Best Brake Controller For RV Reviews & Buying Guide-2021

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A brake controller is an electric device used to activate end control the electric brakes of a trailer. There are many brake controllers available in the market, and it can be challenging to distinguish one that will work best for you. These types include inertia based and proportional brake controllers. We have highlighted the best brake controller for rv to help you make a fast and quick decision.

I would recommend the Draw- Tite 5504 Activator IV Electronic Brake Control. It is a powerful and robust control that allows smooth stops. It can be mounted in any position. The LED display displays the sync and the output setting and also the error codes. It is easy to adjust the setting due to the upfront control. It is an affordable device with a Limited lifetime warranty.

How We Decided

--We researched every product, we review with our own.

Research

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Expert's Opinion

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Expert's Opinions

Customer Reviews

247

Customers Reviews

01. Draw-Tite 5504 Activator IV Electronic Brake Control

Salient Feature

  • No of Axle: Up to 4 Axle Trailer
  • Led display (Y/N): yes
  • Push buttons (Y/N): yes
  • mode: electric
  • Leveling requirements (Y/ N): No
  • Plug N play port for 2-plug adapter: integrated
  • weight: 7.2 ounces
  • dimension: 4*2.25*6.75 inches
  • warranty: limited lifetime

This is a palm-sized brake controller that controls1 to 4 axle trailers. Does upfront push-button for sync and output. The brake controller has mounting bracket and hardware when you purchase it.

Digital display

The unit has a LED window that is easy to read, displaying the power setting adjustments. The maximum output indicated on display is 10 while the minimum is 0. How to differentiate the sync setting and the power setting the least and the most aggressive are displayed as 0o and 9o, respectively. The power output is displayed when braking. It would help if you stepped on the brake pedal to see or adjust the sync setting and then press the plus or the minus button simultaneously. Trouble codes will be displayed to alert you of any problems. The problems may include overload or short circuit if the controller has an internal problem.

Power output control

The activator IV brake controller has a power output control to set the maximum power to be applied on the RV brakes. The adjustment of the power output is only done when changing from a light trailer to a heavy trailer and vice versa. Is it advisable to use the plus and a minus for output adjustment in the initial stages.

Sync control

The sync control setting is a representation of time elapsed from the time you first applied the brakes to the set power output, which is the maximum point. The control determines the level of aggressiveness of the braking applied.

Slide bar manual override

You can easily engage the trailer brakes without the vehicle's brakes through the manual slide as its override step reset power output. This is a feature that ensures the operator is safe when working through it. The slide bar lever also controls the trailer to ensure it stays in position on the road to avoid swaying.

Weight and dimension

The product has a Dimension of 4 * 2.25 * 6.75 in and weighs 7.2 ounces.

The activator IV brake controller is simple and easy to install because it has no specific angle or position to be mounted on. You only need to a wiring adaptor or hardwire the unit on the vehicle directly. Also, not leveling is required.

Warranty

Draw-Tite offers a lifetime limited warranty for this product.

Pros

  • The output indicator display allows you to view the reading at any angle.
  • Quick and straightforward installation because you can Mount the controller in any position.
  • The breaking controller effectively breaks the travel trailers.
  • The breaking strength and power are increased on the campers' brakes when going down the steep.

Cons

  • It can come out after unplugging your camper if you don't install it properly.

02. Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Control

Salient Feature

  • No of Axle: Up to 4 Axle Trailer
  • Led display (Y/N): yes
  • Push buttons (Y/N): yes
  • mode: Electric and electric over hydraulic
  • Leveling requirements (Y/ N): No
  • Plug N play port for 2-plug adapter: integrated
  • weight: 23.2ounces
  • dimension: 4.5*3*10 inches
  • warranty: limited lifetime

Tekonsha P3 is another great brake controller with a diagnostic show output current, an output voltage, break and battery.

Setting options

You can pull a different trailer horse preference of multiple drivers with the five storable setting options. It can pull trailers up to 4 axles.

LCD display

The LCD display has a wide variety of screen color options that you can choose from. It is easy to read, and you can know how fast the vehicle is going by giving you the brake power output. The screen displays information in Spanish, French or English

Upfront control buttons

You can access all the unit features dreads easy to use app remote control buttons.

Mode selection

You can either choose between electric or hydraulic over electric trailer brake mode depending on your needs.

Flash alert

In a situation where the trailer has no brakes, you get an alert through a flashing red warning system to take the required precaution.

Mounting clip

You can stop and remove the control when you are not using it in a Snap-in mounting clip. This is a safe place for storing the device.

Plug and play port

The controller has an integrated plug-N-play Port that can support to plug adaptors.

Warranty

The P3 manufacturer offers a limited lifetime warranty, and therefore you can have the guarantee that the product is quality and durable.

Product dimension and weight

The product manufactured by Tekonsha has a weight of 23.2 ounces and a Dimension of 4.5 * 3 x 10.6 to inches. This is a light weighted device that you can carry on your hands quickly.

Pros

  • The LCD display and the color options of the screen make it easy for the user to read information.
  • The upfront controls make it easy to control the device while driving.
  • It is easy to install the product.
  • It is quick and easy to adjust the amount of brake force.

Cons

  • The device may not be compatible with the 2015+  Toyota 4runners.
  • If not installed properly, it may not send output amperage.

03. REESE Towpower 8507111 Brakeman IV Digital Brake Control, Small Compact Design 

Salient Feature

  • No of Axle: Up to 4 Axle Trailer
  • Led display (Y/N): yes
  • Push buttons (Y/N): yes
  • mode: Electric
  • Leveling requirements (Y/ N): No
  • Plug N play port for 2-plug adapter: Pre wired
  • weight: 5.6 ounces
  • dimension: 5.6* 3.8*2 inches
  • warranty: limited lifetime

Digital display

The digital display is bright enough to highlight the sync and the output setting, short connection and brake overload.

Adjustment

The product has two push-button adjustment controls that are easy to use. The control allows for Speed activation and different trailer weights depending on the driving needs.

Installation

The device is 100% solid-state electronic with no leveling required. The brakeman IV digital brake control can handle one to four breaking axles. You can easily connect to 2-, 4-, 6-,

and an 8-brake system with the pre-wired plug-and-play features.

Safety and Warranty

The products have an internal circuit protection used on 12-volt negative ground systems to prevent damage.  The manufacturer offers a limited lifetime warranty to guarantee the quality of the product.

Smoother braking start

You can quickly determine the voltage power by the smoother breaking start that has a sensing device. The voltage of power is delivered today, towing vehicles break.

Product dimension and weight

The item weighs 5.6 ounces with a dimension of 5.6* 3.8 * 2 inches.

Pros

  • It is easy to adjust the output and sync with the easy to push buttons.
  • The connection is easy with the integrated plug-and-play features.
  • The device has a LED digital display to scan the information for output setting and sync setting
  • It is a small and compact design.
  • It is easy to install the device.

Cons

  • The product does not have a variable brake system
  • The unit does not come with mounting screws to attach the bracket to the controller.

04. Tekonsha 90160 Primus IQ Electronic Brake Control

Salient Feature

  • No of Axle: Upto 3 Axle Trailer
  • Led display (Y/N): yes
  • Push buttons (Y/N): yes
  • mode: Electric
  • Leveling requirements (Y/ N): No
  • Plug N play port for 2-plug adapter: utilized
  • weight: 20 ounces
  • dimension: 4.5*2.5*8.5 inches
  • warranty: limited lifetime

The unit has three boost levels B1, B2, and B3, to help you in the adjustments of initial braking power and aggressiveness. The unit also alerts the user with a continuous diagnostic check of any potential problems that may occur in the brake controller.

Safety features

The device has integrated safeguards to minimize the car battery drain when it's not used and prevents overheating the trailer brakes. The safeguards have the capacity to reduce the power output on the brakes during prolonged stops.

LED display

The LED display makes it easy for the user to read information about the power output and sync setting without straining.

Towing capabilities

The controller can tow more massive trailers due to the boost features the user can apply for more initial trailer braking. When you are backing into tough spots, the brake controller works proportionally in reverse. It also has a snap in-dash mounting clip and an electrical connector that is removable to store the device when you're not using it. The mounting of the brake controller is between 0 and 90 degrees in the vertical plane.

Warranty

You are guaranteed the quality and durability of this product due to the manufacturers limited lifetime warranty of word.

Product dimension and weight

This small and compact device weighs 1.25 pounds with a 4.5 * 2.5 * 8.5-inch dimension.

Pros

  • It takes a short time to install
  • The large digital numeric readout makes it easy for the reader to quickly read even in bright sunlight
  • The boost feature helps you achieve the aggressiveness and the initial power adjustments.
  • The unit works proportionally in reverse.
  • It is a quality and durable product.
  • The unit offers smooth braking

Cons

  • The units may start having problems after some years.
  • The unit does not fit F150.

How To Choose The Best Brake Controller For RV?

When choosing the best brake controller for RV you need to consider some aspects in order for you to make the right decision. Some of these features that you can consider include the following;

Budget

When purchasing the best brake controller for RV, budget is the most vital factor to check out. This is because the budget is controlled by the kind of features a brake controller has as well as the manufacturer of the brake controller. Thus, when it comes to choosing the best brake controller you will be driven by the amount of money you want to spend. Budgeting can either go into two different ways you can consider an expensive brake controller that has all the features and more fancy or a brake controller that has the right features that you need to help the RV from damages.

