Best Trailer Brake Controller in 2021

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Making sure your trailer brakes are operating correctly is crucial. 

But, choosing the best trailer brake controller is not easy. 

There are countless options to choose from, and each offers drastically different features. 

Don’t worry; your struggle is over. 

In this post, I have reviewed the best trailer brake controller on the market.

Let’s dive in. 

1. Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Control

Pros

✅LED display

✅Control up to four-axle or eight wheels

✅

Very easy to install

✅Ability to fine-tune the stopping power

✅Comprehensive user interface

✅Long lifespan

✅Allows you to personalize the brake system and programs

✅Perfect design for your dashboard

✅Helps you stay safe with its alarm when the brake fails

✅The feedback display is handy.

✅It can revolve around 360 degrees.

✅It also comes with an automatic leverage feature.
✅It can work with multiple trailers at a time.
✅Allows you to switch between both modes

✅

Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

🚫The buttons are hard to press

🚫Expensive

🚫The screen may freeze or fail.

🚫Does not engage when on the reverse

🚫Too much information for most people

🚫Not compatible with Dodge Ram 2013

Features

  • Five storable setting options
  • LCD with multiple screen color options
  • Up-Front controls
  • flashing red warning system
  • Boost feature
  • Compact, dash-hugging design
  • Integrated Plug-N-Play port
  • Snap-in mounting clip
  • Electric brake control

What I Like

It can multitask

It efficiently works for as many as four trailers at once. Yet it can still provide you with a systematic and consistent brake system. 

 

Save five different setting options

It will give different drivers the convenience to have their preferred setting options for accurate control. 

 

Tight solid dash-hugging design

It won’t obstruct or get in the way. It’s compact so that you can mount it anywhere on your dashboard. It also includes a snap-in mounting clip allowing you to easily remove and store it when it’s not in use.

 

Plug ‘N Play adapters

It will instantly work as soon as you connect it without the inconvenience of confusing instructions.

 

Easy-to-read LCD

Its multiple color and language options will provide you with an understandable and wide range of information–from brake diagnostics to warning system alerts to battery voltage.

 

Easy access controls

It has Up-Front controls giving you easy access to all P3 features. It will allow you to personalize braking systems on several different levels.

 

Warning system

Whenever there’s a failure, a flashing red light lets you know about it.   

 

Electronic to manual control

Its lever can easily switch from manual to electronic, giving you manageable controls.

 

Power boost

This feature allows you extra towing power for heavy loads. You can choose different power levels to apply an automatic pressure boost on the electric brake.

What I Dislike

Sticky buttons

It is wise to clean this tool often because its buttons are prone to stick, making it difficult to change its settings. If not handled with care, it will misbehave over time.

 

No on/off 

It is frustrating because you need to wait for the sleep mode to begin.

Who Should Buy?

It’s the proportional type, so it is ideal for professional or experienced haulers. They will enjoy this because it can work for up to four braking axles that use either manual, electric, or electric over hydraulic trailer brakes.

2. Reese Towpower 8508211 Brake Control

Pros

✅Clear and easy-to-read, large LED.

✅Guarantees smoother stops and extends the life of vehicle brakes

✅Affordable price

✅Instructions are very easy to follow.

✅Small readout screen to show the current amount of voltage

✅Easy to mount

✅No need for drilling braces

✅It pairs with almost all vehicle types.

Cons

🚫Top buttons make mounting a challenge.

🚫Lacks some adjustability features

🚫May sometimes be unreliable

🚫Needs an extra harness adapter

Features

  • 1-4 Axle capacity
  • Boost feature 
  • Reverse battery protection
  • No leveling required
  • Diagnostics features 
  • Plug & Play feature 
  • Small compact design 
  • Simple push-button adjustments

What I Like

Advanced boost feature

When you’re towing, it will allow you to apply more initial braking boost.

 

Diagnostic information display

It is on the LCD, so you can easily monitor the status of the braking system. 

 

Two-way Plug-N-Play adapter port

Its multi-use adapter port will give you comprehensive information that is crucial.

 

Large LED 

It will be easier for you to see when control adjustment is needed to handle your loaded or unloaded trailer’s weight. 

 

BRAKE-EVN control

It provides advanced proportionate braking by applying brake force matching every vehicle’s deceleration rate. It will let you handle up to four axles for smoother stops.

 

Perfect for mounting anywhere

Its compact design makes it perfect for mounting to fit anywhere on your dashboard.

What I Dislike

Correct harness not included

Keep in mind that this device doesn’t come with the right harness. It will be disappointing because you have to buy the correct harness separately.

Who Should Buy?

This brake controller is an excellent option for the expensive ones. It’s the more affordable choice but can still excellently deliver its purpose with additional features. It’s also easy to use and install.

3. Tekonsha 90160 Primus IQ Electronic Brake Control

Pros

✅Excellent build construction

✅Small and compact form factor

✅Automatically adjust braking level

✅It works in equal proportion on the reverse.

✅Used in conjunction with electric braking systems

✅This device gives you performance and reliability.

✅Easy to use

✅The functionality on the road and long lifespan

Cons

🚫Only supports three axles.

🚫Fewer features than other models

🚫Mounting on vehicles without a factory tow package can be hard.

🚫The LED is small and displays few details.

🚫Only good for trailers that weigh 40% more than their tow

🚫Mounting brackets could have been better.

🚫May need to purchase a vehicle-specific pigtail adapter.

🚫The gain adjuster thumb wheel looks cheap.

Features

  • Utilizes the Plug-N-Play port for 2-plug adapters.
  • Self-diagnostics features
  • Includes a Boost feature
  • Works proportionally in reverse
  • Snap-in dash mounting clip and hardware included
  • Digital LED readout

What I Like

Proportional reverse function

It will determine your vehicle’s deceleration tow rate to match the trailer’s brakes. It will provide a steadier braking response when stopping without any adjustments. 

 

Boost feature

It will allow you to apply a more initial deceleration boost when towing heavier trailers. 

 

Small and compact 

It provides you convenient installation to anywhere on the dashboard without any obstruction. It includes a snap-in mounting clip making it easier for you to mount and remove the control box when it’s not needed.

 

Multiple deceleration adjustments

It can provide you with different adjustment choices.  

 

Plug-N-Play

Its two plug connection port gives you the convenience of just plugging it, and you can use it instantly without the hassle of complicated instructions. 

 

Tough and durable

You’ll be worry-free from malfunctions and sudden failures. It is durable, and it has high-end production quality features that will provide excellent on-the-road performance.  

 

Clear LED 

It will let you see clear indicative readouts, warning system alerts, battery voltage, and No Trailer Brakes situations. 

What I Dislike

Smaller display panel

It can be frustrating because it’s quite difficult to see the display. It’s smaller when you compare it to other brands and models.

 

A wiring harness is needed

When mounting, you need a wiring harness specific to your vehicle to make work.  

Who Should Buy?

This is an excellent option for someone who is on a budget. It is reliable to use and meets the production requirements. It also uses the Prodigy technology to automatically adjust your trailer’s brake level.

4. CURT 51110 Venturer Electric Trailer Brake Controller

Pros

✅Easy-to-use brake controller

✅Affordable price

✅Gives you the amount of force applied to the brakes

✅Accompanied by spare bracket

✅It has a simple calibrated display for various towing needs.

✅Ideal for RV’s, flatbeds, livestock trailer, and other oversized vehicles

✅Adjustable power and ramp time

✅Very compact and sleek

✅Allows sensitivity adjustment to either increase or decrease brake power

✅Compatible with anti-lock brakes and cruise control

Cons

🚫Time-delayed is not sophisticated.

🚫Few users complain of an unbalanced brake impact on the first or second levels of wheels.

🚫Package doesn’t always come with the ones necessary for the installation.

🚫Some reviews say that they have a hard time adjusting the sensitivity level.

🚫The LED display is basic.

🚫Takes time to set up depending on your trailer configuration properly

Features

  • Increases brake power 
  • Operates two to six trailer brakes at a time (1-3 axles)
  • No internal moving parts and leveling are required.
  • LED indicator 
  • Installs anywhere in the vehicle, at any angle
  • Features adjustable power and ramp time
  • Compatible with low-volt, PWM, ABS, cruise control, and electric over hydraulic
  • Equipped with a quick plug 

What I Like

Gain setting and automatic power level adjustment 

It will give you an increased brake power to provide you a much safer and easy pulling.

 

Multi-brake controller

It can handle up over six trailers at one to three axles at a time. It will help you to know which unit is operating. 

 

Quickplay design

It can easily plug into your vehicle’s original socket.

