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Tekonsha Brake Controller 7-Way RV-Style Tester Review

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Review of the Tekonsha Brake Controller 7-Way RV-Style Tester

Hey everybody, Ryan here at etrailer. Today we're going to be checking out Tekonsha 7-Way tester, which will test your lighting functions, your auxiliary power, as well as your brake controller. Having a small tester like this on hand can really be convenient and I say that because I'm sure we've all been there before. You got to hook up your trailer and it's not acting right, whether it's the lights or your brake controllers acting phony and you start kind of trying to turn everything. Is it the truck that's given us issues Is it the trailer that's given us issues Is it both And it's a big headache. It usually never fails either easily, it's dark outside or it's raining or something like that and so, having a tester like this, what it's going to do is help isolate that problem.

So this is going to test your, vehicle side. Let's go plug that into the seven-way and then we can individually test all the functions, to help determine if it's our truck or the trailer. With this being a seven-way tester, it's going to give us six functions. The seventh of course is going to be our ground and so we're going to have six different lights that we can use to check things out. So, our left turn, our tail lamps, right turn, our backup or reverse, our brake controller and our 12 volt auxiliary power.

And so whenever we turn that function on in the truck or use that function, we should have power back here. So for example, this one that's lit up red right now. That's our 12 volt auxiliary power and so we know we have power back here. So if you have an issue with that power going to your trailer or something like that, chances are pretty good. You can isolate that, to the wiring or anything post our cluster here and the same thing that the brake controller.

So that's the center on here might be a little tricky to see, but a lot of times what happens since there's electrical components inside of here, it's kind of emulating a trailer that has brakes and a lot of time many brake controllers will kind of send a pulse back, to identify that a trailer isn't being plugged in. So you can see every now and again, we get a small blinking light. So, with this plugged in our brake controller is recognizing that, hey, I have something plugged in and we'll go from there. So inside of our truck, I just kind of wanted to give you guys an idea on how this has got to work and so I got this unplugged and keep in mind, every brake controller is going to be a little bit different and how they're going to react will be a little bit different. But, generally speaking this is going to be kind of on par.

So if you look at our brake controller here and I'm just going to use our manual override, as an example. If we try to hit that, you can see it says no trailer connected. So what I'm going to do is plug in our connector here, to the back of our seven-way and what's going to happen is, that it's going to emulate us plugging in a trailer. So now, the screen changed. It says we're hooked up and it's going to light or send power back out to it. Alright, now that we've seen kind of how the brake controller aspect of it works. Why don't we go ahead and just check the rest of them out and just test our truck out while we're at here. So I'll go ahead and run through all of her different functions. So go ahead and try out our left turn signal, our right turn signal, our brake lamps, our running lights and last but not least our reverse lights. There is one thing that I do want to address and that's using this, with a lot of these late model trucks that come equipped with factory brake controllers. So just out of curiosity, I did try this one on another truck we have here and it's a late model Ram 25 hundred has that factory brake controller. Everything worked as far as the lighting signals and like things like that go, but the brake controller one, all it was doing was pulsing. So the computer recognize something was plugged in, but if you tried to manually override it or hit the brakes like as if you we're driving, nothing would happen. So I think the computer in it was a little bit smarter than this and we kind of get it to work and honestly, that seems to be the case of a lot of these newer late model trucks with the factory brake controllers. In my experience at least, trying to test on with things like this always doesn't seem to work out. I'm not sure if they've just got it figured out yet, or why we even use some, pretty high dollar testers and it's really hit or miss. So if you have a vehicle like that, definitely something to keep in mind and that holds particularly true with a lot of these late model Fords that from fifties and up, a lot of them have what's called a smart trailer connector. Now I believe and those things do, when you're trying to test them with testers like this, or even other testers, they kind of have in my experience almost a mind of their own. It's hard to get them to work sometimes and you kind of have to do some different things to kind of almost fool the factory computer or trick it if you will. So, if you had something like that, this may or may not work at least for the brake controller testing portion or the 12 volt testing portion. So definitely something just to keep in mind, but, if you have an older truck with the factory brake controller or any vehicle for that matter with an aftermarket brake controller chances are really good that you're going to be able to use all the functions that this provides us with. So honestly, a pretty nice little unit, relatively small it's something that can easily be kept your on your glove box or your center counsel. That's not to say though it couldn't be improved upon it. It's a pretty simple device. I think something that would be kind of cool, but it depends on how carried away you'd want to get. I think it'd be cool if there might be a little screen that, almost like a volt meter that would tell you exactly how much, auxiliary power you have back here. Because there might be enough to light the light up and I know the light gets deemed to bright, but, it's sometimes hard to say. So that thing there would be pretty cool because you might be thinking you have 12 volts and you really only got eight or something like that. Maybe you got a bad wire or whatever the case may be. Same thing with the brake controller, on your brake controllers when you hit that manual override or hit the brakes, it puts that number out, on the brake controller. I think it'd be really cool if that was back here too, that we could kind of compare the two. If it's putting out, let's say 5 brake controller and less than that back here, you have an issue that lies between the two. But that's just kind of thinking out loud. I think it'd be a nice touch, but honestly, I don't really think there's anything out there like that. But at the end of the day this is going to get you going. It's going to kind of help you eliminate some issues that you could potentially have with your trailer side or your truck side and keep everything isolated and just to kind of keep make sure everything's going in the right direction. Even something like this would be really useful for, maybe you planning on buying a new trailer, right, and you get there and kind of just take the guy's word for it or you get a hooked up and something's wrong and they say, oh, I forgot. it has this or that going on well. At the same time you're wondering if maybe it's your truck has an issue that's causing it. Because he said it works or whatever. So you could verify that your truck's in good shape and go from there. Whether you need to work on the truck side or your trailer side. Just to kind of compare this one to some of the other seven-way testers. Here we have kind of just your standard deal and nothing wrong with this. It does have a light for the brake controller, but sensors no real electronics in here this really isn't an emulator. It's not, emulating a trailer getting pulled behind your vehicle. So, I've had them in the past where especially with the brake controller portion what I'm referring to. Where something like this that does work and then other brake controllers are a little too smart for it. They don't think you have anything hooked up. So, if you're someone just wanting to test your seven-way functions, don't have a brake controller, don't really care. Something like this will work just fine. If you've got that brake controller want to test it, this is probably going to be the way to go. With that said though, I can't speak for every single brake controller out there. There is a ton of them available, but being the fact that this does emulate a trailer, chances are pretty good. It's going to work with just about all those aftermarket brake controllers out there. And that will finish up our look at of the Tekonsha seven-way tester for your brake controller, 12 volt auxiliary power and your lighting functions..

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Employee Ryan G
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