Industrial Deals HPC Best Books of the Month Introducing Prime Wardrobe nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Unlimited Music. Offline listening. Learn more. GNO for Samsung S9 Starting at $39.99 Grocery Handmade Personalized Jewelry Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon westworldS2 westworldS2 westworldS2  Echo Dot Fire tablets: Designed for entertainment Kindle Paperwhite GNO Shop now SWMTVT18_gno

on February 25, 2017
Tow vehicle:
RAM 1500 Hemi Lonestar Crew Cab

Parts used:
Tekonsha P3 Proportional Brake Controller purchased from Amazon

Tekonsha 3024P RAM Brake Control Wiring Adapter purchased from Amazon
(used to plug into factory installed wiring under dash)

Total Expense:

My 2016 Ram 1500 Hemi Lonestar didn't come with the integrated brake controller. After searching all the RAM forums and studying Amazon reviews, I decided on Tekonsha P3 controller, and not to shell out the $440.00 my local dealership quoted to install the OEM. There's one video currently on YouTube that gives a breakdown how to remove the full length center console to install the OEM controller, but even then, you still have to have the dealer flash the computer so it all works together, and all the functions appear on the screen above the steering column. Some people are okay with this, but decided on the Tekonsha path myself.

I knew I wanted a clean, and minimally invasive install, so a little thought was needed to snug it up to my center console. In order to mount the controller, you have to have enough room to tighten the screws on either side. Instead, I used two very thin diameter toggle bolts I had left over, put them through the controller bracket with washers, screwed controller to the bracket, pushed the thin bolts through pre-drilled holes I made, and screwed the wings on from under the dash with some washers. This may not be the ideal way, but it worked great for me. All I can say is use this idea and improve upon it. :)

I might add before I started my project, I checked under the dash for the two factory installed connectors wrapped in foam tape. They're literally just hanging there and simple to find. This made it as easy as mount controller, plug n' play. Total install for me was about 30 minutes cause I was being careful.

After installing, it dawned on me there is no on / off switch. Back to the reviews and forums I went. Turns out there's controversy on this and weather it goes into a sleep mode or not. In my case, I checked 20 minutes later and the screen was blank as shown in picture. Starting the truck or touching a button wakes it up. Some reports from others is the opposite, and controller stays on. Either way, the power draw from the device is so little, it would take months to drain one's battery.

Setting up the controller for your trailer is pretty straight forward. As far as function, I'll be putting it to work next weekend for our 7,600 pound travel trailer. Just follow the directions, and you should be all good.

Hope this helps, and safe towing!

*** UPDATE ***
I can't think of a single complaint for this controller. Everything works in unison together as it should, and is easily adjustable. I included a picture we took on our way down to Galveston of the travel trailer when we stopped for a pee break. Gotta love Bucees!

I started with the boost on level 3, then turned it down to b2. It provides plenty of juice to the trailer brakes with the gain set where it's best for us now.
review imagereview imagereview imagereview imagereview imagereview imagereview imagereview image
0Comment| 73 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on December 26, 2010
Updated for 2017... See below.

Consider this... The combine cost of your tow vehicle and trailer... The combine weight of your tow vehicle and trailer... The fact that your trailer may well weigh more than your tow vehicle... And that moron that just jumped in your lane then slammed on his brakes... This is NOT the time to think to yourself, "maybe I should've gotten a better brake controller." Seriously, when the difference in cost is under $100, is it really not worth buying the best?

I've used the Tekonsha P3 for two and half years now and I have nothing but praises to sing! Features, user friendliness, and results! This unit has it all. First lets talk about the mechanism. It uses a digital G-Sensor as apposed to a physical pendulem. Why is this a benifit? Because there are no downhill issues that you see with the physical and analog type sensors. Prior to digial sensors, the downhill slope would throw off the pendulem and the brake controller either would send a weaker current to the brakes or none at all. Some people have questioned the reliablity of digital sensors. But with more than 10 years of full production digital units, complaints are actaully less than the older analog units. Consider this as well, the sensor is not only quicker but more accurate as well, hard to soft braking is much safer now. How does it work? Just like any other senses the volume deceleration and then computes an appropriate voltage and current to send to the trailer brakes based on a percentage of the user's max output setting.