 

LED indicator 

It will show you the amount of power used on the trailer brakes.

 

Convenient installation

It’s flat and compact design will let you conveniently mount it anywhere convenient on your dashboard. 

 

Power output and ramp time controls

It lets you regulate the measure of deceleration boost, you need no matter your cargo’s weight and whether you’re going uphill or on level ground.

 

Sync button

It will allow you to decide in advance how fast you want the brakes to take effect on the trailer once you step on the brake pedal.

What I Dislike

Too sensitive controls

Be careful when you touch the control because it can be too sensitive. You might change settings if you’re not too careful.

 

Bolts sold separately

It can be frustrating when you learn that the bolts inside the package don’t match its fittings. 

Who Should Buy?

CURT Venturer is ideal for the novice trailer hauler. It has no complicated controls, and it can install easily. It can also be perfect for the budget-conscious because of its affordability compared to other brands.

5. Hopkins 47297 INSIGHT Plug-in Simple Brake Control

Pros

✅Very simple to use and install

✅Displaying current-voltage and warning the driver of any system problems

✅It works well on both hydraulic and electric brake vehicles.

✅Lets you focus more on the road.

✅Power levels are easy to adjust.

✅You mount the parts separately.

✅Advanced technology

✅Its power and sensitivity are digital.

✅Can be mounted below the dash or on top of the control

✅Comes in three components

✅Affordable

✅Limited replacement guarantee

Cons

🚫The manual control plate mount seems loose.

🚫The light stays on when the vehicle key is off.

🚫The digital dashboard display is small.

🚫Limited features

🚫Its double-sided tape is very cheap.

🚫Not sensitive on levels one and two.

🚫Has to be messed up with towing weight changes

🚫Concerns about the plastic material

Features

  • Proportional braking
  • No Tools Required Installation, no drilling required
  • Percentage of braking power shown
  • Seven7 sensitivity settings for advanced braking control
  • Intuitive vertical manual slide
  • Short proof protected
  • Controls up to eight trailer brakes
  • Flex-display

What I Like

Advanced technology

It mirrors the tow brakes that it creates for safe and smooth stops as if you’re not towing a trailer.

 

Seven sensitivity settings 

It assures you of advanced control, allowing you to adjust at a push of a button. It gives you short proof protection for up to 8 trailer brakes.

 

Convenient installation

With its flex display, you can mount it just right above the dash for you to focus more on the road.

 

Three-part system

It will allow you to comfortably reach the controls, whether you’re left or right-handed.

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What I Dislike

Tiny LED display

The drawback of this product is the LED display. It’s too small, making it hard to read. It’s also not bright enough to use when the sun is within your eye level.

 

Wiring eats space

Another snag is its three-piece system. It requires a lot of wiring, and it takes up a lot of dashboard space.

Who Should Buy?

Hopkins is ideal for novice truck haulers and those who want an uncomplicated brake controller. It’s simple but worthy because it has uncomplicated features such as its easy to mount, easy to understand, and easy to reach controls.

6. Tekonsha Prodigy P2 Electronic Brake Control f/1-4 Axle Trailers

Pros

✅Many mounting options

✅Easy installation

✅Able to adjust depending on the terrain

✅Compact

✅Suitable for electric trailer brakes

✅Has a power saving mode

✅Has a proper connection indicator

Cons

🚫Not ideal for trailers that have hydraulic brake systems

🚫Pricey

Features

  • Reverse battery protection
  • Easy mounting
  • Digital display of voltage delivery
  • Self-leveling
  • Detachable
  • Provides connection diagnostics
  • Has three boost levels
  • Has a great reverse mode
  • Electronic brake mode
  • Tri-axis accelerometer

What I Like

Efficient braking

This product supplies a proportionate power to your tow vehicle’s brakes. It makes the trailer brake with the same strength as the towing vehicle at the same time. 

Even if you hit the brakes very fast, it would immediately respond as well, with no delay.

It helps the brakes stop the entire load, which lessens the possibility of wear and tear.

 

Boost feature

This provides more initial braking power, especially when you’re towing heavy loads.

You can do this with the push of a button. It would immediately send as much as 13-25% of power to the trailer brakes to  still provide a smoother stop.

 

Self-leveling

This product levels itself as you drive. This is very helpful, especially if you’re going through high terrain.

