DT Tested: Valley Industries

Odyssey II Trailer Brake Controller

Published in the December 2008 Issue December 2008 Products

WHAT:
THE ODYSSEY II BRAKE CONTROLLER IS THE ADVANCED SUCCESSOR TO THE POPULAR ODYSSEY CONTROLLER. ITS FEATURES MAKE IT THE MOST CONVENIENT AND EFFECTIVE AFTERMARKET CONTROLLER WE'VE USED. WE TESTED THE CONTROLLER ON OUR 2007 DODGE 3500 DRW LONG BED MEGA CAB.

HOW MUCH:
$145-
WWW.ETRAILER.COM, 800-298-8924

WHAT IT DOES:
THE ODYSSEY II PROVIDES SMOOTH BRAKING, WHETHER YOU'RE STOPPING AT THE END OF THE FREEWAY OFF-RAMP, DRIVING THROUGH CITY TRAFFIC OR HITTING THE BRAKES IN A PANIC STOP AT 70 MPH. YOU WON'T FIND YOURSELF FOOLING WITH A GAIN DIAL TO CONSTANTLY ADJUST THE CONTROLLER'S OUTPUT, DEPENDING ON YOUR SPEED, LIKE YOU DO WITH LESSER BRAKE CONTROLLERS. THIS IS ACHIEVED THROUGH ITS DUAL-AXIS INERTIA SENSORS AND ITS SMARTER ELECTRONICS. IT HAS PROGRAMMABLE PRESETS FOR FOUR DIFFERENT GAIN LEVELS. THIS MEANS YOU CAN PROGRAM A DIFFERENT PRESET FOR YOUR FIFTH-WHEEL TRAILER AND ANOTHER FOR YOUR UTILITY TRAILER EMPTY AND ANOTHER FOR YOUR UTILITY TRAILER LOADED AND SAVE THE LAST FOR ONE OF THOSE COOL HYDRAULIC DUMP TRAILERS THAT YOU WANT BUT JUST CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW YOU COULD USE IT. IT HAS A PRESSURE SENSITIVE MANUAL SWITCH SO YOU CAN APPLY THE TRAILER BRAKES IN VARYING DEGREES, NOT JUST "OFF" AND "ON." THE ODYSSEY II WORKS WITH TRAILERS WITH 1, 2, 3 OR 4 BRAKE AXLES.

WHAT STANDS OUT:
ODYSSEY II'S SOFT PUSH BUTTONS ARE SIMPLE AND CONVENIENT TO USE. MANY BRAKE CONTROLLERS ARE NOT INTUITIVE TO USE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE CRUISING DOWN THE ROAD WITH A TRAILER OR TRYING TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS AS YOU MANEUVER A TRAILER INTO A TIGHT SPOT. THE DIGITAL SCREEN ALSO MAKES IT EASY TO SEE WHAT THE CONTROLLER IS DOING AND DIAGNOSE ANY PROBLEMS. THIS CONTROLLER HELPED US DIAGNOSE A SHORT CIRCUIT IN OUR TRAILER BY SHOWING A "CI" (CIRCUIT INTERRUPT) ON THE SCREEN.

THE ODYSSEY II WORKS THE WAY A GOOD CONTROLLER SHOULD. WITHOUT ADJUSTMENT BETWEEN SITUATIONS, WE'VE SEEN THIS CONTROLLER STOP WELL WITH A 15,000-POUND TRIPLE AXLE TRAILER IN STOP AND GO TRAFFIC, HIGHWAY STOPPING AND WE'VE SEEN IT LOCK UP THE BRAKES IN A PANIC STOP, ALL IN THE SAME DAY. IT DOES ALL OF THE ABOVE WITHOUT CAUSING THE BRAKES TO BIND OR JERK UNEXPECTEDLY, WHILE PROVIDING CONSISTENT AND SMOOTH STOPS. WE ALSO FIND THE GAIN MEMORY SETTINGS TO BE VERY CONVENIENT. NO MORE MESSING WITH A DIAL TO FINE TUNE THE BRAKES AS YOU'RE ROLLING AND STOPPING. JUST PUSH THE BUTTON TO LEVEL 1, 2, 3 OR 4 AND DRIVE. THE ODYSSEY ALSO COMES WITH A DETACHABLE MOUNTING BRACKET THAT YOU CAN MOUNT AT ANY ANGLE OR INCLINE. THIS, COMBINED WITH THE QUICK CONNECTOR IN THE BACK, ALLOWS YOU TO QUICKLY PULL THE CONTROLLER AND USE IT IN A DIFFERENT VEHICLE. WHEN THE CONTROLLER IS SNAPPED INTO PLACE IN THE NEW VEHICLE, IT TELLS YOU IT NEEDS TO SELF CALIBRATE. SO YOU PUSH A BUTTON AND IT DOES ITS THING. NICE. ITS QUICK CONNECTOR FITTING WORKS WITH BOTH VALLEY WIRING CONNECTORS AS WELL AS TEKONSHA WIRING.

THE DOWNSIDE:
HMMM . WE'VE BEEN USING THIS CONTROLLER FOR THREE MONTHS AND 18,000 MILES AND DON'T HAVE ANY COMPLAINTS YET.

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