Reese is a firm that has been making towing equipment since 1952. Over that time this company has invented and brought to market several award winning tow products.
This specialist firm is best known for its fifth wheel products, which are very popular with owners of large RV outfits. They also sell weight distribution and sway control systems.
Reese produces a comprehensive range of electronic brake controllers. These can be fitted to many different vehicle and trailer combinations.
Over the years, several generations of Reese electronic brake controllers have been produced. The products we are going to tell you about below are part of the Reese Towpower Brakeman IV range.
Timed delayed trailer brake controllers
All of these controllers are time delayed brake controllers. This means that there is a delay between when you apply your vehicle brakes and when they are applied on the trailer. All of the units below allow you to control how long that delay is, which enables you to find the setting that works best for your trailer and vehicle combination. The level of adjustment varies depending on which model you buy, but users of all of the systems outlined below were happy with the level of, and ease of, control on offer.
Reese Towpower Brakeman Compact 8507111
Installation of this compact brake controller is made easy by the fact that the instructions are comprehensive. A full wiring diagram is included. This comes in handy if you have to use a wiring harness to fit it in your vehicle. Having access to a full wiring diagram makes it easy to work out which wires to splice together.
This is a small, lightweight unit, which means it is easy to find space for the control unit on your dashboard. Because this brake controller has no moving parts, it can be fitted at an angle.
If you want to tow a big trailer this package is an excellent option. It can be fitted to, and control an eight axle system.
Reese Towpower Brakeman Compact 74642
It can be set up for use on a two or four brake system, which makes it a good option for either a single or tandem axle trailer. This system has no moving parts – there is no pendulum, or hydraulic connections. As a result, no leveling is required, and the unit can be fitted at any angle.
Installing it is easy, but you do need to make sure that it is isolated from the hazard lights. If you do not do so, when you turn on your hazard lights the trailer brakes can end up being applied automatically, at the same time. This is not an issue for every vehicle. However, it is something that you need to be aware of, and check for.
Reese Towpower Brakeman Pilot 74378
This unit is particularly easy to adjust, so you can calibrate it for towing different trailers. If you regularly drop off a load, and go home empty being able to change the settings easily is important. Horsebox owners often have to do exactly that, so they like brake controllers that are easy to adjust. Unfortunately, this electronic brake controller does not have a memory function, so it is wise to make a note of the settings that work best for you when loaded, and empty.
You can use the Reese Pilot Controller on trailers with up to three axles.
The control unit features a ball mount, which means that it can be mounted at any angle. One user even installed it upside down. Many users like the fact that this system constantly checks itself, and shows a C on the dashboard unit if there is an issue.
Reese Towpower Pod 74377
The fact that this is a solid-state system means that the control unit itself can be mounted at any angle, and fits most vehicles. Installation is as easy as buying the right wiring harness, and plugging the unit in.
Braking power is applied at a fixed rate, which is proportional to how hard you press the brake pedal.
How to buy the right brake controller
Before buying, you need to check that the unit is compatible with your make, and model of vehicle. When you buy on Amazon, you will be prompted at the top of the page to enter your vehicle details. It only takes a few minutes to fill in the fields, so working out which of the above brake controllers is best for you is super easy.
Getting further help and customer support
It does not matter which of above models you choose you get fantastic customer support from Reese. They have been in the towing business for decades and have kept pace with changes to vehicle braking systems, so are able to answer all of your questions.