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RVing message boards => Towing and towables => Topic started by: 603Country on August 02, 2017, 10:57:12 AM

Title: Educate me on brake controllers
Post by: 603Country on August 02, 2017, 10:57:12 AM
I'm new at TT dragging. We bought a GD Imagine 2150 (about 5000 lbs). The WDS is a Blue Ox 1000. The truck is a Toyota Tundra 2x4 with the towing package and the big engine. The present brake controller is a Reese Pilot, which seems to work Ok, but I am wondering if spending a bit more money would get me a significantly better brake controller.

Would you folks please give me your thoughts and suggestions on whether I'm Ok with the Reese Pilot, or should I upgrade (and why and to what)?

Kirk
Title: Re: Educate me on brake controllers
Post by: Gizmo on August 02, 2017, 11:33:59 AM
Not familiar with the Reese Pilot and it is not clear to me whether you bought it as an aftermarket unit, or if it came supplied with the towing package you indicate.  In absence of the OEM brake controller and if looking to purchase one, I can highly recommend the Tekonsha P2 or P3 proportional brake controllers.  Proportional brake controllers are ideal because they apply the brakes to the trailer in proportion to how you are applying the truck brakes, which makes for a more pleasant and easier tow.  I had the P2 and it worked very well, the P3 has more bells and whistles than the P2, which some folks find value in.  In either case the P2 & P3 are excellent brake controllers and fairly priced.
Title: Re: Educate me on brake controllers
Post by: 603Country on August 02, 2017, 11:50:13 AM
I had the Reese unit installed prior to actually buying the TT. It works, so no big worries there, but I've wondered if maybe I should have gotten a better one. It's an under dash unit.
Title: Re: Educate me on brake controllers
Post by: grashley on August 02, 2017, 07:35:53 PM
Looking at the Reese web site, this appears to be a decent mid line unit.  It has a digital output voltage display and appears to be adjustable output.  It also appears to be a proportional controller.  It claims to be plug and play.  I did NOT see a manual brake feature where you can apply TT brakes independent of tow vehicle brakes.

It should work well.  It is MUCH better than the cheap units, but lacks a few features of the top end units.

http://www.reesebrands.com/reese-towpower/electrical/brake-controllers/pilot-brake-control-74378
Title: Re: Educate me on brake controllers
Post by: bailer6334 on August 02, 2017, 09:29:07 PM
Just a FYI on the Grand Design TT. I have the same model. Use the GVWR of 6695lbs as a guide for pulling (even though you may not load it to maximum). Mine when loaded with the stuff you camp with plus fresh water of approx 20 - 25 gallons weighs in between 6100 & 6200lbs. Tongue weight is approx 650lbs (2 propane tanks, 2 batteries) not including WDH (Weight Distribution Hitch) which will add between 80 and 100lbs to the tongue weight.

Hope this info helps.
Title: Re: Educate me on brake controllers
Post by: kwbush on August 03, 2017, 06:19:38 AM
Not familiar with the Reese Pilot and it is not clear to me whether you bought it as an aftermarket unit, or if it came supplied with the towing package you indicate.  In absence of the OEM brake controller and if looking to purchase one, I can highly recommend the Tekonsha P2 or P3 proportional brake controllers.  Proportional brake controllers are ideal because they apply the brakes to the trailer in proportion to how you are applying the truck brakes, which makes for a more pleasant and easier tow.  I had the P2 and it worked very well, the P3 has more bells and whistles than the P2, which some folks find value in.  In either case the P2 & P3 are excellent brake controllers and fairly priced.

Can't improve on this advice so I'll give it  :)) :)) :))  and move on!  8)


Keith
Title: Re: Educate me on brake controllers
Post by: 603Country on August 03, 2017, 01:25:29 PM
Thanks! Hearing from the experienced towing folks is comforting.
Title: Re: Educate me on brake controllers
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on August 04, 2017, 09:54:37 AM
Yes, you could do a lot better. The Pilot is a "time-delay" type controller and does not provide proportional braking. The longer you hold the truck brake pedal down, the greater the braking force  applied to the trailer.  That means if you have to brake lightly for more than a few seconds, e.g. on a long downhill or heavy traffic, the trailer ends up braking more heavily than the truck.

A Tekonsha P-series is far superior, continually adjusting the trailer braking to remain in proportion to the truck braking effort.
Title: Re: Educate me on brake controllers
Post by: Rene T on August 04, 2017, 10:29:26 AM
This may help you understand a little better:

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,104880.msg944724.html#msg944724
Title: Re: Educate me on brake controllers
Post by: ducnut on August 05, 2017, 10:25:07 PM
I have a Tekonsha Primus IQ and it works perfect, as a further vote for Tekonsha products.
Title: Re: Educate me on brake controllers
Post by: kdbgoat on August 06, 2017, 04:53:02 AM
I have a Tekonsha Primus IQ and it works perfect, as a further vote for Tekonsha products.

That's what I used when I towed trailers. Worked like a charm. Got rid of the trucks, but still have the controller.