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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am buying a trailer from what I am reading I need a brake controller. Where do I buy it, what kind, who installs it and about how much should I be paying? Thanks
 

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You can self-install or have your trailer dealer install it or probably any mechanic if you prefer. It's almost "plug and play", especially for units like Teconshia P3 and similar where a pre-terminated (on both ends) cable is available to plug between the controller and the plug up in the cabinet under the dash. You can buy a brake controller from eTrailer, your trailer dealer, Amazon, etc...they are easy to come by. I'm a fan of the P3, but there are certainly others that people like, too. Most important...full proportional. Don't by a "cheapie"...
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can self-install or have your trailer dealer install it or probably any mechanic if you prefer. It's almost "plug and play", especially for units like Teconshia P3 and similar where a pre-terminated (on both ends) cable is available to plug between the controller and the plug up in the cabinet under the dash. You can buy a brake controller from eTrailer, your trailer dealer, Amazon, etc...they are easy to come by. I'm a fan of the P3, but there are certainly others that people like, too. Most important...full proportional. Don't by a "cheapie"...
Thanks I will buy the Teconshia P3, I have know knowledge of this brake thing so I wouldn’t know what to look for. Is this something I could install who know nothing about it. What would be a reasonable price to install from a mechanic? Thanks Jim
 

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I agree the P3 is a great choice. As far as plugging it in it’s very easy. If you can find a place to screw in the included mount and are comfortable doing so yourself then there’s no reason to pay someone. Just search for brake controller threads and you should find more than enough info. An hours wages would be more than enough for a good install, less if they‘ll only charge you for partial hours.
 

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You can do it! Check out youtube videos for the P3 and I bet they'll have one for you. However, finding a place to mount the controller that won't be in the way may present a challenge. Here's a brake controller that can hide any place up under the dash. A small control knob can be mounted anyplace to operate the brake controller. Such as any of the blank spots where the interior light, rear hatch switches are located. Here's the link. Look it over very carefully, especially customer photos and how they mounted. It's more expensive but dang, it makes for a clean install that looks great on the Ascent;
 

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Hardest part of installing a controller on the Ascent is finding the cable/plug behind the panel at your driver's left foot. There have been threads on this, but the older posts have lost their photos. Search for P3, brake controller install.
F.S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks I will buy the Teconshia P3, I have know knowledge of this brake thing so I wouldn’t know what to look for. Is this something I could install who know nothing about it. What would be a reasonable price to install from a mechanic? Do I need plug bracket? Thanks Jim
You can do it! Check out youtube videos for the P3 and I bet they'll have one for you. However, finding a place to mount the controller that won't be in the way may present a challenge. Here's a brake controller that can hide any place up under the dash. A small control knob can be mounted anyplace to operate the brake controller. Such as any of the blank spots where the interior light, rear hatch switches are located. Here's the link. Look it over very carefully, especially customer photos and how they mounted. It's more expensive but dang, it makes for a clean install that looks great on the Ascent;
Thank you
 

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There are a few good pics in this thread.


This wiring harness lets you plug the tekonsha P3 and maybe other controllers directly into the Subaru. No wire cutting, splicing, joining required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

There are a few good pics in this thread.


This wiring harness lets you plug the tekonsha P3 and maybe other controllers directly into the Subaru. No wire cutting, splicing, joining required.
Thank you, in his post he talked about disabled RAB, what is RAB? Beside the wire I received with my hitch, I have to also buy another wire like you posted above? am I using both or just the one you listed above because of the 2 clips thanks
 

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Sure thing. Rear Assist Braking. You can turn it off via the touch screen each time you go into reverse. Hold the button in the lower left corner down for three seconds. If not off, the system will bring you to a grinding halt if something is detected behind the car.... like an attached trailer. No fun.

You can use the pigtail (connector on one end and loose wires on the other) you already have and connect it with the pigtail comes with the brake controller with butt connectors. It's easy. The complete harness that I linked just saves you the trouble, is nice and clean, and is one less failure point. It's definitely not required though, just an option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sure thing. Rear Assist Braking. You can turn it off via the touch screen each time you go into reverse. Hold the button in the lower left corner down for three seconds. If not off, the system will bring you to a grinding halt if something is detected behind the car.... like an attached trailer. No fun.

You can use the pigtail (connector on one end and loose wires on the other) you already have and connect it with the pigtail comes with the brake controller with butt connectors. It's easy. The complete harness that I linked just saves you the trouble, is nice and clean, and is one less failure point. It's definitely not required though, just an option.
Sure thing. Rear Assist Braking. You can turn it off via the touch screen each time you go into reverse. Hold the button in the lower left corner down for three seconds. If not off, the system will bring you to a grinding halt if something is detected behind the car.... like an attached trailer. No fun.

You can use the pigtail (connector on one end and loose wires on the other) you already have and connect it with the pigtail comes with the brake controller with butt connectors. It's easy. The complete harness that I linked just saves you the trouble, is nice and clean, and is one less failure point. It's definitely not required though, just an option.
Thank you, learn something new everyday, good thing I asked would of bring my self to a grinding halt. Where would you recommend I buy the ball part, would a RV dealer set it up, another area that I have know idea. Was looking at spec on Winnebago trying to find what size ball.
 

