Not recognizing tow vehicle

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William588

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I just purchased a 2024 Ram 2500 Laramie package with 6.7L Diesel. I’m having an issue with the computer not recognizing my tow vehicle.

I have a bass boat that I tow frequently and my computer doesn’t recognize that I have a conventional tow vehicle. After I start towing, the sensors recognize the tow vehicle and it displays a screen (attached photo) on the drivers console. I am unable to clear the screen, only by shifting out of drive will the screen clear.

Specifics, the boat has a 5 pin connector and I use a 5 pit to 7 pin adapter to plug in for lights. The 5th pin is for reverse, so I can back the trailer as it has surge brakes. Lights and reverse work fine. I’ve even towed a newer (2024) boat recently and still same results.

I also have a conventional tow box trailer with electric brakes, and the computer recognized it upon start up.

Any suggestions on how to correct the issue.
 

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A child of God

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Its my understanding the "tow vehicle" is your truck. So your truck doesnt immediately recognize your trailer? Sounds like the issue may be wiring and is isolated to that one trailer.
 

2003F350

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IIRC, it won't recognize a trailer until it's moving if it DOESN'T have electric brakes. Because yours (and most boat trailers) only have surge brakes, it won't trigger that the trailer is back there. My '22 and my wife's '23 1500 also don't recognize our boat trailer when it's initially hooked up, but we do NOT get the screen you're getting - that could be a software change on your '24.

I do not have the blind spot detection, but my wife's '23 does, and after a couple turns it recognizes that the trailer is there and does a pretty good job estimating how long it is.

With our flatbed trailer that has electric brakes on both axles, her truck immediately recognizes it and lengthens the blind spot detection to a default, then after a turn or two adjusts it to the length of the trailer.
 

Tulecreeper

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I just purchased a 2024 Ram 2500 Laramie package with 6.7L Diesel. I’m having an issue with the computer not recognizing my tow vehicle.
Your truck is your "tow vehicle".

I have a bass boat that I tow frequently and my computer doesn’t recognize that I have a conventional tow vehicle. After I start towing, the sensors recognize the tow vehicle and it displays a screen (attached photo) on the drivers console. I am unable to clear the screen, only by shifting out of drive will the screen clear.

Specifics, the boat has a 5 pin connector and I use a 5 pit to 7 pin adapter to plug in for lights. The 5th pin is for reverse, so I can back the trailer as it has surge brakes. Lights and reverse work fine. I’ve even towed a newer (2024) boat recently and still same results.
You have surge brake, not electric brakes, so the brake wire does nothing. You're able to back up because of the way your surge brakes are configured.

I also have a conventional tow box trailer with electric brakes, and the computer recognized it upon start up.
And there you go.
 
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William588

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ALL, my error, I should have stated “towed” vehicle!

Now to say that my computer will only recognize a trailer with electric brakes is, non the less, stupid in my thinking! As soon as I plug in the 7 pin wiring connector, the computer should recognize that I have made that connection and give me the option to select conventional tow or gooseneck/5th wheel tow and not miles down the road (I understand the blind spot detection, that works as it should and not the issue).

Also, I’m not logging miles with the boat trailer, but I am with the trailer with electric brakes.
 

2003F350

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It has to do with how it was programmed, they elected to pick up based off the electric trailer brakes. Their reasoning, I presume, is that you may have something on the rear of your truck or IN the rear of your truck that needs running lights, turn signals, etc., but not trailer brakes. Since those things don't have tires, they don't accrue miles, so they don't need to flag in the computer as such.

It's a complicated issue depending on how you use your truck (some people won't ever pull anything), and it was likely the best solution the programmers could come up with that would work for 'most' situations.
 

markabby

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if you don't have blind spot detection, it won't recognize it. i believe only the brakes might show on the dash
 

Tulecreeper

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ALL, my error, I should have stated “towed” vehicle!

Now to say that my computer will only recognize a trailer with electric brakes is, non the less, stupid in my thinking! As soon as I plug in the 7 pin wiring connector, the computer should recognize that I have made that connection and give me the option to select conventional tow or gooseneck/5th wheel tow and not miles down the road (I understand the blind spot detection, that works as it should and not the issue).

