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Best Trailer Brake Controllers In 2021 – Top 9 Rated Reviews

When towing a heavy trailer, the braking system of the vehicle is not just enough for a smooth halt operation. You might witness a jerky brake or sometimes a late response before you finally come to a stop.

This is where a trailer brake controller comes in handy. These electric brake controllers offer a swift halt operation even if you are towing the heaviest trailers. They are known to provide an ideal braking pressure that is required to put your vehicle and trailer to a stop simultaneously.

In this guide, we will shed some light on some of the best trailer brake controllers that you can buy.

Best Trailer Brake Controllers In 2021 – Top 9 Rated Reviews

Best Trailer Brake Controllers Comparison Table

ProductsTypeNumber of AxlesDisplayBenefitsRating
Type
Proportional
Number of Axles
1 to 3
Display
LED
Benefits
Uses primary sensor technology for effective brake operation
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
Type
Time-delayed
Number of Axles
1 to 4
Display
Digital
Benefits
Features triple-axis accelerometer for reliable braking
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Type
Proportional
Number of Axles
1 to 4
Display
Digital
Benefits
Utilizes advanced technology for smooth stops
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Type
Time-delayed
Number of Axles
1 to 3
Display
LED
Benefits
Can be mounted at any angle
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Type
Time-delayed
Number of Axles
1 to 4
Display
LED
Benefits
Quite simple and easy to install
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Type
Proportional
Number of Axles
1 to 3
Display
LED
Benefits
Includes a limited lifetime warranty
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
Type
Time-delayed
Number of Axles
1 to 2
Display
Indicator Light
Benefits
100% solid-state construction with reasonable price
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Type
Time-delayed
Number of Axles
1 to 4
Display
LED
Benefits
Very easy to set up; perfect for beginners
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Type
Proportional
Number of Axles
1 to 4
Display
LED
Benefits
Features advanced electronics to minimize false braking
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Top 9 Best Trailer Brake Controllers In 2021 Reviews

1 Tekonsha 90160

This trailer brake controller is amongst the highest-rated models in the market. Tekonsha is known for manufacturing brake controllers that exhibit outstanding functionality. Whether it’s the build quality or the unit’s performance, everything seems to meet premium standards.

Tekonsha 90160 trailer brake controller is one of a kind. It is particularly designed to provide you a convenient road trip while towing a heavy trailer. The unit claims to be self-leveling, which means that no level adjustment is required.

The model features a primary sensor technology that is quite famous for its reliable braking application. It also includes a boost feature that enables the driver to apply more initial trailer braking. The boost feature is quite compelling as it offers an edge when towing heavy trailers.

But that’s not all.

This unit also seems to work proportionally in reverse while backing into tough spots. Moreover, the included snap-in dash mounting clip and removable electric connector enable convenient storage when not in use.

This trailer brake controller seems to be the go-to option for many users.

Here’s why.

The device uses an LED that provides a digital readout to the driver. It conveys valuable information about the electrical connection to the brakes, the amount of voltage delivered, and several diagnostic features. As a result, putting a heavy trailer to a halt at any instance has now become extremely easy.

Tekonsha 90160
Our rating:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Pros

  • Uses primary sensor technology for effective brake application.
  • Works proportionally in reverse; ideal for backing in tough spots.
  • Features a boost feature that enables increased initial braking to the trailer.
  • Utilizes an LED to display valuable information when brakes are applied.
  • Comes with a snap-in dash mounting clip and removable connector for easy storage.

Cons

  • Connection cables are hard to find.
  • The boost feature is sometimes annoying at low speeds.

2 CURT TriFlex 51140

Looking for a reliable braking solution for your trailer? Well, consider this feature-packed trailer brake controller as your best companion. Offering a wide array of features, the CURT TriFlex 51140 is perfect for almost any trailer.

The TriFlex brake controller is one of the most highly modifiable models available. It can easily accommodate different types of vehicles, trailers, and loads. The unit promises nine different levels of sensitivity adjustment. Moreover, you have the option to select the desired power output and manual activation.

Additionally, the electric brake controller features a compact design that uses minimum space on your dashboard. Its sleek construction allows you to conveniently operate the vehicle without any hindrance.

There’s more.

One of the main attributes of this model is the versatility it provides to the user. It can be used with almost any trailer having one to four axles. Moreover, it is fully compatible with cruise control, anti-lock brakes, and low-voltage systems.

