Electric Brake Installation Costs: How Much for a Trailer?

The cost to install electric brakes on a trailer can range from $300 to $1,500 depending on the type of brake system and labor fees. Trailer owners who haul heavy loads or frequently travel on steep roads may want to consider installing electric brakes on their trailers for increased safety and control.

Electric brakes work in tandem with the vehicle’s brake system to slow down or stop the trailer when needed. However, the cost of this installation can vary depending on the type of electric brake system, as there are two main options: electric over hydraulic brakes and electric drum brakes.

The price may also depend on the labor fees charged by the mechanic. It is essential to get quotes from reputable mechanics and choose the best option that suits the trailer’s needs and budget.

Electric Brake Installation Costs: How Much for a Trailer?

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Factors That Affect The Cost Of Electric Brake Installation

Installing an electric brake system on a trailer is a crucial step towards ensuring safety on the road. Not only does it enhance the stopping power of your trailer, but it also improves your vehicle’s stability, especially when hauling heavy loads.

However, the cost of installing electric brakes can vary significantly, depending on several factors. Below are factors that affect the cost of electric brake installation.

Type Of Brake System

There are two types of electric brake systems: traditional electric brakes and proportional brake controllers.

  • Traditional electric brakes: These are the most basic type of electric brakes and are controlled manually by the driver. They require a brake controller mounted in the tow vehicle, which allows the driver to adjust the brakes to match the trailer’s weight.
  • Proportional brake controllers: These are more advanced and provide smoother and more proportional braking power. They’re designed to automatically adjust the braking force according to the vehicle’s momentum, making them more responsive and efficient.

Pros And Cons Of Each Type

  • Traditional electric brakes:
  • Pros: More affordable, easy to operate and maintain, reliable, and widely available
  • Cons: Less effective than proportional brakes, require manual adjustment, not suitable for towing heavier loads
  • Proportional brake controllers:
  • Pros: More responsive and efficient, ideal for towing heavier loads, provide smoother braking, require less maintenance
  • Cons: More expensive, may require professional installation, not suitable for small trailers or light loads.

Size And Weight Of The Trailer

The size and weight of your trailer are significant factors to consider when determining the cost of electric brake installation. Larger and heavier trailers require more braking power to stop safely, which means you may need to upgrade to a more advanced brake system.

  • Small trailers (less than 1,000 lbs): May not need an electric brake system
  • Medium trailers (1,000 to 3,500 lbs): May need traditional electric brakes
  • Large trailers (over 3,500 lbs): May require proportional brake controllers.

Type Of Vehicle

Your vehicle type can also influence the cost of electric brake system installation. Towing capacity, brake system compatibility, and other factors vary from one vehicle to another, and all need to be considered.

  • Suvs, crossovers, and pickups: Usually have a higher towing capacity and are suitable for towing larger trailers.
  • Sedans and smaller vehicles: May have lower towing capacity and require additional equipment to tow a trailer.

Labor Costs

The labor cost associated with electric brake installation can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Complexity of installation: Upgrading to a more advanced brake system or installing an electric brake from scratch can take more time and effort than a basic installation.
  • Professional installation: Hiring a professional to install your electric brake system can add to the cost, but it’s typically worth the peace of mind and expertise they bring.
  • Diy installation: Installing an electric brake system on your own can save you money, but only if you have the necessary skills and tools.

The cost of installing electric brakes on a trailer depends on various factors, including the type of brake system, the size and weight of the trailer, the type of vehicle, and the labor costs associated with installation. By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and ensure maximum safety while hauling loads.

Rough Estimate Of Electric Brake Installation Costs

Installing electric brakes on a trailer is important for keeping you and other drivers on the road safe. If you’re looking for a rough estimate on how much electric brake installation costs, keep reading.

Cost Range For Different Types Of Brake Systems

Electric brake installation costs can vary a lot depending on the type of brake system you choose to install. Here are some rough cost estimates based on the type of brake system:

  • Basic electric brake system: $300 to $500
  • Mid-range electric brake system: $500 to $700
  • High-end electric brake system: $700 to $1,200

Factors That Can Influence The Cost Range

There are several factors that can influence the cost of electric brake installation. Some of these factors include:

  • The quality and type of brake system you choose
  • The size and weight of your trailer
  • The amount of labor required for installation
  • The experience and expertise of the installer
  • The location of the installer

What To Look For In A Quote For Electric Brake Installation

When it comes to getting a quote for electric brake installation, there are a few key things to look for to ensure that you’re getting a fair price:

  • The type of brake system being installed
  • The cost of all materials required for installation
  • An itemized breakdown of the labor costs
  • The expected timeline for completion of the installation
  • Any additional fees or charges that may be applicable

By considering these factors and looking for a reputable installer, you can ensure that you’re getting the best possible value for your electric brake installation. Remember, safety is always the top priority when it comes to driving, and installing high-quality electric brakes is an investment in your safety and the safety of others on the road.

