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Redarc Tow-Pro Elite Trailer Brake Controller Installation - 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

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How to Install the Redarc Tow-Pro Elite Trailer Brake Controller on a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Ryan: Hey everybody, Ryan here at etrailer. Today on our 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, we're going to be taking a look and showing you how to install the Redarc Tow-Pro Elite trailer brake controller. We're going to be installing this in conjunction with the Redarc Plug-and-Play wiring adapter harness. So right off the bat, I will say, I am a really big fan of the Redarc Tow-Pro Elite, and that's really due to the size of it. And it's very small, and with this model, compared to some of the older versions, they made it even smaller. So it's really going to give us a ton of options on where and how we want to mount this up.

And that's really important, especially today's newer vehicles. A lot of times the dash can be really cluttered, and don't give us a whole lot of space to mount up a big traditional style brake controller.So that's really not an issue with this one, simply because how small it is. And honestly, with how they design the knob, and the light behind it, it almost blends right in. It kind of puts off the look of almost a factory option. I also really like this because it's going to be really versatile, and have a ton of adjustability.

So it should really work out well for just about any situation. Now, I will say this one is a little unique as far as kind of getting used to those adjustments, because there are a variety of them. But once you kind of play with it for a while and get it figured out, it's really not too bad.So the brake controller is going to give us two different modes, proportional and user control mode. And that user control mode is very similar to how a time delayed brake controller works. So you kind of have the best of both worlds there.

Now, the proportional mode is what it's in now, and we know that because of the solid blue light, and this is the mode you're going to use the majority of the time. Kind of just your regular driving conditions. What the proportional means is however hard you apply the brakes in your truck, the trailer brakes are going to match it. So say for example if you're kind of rolling up to a stop light, and just lightly on the brake, trailer's going to match it. On the other hand, let's say you're on the highway and need to come to an emergency stop, and you've really got to stand on that brake pedal, trailer's going to do the same thing.