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Just as you can buy a ball mount in a wire variety of places, you can do the same for the hitch ball. You'll need to anticipated ball height from the ground for the trailer you buy so you can calculate the required drop for the ball mount and then the ball size for the trailer. I agree with previous commentary that you "likely" will only need a 2" ball, but 2 5/16" is certainly still possible as some trailers do come with the heavier configuration even if they don't actually require it to meet hitch class specifications. On the comment about the shank of the ball matching the hole in the ball mount, "most likely" the two will have a 1" diameter for this class of setup...just make sure they are matched and that the nut securing the ball to the ball mount is properly torqued. There are some mounts/balls available with smaller than 1" shanks, but I do not recommend them for your application as they are not as strong. These things are not huge expenses even for the "good stuff" and I believe in buying quality.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you, learn something new everyday, good thing I asked would of bring my self to a grinding halt. Where would you recommend I buy the ball part, would a RV dealer set it up, another area that I have know idea. Was looking at spec on Winnebago trying to find what size ball.
Just as you can buy a ball mount in a wire variety of places, you can do the same for the hitch ball. You'll need to anticipated ball height from the ground for the trailer you buy so you can calculate the required drop for the ball mount and then the ball size for the trailer. I agree with previous commentary that you "likely" will only need a 2" ball, but 2 5/16" is certainly still possible as some trailers do come with the heavier configuration even if they don't actually require it to meet hitch class specifications. On the comment about the shank of the ball matching the hole in the ball mount, "most likely" the two will have a 1" diameter for this class of setup...just make sure they are matched and that the nut securing the ball to the ball mount is properly torqued. There are some mounts/balls available with smaller than 1" shanks, but I do not recommend them for your application as they are not as strong. These things are not huge expenses even for the "good stuff" and I believe in buying quality.
thanks, was searching around on internet came across built in tongue weight scale. Are they worth it? Seems like it would take care of a lot of hassle
 

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I did not find the WeighSafe a useful device for the weights that we are trying to measure. I had it, tried it out, and returned it to Amazon.

The 550 lb. physician's scale has worked well for me and all the weighing, both tongue and what I loaded into the trailer. I'll search for the link on Amazon and post it as soon as I find it again.

That didn't take long:
 

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Note: If you weigh the tongue by placing the scale under the trailer's tongue jack, the scale will read somewhat higher than the actual tongue weight. It's easy to correct for this. Take the scale reading times the distance from the trailer's axle (between the axles if 2) to the jack divided by the distance from the axle to the ball coupler.
 

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^^^ Yep. That's good and it works. Doing different trailers with varying loadings at different sites, I've found it quicker and easier to use the jack and do the math. Either way is good a proper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I did not find the WeighSafe a useful device for the weights that we are trying to measure. I had it, tried it out, and returned it to Amazon.

The 550 lb. physician's scale has worked well for me and all the weighing, both tongue and what I loaded into the trailer. I'll search for the link on Amazon and post it as soon as I find it again.

That didn't take long:
Ken could you please tell me what you didn’t like about the Weighsafe? Was it far off? Started reading and watching your video you really have this weight thing done to a T. Thanks
 

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Found this on e-trailer and tested it on my 18' flat bed for accuracy. Works pretty darn good!

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR TRAILER TONGUE WEIGHT WITH A BATHROOM SCALE

Diagram Text Line Parallel

  • Place the trailer tongue 1 ft from the pipe on the support brick
  • Multiply the reading on the scale by the total distance between the 2 support pipes
  • Use a brick that is the same thickness as the scale so that the 2 x 4 is level when you weigh your trailer
Example: If the distance between the trailer tongue and the pipe on the scale is 2 ft, and the distance between the trailer tongue and the pipe on the support brick is 1 ft, then multiply the reading on the scale by 3 to get the tongue weight. If the distance between the trailer tongue and the pipe on the scale is 3 ft and the distance between the trailer tongue and the pipe on the support brick is 1 ft, then multiply the reading on the scale by 4 to get the tongue weight.
 

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The way that the WeightSafe scale gauge was designed puts the hash marks too close together in the range that we are most interested in, which is near the "bottom" of that scale gauge. The scale gauge is also pretty small. It did not give consistent results for me when trying to repeat the weighing without changing anything. I even gave the hydraulics a lot of time to recover between weighs, without changing anything on the trailer.

Once I got the base weights from the information on the trailer for the UVW as it was delivered to the dealer and by taking it to the landscaping supply place, adding the weights for what was added to the trailer was pretty easy using a scale like the physician's scale. Sometimes, time consuming, and a bit tedious, but pretty easy. I had to guesstimate weights like the 6 gallons of water in the water heater, but that is pretty easy; 6 x 8.34 lb./gallon of water = 50.04 lb., which I just called 50 lb. The weight of the propane tank or tanks is usually accounted for in the UVW weight, but not the weight of the propane. The tare weight of the propane tank is listed on it. There are a couple of ways to get the weight of the propane. If the tank is a 20# size, just add 20 pounds for the full tank. You can weigh it, but 20 lb. for each full 20 lb. tank is close enough. We only used about 10 lb. on our trips this past summer. Other folks, with more and longer trips, will use much more. The battery with its battery box and strap can be weighed on the physician's scale.

Just some ideas to get you started.

Ken
 
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