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Going to be towing, and will be getting a brake controller. Currently have comfortline v6 awd with the package.
For the controller do I have to just get the module, or do I have to get the wiring harness as well. I heard the tow package has the wiring already done.
Any thoughts or insights (especially install tips) are appreciated. I heard it's not that bad for a diy task. Thanks Chris
 

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wiring harness is hidden under the plastic trim on the front driver side door sill or behind the panel with the hood release. someone on ebay sells a custom made wiring to connect the controller to car wiring harness but its not cheap. i just used some wire taps i had to connect the pigtail that came with the controller to the car wiring harness. wiring harness was well hidden on mine so don't give up if u can't find it first try.

i removed the coin tray under the dash and mounted it there with scotch heavy duty double sided tape since it was only temporary use to tow a travel trailer. harness stays safely stored behind the coin tray when not in use. definitely could feel it kicking in during braking and a big difference without it. i bought this used one from ebay for about $40 and it worked great. its an accelerometer based one which seems to be preferred over simple time based ones.



here are some videos i found helpful


 

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Going to be towing, and will be getting a brake controller. Currently have comfortline v6 awd with the package.
For the controller do I have to just get the module, or do I have to get the wiring harness as well. I heard the tow package has the wiring already done.
Any thoughts or insights (especially install tips) are appreciated. I heard it's not that bad for a diy task. Thanks Chris
Just a couple of quick things to add beyond what @sidewinder has already provided. I know you're only asking about the brake controller, but in case you haven't read about it elsewhere, VW for some reason doesn't provide the last connector at the hitch that's needed to connect a 7-pin trailer hookup. You can get the part you need from your dealer or get this version from Amazon for $20 -- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AO71OJ0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_image?ie=UTF8&psc=1. I wouldn't be surprised if it's the exact same part, and it works perfectly. It takes 2 minutes to install.

Regarding brake controller options, I went with a Curt Spectrum, as I liked the very small size and the ability to keep the accelerometer module under the dash with only a small control knob double sided taped near my instrument panel -- no drilled holes. I installed it myself buying a connector harness, to connect from the Atlas to the controller, from the seller @sidewinder mentions on Ebay (VW Atlas Plug and Play CURT Trailer Brake Control Harness | eBay).

Regarding the install, if you watch the videos and learn the tricks of getting the various trim pieces off to fetch the Atlas cable, it's not too bad to do. That said, if I were doing it all over, I would likely bypass all the wiring and go with a bluetooth controller -- the Curt Echo. Lots of good reviews on the Echo, the ability to monitor things on your phone, and much easier installation.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
that echo is expensive for what it is and mostly paying for convenience. this hitch socket is same but cheaper from different seller.

Thanks for the feedback. The controller is hard to find. Haven't tried taking off the hood release section yet, it looks like it has "tiny broken plastic pieces" written all over it. Could not locate it with just the foot trim pulled up.
I did get the 7 pin part. $18 and 2 minutes to install.
I'm guessing if I'm going to use the hardwire, I need to get that hood release switch off.
@Bill what is involved with the bluetooth controller. Does it work with specific ones? Thanks Chris
 

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I removed the hood release and popped off the panel. My brake controller lead was taped to the main harness. Although a little daunting at first, the hood release was easily removed. Be patient while trying to remove the retainer clip. It's a solid piece that will not break apart, just don't force it. I had to 'muscle' the panel itself off the mounts but again, go easy and it comes off without any damage. All in all, it took 10 minutes to remove and replace everything.

Some people on this forum say they found theirs under the left foot rest. Do not pry that off first. I tried to force that off but it will not go back on until you remove the left panel behind the hood release. That was my only moment of panic.

Watch the You Tube videos. Good luck!
 

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Thanks for the feedback. The controller is hard to find. Haven't tried taking off the hood release section yet, it looks like it has "tiny broken plastic pieces" written all over it. Could not locate it with just the foot trim pulled up.
I did get the 7 pin part. $18 and 2 minutes to install.
I'm guessing if I'm going to use the hardwire, I need to get that hood release switch off.
@Bill what is involved with the bluetooth controller. Does it work with specific ones? Thanks Chris
@Cmtodd, I haven't used the Curt Echo bluetooth controller myself, but I think I have a reasonable understanding of it. You don't use it in conjunction with other controllers, it IS the controller. It plugs into the rear 7 pin outlet and then your trailer wiring plugs into it. You connect to it via bluetooth on your smart phone, from which you tune it to the desired levels of braking and sensitivity. I also understand that if the bluetooth connection is lost for any reason, you do NOT lose trailer braking. It just stays at the levels to which it was set. Your smartphone is your user interface, and the controller sits at the back of your vehicle.

Am I unhappy with my Curt Spectrum, no. But I would probably opt for the Echo next time just for the ease of setup, the smartphone interface, and portability in the event that I wanted to tow with another vehicle. I'm basing most of my positive perception on the feedback I've seen in the thread: Real World Towing Almost 5K - SE V6 4Motion @ 7,500 Feet.

Hope this makes sense and is helpful.
 

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Thanks for the feedback. The controller is hard to find. Haven't tried taking off the hood release section yet, it looks like it has "tiny broken plastic pieces" written all over it. Could not locate it with just the foot trim pulled up.
I did get the 7 pin part. $18 and 2 minutes to install.
I'm guessing if I'm going to use the hardwire, I need to get that hood release switch off.
@Bill what is involved with the bluetooth controller. Does it work with specific ones? Thanks Chris
@Cmtodd I purchased the echo and have found it very easy to use. Simply plugs in between trailer and vehicle and connects to phone for set up. It will remain connected via bluetooth if you want to adjust brake settings or manually hit trailer brakes, but it does not have to stay connected via bluetooth as the controller always follows settings that it was last set to. If you are looking at this I have found cheapest place to purchase is advance auto and use their 25% off coupon (max $50 off). Takes cost from $229 to $179.
 

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Going to be towing, and will be getting a brake controller. Currently have comfortline v6 awd with the package.
For the controller do I have to just get the module, or do I have to get the wiring harness as well. I heard the tow package has the wiring already done.
Any thoughts or insights (especially install tips) are appreciated. I heard it's not that bad for a diy task. Thanks Chris
I got the Curt Bluetooth brake controller. Love it. No drilling. Works off your cel phone.
 
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