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Best Brake Controller Alternatives: Find Out What Else Is Out There!

A brake controller will make your towing a trailer safer all the time. This device also protects your vehicle, the trailer, and even your life. Having a brake controller is a necessary safety feature when you’re traveling with an RV (recreational vehicle). This electric braking system was initially intended for large trucks and trailer units but is now used for smaller towing vehicles. Installing a brake controller onto your vehicle may also possibly avoid jerking while driving.

On this article, you will discover some of the best brake controllers, the finest brake control harnesses (or brake control wiring adapters), and mounting kit available in the market today. These top-of-the-line external devices are definitely a must for those who own a trailer truck, an RV, and other similar vehicles. Moreover, before we end this write up, we will choose among the featured products the foremost brand (including the best harness, if you want a spare unit) that you can consider buying first.

What is a brake controller?

Best Brake Controller Curt Manufacturing CURT 51140 TriFlex Brake Control

Brake Controller Via: Amazon

Simply put, a brake controller is mounted and wired to the tow vehicle’s dashboard area (driver-side) and is activated whenever you hit the brake in the towed vehicle. The gadget sends a signal to the towed vehicle whenever you apply the brakes telling it that it is time to stop. Most RV’s and trailer trucks have heavier load compared to ordinary cars.

When these types of vehicles hit the road, slowing down will become more difficult because of the extra load that the truck carries behind its back. To counteract the sudden stop, especially downhill or in elevated roads, the brake controller neutralizes the momentum created by the extra weight during an abrupt stop or while decelerating. If you have a brake controller and you hit the brake, your vehicle will smoothly absorb the effect, as the controller knows how much braking power is needed to stop your truck.

This kind of product is an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or an aftermarket installed module. There are many models of this device in the industry where they differ in appearance and to the number of brakes they can power. There are two main types of brake controllers out in the market: the proportional brake controller and the time-delayed brake controller.

How to pick the right brake controller for your vehicle

The proportional brake (also called inertia-based) controllers allow a lot less pressure and wear on the braking systems of both vehicles. This type of controller system is designed for more accurate braking in emergency cases. The device works by applying a motion sensor to determine how fast the towing vehicle will stop so it will correspond to the amount of pressure that should be applied to the brakes.

In the case of the time-delayed type, a predetermined amount of pressure (set by the user) is applied to the brakes of the trailer. The setup will have a slight time-delay which will allow the user (or driver) to adjust the pressure with a “sync” if the situation calls for it. The time-delayed brake controllers are usually cheaper than the proportional brake controllers which are ideal to use by more experienced drivers.

7 Best Brake Controllers in the Market

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Best Brake Controller Curt Manufacturing CURT 51110 Venturer Brake Control

The Curt 51110 Venturer is a time-based brake controller which you can mount on your vehicle on any angle. This brake controller has no moving parts that is why it is so easy to install and operate. This product from Curt Manufacturing has been the preferred product by veteran truck drivers for years, that is why the Venturer had established a strong following.

This versatile brake controller can handle 2 to 6 trailer brakes at a time (1-3 axles) so you won’t be confused about which unit is being operated. The CURT 51110 Venturer Brake Control is definitely the one you need in stopping a massive amount of weight!

Pros

  • A LED indicator lengthens so you know that it strengthens the power supplied
  • Admirably compatible with anti-lock brakes and cruise control
  • Easy to install with a quick plug, a hardware, and mounting bracket
  • Ideal for RVs, flatbeds, livestock trailer, and other oversized vehicles
  • Very compact and sleek: quite a space-saver

Cons

  • With a limited lifetime warranty, but there is no known returned product reported by dealers so far.
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Best Brake Controller Curt Manufacturing CURT 51140 TriFlex Brake Control

If you want a smoother stop while you decelerate, the Curt 51140 TriFlex Brake Control is the most reliable to use. Its awesome features outperform any other brand in the market. The unit comes with its own brake control wiring so you don’t have to buy a separate set. The unit’s triple-axis and motion-sensing accelerometer is the one responsible for its reliable performance.
This proportional brake controller is a power-saving device that lets it sleep after 5 minutes of being idle. The product can be installed in any angle so you don’t have to choose the most leveled part on your dashboard or anywhere else in front of you.

