Which brake controller is the right brake controller?
Great question! There are plenty of controllers on the market and it can be hard to work out which is the right one for your needs.
We hope to make your decision easier here.
First consideration is what type of brakes does your trailer use?
If you have an AL-KO sensabrake unit then read this!
AL-KO have been making sensabrake units for 15+ years. There are currently 3 main types of sensbrake units.
Sensabrake IQ7 ( formally known as LT1000e) These are relatively uncommon in NZ. Any standard brake controller should work with these. They look identical to the extreme units so check the decals.
Sensabrake IQ7 extreme ( formally known simply as LT1000 or just sensabrake). Only the AL-KO IQ7 EVO in car kit can control this unit properly.
And Sensabrake LT1400. This is the big boy of the AL-KO range and is usually only used in the 3500kg+ trailer range ( ie COF).
Only the AL-KO IQ7 EVO in car kit can control this unit properly.
Trailers 3500kgs+ check with your COF assessor but last we heard the only COF compliant brake controller is the AL-KO IQ7 EVO in car kit modified for COF use.
Electric hubs and most other hydraulic/ electric brake actuators ( non AL-KO) such as the Brakerite and hydrastar units can be controlled by most trailer brake controllers.
The REDARC tow pro elite and tow pro classic offer the best set and forget usability with a seperate control knob that can be mounted almost anywhere in the vehicle with vehicle specific inserts allowing for very clean installs.
The Tekonsha Prodigy P3 is the full featured brake controller that allows for more dedicated control of your braking needs with a more technical user interface that lets you know exactly what is going on.
The AL-KO IQ7 EVO in car kit can run electric hubs directly and non AL-KO hydraulic/ electric systems with added hardware. While this is the most expensive option it is the only option that actually measures your foot pressure on the brake pedal to deliver true proportional braking to your trailer. That is why it is the only COF compliant controller ( to our knowledge).
There are also trailer mounted controllers like the CMAG3+ and wireless controllers.
While these appear to save you $$ by not having to install any hardware in the tow vehicle, they often do need power supplies from the tow vehicle’s battery to run properly. Some vehicles have this power supply available at the trailer plug but most don’t.