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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2017 honda touring, and I installed the OEM hitch and hitch/bumper piece a out 6 months ago.

Now, I just bought a small camper (about 2100lbs dry weight) and I need to figure out everything I need to be able to actually tow it!

The camper has a 7-wire connection, so I need the 7-wore harness. Can someone provide the exact model number I need, as I'm having a bit of trouble figuring it out?

Does the 7-wire harness automatically give me braking for the camper, or do I need a brake controller as well??
 

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2020 Honda Passport Touring AWD Metallic Steel
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Where did you buy the camper, dealer or individual? if a dealer, then talk to them as to how it is equipped now and what you need. Individual, find out what it is or is not equipped with. Personally I wouldn’t pull anything of that weight with out the trailer having trailer brakes installed on it.

With trailer breaks you will need a separate brake controller that normally is installed in the vehicle. As for the connector, 7 pin is 7 pin. They are standard, as is the wiring, normally. You should have gotten a 7 pin harness for the vehicle as well as a 4 wire harness for a break controller when you tow package.

Also pull out your owners manual and read the part on towing. If you also had the transmission cooler installed as well then you should be good. If not you may be pushing the perimeters.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. We bought it from an individual. The camper itself says it has brakes installed. It is a 2016 Coachmen Viking V12RBST .

Ok, I thought somehow the trailer brake control was part of the 7-pin connector, but that is not the case? So the camper should have both a 4 pin and 7 pin connector? 4-pin for brake control, and 7-pin for lights?

I don't have the transmission cooler installed, but plan on doing so. With dry weight of 2100, I figure loaded it will still be under 3000. Is this something where you think it'd be fine for a few trips without it? Or a "don't do it at all without it"?
 

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No, the 7 pin handles every thing. The 4 wire harness is to hardwire the break controller in under the dash. that connects it to the 7 pin plug to feed signals to the trailer. Otherwise the 7 pin is only wired for turn signals & lights.

136251


I‘m partial to Curt brake controllers, but there are other good ones out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok cool, so really I should just need to buy 2 parts, the 7-wire harness, and the trailer brake controller?

So something like this for the 7-wire harness. https://www.etrailer.com/Custom-Fit.../Pilot/2017/CU86FR.html?VehicleID=20175001764

And something like this for the brake controller? https://www.etrailer.com/multi-prod...785014&HHYear=2017&HHMake=Honda&HHModel=Pilot
or

The difference seems to be that one of these says "with factory trailer connector" and the other says "without factory trailer connector". I never had any sort of tow package installed, so does this mean that I would need it "without" factory trailer connector?
 

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Yes, but no. First question, did you install the hitch or did you have it installed. If you had it installed go take a close look at the hitch receiver area. You should have the wiring plug already there. If you did the install then yes that would be what you need.

As for the break controller, no you don’t need that much controller. It’s nice but overkill. If you had bought a $170,000, 10,000 GVW Airstream then yes, that would be the way to go. This would serve your needs just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you. I did the hitch installation myself. Appreciate the advice on the brake controller. So obviously that controller has the Curt connection. So I need a harness that either has curt on one end, and Honda on the other end. Or...Curt on one end, and would have to be hard-wired on the other end. I'm trying to figure out which I need (I'm assuming hard-wired??).
 

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You could go with this, but I have no experience with it. It is the brake controller, you will still need a 7 pin wiring harness.
 

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Honda says if everything is less than 3500lbs you should be fine and don't need a transmission cooler. I have towed my 1500lb boat/trailer with my 2017 Pilot EX FWD on a 75 mile round trip every weekend for over 3 years now in central Florida and my tranny is just fine. I have done 2 fluid drain and refills on my transmission.
 

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Yes, and most stated only require you to carry liability insurance on your vehicle. Me, I carry full coverage on my vehicle and if I tow with a vehicle it has a transmission cooler installed. Cheap insurance to put less strain on the transmission.

 

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The cooler is always a good idea to save tranny long term. The Honda one comes with everything to hook up as needed. Some people do aftermarket like Tru Cool 4544.

For wiring the Honda wiring from Bernardi or College Hills is not hard to put in and comes with the fuses for and all control boxes and adapter for the brake controller under dash. I installed mine, not hard, a little time consuming. I don't now how the Curt or others wire in. I saw some that needed to have a separate line run for the electric brake to the 7 pin. Factory will also mount up to factory points in bumper where the others you need to adapt and maybe hang lower. Aftermarket hitches hang 2" lower and wiring next to it. My wife would have it ripped it off long ago already.

Factory also has the details and hookup connectors for foot sensor / and reverse sensor if needed (I didn't).

Etrailer is good, they will help with any issues. one post from them also says the Tekonsha wiring is more heavy duty as compared to Curt. Curt vs. Tekonsha

Many towing forums have Tekonsha as the preferred controller.
 

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Something else to ask etrailer about is sway control and maybe weight distribution if you feel you need it.

Timbren SES was also posted as an option to help the rear sag as opposed to airbags. Proper weight to front wheels helps with control and braking.
 

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Thanks. We bought it from an individual. The camper itself says it has brakes installed. It is a 2016 Coachmen Viking V12RBST .

Ok, I thought somehow the trailer brake control was part of the 7-pin connector, but that is not the case? So the camper should have both a 4 pin and 7 pin connector? 4-pin for brake control, and 7-pin for lights?

