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Curt Echo Brake Controller Manual Override Button Review

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Review of the Curt Echo Brake Controller Manual Override Button


Hey everybody, Ryan here at etrailer. Today, we're going to be checking out the manual override button for the Curt Echo wireless brake controller. So a lot of people, including myself, are really happy to see that Curt came out with this manual override button. It's a wireless button that can pair up to your phone, more or less, and work in conjunction with your Echo wireless brake controller. Now that Echo wireless brake controller, it's relatively new, but you know, some time's went by and a lot of people are really happy with them. They seem to work really well, they're reliable and so on.

But, the thing is when something relatively new like that comes out, it takes a little bit of time to kind of see what you like and don't like about it. And one of the things was the fact that the only way to manually override and activate just your trailer brakes was on your phone screen. And you'd have to hold this button down to apply those, to just apply your trailer brakes. Well, the thing is with that, it works good, nothing wrong with it, but the manual override button, usually isn't a button that you're going to have to use all that much, and when you do need it, you want it to be right there and easy to get to. So the problem is, on your phone, you got other things going on, you might set the phone down in the cup holder or whatever, and that situation comes along where you need to hit that manual override.

Well, then you're digging around and taking your eyes off the road, trying to find your phone and everything else. So having a button that's going to be wireless and mounted where you can easily see it, you kind of just subconsciously know it's there. It's going to make things a lot easier. So, in that event, regardless of where your phone is here in the vehicle, you can have the confidence, reach up, hit that button and apply your trailer brakes. So honestly this manual override button would probably be something that I would right away think, "eh, I can get by without it, really, really don't mind" and everything like that.

And then honestly, I could see myself using the Echo for some time and kind of realizing, "yeah, you know, this might be worth it." And that it would be nice to have a button like that. And I say that because, with the app, or, I'm sorry, with the brake controller app, using your phone, people like to use their phone for other stuff and you know, let's face it. If you're using an Echo brake controller, you're probably doing it to go on vacation and pull a camper around and things like that, and so a lot of times when you're doing that, what's the first thing you're going to do You're at the house, you get loaded up and say we're going here. First thing we're going to do, right, get on your phone and pull up maps and get the directions and that way you know where you're going. So with that in mind, your brake controllers, still going to work as long as your app is open and the manual button here is still going to work as long as its app is open.