Voltage

Voltage is an important feature to check out when looking for the best brake controller. When selecting a brake controller you need to ensure that it suits the electrical system of the RV. This is because you can find this available in either 12 volts or 24 volts. Installing the right voltage units is very crucial, otherwise this can be prone to accidents. This means that compatibility of the voltage units to the RV is important.

Number of axles

There are a number of axels that a person can choose from. Therefore when it comes to purchasing the best brake controller it is important to look for the one that will allow you to have a variety of axles that performs best. This requires you to select the one that can give you the freedom of a broad selection.

Display type

The best display type will depend also be the kind of RV you have. This is because they are produced in different kind of units. Before purchasing ensure that you look at its reliability and convenience in the display type. This requires you to check out the best units in the market first.

Types of brakes

it is important to ensure that you understand the different kind of brakes that the RV has. This is crucial because it will help you to understand the different features that it requires and has. It also helps you to know the performance of different features. When you have a general idea of all these, then making the right choice when purchasing the brake controller becomes easier for you. You are also able to make the right decision. You can also choose the right brake controller that works for you.

Mounting hardware

 It is also recommended to consider choosing a model that will be easier for you especially when putting the units. This is because different units require specific kind of mounting hardware to be wired for the RV. It becomes difficult when you look for the mounting hardware you need separately.

Brand

The other element that you can consider when looking for a brake controller is the brand. It is important to look at the brand because it helps you to know the best in the market. You also get to learn which is the most recommended before making the final decision.

What Is A RV Brake Controller?

The RV brake controller is a module that sets in motion and powers the brakes of an trailer. The transmitted signal goes through A7 pin-hook from the vehicle to the trailer. A brake controller is like the heart of the breaking system of the RV. Brake controllers have a manual override to help increase the braking power of the trailer. when you do this it will not require any kind of application of the vehicle's brakes. an RV brake controller needs to be more powerful especially when the trailer is heavy.

How Do They Work?

Electricity from the tow vehicle is used by the brake controller to apply a certain amount of the braking power to the brake controllers. This helps to regulate the amount of braking power that circulates from the electrical circuits and trailer settings. You can find different brake controllers that can accept the vehicles momentum. In other cases you have to apply power on the basis of the setting sets. The power has to be on a rising fixed scale and charge at highest output. This also means that at  braking power is provided to help in wearing out the brakes as a result there will be a stop. You can check out  different adjustments for example trailer size, load weight, road conditions so that you can know the speed and intensity that you will apply to the brake controllers.

Classification Of Brake Controller

Brake controllers are categorized through looking at the intensity and consistency that is applied to the brakes.

Proportional trailer brake controller

most individual that use brake controller prefer to use the proportional brake controller. When using the proportional brake controllers the power that you will use to apply to the brakes in the trailer is the same amount to be applied in your vehicle. This means that the braking system of the trailer is proportional to the tow vehicle breaks. The proportional brake controller makes use of its internal accelerometers that detect the vehicle's braking force as well as its speed. They are also referred to as pendulum brake controllers.

Time delayed brake controllers

This a different kind of a brake controller because it requires a presets power to the brakes when the vehicle halts. When the driver applies the brakes there will be a slight delay according to the settings that have been set. This kind of time delayed controller is preferred for occasional, infrequent Rver or casual. This is because they are simple to use or effortlessly and user-friendly it also allows adjustability of the braking power of a controllers.

Inertia activated controller

This brake controller has a device that is automatic override. This means that it has extra braking power especially when there is high speed stops. However, the use of this kind of a controller requires you to be a frequent user to be able to adjust to it.

Wireless brake controller

Wireless brake controller is one that allows the driver to tweak the brake controller by pressing the button. The trailer mounted unit is connected by the remote. After you have connected and plugged in your electric brakes trailer into the socket you can take your wireless remote to your vehicle and work with it while driving.

Prodigy brake control

This is a brake controller type known for its intelligence. The device has motion sensing technology as the one used in aerospace industry. The unit boost 3 levels and can adjust to any terrain.

How To Install A RV Brake Controller 

STEP 1: DETACHING THE BATTERY CABLE

Operating on the RV system you need to first detach the battery. The brake controller also uses the electrical system you have to apply this as well. This is very important because it will help in protecting from any personal damages or damaging the car electrical systems. This requires you to disconnect the negatives battery cable and put it aside.

STEP 2: MOUNTING THE CONTROLLER

The next step is to find the appropriate location to mount the brake controller. Different vehicles will have particular area for the mounting of the brake controller. For example, when it comes to mounting brake controller to a truck, you can consider on the sides of the steering wheel or below it. This makes it visible to the user. Therefore controlling it becomes effortless. Another place or part that can be appropriate for the mounting of brake controller is the dash.

STEP 3: INSTILL MOUNTING HOLES

Once you choose the suitable location for the brake controller, Utilize the mounting brackets to assist in marking the location that you will instill the mounting holes. Thereafter, you need to drill the mounting holes for every fastener. You must be careful when drilling so that you may not damage any of the electronic systems within the vehicle.

