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Which is Best Digital Brake Controller at the Lowest Cost for a 2000 Chevrolet C1500


hello would like to know if this is the best quality and lowest cost digital readout brake controller. What else is needed to complete the installation on my 2000 Chevy LT Silverado 2wd 1500? I intend to tow an enclosed trailer with dual axles and electric brakes.

Expert Reply:

Brake controllers are divided into two categories, time delayed like the Draw-Tite Activator IV Electric Trailer Brake Controller, item # 5504, that you mentioned, and proportional like the Tekonsha PRIMUS IQ Electronic Brake Controller, item # TK90160, which has a digital display. These are the two lowest cost digital readout controllers in each category.

A time delayed brake controller sends a predetermined amount of braking power to the trailer and then there is a delay as the unit ramps up to full braking power. This predetermined amount of power remains the same no matter how hard you step on the brakes in the vehicle.

A proportional brake controller senses how quickly the tow vehicle is stopping and applies the same amount of braking power to the trailer, up to a predetermined setting, that is set by the user for the load in the trailer. An accelerometer senses the speed that the vehicle is slowing and and applies the trailer brakes equally as fast. This saves wear and tear on the vehicle braking system and makes a much smoother stop than with a time delayed controller. In an emergency stop a proportional brake controller will send the max power to the trailer brakes immediately making it safer than the time delayed models also.

A link to some more information on brake controllers is provided.

I would go with the proportional brake controller, you will be glad you did and if a digital display is not a major concern, the Tekonsha Voyager, item # 39510, is a very good proportional controller. The Primus has the digital display if you like that that style. A friend of mine works for a large construction company and they use the Primus controller exclusively on their vehicles that tow heavy equipment on trailers with electric brakes.

For your 2000 Chevy C1500 you will need to use the Brake Controller 7 & 4 Way Installation Kit, item # ETBC7, to install a 7-Way connector with the correct functions at the back of your truck. We have detailed instructions for you to view in our Brake Controller Installation, Starting from Scratch article, see link. This kit along with a working 4-way connector, or the T-One Wiring Harness, item # 118315, and the brake controller you select, will have all of the wiring, connectors and circuit breakers needed to do a professional looking installation on your pickup.

We also have a video install on a similar vehicle that should help, see link.

expert reply by:
Robert G

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