Variables To Consider When Planning For Electric Brake Installation

Installing electric brakes on a trailer is a smart move for individuals who require an extra level of control and safety while towing. However, before rushing to install electric brakes, there are several key variables to consider. These include:

Tips For Planning The Installation Of Electric Brakes

  • Determine the weight of your trailer: The weight of your trailer plays a significant role in determining the type of brake controller you need. Consider using a weight distribution hitch to help distribute the weight of your trailer evenly.
  • Select a suitable brake controller: Choose a controller, either time-based or proportional, that suits your preferences and the size of your trailer. Keep in mind that the controller should have a sufficient power capacity to handle the brakes and the weight of the trailer.
  • Establish wiring requirements: You’ll need to ensure that proper wiring is in place to connect the brake controller to the trailer’s brakes. Follow the instructions provided by your brake controller manufacturer and seek a professional if you’re unsure how to proceed.

Key Considerations

  • Brake controller: Ensure that your brake controller can handle the brakes and the weight of the trailer. Check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that you have the appropriate controller for your needs.
  • Wiring: To ensure a successful installation, you’ll need to follow the instructions provided by the brake controller’s manufacturer. Wiring connections must be secure, and all wires should be properly grounded, as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Brake type: There are two types of electric brakes to consider: drum brakes and disc brakes. Drum brakes are often more affordable, while disc brakes provide excellent stopping power but can be more expensive.
  • Brake maintenance: Routine brake maintenance is required to keep the brakes in good working order. This maintenance may include adjusting the brake shoes, replacing worn brake pads, or checking the brake fluid.
  • Familiarize yourself with legal requirements: To ensure that your electric brake installation meets legal requirements, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with your local laws.
  • Ensure proper installation: Follow all instructions provided by the manufacturer and ensure that the installation process is performed by a qualified professional to meet safety and legal requirements.
  • Check brake performance: After installation, test the brakes to ensure that they perform correctly. Ensure that brake pressure increases in proportion to pedal pressure and that brake force is sufficient to stop the trailer’s weight effectively.

It’s vital to consider all the variables before installing electric brakes on a trailer. With careful planning and adherence to legal requirements, you’ll have an efficiently functioning braking system for your trailer that can provide peace of mind while towing.

Frequently Asked Questions For How Much Does It Cost To Install Electric Brakes On A Trailer

What Are Electric Trailer Brakes, And How Do They Work?

Electric trailer brakes use a magnet to create friction between a brake drum and the brake shoes. This magnet is powered by electricity from the trailer’s battery and is activated when the driver presses the brake pedal. The friction slows down the trailer, reducing the risk of accidents on the road.

What Is The Average Installation Cost Of Electric Brakes?

The cost of installing electric brakes varies depending on various factors like the size of the trailer, the type of brake controller and the condition of the brake system. On average, installing electric brakes will cost you between $300 and $1,000, which includes parts and labor.

Can I Install Electric Brakes On My Trailer Myself?

If you are experienced with wiring and have some mechanical skills, you can install electric brakes on your trailer yourself. However, it is highly recommended that you have a professional install them to ensure they are installed safely and correctly.

How Long Does It Take To Install Electric Brakes On A Trailer?

The time it takes to install electric brakes on a trailer varies from one job to another, depending on the complexity of the installation and the size of the trailer. On average, installation takes between two and six hours. However, if the installation requires extensive modification, it may take longer.

What Type Of Brake Controller Should I Use For My Trailer?

The type of brake controller you use for your trailer depends on the type of trailer you have and your towing requirements. The three main types of brake controllers are time-delayed, proportional and hydraulic. A qualified technician can help you choose the right brake controller for your trailer.


After all is said and done, the cost of installing electric brakes on your trailer may vary depending on several factors. Factors such as the type of trailer, brake controller type, brake material, and labor costs may all contribute to the final price.

However, as outlined in this guide, the cost ranges from $300-$900, which makes it a worthwhile investment in the safety of yourself, your passengers, and others on the road. Remember, the installation of electric brakes not only ensures that you comply with local road safety regulations, but it also enhances your towing experience.

Additionally, regular maintenance of your electric brakes will save you money in the long run by preventing costly repairs. The cost of installing electric brakes on a trailer can seem daunting at first, but the investment is worth it in terms of overall safety and convenience.

Do your research, consider all the factors, and select a reliable installer to ensure that you enjoy the benefits of electric brakes. Happy and safe towing!

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