I didn’t specifically buy this truck to do any towing. It was literally going to be just a replacement vehicle for the minivan, which, was falling apart. Especially after seeing the abysmally low tow ratings for the RAM 1500 ST. Then I started researching light weight travel trailers and starting thinking “what if”? Then I found the Lance model 1985 travel trailer. It has a gross weight well under my truck’s max tow rating. However, I would need to add a brake controller.
I actually already had a brake controller I could have used but it’s the type that hangs down below the dash and you end up knocking your knees on it getting in and out of the truck. After doing some research I found it was possible to add the factory supplied brake controller. I used THIS DOCUMENT as my guide to installing the Ram Integrated Brake Module (RIBM) and everything went (almost) well.
When you order the RIBM, it comes with two bezels, one charcoal grey and the other tan. I used the grey bezel to match my panel obviously. It installs into the below space in your panel. Originally there was a small change holder here. It removes easily with two screws and the RIBM slides right into place. Ram supplies an extra screw to hold the RIBM in place. These are Torx 20 screws.
To get at the wiring you have to remove the kneeguard panel just below the steering wheel. This is super easy as well. You remove two screws at the bottom of the panel and it snaps out. Then just let it hang by it’s wiring.
Here is unfortunately where I stopped taking pictures. To complete the installation I had to tap into the pink wire in the upper right corner of the above photo. I then had to run this wire over to the brake controller. The reason I had to do this is because the RIBM comes with two connection ports. I had the first connector in my truck. This is the one that goes to the 7 way plug back at my tow hitch. The second connector supplies power and connects back to the truck’s EVIC or Electronic Vehicle Information Center. My truck didn’t come with an EVIC so they didn’t bother to put this second plug in. So at the other end of the wire I ran I installed a small female pin that fit the male pins on the second RIBM connector. (These connectors are available on Amazon.)
I crimped the pin onto the wire (make sure you use the proper crimpers for this or else use pliers and some solder.) I put some heat shrink over the end so the bare metal connector wouldn’t short against any of the other pins. To make sure the cable stayed on I used some super strong duct tape to tape the wire to the bottom of the RIBM.
I plugged the red wire into the smaller connector and then installed the RIBM into the panel. After it was secured I plugged the connector I found under my panel into the second larger connector on the RIBM. When I turned the key and saw that it powered on I put all the dashboard panels back into place.
I know that CF means controller fault and that’s because there is no trailer connected. What I don’t know yet is how long it flashes this message. I didn’t leave it powered on that long because it was starting to rain. I’ll do some more research today and see if I installed it correctly.
The CF (Controller Fault) problem has been solved! When I first read about this installation many of the people who did this before me said that I only needed to hook up the +12V line on the second jack in the controller. This the the single wire I connected as discussed above. This was simply not true. I had to connect the CANBUS + and – lines as well. Even though I don’t have an EVIC, these lines are needed by the controller. Otherwise it thinks there is a problem. After I connected these pins per the document I referred to above, the controller functioned correctly! I have not connected a trailer to it yet so I don’t yet know completely if the RIBC is fully functional.