Recommended Wireless Brake Controller for Easy Towing of Trailers Without Physical Mounting Required

Question:

This is more of a philosophical question than practical... but maybe it could be helpful. I don’t know. I like these brake controllers because they allow so much flexibility and are so quick to install for any tow vehicle. They aren’t an “investment” in the vehicle, many of which at quite involved to install. The simple 12 v power plus a 4-pin connector is really al that’s needed. Many vehicles just have a 4-pin, and this is a quick and easy way to upgrade to a 7 with a brake controller. But do I “need” to mount the TK94FR on the trailer? What if I often rent or borrow trailers with electric brakes? Could I possibly mount the TK94FR in my truck bed for a faster hookup? Thank you!

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Expert Reply:

The Tekonsha Prodigy RF Wireless Trailer Brake Controller # TK94FR must be mounted to the trailer in a certain way in order to function correctly. It cannot be connected to the tow vehicle.

A better option for you is the new Curt Echo Wireless Trailer Brake Controller # C51180 which is designed to be used on the vehicle side and can easily stow in your glove box when not in use. It utilizes Bluetooth for the remote function utilizing a downloadable app. Once paired and set, the phone or tablet is not required for use of the controller except for the manual override feature as the controller stores the last setting used, so if the battery on your device fails you are still able to use all the other features and the controller will still work.

I've attached installation videos to assist. Let me know if you have further questions.

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Jason S

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Follow up Questions

Tim

Thanks Jacob, The problem is that it is a hybrid. Toyota has so many safety systems that it is not possible to hard wire a 7pole plug to operate the electric trailer brakes. Our dealership has tried and it resulted in major electrical problems. That is why they suggested a remote device like the Tekonsha Prodigy RF Electronic Brake Control #90250. It is not possible to hardwire the brakes to a hybrid system. HOW SAFE ARE THE REMOTES LIKE THE THE TEK PROD rf #90250 AND WILL IT MESS UP MY CARS ELECTRONICS OF THE HYBRID SYSTEM? Thanks 70380

Reply from Chris R.

Wireless controllers like the Prodigy RF (which actually is no longer available) and the Curt Echo # C51180 won't have any effect on your Hybrid's electrical system. The Echo will simply plug into the new 7-Way on your RAV4 and uses only the 12V power circuit for operation. It then pairs to your smart phone via Bluetooth (so you can adjust settings, activate the emergency brake, etc) and simply sends back power to the trailer brakes based on deceleration. It's totally independent from your RAV4 except for the power it needs from the 12V pin that's wired up to the battery. I really like the Echo and it's extremely reliable. To upgrade your 4-Way you can use # ETBC7L , which includes just the wiring needed to activate that 12V circuit. 57463

Tim

I have a 2019 RAV4 hybrid. It can tow a trailer up to 1,750. The dry wt of our camper trailer w/o fluids or gear is 1,690. The trailer has electric brakes. It has been recommended to install a wireless remote and to change the 4pin connect to a 7 pin connect using only 4 pins for the lights and 1 pin to charge the RV battery. HOW SAFE ARE THE REMOTES LIKE THE THE TEK PROD rf #90250 AND WILL IT MESS UP MY CARS ELECTRONICS OF THE HYBRID SYSTEM? 70368

Reply from Jacob H.

You will need to wire your camper to supply your trailer with breaks. I recommend adding a 7 pole plug on the back of the vehicle with a brake wire and a charge line. This will give you the stopping power that you will need when pulling a trailer that weighs as much as 1,690 lbs with your Toyota RAV4. You will need to wire up a Universal Installation Kit for Trailer Brake Controller # ETBC7 and a brake controller. We have many different brake controllers available but my go-to is always the Tekonsha P3. I have linked a video showing how to wire up a ETBC7 in a 2011 Toyota RAV4 and it will wire very similarly to your 2019 RAV4. It should have no effect on your electronics in your vehicle. 57457

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