How to Choose the Right Trailer Brake Controller for a Ford Explorer for Safe Towing?

Choosing the right trailer brake controller for your Ford Explorer is not merely a matter of preference. It’s a matter of safety. This guide will help you navigate through the maze of options available to find the best fit for your vehicle and towing needs.

Why Does Your Ford Explorer Need a Trailer Brake Controller?

If you’re hauling heavy loads with your Ford Explorer, it’s essential to have a trailer brake controller installed. This device allows you to control the brakes on your trailer, ensuring a smooth, safe towing experience.

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When towing, the additional weight behind your vehicle can significantly increase your stopping distance. A trailer brake controller proportionally applies the brakes on your trailer, reducing the load on your vehicle’s brake system and helping prevent skidding or jackknifing.

Not all Ford Explorers come equipped with a factory-specific trailer brake controller. If your vehicle didn’t come with one or you’re not satisfied with its performance, then it’s time to explore aftermarket options.

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What to Consider When Choosing a Brake Controller?

When choosing a trailer brake controller for your Ford Explorer, you should consider several factors, including the controller type, installation process, and compatibility with your vehicle.

There are two main types of trailer brake controllers: time-delayed and proportional. Time-delayed controllers apply a predetermined amount of braking power at a set delay after you press the brake pedal. While they are easy to install and calibrate, their performance can be less predictable.

On the other hand, proportional controllers provide braking power in proportion to your vehicle’s brake pressure. This results in more synchronized braking and a smoother, safer stop. However, they can be more complex to install and calibrate.

The installation process is also a critical factor. Some controllers require specific wiring and mounting, while others are plug-and-play. Consider your comfort level with vehicle modifications and whether professional installation may be necessary.

Finally, ensure the chosen controller is compatible with your Ford Explorer. Some controllers are vehicle-specific, while others are universal.

The REDARC Pro Electric Brake Controller

The REDARC Tow-Pro Elite trailer brake controller is one of the finest options available for the Ford Explorer. The Australian company REDARC has been making vehicle electronics for over 40 years and offers a range of quality trailer brake controllers.

The Tow-Pro Elite provides smooth, safe, and responsive braking control. It features an easy-to-use dial for adjusting braking power and can be installed in any orientation.

The REDARC Tow-Pro Elite is a proportional controller, which means it delivers braking power to the trailer in direct proportion to your vehicle’s braking pressure. This results in synchronized braking, reducing wear and tear on both your vehicle and trailer brakes.

The Tow-Pro Elite is also suitable for use with electric and electric-over-hydraulic brakes, increasing its versatility. It’s compatible with the Ford Explorer, making installation relatively straightforward.

Other Suitable Options for Ford Explorer

While the REDARC Tow-Pro Elite is an excellent choice, several other controllers are also suitable for the Ford Explorer.

Tekonsha is another reputable brand in the trailer brake controller market. Their Prodigy P2 and P3 models, like the REDARC Tow-Pro, offer proportional control. They feature digital displays for easy monitoring and are compatible with the Ford Explorer.

Curt also offers a range of suitable controllers, such as the TriFlex and Spectrum. These models offer proportional control and feature user-friendly interfaces.

Additionally, Hayes has the Genesis and G2 Brake Boss, both of which offer proportional control and are designed to be user-friendly.

When choosing a controller, remember that the most expensive option is not always the best. Consider your specific needs, such as the weight of the trailer you’ll be towing and how frequently you plan to tow.

Pro Tips for Using Trailer Brake Controllers

Once you’ve chosen and installed your trailer brake controller, it’s essential to use it correctly for the safest towing experience. Here are a few pro tips to keep in mind:

  • Always calibrate your controller before setting off. This ensures the brakes are applied correctly when you need them.
  • Make sure to adjust your controller depending on the weight of your trailer and the conditions of the road.
  • Regularly check your controller to ensure it’s working properly. If you notice any issues, have it serviced immediately.

In summary, choosing the right trailer brake controller for your Ford Explorer involves considering several key factors. Understanding the different types of controllers available, their installation process, and compatibility with your vehicle will help you make an informed decision. Brands like REDARC, Tekonsha, Curt, and Hayes offer high-quality, compatible controllers for the Ford Explorer. Once installed, proper use and regular maintenance will ensure a safe and smooth towing experience.

Importance of Compatibility and Installation in Brake Controllers

When you’re preparing to purchase a brake controller, it’s crucial to check the compatibility with your Ford Explorer. Vehicle specific controllers are designed to work seamlessly with certain vehicle models. For example, the REDARC Tow-Pro Elite and the Tekonsha Prodigy units are designed to match perfectly with the Ford Explorer’s brake systems. This compatibility allows for a more straightforward installation and guarantees optimal performance.

However, universal brake controllers are also a viable option. These units are designed to work with a wide range of vehicles. But, they might require more specific wiring and adjustments during installation. Brands like Curt and Hayes offer universal proportional brake controllers that could also fit your Ford Explorer.

The installation process of a brake controller is another vital component to consider. Some controllers are plug-and-play, requiring minimal wiring and can be installed easily. Others might need more specific wiring and mounting, which could require professional installation. The REDARC Tow-Pro Elite, for instance, can be installed in any orientation, making it a user-friendly choice.

Also, keep in mind that some brake controllers are dash mounted while others can be installed in different locations. Choose the one that is most comfortable for you to access and use while driving. Make sure you understand how to calibrate and adjust the settings on whichever unit you choose.

Conclusion: Safely Towing with Your Ford Explorer

In conclusion, finding the right trailer brake controller for your Ford Explorer is critical for safe towing. Whether you opt for a time-delayed brake controller or a proportional trailer brake controller, you need a system that can handle the trailer weight efficiently and reduce the load on your vehicle’s brake system.

Brands such as REDARC, Tekonsha, Curt, and Hayes offer high-quality controllers that are well-suited for the Ford Explorer. These brands provide an array of controllers that offer features ranging from digital displays to user-friendly interfaces.

Always remember to calibrate your brake controller before you start your trip and adjust the settings according to the trailer weight and road conditions. Regular inspections and maintenance of the brake controller ensure its longevity and optimal performance.

With the right trailer brake controller, your Ford Explorer can safely tow heavy loads, providing you with a smooth and reliable towing experience. Armed with the knowledge in this guide, you can confidently navigate the vast selection of brake controllers on the market and choose the perfect fit for your vehicle and towing needs.

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