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Old 09-06-2021, 07:55 AM   #1
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Do I need a Brake Controller

Do I need a Brake Controller?
Tow vehicle 2012 Chevy Colorado LT version. Trailer Jayco Jay feather 19" WGT 3500
I have a weight distribution hitch.
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Old 09-06-2021, 07:58 AM   #2
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Yes, you should install a brake controller.
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Old 09-06-2021, 08:08 AM   #3
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Does your trailer have brakes?
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Old 09-06-2021, 08:25 AM   #4
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The factory/dealer installed controllers are best by far; I'm al little surprised your Colorado doesn't have one. Perhaps one could be added without breaking the bank. Do you have a seven pin round connector on the TV?
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Old 09-06-2021, 08:58 AM   #5
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My Colorado has a seven pin connector. On my trip taking it home. no weight bars, no brake controller. Braking seemed to be good. No bouncing or jerking.
This is what the local Tractor Supply has available https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...-brake-control. Any suggestions? Or should I go to a trailer dealer and have them do the work? Thanks Mike Dickinson
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Old 09-06-2021, 10:42 AM   #6
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He’s only towing a 19 inch trailer. Shouldn’t need brakes for that.

Anything over about 2,000 lbs will greatly benefit from brakes, though. Check local laws, too, as they vary.
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Old 09-06-2021, 10:50 AM   #7
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In most states you're going to need a brake controller to stay legal and keep you out of court if there's an accident.

I had a controller similar to the one in your link. It worked fine and did its job but it was a pain to wire--you have to find a place under the dash to tap into the brake light circuit, then you have to hook the controller to whatever wire runs back to your seven pin connector controlling the trailer brakes. Blue, I think. In city driving that controller will drive you crazy and you'll want to turn it off. Furthermore, you'll have to find a place to mount the box where your knees won't smash into it.

I needed a controller for my wife's SUV and went with this: https://www.amazon.com/CURT-51180-Co..._t1_B08JM54Y3B It works great and can be easily transferred to other vehicles. You'll want to make sure you have 12V available at your seven pin connector; you'll probably have to have the truck running in order to test for it. The Echo controller will not work without the 12V. The only problem with this solution is that it's expensive!

Like I said, the factory installed controllers are great but you may run into problems getting them to put one in because of the age of the truck. Is there a blank spot on the dash where it would go? I don't know anything about Colorado trucks but I thought all pickups had a brake controller option.

Good luck!
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Old 09-06-2021, 11:05 AM   #8
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Isaac Does this go between the truck plug and the trailer plug? Yes it seem expensive but look like what I need. Thanks Mike D
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Old 09-06-2021, 11:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Dickinson View Post
Do I need a Brake Controller?
Tow vehicle 2012 Chevy Colorado LT version. Trailer Jayco Jay feather 19" WGT 3500
I have a weight distribution hitch.
Mike Dickinson
Mike, I would call your local Chevrolet dealer parts dept. and give them your vin# ask them if you have the ď trailer package ď if you do it should be prewired for the brake controller but you may need a adapter harness ( harness to controller). If you donít you may want to check and see if you have a auxiliary transmission cooler, if not I would really consider adding one. I have 16í hummingbird and I am glad it has trailer brakes, it gives me little more control when towing.
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Old 09-06-2021, 11:18 AM   #10
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Isaac Does this go between the truck plug and the trailer plug? Yes it seem expensive but look like what I need. Thanks Mike D
Yes, it does. It's plug and play as long as the "battery" pin has voltage, it should be a black wire. There are diagrams out there to help you locate it. Again, not sure about Colorado but I remember that one of my older Fords required a fuse or relay to be plugged into the fuse panel in order for it to produce voltage.
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Old 09-06-2021, 11:29 AM   #11
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Brake Controller

Isaacs Thanks for that suggestion. Yes It does seem expensive, but it look like it is an easy set up. What if I find a used one somewhere?
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Old 09-06-2021, 11:33 AM   #12
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I managed to find an "open box" one on e-trailer...saved a few bucks.
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Old 09-12-2021, 08:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Do I need a Brake Controller?
Tow vehicle 2012 Chevy Colorado LT version. Trailer Jayco Jay feather 19" WGT 3500
I have a weight distribution hitch.
Mike Dickinson
Yes, any trailer over 3000 lbs, requires electric brakes (federal law).

My experience, if you have a factory installed 7 pin connector on the truck. It either has an oem controller, or it is pre-wired, for an aftermarket controller. If it is pre-wired, the connector inside the truck, is tucked up above parking brake pedal location. Very easy to find.

Do a little search on how to setup the controller. When you apply your brakes, your tt, should help stop your TV, any you should be able to feel it.

Tekonsha P3 controller, is considered one of the best controller on the market. it works very well. Don't need to worry about a deed phone to set it up.

https://www.amazon.com/Tekonsha-9019...1457145&sr=8-6
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Old 09-12-2021, 09:30 AM   #14
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Here's an item I saw at my local RV dealer! I haven't used it but seems like quick/easy way to try it out... you can always take it back if you don't see it's value too.



Curt Echo Wireless Trailer Brake Controller

The CURT Echo mobile brake control is a Bluetooth-enabled brake control device that wirelessly connects to your smartphone and allows you to control and monitor all trailer brake activity right from your own device. It features a simple, plug-and-play installation on your vehicle inserting between the 7-way vehicle-trailer wiring connection. It also features a portable design to easily switch between vehicle-trailer combinations and a highly durable construction to outlast the elements.


It's sold at etrailer, amazon, homedepot, walmart... even ebay.
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:22 AM   #15
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Yes, any trailer over 3000 lbs, requires electric brakes (federal law).[...]
This is false. Any time someone claims some thing is governed by a law but fails to produce said law, red flags should immediately go up. Trailer brakes are an issue of state law and the laws vary quite a bit. While the 3,000 lb threshold is most common, it's not universally followed.

Delaware is one such example: here is section 4305 that establishes 4,000 lbs as the cutoff in that state. Again, this is a state law and not governed by federal laws.

Depending on what state you live or travel in/across, the laws may vary.

Using brakes is always a good idea, but a 19 inch trailer probably is fine without.
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:30 AM   #16
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Think of this; going downhill your brakes fade and won't stop you.. and you have the equivalent of another truck that you are towing. What can go wrong?

Why this is even a question dumbfounds me.
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:41 AM   #17
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I would think, but could be wrong that your Colorado is pre wired for electric brakes since you have the 7 pin plug. I have a 2012 Tacoma, tow package, and wiring the Redarc controller was a breeze. I tow a 16 XRB hybrid, 3000 lbs. Iím glade to have the brakes
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:06 AM   #18
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Ulirarider The picture shows a button that I do not have on my truck. I have an appointment on Tuesday 9/14/21 to get the brake controller and the brackets installed. Thanks to everyone who replied. Mike Dickinson
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:44 AM   #19
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That knob is the part of the Redarc controller system. The actual module you can put anywhere at any angle. The knob is all you see
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Old 09-14-2021, 04:19 PM   #20
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Yes, you need a brake controller, even on lighter units it makes a HUGE difference at highway speeds.



They are under $60 for the controller and small jumper harness - easy to install. Look up parts on https://www.etrailer.com/


Double check prices on Amazon.


Install videos available on etrailer or Youtube.


I installed one for my neighbor and saved him $300, he paid me a case of beer, good deal for 15 minutes of "work".



Good luck!
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