Easy to Install Brake Controller and 7-Way Recommendation for 2017 Ford Explorer

Question:

My 2017 Ford Explorer does not have a trailer wiring harness, although it does have a class III hitch that was installed aftermarket. I will be towing a small travel trailer with a 7-blade connector, so I’ll need the trailer wiring harness to fit, and a brake controller as well. What parts do I need? Thanks so much.

1

Helpful Expert Reply:

I have a super easy brake controller solution for your 2017 Ford Explorer with the Curt Echo brake controller part # C51180 which plugs into an active 7-way and once synced to a smartphone is ready to tow.

For an easy to install 7-way kit all you need then is the part # C56306 which plugs into the square trailer wiring connector at the rear of your vehicle. I attached an install video for this that shows it installed on a 2017 Explorer just like yours.

Other installs will require hardwiring which will be time consuming and tedious, but this will be a really easy and great solution that will work well.

Since you wanted to do some towing you might be interested in etrailer ball mount kit # 989900. It comes with 2 ball mounts; one with a 3/4 inch rise or 2 inch drop and one with a 2-3/4 inch rise or 4 inch drop. It also includes a 1-7/8 inch ball, 2 inch ball, hitch pin with clip, and a storage bag.

If the ball mount kit does not include a ball mount with the right rise or drop to tow the trailer level, check out the link I have included that explains how to measure to choose a ball mount to tow the trailer level.

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helpful expert reply by:
1
Jameson C

Question:

I’m looking at wiring harness and brake controller options for my 2017 Explorer Limited 4x4. The Curt Echo seems like a cutting-edge option, but I only have the receiver hitch right now no trailer wiring harness. Here’s my question: If I install the C56306 T-One wiring harness, do I need to run a 12-volt supply wire to my battery? Thanks!

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Helpful Expert Reply:

The 7-way install harness part # C56306 already has the 12 volt accessory circuit active so you would not need to run that circuit. All of the needed wiring harness circuits are present at the square connectors so the install of this is really easy.

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helpful expert reply by:
1
Jameson C

Question:

Hello Jameson, You answered my question online yesterday, but I think I need clarification on one point. If I install the C56306 T-connector to use with the Curt Echo brake controller, will I need to run a 12V connection from the trailer wiring harness up to the battery? Your answer didn't mention that, but I wanted to be sure because I've heard conflicting information. Thanks for your help!

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Helpful Expert Reply:

The 12 volt power wire is already ran on the # C56306 that you mentioned. You would not have to run it separately which is commonly the case when installing 7-way adapters.

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helpful expert reply by:
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Jameson C

Question:

I just installed the Curt 56306 T-connector wiring harness on my 2017 Ford Explorer Limited 4x4. However, the wiring diagram in the instructions has the yellow wire connected to the terminal that is marked red on the plug itself and the red wire connected to the center terminal. I first wired it according to the diagram on the instruction sheet and when I connected to my travel trailer the lights aren’t working correctly. So, I rewired the plug according to the labeling on the plug itself and still the trailer lights don’t work correctly. At this point I don’t know what to do. The lights, signals, and brake lights on my vehicle work fine. Help!!

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Helpful Expert Reply:

The wiring color labels in the instructions of the # C56306 represent the correct pin out for the 7-way, but I think what might have confused you is that the picture represents the backside of the 7-way so you might have wired it backwards from left to right. I attached a picture of the diagram for you to check out.

There are a couple wiring color standards that 7-ways can be wired. This 7-way actually diverts from the two standards which are 7-way traditional and 7-way RV. I attached a picture that shows these two to show you the differing color styles.

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helpful expert reply by:
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Jameson C

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