Brake controller for lightweight camper?

Hello y’all. I have a 2020 Ford F-150 supercrew 4WD with the 5.0 coyote motor and 10 speed auto transmission. My question is I’m in the process of purchasing an used camper trailer with tandem axles and it’s weighing at 3,700 lbs dry. My truck is rated to tow approximately 6,500 lbs according to the window sticker. Do I need a brake controller even if the trailer has electric brakes? My friend who is selling me the camper didn’t have brake controller on his truck and said it isn’t necessary but I would like to be cautious of that. Advice?

Yes, you need a brake controller.

Most states and insurance companies require them for any trailer over 1,000 lbs.

If you’re involved in an accident, no matter who’s fault, it will be your fault for driving with defective or missing safety equipment.

Good to know. So should I go to the dealer to have one installed since it’s still under warranty with only 6,300 miles on it?

If your truck is equipped with the max trailer control package, you and perhaps your friend already have the brake controller. If not you need trailer brakes to be operational, yes, add an electric brake controller.

Does this mean I have the Max tow package?

Max tow package couldn’t be ordered with the 5.0, Your truck has the more basic tow package

Gotcha. So the brake controller is required then. Install at the dealer or a RV place?

Which ever one is less expensive, unless time is a consideration, then which ever one can do it sooner.

Thank you. Much appreciated.

Looks like the dealer still has to configure the trailer brake controller to the truck if you’re getting the kit from Ford, Not sure about the RV store’s offerings.

On my 2013 the controller came with the truck, it was in the glove compartment, just required dealer installation. If you look at the back of the truck I suspect you will see both the four pin and seven pin connectors already there.

3,700lbs is NOT considered a lightweight camper. In most states anything trailer over 3,000lbs MUST have a brake controller.

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Is this what you meant?

Your truck should be able to handle a bit more than 6500 pounds. Probably closer to 9k. Though realistically 7500-8000 would be more realistic given that you have to include the weight of the people, food, gear, whatever else. At any rate your truck is more than capable of handling a 3700 pound camper.

As for a trailer brake controller. You’re going to need one. Ford has one available from the factory but it is independent option and is not included with the regular towing package. However it’s rare to see a truck with the factory towing package and without the factory brake controller. I want to say that the OEM brake controller can be added at the dealership provided the truck has the factory trailer towing package as that includes the pre-wiring for the controller. Of course you can get an aftermarket one that will do the same job as well


Is that the brake controller in the picture I posted above?

That does appear to be the brake controller. I would have the Ford dealership install it. If the RV place does the installation it might affect your warranty.

It looks like it’s just the adapter that plugs into your factory harness, then they wire your separately purchased brake control into it.

That way they don’t have to cut and splice into your factory wiring.

That does not appear to be a brake controller in the picture, but it may be the wiring harness for one

The OEM brake controller looks something like this

I think you are correct. The wiring harness comes with the truck, the controller pictured plugs into it. Mine has the space in the dash ready for it. I just never towed more than 1000 pounds, so did not have it installed.

I’m pretty sure it’s 3,000 lbs. 1,000lbs is very low.

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