The TriFlex trailer controller is super-easy to install and set up. You can plug it into your vehicle within minutes using a vehicle-specific quick plug harness. Besides, it also features automatic leveling and calibration.

The best part?

This model features an integrated circuit that is known as a triple-axis accelerometer. It detects motion and then applies braking power accordingly. Whether you are going uphill or downhill, calibrating the brake power is not your worry anymore.

CURT TriFlex 51140
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Uses a triple-axis accelerometer that applies braking power accordingly.
  • Easily adjustment makes it suitable for most vehicles.
  • It features a compact design that requires minimal space.
  • Highly compatible with almost any trailer or other systems.
  • Very easy to install and set up.

Cons

  • The braking action is inconsistent.
  • It can drain your vehicle’s battery.

3 Hopkins 47297

Have you ever wondered whether your existing brake system is enough to manage a heavy trailer? Well, we assure you that this brake controller is all you need to get out of any trouble when towing a heavy trailer.

The Hopkins 47297 uses an advanced proportional technology that mirrors the braking of the tow vehicle. Where most devices fail to deliver, this unit offers an optimal braking solution to meet your needs. The technology it uses ensures safe and smooth stops without any inconvenience.

Meanwhile, the manufacturer claims that this model offers high compatibility. It works perfectly with trailers having electric or hydraulic brakes.

But that’s not all.

The product features digital power, along with a vertical manual slide. It also includes seven different sensitivity settings that allow you to determine how much braking force is applied. Consequently, you can experience a smooth halt operation regardless of the weight of the trailer. You can further enhance the stop operation if you’ve installed the best trailer tires for your trailer.

This model is also known to provide short-proof protection, ranging up to eight trailer brakes.

The best part?

It promotes the easiest installation, unlike other conventional models. The device can be mounted conveniently anywhere by assembling its separate components. Besides, no tools or drilling is required during the process.

Hopkins 47297
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Uses advanced proportional technology to ensure smooth stops.
  • Ideal for trailers with electric or hydraulic brakes.
  • Comes with seven different sensitivity settings and a vertical manual slide.
  • Offers short-proof protection.
  • Very simple to install and can be mounted anywhere.

Cons

  • Its red light can be distracting for some users.
  • The manual control is full power only.

4 CURT Venturer 51110

Ready to get your hands on the best trailer brake controllers? The CURT Venturer 51110 won’t disappoint you with its handful of features.

CURT brake controllers are renowned for their quality and performance. All of their models offer a wide range of features that bring great convenience and comfort. The Venturer is an example of such innovation that meets the modern needs of the user.

This electric trailer brake controller promises a safe operation. It offers increasing brake pressure as you apply compression to the brake pedal. As a result, your vehicle and trailer come to a smooth stop.

Moreover, the LED found with this model is its main selling point. It allows you to monitor brake operation that is quite easy to read. We won’t be wrong if we say it’s an easy-to-use model. The simple design with no internal parts and leveling requirements makes it quite an attraction.

But that’s not all.

Although this unit offers a simple assembly, its powerful brake operation cannot be ignored. The model also features a manual brake slider button, adjustable ramp time, and power toggle to further enhance your experience.

The best part?

It’s very easy to set up like any other models offered by this manufacturer. It quickly plugs into your vehicle, where it can be mounted at any angle with its adjustable mounting bracket. Besides, its versatile nature makes it highly compatible with most trailers.

CURT Venturer 51110
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Promises safe operation with its reliable stopping capability.
  • Simple design that is very easy to use.
  • Uses an LED to conveniently monitor braking operations.
  • A powerful unit that is compatible with most trailers.
  • Easy to set up and can be mounted at any angle.

Cons

  • The brake application slide control is hard to adjust.
  • It is made up of cheap material.

5 Draw-Tite 5504

Draw-Tite is one of the leading trailer brake controller manufacturers. They develop some of the most reliable products that are suitable for most trailers. You’re about to learn all about it!

The Draw-Tite 5504 is all you need when towing a heavy trailer. The Activator IV Electronic Brake Control is perfectly designed for one to four-axle trailers. Therefore, it becomes highly compatible with different types of trailers.

Moreover, the compact design of this model is its major attraction. Its minimalistic construction not only makes it simple to use but also quite convenient for the user. The up-front push buttons are located ideally that allow you to easily Sync and Output.

But that’s not all.

The model promises a smooth and simple installation process, unlike other conventional models. It is also enriched with the plug-and-play feature that promises a quick and easy connection. Investing hours of your precious time in installing brake controllers is no longer needed with the invention of this device.

