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Reasonably Priced Brake Controller Recommendation for 2021 Honda Ridgeline


2021 honda ridgeline. i will use this for going in and out of the lake 2 times a year. i only drive a mile. which brake controller do you recommend. also does it come with plug and play. Does the tenonsha 39523 controller automatically adjust for load or do you dial it in? I dont think i need a expensive controller and which unit do you recommend?


Expert Reply:

Since you won't use the controller a whole lot, I wouldn't recommend spending a huge amount of money on the controller but I'd still recommend you go with a controller that's easy to use and provides safe, predictable and effective braking.

There's nothing wrong with the Tekonsha # 39523 PowerTrac time-delayed brake controller, but I typically recommend going with a proportional controller. Once you set the desired output of the controller, a time-delayed controller will always deliver the same amount of voltage to the trailer brakes, whether you make a quick tap on the brake pedal or a full-out panic stop. A proportional controller features an internal accelerometer that can sense how quickly the tow vehicle is braking, and will then deliver the appropriate amount of voltage to the trailer brakes so that the trailer and the tow vehicle stop at the same rate.

Due to the importance of having effective trailer braking, I'd recommend going with an inexpensive proportional controller like the Brake EVN # TK63VR. Is this more expensive than the PowerTrac controller you'd looked at? Sure it is, but I'm certain you'd find the i-Command much easier to use and much more effective than a time-delayed brake controller.

You'll also need the # 3070-P brake controller wiring harness that would allow the controller to plug into the factor tow package connector under the dash. The connector is located under the dash just to the left of the steering column, taped to another harness next to the top of the brake pedal as shown in the provided photo.

You'll need to do an initial setup of the controller, but after that you shouldn't need to readjust it unless the weight of the trailer changes.

I've linked to a video showing how the Brake EVN brake controller works, as well as to an install video. The video shows a different controller being installed, but the install procedure for the controller I recommended would be identical to what's shown in the video.

Brake Controller Connector Location 2nd Gen Honda Ridgeline
Brake Controller Connector Location 2nd Gen Honda Ridgeline
(click to enlarge)
expert reply by:
Mike L

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