I purchased a brake controller which is not the typical single-box-with-slide/squeeze-button-below-dash-cheapo... and am very pleased.
I overlooked it at first...then realized it was the perfect solution for a customized installation and the bonus is that it works so smoothly and is clearly a quality product. It is proportional and works on inertia as well as senses brake application at the tow vehicle. It took me about an hour to make the install.
While the exact model I purchased (from Vogt RV in Ft Worth) has a different brand-label on it.... I found that Hopkins distributes it thru Pep Boys and online at half the price.
Hopkins InSIGHT Flex-Mount Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 4 Axles - Proportional Hopkins Brake Controller HM47297
It consists of 3 components, a dedicated harness, and is complemented with a tow-vehicle-specific adaptor harness. The 3 components consist of 1) a small "brain-box" or CPU/Inertia unit (about the size of a cigarette pkg) which mounts anywhere convenient as long as it's mounted fore/aft and relatively level (I mounted it with screws to the side of a support brace above my emer. brake but it could easily also be mounted using tie-wraps), 2) a small 1" monitor with LED readout of percentage-units of brake application (I mounted it atop my dash, adjacent to my left doorpost/beside the grab-handle, where it is easily viewed), and 3) a small control-box which incorporates a quality slide-switch to manually apply trailer brakes if necessary. (I mounted it on the dash, to the right of the steering column, below the ign switch, in front of my right knee which places it within easy-grasp for any emergencies.) The amount of brake application via that switch is simultaneously indicated on the monitor.
The units are connected with a supplied harness. The only additional need is the custom harness to adapt it to your particular tow vehicle. (This proved to be a slight issue with my 2012 Ram 1500
which I will explain later.) Most vehicles are covered with readily available adaptor-harnesses.
The separate-components design was initially intimidating...but after re-consideration I realized it to be the better way to do this after-all, as it allowed an installation which is unobtrusive and appears OEM. It works perfectly and seamlessly, despite Dodge/Ram's best efforts to prevent aftermarket controllers. The instructions are clear and the operation is simple and well-explained. I couldn't be happier...when I picked up my new-to-me 22' Sport and came to the first stop... it worked perfectly, smoothly, and without grabbiness or lurching. WELL DONE, I said to myself!
*Here's the only glitch I encountered, and you may not if you read the EDIT I've made below: The adaptor harness had to come from a U-Haul trailer facility, not Hopkins nor Pep Boys. The actual harness I used came from United RV center and had the correct mating plugs...but the U-Haul unit included wire color-code descriptions and I discovered (to my chagrin and good fortune BEFORE making the connection that the pins were criss-crossed incorrectly on the United harness. I fixed that problem using the color-code description in the U-Haul instructions, and the fix was to manipulate the retaining-clips within one of the custom plugs to relocate the pins so as to match up with the color-codes in proper order. Not a huge problem...but would likely have caused electrical problems in the Ram if I'd not checked the codes prior to hooking up the adaptor harness from United. The U-Haul harness would have fit perfectly, however I'd already paid for the United harness and didn't wish to go thru the return-process.)
Over-all.... this description may seem discouraging...but I promise you will be pleased with the quality of the brake controller and the appearance of the installation you choose to make.
EDIT: Subsequently I discovered more info on this unit:
The Hopkins InSIGHT Flex-Mount Trailer Brake Controller, # HM47297
, can be installed on your 2011 Dodge Ram 1500
. (and 2012)
If your Ram is equipped with a factory 7-way connector, you will just need the Plug-In Simple Brake-Control Wiring Adapter, # HM53015
, in order to install the brake controller. By using this harness you will not have to do any cutting or splicing of wires, just plug the one end into the brake controller and the other end into the OEM plug which is located under the dashboard to the left of the steering column taped to another harness near the emergency-brake pedal.
If your truck has a factory 4-way connector and OEM plug under the dash, you will also need a 4 Pole to 7 Pole Vehicle End Adapter, # 37185
, in addition to part # HM53015
Begin the entire installation on a 2011-2012 RAm by removing two screws beneath the steering column kick-panel and jerking the panel loose from the panel (It is held with clips and two screws on the lower surface.) Also, the monitor may be mounted at the left doorpost by using a small screwdriver blade to pop out the plugs above/below the doorpost grabhandle and removing the two screws holding the doorpost cover in place. Be careful not to damage the air bag assy hidden behind the doorpost. The entire installation can be made without any further disassembly of the vehicle.
This video may be helpful: