Find The Best Brake Controllers With Our Reviews 2017
If ever you’re planning to tow a trailer, be it for camping or emergency purposes, you’ll need a brake controller. The best brake controller will ensure top safety while you’re driving with a towed trailer.
In case you’re wondering, trailers can be dangerous to tow if you’re going to apply sudden brakes. The inertia can cause it to collide with your vehicle’s rear, which is why you need to apply brakes to it as well. This is what the brake controller tries to do.
Top 5 Best Brake Controller Reviews
#1 – Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Control
Tekonsha’s P3 industry is the first in our list because it’s one of the brake controls that’s leading the market. The P3 Tekonsha is the brand’s most advanced electronic trailer braking system, having a proportional braking system with added features compared to previous models.
Tekonsha 90195 has several notable features. Among them are the five storable setting options. This allows multiple preference setups and different trailers for multiple drivers. It’s a great feature if you’re not the only one using your vehicle. Another interesting feature is the brake controller’s Boost feature. This feature can provide customized braking at different levels.
- Straightforward brake control. It has an easy-to-read LCD that possesses multiple screen color options
- It has a plug-n-play port that for two plug adaptors
- This controller can be used for up to four braking axles
- Uses a digital G-sensor unit
- Be sure to take good care of the LCD screen because it can blackout at times
#2 – Tekonsha 90885 Prodigy P2 Electronic Brake Control
Tekonsha makes a second appearance with the Prodigy P2 Electronic Brake Control. Although quite similar to our first product, the Prodigy P2 has some added features as well. Particularly, it has a reverse battery protection for your vehicle and your trailer.
It also has several mounting features. One these are the 360-degree vertical rotation that comes with a removal feature. This feature allows for easy disconnection and storing if the brake controller is not in use.
- Its diagnostics are continuous, which allows it to properly check the connection, magnet condition, and battery protection
- Built-in digital display lets you see how power is distributed throughout the device
- Comes with the Boost feature that is integral to any Tekonsha product
- There could be issues when it comes to the braking force’s consistency
#3 – CURT 51140 TriFlex Brake Control
The CURT 51140 is named TriFlex because of its triple-axis accelerometer which is also motion sensing. This guarantees an extremely sensitive accelerometer that provides smooth stoppage every time.
The TriFlex works hand-in-hand with the Reflex feature, with both being inertia-based brake controls. On the other hand, CURT 51140 also comes with the Venturer and Discovery which are both time-based controls. All these are designed to be straightforward and efficient in operation and installation.
- The compact design is not only convenient, but it can also manage up to 8 brakes at a time
- The TriFlex feature has a circuit that allows the brake controller to detect vehicle motion with precision and accuracy for your trailer
- Comes with nine sensitivity adjustment levels
- It’s accessible but also visible when using
- The controls a bit too small
- The braking action can be inconsistent
#4 – Hopkins 47284 Reliance Digital Electronic Brake Control with Plug-In Connector
The primary focus of the Hopkins brand is a convenience, value, and innovation. With these three principles, Hopkins have created easy-to-use and reliable brake controllers such as the Reliance Electronic Brake Control. This product of Hopkins mainly boasts the Insight brake control.
The insight brake control primarily addresses the issues on mounting, controls, and displays.This is because controls can be a bit inconvenient at times, mounting can be problematic, and displays might be hard to read. This brake controller also comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Plug-in feature lets you avoid splicing the connecting ends
- Flex-Mount feature makes installing a lot easier and more versatile
- It has a four brake capacity for added protection and reliability
- Digital LED display is time-based
- The red button makes life easier for you
- The adjustment might go off over time; you might need to adjust it frequently
- There could be issues in fitting it to the dashboard
#5 – Reese Towpower (74642) Brakeman Timed Compact Brake Control
The Reese Towpower Brakeman Timed Compact boasts efficient and stable construction. Similar to the Tekonsha, it doesn’t make use of any moving parts like the old-school pendulums. It also doesn’t require any hydraulic connections to your braking system as well as any leveling.
One of the key features of the Brakeman, Timed Compact is its unique sync adjustment. This is aimed at different towing systems which allow you to use fingertip controls and a soft-touch manual control. Overall, you get a reliable brake controller here. It passes government standards and is hailed as solid-state electronic.
- Works well even with anti-lock braking systems
- One of the least expensive brake controllers on the market
- Easy to operate
- Comes with a mounting bracket that’s easy to setup, a manual is also included for your guide
- There’s no connector end, so you’ll need to hardwire it
- It may have a little trouble working for lighter trailers
What to Look For Before Buying a Brake Controller
Brake controllers are extremely vital whenever you’re towing something. This is one device that you can’t miss out on because your safety and your vehicle’s exterior depends on it a lot. With that said, here are some of the main key points that you should focus on.
The display of your brake controller is an often underrated factor. Similar to a tachometer, speedometer, or any other device installed on your dashboard, you’ll need to closely monitor your brake controller every time you apply your brakes.
A brake controller with excellent displays usually makes use of a wide LCD screen along with a bright digital display, be on the lookout for these features.
Precision and Accuracy
This is probably the most vital part of a braking controller. The signals that your braking controller gives out should be consistent and accurate. This means that every time you apply your brakes, the vehicle and the towed trailer must slow down evenly without any awkward herky-jerky motions. You’ll instantly notice an inaccurate brake controller since your car is very sensitive to outside forces.
If in case you experience this, simply retest your brake controller and adjust it to the necessary braking power. Remember, the brake controller must be in sync with what the displays show. Make sure the screen shows all the required information as well.
Installing a brake controller can be easy, but it depends on what product you buy. Often, brake controllers nowadays have easy-to-remove and easy-to-store features which make it extremely convenient. Not to mention, there are a lot of drivers on the market that are just plugged in without any trouble.
However, older models have brake controllers that need splicing. This means you’ll need to do extra work, and removing it could be a bigger problem as well. Hence, try to avoid these since there are a lot more advanced products out there.
- You can read more: Installation on Dodge Ram Trucks to 2012
When we talk about versatility, we think about brands that innovate their products more to solve certain products that other brake controllers can’t. Some of the features you’ll see in the product reviews revolve around the braking power, the settings, and the displays.
When choosing a brake controller, everything must be centered on the precision of the device. After all, the primary purpose of the brake controller is to act as a signaling device for your trailer’s braking system. An inaccurate and faulty controller is nothing but a piece of junk.
With that said, the Tekonsha 90195 P3 is a fundamentally sound brake controller. It’s precise and accurate, but it does even more than that. Particularly, you won’t get much trouble in reading, operating, and setting this up. It’s straightforward, and drivers won’t be confused in using it. Moreover, it has five storable settings for multiple drivers.
Overall, this brake controller wins our list. However, take note that the other four that we listed are also worth looking into. If you found this article informative, the please a comment below and share it with your fellow campers!