Pros

  • Nine levels of sensitivity adjustment for any kind of load/driving condition.
  • Power adjustment at only 0.1 increments.
  • No elaborate installation required.
  • Mounting hardware is included on this purchase.
  • Operates with precision and reliability.

Cons

  • Mounting hardware is not included on this purchase.
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Best Brake Controller Curt Manufacturing CURT 51120 Discovery Brake Control

As one of the most affordable models on its class, the CURT 51120 Discovery Brake Control punch a power for your truck. This one hell of a brake controller increases the brake power based on gain setting and sensitivity adjustment while also operates 2 to 8 trailer brakes at a time (in 1-4 axles).
The auto-level adjust Discovery is definitely one of a kind of a brake controller. Its compatibility is quite immense. You see, it can work along with any low-voltage system, PWM system, ABS, and even for cruise control.

Pros

  • With included mounting hardware.
  • Brake control wiring adapter included.
  • Fully adjustable power and ramp time.
  • A time-based brake controller.
  • Increasing brake pressure while the foot is on the brake.

Cons

  • Ideal for installation below the steering wheel.
  • May be compatible for specific vehicle brands.
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Best Brake Controller ESP Truck Accessories 2014-2019 Toyota Tundra Tekonsha P3 Brake Controller Mounting Kit.

The Tundra Tekonsha P3 mounting kit for brake controllers of Toyota model 2014-2019 is a great replacement for your aging hardware panel. When you use this replacement part for an old model you don’t have to rewire or do anything to fit in the product. You can use your old wiring harness and it fits just fine. But you can also replace your old wiring adapter to make sure everything works fine.
This amazing product replaces the factory dash panel to the right of the steering wheel column housing the Tow/Haul and TRAC buttons.

Pros

  • Matches the shape of the P3 brake controller.
  • Made from durable plastic.
  • Easy to install without the hitch.
  • Only needs 2 screws for installation.

Cons

  • Price may be intimidating for some, but you might need a mounting kit of this type to protect your old and precious unit.
  • Wiring is not included in the purchase but can be ordered separately from the same dealer.
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Best Brake Controller Hayes Energize III Brake Control for GM Vehicles (2003 and up)

The Hayes Energize III is a lightweight (only weighs 2lbs) brake controller complete system. When you buy this inertia-based (proportional type) brake controller, it is a terrific replacement unit for GM-made vehicles manufactured beginning the year 2003. The Hayes Energize is a perfect companion for long distances at any type of weather.
The Energizer III has a triple axis application which you can utilize one at a time. Even if your cabin is dimmed, you can see the digital display at any angle.

Pros

  • With accelerometer that measures enough power for trailer brake needed.
  • Reacts swiftly and proportionately to the change of pressure.
  • Compatible with almost all electronic braking systems (ABS, cruise, and others).
  • Easy to install with only 4-wire hookup.
  • With a five-year limited warranty.
  • Response swiftly under any condition of the load.
  • Works perfectly without much maintenance (plug and play).

Cons

  • Not compatible with other brands of vehicle.
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Best Brake Controller CURT Venturer Brake Controller & Wiring for 92-93 Ford Bronco

If you want a really good brake controller bargain, you may want to buy a combo CURT Venturer included with a wiring harness (product no. 51313) at a price of one. This top-of-the-line brake controller is a time-based type that operates 2 to 6 trailer brakes at a time. The unit is compatible with most F-series Ford Bronco.
CURT Manufacturing has been one of the most consistent auto product manufacturers so you can trust the Venturer’s quality and the accompanying wiring harness.

Pros

  • Fits 1992-1993 Ford Bronco including F-150, F250, F350
  • With LED display for monitoring brake pressure.
  • Compatible with ABS and other cruise control systems.
  • Enhances power through gain setting and sensitivity adjustment.
  • Compact and easy to setup.
  • Can be mounted on any angle.