Let's talk interface. A four button face with a roughly 1.5" LCD display plus a belly mounted manual switch. With no brakes connected, this unit will dispay the default "Tekonsha Screen". Once brakes are connected via the trailer plug, the unit will display the "Tow Screen". It has a large two/three read out that displays 0.0 as a default. While sitting still and once brake pressure is applied it will jump to approximately 10% of the max set output, after 3 seconds of being stationary it will move up to 25% power. This is designed to "hold" the trailer if stopped on an incline or decline. Setting the max brake power is a snap with the two "Up" and "Down" buttons on the left side of the face. The value moves up and down by 0.1 increments and quite quickly if you hold the button down. The last two buttons are "boost" and "page" which I will discuss when I talk features. The last button is the manual brake override. This bottom mounted spring loaded slider switch will manually add braking power to the trailer brakes (up to the user set max) even without depressing the vehicles brake peddle. This is a standard feature on all brake contorllers, but I wanted anyone looking for their first brake controller to understand what this was. Lastly, is the warning screen. It's a deep red screen with a trailer and a "no" sign. This indicates that the controller which had previously sensed brakes connected no longer can sense them. Generally an indication of a poor trailer connection at the wiring harness or a problem with the brakes themsleves.

Let's talk features. I've mentioned the "Boost" button, but what is it? There are 4 levels of boost for trailer brakes. Off, LV. 1, LV. 2, & LV. 3. Boost adds a brief (fraction of a second) burst to the trailer brakes which slows the trailer slightly more than the normal pressure would and keeps it from bumping or pushing the tow vehicle when brake pressure is initailly applied. Very important if as many are these days, your trailer weighs more than your tow vehicle. After the burst it returns the voltage and current to the G-sensors reccomended output. There isn't a real scientific method for figuring what you need to use. The picture on the home screen shows LV1 as small trailer, 2 as a med tailer, and 3 as a large trailer. My trailer is a 6K lb. TT and I just leave it on the default LV. 1 boost. Everytime the units is powered it returned to the default LV. 1. The unit will power down after 15 mins with no trailer connected AND no input from the brake signal wire. The "Page" button will take you to a second screen that you navigate with the "up", "down", and "Boost" (now "enter") buttons. This sceen has some cool features as some useful features. "Backlight" allows you to brighten or dim the brightness of the display. "Color" lets you set the color of the display. (Yeah I know, unessesary, but cool) The default color is "White" which is more of a light blue. There's also Magenta, Orange, Dk Blue, Violet, Lt. Green, and Dk. Green. Red is not availible as it's reserved as a warning color for the "no trailer connection" warning screen. Back to the page screen. There's also a VERY USEFUL troubleshooting screen. It lets you view diagnostics on the fly and over the road that can give you four digit readouts of battery voltage, stoplight (brake input signal) voltage, brake voltage, and brake current. This screen alone is worth the cost of this brake controller! When you first connect your tailer do some tests and record the max input you set, the output under normal braking conditions, as well as the brake voltage and amperage. If down the line you get the feeling the brakes aren't working properly, you can re-run this test and see if it's an electrical problem or not. Finally when your done, pressing the page button will return you to the "tow screen."

Installation. A snap for anyone that has a factory tow package. Tekonsha offers plug and play wiring harnesses that plug into most make and model years of trucks. If you have to have it installed or choose to install it yourself as I did, it can be challenging. But it's a simple four wire hookup. A 12V input from the battery (running thru a 30A auto reset breaker NOT a fuse), an output to the brake pin of your 6 or 7-way trailer connector, a stoplight input running to your vehicle's stoplight switch behind the brake peddle, and lastly a frame ground. The mount can be a little challenging to install because of the akward access to the screws, but it can be mounted at nearly any angle other than strait up or down and provided the face is facing a close to directly rearward as possible.

All in all, this is probably the most important review I've ever done. This controller will save you grief and keep you and your vehicle safe. Make sure for your safety, your families safety, and the safety of all those on the road you buy the brake controller that does it's job the best. Buy the Tekonsha P3.


2017 Update

Two years ago I droped my original P3 and cracked the screen. I decided to replace it no knowing if the internals might have been damaged. I don't feel the P3 is fragile.
The drop was an unforgiving freak bounce off my steel hitch and concrete. There are minor firmware differences between the 2009 model I had and the 2015 model I'm using.