Also, I’m not logging miles with the boat trailer, but I am with the trailer with electric brakes.
What would need to be recognized? The only thing the truck cares about and can control are the electric brakes on the trailer. Everything else - surge brakes (fluid), running lights (bulbs), and the actual trailer wiring itself is on the driver. If any of that stuff is not working correctly the truck can't do anything about it and the driver has to fix it.

Of course, if you have a 5th Wheel or gooseneck trailer it will have electric brakes anyway. The only trailers that have surge brakes are bumper-pulls - boat trailer, cargo trailer, etc.
 

06 Dodge

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ALL, my error, I should have stated “towed” vehicle!

Now to say that my computer will only recognize a trailer with electric brakes is, non the less, stupid in my thinking! As soon as I plug in the 7 pin wiring connector, the computer should recognize that I have made that connection and give me the option to select conventional tow or gooseneck/5th wheel tow and not miles down the road (I understand the blind spot detection, that works as it should and not the issue).

Also, I’m not logging miles with the boat trailer, but I am with the trailer with electric brakes.
My 22 will not log any trailer towing miles if is does not have electric brakes that is just how it works so I have been told...
 

turkeybird56

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I just purchased a 2024 Ram 2500 Laramie package with 6.7L Diesel. I’m having an issue with the computer not recognizing my tow vehicle.

I have a bass boat that I tow frequently and my computer doesn’t recognize that I have a conventional tow vehicle. After I start towing, the sensors recognize the tow vehicle and it displays a screen (attached photo) on the drivers console. I am unable to clear the screen, only by shifting out of drive will the screen clear.

Specifics, the boat has a 5 pin connector and I use a 5 pit to 7 pin adapter to plug in for lights. The 5th pin is for reverse, so I can back the trailer as it has surge brakes. Lights and reverse work fine. I’ve even towed a newer (2024) boat recently and still same results.

I also have a conventional tow box trailer with electric brakes, and the computer recognized it upon start up.

Any suggestions on how to correct the issue.
They r setup to recognize the electric brakes at startup. No electric brakes not recognize how setup and programmed.

Same thing as towing say a flatbed trailer and only have 4 pin connected. No trailer recognized just light output.
 
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William588

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Thanks everyone! I’ve come to the conclusion that I made a bad purchase! I understand that Ram offers 4 different towed trailers in their computer system and all can be labeled to type of trailer. Also understanding, that only trailers with electric brakes are recognized when the 7 pin connector is plugged in and I can only log miles for those trailers with the system.
 

turkeybird56

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Yup
 

Tulecreeper

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Thanks everyone! I’ve come to the conclusion that I made a bad purchase! I understand that Ram offers 4 different towed trailers in their computer system and all can be labeled to type of trailer. Also understanding, that only trailers with electric brakes are recognized when the 7 pin connector is plugged in and I can only log miles for those trailers with the system.
You won't find it any different with any other make/model of truck - Ford, Chevy, etc.
 

2003F350

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Thanks everyone! I’ve come to the conclusion that I made a bad purchase! I understand that Ram offers 4 different towed trailers in their computer system and all can be labeled to type of trailer. Also understanding, that only trailers with electric brakes are recognized when the 7 pin connector is plugged in and I can only log miles for those trailers with the system.
I wouldn't say you made a bad purchase, just that you weren't given full knowledge of how the system works. And it's the same with Ford, so I presume GM and Toyota do things the same way or very similarly.

As said, the easiest way for the truck to know for SURE that you have a trailer (electrically and in programming) is to see if there's a circuit for the brakes. Literally anything else may not have even have tires on it and therefore might not need miles accumulated. You could have a bike rack with lights, or a cargo carrier with lights on it because your cargo blocks your tail lights. You could have a truck camper on it that blocks the rear lights of your truck - this might need the charging capabilities but NOT the brakes. Heck you could even have just one of those LED strip lights under your tailgate that are so popular, that might need to be plugged in to your trailer plug. ANY of those things wouldn't require the use of brakes, nor would they need their miles tracked.

