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Adding an electronic trailer brake controller

Adding an electronic trailer brake controller

Postby srr2 [OP] » Aug 23 2011, 1:27am

My new truck came equipped with the HD cooling package, Z71 suspension, and "trailering package". What it didn't have is the integrated electronic trailer brake controller. Now we're talking about renting a travel trailer to do some vacationing and I need to get serious about making this all work. I was going to call the service department and ask them about adding the TBC, but the owner's manual says this:

The ITBC system is a factory-installed item. Out-of-factory installation of this system should not be attempted. GM is not responsible for warranty or performance of the system resulting from out-of-factory installation.

What the heck is that all about? What is the big deal about adding this on a vehicle that's already completely equipped otherwise?

Is there a viable alternative to the GM TBC that can be added safely? Without electric trailer brakes, there's no way that any travel trailer, even the smallest/lightest can be towed legally.
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Related Topics  Adding Brake Controller   Trailer brake controller   Trailer Brake Controller   Do I have an electronic brake control already installed?   EBCM (Electronic Brake Control Module)   brake controller not activating   integrated brake controller?   Brake Controller - GM Style   Brake Controller for 95 gmc   OEM brake controller   Help! I screwed up something when putting brake controller!   Tekonsha Prodigy 3 brake controller   NO ELECTRICAL POWER TO BRAKE CONTROLLER   Problem with integrated brake controller 
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Re: Adding an electronic trailer brake controller

Postby Crawl Away » Aug 23 2011, 2:23am

There are plenty of options out there, some better than others. I personally like Tekoshna and Hayes trailer brake controllers. They can be mounted and wired by almost anyone in a few minutes. I have a Tekoshna Prodigy P2 for sale in the classifieds. parts-for-sale/trailer-brake-controller-t5275.html.
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Re: Adding an electronic trailer brake controller

Postby WingNut » Aug 23 2011, 2:47am

Unless GM has changed the way they do it, you should have been provided a brake controller pigtail that plugs in under the dash. Then it's just a matter of going out and buying a BC unit and splicing in the matching wires. Oh, and find a good place to mount it away from your shins.
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Re: Adding an electronic trailer brake controller

Postby Crawl Away » Aug 23 2011, 3:17am

WingNut wrote:Unless GM has changed the way they do it, you should have been provided a brake controller pigtail that plugs in under the dash. Then it's just a matter of going out and buying a BC unit and splicing in the matching wires. Oh, and find a good place to mount it away from your shins.



The new Chevys don't have the plug. There are loose wires under the dash that need to be wired to the brake controller. Also, there are two loose wires under the hood that have to be unfurled and hooked up.
2011 Silverado LT Z71, 5.3L, 6 Spd
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Re: Adding an electronic trailer brake controller

Postby CKNSLS » Aug 23 2011, 3:26am

Go to etrailer.com.They provide a complete write up on how to hook up the wires. That's what I used. Crawl away is right...no more pigtail. It's called cost cutting. Must have saved them about 25cents a unit!
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Re: Adding an electronic trailer brake controller

Postby srr2 [OP] » Aug 23 2011, 6:13am

Thanks for the suggestions and information. The native GM controller would still be at the top of my list if it weren't for that draconian-sounding warning I quoted above. Does anyone know the reason for that, or is it some kind of corporate risk-avoidance maneuver? It just doesn't make a lot of sense, given that you can add an aftermarket product fairly easily, does it?
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Re: Adding an electronic trailer brake controller

Postby ptgb » Aug 26 2011, 2:18am

My understanding is that the master cylinder is different as well as other smaller pieces/parts. That is why is no simply a plug and play proposition. As to where I got that info? I read it on the net somewhere when I was researching it as well... can't vouch for its validity.
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