The boot screen shows a P3 logo which is new. The diagnostics screen showing system voltages shows only tenth volt increments which used to be hundreths. But I can live without that.

Fuctionally they are the same and in my opinion still the best add on brake controller on the market. Propietary controllers and built in vehicle units may have it beat these days but I'll stick with my P3 until those in dash units are standard equipment.

One note. After years of use, the P3 does have an occasional quark. Sometimes when going down hill the brake power applied will be greater than on a flat road. (This has happened a couple of times on level roads as well but only rarely.) As you let off the brake the trailer will brake slightly heavier than the tow vehicle and when brake signal ceases the vehicle will jerk a bit as the trailer stops braking. The solution is to turn off the boost mode. But I caution drivers to turn this back on as soon as they're back on level surfaces. This is a safety feature to keep the trailer from pushing against the tow vehicle and thus not to loose control when braking. It promotes overall better braking performance and decreases the likelihood of jack-knifing.

After 8 years I'm still happy to put my faith and my family's safety in the Tekonsha P3.
1818 comments| 580 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on August 27, 2016
I Love this brake controller. I've been messing around with cheaper units including some by Tekonsha, this one is worth the extra cost hands down. Wish I had found it sooner. Very smooth application of brakes, no jerking of the trailer/truck (I use it for horse trailers so this is very important). I love the ability to one-button change the "boost" settings (really ideal for horse trailers as the weight of the trailer changes considerably between empty, one horse, and two horses). Feedback display warns you right away when something is wrong and shows how much brake is being applied.

Take my advise, if you're looking at this one buy it. You will not regret it one bit.
0Comment| 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on March 30, 2018
I read a lot of Amazon reviews before buying. I admit that some of the negative reviews gave me cause for concern though. I decided to listen to the positive reviews and am very glad I did. I installed in my 2007 Tundra without any difficulty. I couldn't be happier with the performance of the brake controller. Works exactly as advertised, and does so flawlessly so far. The contoller is easy to adjust on the fly to fine tune the stopping power sent to the trailer brakes when your load has changed due to onload or offload. Also, the dynamic application of brakes from the G-Force of stopping harder than planned in heavy traffic is a lifesaver. Stopped my nearly 16,000 lb Gross Combined Weight Load (GCWL) Truck and fully loaded trailer nearly on a dime at least twice in LA traffic during afternoon rush hour. I am very happy with my purchase and highly recommend. Ignore the naysayer reviews...they must have missed something, or have other issues.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on February 11, 2018
If you're looking for a trailer brake control module ...your search is over ...this is the one to get. This is my second Tekonsha P3. The first one recently suffered some form of electrical cardiac arrest ...after serving flawlessly for almost a decade. I didn't have to think twice about what to get to replace it.

The P3 is a proportional-type brake controller in that it responds to inertia; the faster you're slowing down the more it applies the trailer brakes. And after having tried a non-proportional controller the P3 is the bomb. Once installed, setup and adjustments are very easy following the instruction manual and using the four buttons on the face of the controller. The various setup menus display on the screen and there are some "troubleshooting" menus as well. You'll also get warning notices when things run afoul. You'll need to be connected to your trailer in order to make some of the braking adjustments. On the bottom of the module is a manual trailer brake lever functioning independently of the tow vehicle brakes.

If you're going to install this yourself, and have a late model pickup with a trailer package, then you'll want to score one of the pigtails to connect the controller to the under dash connector plug; the connectors come for all major brand pickups and SUV's. I suspect automobiles may use the same manufacturer adapter as for the trucks. You can install the unit "permanently" or using a quick disconnect bracket to allow you to easily swap the controller from one vehicle to another ...or just remove it and stow it in the included storage pouch. The unit has a memory and you can program up to 5 multiple trailer brake settings if you're going to be towing different trailers. The only "rocket science" needed in installation is making sure the controller is mounted parallel to, and as close to, the center line of the tow vehicle and parallel to the ground ...this is to ensure the inertia sensors in the unit operate and respond correctly. Fortunately the status screen is canted upward so you can easily see it when seated behind the wheel.

