Trailers play a vital role in transportation. Therefore peoples are using them to transport heavy or fragile loads over short or long distance. Accidents involving trailers have been rampant and this causes loss of lives and damage to the goods being transported. To ensure the safety of the trailer, the driver and the goods, a best trailer brake controller is necessary.
Before you can settle to purchase a trailer brake controller you should have an insight of the best modules of trailer brake controls, our reviews and how to select the type that best suits your vehicle and your needs. All these are well elaborated in this article.
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Table of Contents
- What Is Trailer Brake Controller?
- Top Best Electric Trailer Brake Controllers of 2018
- 1. Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Controller
- 2. Reese Towpower 8507111 Brakeman IV Compact Brake Control
- 3. Tekonsha 90160 Primus IQ Electronic Brake Control
- 4. Tekonsha 90885 Prodigy P2 Electronic Brake Control
- 5. CURT 51140 TriFlex Brake Control
- 6. Tekonsha 90250 Prodigy RF Electronic Brake Control
- 7. Draw-Tite 20191 I-Stop IQ Electronic Brake Control
- 8. TEKONSHA P3 BRAKE CONTROL
- Benefits of Having a Truck Brake Controller
- Factors to Consider When Buying a Trailer Brake Controller
What Is Trailer Brake Controller?
A trailer brake controller refers to an OEM or an aftermarket module device. It is located or mounted on the tow vehicle on the driver’s side, the dashboard area. The role of the device is to engage the trailers electrical system either in proportional to the tow braking engagement or time delayed when the vehicle comes to a halt.
The trailer brakes offer an extra protection policy for you and other drivers. But do you now know that you cannot operate them without a trailer brake controller?
Top Best Electric Trailer Brake Controllers of 2018
Whenever you want to buy trailer brake controllers it’s important to check the reviews to help you in deciding which one to go for. Here are my top picks of best electric trailer brake controllers:
1. Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Controller
The Tekonsha 90195 P3 is the best electronic brake controller for your trailer. In terms of value for money and functionality, no other unit comes close. The back lit LCD screen can be altered to display in different languages (English, Spanish or French) as well as color changes.
The P3 by Tekonsha is a proportional braking system with the ability to select between electric over hydraulic or electric trailer brake mode.
You can have the ability to control the braking for up to 4 axles that results in complete control for heavy braking.
A feature that is very useful is the diagnostics from the brake controller, which will illuminate in bright red when there is a problem. Problem that can be displayed on the screen are anything from the output voltage to no trailer connection.
In terms of installing the Tekonsha 90195 P3, it uses an integrated “Plug N Play” port for fast connection as well as an easy release clip to remove the brake controller when not in use.
Additional features include a reversing mode, manual override switch at the bottom of the unit, digital G-Sensor, multiple boost levels and much more.
The value for the money is impeccable and is the number 1 choice for many drivers that tow in the US.
2. Reese Towpower 8507111 Brakeman IV Compact Brake Control
The Reese Towpower is a time delayed brake controller that is smaller and can be mounted in any direction without the of leveling. It has the ability to operate a maximum of 8 brakes that is quite impressive considering its low cost.
This unit uses a 12 volt negative ground and provides an internal circuit protection. Mounting brackets are including for the installation but we strongly advise buying the designated wiring harness to make installing it very simple.
The setting are easily adjusted for your vehicle with the digital gain and sync to decrease the stopping distance of your towing car.
Overall, the Reese Towpower is the best cheap time delayed brake controller that offers a smooth braking response time and time again.
3. Tekonsha 90160 Primus IQ Electronic Brake Control
Tekonsha Primus IQ Electronic Brake Control has totally proportional electric trailer brake control. It is self-leveling ensuring that no level adjustment will be needed. Utilization of the primary sensor technology from Prodigy includes the Boost feature that enables users to apply much more initial trailer braking while towing heavier trailers.
Tekonsha Primus IQ Electronic Brake Control works proportionally in reverse when backing into tough spots. It also includes a removable electrical connector and snap-in dash mounting clip thus allowing the unit to store with fewer hassles when not in use.
Appreciating the digital readout, it depicts a secure electrical connection, diagnostic features incorporated in the LED which displays the amount of voltage delivery to the trailer brakes and the display of diagnostic features. Utilization of Plug-N-Play port for 2-plug adapters.
4. Tekonsha 90885 Prodigy P2 Electronic Brake Control
Tekonsha Prodigy P2 Electronic Brake Control has been used for long to reverse battery protection for both brake away and the vehicles. It is designed to work with many mounting options like 360-degree vertical rotation and electric over hydraulic brake systems.
The equipped digital display helps in depicting voltage delivery to the trailer while braking. No level that can be necessarily adjusted because it adjusts itself to the varying terrain as you drive along.
Tekonsha Prodigy P2 Electronic Brake Control is great for backing into tough spots as it Works into proportional reverse with the ability to automatically disable when not needed. It is also capable of producing stops that are proportional to vehicle’s deceleration rate. The boost feature gives all users the ability to apply much more initial trailer braking power while towing heavy trailers.
The easy and quick disconnect feature allows the user to remove and store the brake control when not in use.
5. CURT 51140 TriFlex Brake Control
CURT 51140 is an affordable proportional brake controller that is almost half the price of the best of the market, which is the Tekonsha 90195 P3.
The term TriFlex is in relation to its motion sensor that is a triple axis accelerator. The main benefits of this complex sensor is high sensitivity that results in smooth braking. It is easily calibrated for all towing requirements with 9 levels of sensitivity.
CURT brake controls take pride of their easy to install brake controllers and the 51140 TriFlex is no different. Each controller comes with its own plug that simply plugs in with no fuss.
There is a small digital display that is adequate for displaying basic settings such as the management of up to 8 brakes at a time. Although the CURT 51140 is very cheap, it still feel very solid and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
6. Tekonsha 90250 Prodigy RF Electronic Brake Control
Tekonsha Prodigy RF Electronic Brake Control is utilized for fleet ownerships, rental businesses, and multiple tow vehicles. It is specially designed to utilize wireless communication. The original Boost feature it contains allows different levels of customized braking to work with perfection.
Continual displays fault codes and diagnostics in handheld units display are automatically run by the system. For customer’s confidence, five-year warranty on purchase is given. This model utilizes standard sealed 8-foot blade style seven-way connector so as to Multiple mounting positions the front of the trailer.
Tekonsha Prodigy RF Electronic Brake Control works great on the roads with multiple vehicles since the user does not need a dash mounted and hard wired brake control because it offers all, that. This gives a true and proportional trailer braking reverse and forward. The easy to use remote hand control includes Prodigy Boost system that allows several grades of customized braking. This unit features continual diagnostic scanning with a visual warning display.
Ease of installation for this product is also worth lining up in this regard. The state of art design also incorporates remarkable design to suit everyone’s use. So, no matter whether you are professional or a new driver, you will be able to install this device successfully without any trouble.
7. Draw-Tite 20191 I-Stop IQ Electronic Brake Control
The Draw Tite 20191 is a Proportional Electronic Brake Control with diagnostics similar to the Tekonsha 90195 P3 unit when problems occur. Avoid the previous version to this model because the 20191 include the latest “Boost” feature that applies more braking for heavier trailers.
Again, this unit is a cheaper proportional brake controller compared to other competitors with a matching limited lifetime warranty. The features and functionality are very similar to the Tekonsha models but in my opinion, the Draw Tite is too compact for my liking (personal preference).
In terms of installation, you can simply plug a universal patch cable to connect it straight into your vehicles wiring. The instructions will guide you through the installation in order to set it up correctly to your needs.
8. TEKONSHA P3 BRAKE CONTROL
Regardless of the number of axles or whether the brakes are electrical or hydraulic. Tekonsha works excellently. It gives you full authority to control the tow without experiencing any muscle strain. Thanks to the included diagnostic features which help in knowing whatever is happening at the back of the trailer without moving an inch.
