Husky Towing Products Quest Brake Controller - Worry-Free Towing
We Test Husky’s Advanced Proportional Brake Controller
Trailer brake controllers have come a long way since first being introduced. You might remember your dad, or even your dad’s dad wiring up a controller back in the day—and what a hassle it was stringing wire the entire length of the truck, or tapping into the brake line in order to run a hydraulic controller. That, and the controllers of old were so primitive they had to be pre-set, often braking too hard and jerking when not towing heavy, or not supplying adequate braking power in panic stop situations (such as with time delay units) when you were heavily loaded.
Since the advent of inertia-activated, electronic brake controllers, braking sensitivity has constantly been evolving and improving. Thanks to proportional control, where the trailer brakes mimic the braking input of the tow vehicle, towing has been made safer, easier, and has also allowed users to pull a variety of trailers (with varying weight) in the same, smooth, trouble-free manner. We recently got our hands on Husky Towing Products’ Quest brake controller, installed it in an ’02 Dodge Ram 3500, and tested its functionality with a 10,000-pound toy hauler in tow.
Husky Towing Products’ Quest is a proportional brake controller that uses an advanced inertial accelerometer to instantly activate trailer brakes yet keep the braking action smooth. It has an eight-brake capacity, on-the-fly adjustability, a full power manual override, and is self-leveling. Being a proportional controller, the Quest is perfect for drivers who tow often, or haul considerable loads.
You can see six screws are supplied to mount both the provided controller mount (requiring the two shorter screws) to the dash, and the brake controller to the mount (via four longer screws). For vehicles not equipped with factory tow packages, Husky includes the crimp connectors needed to splice the control wires with the truck’s function wires. Because we’re right-handed and the truck has a manual transmission, it was natural for us to mount the controller to the right of the steering wheel, and near the bottom of the dash.
Loaded up with ATVs, propane, water, and other essentials, this 28-foot, tandem-axle toy hauler tipped the scales at a little more than 10,000 pounds. Literally thousands of people tow their campers or enclosed trailers in this weight range every weekend, so we felt we had a moderately heavy load behind us as far as conventional (or bumper) towing is concerned. Testing began on a remote road where we utilized the controller’s on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment, which quickly became one of our favorite aspects of the Quest.
Brake control adapter harnesses (arrow) are a big reason why it’s so simple to install a brake controller these days. They allow your electronic brake controller to adapt to the factory tow package plug under the dash. The adapter harness for our ’02 Dodge wasn’t included but was available separately through a Husky dealer (PN 31707) for $12.95.
When the brakes are applied, the braking power is displayed digitally, and in a range of 5 to 99 percent (99 percent being most powerful). We started at the basement of the Quest’s sensitivity settings, which was 0 of 5 (5 being the most sensitive). Even while on the lowest sensitivity setting, we never felt like the trailer was pushing us when attempting to stop. Our testing fell short of simulating a full-on panic stop, but with the controller’s sensitivity set on 4, we induced a braking scenario at highway speed that called for 80 percent trailer braking power. Even with the sensitivity setting cranked up to 5, braking response and engagement remained very smooth in all stopping situations.
One area where the Quest really shined was when backing up. In reverse, the controller still offers proportional braking, rather than a preset brake power or no braking power. This makes backing up a heavy trailer a lot easier—especially for a manually shifted tow vehicle. We were so pleased with how the Quest performed that it stayed in the truck after testing, and we ditched the previously installed brake controller.
Husky Towing ProductsWilsonville, OR