Trailer Brake Controller?

Here's an appropriate topic for "The Paddock". Now that my wife bought a horse, she wants to get a horse trailer. That means I'll need to add an electric brake controller to my Toyota Tundra pickup truck.

I started doing some research and there appears to be three types of controllers: timed, inertial, and proportional.

Can anyone recommend a type of controller or a particular model?


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I did the research and proportional was best and of the proportionals the Tekonsha Prodigy was highly rated and that's what I purchased on-line froma Texas RV dealer for $130, complete with the pigtail to connect straight into my truck. I'm hauling a tri-axle 15,000# GVW trailer and very happy with it.
The Tekonsha Prodigy is an inertial design, and from my research it is currently considered by most RV trailer forums as about the best electric brake controller available. I just purchased one for a Ford Excursion that I use as a tow vehicle for an 8,000 pound travel trailer and also a horse trailer. Set-up for different trailer weights is very simple as I made the setting changes from the travel trailer to the horse trailer just last evening. Also, most new trucks are designed with a factory plug in connection under the dash for a brake controller. As Joules mentioned you just need to purchase the correct Tekonsha wire harness with the plug style for your tow vehicle. No splicing necessary, just plug it in and mount it with a couple screws. Installing and adjusting the brake controller is the easy part, getting the horse into the trailer is a whole different story.
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Or just trade the Toyo for a Ford with the built-in "Towcommand" brake controller. Tied into the ABS computer and with very simple gain adjust buttons (1 to 10 for brake force) it knows when you are in "OH SHIT" braking mode plus no "knee-knocker" to mount. On F-250-550 trucks now, available on the F150 for 2009 starting in August.

Commercial end.

Just a hint when you wire that controller. Make sure that you go directly to the battery with the primary 12v lead. This creates a fail safe in case you were to lose power or the motor in your tow vehicle shuts down.
I wired a controller for a customer who towed a rather large camper, he had changed out the starter a few days before, and went happily on his vacation. He had a short at the starter (where his accessory lead originated), the truck shut down going down a rather large hill, and the only brakes he had were in the trailer.
He was able to use the hand control on the actuator to stop as we had wired the controller directly to the battery.
I generally use a 30 amp circuit breaker, and 10 ga. wire for the hookup.
By the way that Tekonsha is an excellent controller. Generally each wheel pulls about 3 amps under full braking, so get a controller that will handle more axles than you have as you can always cut back if you have too much braking.