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How do you remove the plastic panel that hides the brake wiring on the 2019 Ascent? it is down on left side near foot rest. Need to install a Drawtite brake controller that has a direct adapter for plug n play hook up to the brake system. Thank you
 

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No need to remove anything. The plug is there. Use a flashlight and look in the nooks and crannies in that area.
 

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Thanks. Found it taped behind the main cable bundle. Was able to remove panel which made getting at the trailer brake cable plug a lot easier. Stupid place to hide the plug especially when the Ascent is touted as perfect for towing small travel trailers. Would have been nice if Subaru sales reps, parts dept, or mechanics had a clue that a controller was needed or where the connection was. They ended up calling the Factory Service Rep to find out that "YES" you do need a brake controller. Ridiculous
 

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Someone else had problems finding it, so, they asked if I could share a photo of the location. Instead, I did a little video. It was rushed, it was dark out, and cold, so, it's not the best videography, but, it will show you where the connector is located.

 

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Would have been nice if Subaru sales reps, parts dept, or mechanics had a clue that a controller was needed or where the connection was. They ended up calling the Factory Service Rep to find out that "YES" you do need a brake controller. Ridiculous
Very few vehicles come with or have available an integrated brake controller from the factory from any manufacturer so if one is going to tow a trailer with electric brakes, there's probably a 95+% chance that one is going to need to acquire and install a brake controller. But I agree that the folks selling and servicing tow-capable vehicles should be able to answer the question "Do I need a brake controller for my trailer that has electric brakes?"
 
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Very few vehicles come with or have available an integrated brake controller from the factory from any manufacturer so if one is going to tow a trailer with electric brakes, there's probably a 95+% chance that one is going to need to acquire and install a brake controller. But I agree that the folks selling and servicing tow-capable vehicles should be able to answer the question "Do I need a brake controller for my trailer that has electric brakes?"
This is true. Most that have towing capability will have the wiring capability integrated though. Install a front to back wiring after the fact makes no sense. The wiring harness for the 4/7pin trailer connectors as well as the brake controller are included with the hitch.

Yes it amazed me when I had a question about brake controllers etc, sales guy, service department were of no help at all. Parts 'sort of' figured it out but it amazed me how little they knew about towing. Not confidence inspiring at all.
 

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The wiring harness for the 4/7pin trailer connectors as well as the brake controller are included with the hitch.
Not quite. The connectors and short leads with plugs are included. The wiring harness comes built into the car. The leads are plugged into the existing harness.
 

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Most that have towing capability will have the wiring capability integrated though.
As does the Ascent....the wiring with the OEM hitch is just a pigtail.

Edit...I see Robert already responded with the same.
 
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This is incorrect. The brake controller does not come with the hitch. It's up to the purchaser to buy this device and install it. You can buy them specifically for the Ascent which means it's a plug and play device. It comes with the correct connector ready to plug in to the wiring harness in the dashboard area.

as well as the brake controller are included with the hitch.
 

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I ordered my brake controller from E-Trailer and it came with both a plug n play cable (both connectors) as well as a cable with only the brake controller connector on it. The plug-n-play cable did not have an inline fuse in it. The Subaru cable that comes with the towing package does have an inline fuse in it. I asked my service department about needing a fuse and this was their response:

"The inline fuse is to avoid any interruption of lights on the tow vehicle should a short or surge occur. It is not mandatory that you use one with an inline fuse but on the outside chance there should be a surge it is possible items could be damaged in the Ascent and the non-inline fuse cable would run the risk of voiding any warranty on the electrical system. The inline fuse is there is a short or surge would blow and stop any other issues after the fuse."

I thought about adding an inline fuse to the plug-n-play cable but decided to use the Subaru supplied cable with the fuse.
 

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This is incorrect. The brake controller does not come with the hitch. It's up to the purchaser to buy this device and install it. You can buy them specifically for the Ascent which means it's a plug and play device. It comes with the correct connector ready to plug in to the wiring harness in the dashboard area.
No. I mean the wiring harness FOR the brake controller. A Subaru specific harness/pigtail is needed. When I bought my brake controller there appeared to be a missing component to get it installed correctly. This elusive wiring harness was hidden deep within the bowels. Service and parts had no idea what I was asking about as I I initially could not find it.
 

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No. I mean the wiring harness FOR the brake controller. A Subaru specific harness/pigtail is needed. When I bought my brake controller there appeared to be a missing component to get it installed correctly. This elusive wiring harness was hidden deep within the bowels. Service and parts had no idea what I was asking about as I I initially could not find it.
Deep within the bowels of what? Usually they'll get put in the glove box or rear underfloor storage.

Sorry for the trouble nonetheless. The pigtail is included with the hitch and shown on the Kit Contents. That should have been enough for them to say "Oh yeah! That thing!".
3298
 

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I've never towed a trailer with brakes. I have had the factory hitch installed, and it came with the pigtail.

So I need to buy a brake controller now too? And eTrailer sells one? But there is also one specifically for the Ascent? Which one is that?

So once you buy a brake controller, you would plug it in when you tow, and then take it away when you don't need it? Or do you just leave it installed?

Any links to a list of the "preferred" ones to get? I'd like something of decent quality.

And I take it that if I got a decent one, then maybe it would also work (if I got the pig tails) in my 2013 Gen4 Outback?

Thanks, very new to brake controllers and the ascent.
 

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Read more, and seems the Tekonsha P3 is pretty well liked (only complaint seems to be that you have to mount it somewhere). So I think I'll order one of them this weekend once I work out which option to order to get the wiring harness to splice into the Subaru pig tails.
 

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There are some posts here showing installations of different types of brake controllers. I like the round one by Curt that mounts on the steering column where the ignition key used to be... now it's just a flat spot. Most controllers have a pigtail that's specific for the Ascent, so it's plug and play. All you have to do really is mount the controller and plug it in.


Spectrum Integrated Proportional Trailer Brake Controller I find this action smoother and more responsive than the Tekonshas , but it is more $$
 

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So once you buy a brake controller, you would plug it in when you tow, and then take it away when you don't need it? Or do you just leave it installed?
Whichever one you get will work in any vehicle with the correct wiring. I can’t speak to wiring in other vehicles...

I leave my P3 installed all the time. It automatically realizes there’s no trailer installed >99% of the time and is just inactive. It’s really just a convenience thing for me leaving it installed. It does have a manual brake lever that, when no trailer is being towed, will flash your brake lights without actually applying brakes. I’ve found that helpful a couple times 😉
 

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I have a P3 and mount it with velcro to the little shelf to the left of the steering wheel. The P3 for the Ascent that I got from E trailer had both a single ended cable with a inline fuse and a double ended the cable. The issue with the double ended cable is that there is no inline fuse and if anything were to happen that could be traced back to not having a fuse inline could void your warranty. I used the singled ended cable with the inline fuse and connected it to the single ended cable that was supplied with the Ascent trailering package.
 

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The P3 will know when there's no trailer attached and will "shut off" after a few minutes. There's no need to remove it when not towing outside of asthetic preferences. The install is easy, aside from choosing a l ocation and mounting method. The manufacturer even has pre-terminated pigtails for total plug-and-play as long as you can mount the unit close enough to the connector in the vehicle.
 
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I've never towed a trailer with brakes. I have had the factory hitch installed, and it came with the pigtail.

So I need to buy a brake controller now too? And eTrailer sells one? But there is also one specifically for the Ascent? Which one is that?

So once you buy a brake controller, you would plug it in when you tow, and then take it away when you don't need it? Or do you just leave it installed?

Any links to a list of the "preferred" ones to get? I'd like something of decent quality.

And I take it that if I got a decent one, then maybe it would also work (if I got the pig tails) in my 2013 Gen4 Outback?

Thanks, very new to brake controllers and the ascent.
Yes, the Ascent requires trailer brakes for all trailers over 1,000 pounds, regardless of local laws. I use the Tekonsha Prodigy P3, which I really like, but there are other equally as good options.
 
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