Display of the Draw-Tite Activator II Brake Controller When Not Connected to a Trailer

Question:

When I apply my brakes and the manual brake on controller without trailer hooked up is it supposed to show numbers? If not then what could be the issue?

Expert Reply:

The Draw-Tite Activator II Brake Controller, # 5500, will not display numbers under any function when the trailer is not connected. You should only see a single decimal on the display. Check out the video that I made showing you how the brake controller should function without a trailer connected.

If you do not have any signal on the display, then there could be an electrical issue that is preventing power from reaching the brake controller. If this is the case, I would recommend using a circuit tester, like part # ALL640595, to test for 12 volt power on the black wire to the brake controller. Also test the red wire to ensure a signal is reaching the brake controller from the stop light switch.

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expert reply by:
John H

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Question:

Hey john you just gave me some good info thanks, when I hit my brake and manual without trailer hooked up I get a number reading any ideas what could be going wrong?

asked by: Richard M

Expert Reply:

If you are getting a number readout on your display, moisture in your 7-way trailer connector can often cause this issue. The Draw-Tite Activator II uses trailer sensing and moisture on the brake output circuit at the trailer connector can cause just enough resistance to make the brake controller think there is a trailer connected.

I would recommend first connecting your trailer to your tow vehicle and test the brakes. If the brakes work fine, then that is likely the issue. I spoke with my contact at Draw-Tite and he told me that this time of year is when this problem usually arises. If you want to, you can take apart your trailer connector and try to dry it off, but this typically takes more work than someone is willing to put in. As long as your trailer brakes work, this will not cause any bigger problems.

If your trailer brakes do not work, then you will want to use a circuit tester to test the brake output pin on your trailer connector to see if the brake controller is putting out power. This will be the pin in the 5 o clock position when looking at your vehicle side trailer connector (see photo). If you do not have a signal at that pin, then cut the blue wire about 6 inches back from the brake controller and test again. If you still do not have a signal, then the brake controller is likely the issue and it will need to be replaced.

If you are not able to come up with the problem or a solution following these steps, let me know what you come up with and we can do further troubleshooting.

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expert reply by: John H
John H

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