Brake controllers can be confusing, especially for first-time owners. What is the difference between a hand brake, trailer brake controller and parking brake controller? What are the pros and cons of each type? Where do they make the best use of your car? Our list will answer all of those questions and more.

If you’ve often felt that your trailer brakes have not been giving you enough of a stop, or if you’ve found yourself trailing a trailer at much greater distances than normal, then these controllers are definitely worth considering. The best of the best can be found at

If you’re someone who enjoys riding a bicycle or has an extra vehicle you use occasionally for recreational purposes, then a trailer brake controller would be a perfect fit. These controllers allow you to operate your trailer without actually having to be outside of your vehicle. They come in many different models and shapes, and all of them serve the same purpose. They would be very useful to have, especially if you frequently travel with a trailer.

The most important factor to consider with large trailers is the stopping mechanism. An improved trailer brake controller increases the safety and reliability of the trailer hitch in extreme situations. The braking system of a trailer is incomplete without a brake controller. In fact, it plays an important role in our lives by causing us stress while driving, even if we don’t realize it.

There is a wide variety of trailer brake controllers on the market, each with its own design and features that offer different functionality.

CURT 51140 TriFlex

Type: Proportional

What is a brake controller for trailers?

The brake controller is designed to detect when the brakes of your tow vehicle are being used. It then automatically activates the brakes of the trailer or camper. It plays an important and safe role in stopping the trailer at a safer distance from your vehicle.

This assumes that you have the best trailer brake controller for your needs and requirements.

It is not only the price or a well-known brand that are decisive when buying a brake, but also personal preferences and key features.

To get the most out of your time, money and effort, don’t overlook anything that will improve the functionality and longevity of your braking system, no matter what type of car you drive or where you go.

Buying Guide – The best brake controller for trailers

Let’s take a look at the features that no one should overlook, whether it’s your first time or you’re a pro.

Brake types

Trailer brakes are generally of two types;

Before you buy your next trailer braking system, you should know how the two types work and which one best suits your needs and requirements.

Electric brakes

The trailer brake controller supplies the trailer brakes with a certain amount of energy by using the power of the tractor. The amount of braking force is controlled by the trailer’s electrical circuits and gain settings. In towing, some brake controllers are equipped with circuits that respond to vehicle dynamics.

Hydraulic brakes

Hydraulic brakes brake the trailer by the force or momentum of the braking tractor. When the brakes of the towing vehicle are applied, force is applied to the hydraulic cylinder of the trailer hitch, causing the trailer brakes to operate.

Electric brakes are more common and popular on trailers.

Brake control units for trailers

The two trailer brake controllers work differently, making them very versatile depending on the application.

Proportional controller

The proportional brake controller for trailers determines the intensity of the braking. It automatically brakes the trailer proportionally. This braking mechanism ensures that the towing vehicle and the trailer come to a stop or brake at the same speed. An accelerometer is used to determine the braking force.

Simply put, the proportional trailer brake controller uses internal sensors to detect your vehicle’s braking. Depending on the speed of your towed vehicle, the sensor responds and sends a command to the controller to react accordingly.

Time delay

These controllers are cheaper and easier to use because they have no internal parts and the user can mount the system at any angle in the vehicle.

When the brake is first applied, there is a delay that can be set by the user in the delay settings. You can also adjust the power and rating based on external factors such as road conditions, the size of the load and the type of trailer being used.

Benefits of the brake controller for trailers

You may not realise it, but effective trailer brake control is essential for safety and comfort. Here are some reasons why trailer brakes are essential.

Trailers are much heavier and larger than conventional vehicles. You need the most reliable and effective braking system possible to stop or brake the trailer in time. The right braking system for your vehicle helps prevent the trailer from losing control on critical roads.

The powerful trailer brake controller allows the user to control and monitor the moving trailer. You can check the brakes, speed and load at any time.

Increased durability of brake pads

If you don’t have a brake system, chances are the brakes will wear out over time. Carrying a single vehicle for all supports and stops creates a lot of stress and friction. Brake controllers for trailers extend the life of the brake pads.

In terms of budget, trailer brake controllers cost relatively little compared to other vehicle components. This means that you can save a lot of money by investing wisely.

Top 5 trailer brake controllers 2021

Redarc Tow-Pro Elite

Type: Electricity

1. CURT 51140 TriFlex – proportional brake controller for trailer

Amazon Price

Technical data

  • Assen : 1-4
  • Activation: Inertial Accelerometer
  • Mounting angle : Other
  • Level Adjustment : Car
  • Type: Proportional

The TriFlex proportional brake controller is small, has a digital display and can control up to eight brakes simultaneously. The TriFlex accelerometer with three-axis motion detection sets it apart from the competition. The integrated TriFlex switch component accurately records every movement of the vehicle and trailer and then applies the correct braking force under all conditions. When climbing or descending, TriFlex automatically changes the braking force and is compatible with anti-lock brakes and cruise control.

  • Can be used on almost all trailers
  • Easy adjustment
  • Compact design
  • The installation is a bit tricky

2. Tekonsha 90160 Primus IQ – Best trailer brake control for Silverado

Amazon Price

Technical data

  • Application: 3-axle trailer (6 braking units)
  • Type: Electricity
  • Dimensions: 4-3/8″ wide x 5″ long x 2-1/2″ high.
  • Confirm: From 0 degrees (flat) to 90 degrees in the vertical plane

PrimusIQ is a proportional electronic brake control for trailers that aligns itself without the need for level control. PrimusIQ now includes Boost, which allows customers to apply more brakes when towing heavier trailers using Prodigy’s primary sensor technology.

