rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Fridge Defend
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: Brake Controller  (Read 450 times)

Free Spirit

  • ---
  • Posts: 59
Brake Controller
« on: May 08, 2017, 08:19:03 PM »
I just saw a new term today. BRAKE CONTROLLER.

I can almost figure out what it does but.....
Does it go on the truck or the trailer and do I even need one?

Thanks in advance
Retired and full time living aboard our Denali 293RKS.
Don't know much about RV"s in general and are still learning. First lesson learned is that dealerships are not responsible for anything and warranties can be used for toilet paper.

Gods Country

  • ---
  • Posts: 638
Re: Brake Controller
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2017, 08:30:53 PM »
A brake controller activates and controls the trailer brakes.  If you have any trailer with brakes (typically any trailer over 3k) yes you will need one.  They are found in the tow vehicle.


  • ---
  • Posts: 1235
Re: Brake Controller
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2017, 08:43:31 PM »
Brake controllers are mounted in the Tow Vehicle where the driver can see it.
They are usually adjustable.

They send power to the electric brakes when the TV brakes are applied.
Generally the harder you press on the brake pedal the more voltage sent to the trailer's electric brakes.

Some newer vehicles have brake controllers built in.

Otherwise an aftermarket unit is installed.  Some vehicles are Pre-wired, if so, an adapter cable can be purchased
which basically makes them a plug and play setup.
2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp
West MI Summer   Central FL Winter

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 64380
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Brake Controller
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2017, 09:05:33 PM »
You probably don't need one on your boat.   ;)   However, if you buy an RV trailer and tow it, you will almost surely need one. I say "almost" because the smallest pop-up trailers might have hydraulic surge brakes instead of electric one. The electric brakes need a controller in the tow vehicle.
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL