Having a truck or a trailer may sometimes necessitate to look for the best Electric brake controllers as going downhill or uphill can be a major pain. The main prerequisite for using electric brake controls is you have a truck or trailer. It might be an aftermarket controller or one that has been integrated into the vehicle.
The biggest advantage of electric brakes is they are very easy to use. There are a couple of factors you need to have to mind before you get. There is adjustability, pendulum style and activation switch. A brake controller works based on electric current signals applied to the breaks on the towed vehicle.
Why Electric Brake Controllers?
The biggest challenge for driving a trailer is the break mechanism. It is always a big problem of slowing or stopping both the vehicle and the trailer if you don’t have break controllers in place. There are two distinct kind of electric brake controllers and that is the proportional and time-actuated controllers.
With proportional controllers , the trailer breaks evenly with the vehicles breaks by detecting just how quickly the vehicle is decelerating, whether it is a slow stop or a sudden stop. These controllers are quick and easy to install and when properly calibrated will increase breaking efficiency and reduce the wear on the trailer’s breaks.
Time -actuated controllers or commonly referred to time delayed controllers can be mounted on any angle as they do not have motion sensors built-in. You can easily adjust the amount of power being sent to the trailer’s breaks. These controllers are great for customization but it is important to modify the settings depending on the weight of the trailer.
It is also important to note that not all the best electric brake controllers will be compatible with all vehicles. Depending on where you buy them from, you should be able to match a break controller with that of your car. Amazon makes it easy as you can match your vehicle with the electric break controller on display by running a compatibility test.
Best Electric Brake Controllers Buyer’s Guide
- Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Control
This is one the Best Electric brake controllers and is top of the line from Tekonsha. It has been selling for over a decade and the consistency goes to show how it is a quality product.
It has a unique boost feature which allows you for multiple level of break customization depending on the load of the trailer.
It is a proportional break controller which means it will activate your trailer breaks in proportion to your vehicle’s breaking action and will automatically adjust the breaks depending on the deceleration of the tow vehicle.
It has an automatic leveling ability and an in-built sensor which will detect deceleration even if the controller is not mounted flat. You can position it in a 360 degrees range but it is always advisable to mount it where you can see the LED display. Horizontally, you’d want to keep it parallel to the direction of travel.
There are 5 storable settings on the inside which will let you customize the controllers for multiple trailers.
You can store display settings, language preferences, break type and desired boost and power levels.
The Boost level has 3 adjustable settings which will let you adjust the initial breaking power and aggressiveness so that as you go up in levels it will increase the boost levels. If you will be towing a bigger trailer then you will need a higher boost level which can easily be achieved by the touch of a button.
This controller has a continuous diagnostic check alert which will let you of any potential problems. The integrated safe guard will protect your vehicle, trailer and break controller and will minimize the drain on the car battery and prevent the trailer breaks from overheating by reducing the power output to them.
The Tekonsha 90195 P3 comes with a wiring harness with one end having a plug to connect to the controller while the other end has naked wires to connect it to the wiring in your vehicle. It also comes with two different mounting brackets and hardware depending on the usage and convenience. We rate Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Control number 1 among the Best Electric brake controllers.
- Tekonsha 90885 Prodigy P2 Electronic Brake Control
Tekonsha continues with their consistency and quality with the 90885 Prodigy P2 Electronic Brake Control. It also boasts of several mounting options with 360 degrees vertical rotation.
It has a reverse battery protection mechanism for both the trailer and your vehicle. The LED digital display shows the precise voltage injection when the vehicle breaks abruptly or slows down.
You will not need any level adjustments as the this break electric controller will automatically adjust depending on the terrain you are driving.
The stops that are produced are directly proportional to the deceleration rate of the vehicle.
For additional break power, the boost feature allows the driver to apply the initial power especially for heavy towing.
The Tekonsha 90885 Prodigy can easily be disconnected and kept safely which makes it ideal for those who tow trailers occasionally.
- Hopkins 47284 Reliance Digital Electronic Brake Control with Plug-In Connector
This has to be easiest time-actuated controllers to install. Some people have reported complete installation in under 10 minutes.
The Hopkins 47284 Reliance has simplified controls which makes it easy for you to adjust the breaks accordingly while focus on the road.
This electric break controller is deal for small vehicles that are not towing a heavy trailer and can juggle up to 4 break system.
The break controllers will adjust proportionally with the action on the break which makes it ideal for trailers as abrupt stops and when the vehicle slows down can be dangerous.
It also boasts of a flex mount system which includes three different mounting options which can be integrated in different places in your vehicle.
The flex display is the most popular one and which is often mounted on the dashboard or anywhere where it can easily be seen or accessed.
The flex control has 7 sensitivity levels which let you adjust the initial breaking power and the aggressiveness.
The electric break controller has an integrated short circuit protection to prevent the system from blowing up in case of overheating. With regards to installation, there are vehicle-specific harness adapters and it always advisable to check before you buy.
4. Draw-Tite 20191 I-Stop IQ Electronic Brake Control
The Draw-Tite is among the best Electric brake controllers and comes highly recommended for trailers with between 1-3 axles.
It also features the self-diagnostics technology which will let alert if there are any issues with the system through the LED illuminated screen.
The break controller is proportional fully automated and will work in sync with the trailer but there will always be the boosted option in case it is needed.
If towing is not your think and you only do it when transporting your kayak or bike, the Draw-Tite 20191 has ”Clip off” which makes it easy to disintegrate the brake control unit for safe keeping when it is not being used.
It automatically acquires the correct level setting and you can travel both down and uphill without having to worry about the break balance.
Given the price point, this is easily one of the best Electric break controllers in the market today.
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5. Reese Towpower 8507111 Brakeman IV Compact Brake Control
This time-actuated electric break controller features a digital display, break overload and sync settings. The design is perfectly suited for 12-volts negative ground system.
The internal circuit protection helps in thermal regulation. The Plug and play feature allows for quick and easy connection which makes for easy installation.
You can mount the controller in any direction but common sense would dictate that you mount it on the dashboard for easy access.
This brake control has diagnostics which helps in detecting overload and its compact size makes it an easy fit for tight places.
An electric brake controller is essential if not mandatory for anyone who is planning to tow a trailer or a vehicle. In most states you cannot tow an additional carrier without having a break controller.
If you are towing for the first time then we highly recommend the proportional controller over the time-actuated one.
Finding the right one can be daunting task and that is why we have done this review to make it easy for you. For most of this electric break controllers, installation will be a breeze especially if you know your way around a car.
If you are not familiar with installation then it is recommended you seek the help of a professional. Installation doesn’t take long and your regular mechanic can even do it for free or for a few bucks depending on the relationship you have. It is also important that you check if the system will be compatible with your vehicle. You can search for the best electric brake controllers in the market and go ahead to buy one only to find it is not compatible with your car.