It features a snap clip for dashboard mounting and a retractable electrical connector for convenient storage when not in use. You’ll appreciate the digital LED display, which indicates the reliability of the electrical connection, the amount of voltage applied to the trailer brakes, and diagnostic functions.

  • Works proportionally in the opposite direction
  • Mounting clip for dashboard mounting
  • Digital LED display

3. Reese Towpower 8508211 – the best brake controller for the Tacoma

Amazon Price

Technical data

  • Communications: Wired
  • Weight : 0.48 lbs
  • Axial Assets : 1 – 4
  • Type: Proportional

The Reese Towpower BRAKE-EVN brake control system provides an advanced proportional braking system by matching the pressure of the brake system to the amount of deceleration of the vehicle. Conventional synchronization provides a smoother stop than proportional braking. When transporting heavy loads, the reinforcement option allows a larger initial brake to be used at the start of the stop.

When you set the controller to the weight of a loaded or unladen trailer, the large LED display is easy to read. The BRAKE-EVN brake control can brake up to four axes and is easy to install. Make sure you purchase the correct factory wiring harness for your vehicle. If the trailer is low or heavily loaded, this is the best option.

  • Soft stop
  • Traditional time-based control
  • Large LED display

4. Curt 51180 Echo – Best electric brake controller for trailers

Amazon Price

Technical data

  • Axel: 1 – 4
  • Dimensions: 3-1/4 inches x 4 inches x 7/8 inches
  • Communications: Bluetooth
  • Nature: Electricity
  • Type: Proportional

The inertia brake controller provides better control for a smooth stop and reduces the load on the vehicle when towing a trailer or heavy load.

CURT’s electrical brake controls are classified as inertial or temporary brake controls. These terms refer to the type of control of the brake controller. Both types of trailer brakes are safe and effective. However, you can choose one that meets your needs.

  • Simple and portable design
  • User application for settings, activity and status
  • Multicolour warning LED display
  • Integrated polarity reversal
  • Short circuit protection

5. Redarc Tow-Pro Elite – Best Trailer Brake Controller for Jeep Gladiator

Amazon Price

  • Type: Proportional controller
  • Nature: Electricity
  • Annexes : Up to 3 axes

The REDARC Tow-Pro Elite is the only brake controller on the market that can switch between two braking modes with a single disc rotation, and comes with an optional plug-in control panel (TPSI-001) that fits most vehicles. Suitable for all weather and terrain Use proportional mode for highway conditions, and you can switch to user-controlled mode for off-road conditions.

This model includes a three-axis accelerometer that can detect accelerations in both directions. The SEMA Global Media Award-winning Tow-Pro Elite also features active calibration that continuously monitors vehicle steering with or without a trailer attached, as well as self-leveling technology that determines deceleration rate.

  • Two braking modes
  • Dash mounted button
  • For connection to the brake controller
  • Easy Installation


If you are clear about your route, your driving style and the load you are carrying, it will be easier for you to find the best electric trailer brake controller. Besides the type, it is important to follow the installation instructions. If the brakes are not installed properly, it can cause problems and you cannot rely on them for long rides.

Questions and Answers

1. How much can I tow without trailer brakes?

When the gross weight of the trailer or mast trailer reaches 4,500 pounds, brakes are mandatory. If you are towing a trailer at a speed of less than 30 km/h, you do not need to have brakes for trailers with a gross vehicle weight between 4,500 and 15,000 kg. If the gross weight of the trailer exceeds 3,000 pounds, it must be equipped with brakes.

2. How much does it cost to install a trailer brake controller?

Average inspection costs are $60 and up, and labor costs can be as high as $300 for more complex installations. On the other hand, the cost of installing a brake controller depends on the type of controller you choose and the available wiring in your vehicle.

3. What is the difference between a trailer package and a semi-trailer package?

The tow package is designed to tow just about anything on your vehicle, while the tow package is designed exclusively to tow a trailer behind your vehicle. Engine upgrades and electrical and cooling system improvements are often part of two packages.

4. Are trailer brake controls universal?

There are better trailer brake controllers that work independently of the vehicle, for example. B. Teckonsha Voyager #39510. Make sure the brake controller you purchase includes the necessary parts to install the brakes and is compatible with your vehicle.

For other relevant articles, click HERE.Brake controllers are designed for people who have trailers and need to control the brakes, release them to slow down, or engage them to stop the trailer. These controllers normally come with a wireless remote control, which can be mounted on a trailer or car. A brake controller also comes with a lot of other features, such as the possibility to read the speed of the trailer, the power output, the position of the trailer, the braking force, the braking moment, etc.. Read more about proportional trailer brake controller and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best trailer brake controller on the market?

The best trailer brake controller on the market is the Tekonsha Prodigy P3.

How do I choose a brake controller?

In general, the brake controller is the device that is attached to the brake handle. The brake controller is used to control the braking force of the bicycle.

What is the best wireless brake controller?

The best wireless brake controller is the Tektro Aries.

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