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Old 12-04-2022, 08:49 AM   #1
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Bluetooth Brake Controller

Researching brake controllers for my 2022 Ram 1500. Knocking around the idea of a Curt or other brands wireless controller.

I can't get a solid answer in my research if the wireless models will interfere or not fully support my RV battery from charging while driving.

Anyone got some feedback? Thanks.
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Old 12-04-2022, 12:12 PM   #2
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your Ram doesn't have a factory trailer brake system? my 2010 gmc had the usual integrated brake system failure. i end up installing a RedArc brake comptroller its electronic and was easy to install. it works really good. i don't think i would put much faith in Bluetooth, when its controlling something as important as brakes. https://www.redarcelectronics.com/
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Old 12-04-2022, 06:42 PM   #3
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The brakes shouldn't be interacting with the camper battery charging.
I haven't used a bluetooth controller but it sounds like a bad idea to me. Brakes are very important. Bluetooth makes a fairly simple system needlessly complicated.
I would look into having a dealer install the factory controller in the truck. In my experience factory controllers are far superior to anything else. I'm surprised a truck that new doesn't have one.
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Old 12-07-2022, 08:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by breeves2245 View Post
Researching brake controllers for my 2022 Ram 1500. Knocking around the idea of a Curt or other brands wireless controller.

I can't get a solid answer in my research if the wireless models will interfere or not fully support my RV battery from charging while driving.

Anyone got some feedback? Thanks.
I am missing the purpose/benefit of going to a wireless brake controller. What are the benefits of it?
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Old 12-07-2022, 08:35 AM   #5
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I am missing the purpose/benefit of going to a wireless brake controller. What are the benefits of it?
One benefit that was touted when I looked into them years ago was that you could install them on the trailer and did not have to have a brake controller on the vehicle. Once mounted on the trailer, any vehicle with a capable hitch could tow the trailer. Get a new truck, no problem. Cousin Joe wants to borrow the trailer, no problem.

I heard that some commercial ventures liked being able to pull a trailer with multiple vehicles in their garage.

I thought it might have made good sense on my popup trailer, since it really didn't take much of a vehicle to tow it. When towing a 7K pound trailer like my TT, I think any vehicle that is capable of towing should already have a trailer brake controller.

It also may be a good solution where an integrated trailer brake controller goes out and repair is too costly or not possible.

I have seen bluetooth communication issues too much at this point to consider it a reliable solution.
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Old 12-07-2022, 09:11 AM   #6
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One benefit that was touted when I looked into them years ago was that you could install them on the trailer and did not have to have a brake controller on the vehicle. Once mounted on the trailer, any vehicle with a capable hitch could tow the trailer. Get a new truck, no problem. Cousin Joe wants to borrow the trailer, no problem.

I heard that some commercial ventures liked being able to pull a trailer with multiple vehicles in their garage.

I thought it might have made good sense on my popup trailer, since it really didn't take much of a vehicle to tow it. When towing a 7K pound trailer like my TT, I think any vehicle that is capable of towing should already have a trailer brake controller.

It also may be a good solution where an integrated trailer brake controller goes out and repair is too costly or not possible.

I have seen bluetooth communication issues too much at this point to consider it a reliable solution.
Never seen this but I'm no expert.

Our TV (BMW) has a 7-pin plug but no factory brake controller so I looked at the BT options. They all have a controller mounted inside the cab and connected to the brake circuit and 12v, then the receiver is mounted on the trailer or, in the case of vehicles without the 7-pin connector there is a Bluetooth-controlled model that mounts to the bumper/rear of the TV (like the Curt). Reports are they work quite well. I would imagine this model works the same as any 7-pin plug, including charging the trailer batteries.

We ended up with a hard-wired Tekonsha.
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Old 12-07-2022, 01:21 PM   #7
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Never seen this but I'm no expert.

Our TV (BMW) has a 7-pin plug but no factory brake controller so I looked at the BT options. They all have a controller mounted inside the cab and connected to the brake circuit and 12v, then the receiver is mounted on the trailer or, in the case of vehicles without the 7-pin connector there is a Bluetooth-controlled model that mounts to the bumper/rear of the TV (like the Curt). Reports are they work quite well. I would imagine this model works the same as any 7-pin plug, including charging the trailer batteries.

We ended up with a hard-wired Tekonsha.
The controller "mounted" in the TV did not have to be actually mounted, just take it with you to a new vehicle.

On my 2015 Canyon, I opted for a hard-wired Tekonsha P3 over the BT options - the impression at that time was they were pretty new technology.

I searched hard and long, drove an hour out of the DFW area to find a Silverado with the factory controller. City dealers weren't selling trucks to tow trailers I guess. Had to find a rural dealer.
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Old 12-07-2022, 08:29 PM   #8
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The controller "mounted" in the TV did not have to be actually mounted, just take it with you to a new vehicle.

On my 2015 Canyon, I opted for a hard-wired Tekonsha P3 over the BT options - the impression at that time was they were pretty new technology.

I searched hard and long, drove an hour out of the DFW area to find a Silverado with the factory controller. City dealers weren't selling trucks to tow trailers I guess. Had to find a rural dealer.
Ahh..good to know.

For the OP, I did find an answer on the etrailer site.

