator IV Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 4 Axles - Time Delayed - 5504

Average Customer Rating:  4.9 out of 5 stars   (324 Customer Reviews)

Palm-size brake controller activates trailer brakes with preset intensity when you apply the brakes in your vehicle. Adjust power output and braking aggressiveness with easily accessible, up-front buttons. Digital display and manual override.

- 5504
by:

The Draw-Tite Activator lV Trailer brake controller appears well built, stout and sturdy. Along with the controller it was supplied with the mounting bracket as well screws and instructions providing for an easy install. Draw-Tite is a trusted supplier for trailer needs who have been around for a long time.


Comments
Great product, great name
bryant m - 12/17/2021


- 5504
by:

Great product, great service, fast shipping ! Install was a breeze with direct fit harness. Install complete in 20min!


Comments
One race season down and it worked flawlessly
Jacob S - 01/16/2021


- 5504
by:

easy install took longer to get tools out than to put in definitely plug and play with wiring adapter



- 5504
by:

All items arrived sooner than expected and well packaged and protected. Brake controller and wire harness were perfect fits and easily installed. Installed controller on driver side kick plate under dash. Easy to reach and use/adjust but doesn’t hang under the dash or get in the way at all. The extended tow mirrors were easy to set up and adjust and fit my truck well in spite of being “universal “ fit. Not sure if the mirrors will provide the benefits I grope for as have not yet had the opportunity to use them while towing.



- 5504
by:

Just wanted to throw it out there for reference for any future searches. Note that part # 3024-P (Wiring harness adapter) was also necessary for full plug and play installation. This was for installation on a 2020 RAM 1500 (DT) which did not have a factory tow package or brake controller installed. I reviewed the etrailer installation video on a previous Gen RAM and it said the plugs would be right above the gas pedal. At first, I couldn’t find the OEM harness plugs; There weren't any plugs just hanging out in that area. When I got my package yesterday, I decided to take another looksee. This time I easily found it. Looking from under, I could see the two plugs snuggly taped together with black material, not electrical, tape. Looking up from my under dash position they were slightly to the left and up. If you have huge hands and forearms, it may take some positioning, and skin cuts, to get to. Luckily I don’t, but took a little finesse to get the tape off. Once I got that off, there was plenty of room to work and plug my adapter harness into. The brake controller came with a mounting bracket and sheet screws to mount somewhere. Under our dash, there’s a metal dash screw right about the gas pedal that works perfect to mount the bracket. I put on a zip tie as well to make sure it was extra secure. Zip tied the extra slack of the OEM harness and adapter harness under the dash. Very easy install. Unfortunately, no input yet on how it works. Looking at picking up a car trailer this weekend.



- 5504
by:

Have not used brake controller yet. It is ready to be used.



- 5504
by:

Excellent products and service. They have what you need for all towing needs, and also quick shipping!



- 5504
by:

It’s very good parts working well I really appreciate it I’ll be shopping with you soon thanks for the note



- 5504
by:

EASY TO USE AND EASY TO READ THE DISPLAY. WORKS GREAT


Comments
GREAT
JIM S - 11/05/2021


- 5504
by:

I have been using my brake controller for 1year now, absolutely no problems, works and performs great! I have them in both of my business trucks. This is a great choice at a great price!


Comments
Another year has passed, brake controller is performing just like the day I installed it, perfectly!
Morgan B - 05/27/2021


- 5504
by:

The quality seems questionable compared to other controllers I have owned, will see how it preforms when I tow the trailer for the first time. I can’t complain about the price, very reasonable!



- 5504
by:

Replaced an outdated Activator II brake controller in my 1999 Ford F250 with this one. Very easy to install (Combined with the Tekonsha Wiring Adapter), and worked great right out of the box! Would definitely recommend this to anyone with an older truck looking to add or upgrade a break controller. I must also mention the excellent customer service from etrailer. Thanks again!



- 5504
by:

Arrived sooner than I expected. Watched one helpful installation video (not exactly the same vehicle nor same brake controller but still useful). Took me about an hour and half (with heat breaks) to figure it all out and install. Works great. My only regret is that I waited so long to get to it. Saved over $250 compared to RV repair shop installation.



- 5504
by:

Brake controller is exactly what was ordered, In stock and delivered in a reasonable time.



- 5504
by:

Purchased the Draw-tite brake controller and wiring adapter. Installation was simple after watching the video. Havent tested it pulling a trailer yet. Thanx again etrailer!!


Comments
Works great! Was simple to use,really liked the manual brake feature on steep declines, where I didnt have to use the trucks brakes so much, slowing the trailer down.
Cosgrove - 07/11/2020


- 5504
by:

Easy installation and setup, works flaw lessly



- 5504
by:

Works like a charm, I will purchase from you again. The plug and play adapter worked perfect.



- 5504
by:

Easy to install and easy to use. I recommend it!!



- 5504
by:

This break controller and harness installs in a 2014 Silverado with factory wires already installed. If you want to install in the dash where the factory break controller should be ,it fits with some modifications. First be careful when cutting the back of dash board. The factory wires are connected to the back of the plastic that you will cut out. The wires are located top right of the panel. Stay away from this area. You will also need to cut out the back bottom to feed the plug from break controller to drivers side fuse panel and run down under the dash board on top of parking break. Remove the black cover next to break pedal and plug in the wire harness. You will need to cut out a piece of plastic on the side of the cover box next to the plug insert, because the harness is not long enough to route thru the top. The break controller will stick out of the dash about 2 inches. This gives access to top control buttons. I mounted it this way because I like it at eye level and not down by my knee. Also did not want to drill holes in my leather appointed dash.


