10 Best Trailer Brake Controllers 2020 – [Top Rated Picks]

It can be difficult to stop the trailer while you are driving at high speed. The load of the trailer will increase the stopping distance of your car. In such scenarios, it becomes vital to install a brake controller in your trailer car. Today, you won’t find the old fashioned brake controllers, but rather, you will find the electronic trailer brake controllers. These maximize the safety of your car by reducing the braking distance. In case of an emergency, the brakes perform well and hence avoiding any chance of collision. There are mainly two types of brake controllers available in the market. The list includes a time-delayed controller, and the second one is the proportional controller. Both are available in the electronic form, and they both are effective in reducing the stopping distance of the car.

It can be challenging to find the right trailer brake controllers without any expert’s help. If you are looking for a trusted trailer brake controller for your vehicle, then we would recommend you to buy the proportional brake controller. Those are a little more effective than the proportional brake controller. We have compiled a list of top rated trailer brake controllers for you. This list is a result of hours of research and a lot of expertise from our experts. You can check out these brakes available in the market, and you can buy the one which you think is appropriate for your trailer.

Best Buy Car Trailer Brake Controllers Reviews

Here is the list, you can check them out and go through the detailed review of these trailer brake controllers. If you need any other information about these brake controllers, then you can click on the link that is associated with each of these listings.

The link will redirect you to the page with the detailed specification sheet and the deal available on the trailer brake controller. Without wasting a single minute, let us now check out the list.

1. Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Control

Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Control

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It is always easier to use the trailer brake controllers that have a large screen. We are going to kick off our list with one such model that has a big screen for you. This model from Tekonsha has an integrated diagnostics system that runs the diagnostics test and tells you if something is wrong with any of the components. Using the controller is easy, and it takes a minimal amount of time to install the controller. The brand offers a clip that helps in mounting the central unit on the dashboard.

Since this is a proportional type trailer brake controller, there is no need to calibrate it every time. In case of an emergency, you can press the boost button, and this will put the systems in overdrive mode. The controller will send a high amount of power to the brakes to stop the trailer quickly. It is also a perfect model for the people who often tow a load. This controller is the best model that you can buy today.

Pros

  • It has a compact design that supports up to 4 axles.
  • It has diagnostic features that show the battery output, brake status, and other details.
  • It is easy to control, and the display is easy to read as well.

Cons

  • It is slightly expensive when compared to other trailer brake controllers on the list.

=>Also Read: 10 Best Brake Fluid

2. Reese Towpower 8508211 Brake Control

Reese Towpower 8508211 Brake Control

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The controller at number 1 was quite an expensive product, and we understand that a lot of people are not willing to invest that kind of money. If you are looking for a controller that is available on a lower budget, then you must check out this model from Reese. This trailer brake controller supports 4 axles, and it also has a screen that displays the required information. You can mount it on your dashboard, and installation is easy.

It also has a boost feature that helps you in stopping the trailer quickly. Note that there is no need to calibrate this brake control. The proportional circuit works well when you are trying to stop the trailer at a short distance.  It also has a brake failure notification that alerts you in case of a problem. With a 3 year long warranty, you stay protected when you purchase this trailer brake controller.

Pros

  • It is available at an affordable price, and it is also easy to install.
  • This controller has a diagnostics feature, and it also has a boost feature to stop the trailer in an emergency.
  • The brand offers a 3 year warranty on the controller that covers all types of defects.

Cons

  • It is difficult to mount on the top as the buttons of this controller are located in the top area.

3. Tekonsha 90160 Primus IQ Electronic Brake Control

Tekonsha 90160 Primus IQ Electronic Brake Control

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Here is the second model on our list from Tekonsha. This model is quite affordable when compared with the first model on the list. Apart from this, the trailer brake controller works quite well in all conditions. This controller has an auto-leveling feature, and it calibrates itself. Tekonsha offers a lifetime warranty on most of the trailer brake controllers. The good news is that Tekonsha covers this product under the lifetime warranty policy.

This controller is highly reliable, and a lot of truckers use this for their 3 axle trailers. The installation is easy, and the controller has a boost button on the top. It is worth the price, and it is one of the highly recommended trailer brake controller that you can buy. Understand the fact that this is a primary controller, and you must not expect a lot of features here. At the given price, this trailer brake controller offers the right value for money.

Pros

  • It is one of the affordable models from Tekonsha, and it is highly reliable.
  • It offers smooth braking whenever you apply the brake.
  • This controller also features a boost function that helps you in bringing the trailer to stop at a shorter distance.

