How to wire electric brakes on a trailer?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “How to wire electric brakes on a trailer?” We will discuss the steps to wire electric brakes on a trailer and the required materials for this project. We will also touch upon the crucial components. At the end of this post, you will learn how to wire electric brakes on a trailer in less than a day.

How to wire electric brakes on a trailer?

To wire electric brakes a trailer, you must follow the steps described below.

  • Determine the wiring requirements
  • Gather the required materials
  • Disconnect the power
  • Install brake assemblies
  • Connect the wires
  • Connect the breakaway switch
  • Test the brake system
  • Secure the wiring

Determine the wiring requirements

  • The first step is determining the wiring requirements based on the trailer and the type of electric brakes you plan to use. The wiring setup can vary according to the different brake requirements. Be sure to refer to the electric brake manufacturer’s manual to help determine the wiring requirements for this project.
  • The brake system will have specific electrical requirements, like the appropriate gauge and thickness. Get to know the correct gauge of the electrical brake system and the required length of the wire.
  • It is also essential to know the color coding of the wires. Note that the standard color coding for electric trailer brakes. Blue is used for the brake wire, and white is used for the ground wire.

Gather the required materials

  • Once you have determined the wiring requirements, you can gather the required materials for this project. Ensure all the tools and safety gear are in place before starting the process.
  • The first necessary component is to have a suitable electric brake kit. The electric brake kit will have the brake assemblies, wiring, and magnets.
  • Next, it is vital to have a separate battery to power the trailer brakes. These are specific batteries that are built for electric brakes.
  • The following essential component will be the circuit breaker. The circuit breaker or fuse is essential while wiring electric brakes on a trailer. These components will protect the electrical system.

Disconnect the power

  • Now that everything is in place, you must disconnect the power before starting this project. Park the trailer on a level surface to disconnect the power. The trailer must be secured with wheel chocks to prevent it from moving away.
  • Next, disconnect the trailer from the tow vehicle and remove all power sources. The trailer should be connected to any electrical systems while working on this project.

Install brake assemblies

  • After disconnecting the trailer, you must install the brake assemblies. Fix the brake assemblies to the braking system of the trailer. Be sure to refer to the instructions that are provided in the manual.
  • It is easy to install the brake assemblies since they are mounted on the axle flanges. These brake assemblies are usually secured with the help of bolts or clips.

Connect the wires

  • The next step is to connect the wires. Make sure to route the wiring from the brake assemblies. The wires should run through the front of the trailer following the frame.
  • While running the wires, ensure they are not connected to moving parts or heat sources. The wires must be connected to the main wiring harness from each brake assembly. The most crucial part is connecting the wires securely.
  • Strip the ends of the wires and use crimp connectors to secure them. Another easy way would be soldering the wires to make them secure.
  • Another essential part is to connect the ground wire to the brake assembly. The ground wire should be connected to each brake assembly and the trailer’s main ground point. The trailer’s main ground point is usually the metal part of the trailer’s frame.

Connect the breakaway switch

  • The next step is to connect the breakaway switch. Remember that the breakaway switch should have easy access. Make sure that the breakaway switch is near the front of the trailer. Most people place the breakaway switch on the front of the trailer since it is easy to access.
  • Next, connect one wire from the trailer’s battery to the breakaway switch. Make sure that a circuit breaker protects the wire. The other wire must be connected from the breakaway switch to the broken wire of the trailer’s main wiring harness.

Test the brake system

  • Now that you are done with the installation, it is time to test the brake system. Before testing the brake system, reconnect the trailer to the power source and the tow vehicle.
  • Activate the brakes from the tow vehicle by engaging with the trailer’s electrical systems.
  • Next, you can test the brake system by applying the brakes in the tow vehicle. Ensure that the trailer brakes are adequately released and working well when applying pressure.

Secure the wiring

  • Finally, you must secure and protect the wiring on the trailer. The easiest way is to use zip ties or clips to prevent the wiring from hanging or dragging. Try not to tie the wires to the trailer frame since it is not recommended.
  • To protect the wiring, a couple of options can be considered. Use a wire loom or conduit for better protection. Electrical tape is also one of the other options that trailer owners consider. However, it is always good to consider conduit.
  • The electric brake wires are exposed, and protecting the wiring with solid material is always good. The most important part is to protect the wire in critical areas, including sharp edges and bends.

It is easy to wire electric brakes on a trailer, but always remember that every manufacturer has their installation guide. Ensure to check the specific instructions that the brake manufacturer provides. Following the safety guidelines and local regulations for wiring electric brakes is also essential.

Consult a professional or hire an expert trailer mechanic if you are uncomfortable working on this project. Be sure to wear safety equipment while working on this process. Knowing the proper wires and their connectivity is vital to this project. Work carefully and patiently when wiring electric brakes on a trailer.


In this blog post, we have answered the question: “How to wire electric brakes on a trailer?” We have discussed the steps to wire electric brakes on a trailer along with the required materials for this project. We have also touched upon the crucial components.

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