Cons

  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty against poor craftsmanship.
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Best Brake Controller CURT Venturer Brake Controller & Wiring Kit for 2015-2016 Ram 1500, 2500, 3500 - 51457 & 51110

The CURT Venturer Brake Controller & Wiring Kit is another bundle that offers a main product and a kit for a price of one. Like the one above, this CURT product is specific for its use. This unit is applicable for use for Ram models 1500, 2500, and 3500. But this is a wide application as there are too many types of this vehicle out in the market.
The accompanying wiring kit with this combo is a terrific replacement part for your dilapidated unit. The product has almost identical functions compared to the CURT Venturer for Ford.

Pros

  • A time-based brake controller.
  • With LED display for monitoring brake pressure.
  • Compatible with ABS and other cruise control systems.
  • Enhances power through gain setting and sensitivity adjustment.
  • Compact and easy to set up (plug and play).
  • Universal application for Rams.
  • Can be mounted on any angle.

Cons

  • Not compatible with other vehicle brands.
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Best Brake Controller Wiring Kits

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Best Brake Controller Wiring Kits Tekonsha 3035-P Brake Control Wiring Adapter for Ford

Tekonsha 3035-P Wiring Adapter has the perfect fit for your vehicle. Just like any other OEM units, this remarkable piece of engineering can really save lives and properties.
This wiring harness has heavy-duty material that can withstand the sudden change in temperature inside the cabin. Extreme temperatures (too hot or too cold) can’t alter the function of the wiring as it is insulated with a durable rubber.

Pros

  • Compatible with 1-plug (pigtail) or 2-plug styles of a wiring harness.
  • Easy to plug with various styles.
  • Compatible also with brake controllers that have Plug and Play logo.
  • Easy to assembly with compatible brake controller.
  • Best spare unit when something goes wrong with the original unit

Cons

  • Not as longer (in length) as you would want it.
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For modern GM (General Motors) vehicles, the Tekonsha 3016-P Control Wiring Adapter is probably the best unit to use. This wiring harness is perfect for trucks and trailers with brake controllers that have its wiring port built into the back of the unit.
The 3016-P Control Wiring Adapter is so easy to install and to take down when you need it to maintain or test. With an affordable price and long lasting service, there is nothing wrong with buying an excess one as spare in case of emergency.

Pros

  • Beautiful and durable insulation.
  • Easy to install even when the brake controller is mounted.
  • No need to use special tools when assembling.
  • Compatible with 1-plug (pigtail) or 2-plug styles of a wiring harness.

Cons

  • Much shorter in length compared to other brands.
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Best Brake Controller Wiring Kits Curt Manufacturing CURT 51515 Universal Brake Control Harness with Pigtails

The universal brake control harness CURT 51515 comes with accessories and parts and is ready for assembly any time. The pigtails are quick to mount in any type of brake controller where it fits. The harness comes with a 24-inch 12-gauge wire for easy and flexible installation.

Pros

  • Comes with color coding wires for easy identification.
  • Insulated with slit-loom sleeve keeping wires protected and in one place.
  • Easy installation using the CURT universal wiring kit #51500.
  • Compatible with several vehicles not equipped with a factory plug brake controller

Cons

  • Although a universal harness, the CURT 51515 will not fit all brake controllers available in the market.
  • Plastic insulation may become brittle over time when exposed to extreme temperatures.
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Conclusion

All of the products that we have mentioned above are just some of the best in the industry, but we just can’t help ourselves by telling you what products fascinate us more. The CURT 51120 Discovery Brake Control is the perfect product for us together with the Tekonsha 3035-P Brake Control Wiring Adapter. These two products, although not the least pricey among them, are in fact, ideally fit our vehicle. We also like how the CURT 51120 performs during emergencies.

Since we are more experienced truckers, we find the CURT 51120 Discovery Brake Control as the least of our worry whenever we hit the road. As for the Tekonsha 3035-P Wiring Adapter, we think that it is also a reliable piece of spare when we badly need it.
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