STEP 4: ATTACHING BRAKE CONTROLLER

This is where you put in place the fasteners, being mindful not to widen the drilled holes. Afterwards, connect the brake controller to the brackets through the use of the bolts provided.

STEP 5: PLUGGING

The last step is to plug in the wiring of the RVS electrical system to the locations selected above and the other end connecting it to the brake controller.

How To Use A RV Brake Controller

When using a brake controller, you have to ensure that it is plugged in the vehicle. This is because it draws its power from the vehicle so that it can be able to connect who well with the trailer brakes for towing. That is why it is important to park the vehicle as well as the trailer on a leveled area. You should also ensure that you have an open environment that is not near any other traffic. This will ensure safety for everybody. You may also require to calibrate the brake controller. Most of the brake controllers that you find are self- calibrating.

When using the brake controller, you will find that the personal setting is adjustable. This is just for safety purposes. Personal settings can be done to preferred angle, brightness as well as location. The adjustments should be done before driving. Since the brake controllers come along with a manual override this enables the activation process to be easily adjusted. Applying of the vehicle brakes is required is not when using the manual override button. In the case of a steep hill the use of a manual activation battle enables you to correct to your desired braking power. This was results to you slowing gradually.

How Do I Calibrate My RV Brake Controller?

Once a unit has been installed, it needs to be calibrated to recognize the normal direction of breaking. It is recommended to conduct calibration on a smooth quiet road. If you need to, set the unit to control mode and drive to a suitable location.

When setting the unit you need to set the knob zero, apply the vehicle's brakes, two pushes on the knob and releasing the brakes in a second.

When calibrating you need to set it in an automatic mode;

  • Set the knob to zero
  • Apply a vehicle brakes
  • Double-click on the knob in a second
  • Release the vehicles break.

After this process you need to begin driving the trailer attached. After 15 minutes it will begin to calibrate itself. This is because you will find the brake controllers self-calibrate themselves. It is important to note that you should avoid applying the vehicle brakes unless necessary.

The only time that recalibration needs to occur if the main unit has been moved. It is important to ensure you do some adjustments to the vehicle, trailer as well as the load size.

What Are The Best Trailer Brake Controllers?

  • Editors pick: Curt TriFlex Brake Controller
  • Tekonsha P3
  • Reese Towpower
  • CURT Venturer Electric Trailer Brake Controller ( 51110)
  • Tekonsha Primus IQ
  • Draw- Tite I - Stop IQ
  • Hopkins INSIGHT
  • Benefits Of Wireless Brake Controller

    When you purchase a wireless brake controller, there are some benefits you get. Some of them include the following.

    No installation costs are required.

     It is easy to install an electric brake controller. You do not need to pay a professional to do the installation because it takes you less than 10 minutes to install it and run properly. It is advisable to choose the plug-and-play model electric brake controller to save time and money. You can easily mount the controller on the slide bar using screws or drills.

    Flexibility

    If you deal with trailer operations in your business or your company offer trailer hire, this feature of the wireless brake controller will be valuable to you. The electric brake controller has multi tow vehicle flexibility. The brake controller is mounted on the trailer side entirely, and you can get quickly to any compatible vehicle. These are saved on cost into your business.

    No tow vehicle modification

    When the remote is connected to the trailer-mounted device, it allows the driver to work the electric brake control response by pressing a button while driving. You can also activate the emergency override by pressing the sensitive button on the remote control. If you are looking for a brake controller, the wireless electric brake controller is the best choice because of its cost-saving and easy installation features.

    Conclusion

    RVer need to ensure that they have installed the brake controllers for safety. Choosing the best brake controller for RV will enable you to stop easily and effortless. Buyer's guide assists in purchasing the best brake controller for RV.

    FAQs

    • Do I Need A Brake Controller?

    Yes. If you have a tow package, it means you will also need the installation of requiring. You will still need a brake controller fabric activation. You can either use a time-delayed a proportional or inertia activated brake controller.

    • What’s Better: A Timed Or Proportional Brake Controller?

    If you are looking for a controller that provides more progressive and gradual breaking a proportional brake controller is best for you. A time-delayed controller is able to detect the engagement of the break in the tow vehicle and sends signals to your trailer to apply the brakes

    • How to Adjust Trailer Brake Controller?

    Press and hold the towing vehicle brake pedal. Set the output as per the instructions given to the starting value. Test the trailer brakes in an open environment by driving at 25 mph as you apply the brakes. You can increase the maximum output if the vehicle stops slowly.

    • How Do I know if My Brake Controller is bad?

    The brake controller has a red wire exiting the rear of the controller. You need a circuit tester to check the wire full stop if it is hot then it is time to change your brake controller.

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