It also has a 360° rotation, allowing you to mount it wherever you’d like.

 

Easy to use and portable

This comes with a mounting pocket, making it easy to transfer from one place to another. It would be very easy to store when not in use.

It also comes with an instruction manual and a DVD, for more in-depth information that you might need.

 

Safety features

It helps prevent the trailer brakes from overheating. It would reduce its power output during prolonged stops with its ‘hold’ feature. This makes your brakes consume only 25% of its preset power.

It also reduces the possibility of your car battery draining since it only draws in about 3.6mAh when not in use.

What I Dislike

Light indicator

This may be a distraction for others since the lights would keep on blinking, especially at night. 

 

Hydraulic Brake System

Not compatible with the hydraulic brake system or trailers that are older models that do not include electronic controls. 

Who Should Buy?

It would be ideal for those who go on long trips or other outdoor adventures. This allows your trailers to withstand uneven terrains\ without hassle. It also provides a smooth stop even during emergency brakes.

This would also be perfect for those who don’t tow very often. With its price and performance, this makes it something worth considering.

7. Tekonsha 9030 Voyager Electronic Brake Control

Pros

✅Provides a smooth and secure brake

✅Budget-friendly

✅Easy installation, comes with instructions

✅Long-lasting and durable

Cons

🚫May be a little hard to adjust

🚫Doesn’t have a diagram for wiring harness

🚫Overall sensitivity

Features

  • Has a braking sensor
  • Wide control range
  • Has an LED brake monitor
  • Plug-N-Play feature
  • Compact design
  • Works on up to four braking axles

What I Like

LED brake monitor

This provides a complete connection to the trailer brakes. Its color switches from green to red, showing you the relative braking power it’s applying. 

 

Wide control range

This makes it very easy to set, giving you maximum control over the entire towing process.

What I Dislike

Wiring harness

You would need to make sure that this brake controller fits your vehicle. This is because the wiring harness is not universal, so there is a chance that this won’t be a perfect fit.

 

High-sensitivity

The slightest movements may already cause big changes that would affect its performance.

Who Should Buy?

This would be perfect for those who own large trailers. It provides the convenience you need while you’re on the road, with a smooth and efficient stop.

It would be ideal for those who go on family trips or other outdoor adventures.

8. Hopkins 47284 Reliance Plug-in Simple Brake Control

Pros

✅Easy to install and remove, comes with a manual

✅Time-based braking

✅Easy mounting at any angle

✅Easy plug-in feature, no tools needed

✅Vertical manual slide

✅Short proof protected

✅Can control up to four trailer brakes

✅Budget-friendly

✅Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

🚫LED display is small

🚫Has limited features compared to others

🚫Not suitable for large trailers

🚫Tends to have a delay in braking

🚫Doesn’t save settings

Features

  • Has an LED display 
  • Works on up to four braking axles
  • Suitable for a 12V negative ground system
  • Short proof protection
  • Intuitive, vertical manual slide
  • Easy mounting at any angle
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Increased user control
  • Advanced proportional technology

What I Like

Built-in LED display

This allows you to set the braking intensity with ease. It shows the amount of braking force that it’s extending on the brakes.

With the push of a button, you can adjust the braking force from 5% to 99%. This would be convenient, especially when you’re driving.

This will also make sure that your trailer is properly connected. It would alert you of any electrical problems that may be dangerous for you and your vehicle.

 

Plug-in feature

This makes it suitable for beginners since you wouldn’t need to cut or connect anything. It helps reduce the installation time as well.

 

Easy to install

You can mount this at any angle since it doesn’t rely on internal parts to sense the vehicle’s braking motions.

It also comes with a manual that can also help you understand all its features.

What I Dislike

Uneven pressure

The uneven pressure between the tow and trailer increases the risk of your brakes wearing out over time.

 

Pulses on and off

This happens as soon as the hazard lights are on, which can damage brake magnets over time.

 

Time-based

This doesn’t supply the same braking power levels compared to proportional control. It may cause a little jolt once the vehicle stops.

 

Not suitable for large trailers

You should avoid hauling heavy loads when using this product. It may overstretch the brakes as well as the trailer, which will affect their performance.

 

Manual braking

This applies full power instead of your set percentage of power. This won’t be suitable if you want to have a manual brake for added control. Although it would be great for emergency braking.

Who Should Buy?

It’s perfect for those who only tow a small trailer for moving a few things.

