So you've purchased a caravan and have decked it out with all the bells and whistles ready for your first adventure. You keep thinking in the back of your head “have I forgotten something? What else do I need before I set off? One of the most overlooked aspects, when people purchase a caravan or heavy trailer, is fitting an electric brake controller to your vehicle. The link between tow vehicle and caravan is integral to safety and by having an electric brake controller installed you minimize the risk of having an accident.
Martin and Kylie of RVeethereYet.com have been lucky enough to spend the last 20 years travelling around Australia in caravans, they have used brake controllers long enough to know what constitutes a good electric brake controller. In one of their recent blogs they compared REDARC’s Tow-Pro Elite to Tekonsha’s P3 brake controller, the results are as follows.
When looking at the two units the first thing they noticed is a difference in the design. The two brake controllers look totally different and as a result perform differently. The Tekonsha P3 is designed to be mounted as a complete unit whereas the Tow-Pro Elite is much smaller in design and is more of incognito product in the sense that once it’s installed you forget it’s there.
The bigger size of the P3 can produce some issues with Martin and Kylie saying “All this functionality comes at a cost. The unit is quite large and finding a suitable location to mount it can be difficult especially with the introduction of knee airbags in many new vehicles.”
This is one of the key differences between the two products, the Tow-Pro Elite does not have the same issues, it’s very neat and its control box can be mounted anywhere giving it the look of an OEM product.
Performance is the most important aspect. A brake controller can look amazing and be easy to install but if it doesn’t perform well when towing then all the other factors are irrelevant. The Tow-Pro Elite responded better when braking than the P3 which would lock the brakes when hitting the road for the first time. Also adjusting the Tow-Pro Elite was as simple as turning a knob whilst the on the road, the P3 had to be adjusted via the LED screen which was not as straightforward and usually had to be done when stopped.
According to Martin and Kylie, the P3 is more geared towards the techno driver who likes to see everything, whereas the Tow-Pro Elite is more for those who like to get on with the driving forgetting it’s there by letting it do its job.
The Tow-Pro Elite wins this category by being easy to operate, Martin and Kylie said: “The REDARC unit is the easier of the two to operate, and where the competitor has a wealth of information, the REDARC gets away with a simple LED light sequence to tell you what’s happening.”
And the winner is?
Coming out on top was the Tow-Pro Elite; a number of factors got it over the line before its competitor. Overall the simple-yet-effective OEM style design giving it a stealth-like appearance was a big point of differentiation, after winning a number of awards including the 2017 Global Media Award at SEMA and an Innovation Award at the Caravan and Camping Industries Association of South Australia it’s easy to see why. The ease of use, smooth performance and simplicity of calibrating the unit can also be seen as a deciding factor.
Perhaps the biggest difference is that the Tow-Pro Elite is designed and manufactured in Australia and backed up with a 2-year warranty, home is where the heart is at and the same applies for electric brake controllers.
This article has been published with permission from Martin and Kylie from RVeeThereYet.com
Looking to start your 4x4, camper trailer or caravan upgrade but not sure what products will allow you to travel the way you want? Take the REDARC Hilux product tour to find out what products are best for your power management and towing needs.