The Tekonsha 90160 Primus Electronic Brake Control is our pick as the best brake controller, which can even work on reverse proportionally and in addition, it can illuminate the LED readout when it comes to its self-diagnostic feature so it is very user-friendly. In addition, it allows 2-plug adapters for a plug-n-play support and it includes hardware as well as a mounting clip that is snap-in dash as well as a has a boost feature.
Our step-up pick is the Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Control and this is equipped with an easy to read LCD display that even offers a lot of options for its color. It can display in English, Spanish or French language as it displays the diagnostics very well such as output voltage, battery, warning system, output current and brake. You can use its boost feature and furthermore, has a plug-n-play support for up to 2 adapters and includes a snap-in mounting clip.
The budget pick is the CURT 51110 Venturer Brake Control which has a great amount of features. You can control almost any trailer that has 2 to 6 electric brakes and the manual control feature allows you to activate the brake lights. It can be mounted just about anywhere in your vehicle and the ramp time and power are highly adjustable and it includes a mounting bracket, instructions for using and the needed hardware.
Table of Contents
- A Little Background
- How we picked
- Our pick
- Who else likes it?
- Flaws but not dealbreakers
- Step-up Pick
- Budget Pick
- Best Brake Controller with Wiring Harness
- Best Compact Brake Controller
- Brake Controller with LED Battery Monitor
- Best Brake Controller for up to 3-Axle Trailers
- Best Brake Controller for up to 4-Axle Trailers
- Best Breakaway System Brake Controller
- Best Activator Brake Controller
- The Competition
- Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping it up
A Little Background
A brake control is very essential when it comes to moving RVs and mobile homes. They are a must-have and they should be able to provide accurate information as well as the reliability and durability of the brake control.
How We Picked
When we chose the best brake control, we took heed of the following criteria to pick out best bets:
Does the price give you well worth for your product? Consider its dimensions, size, display, accuracy and other feature before you get down with the best price. Always consider many other options out there and do not just stick to one very low price only.
What do the reviews say about the brake controller? Does it have disadvantages? If so, you must make sure that those cons are nothing major in general. The reviews play an impact to the brake controller’s overall quality and value so you should listen to reviews and customer experience. Reviews with photos will definitely help you decide.
Is it very easy to operate? You must know if the brake controller is hassle-free, friendly towards userd and overall, easy to control for your RV.
What are the features of the brake controller? Check out all of its features and it is best if you compare it with other brake controllers and make sure that the feature you need is definitely included or the most common and used feature is there to help you out.
Does it display enough and accurate information? The LCD display must give out accurate information that is precise, up to date and clear and easy to understand for everyone who will use the brake controller for their RVS.
What are the overall dimensions of the brake controller? You have to know if the brake controller is compact sized and easy to carry around for your RV. A brake controller with a good portability is a product worth buying.
Top Pick: Tekonsha 90160 Primus Electronic Brake Control
Our best brake controller is the Tekonsha 90160 Primus Electronic Brake Control which can even work on reverse proportionally. In addition to that, this brake controller can illuminate the LED readout when it comes to its self-diagnostic feature.
It allows 2-plug adapters for a plug-n-play support and adding to that feature, the Tekonsha includes hardware as well as a mounting clip that is snap-in dash so that it will be safe and sound and well-protected in place, keeping it secure during use for RVs.
Adding to that, the Tekonsha brake controller has a neat boost feature and the fact that it uses a primary sensor technology that comes from Prodigy is something to look forward to. In addition, it is great for trailer braking when it comes to trailers that require a heavier towing, to give you a hassle-free experience.
To add to its great list of features, the reverse backing can even work on really tough spots out there and also, the mounting clip also includes an electrical connector that is removable. Furthermore, this electrical connector helps to keep the brake controller stored as quickly as possible when the brake controller is currently not in use.
In addition, the digital readout is accurate and easy to read for securing a good electrical connection which also displays the trailer brake’s voltage delivery as well as other diagnostics. This brake controller by Tekonsha is proudly made in Mexico which has overall dimensions of 8 in x 2 in x 4 in. It weighs 1 lbs all in all and has a gray sleek color finish. Furthermore, it is manufactured and distributed by Tekonsha.
Who Else Likes It?
According to Love Your RV the Tekonsha 90160 Primus Electronic Brake Control is a great brake boost that can be easily operated. Being equipped with an easy digital readout for convenience, the mount is snap-in and easy to remove the brake controller. It is a decent controller with a load of neat features.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
There are only very small amounts of negative reviews for the Tekonsha 90160 Primus Electronic Brake Control. The customers only complain some of the units failing and the boost selector might fall into the housing depending on how you use it. However, this is not always the case in every unit.
Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Control
The Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Control is our step-up pick for the people who want a pricier brake controller. it is equipped with an easy to read LCD display that even offers a lot of options for its color and in addition, with that feature for accessibility and customization, it can display in English, Spanish or French language.
It displays the diagnostics very well such as output voltage, battery, warning system, output current and brake and also, you can use its boost feature. The 90195 P3 has a plug-n-play support for up to 2 adapters as it also includes a snap-in mounting clip.
The mounting clip helps to store the brake control when you are not using it and in addition, the boost feature allows you to select from two options: electric trailer brake mode or electric over hydraulic mode. It also has 5 storable options for its settings so you can select from a variety of drivers and also, you can also use these settings when selecting and pulling out various trailers up to four axles.
All in all, this Electronic Brake Control comes with a generic harness that using splicing wire and can be attached and hard-wired onto any type of vehicle. Some models may also require specific harness types and it also has a manual override control that is triggered by pulling the lever.
The Tekonsha 90195 P3 ranked #1 in Brake Controls category in Amazon and weighs 1.4 lbs with a total shipping weight of 1.5 lbs. It has overall dimensions of 10 in x 4 in x 3 in and is proudly made in Mexico, being manufactured and distributed by Tekonsha.
CURT 51110 Venturer Brake Control
The CURT 51110 Venturer Brake Control is our budget pick that is a sure winner for those RV owners who are looking for an economical solution for a brake control. With this brake controller, you can control almost any trailer that has 2 to 6 electric brakes and furthermore, the manual control feature allows you to activate the brake lights.
With this brake controller, it uses a time based activation for its venture brake features and in addition, it can be mounted just about anywhere in your vehicle. What’s more, the ramp time and power are highly adjustable and also, it includes a mounting bracket, instructions for using and the needed hardware.
This Venturer Brake Control lets you can easily mount it to any location in your vehicle so it is highly accessible and easy to use. Furthermore, it has an easy to adjust power as well as ramp time and one more thing to consider is that it comes with a diagram for referring to the connections and plugging the harness.
All in all, the CURT 51110 weighs 7.8 oz and has total dimensions of 8 in x 2 in x 5 in.
Best Brake Controller with Wiring Harness
Tekonsha P3 Brake Control Wiring Harness
The Tekonsha P3 Brake Control Wiring Harness is our best wiring harness included brake controller for a multitude of trailer and RV purposes. Being manufactured and distributed by Tekonsha, it is coated in dark gray finish and has a wiring harness.
With the Tekonsha P3, you can easily set the color of the LCD screen and in addition, it is very compatible with most Toyota vehicles such as Land Cruiser, 4Runner, Tundra Tacoma and Sequoia and it is also compatible with most Lexus vehicles such as LX470, GX460, LX570 and GCX470.
It includes a plug and play wire kit with the controller and in addition, it has a boost feature that helps in customizing the brake. One more awesome feature of the P3 is that the LCD screen is ultra bright with the contrast that is adjustable. It can also be used for trailers with 1 to 4 axles and to add to that, you can easily install this within 5 minutes.
This brake controller comes with a mounting bracket as it has a very hassle-free setup. In general, most people use it for Toyota Tundra. This awesome brake controller can work for hydraulic and electric brakes. Overall, the P3 Brake Control weighs 1.4 lbs and has overall dimensions of 10 in x 3 in x 4 in. Having a P3 model number, it has a lifetime warranty that is limited.
Best Compact Brake Controller
Reese Towpower 8507111 Brakeman IV Compact
Priced at a cheap and remarkably affordable value, the Reese Towpower 8507111 Brakeman IV Compact is a great deal if you want a brake controller that is small, compact and portable. It is manufactured and distributed by Reese Towpower and is recommended for ground negative systems that runs on 12 volts.
With this brake controller, the circuit protection is internal and advanced and the braking systems it can operate to stand up to 8. In addition to that feature, there is no need for leveling because this brake controller can mount in any direction possible due to its small and very conveniently compact design.