I don't have the transmission cooler installed, but plan on doing so. With dry weight of 2100, I figure loaded it will still be under 3000. Is this something where you think it'd be fine for a few trips without it? Or a "don't do it at all without it"?
I have a 2006 Pilot and we purchased a Jayco camper last year that is 2800 dry weight, so in the ballpark of what you are talking about. We purchased the Pilot used from the Honda dealer and requested they add towing. They added the wiring connector and installed the hitch receiver, but didn't do the tranny cooler. I had one of those installed after at another place. As far as connectors, you will have either a 4 pin or 7 pin. I ended up installing a wiring connector that has both 4 and 7 so i was good either way (the factory installed 4 pin just plugs into it, and works for either 4 or 7 pin). You won't need to use both, and your camper will only have the 7 pin.

The brakes are built into the camper but for them to be used, you have to add a brake controller. Newer pilots likely have a wiring harness under the dash for this purpose, but my older one did not and had to be wired up with a wire running from the hitch plug up into the cabin for the controller and another from the controller to the battery for power. Adding the controller is what enables the brakes on the camper to be engaged and work. As far as your last question there, I drove my camper one time without it. I was very cautious, and wasn't familiar with the brake controllers at the time. I didn't die and i didn't kill anyone, but i definitely felt a bit anxious and when going down an incline to the campsite by the lake, i was feeling "pushed" by the camper. I installed the controller the following week and it's night and day difference. My suggestion would be to avoid pulling the camper without getting the controller first.
 

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I had a 2006 pilot and upgraded to a 2017 pilot - I had the dealer put in the tow package which does not come with the brake controller . I went with the Redarc tow elite brake controller - had a Tehonsha controller in the old one. VERY satisfied with the Redarc - no messy install because the main unit is installed under the dash. Easy to use and adjust as well. It is somewhat more expensive but worth it. Next step is to get the tranny cooler installed.

I pull a 2018 a-frame ( 2500 lbs dry) with it - both pilots work great with either brake controller.

I would check out the Redarc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have a 2006 Pilot and we purchased a Jayco camper last year that is 2800 dry weight, so in the ballpark of what you are talking about. We purchased the Pilot used from the Honda dealer and requested they add towing. They added the wiring connector and installed the hitch receiver, but didn't do the tranny cooler. I had one of those installed after at another place. As far as connectors, you will have either a 4 pin or 7 pin. I ended up installing a wiring connector that has both 4 and 7 so i was good either way (the factory installed 4 pin just plugs into it, and works for either 4 or 7 pin). You won't need to use both, and your camper will only have the 7 pin.

The brakes are built into the camper but for them to be used, you have to add a brake controller. Newer pilots likely have a wiring harness under the dash for this purpose, but my older one did not and had to be wired up with a wire running from the hitch plug up into the cabin for the controller and another from the controller to the battery for power. Adding the controller is what enables the brakes on the camper to be engaged and work. As far as your last question there, I drove my camper one time without it. I was very cautious, and wasn't familiar with the brake controllers at the time. I didn't die and i didn't kill anyone, but i definitely felt a bit anxious and when going down an incline to the campsite by the lake, i was feeling "pushed" by the camper. I installed the controller the following week and it's night and day difference. My suggestion would be to avoid pulling the camper without getting the controller first.
Thanks! My 7 pin connector and brake controller should be here Saturday, will try to get them installed Sunday! I did check and found the wiring harness for the brake controller already. Debating on getting the tranny cooler installed next week. I got a quote from Honda for about $520 to install it, which I think sounds cheap for the 9-speed? I had them send me the part number and it is the correct one, I just thought I saw higher prices for it from others!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The cooler is always a good idea to save tranny long term. The Honda one comes with everything to hook up as needed. Some people do aftermarket like Tru Cool 4544.

For wiring the Honda wiring from Bernardi or College Hills is not hard to put in and comes with the fuses for and all control boxes and adapter for the brake controller under dash. I installed mine, not hard, a little time consuming. I don't now how the Curt or others wire in. I saw some that needed to have a separate line run for the electric brake to the 7 pin. Factory will also mount up to factory points in bumper where the others you need to adapt and maybe hang lower. Aftermarket hitches hang 2" lower and wiring next to it. My wife would have it ripped it off long ago already.

Factory also has the details and hookup connectors for foot sensor / and reverse sensor if needed (I didn't).

Etrailer is good, they will help with any issues. one post from them also says the Tekonsha wiring is more heavy duty as compared to Curt. Curt vs. Tekonsha

Many towing forums have Tekonsha as the preferred controller.
Thanks! I ordered the Tekonsha 7-wire harness. Sounds like it basically hooks up just like OEM, except one extra harness, and I guess the mounting holes don't quite match up with the OEM hitch. Oh well, easy to work around. I shouldn't need connectors for the foot/reverse sensor.

Something else to ask etrailer about is sway control and maybe weight distribution if you feel you need it.

Timbren SES was also posted as an option to help the rear sag as opposed to airbags. Proper weight to front wheels helps with control and braking.
Thanks. I will see how this first trip goes. I've been researching these both a bit, seems like a WDH is kind of the best option.
 

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Does the 30amp fuse block added during the trailer wiring harness installation act as the 30amp circuit breaker for the Redarc control unit?

Thank you. Loving this forum.

I had a 2006 pilot and upgraded to a 2017 pilot - I had the dealer put in the tow package which does not come with the brake controller . I went with the Redarc tow elite brake controller - had a Tehonsha controller in the old one. VERY satisfied with the Redarc - no messy install because the main unit is installed under the dash. Easy to use and adjust as well. It is somewhat more expensive but worth it. Next step is to get the tranny cooler installed.

I pull a 2018 a-frame ( 2500 lbs dry) with it - both pilots work great with either brake controller.

I would check out the Redarc.
 
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