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Alternative to Tekonsha trailer brake controller setup

Discussion in 'Towing & Hauling' started by RipSteakface, Jul 15, 2020.

  1. Jul 15, 2020 at 6:42 AM
    #1
    RipSteakface

    RipSteakface [OP] New Member

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    I need to add a brake controller asap. I have one from our previous truck that I could wire in under the dash but was hoping to improve the appearance in our "new" 2014.

    I know this is a different viewpoint than the standard here, but (at least in pictures) I am not a big fan of the appearance of the "aftermarket" setup (new panel with the plate designed for the P2 or P3) in the dash. I guess its better than screwing a metal harness to the plastic underneath, but for me marginally so. It's not actually the location, the controller just seems to stick out too far. And the P3 and P2 (to me) are somewhat conspicuous looking. I'd much rather have something in the same location that is more understated and sits back into the dash a little more. I guess I could just buy the panel and play with it some and try to design a plastic plate for a controller that I like better, but I have a feeling it would end up looking cheap.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Jul 15, 2020 at 6:44 AM
    #2
    timsp8

    timsp8 Member

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    Not sure if 2014s came with a factory brake controller, but if they did you could probably find one for sale in here or eBay if you want the stock look.
     
  3. Jul 15, 2020 at 6:47 AM
    #3
    JC303

    JC303 Same same but different

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    Have you seen the CURT spectrum? It's just a knob that looks cleaner than the P2 or P3. Might be something to look at. I installed the Draw Tite I-command because it was smaller than the P2.
     
  4. Jul 15, 2020 at 6:55 AM
    #4
    RipSteakface

    RipSteakface [OP] New Member

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    It didn't, I think it came in 2016. But I suspect those factory controllers could be made to fit. But I have read way too many problems about those. And they are expensive, at least from what I've seen.
     
  5. Jul 15, 2020 at 6:56 AM
    #5
    RipSteakface

    RipSteakface [OP] New Member

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    That Curt Spectrum may be just the thing. I'll research it more.

    On the Draw-tite, you installed it under the dash? Or in the panel?
     
  6. Jul 15, 2020 at 7:09 AM
    #6
    JC303

    JC303 Same same but different

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    I have a 2nd Gen and mine is installed in the cubby in front of the shift knob.
     
  7. Jul 15, 2020 at 7:43 AM
    #7
    JohnLakeman

    JohnLakeman Burning Internet Daylight

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    You could try this (link below), but worth observing that this guy had exceptional fabrication skills (note straight smooth cuts in panel with perfect circular ends). In this installation, the controller is mounted in the dash, and IS nearly fully recessed. He had to cut a hand hole down below to be able to operate the controller manually. That would be a non-starter for me. But, there are other controllers with simple rectangular housings (easier trim plate fabrication) and all the controls on the front. If you don't like the P3 or P2, then buy another controller.

    https://www.tundras.com/threads/mounting-my-tekonsha-p3-a-‘lil-different.49145/#post-1728728

    There is another mounting thread here where the owner uses the factory recess and screw mounts a P3 controller. (Incidentally, that dash panel with the recess is available separately, and cheaper, from Toyota.) He cut his own trim plate to save the money, and it looked pretty good. I didn't see that thread in my search for you but it's out there somewhere.
     
  8. Jul 15, 2020 at 7:51 AM
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    RipSteakface

    RipSteakface [OP] New Member

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    This is what I was thinking to do. The Draw-Tite controller that JC303 mentioned looks pretty good to me but I'll look around. I may even just use what I have. It's about as basic as you can get. I'll just have to find a piece of plastic the right color and cut/sand it as best I can.
     
  9. Jul 15, 2020 at 8:16 AM
    #9
    ezdog

    ezdog New Member

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    I agree completely that the flush mount plate for the Prodigy is not an attractive option at all.
    I was shocked the first time I saw one how silly they seemed and how little it does for me to improve upon just hanging the Prodigy old school?
    But I am an if its not broken why fix it kind of guy too and I worry about the look a lot less than the function and I have yet to find anything that works as well as the Prodigy for towing so......
    YMMV obviously.
     
  10. Jul 15, 2020 at 8:51 AM
    #10
    GravityGear

    GravityGear Parking Lot Prerunner

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  11. Jul 15, 2020 at 9:35 AM
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    timsp8

    timsp8 Member

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    Not sure if price, but I haven’t had a problem yet. I don’t tow a lot but have towed trailers and rvs. There is a tsb for it that I think fixed the one’s who had issues.

    Edit: just did a quick search. Yeah it looks like they are $200+.
     
  12. Jul 15, 2020 at 10:36 AM
    #12
    Beau

    Beau De gustibus non est disputandum

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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
    Rengawt likes this.
  13. Jul 15, 2020 at 11:19 AM
    #13
    Beau

    Beau De gustibus non est disputandum

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    Here is an earlier pic from my build thread. The "brain" to the controller is behind the panel.
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Jul 15, 2020 at 11:50 AM
    #14
    RipSteakface

    RipSteakface [OP] New Member

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    Now that may be just what I'm looking for. That's about as understated as you could get.
    I may just have to sharpie out the big REDARC lettering on the knob though...

    thank you and everyone
     
  15. Jul 15, 2020 at 12:00 PM
    #15
    Beau

    Beau De gustibus non est disputandum

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    You are welcome, and yeah it is a very understated/stock look for sure. Like you, I was looking for the cleanest install and this one was by far the best that I could find. Even though it looks very basic, the actual performance is really second to none. We use the "proportional mode" which will ease the brakes as you ease them or completely lock them up if you do. Also, I found mine on eBay (open box) for about $120 so there may be a possibility to save off the MSRP although I'd gladly pay the $200 now that I know how well it work and how integrated it looks. BTW, welcome to the forum....get ready to spend some money:)
     
  16. Jul 15, 2020 at 12:44 PM
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    RipSteakface

    RipSteakface [OP] New Member

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    Now that's the deal I need. I'm not gonna lie, I know I could spend some money on this truck. Sitting there in my driveway it looks like a big toy ready to be played with. I could see myself spending thousands of hours and dollars on all kinds of frivolity. If I was single. I know we all talk about how we get in trouble with our wives (whom we love dearly) but I will catch serious hell if I don't keep it under control. I was seriously lucky to get it in the first place. One step at a time....
     
  17. Jul 15, 2020 at 12:47 PM
    #17
    Beau

    Beau De gustibus non est disputandum

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    RIGHT! I told my wife: "You can be good with me spending a couple thousand upgrading my truck to make it modern, or we can take a $60k loan on a new one". She agreed:)
     
  18. Jul 15, 2020 at 12:48 PM
    #18
    Beau

    Beau De gustibus non est disputandum

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    This is my 2008 (before and after), I'm very content for now and it is paid off.
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Jul 15, 2020 at 3:35 PM
    #19
    RipSteakface

    RipSteakface [OP] New Member

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    What connector plugs into this unit? Is it the 4 in-line (like Tekonsha) or the square type that Curt and some others use? I already bought the Tekonsha type for a 2014 (3040), thinking I would get one but may need to return it.

    edit - I looked at some pictures and see it is the 4 in-line.
     
  20. Jul 15, 2020 at 3:55 PM
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    RipSteakface

    RipSteakface [OP] New Member

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    Ordered! Thank you once again!
     
  21. Jul 15, 2020 at 4:28 PM
    #21
    Beau

    Beau De gustibus non est disputandum

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    Good deal. I was thinking it may be a proprietary plug but I could be wrong. It’s been awhile since I installed it.
     
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