Thanks to its design, to avoid short connection and brake overloading, it displays info on the digital display for its sync setting and output setting. Being coated in gray color finish, the Towpower 8507111 weighs 4 oz and has overall dimensions of 5 in x 3 in x 2 in. This particular brake controller ranked #6 in Brake Controls category in Amazon, which is a considerably high ranking in Amazon. It is made in Mexico.
With this 8507111 compact brake controller, the two adjustable controls are output and sync and it can be operated with an easy to push button so you can easily adjust to various weights of trailers as well as the activation speed. In addition to that, you can adjust the brake controller for highway or city driving.
Brake Controller with LED Battery Monitor
Hopkins 20100 Engager Break Away Kit
The Hopkins 20100 Engager Break Away Kit is a brake controller that is manufactured and distributed by Hopkins Towing Solutions and is ideal for its LED battery monitor, for those who are always battery conscious. It comes with an LED battery monitor and also has a charger that includes LED test lights. It comes with a battery meter that is built-in on the kit.
The Hopkins Kit is very easy to install and use in general and it is extremely useful because most American states require break away kits for trailers.
One more thing to note about this brake controller is that the test lights have a function of lighting up when they are charged fully and when they need to recharge or during the charging process. What’s more, it offers great protection for your trailer and your investment so that you cannot go wrong with traveling with your RV trailer from place to place and guarantee the safety of the surrounding, especially when moving between cities.
Being an awesome towing solution for your RV and includes most of the things you need to start, the Hopkins 20100 weighs 3.9 lbs and has overall dimensions of 5 in x 6 in x 6 in.
Best Brake Controller for up to 3-Axle Trailers
Draw-Tite 20191 I-Stop IQ Brake Control
If you want a brake controller that can work for trailers with 3 axles then you might want to consider the Draw-Tite 20191 I-Stop IQ Brake Control.
It can be used from 1 to 3 axle trailers and in addition to that feature, it has a plug and play port that can work for up to 2 plug adapters. When it comes to output, the LED readout is readable and will show if there are any issues that need to be attended due to its self-diagnostic feature and adding to that, the electronic brake control also has a snap-in mounting clip.
Generally, this mounting clip helps to store the brake controller when it is currently not being used and for easy removal and furthermore, the boost feature of the brake controller also helps to move it in reverse while maintaining proportion.
Being coated in gray finish, the Draw-Tite 20191 weighs 1.1 lbs and has overall dimensions of 8 in x 2 in x 4 in. Being made in Mexico this product has been manufactured and distributed by Draw-Tite. This brake controller ranked #10 in Brake Controls category of Amazon and in addition, it has a limited lifetime warranty, which is a good news for most RV and trailer owners and operators.
Best Brake Controller for up to 4-Axle Trailers
Tekonsha P2 Prodigy Brake Control
For those who are looking for a hassle-free solution to trailers with 4 axles, they might want to take a look at the Tekonsha P2 Prodigy Brake Control.
This awesome brake controller can work from 1 to 4 axle trailers, making it super flexible and ready for super heavy duty work. In addition, it is specifically designed for electric brake systems and it has a digital display that is highly readable to show the voltage to the trailer.
The Tekonsha P2 comes with a wiring harness and it will also work on most Dodge vehicles including Ram 1500, 3500, 2500 from year model 95 to 09. In addition, it also works on Dakota, Aspen and Durango vehicles.
This P2 Brake Control comes with a plug and play wire kit for easy controllability and furthermore, the boost feature allows for better customization of the brakes. As a whole, there is no need to adjust the level because it can adjust depending on the terrain that you drive, which is useful on tough and rough road as it can even work in reverse proportionally.
In addition to that, with the Tekonsha Brake Control, you get unprecedented experience as shorted magnet conditions are not a problem. The brake controller comes with the plug and play harness as it weighs 1.2 lbs and has overall dimensions of 10 in x 4 in x 3 in. it is currently manufactured and distributed by Tekonsha and includes a limited lifetime warranty.
Best Breakaway System Brake Controller
Tekonsha 50-85-313 Shur-Set III Breakaway System
For a breakaway system that will fit most trailers, we recommend the Tekonsha 50-85-313 Shur-Set III Breakaway System. It is manufactured and distributed by Tekonsha and has been given a durable black color finish.
With its material being resistant to corrosion, it is an integrated breakaway system that comes with an LED test meter as well as a breakaway switch, battery and charger. Generally, it has up to 12.8 volts of fast recharge due to its multi-stage fast charger that has an integrated feature and it also has a 7.5 inch lead wire that is integrated with the breakaway switch that comes with a 5 amp per hour battery.
