Do I Need A Brake Controller For My Camper?

camper on the open field

The brake controller is something you will find very useful whenever you intend to tow your camper or RV. You should know this because it isn’t safe to try and tow your RV with only the brakes from the vehicle you are using to tow the RV.

You might be wondering if it is possible for you to drive your RV or tow your RV without brake controllers. You might also be looking for more information about brake controllers. We are going to be giving you the required information about brake controllers, their usefulness, and a lot more.

Do I Need A Brake Controller For My Camper?

This is one question a lot of people tend to ask when it comes to towing an RV or camper. You might be wondering if you need a brake controller for your camper. Well, you should know brake controllers are a really important thing if you are going to be towing your RV or your camper.

Without a brake controller, it will be a little difficult or technical for you to tow your vehicle with ease. This is because the RV can occasionally run into your vehicle when you are towing it down a steep. This can cause you to lose balance when driving.

Apart from trying to avoid your RV from running into your vehicle as you are towing it down a steep, you will still need brake controllers as it helps to prevent accidents and a host of other things. You shouldn’t try towing your camper or RV without a brake controller as doing such is quite risky. 

Why is a Brake Controller Important?

The importance of a brake controller cannot be overemphasized. With a brake controller, you will be able to avoid a lot of towing accidents that might occur. We all know that there is a pretty large chance of your RV or camper running into your vehicle.

A brake controller helps you to avoid all these problems and challenges. This is why it is very much important. With your brake controller, you can easily drive down a descending road with ease and not worry about the camper you tow running onto your vehicle.

Brake controllers are one of the important things you need to consider when towing your camper.

What are Brake Controllers?

Regarding brake controllers, there are a lot of things you should know. However, the first thing we are going to be talking about is the entire concept of brake controllers. A brake controller is something you can use to control the brake system of your trailer or RV. Brake controllers are pretty smart devices. They receive information or input from sensors in your RV. These sensors monitor your speed, slip status, position, and a lot more.

Once they receive this information, they in turn notify you whenever it feels your vehicle is going too fast. You can manually press your brakes. If the brake controller is automatic, your RV or camper will brake itself.

What are the Types of Brake Controllers?

When it comes to brake controllers for your camper or RV, there are two basic types you will find in the market. These types are listed below.

– A Proportional Brake Controller

This is one unique and different brake controller. This brake controller uses sensors to monitor your RV brake system. All it does is to send the intensity of the vehicle brake during deceleration.

When it does this, it will then communicate the signals or data it received to the trailer. That way, both the trailer or RV you are towing and the vehicle you are using to tow the RV will brake at the same speed and time. 

A proportional brake controller, just as the name implies, makes sure everything is proportional to each other.  It is one brake controller you can use for your RV.

– Time Delay Brake Controller

This is another brake controller that would excite you. The time delay brake controller is one controller that allows the vehicle and your RV to brake at almost the same time. You might be wondering how this is possible, well, it is pretty easy.

With the time delay brake controller, you can easily get signals about the right time to apply the brake pressure in your vehicle. When you get the signal to apply the brake, you can easily apply the brakes.

Once the brakes are applied, it is going to take a couple of seconds before it applies to your RV when towing. This type of bake controller is perfect for some weather and roads.


How Can I Adjust RV Brake Controller?

It is pretty easy to make adjustments to your brake controller. With a few simple steps, you can fix or adjust your brake controller in just a matter of seconds. Below is a list of things to do if you will like to adjust your brake controller.

Step 1: Couple the trailer wiring harness

This is the first thing you need to do if you intend to tow your vehicle with a brake controller. You have to connect your trailer to your towing vehicle. Once this is done, you can then move on to the next stage.

Step 2: Plug in the brake controller

Once the necessary harness has been coupled, you can move on to plugging in the brake controller. You have to do this on a level surface as it would help to make the connection strong.

Also, you should know that your vehicle needs to be on for the brake controller to be properly connected.

Step 3: Allow the controller to calibrate

This is the next thing you need to do once you have plugged in the brake controller to your RV. You will have to take your time to allow your RV to calibrate. 

Some brake controllers calibrate by themselves, some others do not. It all depends on the type of brake controller you get.

Step 4: Do personal settings and select maximum output

Once the brake controller has successfully calibrated with your vehicle, the next thing you need to do is the personal settings.  Personal settings such as the angle and more will have to be adjusted.

Apart from that, you will have to take your see the maximum output for your brake controller. This output is the amount of power your brake controller can apply to the brake system of your camper. Once you do this, you are set and good to go.

Do I Need a Brake Controller If I Have a Tow Package?

If you have a tow package, you don’t necessarily need a brake controller. You will only need one if:

  • The trailer has electric brakes
  • It’s a caravan or camper trailer

If your truck doesn’t have a tow package and you still want to tow with it, then yes. You’ll need a brake controller. The reason for this is that most cars come with drum brakes on the rear wheels, which are not strong enough to stop heavy loads like trailers and other types of vehicles.

Can You Tow a Trailer With Electric Brakes?

Yes, you can tow a trailer with electric brakes. However, you’ll need to install a brake controller so that your vehicle’s brakes work in conjunction with the trailer’s electric brakes. How do you know if your vehicle has electric brakes? If it has an electric parking brake and a 7-way plug (or 4-way flat), then it probably has electric brakes.

If you’re going to have someone else install the brake controller for you, this is something they should be able to do at most garages or auto parts stores without much trouble. But if they don’t have any experience with it and aren’t willing to learn how from one of the many online resources available.

Also, you can also install this yourself; instructions are provided by manufacturers like Tekonsha on their websites for free.

Does Tow Package Include Brake Controller?

If you have a tow package, one of the things that it does not include is a brake controller. A brake controller is an electrical device that will automatically apply your trailer’s brakes when you apply your vehicle’s brakes. This allows for easier towing and braking and reduces the amount of stress placed on both vehicles.

If you plan on towing your vehicle, investing in a brake controller is a good idea. They can range in price from around $60-$300 depending on what features are included and whether or not they are wired directly into the vehicle’s electrical system or operate through wireless Bluetooth technology.

Do You Need a Brake Controller To Tow a Caravan?

A brake controller is not required for towing a caravan. If you tow something like a camper trailer or small boat, then you need to have the right kind of brake controller and wiring in place. You can tow a caravan without these, but it’s not recommended.

If you want to use your existing vehicle’s brakes as the braking system for your caravan, then that’s fine with most vehicles as long as they’re within their weight and load limits according to the manufacturer.

That means going over what was said earlier: if you have a tow package on your car and plan on using it for long-distance camping trips, it may be worth spending some extra money on an upgraded set of wheels, tires, springs or other components so that everything is up to par with federal regulations regarding highway safety standards when it comes time for inspection each year at renewal time, which happens every two years.

Does Jeep Tow Package Include Brake Controller?

It is important to note that your Jeep tow package will include a brake controller if it has been installed by the manufacturer, but this does not mean it is required. In most cases, when you purchase a new Dodge Ram or Jeep Wrangler with the “tow” option, you will also have a brake controller built into your vehicle. This can be confusing for some people who are looking for an external tow harness to add to their car so they can connect their trailer’s wiring system up correctly and safely.

If your vehicle comes with its own integrated brake controller system, congratulations! It just means that all you need to do is attach the wiring kit, which should come with instructions and plug in where necessary. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement though.

While these types of systems are convenient because they’re already installed from the factory, they sometimes don’t provide enough power output from their power source which may cause issues down the line when trying towing heavier loads behind larger trailers such as fifth wheels or travel trailers as opposed to smaller pop-up campers

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Brake controllers are pretty important for your camper. If you intend to tow your camper or RV, you will need your brake controllers. There are different types of brake controllers you can use for your RV, they have been discussed in the article above.

There are also steps you need to follow whenever you intend to use your brake controller. Simply read through this article and you will get all the necessary information you need.

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Written by Jane Miller

I'm Nomadic Jane, a digital nomad and travel blogger. Since 2009, I've been traveling the world and exploring cultures through my travel blog.

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