This would also be perfect for those who don’t tow very often. It would save you more money as well.

9. Hayes 81760 Engage Digital Time Based Brake Controller

Pros

✅Easy to install

✅Excellent responsiveness

✅Adjustable voltage power

✅No hard-wiring needed

✅Automatic and manual braking

✅Turns trailer lights on during manual braking

Cons

🚫Not suitable for those who look for detailed readouts

🚫Installation may be a little difficult for beginners

Features

  • Has a quick-connect feature
  • Full 12V output
  • Easy mounting at any angle
  • Compact design, lightweight
  • Can handle up to three braking axles
  • Doesn’t need level adjustment
  • Comes with built-in troubleshooting functions
  • Displays the current, power, and voltage
  • Digital time-based circuitry

What I Like

Easy mounting

This product allows you to mount it anywhere you’d like. It doesn’t rely on internal parts to sense the braking motions of the vehicle. 

 

Safety features

The manual override lights up the brake lights, which allows you to see what’s behind the vehicle.

The current limiter protects your vehicle from shorts in the trailer wiring.

The hazard flasher immunity prevents brake pulsing while flashers are on.

The manual slide lever overrides the preset power output. It also allows you to engage the trailer brakes without using your vehicle’s brakes.

 

LED display

This displays the power settings as you adjust them. It also shows the brake power output, ramp setting, and error codes to alert you of any problems.

 

Adjustable power output

You can adjust the output and ramp time according to the road conditions, type of trailer, and load weight.

The output lets you know the amount of power sent to the trailer’s brakes.

The ramp time lets you adjust the aggressiveness of the brakes.

What I Dislike

Connector

The connector is not suitable for other vehicles. You would need to buy a different one or an adapter, which would cost you more.

 

Not suitable for beginners

Despite having a manual, it still wouldn’t be ideal for those who don’t have enough experience. Improper installation would lead to performance issues in the long run.

Who Should Buy?

It’s perfect for those who are looking for a time-delayed electric brake controller. It can manage up to three axles without the hassle, and it comes with a manual overdrive lever.

It’s also suitable for those who tow on off-road terrains. This is when emergency adjustments are necessary.

It would also be perfect for those who only tow small trailers or don’t tow very often. It would also save you some money.

10. Husky 31898 Escort Digital Brake Controller with Flat Connector

Pros

✅Easy to install

✅Adjustable power setting

✅Automatic leveling

✅Manual vertical slide

✅Solid state electronics

Cons

🚫Doesn’t include a custom wiring harness

🚫Uneven wear and tear

Features

  • Can handle up to three braking axles
  • Time-based
  • Six-brake capacity
  • Has a reverse function
  • Has a digital display
  • Easy mounting at any angle
  • Short proof protected
  • Power setting is adjustable
  • Comes with a quick-connect plug
  • Slide activated brake lights
  • Provides short side protection and light progression
  • Provides a notification in case of brake failure
  • 24V jump-start protection

What I Like

Digital display

This indicates the exact braking force as a percentage of full power. It changes color, which would help you set the right braking power.

 

Adjustable

Braking power and rate of application are adjustable. This would depend on the road conditions, type of trailer, and weight of the load.

 

Vertical slide

It allows manual braking, which is helpful in controlling trailer sway. It also helps in dealing with extreme weather and driving conditions.

 

Easy mounting

Like other brake controllers, you can also mount this anywhere. It doesn’t have internal parts that sense the tow vehicle’s braking motions.

What I Dislike

Doesn’t have a wiring harness 

You would need to buy one that would be an exact fit for your vehicle, which would cost you more.

 

Not reverse polarity protected

Reversing the connection to your vehicle or breakaway battery will damage the brake control.

Who Should Buy?

This product would be suitable for those who own rough riding vehicles. It would be easier to control trailer sway on uneven terrains since it’s time-based.

It would also be perfect for those who only tow small trailers with lightweight loads.

Conclusion

If your trailer exceeds 1,000 pounds, you will need this instrument for your security, as well as others.

But before you get one, there are things that you should consider. 

There are different kinds. So, if you’re new to this thing, you just need the basic type with basic controls and easy mounting. 

There is a more advanced type, though. But it’s more complicated to control that only professionals can understand.

Finally, the best thing about the basic type is its price. Compared to other truck devices, this is highly reasonable.

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