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Old 08-07-2019, 09:14 AM   #1
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Bluetooth Brake Control

Has anyone ever used the Bluetooth brake controller from Curt?
https://www.amazon.com/CURT-51180-Controller-Bluetooth-Enabled-Proportional/dp/B07JQ99SDD/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=CURT+51180+Echo+Mobile+Electri c+Trailer+Brake+Controller&qid=1565190086&s=gatewa y&sr=8-3

My 2018 Chevrolet did not come with a brake controller and this appears to be a great alternative to mounting one on my dash. Thanks
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:26 PM   #2
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Does anyone have a bluetooth device that connects and maintains connection 100% of the time? I don't.

My bluetooth headset is pretty good. My JBL and Bose bluetooth speakers are also pretty good. My phone connection to my car is pretty good. None of those things are 100%, though. That's OK for phones, speakers, and other such uses. I'm not sure I'd be OK with less than 100% connectivity for my brakes.

In fact, I had that once. I had a short in my brake wiring on my 3,500 lb PUP. I was towing with a 2006 Ford Explorer V8 down a mountain road. Brakes would sometimes work, sometimes not. It was not a pleasurable experience and I smoked my Explorer's rear brakes on that trip.

I would go with the old hard-wired approach.
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:09 PM   #3
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Says if Bluetooth is lost, will operate at preset conditions. I can remember when there was no form of public jet transportation, the fastest being a DC-7, so invention has to start somewhere.
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:20 PM   #4
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The issue you would have if you lost Bluetooth connectivity would be the ability to manually operate the brakes. Everything else would work properly.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:01 AM   #5
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I ended up purchasing this wireless brake controller. Works good so far. If the phone loses connectivity, the brakes on the trailer are still controlled.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:10 AM   #6
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Son is on two years now with the Prodigy Bluetooth controller. Absolutely loves it. Came in handy a few weeks back as both our trucks were in getting service and he needed to move his TT. I had a loaner without a controller and we just plugged in the handheld controller, tossed it on the dash and away we went. He's never had connection problem with his yet.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:47 PM   #7
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This looks very interesting, and likely works very well. My concerns would be:
1. Easily damaged.
2. Easily stolen by someone who knows what it is. I would remove it during my rest stops.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:54 AM   #8
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I added this Curt Echo brake controller this summer and it does work, but I don't love it.
First off, I bought a new Kia Sorento V6 AWD to tow a small TT this summer. At the end of the summer we decided we would upgrade and I have a 2020 Wildwood fsx 179dbk. The guys at the RV shop had not seen this controller before and were wary of it but as I demonstrated it they seemed to think its was pretty cool.

My issues are that occasionally the app will not show that I am lightly braking, which makes me nervous but may be due to my sensitivity settings. The main issue is that occasionally its says I AM braking by quite a bit when I AM NOT. From what I can feel, the trailer isnt actually braking, its a glitch in the app or loss of Bluetooth connection.

Also when setting up the OUTPUT to pretty much max I cannot make the trailer wheels lock up but it does brake pretty good. For my Rig I have the output at 92% and 3 sensitivity which seems high but braking feels good. I wish I had more confidence in it and may toss it out if it acts up this Spring. I am an electronics tech so I like these gadgets, but also know that nothing beats a good old hardwired system...
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevedave1138 View Post
I added this Curt Echo brake controller this summer and it does work, but I don't love it.
First off, I bought a new Kia Sorento V6 AWD to tow a small TT this summer. At the end of the summer we decided we would upgrade and I have a 2020 Wildwood fsx 179dbk. The guys at the RV shop had not seen this controller before and were wary of it but as I demonstrated it they seemed to think its was pretty cool.

My issues are that occasionally the app will not show that I am lightly braking, which makes me nervous but may be due to my sensitivity settings. The main issue is that occasionally its says I AM braking by quite a bit when I AM NOT. From what I can feel, the trailer isnt actually braking, its a glitch in the app or loss of Bluetooth connection.

Also when setting up the OUTPUT to pretty much max I cannot make the trailer wheels lock up but it does brake pretty good. For my Rig I have the output at 92% and 3 sensitivity which seems high but braking feels good. I wish I had more confidence in it and may toss it out if it acts up this Spring. I am an electronics tech so I like these gadgets, but also know that nothing beats a good old hardwired system...
Just one note. You do not want your trailer brakes "Locking" up. That's the whole reason ABS came into play. You can stop better when you're not locking up the wheels.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:30 PM   #10
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Yes I agree. I don't recall exactly where I read it but was under the impression I was to adjust them to "lock up" and then back it off, you know? Had no intention of keeping it there but I figured it should make it do it? Its a very smooth braking device compared to my old Reese timed controller I was using on my 13' Travelaire this Spring.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Stevedave1138 View Post
Yes I agree. I don't recall exactly where I read it but was under the impression I was to adjust them to "lock up" and then back it off, you know? Had no intention of keeping it there but I figured it should make it do it? Its a very smooth braking device compared to my old Reese timed controller I was using on my 13' Travelaire this Spring.
It is correct that you adjust them to lock up going 25 MPH or so and then back them off.

If you can't lock up your brakes going 25MPH with the manual application lever, your brakes aren't working correctly.
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:14 PM   #12
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Ya I cant make it lock up with the lever (or the apps equivalent)..strong braking yes..lock up no.

I read all the reviews before purchasing and maybe two out of 80 reviews said that they couldn't get full lock up, I hoped for better.
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:16 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jhalbrooks View Post
I ended up purchasing this wireless brake controller. Works good so far. If the phone loses connectivity, the brakes on the trailer are still controlled.
Are you able to make your brakes lock up using the the emergency stop or "lever"? Have you tried?
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:02 PM   #14
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Are you able to make your brakes lock up using the the emergency stop or "lever"? Have you tried?
Yep..using the manual lever on my Ford integrated brake control.

Keep in mind that most trailers you buy have not had their brake shoes properly burnished. Mine wouldn't stop well when I first bought my trailer. I burnished them and they now work well.

Go to page 11 for the procedure:
https://www.dexteraxle.com/docs/defa...s.pdf?sfvrsn=2
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:12 PM   #15
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Sorry the question was more for Jhalbrooks that said he purchased the Curt Bluetooth controller..
Yes my old trailer and controller config would lock up, but this brand new trailer and controller not yet. Will check out the pdf, thanks.
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:08 PM   #16
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Sorry the question was more for Jhalbrooks that said he purchased the Curt Bluetooth controller..
Yes my old trailer and controller config would lock up, but this brand new trailer and controller not yet. Will check out the pdf, thanks.
Yes, I see you were talking to him now.

I doubt the problem is the controller. It's the trailer brakes.

When I burnished my trailer brakes, it was with my old Tekonsha Prodigy P3 on my Chevy truck. I was able to get the brakes to skid with the manual lever after doing so. My new Ford truck reacts the same way as the chevy.
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:58 PM   #17
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One suggestion I saw on another forum was using an old phone only to control the Bluetooth trailer brake. Using your regular phone seems to result in lost connections when you get calls, etc.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:06 PM   #18
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One suggestion I saw on another forum was using an old phone only to control the Bluetooth trailer brake. Using your regular phone seems to result in lost connections when you get calls, etc.
If that was the case, you couldn't ever use a Bluetooth headset.

Also, it really doesn't matter if you lose a connection, having the phone connected is just to set the settings up. You lose Bluetooth connection and the brake controller works normally.
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