The case is resistant to rust and has a heavy-duty build and is made from polymer that will be able to protect your charger and battery and what’s more, the case also has a flat mount surface. The Tekonsha 50-85-313 can be used for trailers with 1 axle, 2 axles or 3 axles and to be used for electric brakes as it weighs 4.5 lbs and has overall dimensions of 5 in x 6 in x 4 in.
With the Tekonsha Breakaway System, the automatic float mode helps to maintain the continuous charge when the battery is full without the risk of overcharging and in addition to that, the brakes can easily lock up right away when the switch is exactly made or there is pulling of the pin. This brake controller and breakaway system has a 1 year limited warranty.
Best Activator Brake Controller
Draw-Tite 5500 Activator II Brake Controller
For a brake controller that is also an activator, you can go for the Draw-Tite 5500 Activator II Brake Controller which is remarkably super high and trusted when it comes to reviews.
It can be used from 1 axle to 4 axle trailers as it is a great activator for all your electric brake control needs. The Draw-Tite 5500 weighs 13.1 oz and it has overall dimensions of 9 in x 1 in x 5 in. Being manufactured and distributed by Draw-Tite, the brake controller is left with a durable and super sturdy dark gray finish. In addition, the user’s manual can be downloaded from the website. Generally, it is a universal brake control so you will have no problem attaching it to any vehicle you have and you may find that it is a very economical brake controller with its price.
If you are wondering what happened to the other brake controllers that did not make it to our review of the top list that is of the best of the best, they are mostly not too reliable and can be a bit too pricey for many users and RV owners.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the different types of brake controllers and how are they different from each other?
A: According to Draw-Tite , there are many different brake controllers that you should know before you get yourself to buy a brake controller. For instance, you should first know and learn about the timed brake controllers. The timed brake controllers are economical and light weight and they are mostly used for smaller operations of RVs and trailers and that they are mostly commonly used by the masses and a lot of movers out there. They are typically for small towing and trailer controls so that they can easily be bought by most people.
In contrast to that, there is another type of brake controller which the proportional brake controller. Generally speaking, proportional brake controllers are for a quicker installation but they are a little more expensive and are more for bigger applications. Most often, they are more applicable for heavier vehicles and trailers that are harder to tow and because of that, most people still depend on timed brake controllers. However, choosing between these two depends on the size of your RV or trailer and it all depends on where you will tow them and where you will move as well as how your surroundings are.
Last, but not the least, the breakaway kits are mostly required on some states. You should at least make a breakaway system if you live in the U.S. or other countries out there that have some governing laws about trailers, RVs and mobile homes and their electrical and towing systems which you should be very mindful about. If you are new to this kind of thing, please consider consulting residents and neighbors about it.
Q: How do the brake controllers work?
A: According to How Stuff Works Auto , they are important for moving trailers with just the right amount of force and in addition, they are also very useful measuring the train’s momentum so that it does not cause havoc in the streets. The article shows a very detailed information on how to operate a brake controller and how exactly do they work to put your trailer or RV from one place to another and move it slowly but surely from point A to point B without causing damage to the surroundings.
Q: How do you maintain a brake controller?
A: It is advised that you should give it a thorough inspection at a regular interval so that the components are all rest assured working properly and that you will have almost no problem at all with all of its features. As we all know, towing is never an easy task when it comes to towing trailers because they are super heavy and bulky, so it is important to have a fully functioning brake controller.
You should also remember clean it properly and only use manufacturer recommended cleaning materials so that you do not damage it in a bad way and might void the warranty. You should also remember to keep the adjustment to its recommended values and in addition to that, you should also make sure you have enough knowledge about the different kinds of brake controllers so that you will know which brake controller is the best fit for your trailer or RV or any other heavy mobile home.
In addition to that, you must also know how to measure voltage and amperage properly. If you cannot do this, you should get an electrician or someone who is knowledgeable when it comes to amperage and voltage in your household, such as people who have basic knowledge in electronics and outputs. You must learn to address poor connections so that the brake controller will not cause problems for you in the future while towing.
Wrapping It Up
As a whole, the Tekonsha 90160 Primus Electronic Brake Control is our winer as the best brake controller because of its balanced price, great accessibility features and reliability as a brake controller for RVs and trailers.