Originally Posted by CADreamin
In a recent RV magazine article, a reader notes that people have trouble backing up their trailer because they "leave the trailer brakes operative while attempting to back the trailer. Many people keep their foot on the brake pedal, which energizes the brakes and make it difficult to control the trailer movement."
A proper trailer brake controller only applies braking force in proportion to deceleration (how rapidly you are slowing down) - that's why they're called "proportional" - so it doesn't affect backing up any more than going forward. If your controller has a "boost" feature (such as in Tekonsha models such as the Prodigy, that needs to be turned off to avoid a pulse of braking every time you touch the pedal. I don't use boost at low speeds, and have never even considered unplugging the trailer (or the controller) to back up.
If you have a "timed" brake controller, it just applies braking power every time you touch the pedal, and ramps it up to higher power for as long as the pedal is applied (regardless of how hard you are braking). The solution in this case is to unplug... unplug the controller, take it to an electronics recycling facility, and replace it with a proportional controller.