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Brake controller for camper or no?

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by Incubus311, Mar 25, 2021.

  1. Mar 25, 2021 at 10:41 AM
    #1
    Incubus311

    Incubus311 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys I’m going to pick a camper up this weekend and it will be my first time towing.

    I have a 17’ Tacoma Sport with a tow rating of 6800lbs and the camper has a dry weight of 1840lbs, is 15ft., and has electric brakes.

    The dealership is offering to add a wireless brake controller to the quote but I would like add my own when I get home since the truck is pre-wired for one.

    My main question is do you think towing the camper back will be OK without the brake controller? I’m told the electric brakes on the camper do not work without a controller so braking would just be coming from the Tacoma.

    Just don’t want to pay for a wireless brake controller when I’d rather have a hardwired one. Camper won’t have anything in it so it will be 1840lb. I am getting sway bars installed
     
  2. Mar 25, 2021 at 11:33 AM
    #2
    GoldenBrew

    GoldenBrew Insufficient Privilege

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    Don't forget about the importance of trailer brake, turn, stop and running lights. Sure your truck will stop the 1840 lb trailer from running over you - but stay at or below the speed limit and give yourself plenty of space to stop.

    It takes like 30 minutes to install a Tekonsha P3 and wiring harness (3031-P) so if you have the time it might be worth the effort to do this first - but if not - I'd hold off on any other towing until you are fully protected with a proper controller with compatible wiring.
     
    #4TOY4ME likes this.
  3. Mar 25, 2021 at 11:37 AM
    #3
    Incubus311

    Incubus311 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what you mean by “Don't forget about the importance of trailer brake, turn, stop and running lights.”

    I plan on installing the Redarc Tow Pro once I get home. I just don’t want to purchase their $250 wireless brake controller for one ride ya know? I suppose I could sell it
     
    REDARC_Ryan likes this.
  4. Mar 25, 2021 at 11:47 AM
    #4
    DingleTower

    DingleTower Well-Known Member

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    Where/how far are you towing it? I'd tow it no worries without a controller within reason.
     
  5. Mar 25, 2021 at 11:48 AM
    #5
    tonered

    tonered tacorider

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    How far are you driving? No freeways? No known danger areas?

    IMHO, if it has brakes, I would have a controller. If your looking at a common model, pay the extra $$ and grab one from a local store.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2021
  6. Mar 25, 2021 at 11:54 AM
    #6
    vicali

    vicali Chilling at YMH

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    Wouldn't go around the block without our brake controller, but that's a 19ft ~5000lbs trailer.
    I'll play devils advocate - what if you rear end someone>?
     
  7. Mar 25, 2021 at 11:58 AM
    #7
    Lt. Dangle

    Lt. Dangle RIP @stun gun 2016-2020

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    At 1840 lbs., you are fine without a brake controller. That's pretty light.
     
    Tacowin1013 and DingleTower like this.
  8. Mar 25, 2021 at 12:01 PM
    #8
    TacoSupremo19

    TacoSupremo19 Well-Known Member

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    Electric brakes = Controller. I installed the Redarc. Very clean and easy install with the knob insert you can buy for a few bucks and don't have to spend an hour cutting and drilling your switch blank.
     
    REDARC_Ryan and tclavell like this.
  9. Mar 25, 2021 at 12:01 PM
    #9
    DingleTower

    DingleTower Well-Known Member

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    The same as if he rear ended them without a trailer.

    Most states don't require brakes on anything under 3000lbs.

    Drive within reason, remember to leave braking room (applies to towing with/without trailer brakes anyway) and everything should be fine.

    The guy is just trying to get home.
     
    Lt. Dangle likes this.
  10. Mar 25, 2021 at 12:10 PM
    #10
    jorgem

    jorgem Well-Known Member

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    It will tow it and stop fine.
    Just like everyone says leave long stopping distances and focus on the actions of other drivers around you.
     
    Incubus311 [OP] likes this.
  11. Mar 25, 2021 at 12:23 PM
    #11
    Incubus311

    Incubus311 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    6 hour drive so mainly highway.
    NC to South Jersey
     
  12. Mar 25, 2021 at 12:24 PM
    #12
    Incubus311

    Incubus311 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    That’s what I’m going to install once I get home. Just can’t get it shipped in time since I’m going down this weekend to get the camper
     
  13. Mar 25, 2021 at 12:26 PM
    #13
    Incubus311

    Incubus311 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    If the trailer was loaded I’d probably just let them sell me the wireless controller but it should just be at the 1840 pound
     
    DingleTower and Lt. Dangle like this.
  14. Mar 25, 2021 at 12:29 PM
    #14
    tclavell

    tclavell Well-Known Member

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    if your trailer is equipped with electric brakes, I'd say yes. Any help you can get from the trailer brakes and not 100% reliant on the truck is a good thing. I always have my trailer brake on, even if at the lowest setting, if i'm pulling my 2000lb SxS.
     
  15. Mar 25, 2021 at 12:31 PM
    #15
    cspcrx

    cspcrx Well-Known Member

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    Will the trailer lights still work without a brake controller installed? I have never tried or check that. Easy enough to do.
     
  16. Mar 25, 2021 at 12:37 PM
    #16
    79CHKCHK

    79CHKCHK Well-Known Member

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    At less then 2000 lbs and a one time trip you'll be fine. Take it easy and install the tow pro when you get home. I tow a 2500 lbs off road trailer regularly and have a tow pro. You'll be glad you have one after install. Towed my trailer a couple times with out a brake controller and I could tell while braking but it isn't dangerous.
     
  17. Mar 25, 2021 at 12:39 PM
    #17
    DingleTower

    DingleTower Well-Known Member

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    Definitely will. Even though it's the same plug it's a sperate wiring system for the brakes and the lights.
     
    REDARC_Ryan likes this.

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