Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone (had) installed a brake controller on the RAV4 Hybrid yet? I've been calling around to some local places and no one seems to want to touch it. I finally found a place that is willing to install it if I supply the parts, but before I commit to anything, I want to make sure I have the right parts and that it will work. I found a Tekonsha PowerTrac controller on etrailer that works for the 2016 RAV4, but I can't find any info on whether it works for the Hybrid or not. I know our braking system is different because we have the regenerative brakes, but I don't know if that affects the controller at all.

Any ideas and/or success stories?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
A UTV. Trailer + UTV will weigh about 1650 lbs which is close to the 1750 lb limit and above the unbraked limit. Plus we live in a pretty hilly area, so I'd rather be safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Update for anyone interested. I contacted etrailer via their contact form and they told me the brake controller plus the universal installation kit for 4-way flat will work for the RAV4 hybrid. I'm not sure if I emphasized "Hybrid" enough... but unless anyone has some idea of why it won't work, I think I'm going to go ahead and order it, and I'll update this thread with the result.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, Quickdtoo. That was on page 4 when I searched for "brake controller." I gave up before then because all the results on the first couple pages were from several years ago. I also looked through that thread before, but missed the part on page 6 about the brake controller, since it was such a long thread. Anyway, it sounds like there's nothing special needed, so I'm going to go ahead and order it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,892 Posts
I would STRONGLY ADVISE AGAINST the PowerTrac controller since it is a simple TIMED model. When you touch the brake pedal it applies the trailer brakes lightly initially and then heavier as you keep the tow vehicle brake lights on. You have an adjustment for how quickly the trailer brakes ramp up but none for how quickly you want or need to stop and no compensation for up or downhill. I learned about these the hard way having bought and installed one and then realizing how useless and actually dangerous it was. I'm really surprised places like e-Trailer sell them.

Go instead with a PROPORTIONAL controller such as the Tekonsha Primus IQ or Prodigy P2. They are also activated when you touch the brake pedal but apply the trailer brakes proportional to the tow vehicle's deceleration and elevation change. For instance if you need to stop fast going down hill and hit your brakes hard the trailer brakes will immediately come on hard too. A timed controller will still be gradually applying the trailer brakes as you're crashing into whatever you were trying to stop for. :wall
 
  • Like
Reactions: volosong and vanib

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,477 Posts
I have a prodigy P3 and love it, the install is simple, just a positive feed and a ground, and a wire behind the brake pedal to get a brake signal (takes it from the brake light circuit)

hybrid or not, as long has you have brake lights on you car, you can wire it ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Just wanted to share an update. I ended up going with the P3. Installed the 4-way harness myself, then had a shop install the brake controller. We picked up our SxS yesterday and drove it home 100 miles through the Appalachians. Some of the hills while on the highway, going 60-70, definitely had it near its limit, but it handled it all like a champ. Even pulled it up our ridiculously steep driveway when we got home with plenty of torque to spare. I am considering a transmission cooler for the highways though, assuming there's one that works for our RAV. Driving on I-81 had the RPMs running pretty high a lot. It's got the power and the suspension handles it well, but I'm a little worried about the CVT. I feel like that might be the weakest link.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Oh one more thing. If you have the precollision system, the brake controller may cause it to think it's malfunctioning. It only happens if I engage the trailer brake without hitting the RAV brakes, which usually is only done when setting power level anyway. Then I'm able to reset it by disconnecting the battery for a few seconds. I can still engage the trailer brakes manually, but need to at least be lightly pressing the brake pedal to avoid the malfunction. I believe it may be picking up on the brake signal from the controller and thinking that the precollision system must be malfunctioning, even though it really isn't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Just wanted to share an update. I ended up going with the P3. Installed the 4-way harness myself, then had a shop install the brake controller. We picked up our SxS yesterday and drove it home 100 miles through the Appalachians. Some of the hills while on the highway, going 60-70, definitely had it near its limit, but it handled it all like a champ. Even pulled it up our ridiculously steep driveway when we got home with plenty of torque to spare. I am considering a transmission cooler for the highways though, assuming there's one that works for our RAV. Driving on I-81 had the RPMs running pretty high a lot. It's got the power and the suspension handles it well, but I'm a little worried about the CVT. I feel like that might be the weakest link.
Do you know what is the tongue weight of your loaded trailer ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Do you know what is the tongue weight of your loaded trailer ?
I do not know the exact weight, but I know it's below the 150 lb limit. I measured the drop in height with a 150 lb person standing on the hitch, and again with a 120 lb person standing on the hitch. The trailer brings the height down to a little below where it was with the 120 lb person, but not even close to 150 lb height. So my guess is somewhere around 125-130.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I would STRONGLY ADVISE AGAINST the PowerTrac controller since it is a simple TIMED model. When you touch the brake pedal it applies the trailer brakes lightly initially and then heavier as you keep the tow vehicle brake lights on. You have an adjustment for how quickly the trailer brakes ramp up but none for how quickly you want or need to stop and no compensation for up or downhill. I learned about these the hard way having bought and installed one and then realizing how useless and actually dangerous it was. I'm really surprised places like e-Trailer sell them.

Go instead with a PROPORTIONAL controller such as the Tekonsha Primus IQ or Prodigy P2. They are also activated when you touch the brake pedal but apply the trailer brakes proportional to the tow vehicle's deceleration and elevation change. For instance if you need to stop fast going down hill and hit your brakes hard the trailer brakes will immediately come on hard too. A timed controller will still be gradually applying the trailer brakes as you're crashing into whatever you were trying to stop for. :wall
Do you have an opinion on wireless (bluetooth) versus wired trailer brake controller? I have a 2016 Rav4 Hybrid Limited and will be picking up a Scamp trailer (1250# empty) with trailer brakes later this year. I'm concerned about problems with a hardwired braking system that may interfere with the Hybrid technology, as well as the safety systems like the forward collision safety feature. Any feedback would be helpful. The Scamp user group suggested asking Rav4 user groups for feedback. Thanks in advance.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,892 Posts
Yes everything's going bluetooth these days. I've never used one but maybe someone has. It would have to get 12V power and ground from the car's battery and I wonder how it knows you've hit the brakes unless there's a wire to the brake switch. But then those three connections are the same as a wired controller.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Oh one more thing. If you have the precollision system, the brake controller may cause it to think it's malfunctioning. It only happens if I engage the trailer brake without hitting the RAV brakes, which usually is only done when setting power level anyway. Then I'm able to reset it by disconnecting the battery for a few seconds. I can still engage the trailer brakes manually, but need to at least be lightly pressing the brake pedal to avoid the malfunction. I believe it may be picking up on the brake signal from the controller and thinking that the precollision system must be malfunctioning, even though it really isn't.
Are you still happy with your brake controller with your hybrid?
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top