Cons

  • This trailer brake controller can only be used with a maximum of three axles

4. CURT 51110 Venturer Electric Trailer Brake Controller

CURT 51110 Venturer Electric Trailer Brake Controller

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You can even check out this controller from Curt. This brake controller is full of features, and you can use it in dual mode. Yes, that is right. You can use it in time-based mode, or you can use it in inertial mode. It works well for the trailers with 1 to 3 axles. The model offers even braking power, and it brings the trailer to a halt at a smooth pace. You will also be able to use this system with cruise control and ABS brakes.

Overall, if you are looking for an easy to use trailer brake controller, then you can certainly buy this model. It is easy to mount, and the manual sliding switch makes it very easy to adjust the power output. The model is not expensive, so if you are looking for a trailer brake controller that is affordable and reliable, then this would be an excellent choice. For more information about this trailer brake controller from Curt, you can visit the product page associated with this as well.

Pros

  • This controller is highly versatile, and you can use it in Inertia based mode or time-based mode.
  • The design is very compact, and it is easy to mount the controller.
  • It comes with a slide button to adjust the power and sensitivity of the brakes.

Cons

  • Nothing that we could notice.

5. Hopkins 47297 INSIGHT Plug-in Simple Brake Control

Hopkins 47297 INSIGHT Plug-in Simple Brake Control

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The next model on our list is from Hopkins. This model is for the people who often tow a load. It features an advanced braking system that can replicate the effect of brakes to bring the vehicle to a halt. It comes in 3 pieces that make it easy to use, but in the beginning, the installation can be slightly tricky. You can mount the display at eye level, and you can installthe sliding control near the steering.

This module is compatible with trailers having up to 4 axles. Apart from this, the 7 sensitivity settings offer you a higher control while you are braking the vehicle. The brand also offers a lifetime warranty on the module. In addition to this, the self-diagnostic tool warns you in case of brake failure. This trailer brake controller is one of the best models available from Hopkins.

Pros

  • This controller has an ergonomic selector that can be adjusted within a second. You can change the setting as you drive.
  • There are 7 sensitivity settings integrated into this brake control.
  • You can use this model with hydraulic as well as electric brakes.

Cons

  • It can be tricky to install this system as it is a 3 piece module.

6. CURT 51140 TriFlex Electric Trailer Brake Controller

CURT 51140 TriFlex Electric Trailer Brake Controller

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We have earlier talked about Curt Venturer, and we are sure that you would have liked the model. If you found it too primitive, then here is a better model from Curt. This model works on tri-axis inertia mode, and it is compatible with up to 4 axles. It also has a digital display which makes it easy to read the settings. You will not have to worry about the level adjustments as the levels are auto-calibrated. The sensitivity can be adjusted while driving, and there are 9 levels of modifications available here.

The circuit works on low voltage, and hence it derives a little power out of the battery. The LED display shows real-time power adjustments. The system is available with a quick install plug, and it would not take a lot of effort to install this trailer brake controller.The design is compact, and with all these features, it is worth the purchase. Lastly, you can choose between a time based or inertial settings while using this trailer brake controller.

Pros

  • This model is available with a lifetime warranty from Curt.
  • The installation of the brake controller is easy, and you can adjust the sensitivity with the dial controller.
  • This model can work with 1 to 8 axle trailers.

Cons

  • Nothing that we could notice about this trailer brake controller

7. Draw-Tite 5535 Trailer Brake Control

Draw-Tite 5535 Trailer Brake Control

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If your primary concern is the installation of a trailer brake controller, then you must check out this product from Draw-Tite. This model is straightforward to install, and it has an easy to control user-interface. The module has 4 buttons on the top. 2 of them can be used for adjusting the gain,and 2 are for improving the boost levels. It uses proportional braking control, and hence the braking experience is not jerky. The display is easy to read, and the LED is very bright.

The package contains all the instructions, brackets, connectors, and mounting hardware. You will not have to purchase anything extra if you are planning to buy this model. It is a perfect kit for the people looking for an easy to install, inexpensive, and reliable trailer brake controller. You can check out more features and detailed specifications of this trailer brake controller by visiting the link listed above.

Pros

  • This module comes with a boost feature that allows you to stop the trailer in an emergency.
  • Installing thistrailer brake controller is very easy, and you can fix it yourself.
  • The trailer brake controller also has a diagnostic feature and it auto-adjusts itself when going downhill or uphill.

Cons

  • The buttons on the top can make it challenging to install the module on the top side.

8. Ford OEM F-150 Brake Controller Module Kit w/Relays

Ford OEM F-150 Brake Controller

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A lot of owns a Ford Truck, and we all understand the importance of installing OEM parts. They are not only safe, but they are highly reliable as well. If you are looking for a brake controller module from Ford, then you must check out this original kit from Ford. It comes with relay, cabling, and all the instruction manuals. If you have an OBD2 scanner, then you will be able to program the device yourself, and it will start displaying all the information on the 4 inch display of the car.

If you check out the instruction manual carefully, it will not take more than 10 minutes to install the trailer brake controller module. You might find it expensive, but the fact is that it has a lot more features when compared with the aftermarket trailer brake controller. If in case, you are not able to program the device, you can visit the ford dealership, and they will happily program the trailer brake controller for you. The programming will enable all the features of the trailer brake controller.

Pros

  • It is an OEM part from the Ford Motors, and it is mainly for the people looking for an original part.
  • The controller can be integrated into the dashboard, and hence you do not have an ugly looking device hanging out.
  • It can be programmed into the display of the car.

Cons

  • It is quite an expensive device to buy.

9. Hayes 81770 Endeavor Digital Proportional Brake Controller

Hayes 81770 Endeavor Digital Proportional Brake Controller

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At number 9, we have a trailer brake controller from Hayes. This controller is yet another best-selling model available in the market. There is an LED display on the module, and it also has a diagnostic read-out that will display the errors after running a diagnosis. After you install this trailer brake controller, you will not need any kind of level adjustments or calibrations. All these things are adjusted automatically. This controller comes with a quick connect installation socket that reduces the efforts required to install the controller.

The microprocessor integrated into the unit control the tasks, and it also defines the logic that decides the amount of power to be applied. It is possible to use the controller with up to 4 axle trailers. The controller also comes with a troubleshooting function, and it also has a boost mode for emergency stops. In terms of compatibility with the braking system, the trailer brake controller is compatible with the hydraulic and electric braking system.You can undoubtedly rely on this trailer brake controller from Hayes.

Pros

  • This controller is easy to install, and it also has a proportional brake control system.
  • The brand offers a lifetime warranty on this product, and it is made in the USA.
  • This model comes with boost control that helps you in stopping the trailer in an emergency.

Cons

  • Nothing that we could notice.

10. Husky 31899 Quest Brake Controller with Flat Connector

Husky 31899 Quest Brake Controller with Flat Connector

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Here is the last trailer brake controller that we are going to talk about today. This controller is from Husky, and the brand has an excellent reputation. The model is based on the inertial input to stop the trailer when you apply the brakes. It is easy to setup, and there is no leveling required. The module has a digital display that shows you the power levels, and sensitivity is adjustable.  The device lets you adjust the sensitivity on the fly, and it is also possible to choose a preset setting from the device. The buttons are easy to press, and they do not feel flimsy.

You can use this trailer brake controller with 8 brakes or 4 axle truck. The module also has a safety feature built-in that protects it from the short circuit. Apart from this, the brand offers a dependable warranty policy. This trailer brake controller is available at an affordable price, so you do not have to worry about the cost.

Pros

  • The trailer brake controller is easy to install, and all the hardware is provided in the package.
  • It can be used with an 8 brake trailer, and the sensitivity can be adjusted as per your needs. The module also has a boost function.
  • The brand offers a lifetime warranty on this trailer brake controller.

Cons

  • Nothing that we could notice.

=> Also Read: 10 Best Brake Pads For Cars

How To Choose The Best Trailer Brake Controller

You might not be aware of the factors impacting your purchase if you are buying the trailer brake controllers for the first time. There are many things that you need to consider while purchasing trailer brake controllers.

In this section of the page, you will find the buying guide that talks about factors impacting the purchase of trailer brake controllers. Go through them one by one

  • Type of Brake Controller

The first choice that you can make while choosing the trailer brake controllers is the type of trailer brake controllers that you would like to buy. It can be a proportional trailer brake controllers or a time-based trailer brake controller. The proportional trailer brake controllers are going to cost you a little more, but they are better than the time-based trailer brake controllers. The proportional control models would apply a proportion of braking force after calculating your deceleration force

  • Ease of Installation

You will have to install the trailer brake controllers to be able to use it. We would recommend you to buy a trailer brake controllers that can easily be installed by you. Check out the user manuals before you buy them. Ensure that you understand the needs of the wiring. Mounting the brake controller should not be a tough job. If you are finding it challenging to install the module, seek help from the professional.

  • Calibration

Check if the trailer brake controllers need to be calibrated or not. Most of the proportional type trailer brake controllers can calibrate themselves, and hence they are better. As much as possible, buy the trailer brake controllers that can calibrate itself. It becomes easy to use automated models. The higher dependency on electronics will take care of your safety

  • Number of Axle Controlled

Another point that you must check out is the number of axles that can be controlled by the brake controllers. Buy a trailer brake controllers that can control a minimum of 4 axles. A higher number of axle controller will offer you with the required versatility when you need to mount any other type of load. You can also map this up with your requirements and decide how many axles you will need at max.

  • Warranty

Check out for the warranty policy that applies to the trailer brake controllers. Buy something that offers protection to the buyer. Avoid buying cheap models of the trailer brake controllers. These models may not only prove to be useless, but they can also damage the tires of the trailer. Ensure that whatever you are buying has a standard warranty policy applicable to it.

  • Display & Settings

You should be able to control the sensitivity of the trailer brake controllers. Opt for trailer brake controllers that allow you to make these settings. You can check the kind of flexibility the trailer brake controllers offer in terms of the control. The display should be easy to read, and it should give output in real-time. All these things contribute a lot towards the safety of the trailer when you are on the road.

  • Reliability

You usually spend a lot of money on your trailer and hence must buy a trailer brake controller that is reliable. An ineffective trailer brake controller may lead to tires wearing out at a breakneck pace. You need to ensure that the trailer brake controllers that you are buying respond every time. Do not shy away from spending a little extra on buying a reliable trailer brake controller.

  • Price

The last thing that you need to consider is the budget. Like we said earlier, do not buy the cheap models just for the sake of it. Buy something reliable and sturdy as these trailer brake controllers will not only provide you with safety, but they will also reduce the wear & tear of the components of your truck.

Trailer Brake Controller Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I Really Need A Trailer Brake Controller?

Yes, the trailer brake controller is a must-have device for every car that towing a trailer to ensure maximum safety. Usually, while driving a trailer car at a higher speed, it becomes hard to stop it with your car brake and can cause road accidents. In that case, installing a trailer brake adds extra safety to your vehicle and allows you to drive conveniently. This brake lets you control the trailer independently while driving your vehicle.

  1. What Are Different Types Of Trailer Brake Controllers?

Generally, trailer brake controllers are divided into two categories – proportional brake controllers and time-delayed brake controllers.

Proportional trailer brake controllers use a sensor that checks the strength of the deceleration of the vehicle while applying the brake. According to that, it decides how much force to be applied to the trailer brakes to ensure that the speed of the vehicle and trailer reduces at the same rate. Moreover, proportional controllers perform better and smoother for your convenience and provide you with an enhanced experience.

But time-delayed trailer brake controllers are completely different than proportional controllers and work in a very simple way. This controller sends a signal to the trailer brakes to stop it when it identifies brake in the vehicle. With this trailer brake controller, you can adjust the braking force and time delay according to the requirement.

  1. Which Type Trailer Brake Controller Should I Buy?

You can decide this by considering your needs. Though both proportional and time-delayed brake controllers do the same function, proportional controllers are a better option over time-delayed ones. If you use a trailer frequently with your vehicle for carrying heavy loads, then you can select a proportional brake controller. This controller will allow you to apply the brake smoothly and efficiently in the case of heavy loads. But if you use a trailer hardly, then a time-delayed controller will be the right choice for you because it is less expensive and will allow you to control your trailer efficiently.

  1. How to Mount a Trailer Brake Controller?

In most cases, mounting a trailer brake controller is easy because they come with mounting brackets and hardware. You can attach the mounting bracket to the bottom of the trailer by using screws and then place the controller in it appropriately. However, most trailer brake controllers don’t include a wiring harness, so you will need to buy it separately. The wiring harness will be connected to the brake controller from your vehicle for operating. You can check your manufacturer’s manual to connect the wiring harness properly because it differs from manufacturer to manufacturer.

  1. How to Calibrate a Trailer Brake Controller?

In general, most trailer brake controllers will require calibration before installing it on your trailer vehicle. If you have such a brake controller, then you can follow the manufacturer’s instructions to calibrate your device properly. Although the calibration instructions are available online, it is good to go with your manufacturer because you can get support in case anything goes wrong.

Conclusion

By now, we hope that you would have found a reliable trailer brake controller for your trailer. You can buy the one which is easy to install. If you are not sure about the installation, we would recommend you to seek professional help. In addition to this, after the installation, you must test the brake controller at a low speed. Some models would need you to calibrate the brake controller before you plug them in.

We are now going to conclude this list, and you can leave a comment or a question if you have any questions about the trailer brake controllers. Our experts will get back to you with the resolution of the query that you are seeking. You can also check out other reviews on our website and share them with your friends & family if they are planning to buy any of those products. Thank you, and keep watching the space for exciting new product reviews.

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