Installing a Brake Controller on a 2012 Harley Davidson Motorcycle for Towing a Aspen Sentry Trailer


Im going to be pulling a small pop-up tent trailer 350-800 lbs. with my 2012 Heritage Softail Classic Harley Davidson motorcycle. What is the best brake controller set up to use for the electric brakes on the Dexter axle of the trailer? The trailer is an Aspen Sentry made by Trailmaster.

Expert Reply:

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 IV electric trailer brake controller by Draw-Tite, # 5504.

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 access to the manual override lever. To wire the brake controller you will need a 20 amp circuit breaker, # 9506P, to install inline on the black power wire that goes to the motorcycle battery. The white wire should be attached to a known ground location and the red wire will need to be attached to a brake light signal that is hot only when the motorcycle brakes are activated. Finally, an appropriate length of blue 10 gauge wire, # 10-1-1, should be used to extend the blue wire from the brake controller to the trailer connector on the motorcycle.

I also inquired about the connector on the Aspen Sentry trailer with electric brakes. You should have a standard 6-Way round connector, like part # PK11604, but it will be wired a bit differently. The Aspen Sentry trailer has separate brake and turn signal circuits, so you will need to use a circuit tester and determine the correct wiring configuration for the 6-Way vehicle side connector, # PK11609. You will have a ground wire, a left turn signal wire, a right turn signal wire, a brake light wire, a electric brake output wire, and a taillight wire, using all 6 pins in the 6-Way connector. Just make sure the motorcycle connector is wired the same as the trailer connector.

For wiring the motorcycle you can use an appropriate length of Jacketed 6 Wire, # DW04906-1.

One thing we need to mention here is that Dexter Axle does not recommend using trailer brakes on trailers towed by motorcycles. This is because it can be very difficult to control the motorcycle and trailer if there is the slightest imbalance in the trailer braking setup. This condition can be magnified on a Torflex axle with a light motorcycle trailer because the magnets angled position can cause spontaneous activation when jounced sufficiently.

expert reply by:
Robert G

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