I have a 2000 silverado Z71 extended cab with 85k miles. I am going to tow
a friend of mines toy hauler this weekend. It weighs roughly 4700lbs. I
have towed more than this before but this time I will be in the hills and t
wo lane roads. Is a brake controller required for that kind of weight? I
figured I will take it easy and hope I can get away with the stock brakes.
Yes for Brake controller!
Need to run an additional line from front to back, Blue wire from
Chevy will do it no problem with tow haul, but try to stop going down
hill without it, and buy a new truck and trailer.
I pull a 29ft, 7000 lbs travel trailer with my F150. There is no way in
HELL I would attempt towing that without brakes....
Check your manual - I can almost tell you for sure that the chevy manual
for a 1/2 ton will state that you need a brake controller for anything
over 1K lbs. This stated, that's all the extra weight GM engineers say
that the truck will stop without overtaxing the truck brakes...
Moving on - next check the state laws that you will be towing
in/through. Each state has certain weight that you need to have trailer
brakes. I am pretty certain it is a hell of a lot lower that the almost
5K you are towing. You get into even a minor fender-bender when you are
supposed to have brakes, your ass is cooked.
Moving on again - I would not like to tow 5K on a flat without brakes,
to say none the less about hills. You can take it easy all you want, but
if a moron pulls out in front of you on that two lane road, what are you
going to do? If your trailer starts swaying, you reach down to activate
the controller to stop the sway and...oh yeah - nothing there. The
trailer starts pushing you down the hill and granny is driving 10mph
under the speed limit halfway down. No problem, you'll just be standing
on your glazed pads and gently help her get up to speed when you come up
Conclusion: If you tow this without brakes, you are nuts...
.....mainly because there MAY be a very easy solution you can do right
now - today - that will fix the problem. This is assuming you have a
tow package and the correct pin connector on the hitch, but are just
missing the brake controller. You can go to your local camping store
today, and pick up a brake controller for ~$100 bucks. (Prodigy is a
good controller at that price). A lot of times, if the truck was
ordered with a tow package there should have been a plastic bag in the
glove box with the plug in adapter w/wires, but if not the guy selling
you the controller can find you the adapter for pretty cheap. It's easy
to install (mount in your truck under the dash where you can reach it
while driving, and plug the adapter into the wiring harness where it
belongs. Should take 1/2 hour max....
~$100 bucks and a 1/2 hour.... Not a lot to make sure you help out your
friend by not wrecking his trailer, not killing yourself or anyone else,
not getting sued (as a minimum) if you have a wreck and not wrecking
your truck, not having to change your underwear when you reach the
bottom of the first hill and realize this was a bad idea....PLUS, you
now have a brake controller and are set up if you ever need to tow again
or want to get into camping or something.... It's only Wednesday, so
you have time to get it and get it done....
Just my opinion of course....
ow a friend of mines toy hauler this weekend. It weighs roughly 4700lbs.
I have towed more than this before but this time I will be in the hills and
two lane roads. Is a brake controller required for that kind of weight?
I figured I will take it easy and hope I can get away with the stock brakes
Well I got a Tekonsha brake controller installed for ~$200 and what a diffe
rence. Feel way more confident now. However, now the truck's tow/haul swi
tch is acting up so may not be able to use that. It's always something. T
hanks for all the advice....
You could have done it yourself and saved half the price, but to each
their own and it's good that if you didn't feel confident enough to do
it yourself, you had it done by a professional - but anyway, I agree
that your tow/haul has nothing to do with the brake controller. Did it
start having problems only after the controller installation? If so,
yes bring it back.... Either way - On my F150, my tow switch basically
prevents the truck from shifting into overdrive. I'm not sure on that
year GM what it does, as my 5.7 '98 GM 2500 does not have a tow/haul
switch. A google search shows it was a common issue with the orange
wire breaking in the column. Seems an easy fix as you need to remove
the bottom cover of the steering column and the broken wire should be
Site I found to take the cover off: