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Brake Controller Needed and Differences Between Electric and Electric/Hydraulic Braking Systems

Question:

I am trying to decide which brake controller is best for my 1998 Dodge 1500. Please explain electric versus electric over hydraulic. Im not sure if I need that option. I currently like the primus controller but it does not have the above option. Any help would be appreciated.

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Helpful Expert Reply:

I'd be happy to explain that a bit for you.

There are a few different braking systems available for trailers, with electric being the most common. The brake controller sends voltage back to the electromagnets in the brake assemblies, which stick to the inside of the drums, spreading the brake drums apart so they push against the inside of the drums helping to stop the trailer.

Some trailers use hydraulic brakes, like cars do. These can be actuated by a surge coupler that compresses when the tow vehicle applies the brakes or by an electric over hydraulic system. The brake controller senses that the vehicle is stopping and sends voltage to the electric over hydraulic actuator on the trailer, which activates a pump that activates the brakes. As you noted, some controllers can be used with bolt types of systems.

If you'll only be towing trailers with standard electric trailer brakes, the Tekonsha Primus you referenced would be an excellent choice. If you think that you might be towing trailers with electric brakes as well as trailers with electric over hydraulic brake systems, you'll want to use a controller that's also compatible with electric over hydraulic systems like the Prodigy P2, # 90885.

If your Ram already has the factory installed 7-way trailer connector at the rear, all you'll need to do is install the controller using the # 3020-P wiring adapter that will allow you to plug the controller in under the dash. If your Ram only has the 4-pole trailer connector, you'll also need the # 37185 adapter. If there is no trailer connector, you'll need to hardwire the controller using our brake controller install kit. You'd also need to install a 4-pole # 118329.

I've linked you to some help articles with more information about installing a brake controller on a Dodge Ram.

helpful expert reply by:
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Mike L

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