The proper brake control, properly installed, is critical to your safety and your enjoyment of the towing experience.
While there are dozens of controllers available on the market—and some for very little money—this is one piece of equipment where it is not safe to make a frugal choice.
At Can-Am, we don't sell the cheap controllers, but we do throw out lots of them.
There is no one answer when it comes to brake controls. The key is a high-quality controller designed for your particular tow vehicle and trailer. We have experimented with a lot of controllers over the years, and had found that many work well in some situations, but not necessarily in all.
We strongly recommend that you avoid controls that work work off your stop light switch. These activate the trailer brakes and increase braking with the length of time the stop light switch remains on. However, this set-up doesn't allow for panic situations. The stop-light switches are designed to provide gradual braking power to avoid locking up. In a panic situation there can be up to a 2-second delay before the brakes achieve full strength. At 100 kmph, this results in lot of distance being covered without full stopping power.
Other controllers will work off the stoplight switch but also utilize an internal pendulum that will bring on maximum power much sooner. These controllers have to be installed and then levelled by a side mounted knob. Some controllers like Tekonsha's Prodigy series have an internal level which makes adjusting the braking power much easier.
We are frequently asked about the factory-issued controllers that come with some of the new trucks. In most circumstances they work very well. We have encountered some challenges when teaming them up with hydraulic disk brakes on some of the trailers, but these are not very common at this time.