Honestly I don't pay attention to the trailer mileage that the truck is reporting anyway, because it really doesn't mean much for anything UNLESS you need to report trailer mileage for a rental or business. Basic maintenance of your trailer is going to go a lot further than keeping an eye on how far your truck says you've gone. The biggest concern I can see would be tires, but in the times before we would just kick/hit them with a stick, maybe put a pressure gauge on them, stick our head/hands in there to see if there is anything visually wrong, and check tread depth and for weather checking. If everything looked good, the tires were good to go. Bearings and brakes are checked spring and fall and replaced as needed. A light check is done EVERY hookup, and a wiring inspection at the same time as the bearings and brakes.
 

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It's a bass boat. What are you trying to set in the EVIC? There's nothing to set/select for a small trailer. It's not like the truck is going to drive differently based on a small 4/5 pin trailer behind it. There are no electric brakes, so nothing to set there.

I'm confused. Your truck is doing exactly what it was designed to do. Exactly what every other truck would do.

FWIW I've been towing bass boats all over the country for 25 years. Get the correct drop hitch to level the trailer, hook it up and go.
 

Tulecreeper

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Thanks everyone! I’ve come to the conclusion that I made a bad purchase! I understand that Ram offers 4 different towed trailers in their computer system and all can be labeled to type of trailer. Also understanding, that only trailers with electric brakes are recognized when the 7 pin connector is plugged in and I can only log miles for those trailers with the system.
I'm not sure I've ever heard of a system that automatically logs trailer miles. I've known people who kept a log for that reason, but manually in a book.
 

Tulecreeper

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It's a bass boat. What are you trying to set in the EVIC? There's nothing to set/select for a small trailer. It's not like the truck is going to drive differently based on a small 4/5 pin trailer behind it. There are no electric brakes, so nothing to set there.

I'm confused. Your truck is doing exactly what it was designed to do. Exactly what every other truck would do.

FWIW I've been towing bass boats all over the country for 25 years. Get the correct drop hitch to level the trailer, hook it up and go.
I probably tow my boat ~5000 miles per year, just fishing the local lakes. I've never known anyone who had electric brakes on their bass boat.
 
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William588

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You won't find it any different with any other make/model of truck - Ford, Chevy, etc.
I have a friend with a 2024 Chevrolet 2500 HD and his truck recognizes a towed vehicle anytime he plugs in the 7 pin connector and it doesn’t require an electronic brake to activate his computer! He tows from a gooseneck hauling a mini excavator to what he calls his trash trailer (small 2 wheeled trailer without brakes and using the 4 pin to 7 pin adapter). His truck has more than 4 trailers he can preload into his system and gives him data for each trailer he selects from, like miles and fuel economy.

I also have a friend with a 2019 Ford F150 that when the 7 pin is plug in, it asks him if he is pulling a trailer, recording the miles that that truck has towed a trailer. He only has option for 1 trailer, but if I had to guess, newer models fall in line with Chevy’s system, especially for the F250s
 

Tulecreeper

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I have a friend with a 2024 Chevrolet 2500 HD and his truck recognizes a towed vehicle anytime he plugs in the 7 pin connector and it doesn’t require an electronic brake to activate his computer! He tows from a gooseneck hauling a mini excavator to what he calls his trash trailer (small 2 wheeled trailer without brakes and using the 4 pin to 7 pin adapter). His truck has more than 4 trailers he can preload into his system and gives him data for each trailer he selects from, like miles and fuel economy.

I also have a friend with a 2019 Ford F150 that when the 7 pin is plug in, it asks him if he is pulling a trailer, recording the miles that that truck has towed a trailer. He only has option for 1 trailer, but if I had to guess, newer models fall in line with Chevy’s system, especially for the F250s
My 2023 Tradesman also has 4 trailer configurations I can set, but it requires the 7-pin connector and electric brakes on the trailer because that is how it knows that it needs to use those brakes. I've never heard of a truck that will recognize a trailer without electric brakes because there is nothing for the truck's computer to control. If it were to activate and ask me if I have a trailer connected every time I plug something in and I have to tell it no, that would irritate me to no end. It should know - if it has to ask me, I don't want it.

It's like @2003F350 said above, you can have a number of things tied in to the harness that don't use the trailer brake wire. If your truck recognized everything plugged into the 4-pin or 7-pin connector it would become really confusing and irritating having your trailer screen activate all the time.
 
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