It can be in the background, so you could have your maps or your instructions or whatever you got to going, being your primary thing, and this is all still going to work. So without the button, let's say, if you have your maps up and you needed to hit the button, you would have to do a lot of messing around here to hit the button, and like I said, this is kind of, a lot of times you used kind of in a quick situation, emergency type situation. So probably going to be out of time at that point. And so having this button here, it just makes things a lot more streamlined. And, I know from experience too, you got this thing going, maybe you got some kids in the car and they're getting cranky. You know, a lot of times you can keep them quiet. They want to play their game or watch your little movie and you can actually give them the phone and they can do their thing as long as this is up and going. You're still going to be able to hit that manual override button up here. So when it comes to comparing this to some of the other products available, honestly, it's kinda tough. This one's kind of in a league of its own, considering the brake controllers wireless, this is wireless and everything else, it kind of stands out from the rest of the crowd and don't get me wrong, there is options out there as far as brake controllers go that have really small controls like this. Some even a little bit smaller, that allow you to do all your brake controller settings and hit the manual override and so on. But keep in mind, those are, those are wired. And generally speaking, they're a lot thicker and so you have a lot of freedom on where you can put those, but not as much as this. Since this is literally wireless and it just sticks on with that sticky tape. I mean, you can put this wherever you want, as long as it fits and it makes sense and it's safe. I mean, you have the ultimate freedom as far as that goes. Now with that said, is there some things that could be improved a little bit You know, I think so, there's always room for improvement, right It would be nice if this was just a hair smaller, you know, I don't want to get too carried away because then it might be kind of tricky to actually push that button. But a little bit smaller would be nice. If you guys are wondering, if you got a spot in mind you want to put it, it is 1 1/8" round and the thickness is about 3/8", so pretty compact. The first thing that I said was, "it'd be nice if the plastic was black in color," I mean to each your own, but you know, I see a lot of vehicles here at the shop and most of the dashes are a darker color or black in color. And so might just kind of blend in a little bit more, but then again, I'm just kind of being nitpicky and it would be cool too, if maybe the light up ring, so I know this is kind of, I got some high expectations here, but I'm just kinda thinking out loud, it would be cool. Whenever you hit the button, you see how that blue ring comes around. I think it would be pretty cool if they could integrate that into the button, but not the end of the world. You know, nothing to call home about, just something I thought would be pretty neat. We did get a lot of questions about people asking, "how this actually gets power," and there's just a small battery in there. Kind of reminds me of a watch battery. Those real flat batteries, they almost look like a nickel and this piece here, I'm not going to do it, just because I don't want to come disconnected and have to re-go through everything. But this piece is just going to kind of 1/4 turn and this can pop off and then you can pop that battery out and change it. So, you know, any type of general stores is probably going to have one of those types of batteries. So they last quite a bit, this is something that you're not going to probably be using a ton. So you should get a quite some time out of it. If the battery goes then, not really a huge deal, just pick up a new one, pop it in, and you'll be set for a while again. As far as actually getting the manual override button set up super easy, especially if you already have a little bit use with the Curt Echo brake controller, it's just a couple simple steps. I mean, just about anyone should be able to figure this out, even if you're kind of new to the Echo brake controller and it's program that it uses to work and everything else. A few simple steps, especially when it comes to getting this thing mounted, more or less just clean it and stick it on there, and you'll just pair the two together. So really shouldn't give you too many issues, but if you want to check that out, let's go ahead and put this up together now. To actually get the button put in place, it is about as simple as it can get, literally. I mean, since it's wireless, really nothing to it at all. All you're going to do is pick out a spot where you want to mount it, you know, your favorite spot on your dash or wherever. Make sure that area is clean and then there's some two-sided sticky tape. This isn't your classic kind of foam sticky tape. It's like a clear, almost gel, and I mean, it is no joke. If you barely touch it, it's super sticky, it's not going to go anywhere. With that said, just for kind of demonstration purposes, I'm not going to use that tape and stick it to this dash. What I'm going to do, I just kind of cut out a piece of tape here, we'll put that on there. And like I said, just kind of for video purposes, that's what we'll use, but like I said, just pick out your spot, I think right here would kind of be cool. You'd stick it to it, and with that tape, I feel like, make sure you can have it where you want it and it's nice and straight, because I feel like that other tape, you put it on there, it's not coming off. At least not very easily. So that's really all there is to it as far as getting this thing mounted up where you want it. From there, you are going to have to pair the button up with your brake controller, more or less. So get your brake controller, the Echo, plugged in, get it synced up with your phone via Bluetooth. And you'll ended up getting to your main profile page here and what you're going to have to do, top left corner, in our case. Every phone might be set up a little bit different, but we click that, we'll have Echo manual override button. Well, you will click that, start scan, and now it says, "press and hold down the manual override button" so we'll hold this down, and this just popped right up. So it said "pairing request, it's been added." We'll go ahead and pair. "Echo manual override button has been added." So it looks like we're in pretty good shape there. So, this is actually pretty cool. So it says that we're connected here, with a little green dot and something that kind of sticks out to me, which is really neat, it says "batter level 100%." So, it gives us a battery life indicator as well. And I think that's really nice actually. So once you go, you get the button connected, you go back to your profile that you use to pull the trailer. Pretty nice up there at the top, it says "Echo manual override button status connected" so it lets us know that we're paired up to our button here. And I'm hooked up to our trailer, so go ahead and try it out. We'll push your button down and you can see, the brakes are indeed being applied. So, I'll give it a second here to kind of do this thing. And it's working like it should. Now, we don't lose the ability to use our smartphone as well. So whatever's more convenient for you, or let's say, if maybe your battery, you use this a lot, maybe the battery dies out over time and you just haven't had a chance to run to the store and pick up a new one. You can always still default to your phone. So you're not going to lose the ability to do it off your phone as well. So at the end of the day, if you're using a Curt Echo, the wireless brake controller, honestly I think the manual override button would be something that you'd be really happy with. You know, as far as the looks go and just the a little bit of extra safety. Whenever you're towing things down the road, it's good to have confidence and good to know that everything's going to work if you need it to. And just sitting in the truck here, if I'm, just imagine pulling a trailer, you know, I'd feel a lot better about just simply keeping my eyes on the road, a hand on the wheel and hitting a button and not even thinking about it, as opposed to kind of having to do one of these deals, look down, grab the phone and push the button that way. So, help keep everyone a little bit safer and it's something that I'm glad that Curt came out with. And that'll finish up our look at of the manual override button for the Curt Echo wireless brake controller..


Info for this part was:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Ryan G
Installed by:
Ryan G
Employee Joshua S
Video by:
Joshua S
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T

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