Whether you’re looking to tow for work or adventure, we’ve put together some simple step-by-step instructions for installing a Tow-Pro into your Toyota Tacoma. No matter if you’re going to stick to the highways or get as far off-road as possible, REDARC has the best brake controller for Toyota's.
Choosing between the Tow-Pro Elite and Liberty
Deciding on the right brake controller for your setup will depend on where you’re planning to travel. The Tow-Pro Elite is the best controller for all terrain, all weather towing, with its two brake modes for on or off-road driving. The Tow-Pro Liberty only utilizes REDARC’s proportional braking mode for everyday towing in highway conditions.
As far as installation, both main control units are approximately the same size and install in the same way. With the right tools, installing the Tow-Pro takes about thirty minutes.
What you’ll need
REDARC has designed a range of vehicle specific wiring harnesses to make installation in some of the most popular overlanding vehicles simple. For an easy to install brake controller in a Toyota Tacoma you’ll need;
- Tow-Pro Electric Brake Controller
- Toyota suitable Tow-Pro brake controller harness
- Switch insert panel to suit Toyota and Mitsubishi vehicles
- Tow-Pro mounting kit
Inside the Tow-Pro box is the brake controller unit itself, with the plug for the switch controls on one end and the plug for the truck on the other. The remote head unit and remote head dial are also on tip of the box. Also included are two cables, the universal wiring harness and the wire that connects the Tow-Pro to the dial, the remote head bezel and nut and a square switch insert.
You will need some tools to make installation easier, we recommend having on hand;
- Socket set
- Pliers (or anything capable of cutting zip ties)
How to install the Tow-Pro in your Tacoma
- Remove the trim: Starting on the driver’s side of the vehicle, remove the floor mats and gently pull to remove the side trim piece. To the left of the brake pedal you’ll see one removable nut.
- Remove this and set aside. Gently pull and remove that trim piece.
- Disconnect the battery: Before you do any electrical work, you’ll need to disconnect the battery.
- Remove the steering column trim: To remove the dash panel under the steering column, there are three screws to remove, two on either side of the airbag and one on the far left. Gently pull to pop off the panel. You don’t have to disconnect any wires and can just let it hang there.
- Remove the airbag: There are four bolts that hold on the airbag bracket, gently undo these and take off the airbag. You don’t have to unplug it, just let it hang.
- Get the Tow-Pro ready: Behind where the airbag was mounted, find the two mounting holes. Directly behind those, on the mounting bracket is where the Tow-Pro will be mounted. Mount the
- Tow-Pro to the mounting bracket, as pictured below. The larger, lower slot is where you’re going to put the bolt to mount to the bracket in the vehicle. Always make sure that it fits without attaching the wiring first.
- Get the Tow-Pro ready to install: On the Toyota suitable wiring harness, the white wire is the ground point, and the white plug will be connected to the existing tow package plug. Connect the black plug to the Tow-Pro.
- Assemble the remote head dial: Place the remote head into the Toyota and Mitsubishi suitable switch insert, screw on the clear plastic remote head nut and put the dial on top.
- Install the remote head into the dash: On the left side of the dash that you disconnected earlier, pop out the upper blank switch insert and insert the switch that you just assembled.
- Connect the Tow-Pro to the remote head: Using the wire that connects the Tow-Pro to the remote head dial, the black end goes into the Tow-Pro and the white end goes into the remote head.
- Mount the Tow-Pro: Fish the loose plug side through the airbag bracket where you’ll be mounting the Tow-Pro. Put the Tow-Pro into place and use the supplied nut and bolt to attach the Tow-Pro to your mounting point. Tighten it down to make sure it’s secure, you don’t want the Tow-Pro wobbling or vibrating while you drive.
- Secure and reassemble: Organize and zip tie all the extra cabling between the dial and the Tow-Pro out of the way. Gently reattach the airbag and screw it all back down. Reattach the lower trim piece underneath the steering column.
- Finishing off: Attach the Tow-Pro harness to the existing plug in the truck, to the left of the brake pedal. Attach the white wire from the Tow-Pro harness to the ground point on the sidewall.
- Organize and zip tie off any extra wiring.
- Reattach trim: Put your trim piece back on and secure with the hand nut. Put the side trim next to the door back on, and reconnect your battery.
- Check operation: Once the battery is reconnected, turn on your vehicle and press in the dial to see if you have power. The LED should light up blue to indicate you have power.
Calibrating the Tow-Pro
Over the course of regular driving and braking the Tow-Pro will calibrate in the orientation that it has been mounted. The only time you should need to recalibrate is if you move the positioning or the location of the brake controller.
Changing between braking modes in the Tow-Pro Elite
To change between braking modes, you must have a trailer connected and be at a complete stop. Turn the dial all the way down to zero, release and then apply the brakes and double tap the knob. You will see the LED change from blue (proportional mode) to green (user controlled mode) or vice versa.
Find everything you need to install your new brake controller in your Tacoma and tow safely. More information on installing your new Tow-Pro electric brake controller, check out the video install guide below.