Tekonsha P3 Brake Controller works great with trailers ranging from 1 to 4 axles. It is specially equipped with the Bright LCD screen. By having the adjustable contrast, this feature ensures reading accuracy without staining any eye muscle.
On the other hand, these apparatus feature a boost feature. This boost feature integration enhances the customization of the brake controller to fit the need and the type of your vehicle. Therefore, Tekonsha has reputable versatility and flex for quite some applications.
Moreover, the package incorporates a wiring harness together with the brake controller. This ensures the braking system and information is interconnected with all the component of your vehicle.
This model has a Plug and Play Wiring Harness that has a maximum of five minutes installation with both hydraulic and electric brakes. Tekonsha P3 brake control comes with a permanent and a removable basket and well worth the money by working perfectly.
Benefits of Having a Truck Brake Controller
Having a trailer brake controller is a necessity that shouldn’t be taken for granted for even a second. This device acts as a link in the middle of the brake pedal of your vehicle and the axles of the dragged trailer.
The device ensures that the uncontrolled weight on the trailer doesn’t push ahead. By so doing, the prospects or the possibilities for accidents are greatly reduced. On the other hand, an electric trailer brake controller offers electrical power from a towing car to the component of the electrical brake of the trailer.
So if you have a trailer that is equipped with an electrical brake, a real brake controller will be a must have. Briefly, here are the benefits of using a truck brake controller.
- Act a safety measure to reduce the incidences of accidents caused by truck trailers
The device enhances easy to control and monitoring of the towing vehicle system while driving
- The device features customizable LCD and other advanced diagnostics. These features allow you to monitor the situation of the trailer including the on board cargo and the condition of the brake component.
- This device is usually sturdy and easy without much sophisticated design. This feature makes it quite easy to maintain and less pricey
- Truck trailer brake controller features automatic leveling to ensure that no matter the situation, everything stays put and the braking fully functional.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Trailer Brake Controller
This is one of the leading factors to consider when buying a trailer brake controller. They come either as 12V or 24 V. so, you must match the power source of your towing vehicle to see if the devices fit that. If they don’t match well, the overall braking control may fail terribly and end up causing accidents.
Time-based versus proportional based
Equivalent based are based on the various systems that sense the deceleration of your vehicle; they utilize the power proportionally to the electrical braking system. On the other hand, the non-proportional controllers, apply a set amount of capacity to trailer braking system every time they are needed.
Electric versus Hydraulic
Because some trailers possess both the hydraulic and electrical properties, you must know the brands that are compatible with each situation. You must ensure the controller device offers a level of capacity.
The ratio between the trailer and the tow vehicle is also a fundamental issue of consideration. The tip is, if both the trailer and the vehicle are equal or the trailer is heavier, you should be very keen to avoid low-end brands.
Number of axles
Bearing in mind that different controllers have a certain number of axles they can match, be on the lookout for those brands that offers the full range. Alternatively, know the brands that fit your trailer needs.
LED monitors are the best for relying on information and other diagnostics of the trailer controlled. So watch out for the best brands that offer LED feature.
You should consider the trailer brake controller that are considerate and won’t cause harm or jerk off the tires in any way.
Sometimes people are blackmailed by this price factor. This shouldn’t be the case. Expensive factor doesn’t mean, everything is perfect. In fact, top rated and best-selling trailer brake controllers come at pocket-friendly prices as shown in the review above. However, cheap is also very deceiving as some products are cheaply made to entice the customers. So, judge the price proportionally to the prevailing feature of the product.
For to gain the most and drive safely, you must have a trailer brake controller equipped in your vehicle to ensure that your towing system will make stops safely and easily. Having the best trailer brake controller is the only insurance you need. It will give you answers to unresponsive brakes.
However, it is a wise idea to have the best brand of brake controller installed in your vehicle. Choose the best from our list above and rest assured that you’re driving in the safest conditions ever. They come at friendly prices, yet they offer so much that other highly priced products can’t manage.