Once set up correctly the tow vehicle and trailer operate almost seamlessly and the stopping power of the trailer brakes is proportional to the rate of deceleration detected by the controller. Once you use one of these Tekonsha P3 controllers you'll never want another brand; it's that good. So stop looking, you found the one to get.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on March 31, 2017
So far, I have only installed the controller. I will update after hauling a load using the brake controller.
INSTALL; Very easy to install, assuming your vehicle is prepped for a brake controller. I simply connected the vehicle factory pig-tails to the included harness and crimped, added an electrical tape wrap to hold wires together and look pretty, picked my spot and two screws later its done! (Ok, I'm picky so I measured and remeasured, thought about it, and measured again. Took me 45 minutes to do, but the actual "install" was more like 10 minutes or less.)
Plug and play after that... Can't wait to get it set up for our new camper!

*Update- after hauling a large camper I can say this is a great controller! Having the proportional brake application made the vehicle tow in town almost like I wasn't towing. Adjustments to the amount of brake force were quick and easy. Definitely worth the purchase price and then some!
review image
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
It does it's job but the mount was very disappointing since it severely limits where you can place it. This can;t auto-level left to right and must be perfectly level to function properly, there aren't many perfectly square & level surfaces in modern trucks. If the mount had a little bit of adjustability along the sensitive axis it wouldn't be a problem for under dash placement. Would love to see a mount solution that would let me put it on my dash where it's visible rather than down by my knee so I can grab the emergency switch, probably a bigger product redesign though...
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on October 15, 2017
I have used Tekonsha for decades on several campers over the years, and a few others that eventually got replaced with Tekonsha, the last one was the standard Prodigy. The P3 is a cut above the rest and the boost function is perfect for our 30 foot Cougar. The various color options allow to to change to match your gauge package. The install was super easy and under and hour with optional plug and play wire harness. Take it from experience, spend the extra few bucks and get the best brake controller because I have been in an Oregon Pass with a junk controller that came with the new truck we bought that about caused me to wreck. I installed the P3 and driving through the same passes was night and day difference!
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on February 10, 2016
This is my first experience with towing and brake controllers, 2015 Toyota Tacoma with 3700# (dry) travel trailer. Installation and set up was fairly easy with the instructions provided. Braking performance is better than I expected, with no previous experience. The best location I could find to mount it without modifying and fabrication of existing interior components was directly under the steering column. It is not visible when driving, but once it is set up that is not necessary and you can reach the manual activation lever easily. I would recommend this product.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on December 11, 2017
This brake controller was bought to replace a still working Tekonsha Voyager unit. The main reason I wanted to replace the Voyager is the 5th wheel RV we planned to buy, and eventually did buy, was/is equipped electric-over-hydraulic disc brakes on all 4 wheels. While some websites listed the Voyager as "compatible" with disc brake systems, the Tekonsha website does not make that claim. I chose the P3 after more research and finding LOTS of users proclaiming how well it works with a wide variety of trucks and trailer brake systems. It also has the ability to store your preferred settings for up to 3 different trailers and has 3 different levels of "boost" that applies trailer braking a little earlier than the tow vehicle's brakes, helping maintain control of the truck and trailer under most braking situations. It is a VERY effective trailer brake controller.

I used this with our 97 Ram truck with Cummins engine and 5-speed manual tranny, to tow our "new to us" DRV Mobile Suites RV from FL back home, traveling 4 days and covering 2100+ miles. In one particular situation I was SO glad I had the P3 brake controller when in a busy highway section running through a city and following a semi-truck and trailer, I couldn't see the traffic light ahead change to red. The semi-truck braked a LOT faster than I expected, requiring me to hit my brakes quick and hard so we wouldn't make contact. The Tekonsha P3 brake controller powered the RV's brakes strongly enough that combined with our truck's brakes we were able to bring the whole truck and RV package to a quick but controller halt with room to spare. Needless to say I was very impressed with its performance and how well it handled the RV's brake system in all situations, providing a level of confidence I really appreciate.

Bottom line is I HIGHLY recommend this brake controller to anyone who is or may be looking for a really well designed product. With the level of performance it has, along with the additional features it provides, I believe this has to be one of the best trailer brake controllers available anywhere.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse