Brake controller for Volvo -- which one? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-01-2015, 01:44 AM   #1
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Brake controller for Volvo -- which one?

There seems to be a large range of controllers with all kinds of features I'm not familiar with.

My Bigfoot LilBea(13.5 Lil Bigfoot) has electric brakes, and we're in the process of setting up the 2002 Volvo V70 AWD to tow.

This is the selection I'm seeing, and I have NO idea which way to go!

Brake Controller for 2002 Volvo V70 | etrailer.com

Any advice or instruction much appreciated!

Deets on the V70:
5-speed auto transmission with cooler (to be installed)
5 cylinders
20 valves
168 HP@5900 rpm
Max torque 170 ft. lbs @4500 rpm
GVW 4690 lbs
Curb weight 3380-3595 lbs
Permissible axle weight, front 2330 lbs
Permissible axle weight, rear 2470 lbs
Max trailer weight w/o brakes 1100 lbs
Max trailer weight w/brakes 3300 lbs
Max tongue weight 165 lbs
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Old 08-01-2015, 03:45 AM   #2
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Ellpea the numbers you posted really don't make any difference to a controller. One of the best rated controllers on the market is the Prodigy P2. Read the reviews on Etrailer and their videos of the install, easy. It only has to be level left to right. The body can be spun 360* if needed for an install. I didn't have a lot of areas in my Ranger to mount a controller so I had a good view and reach of it for manual use if needed. Being able to mount it at a 45* angle up on the lower dash was perfect. You really can't go wrong with a P2. BTW, just from my years of towing I have no use for any wireless units. If you should want to use a second vehicle to tow, just add the wiring and controller case to the second car and transfer the controller over as it plugs in.
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:53 AM   #3
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I agree with Dave. I've had my P2 ten years. No issues. Works great. Raz
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:36 AM   #4
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3X on the Prodigy P2
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:09 AM   #5
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The P2 is good the P3 show you more and cost a little more and is what I bought for my VW TDI.
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:20 AM   #6
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This is what I have and love it. Tekonsha Prodigy P2 Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 4 Axles - Proportional

If I were buying one today, I would either get this one or the the little mor expensive Tekonsha Prodigy P3 Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 4 Axles - Proportional

Don't skimp on something so important. If your vehicle has a Jack built in, then be sure to get the electrical cable from Tekonhsha that makes installation a snap.
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:20 PM   #7
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Wow, that sounds like a landslide for the P2.

(Yah, well, those statistics might not make a bit of difference... but someone always asks me some question about some detail I can't look up right then because the manual is in the car. I figure if I include everything under the sun anyone could possibly want to know, I've saved myself a step, right? )

Certainly don't want to skimp. We want the proper thing, but it doesn't need to be gold plated. Darwin, I'm sure we don't have a jack built in. Dang.

Thanks y'all!

LP
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:42 PM   #8
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P2 or P3... I prefer the added readouts on the P3 and thats what I got.. but either is fine.

PS.. re: "Don't skimp on something so important." Yes, but the controller is only part of it. Be sure the install is done, not just right.. but instead, really well done. Use really good wire, good quality jack to the trailer plug, etc. The quality of the install is more important since most brake controllers do a competent job.. until they fail due to bad connections or the like.

Thats why I did my own install.. I have little confidence in most people who do this kind of work. Took me forever though, cause I made it perfect.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:00 PM   #9
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Ask Etrailer about the connection. They want $65 for the connector so you may have the jack already there.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
Ask Etrailer about the connection. They want $65 for the connector so you may have the jack already there.
Whoops, maybe I'm misunderstanding. What exactly *is* this jack of which you speak? Part of the receiver? Purpose?c
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:17 PM   #11
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Some vehicles are pre-wired for the trailer lights, charging line and brake controller. I have heard it mentioned before that Volvo has the Optional cord that connects between the wiring loom and the 7 pin connector on the hitch. There may also be wiring for the brake controller under the hood and/or dash.


As a comparison, on my GMC Sonoma and my Chevy Blazer, all of the needed wiring was in place, including fuses for the charging line and controller, all I had to do was connect them. Check with your Volvo Service Manager and/or Volvo customer service.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
Whoops, maybe I'm misunderstanding. What exactly *is* this jack of which you speak? Part of the receiver? Purpose?c
Since I used the term Jack in a different context, I will reply too.

I was referring to the jack that you plug the 7 pin plug from the trailer into. Obviously if this connection comes apart, you have no (electric) trailer brakes. Nor will you have trailer lights.

The other jack in question I think is a receptacle for the brake controller that some vehicle manufactures put in the vehicles. Often it is found under the dash or behind a trim panel in the drivers compartment area. It requires a "pigtail" adapter for the brake controller which is custom to your vehicle make / model and not very expensive.

There is also sometimes a jack (receptacle), often in the rear interior of the vehicle, for trailer lights.

Echoing the comment to check with your dealer (and the vehicle manual).
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:48 PM   #13
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P2 all the way.. 5yrs and counting not ONE single burp. P3 is an overkill for our trailers. P2 probably is too...but it's a middle-line and one of the best if NOT the best all-around BC in the world.
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:02 PM   #14
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"jack" explanation

Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Since I used the term Jack in a different context, I will reply too.

I was referring to the jack that you plug the 7 pin plug from the trailer into. Obviously if this connection comes apart, you have no (electric) trailer brakes. Nor will you have trailer lights.

The other jack in question I think is a receptacle for the brake controller that some vehicle manufactures put in the vehicles. Often it is found under the dash or behind a trim panel in the drivers compartment area. It requires a "pigtail" adapter for the brake controller which is custom to your vehicle make / model and not very expensive.

There is also sometimes a jack (receptacle), often in the rear interior of the vehicle, for trailer lights.

Echoing the comment to check with your dealer (and the vehicle manual).
AHA. Thanks for the explanation. Another word used for more than one thing.

Our independent service guy knows where all of this stuff is. The factory hitch comes with its own "jack." He says that it is wired somewhat differently (European) from ours (US). He actually recommends removing the trailer's jack and adding a European model in its place. He can then dedicate certain wires to do certain things.

I don't think the car has a "jack" for trailer brakes installed already. But I'm willing to bet the wiring is already set up in there pretty close to the rear end.

Can't wait to get all of this done appropriately and to get this baby out there!

Best,
LP
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