Brake Controller and Weight Distribution for a 2000 Chevy Astro and Trail Lite Bantam B19


We have a 2000 Chevy Astro Van, what is the brake controller box we should be looking at for our van to pull our 19 ft RV? Also, what should we be looking at for a weight distribution hitch and/or sway bar system for our van with our camper. We have a Trail Lite Bantam B19? This is all new to us and we just want a reasonably cost system for both things that will do the job it needs to do.

Helpful Expert Reply:

First, for a brake controller, you will need 3 things: a 4-Way trailer wiring harness, an installation kit that includes a 7-Way, and a brake controller.

If your 2000 Chevy Astro does not already have a 4-Way then you will start by adding one using # 18252. I have linked a video showing the installation procedure. If your van already has a 4-Way you will not need to add another one.

Next you will need the 4- and 7-Way installation kit # ETBC7. This provides the 7-Way trailer connector and the wiring and accessories you will need to wire in the brake controller. I have included some links that explain the ETBC7 installation for you.

For a brake controller there are several options. I recommend the Tekonsha Prodigy P3 # 90195. This is a proportional brake controller that will apply the trailer brakes in proportion to how much the van is braking. This is the safest way to stop and it reduces wear and tear on the vehicle and trailer. I have included a link to our brake controller FAQ for you.

For weight distribution you will need to go by the tongue weight of the trailer when loaded and ready to tow then add to that the weight of any cargo carried behind the rear axle of the tow vehicle. Based on some information I was able to find on the internet, it looks like the weight of the trailer is around 2900 pounds.

I recommend a system that is rated for 200 to 600 pounds tongue weight like # 49585. This is an entry level system so the cost is low and it comes with everything you will need except a ball. If the trailer coupler takes a 2 inch ball use # A-90. For a 2-5/16 inch ball use # 19286. You can add sway control to this system using # 83660 if you find that you have a sway issue.

Make sure that the trailer hitch on your van is rated for use with weight distribution. There should be a sticker on the hitch with this information. I have included some links that will help you with brake controllers and weight distribution.

helpful expert reply by:
Michael H

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