Quote:
The only reason I didn’t give this product a higher rating is we found out, after the fact, that the controller doesn’t allow a charge to our RV battery like a regular plug does. That should be made ;more apparent in the specs of this product. While there can be rewriting workarounds to this, those weren’t satisfactory options so it is causing us to move to a different brake controller. The operation of this controller, otherwise, is excellent. Simple to use, simple to hook to your phone and worked great with our trailer. Unfortunately we need our battery to be working and charging as we travel since we go “off grid” often. If that’s not a concern of yours, this is an excellent choice.1279522


Comments
We have researched this question with Curt. They advised that the circuit is only rated for 30 amp peak. The constant amp rating is lower but they am not sure what that number is at this time. With the potential of overheating the unit while charging the battery they would not recommend it.
-- Etrailer ExpertJenny N - 04/06/2022
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Old 12-08-2022, 08:29 AM   #9
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Ahh..good to know.

For the OP, I did find an answer on the etrailer site.
That is interesting - I would not have been happy with losing the 12 volt charging circuit to my trailer had I gone that route. I can see where people towing utility trailers might not find this a problem, but for RV trailers, it is a significant drawback.

I first heard of these wireless/bluetooth trailer brake controllers back in 2015, and this is the first time I have heard of this problem. It should be a caution on Curt's website of this drawback. I wonder if the Tekonsha wireless controller has the same limitation.

It definitely pays to do your homework.
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Old 12-08-2022, 10:51 AM   #10
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maybe i'm a little slow, but i don't see how or why the brake controller would have anything to do with charging your battery. when your plugged into your T/V there is a wire that goes to the charger and charges your battery, thats all it does. then there is a wire that activates your brakes, thats all it does. why would the blue tooth brake controller interfere with the charging system? if i understand correctly the R/V mounted blue tooth receiver needs power and should connect to the R/V brake wire. it should only need power when the brakes are applied. confused!
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Old 12-08-2022, 11:19 AM   #11
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I've used the wireless brake controllers on a couple of travel trailers I've rented. The wireless ones were provided by the rental company for all their travel trailers.
In effect, you have the brake controller mounted to the trailer instead of the tow vehicle... The bluetooth connection is only used to change the settings on the controller (since you obviously can't change them on the trailer while driving). The inertia switch and related components are hard wired on the trailer.

On a tow pig with the brake controller installed (I would call this the standard install) the blue wire will apply the electric brakes on the trailer thru the plug. With the wireless system this blue wire is not used. The controller takes power from the constant battery positive and applies the brakes from that source...
So the battery positive wire has to be connected for the wireless brake controller to operate and thus the trailer brakes to operate. When this wire does not have power, you will get a warning on the brake unit in the tow veh, so you won't be driving around without trailer brakes.
This is the same source to charge the trailer batteries, but it won't draw enough to mess anything up, unless you have lithium batteries in the trailer without a power management system to limit the battery charging draw.


I see the response above from etrailer about the battery charging, but I still don't understand what a brake controller has to do with trailer battery charging... They are two different circuits... It's not like the battery charges only when the brakes are applied.


I would first check your 7 plug to be sure you have the 12v constant power source, sometimes it requires a fuse be installed on the truck.
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Old 12-08-2022, 02:46 PM   #12
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I've used the wireless brake controllers on a couple of travel trailers I've rented. The wireless ones were provided by the rental company for all their travel trailers.
In effect, you have the brake controller mounted to the trailer instead of the tow vehicle... The bluetooth connection is only used to change the settings on the controller (since you obviously can't change them on the trailer while driving). The inertia switch and related components are hard wired on the trailer.

On a tow pig with the brake controller installed (I would call this the standard install) the blue wire will apply the electric brakes on the trailer thru the plug. With the wireless system this blue wire is not used. The controller takes power from the constant battery positive and applies the brakes from that source...
So the battery positive wire has to be connected for the wireless brake controller to operate and thus the trailer brakes to operate. When this wire does not have power, you will get a warning on the brake unit in the tow veh, so you won't be driving around without trailer brakes.
This is the same source to charge the trailer batteries, but it won't draw enough to mess anything up, unless you have lithium batteries in the trailer without a power management system to limit the battery charging draw.


I see the response above from etrailer about the battery charging, but I still don't understand what a brake controller has to do with trailer battery charging... They are two different circuits... It's not like the battery charges only when the brakes are applied.


I would first check your 7 plug to be sure you have the 12v constant power source, sometimes it requires a fuse be installed on the truck.
the receiver in the rv has to have power from the battery, it could be the RV or the tow vehicle. the blue wire from the brakes has to connect to the receiver, thats what supply's energy to activate the brakes. all the receiver does is take a signal from the trans miter vie blue tooth to apply the brakes.
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Old 12-08-2022, 03:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jay D. View Post
the receiver in the rv has to have power from the battery, it could be the RV or the tow vehicle. the blue wire from the brakes has to connect to the receiver, thats what supply's energy to activate the brakes. all the receiver does is take a signal from the trans miter vie blue tooth to apply the brakes.
Jay D.

If that is the case, I'm speaking of a different type. This is the one I was speaking about:


https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Bra...ha/TK94FR.html


Honestly, I'm not sure what type the OP is looking at...but I think this is what they are asking...?
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Old 12-09-2022, 12:53 PM   #14
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If that is the case, I'm speaking of a different type. This is the one I was speaking about:


https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Bra...ha/TK94FR.html


Honestly, I'm not sure what type the OP is looking at...but I think this is what they are asking...?
same idea as i'm talking about, the receiver HAS to have power to it and a wire from it to the brakes to activate the brakes. the one you mention only works IF your tow vehicle has a factory tow pug with a brake wire. my explanation is more for a tow vehicle that has NO towing plug OR a plug without a brake wire. you would plug the transmitter into a 12V outlet in the cab. then the receiver needs 12V to it, it makes no difference where it comes from, but most likely the RV battery. then a wire from the receiver to the brakes usually a blue wire. your ready to go.
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