Comments
Control works great no problems
Rick - 08/09/2015



- 5504
by:

A great product, great service, easy install. The trailer brake connection installed in the production of my Honda Ridgeline can be difficult to locate. Tip- Look straight in through the small space between the bottom of the dash and the cover skirt below it. It is in clear view and although a tight space it can be unclipped pulled down to a workable area.



- 5504
by:

I may never need another brake controller. But if I do, it will be this same unit. Very adjustable and works great.



- 5504
by:

I am still trying to install your product on my 2018 Chevrolet Silverado. I was under the impression I simply had to mount the bracket, mount the device, plug it in, and adjust it. Unfortunately, it does not plug into anything under my dash. I need to cut and splice some wiring...I need to discern which wires to cut and splice first.


Comments
No need to cut or splice anything. Youll need a brake controller wiring harness adapter, which we offer as part # 3016
Tekonsha Plug-In Wiring Adapter for Electric Brake Controllers
$17.58
. The harness plugs into the junction panel under the dash on the firewall behind the emergency brake pedal, as shown in the video Ive linked for you. One end of the harness plugs into the connector in the junction panel, the other plugs into the connector coming off of the back of the brake controller.
-- Etrailer Expert Mike L - 01/15/2019

Comments
Update: thanks much guys! I was not aware of the wiring harness control adaptor. I purchased it and the process went swimmingly. Thanks guys!
Barry - 01/16/2020



- 5504
by:

Works great, easy to install, easy to set up, more or less just plug and play. Reasonably priced. Couldn’t ask for anything better.



- 5504
by:

Bought this for my 2013 Lexus GX 460. Also bought the adapter cable. Couldn't have been easier to install. Just plug it in. Took it out for a test drive with my trailer and it worked great.


Comments
Still works great. Saved me a ton of money doing it myself instead of having a mechanic do it.
Paul - 04/27/2019



- 5504
by:

The draw tite brake controller arrived very quick. I installed it very easy on my 2015. Ram. I called Tekonsa and made sure what plug in wiring adapter need it was the 3024 p. I was told by service tech Tekconsa that they maiddraw tite. Also the guy from etrailer I order from new all the questions, very good at his job. I installed it in about an hour and that was finding the best place. The adapter plug is above the gas peddle. Will from etrailer again. Good Luck you will be satisfied.


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Show More Reviews

Ask the Experts about this Draw-Tite Trailer Brake Controller

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  • What Does the Er Code On the Draw-Tite Activator IV Trailer Brake Controller Mean
    The "Er" error code on the Draw-Tite Activator IV Trailer Brake Controller part # 5504 means there is an internal problem with the brake controller therefore it will need to be replaced. That said, this will be a great time to upgrade to a proportional brake controller which will outperform the time-delayed one you have now tenfold. For this, the Draw-Tite I-Command Trailer Brake Controller part # 5535 is a great cost effective option and it will use the same plug as the Activator IV which...
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  • No Brake Lights When Using the Draw-Tite Activator Trailer Brake Controller # 5504
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  • How to Install a Brake Controller on my 1999 Ford F-150 with Factory 4-Way
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    view full answer...
  • Brake Controller Installation on 2005 Ford F150
    All 2005 F150 models would be prewired for installing a brake controller. The gray connector the controller would plug into is located behind and to the right of the diagnostic port under the steering column as shown in the photo I've provided. If your F150 is equipped with the factory installed 7-way trailer connector, all you would need is a brake controller wiring adapter. If you use a brake controller manufactured by Tekonsha, you'd use a # 3035-P adapter. One end would plug into...
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  • Trailer Brake Controller for a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee with Factory 7-Way Connector
    For your 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee I recommend the P3 brake controller, # 90195. This is a proportional controller that will apply the trailer brakes in proportion to how much the Jeep is braking. this is the safest way to stop and it reduces wear and tear on the vehicle and trailer compared to a time delay controller. This controller also has easy to read diagnostics so you will not have to look up any fault codes. It also has several presets if you tow multiple trailers and you can...
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  • Motorhome Brake Control Install
    Brake controllers are not vehicle specific items so there are not diagrams available for individual vehicles. We do have a help page on installing brake controllers that will walk you through the process, but I will briefly run through the process to give you an idea of what has to be done. Most brake controllers have 4-Wires, typically they are: blue, black, red and white. The white wire is a ground, so it needs to be connected to any solid ground point. The red wire is the stop light...
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  • Installing a Brake Controller on a 2006 Chevy Silverado 1500 with Tow Package, Is it Pre Wired
    As long as your 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, has the factory 7-Way tow package wiring at the rear of the vehicle all you will need is the Draw-Tite Brake Controller with Wiring for the 2006 Chevrolet Silverado, item # 5504-3015-P, which includes the # 5504 brake controller and the # 3015-P wiring harness needed to install the brake controller on your truck. The # 3015-P adapter will plug into a port in the power distribution box under the dash on your truck. If you do not have a factory...
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  • Solution for Preventing Brake Controller From Pulsing with Hazard Lights
    What you need to prevent your hazard lights from activating your trailer brakes is a pulse preventer part # 5501. This installs like the diagram I attached shows and allows your brake controller to know the difference from when the hazards are on and when the brake pedal is pressed.
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