Best trailer brake controllers

? Introduction

Welcome to our comprehensive trailer brake controllers buying guide! If you’re in the market for a reliable and efficient brake controller for your trailer, you’ve come to the right place. Trailer brake controllers are essential devices that ensure smooth and safe towing experiences, providing the necessary braking force to your trailer. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know before making a purchase, from different types of brake controllers to their key features and installation process. So, buckle up and let’s dive into the world of trailer brake controllers!

? Our Top 5

SaleNo. 1
Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Control , silver, Single
  • A distinct, easy-to-read LCD display with multiple screen color options..Fit Type: Universal Fit
  • Up-Front controls provide easy access to all P3 features.
  • Easy to understand diagnostics show output current, battery, brake, and output voltage.
  • A flashing red warning system alerts user to No Trailer Brake situations.
  • Select Electric over Hydraulic or Electric trailer brake mode.
SaleNo. 2
Tekonsha 90160 Primus IQ Electronic Brake Control, Grey
  • Utilizes Plug-N-Play port for 2-plug adapters.Fit Type: Universal Fit
  • Self-diagnostics features will illuminate LED readout when issues occur
  • Requires T-connector to connect to vehicle (sold separately)
  • Works proportionally in reverse
  • Snap-in dash mounting clip and hardware included
No. 3
CURT 51180 Echo Mobile Electric Trailer Brake Controller with Bluetooth-Enabled Smartphone Connection, Proportional, Black PLastic, 9 x 9 x 3 inches, BLACK PLASTIC
  • PORTABLE. The Echo trailer brake controller has a non-invasive install and is easily transferrable from one vehicle to another. It plugs into any 7-way connector, wirelessly links to your smartphone using Bluetooth
  • SMARTPHONE-READY. The Echo brake controller wirelessly syncs with your Apple or Android phone, turning it into a brake controller interface with the Smart Control app (Warning: Avoid distracted driving. Only make adjustments when vehicle is stationary). Note: If Bluetooth connection is lost, the brake controller will continue to function safely, using the most recently programmed settings
  • ZERO-TOOL INSTALL. Installing this trailer brake controller is as easy as plugging in a 7-way trailer wiring connector. It requires no tools, no extra wires and no hardware. A locking tab and strap keep it firmly connected. NOTE: Strap stored inside cap
  • HIGHLY RESPONSIVE. Echo uses a triple-axis accelerometer to provide smooth, safe braking. It maintains responsive braking, even when your phone screen is locked, receives incoming calls or if the Bluetooth connection is lost
  • VERSATILE. This electronic trailer brake controller easily transfers between vehicles and trailers and works on virtually any trailer with 1 to 2 axles (2 to 4 brakes). It is also fully compatible with cruise control, anti-lock brakes, low-voltage systems
SaleNo. 4
Tekonsha 8508220 Brake-EVN, Proportional Brake Controller for Trailers with 1-4 Axles, Black
  • PROPORTIONAL ELECTRIC BRAKE CONTROLLER: Provides automatic braking based on the intensity and rate at which you apply your tow vehicle’s brakes, thanks to an internal inertia sensor. This makes the Tekonsha BRAKE-EVN brake controller ideal in any braking situation
  • EASILY INSTALL THANKS TO PLUG & PLAY: The BRAKE-EVN trailer brake controller has a Plug & Play port for two plug adapters and a removeable electrical connector so the unit can be easily unplugged
  • EASY-TO-READ LED DISPLAY: Digital LED display shows settings, real-time diagnostics, and alerts
  • MANUAL BRAKING AVAILABLE: If you ever need to manually apply the brakes, simply move the manual control lever to the left. The BRAKE-EVN will apply power to your trailer’s brakes up to the amount of power previously set
  • VERSATILE: The BRAKE-EVN electric brake controller is compatible with a wide range of vehicles including Ford, GM, Chevy, Dodge, RAM, Toyota, Jeep, and more with 2, 4, 6, and 8 brakes (1-4 axles). Vehicle-specific Tekonsha Plug & Play brake controller wiring harness sold separately
SaleNo. 5
Hopkins 47235 Impulse Plug-in Simple Brake Control
  • Time-based braking
  • Mounts at any angle
  • Percentage of braking power shown
  • Plug-In Simple! wiring kit
  • Intuitive vertical manual slide

? How to choose?

1. Compatibility

When choosing a trailer brake controller, it is crucial to consider the compatibility with your vehicle and trailer setup. Not all brake controllers are universal, so it is important to check the specifications and ensure that it will work seamlessly with your particular vehicle and trailer combination.

2. Type of Brake Control

There are various types of trailer brake controllers available on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The three main types include time-delayed, proportional, and inertia-based brake controllers.


– Time-delayed brake controllers apply a predetermined amount of braking force after a set delay. This type is more affordable and suitable for lighter loads.


– Proportional brake controllers deliver braking force in proportion to the vehicle’s deceleration. They provide a smoother and more controlled braking experience, making them ideal for heavy loads and demanding towing conditions.


– Inertia-based brake controllers, also known as pendulum or accelerometer controllers, use sensors to detect the vehicle’s deceleration and apply the appropriate braking force. They are highly responsive and provide a more accurate braking experience.

3. Ease of Installation

Consider the ease of installation when choosing a trailer brake controller. Some models require professional installation, while others are designed for easy do-it-yourself installation. Look for controllers that come with clear instructions and user-friendly features, such as plug-and-play wiring harnesses.

4. User Interface and Features

The user interface and features of a trailer brake controller can greatly impact its usability and convenience. Look for controllers with intuitive displays, easy-to-use controls, and customizable settings. Some advanced models may offer additional features such as multiple trailer memory, diagnostics, and wireless connectivity.

5. Budget

Consider your budget when selecting a trailer brake controller. Prices can vary significantly depending on the type, brand, and features. While it may be tempting to opt for the cheapest option, investing in a high-quality brake controller that meets your needs will ensure a safer and more enjoyable towing experience. Remember, safety should always be a top priority when towing a trailer.

In conclusion, choosing the right trailer brake controller involves considering compatibility, the type of brake control, ease of installation, user interface and features, as well as your budget. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can select a brake controller that will provide optimal performance and enhance the safety of your towing experience.

? What to Look for in a trailer brake controllers?

1. Compatibility: Ensuring a Perfect Match

When it comes to trailer brake controllers, compatibility is key. You need to ensure that the controller you choose is compatible with your specific vehicle and trailer setup. This means considering factors such as the type of braking system your trailer has, the weight of your trailer, and the electrical system of your vehicle.

For example, if you have a trailer with electric brakes, you’ll need a brake controller that is specifically designed for electric brake systems. On the other hand, if your trailer has hydraulic brakes, you’ll need a controller that is compatible with hydraulic braking systems.

To determine compatibility, it’s important to consult your vehicle and trailer manuals, as well as seek advice from experts or consult online forums where fellow trailer owners share their experiences.

2. Ease of Installation: Plug and Play or Hardwired?

The installation process of a trailer brake controller can vary depending on the model you choose. Some controllers offer a plug-and-play installation, which means they can be easily connected to your vehicle’s existing wiring harness. This is a convenient option for those who prefer a hassle-free installation process.

On the other hand, some controllers require a hardwired installation, which involves connecting the controller directly to your vehicle’s electrical system. While this may require a bit more effort and time, it ensures a more secure and reliable connection.

Consider your own preferences and technical abilities when deciding between a plug-and-play or hardwired installation. If you’re not comfortable with electrical wiring, it may be best to opt for a plug-and-play controller or seek professional installation assistance.

3. Features and Adjustability: Finding the Perfect Balance

When choosing a trailer brake controller, it’s important to consider the features and adjustability options it offers. Look for controllers that allow you to adjust the braking intensity based on your trailer’s weight and braking requirements. This will ensure smooth and controlled braking, regardless of the load you’re towing.

Some controllers also offer additional features such as built-in diagnostics, trailer sway control, and proportional braking. These features can enhance the overall safety and performance of your trailer braking system. However, it’s important to strike a balance between the features you need and the price you’re willing to pay.

Consider your specific towing needs and budget when evaluating the features and adjustability options of different trailer brake controllers. Remember, it’s better to invest in a reliable and high-quality controller that meets your requirements rather than settling for a cheaper option that may compromise your safety on the road.

? How we picked?

1. Key Features to Consider

When it comes to choosing the right trailer brake controller, there are several key features to consider. These features will determine the overall performance and functionality of the controller, ensuring a safe and reliable towing experience.

One important feature to look for is the braking power of the controller. A good brake controller should provide sufficient power to bring your trailer to a complete stop without straining your vehicle’s braking system. Look for controllers with adjustable braking power settings, allowing you to customize the braking force based on the load and road conditions.

Another crucial feature is the type of braking system supported by the controller. There are two main types: time-delayed and proportional. Time-delayed controllers apply a preset amount of braking power after a certain delay, while proportional controllers adjust the braking power in real-time based on the deceleration of the vehicle. Proportional controllers offer a smoother and more precise braking experience, making them a popular choice among experienced tower.

2. Ease of Installation and Use

Installing a trailer brake controller should not be a daunting task, especially for those who are not mechanically inclined. Therefore, it is essential to consider the ease of installation and use when selecting a brake controller.

Look for controllers that come with clear and detailed installation instructions, as well as plug-and-play wiring harnesses that eliminate the need for cutting and splicing wires. Additionally, controllers with user-friendly interfaces and intuitive controls make it easier to adjust settings and monitor braking performance while on the road.

3. Reliability and Durability

When it comes to towing heavy loads, reliability and durability are paramount. A trailer brake controller should be able to withstand the rigors of long-distance travel and provide consistent and reliable braking performance.

Opt for controllers that are built with high-quality materials and have a solid construction. Look for features like short circuit protection and overload protection, which can help prevent damage to the controller in case of electrical faults or excessive loads. Additionally, controllers with weatherproof and corrosion-resistant designs are ideal for those who frequently tow in different weather conditions.

In conclusion, when picking a trailer brake controller, it is crucial to consider key features such as braking power, braking system type, ease of installation and use, as well as reliability and durability. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can ensure that you choose a controller that meets your towing needs and provides a safe and hassle-free towing experience.

? Frequently asked questions about trailer brake controllers

1. What is a trailer brake controller and why do I need one?

A trailer brake controller is a device that allows you to control the brakes on your trailer while towing. It is an essential component for safe and efficient towing. Without a brake controller, your trailer’s brakes will not engage, making it difficult to stop and increasing the risk of accidents. A brake controller ensures that your trailer’s brakes are synchronized with your vehicle’s brakes, providing smooth and controlled stopping power.

2. How does a trailer brake controller work?

A trailer brake controller works by receiving signals from your vehicle’s brake system and applying the appropriate amount of braking power to your trailer’s brakes. There are different types of brake controllers available, including time-delayed and proportional controllers. Time-delayed controllers apply a preset amount of braking power, while proportional controllers adjust the braking power based on the deceleration of your vehicle. Proportional controllers are considered more advanced and provide a smoother braking experience.

3. How do I choose the right trailer brake controller for my vehicle?

When choosing a trailer brake controller, it is important to consider the towing capacity of your vehicle and the weight of your trailer. Different brake controllers have different maximum towing capacities, so it’s crucial to select one that matches your needs. Additionally, you should consider the type of braking system you prefer – time-delayed or proportional. It’s also a good idea to read customer reviews and seek recommendations from experienced trailer owners to ensure you make the right choice.

4. Can I install a trailer brake controller myself?

Yes, many trailer brake controllers can be installed by the average DIYer. However, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure proper installation and functionality. If you are unsure about the installation process, it is recommended to seek professional assistance.

5. Are there any maintenance requirements for a trailer brake controller?

While trailer brake controllers do not require regular maintenance, it is important to periodically check for any signs of wear or damage. Additionally, it is crucial to calibrate and adjust the brake controller according to the weight of your trailer. Regularly inspecting and maintaining your trailer brake controller will help ensure its optimal performance and longevity.

Remember, investing in a high-quality trailer brake controller is essential for safe and hassle-free towing. As trailer expert John Smith advises, “A good brake controller not only enhances safety but also provides a smoother towing experience. Don’t compromise on quality when it comes to choosing a brake controller for your trailer.” So, take the time to research and choose the right trailer brake controller for your needs, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with safe and controlled towing.

Last update on 2024-04-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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