Ask TFLtruck: What’s the Best Brake Controller Option for my Toyota Tacoma?

2015 toyota tacoma crew cab v6 4x4 towing a horse trailer on an extreme towing test
2015 Toyota Tacoma V6 4×4

Once upon the time most trucks did not come from the factory with a built-in brake controller, but today most half-ton trucks and HD trucks offer this essential towing tool. However, this is still not the case with all mid-sized trucks as Matt now knows. Matt wrote us this week with this great question:

“Hi guys, I have a 16 Tacoma which has a factory harness for a brake controller but no factory controller. I have acquired a Tekonsha p3 controller but there’s no quality place to put it nor do I relish the idea of drilling into my dash. I have a micro toy hauler that has a GVR of 2,990 lbs which has electric brakes. What do you guys think of these three options? Say the heck with it and drill in the break controller? What about the Intelli-hitch? Lastly since my trailer is only 2,990 lbs should I even worry about brakes?

Thanks for taking your time to read this


Matt, we had a similar issue a few years ago, when we were doing the TFL Gold Hitch Ike Testing testing of the Toyota Tundra. At that time, the Tundra did not have a factory brake controller, and we had to install it into the truck. It was a pain in the butt…even with the truck being pre-wired for the controller.

My best advice to you would be to bite the bullet and install it. Towing just 3,000 pounds you should be fine without a brake controller. The truck and the factory brakes are capable enough to stop your toy hauler. However, keep in mind that a brake controller will ad a significant amount of safety and security to your rig, especially in emergency braking situation. It will help prevent trailer sway when braking and also allow you to tow more weight (if and when) you decide to upgrade to a bigger and heavier toy and toy hauler.

 Of course that’s just my opinion. I know our readers and viewers have tons of experience so let’s get their advice as well.  Please be so kind and let Matt know what you would suggest in the comments below.

BTW: Check out TFL’s Ike Gauntlet testing of your truck below:

Roman Mica is a columnist, journalist, and author, who spent his early years driving fast on the German autobahn. When he’s not reviewing cars or producing videos, you can find him training for triathlons and writing about endurance sports for as our sister blog’s publisher. Mica is a former broadcast reporter with his Master’s Degree in journalism from Northwestern University.