Trailer brake controller ... which one are you using

All about towing and tow vehicles

Trailer brake controller ... which one are you using

Postby Vspec » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:48 am

Leaning toward a digital one vs analog. My TV, 2017 Pathfinder, already has a pig tail connection under the dash and a 7-pin at the rear.

Recommendations? Which one to stay away from? Bad experience, good experience?
Vspec
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:08 pm

Re: Trailer brake controller ... which one are you using

Postby working on it » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:42 am

  • I've used time delay braking controllers on all my trucks and on other vehicles I've put them in. My preferred controller is the Hopkins' Impulse, which I installed in my '04 Chevy Silverado, and in my Father-in-laws '03, and in 5 others, all Chevrolet, using the plug'n-play wiring they came with. I put one to the left underside of the dashboard (for a left-handed friend), and the remainder to the right. I angled all of them slightly upwards, and some closer to the driver, per their choice. All have functioned well, for many years (12-13 years, since installed).
  • For other trucks, which I had done before I got the Impulse, I used a Reese Brakeman, also a time delay controller, which I installed on two of my old trucks (and also on my wife's GMC, when I had to replace her failed Tekonsha, and that was the only one I could get immediately-she was leaving in an hour, on a rush insurance call-). They were not plug'n-play, but easy enough to wire up. Both brands of controllers could have been mounted at any angle, but I've found that the "underdash/beside the steering wheel" position has been universally liked by me and others.
  • Hopkins' Impulse (like mine).PNG
    Hopkins' Impulse (like mine).PNG (167.93 KiB) Viewed 768 times
    my go-to brake controller
  • Reese Brakeman.PNG
    Reese Brakeman.PNG (108.38 KiB) Viewed 768 times
    my old favorite controller, cheaper but reliable
  • brake controller preferred mounting position.jpg
    brake controller preferred mounting position.jpg (94.4 KiB) Viewed 768 times
    easy to see & reach, out of the way install sites
Last edited by working on it on Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • 2013 HHRv,"squareback/simple" TTT, semi-offroad? 4x8, 2000+ lbs travel weight
  • featuring:
    • 3500 lb Dexter axle,
    • 27x8.5-14LT tires,
    • LED lighting,
    • A/C & heat,Optima AGM battery,
    • extended-run 2500w generator,
    • Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern
  • 147697148333125895
  • 148599148106
User avatar
working on it
1000 Club
1000 Club
 
Posts: 1523
Images: 427
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:05 pm
Location: DFW Texas

Re: Trailer brake controller ... which one are you using

Postby dancam » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:17 pm

working on it wrote:[list][*]I've used timed controllers on all my trucks and on other vehicles I've put them in.


Why always times ones?

Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk
dancam
The 300 Club
 
Posts: 437
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:27 am
Location: Edmonton Alberta Canada
Top

Re: Trailer brake controller ... which one are you using

Postby working on it » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:20 pm

dancam wrote:Why always times ones?
  • Huh? I don't understand what you're referring to. If you're asking if I use just onecontroller per vehicle, yes, of course, those "time delay" controllers are good for one or two axles, which covers all my trailers.
  • Note that I corrected the "timed" to "time delay" description of the controllers, in my post above. It more accurately describes the simple braking action that the controllers exert, a delay before ramping up to the chosen power level. Proportional braking controllers use inertial sensors, and sense and adjust braking power to fit the situation. I've gone "old school" by choosing what I know and trust, the "time delay" kind, where I can choose how much braking I want to use (it can come in handy in slow moving, stop and go traffic, using just manual trailer braking, rather than the truck brakes).
  • time delay braking controllers.PNG
    time delay braking controllers.PNG (9.09 KiB) Viewed 740 times
    description of time delay function
  • Proportional brake controllers.PNG
    Proportional brake controllers.PNG (10.49 KiB) Viewed 740 times
    description of proportional function
  • Sure, I've locked up my single-axle brakes, when I pulled into a service station after highway travel (I forgot to set the braking percentage to less-aways had controllers on tandem axles before, not a lightweight single axle). You do have to adjust the percentage for varying speeds, loads, and conditions. I was just using trailer brakes on my TTT for the first trip; I wasn't used to it, yet. Though my TTT isn't lightweight anymore (now at 2000 lbs), my truck doesn't really need the trailer brakes to stop it.
  • Choosing the type of controller is up to the user: I chose the time delay. It's what I've always used, and trusted, and can mount anywhere, at any angle, if I choose. Proportional is probably a better choice for light trailers, inexperienced users, varying road conditions; but, they're more expensive, and I think they have to be mounted level (so the motion sensor will function).
  • 2013 HHRv,"squareback/simple" TTT, semi-offroad? 4x8, 2000+ lbs travel weight
  • featuring:
    • 3500 lb Dexter axle,
    • 27x8.5-14LT tires,
    • LED lighting,
    • A/C & heat,Optima AGM battery,
    • extended-run 2500w generator,
    • Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern
  • 147697148333125895
  • 148599148106
User avatar
working on it
1000 Club
1000 Club
 
Posts: 1523
Images: 427
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:05 pm
Location: DFW Texas
Top

Re: Trailer brake controller ... which one are you using

Postby dancam » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:00 pm

^i meant time delay vs. Pendulum controllers, i thought maybe you had used an inertia one and didnt like it.
I have never used a time delay one, the inertia idea just seems better to me and i didnt think the inertia ones are too expensive.
Inertia ones can be mounted at varying angles, you just move the pendulum reference point with a lever on the side of the controller.
Inertia ones are affected by weather your on flat ground, going uphill or downhill but it usually works in your favor. They brake less uphill and more downhill. But thats kinda what you want.

Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk
dancam
The 300 Club
 
Posts: 437
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:27 am
Location: Edmonton Alberta Canada
Top

Re: Trailer brake controller ... which one are you using

Postby Shadow Catcher » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:57 pm

We have a Tekonsha Prodigy P2 Trailer Brake Controller which is Proportional. We have not had a problem and it works as it should.
http://www.tekonsha.com/products/brake-controllers/proportional-controllers/trailer-brake-control-proportional/TzaIxkVx1cI5XOy!osRB52uqDvaehMa!
User avatar
Shadow Catcher
Donating Member
 
Posts: 5611
Images: 192
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:26 pm
Location: Metamora, OH
Top

Re: Trailer brake controller ... which one are you using

Postby capnTelescope » Thu May 25, 2017 11:32 pm

I use a Tekonsha P3 controller.

I wrote a Howto based on my install. YMMV.
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

Brad
ImageImage

My Build
User avatar
capnTelescope
Lifetime member
 
Posts: 1094
Images: 360
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Round Rock, TX
Top

Re: Trailer brake controller ... which one are you using

Postby DIY_Stu » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:28 am

I bought and installed the Tekonsha P3 after reading many many many reviews. Just came down to Cost of truck, Cost of trailer, and possible medical expenses. Why not get what is rated as the best?
DIY_Stu
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:17 pm
Top

Re: Trailer brake controller ... which one are you using

Postby troubleScottie » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:54 am

The electronic proportional brake controllers need to detect the change of inertia of the vehicle.

Originally the detection used a mechanical pendulum. So the controller had to be level. If it was not, the detection was off. Similarly if the vehicle was climbing or descending a hill, this also affected the braking.

Newer system use electronic inertia detectors which do not care how they are oriented or whether the vehicles are descending or ascending. They do need to be aligned with the path of motion ie point forward.

The timed systems were most likely more consistent than the mechanical pendulum system. The newer systems are better than the timed ones.





A question to those who might know, do any of the controllers get triggered by the vertical motion like a really bumpy road surface.
Michael Krolewski
Scottish Terrier Fancier
troubleScottie
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 133
Images: 10
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Seattle, WA
Top

Re: Trailer brake controller ... which one are you using

Postby bdosborn » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:36 pm

I also use a Tekonsha:

Tekonsha P3 Linky

I like the P3, it has on-board diagnostics that work well. It's also easy to move from one vehicle to another.

Bruce
2009 6.5'X11' TTT - Boxcar
Image
Boxcar Build
User avatar
bdosborn
Donating Member
 
Posts: 4230
Images: 450
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 11:10 pm
Location: CO, Littleton
Top

Re: Trailer brake controller ... which one are you using

Postby capnTelescope » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:02 am

troubleScottie wrote:A question to those who might know, do any of the controllers get triggered by the vertical motion like a really bumpy road surface.


On my summer road trip to Alaska this year, I drove many bumpy and/or unpaved roads without a hiccup from my Tekonsha. I would consider that trip to be a pretty thorough test.
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

Brad
ImageImage

My Build
User avatar
capnTelescope
Lifetime member
 
Posts: 1094
Images: 360
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Round Rock, TX
Top

Re: Trailer brake controller ... which one are you using

Postby Andrew Herrick » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:23 pm

Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences. Learned a lot. This article from etrailer helped me learn about the basics. Here it is as reference: https://www.etrailer.com/faq-brakecontroller.aspx

Has anyone found that wireless controllers are worth the extra cost?
User avatar
Andrew Herrick
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 219
Images: 11
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:39 pm
Location: Cedar City, Utah
Top

Re: Trailer brake controller ... which one are you using

Postby Aguyfromohio » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:36 pm

Has anyone here used a brake controller like this one? It's Hopkins InSIGHT Flex-Mount Trailer Brake Controler.

The more popular controllers like Tekonsha Prodigy P3 require the box to be mounted level in one axis.
The interiors of newer vehicles are sculpted pretty curved, making it hard to find a good mounting location at all.
This one puts the accelerometer in any remote hidden location.
The controls and displays get mounted wherever they are convenient without any need to have them level.
It seems like a nicer installation.

https://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Controll ... 47297.html
Image
Aguyfromohio
Silver Donating Member
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 5:02 am
Top


Return to Towing and Tow Vehicles

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest