I’m sure you know that Colorado law says you need brakes on a trailer that weighs 3000 lbs or more and it needs to be on all trailer axles. I worry more about trailers that come from other states like Texas that only have to have one axle with brakes. Trailer brakes are important. I get new trucks and SUV’s each month to review. About 30 percent of those vehicles don’t have a factory brake controller. None of the midsize crossovers and SUV’s have brake controllers, they may have a receiver hitch, some even have tow/haul mode. Two out of 5 midsize trucks have a factory brake controller option. Even some base full size trucks lack factory trailer brake controller. Yes that vehicle just ahead of you on I-25, towing a trailer may not be able to stop in an emergency. Another problem is when you’re towing a 30 ft. 6 horse trailer or a 80,000 lb semi tractor-trailer, cars like to pull over just in front of you because they are late for work. It’s amazing how many drivers think trailers can stop on a dime. I guess an 18-wheeler looks allot like a Chevy Corvette that can stop on a dime. Understandable mistake to make.
Brake controllers are easy to install and save you life. In sway conditions like snow, ice, curvy mountain roads and the like are the conditions that you need to brake the trailer by itself. That allows the trailer to slow down and pull the truck/suv back straight and prevent dangerous trailer sway conditions. It’s good to take your trailer to a large empty lot and practice just using the manual brake lever on your brake controller to control the trailer. Stomping on the trucks foot brake pedal can be very dangerous and can put the truck in a skid letting the trailer drift sideways. Same thing happens when you load your trailer butt heavy and too lite on the trailer tongue.
My favorite aftermarket brake controller is Curt Echo. It’s just a trailer plug with a male and female end. You plug the Echo into your trailer plug on your truck/suv’s receiver hitch. Then you plug the trailer plug into the back end of the Echo. The plug door on your truck has a tab that holds on to the Echo and the Echo plug door has a tab that holds the trailer plug in. Echo comes with a rubber strap that secures the Echo to the trucks receiver plug door. See the picture at the top.
Next you pair your phone to the Echo that comes with it’s own code. There’s a few settings to adjust on your phone, like gain and sensitivity. There are 5 trailer profiles to set up 5 trailers. Then of course there is the panic button which is the manual button to brake just the trailer. The Echo is the easiest brake controller I’ve set up. I’ve used them for several years. Last year I had 4 mid-sized trucks and mid-sized crossovers in a row with no brake controllers. So to expel urban legends, trailers need brakes, which includes trailer brake controllers and trailer tires need balanced. Check trailer brakes when you buy trailers out of state. https://www.curtmfg.com/dm/echo-mobile-brake-controller