Also, you can find all of the mounting hardware included with the product.

The best part?

It has an illuminated LED output indicator and a front display. Most models don’t feature an LED output and can be difficult to operate. However, with this product, accessing vital information about braking operation has now become a reality.

Draw-Tite 5504
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Perfectly designed for one to four-axle trailers.
  • Compact construction with up-front buttons makes it highly convenient.
  • Features a front display with an LED indicator that is visible from all angles.
  • Installation is very simple and easy.
  • It comes with mounting hardware for quick and reliable installation.

Cons

  • Calibration instructions are not very clear.
  • It cannot be mounted under the dash.

6 Draw-Tite 20191

The Draw-Tite 20191 is one of the best trailer brake controllers that you can buy. It is known for its great consistent performance that is backed with multiple features.

This unit promises a proportional electric brake control that is tailor-made for one to three-axle trailers. It also promotes self-leveling; therefore, no level adjustment is required. Using the primary sensor technology, this model provides a reliable braking application in all circumstances.

But what makes this product so unique and effective as compared to other traditional models?

Here’s what.

The product exhibits a boost feature that gives it an edge over its rivals. It allows the driver to apply increased initial braking when required. As a result, it becomes a great option when towing heavier trailers.

The product is also known to work proportionally in reverse. When backing into tough spots and turns, this feature might save the day for you. Additionally, you can find a snap-in dash mounting clip and a removable electric connector meant for easy storage.

Although this model promises a multitude of handy features, its LED is its standout feature. It is responsible for providing important information about the braking operation to the user. As a result, you can almost always guarantee a smooth stop.

The best part?

It comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Draw-Tite 20191
Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Compatible with one to three-axle trailers.
  • Includes a boost feature that applies greater initial brake pressure for a smooth stop.
  • It comes with an LED that provides valuable information and self-diagnostics features.
  • Easy to store with a snap-in mounting clip and removable electric connector.
  • Promises a limited lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • Some users received defective products.
  • The internal sensor is inconsistent.

7 Reese Towpower 74642

If you seek a quality trailer brake controller that promises the most bang for your buck, then look no further. This is the ultimate trailer brake controller that will ensure your trailer comes to a smooth stop when desired.

The Reese Towpower is an exceptional brake controller that is perfectly designed for single axle trailers. It features a solid-state construction that is free from moving parts, pendulums, or hydraulic connections. There is also no leveling required, as this unit offers a self-leveling capability.

Furthermore, its compact design is an attraction for most users. It is particularly due to its construction that allows it to be mounted anywhere. Besides, with the included mounting hardware, bracket, and instructions, the installation is very convenient.

But that’s not all.

The brake control also features a ‘sync’ adjustment that allows it to tow different types of trailers. While some units only offer limited compatibility, the Reese Towpower model is suitable for towing most trailers.

The best part?

This unit utilizes time-based brake controls that allow you to apply braking power at a fixed rate. Consequently, it offers a more seamless and reliable braking operation. It’s needless to say that the ease of operation and innovative design make this model one of the best trailer brake controllers.

Reese Towpower 74642
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Fully compatible with anti-lock braking systems.
  • Offers a 100% solid-state construction with no moving parts.
  • Promises ‘sync’ adjustment that makes it suitable for towing different trailers.
  • Easy to install with mounting hardware, bracket, and instructions.
  • Innovative design that is ideal for single axle trailers.

Cons

  • Only for use with 12-volt negative ground systems.
  • It doesn’t come with a connector.

8 Hopkins 47284

If you are looking for the best trailer brake controllers, then you are in the right place. Hopkins offers you some of the best models that promise an innovative design backed with superior quality.

Let’s find out what this brake controller has to offer.

Most trailer brake controllers offer a reliable operation; however, setting them up is a challenge for beginners. Well, this is not the case with this model. The simple design of the unit promotes plug-in connections that allow quick installation and removal without any cutting or splicing.

Moreover, it’s a time-based brake controller that applies brakes at a fixed rate for convenient stops.

But that’s not all.

It features an LED that gives it an edge over many devices. The LED provides information on the brake application while the fully digital settings take care of your convenience.

There also exists a vertical manual slide with the unit that matches the needs of most drivers. You can also find short-proof protection with this model that ensures four brake capacity.

The best part?

The innovative design of this model by Hopkins allows it to be mounted at any angle. While some models take quite some space on your dash and offer inconvenience, this model promises great reliability. You can mount it anywhere you like without getting cramped for space.

Hopkins 47284
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • It can be installed quickly with simple connections.
  • Offers fully-digital settings and LED to display vital braking information.
  • Promises short-proof protection with a four-brake capacity.
  • It can be mounted at any angle.
  • Comes with Hopkins limited lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • The casing is a bit flimsy.
  • The unit stays powered on all the time.

9 Tekonsha 9030 Voyager

The Tekonsha 9030 voyager offers an ultimate braking solution to its users. Its versatility and a wide array of features make it superior as compared to other models.

But what makes it so unique and effective?

You are about to learn all about it!

The Voyager uses a patented braking sensor that is developed by Tekonsha. It is known to provide you the best value for your money for a smooth and secure trailer braking. The compact size of this model is also worth noticing. It not only offers more convenience by using minimum space, but it also doesn’t compromise on features.

This model offers a broad control range that allows settings to be quick and easy for the user. As a result, it can be a perfect choice for beginners.

But that’s not all.

The unit conveys valuable information with its bi-colored LED. As the brake is applied, the color of the LED changes slowly from green to red. This indicates the relative braking power being applied by the user.

Moreover, the advanced electronics embedded within the unit minimize the risk of false braking. Consequently, you can experience a smooth ride without any hiccups. Besides, its Plug-N-Play feature enables quick and easy connections.

Tekonsha 9030 Voyager
Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Pros

  • Ideally designed for up to four braking axles.
  • Settings are very easy and quick, with a broad control range.
  • Uses bicolored LED to indicate the relative braking power.
  • Features advanced electronics to negate the risk of false braking.
  • Ensures quick connection with its Plug-N-Play feature.

Cons

  • The sensitivity adjustment is very sensitive and hard to adjust.
  • It is overpriced.

Best Trailer Brake Controllers Buying Guide

Opting for a quality trailer brake controller has become a challenge nowadays. With the presence of so many brands featuring similar products, it becomes really hard to pick one for yourself. Although it all comes down to your needs and preferences, picking the right one is crucial.

We understand that your time and money is precious. This is why we have listed some key aspects to consider before buying a trailer brake controller.

Price

The price tag is the first thing you notice when buying a product. It’s important as it allows you to determine your purchasing power or whether you can buy it or not. Most brands offer products that vary from one another in terms of price and features.

best trailer brake controllers

The higher the quality of the product, the more the price and vice versa. Moreover, versatile models that offer a wide range of features are usually expensive as compared to other models. They charge a premium for the additional features that most models fail to deliver.

However, opting for a unit that offers you value for your money is the right way to go. Buying an expensive model or a cheap one can both cause inconvenience in the end. Therefore, look for a device that delivers a handful of features at a reasonable price.

Features

It is necessary to acknowledge the features of the product you are going to purchase. Some models offer more features, while others promise fewer capabilities. Keep in mind that the increasing features mean a price increase as well.

However, don’t get demotivated by the increasing prices. Opting for a premium-quality product can almost always ensure your reliable user experience. Brake controllers that are of high quality promise a smooth braking operation regardless of the circumstances.

Moreover, they are backed with a bunch of other features that further enhance your experience. So, if you are looking to invest in a brake controller, make sure it has enough features to facilitate seamless operation.

Compatibility

Not all brake controllers can operate with all sorts of trailers. Some models are only operate with specific trailers. This is why you should ensure that the unit you are about to purchase is compatible with your trailer.

Opting for a device that is not compatible with your trailer can cause inconvenience. Either it won’t operate completely, or sometimes it will offer a jerky operation. Therefore, we recommend that you only buy a model that works with your trailer.

Installation

Despite the high quality offered by some models, they are fairly complex. Therefore, they are quite hard to install or set up for most users. As a result, it becomes an inconvenience and loss of your time and money.

As a beginner, you would always like to buy a unit that is simple and easy to use. Make sure that the installation, mounting, and the usability of the model is user-friendly. If not so, choosing a simpler and easy-to-use device is recommended.

Conclusion

Choosing the best trailer brake controller is not an easy task by any means. However, to make things easier for you, we have listed some of the best models available on the market. These products excel when it comes to user-friendliness, features, quality, and consistent performance. For your convenience, we have decided to select a winner from our list of products.

After a detailed analysis, we believe that the Tekonsha 9030 stands out from the rest. Its consistent braking operation, backed with a wide range of features, makes it hit the list. Specifically, its user-friendly design, embedded primary sensor technology and LED make it favorable for all users.

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