Update time. My time constraints changed considerably as my parents health spiraled downward, and I wasn't able to finish the trailer in the time I expected. But an offer to enter a fire pit I made in a nearby art show lit a fire under my butt, so to speak, to get the trailer road worthy. So in a few hours of frantic work, I wired the jeep for a trailer, wired the trailer for a jeep, made a couple ugly scab-welded light brackets, and cut down some semi-truck mud flaps to keep the cops happy.
First, what brake controller? Prodigy, what else.
Next, where to mount the brake controller? My YJ has AC, so the usual spot under the dash is a bit crowded. I wanted a spot that will be easy to reach, but not in the way. I decided on the front compartment of the Tuffy console. Fit nice, easy reach when needed (just leave to cover open when towing), and protected from thieves and the elements when not in use. In retrospect, I should have mounted it to one side of the space, it would make better use to the spot and leave room for something else in the future. I'll move it over later.
I ran the brake controller wires through the firewall, and connected them to the bus bar I made a few months ago. The positive runs through a 20 amp auto-resetting fuse, as per Tekonsha's directions.
The jeep had been wired for a flat 4-pin trailer connector by the previous owner. I wanted brakes on this trailer, so I needed the right connector. One look at the rats nest of wires gave me the willies at trying to mess with that mess in the time I had available. So I cut another hole in the tub, installed a grommet, and ran a piece of 7-wire trailer cable from the connector, up through the tub, and spliced everything together in the section that runs under the tub lip over the wheel well.
I fabbed up a quick bracket to mount the connector. Funds are running low (two girls in collage), so I had to do what I could on the cheap.
Knowing that this trailer is going to see some rock crawling, I wanted the wiring as protected as possible. That meant tucking it up high in the frame, as opposed to running under each cross member. A hole saw and some tube from the local metal supplier's scrap pile fixed the problem. You can see the tube sections sitting on top of the frame waiting to be welded in place.
I used split casing to keep everything neat on the outside. The black battery charging wire is capped off for now (no battery), and the yellow accessory wire is tied up and waiting for reverse lights..... no time for those now, I had to get the trailer up and running ASAP. You can see the angle-iron brackets for mounting the plywood flatbed in place. Again-- cheap and quick. The fugly light brackets are hastily made from scrap flat rod, and something I wouldn't sell to my worst enemy, but I can replace those easily enough when the bed is made.
The cable runs up along the tongue, and is held up with a simple carabineer clip. This lets me use enough cable to allow for turns, but keeps the cable up high from the ground. It was all I could come up with on short notice. Safety chains have quick-release hooks for ease of use
And here is the trailer all ready for its maiden voyage. The plywood is held in place with 1/2" bolts, the tie-downs are bolted to the frame. The load is plenty secure. The mud flaps are held in with snap pins so they can't bounce out off their brackets. This way I can pull them off in a second for off road use. I'll add a couple stop collars to the square rods to keep the upper parts of the flap sopport rod hanging horizontal, just for pretty. Dig the "Xtreme" logo on the flaps? Who knew, when I bought them they were upside down on the store shelf. Gotta laugh.... it's a little presumptuous, don't you think.
This was a rush job to get it ready for a single trip, and despite the time constraints, it came out okay. I don't even have the frame painted yet, nor a full sized spare (AFAIK, that's the original factory spare that came with the jeep when I bought it).
The trailer towed like a dream. The lack of shocks gave the fire pit a nice spongy ride, we'll see if I need them as time goes forward. 18 PSI in the tires helped absorb road bumps. I was amazed at how well it handled over a 2-hour trip that included 16% grades over a windy, bumpy, county road that used to be a logging trail in times past. No push in the corners, the trailer tracked well, and the brakes work like a charm.
The trailer is not done yet, not even close. But I'm happy with how it has worked out so far, given the fact that it's latest progress was cobbled together under a time constraint. Now to wait and see how the fire pit does in the art show. But that is a story for another thread...