Using a brake controller while towing a trailer requires setting up the controller, adjusting trailer brake get, adjusting braking sensitivity, manually activating the trailer brakes and maybe selecting a few individual settings.

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In this guide we will certainly walk via just how a trailer brake controller functions and the steps involved inexactly how to use a brake controllerwhile towing with trailer brakes.

If you should change your trailer brakes, examine out our guide!


A brake controller is an electronic tool that regulates the electric trailer brakes. It enables the driver to activate and also monitor trailer brake task from the cab of the auto.

A brake controller mounts in the cab of the automobile and generally has a couple of various controls, such as an interchallenge to view braking information and also butloads to control the output and also hands-on activation. Trailer brake controllers come in many type of various formats and capacities.

Need aid installing your brake controller?


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Time Delay vs Proportional

There are two basic kinds of brake controllers: time-delay and also proportional or inertia-based. Each kind is classified by the method of activation the brake controller supplies.


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Time-Delay Operation


A time-delay brake controller operates on extremely easy electric values. As quickly as the driver presses the brake pedal, the time-based brake controller activates the trailer brakes, applying an enhancing amount of power, solved over time. This is called gain.

The acquire setting of a time-delay brake controller deserve to be adjusted by the driver to accommoday each particular trailer. However, the time-delay strategy is not as specific as the proportional strategy.


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Proportional Operation


A proportional or inertia-based brake controller provides an electrical circuit referred to as an accelerometer to feeling transforms in momentum. When the driver presses the brake pedal, the brake controller applies power to the trailer brakes in propercentage to the vehicle"s momentum.

Proportional brake controllers administer smooth stops and reliable braking. This is especially obvious as soon as braking on a hill. If traveling up a hill, the controller uses less power, and also if traveling down, it uses more power.


Proportional Brake Controller Automatic Adjustment
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How to Adjust Trailer Brake Controller: 6 Steps


With your trailer coupresulted in your car, the first action as soon as towing via a brake controller is to make sure the trailer wiring harness is plugged into your auto. A brake controller requires power from the vehicle and also a link to the trailer brakes for correct towing.

During setup, make sure your auto and also trailer are parked on a level surface. Also, make sure you are in a safe, open up location via plenty of preventing distance and also no various other website traffic about.


With the trailer plugged in, the brake controller may have to be calibrated. Most brake controllers are self-calibrating. Others do not require calibration at all.

Normally, self-calibrating brake controllers will certainly flash a light or signal to indicate once the unit is calibrating and when calibration is complete.


Some brake controllers come via individual settings that have the right to be adjusted to your choice, such as the angle of the interface, the brightness of the display and also even the location of the brake controller itself.

Be certain to adjust all of these settings before driving.


Maximum output is the maximum amount of power the brake controller will apply to the trailer brakes. You will certainly need to collection this level and adjust it depending on the load dimension.

To change your brake controller output, press and also organize the automobile brake pedal. Set the output to the founding value specified in the instructions.

Then, in an open up area, test the trailer brakes by driving forward at about 25 mph and using the brakes. If the vehicle stops also progressively, rise the maximum output. If it stops as well abruptly or locks up, alleviate the output.


Step 5: Adjust the sensitivity level


Sensitivity is how aggressively your brake controller will certainly use the brakes. You have the right to set sensitivity by experimentation the trailer brakes again.

Drive forward at about 25 mph and also press the brake pedal. If the vehicle stops also gradually, boost the sensitivity setting. If it stops as well abruptly, lower the sensitivity.

As operation becomes more comfortable, you can test braking at assorted speeds to ensure smooth stops in any type of problems.


Step 6: Manually activate brakes as needed


Most trailer brake controllers come via a manual activation switch. This enables you to activate the trailer brakes whenever before desired, without using the vehicle brakes.

Manual trailer brake activation deserve to be valuable for correcting minor trailer persuade and slowly slowing down on a steep hill or prior to stops.

Want to use your smartphone as a brake controller? Check out Echo®


How to usage a proportional brake controller video


Do I need a trailer brake controller?


If you"re asking yourself: Do electrical trailer brakes work-related without a controller? The answer is, no. Electric trailer brakes carry out not occupational without a brake controller. If your trailer is equipped through electric brakes, you will certainly need a brake controller to tow.

However, some trailers are equipped via surge brakes. These are a hydraulic braking device that offers the trailer"s very own weight and also momentum to actuate the brakes. Unchoose electric trailer brakes, they do not call for a brake controller or also an electrical connection to the auto.

Need help adjusting your trailer brakes?


Towing Tip!

If you have a trailer shop readjust your brakes, have actually them lubricate your wheel bearings, examine your wheel nuts and examine your tires and also valve stems at the same time.


FAQs


How does a trailer brake controller work?

A trailer brake controller offers electrical energy from the tow auto to apply a specific amount of power to the trailer brakes. It uses electric circuits and also trailer get settings to regulate the amount of braking power. Some brake controllers have actually circuits that respond to the vehicle"s momentum while towing. Others use power on a addressed raising scale and level off at a maximum output, based on parameters set by the driver.

How carry out you calibprice a trailer brake controller?

To calibprice a brake controller, make certain the vehicle is parked on a level surface. Then, plug your trailer into your tow car. The brake controller will certainly then calibprice. Many brake controllers are self-calibrating. After calibration, some adjustment may be required to best fit the automobile, trailer and pack size.

What is the best setting for trailer brake controller?

The ideal establishing for a brake controller is one that will certainly match the trailer and pack dimension. Begin by selecting the get level and also sensitivity recommfinished by the manufacturer. Then, test the brake controller and brakes. If more acquire or sensitivity is necessary, readjust appropriately.

What is trailer gain?

Trailer acquire is the amount of power a brake controller applies to the trailer brakes. It is equal to the maximum amount of stopping force for the trailer. As the automobile brake pedal is applied, the gain tells the brake controller just how a lot electric power to use to the trailer brake electromagnets.

What need to my trailer gain be collection at?

Trailer gain need to be set based upon the trailer and load size. For larger trailers, usage a higher gain establishing. For smaller sized trailers, a reduced acquire setting need to be provided to prevent brake lockup.

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How to set trailer brake gain

To set trailer brake get, begin via the worths mentioned by the manufacturer. Test your trailer brakes at 25mph. If the vehicle stops slowly, rise the trailer brake gain. If the brakes lock up, decrease the gain.