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Talk to Me About Wireless Trailer Brake Controllers

Anyone have one of these? Brand preferences, tips, perks, or warnings to pass along? I finally found a trailer (after a 14-month search!) and am picking it up Friday. The truck I drive is a company vehicle (yes, I already checked and am allowed to tow with it - perks of working in agriculture), and I’m not supposed to make any “modifications” to it. So I’m thinking that a wireless brake controller is the way to go in my situation. Any thoughts?

For those who, I’m sure, will ask: The truck in question is a 2021 Dodge Ram 1500 crew cab 4x4 (per VIN, my specific truck has an 8,100 pound tow capacity), and the trailer is a 2-H slant/stock combo Calico. I will only ever be hauling one horse (or one mare + foal), and my horses are both <14 hand Arabs.

Does your truck have a plug/harness you can plug directly into? My last Dodge (tells you how old that was) 1500 had a plug in port located under the dash, left side. I used a Tekonsha Prodigy proportional controller.

Here’s a link that describes where to look: https://www.etrailer.com/question-526476.html

If you have that option, perhaps some hefty industrial grade Velcro could mount the bracket in the proper position.

greys

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@Greys, I will look. Thanks for that tip!

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Does the Ram have a factory brake controller? I have a 2015 Ram 1500 that has the built in trailer brake controls in the dash. The controls are to the right of the steering wheel towards the bottom of the center console, with a trailer tow option to select from the main menu on the dash. It works like a charm.

But… I have a Tekonsha Prodigy RF that I bought in 2015. I’m pretty sure it’s this one.

Here was my situation at the time: my truck died and I was at the mercy of friends and rental vehicles until I bought my new-to-me truck in 2016. I had a horse who had all sorts of medical appointments she needed to get to. After the rude surprise of no brake controller in a truck when I was told there would be one, I learned about the Tekonsha RF. It was a godsend! It is very easy to set up; the hardest part of the installation is drilling the screws into the metal on the tongue of the trailer. You have to screw it to the tongue, as there is really no way to temporarily mount it.

But I never had any problems with it. So long as you have the standard 7 flat RV blade plug that most all horse trailers use, it works. You plug the handheld remote into the cigarette lighter and sync it, and voila, your brakes work. I drove a lot of miles with it, including through some major cities at rush hour where I was getting cut off left and right. I was so grateful for it then!

I haven’t used it since 2016 when I bought my Ram with the in dash controls.

Caveat: when I was reading the reviews about it, some people with luxury SUVs had problems getting it to sync because their high tech computer systems interfere with the flow of power to the outlet. That’s not an issue for most of us horse people because we aren’t trying to tow horse trailers with a little Lexus SUV or anything.

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@Texarkana, is this what you’re talking about?

Images are broken so I think only you can see what you uploaded.

Do you have a link of what you are talking about?

I think you can right click to open the image in a new tab. At least, that works for me.

I can’t find a link, but what I have is a “tow/haul” button below the center console. I’ve always thought that was related to the transmission, not braking, but I am far from a mechanically inclined person, so I can easily be wrong! To the right of my steering column I’d my gear shift dial and my 4-wheel drive controls.

The factory trailer brake control has a picture of a trailer with a slider knob, it’s separate from the tow/haul button.

I would search the Ram forums for reviews on the units you’re considering - lots of threads there.

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THIS is what the factory controller looks like in a Ram. Like @Heinz_57 said, it’s a slider. It’s usually in the center consol below the radio and climate controls. Here’s another link.

But if you don’t have one, the Tekonsha RF works really well! I highly recommend it.

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Thanks, @Texarkana. That’s really helpful!

My 2014 Ram 1500 4x4 also has the brake controller in the dash, just like Texarkana linked, so you may be in luck.

Other random Ram fact: truck will not “go” when the driver’s door is open, even in drive. While it seems obvious, it is a major pain when hooking up a BP by yourself and your jumping in and out. Or you have a habit of leaving the door open to pull the trailer up a few feet so you have space to check the lights. Ask me how I know…

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OMG. Yes, I discovered that “safety” feature one day when I was trying to back up to a loading dock at one of our stores. I looked and felt like an idiot. Better hope no one ever tries to carjack me, because I’m not going to be able to make a quick getaway in this truck!

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I have been using the Curtis Echo Wireless Brake Controller. Works like a charm an takes 5 min to set up

I have a Tekonsha Prodigy for my camper. WOrks well. Plugs into cig lighter in car and attaches to frame of trailer.

Many modern trailer brake controllers use sensors to detect the towing vehicle’s deceleration or braking. When the driver applies the brakes in the towing vehicle, the controller senses this and sends a signal to the trailer’s brakes.