Brake Controllers.. Does more $$ mean better? - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Brake Controllers.. Does more $$ mean better?

Hi Everyone

I'm about to grab an enclosed cargo trailer for my new '16 Colorado. I was originally planning for a sub 3,000 lb GVWR single axle brakeless (it's all I really need). But stumbled upon a steal of a deal that I simply cannot NOT buy. A 14' tandem 7,000lb gvwr electric braked.

It's obviously heavier empty than what I was planning, but that's ok. It's going to be used as "mobile" shed and occasional "help a friend move" type of thing. I'm not going to be hauling it around more than 6 or so times a year.

Anyhow, brake controllers. 10+ years ago I had an old RAM with a controller in it, just a cheap thing. Worked ok the few times I used it on a large camper trailer. Although, when the trailer was empty if I wasn't paying attention it would lock up the trailer wheels at a stop... funny how many people jump when you squeal to a stop at the light. :)

Doing some reading now, and I think I'd like to go for a proportional controller (in case I ever do have it loaded to near capacity). Why is there such a discrepancy in price? It seems they range from ~$90 (CDN) to well over $300. Why would one buy a $300 unit? The ~$100 ones I'm looking at have good warranty, safety features of the others, and can handle up to 3 and 4 axles (they say). What (if anything) makes them better?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 09:31 PM
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I can't speak to what makes one better than another, but I personally use a Tekonsha P3. It has been phenomenal for me and at $124 it didn't break the budget. I've used it to haul several different trailers, both hydraulic and electric breaks, and 1, 2, and 3 axels; so it can handle it all and I've actually tested that.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 09:57 PM
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I tow a 5,000 lbs travel trailer and this Tekonsha purchased at Costco as been more than adequate.
Check it out.

Tekonsha Primus®IQ Brake Control
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I tow a 5,000 lbs travel trailer and this Tekonsha purchased at Costco as been more than adequate.
Check it out.

Tekonsha Primus®IQ Brake Control
That's one of the ~$100 ones I'm looking at, from Amazon tho. Seems like it's got all the features I need.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
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That's one of the ~$100 ones I'm looking at, from Amazon tho. Seems like it's got all the features I need.
I installed mine in the center console. There are pictures / instructions here on this site if you search my posts. If you need install tips let me know. Very easy to do.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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I installed mine in the center console. There are pictures / instructions here on this site if you search my posts. If you need install tips let me know. Very easy to do.
Yea, found all the threads about installation and where the wires are. Not sure where I'm gonna hang it yet. I'll have to see it held in place before I decide.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 03:22 PM
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I would go with any modern non-timer type brake controller. Spend the $100-150 now and if you ever get a new truck you can move the controller over also. Newer non-budget ones have a sensor that can tell if the trailer is pushing the truck and will apply more breaking on the trailer brakes. This is great for hard stops vs a timer one as you can get the maximum amount of braking when you need it. A timer one will gradually increase the trailer brake force over a set time. I went with a Hopkins 47297 because I did not make the controller on the kick panel. I mounted the controls and the display right over the card slot hole in my 2015 and ran the wires through the hole after some widening of it. As for its performance I can't say as I don't tow much but its there if I ever hook up to the family camper or car trailer.

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