So under those normal conditions, it's going to be really predictable and bring you to a safe and complete stop.To put it in that user control mode, it's going to be really simple. You're just going to turn the dial all the way counterclockwise, push on the brake, and push the knob twice. Then you see it's going to light up green, and that's going to indicate to us that we are indeed in that user control mode. So really, this is ideal for those slippery or wet driving conditions, especially people that plan on going off road. And what this is going to do is apply the power to your trailer brakes, regardless on how hard you're pushing them down here in the truck. So say, for example if we put our knob at five, which is about half power, whether we're standing on our truck brakes or barely hitting them, the trailer is going to receive this power we set it at. So for example, this is good if you're on those slick conditions, and say you're hitting the brakes in the truck, and you start to slide a little bit, our brake controller, the inertia switch inside of it may not register that, and may not send power back to the brakes. Well, with the user control mode, it's not going to matter. However hard we hit the brake, we know our trailer is going to receive that power and slow down for us.In both modes, we're actually able to fine tune our brake controller even more, and that's by rotating this knob. This is going to adjust the amount of braking force. So it goes from zero, all the way up to 10, and usually a good starting point is below five. So put it on five, or four, drive around, and kind of establish what you need to do, depending on how your trailer responds. If the brakes are coming on a little too hard, what you can do is reduce that force by turning the knob counterclockwise to a lower number. So three, two, or one, for example. If you drive around and you feel like the trailer's kind of pushing you around a little bit, and you want the brakes to come on a little more aggressively, you simply just rotate it clockwise to a higher number, which will increase that braking force. So it really does give us that ultimate adjustability to really fine tune everything how we want it perfectly.It's also going to have a manual override. And so what the manual override is going to do is apply just your trailer brakes. So say for example you start to have a sway condition, your trailer is kind of getting squirrely, getting away from you, what you can do is simply push down and hold the button, and that will apply just the trailer brakes to kind of straighten it out. So for example, as well, say if you have it on 10, the highest level, you push down, you can see that LED really glows red. That kind of indicates to us how much force is actually being applied. So 10 is red, let's just turn it down to two, for example. You push it down, it's kind of that purplish color. So it'll go from that color, and get a little bit darker as we increase the power, with about eight, nine, and 10 being completely red. So it just gives you a nice visual as well, which is always beneficial.Something that's pretty cool, too, is this is actually going to have what's called a park brake feature. And that's going to come on whenever you have your truck's brakes depressed for longer than three seconds, and you're not moving. So more or less at a stop light, railroad crossing, something like that. And what it's going to do, once it recognizes that, is automatically adjust your trailer's brakes. So it's going to automatically adjust that output, and it's going to know if it needs to increase or decrease that braking power to keep you stationary. And what that's going to do is really help reduce that wear and tear, and potential brake damage, that can occur on your trailer from sitting there with your brakes locked up for a very long time.So it's a really cool feature. If it realizes that you indeed don't need any braking power to stay stationary, at least on the back of the trailer, it will completely turn the power off back there. So does it automatically, no special adjustments or anything like that you need to set up, so gives you that piece of mind knowing that if you're sitting there for a while with your foot on the brake, you're not going to have to worry about burning up your trailer brakes for no good reason. So at the end of the day, definitely one of my favorite brake controllers. It's really going to look good, have that factory appearance, and after you play with it for a while, get it figured out, it's really going to work well in just about any situation. So really puts your mind at ease knowing regardless of what you're doing, we're going to have a brake controller we can count on.Now as far as the installation goes, it's really not too bad. By using the Plug-and-Play adaptor plug, it really does save a ton of time. So you shouldn't have no issues doing it at home in your garage, or even in the driveway. Speaking of which, let's go ahead and put it on together now. To begin our install, we're going to need to first locate our factory connector, and that's going to be located here on the driver's side, kind of underneath the dash in back, there's going to be a plastic cover that we will remove, and we'll be able to get access to that plug. So here's this cover I was talking about, we're going to need to remove it. We're going to have some little pads here, one here, one here, and then one on this side. So just going to lift up on those, that will release the cover. Here's that other tab on this side. Once that cover's out of the way, though, we'll be able to locate our factory connector that we're looking for. And that's going to be this one right here.So the connector we're looking for will be this empty space right here. So it'll be directly underneath this blue connector. It's a small square, what we're going to do is take our adaptor plug, and simply just plug that in. It is a little tight, so be careful to get it lined up correctly, that way you don't force it down and potentially damage any of our terminals, or anything like that. Now what we're able to do is mount up our brake controller here. So what I think I'm going to do is actually just mount it to that cover that we removed a moment ago. So I'm just going to kind of line it up straight, and how I'm going to secure this, I don't know if I want to put screws through there, since there is wiring behind this, so what I think I'm going to do is drill a hole in each one of these slots, and run a zip tie around it, and that should draw it down. So I kind of hold it where I want, kind of just get our hole started, that way I don't accidentally scrape up our unit here. Set that out of the way.Time to open him up. Put that in first, kind of just get it started here, I'm not going to crank down on it just yet, until we get both of them going. And this is just a quick and easy way to mount this. We're not really damaging anything, or getting in the way of anything, and this can always be moved for whatever reason, if you need it to, so kind of a good spot. Once you have it started, go ahead and just tighten down our zip ties here. And that keeps this unit really secure and you shouldn't have any issues like this.Now back in the truck, we can take the other end of our adapter plug and plug it into our unit here. So now what we can do, we're going to grab the other wire that will run over to our knob, and plug that into this port here on the main unit. So that'll push in, and now that we have those hooked up, we can simply just put our cover back into position. At this point, we need to find a spot we can mount up our brake controller knob. So we want to go in an area where it's relatively easy to get to and see, and what you need to think about is if we're going to have enough space behind our mounting location to get this connector here. So that's going to have to fit behind it, and our knob here is going to come through.So I look behind our dash, and a good spot where you have plenty of time to work is right down here in this area. So I put a tiny little mark there where I'm going to drill. I'm going to first start by using a pilot bit, make a small hole, and then I will increase it to the correct size here. Once we have our hole made, we can take the other end of our wiring here and plug it into the back of our connector there. With our hole made, we're going to take this small sticker here and line it up with the hole, and we want this little part here that comes out a little bit further, we're just going to put that in the up position, so we'll try to get it as straight as you can. This is just . has a piece of backing, very carefully peel it off, and before you stick this to the dash, you want to kind of make sure the surface is nice and clean. So I just use a little rubbing alcohol. Did that. I want to get it as straight as I can here. That looks pretty good. I'll simply just push it onto the dash.So from there, we can take our switch, or our knob, rather, and put it through the hole that we've created. We're going to take this clear plastic nut, put it through there, and tighten it down. So once we have this snug down, and everything's secure, what you want to do is make sure that this knob here is turned all the way to the left, or counterclockwise, as far as it'll go. So I'm just turning that all the way. We're going to take our knob, and where it has a zero on it, we're going to position this to where that zero lines up with that little marker up here. So we'll just push it right down on it, make sure it's fully seated, then we're able to turn our knob and make sure it functions correctly.So I went ahead and just used a couple of zip ties, just to kind of help secure our wiring to keep it up and out of the way, and this is how it turned out. Now all that's left to do is calibrate our brake controller. So this is pretty self-explanatory, you're going to just have to drive your truck around as you normally would, with or without your trailer connected, and within 20 braking cycles, or 20 times that you push your brake while you're driving, this should be completely calibrated. So while this is calibrating, it's going to flash green and blue. And once it is calibrated, the light is going to stay a solid blue color. So I'll go ahead, drive around, and get this thing calibrated now.So after driving our truck around, I can plug into our trailer and see if it's calibrated. If it did calibrate, we should have a solid blue light. And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Redarc Tow-Pro Elite trailer brake controller on our 2016 Chevy Silverado 1500.

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