Brake control(again) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-24-2007, 08:14 PM   #1
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Hi all I have just bought a Bigfoot B19. I have to have my Savana passenger van fitted with the wiring,7pin plug, and brake control before i pick it up. The shop that isgoing to do the wiring has recommended a Voyager but I see from searching this site that the Prodigy is highly recommended. I have never towed anything before so this is all new to me. I have a couple of Questions.
Do both units brake the trailer before the tow vehicle? and when stopped at a light or in traffic are the trailer brakes on all the time that the brake pedal is down(even though not moving)?
Is anyone else towing with savana?
Pleased to be a member of the group TonyB
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:35 PM   #2
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Welcome, Tony!

I would opt for the Prodigy. The Voyager is much further down the food chain in brake controllers. I have a Sentinel and a Prodigy in my two tow vehicles, and I really like the Prodigy much better.

The controllers can be adjusted for the amount of trailer brake you get when you apply the brakes, and have a setting to allow them to come on slightly harder than your tow vehicle brakes (which is desireable).

The Prodigy (I believe...) will let the brakes off after the vehicle has come to a stop.

You can read about the various Tekonsha products here.

Roger
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:46 PM   #3
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Welcome, Tony!

I would opt for the Prodigy. The Voyager is much further down the food chain in brake controllers. I have a Sentinel and a Prodigy in my two tow vehicles, and I really like the Prodigy much better.

The controllers can be adjusted for the amount of trailer brake you get when you apply the brakes, and have a setting to allow them to come on slightly harder than your tow vehicle brakes (which is desireable).

The Prodigy (I believe...) will let the brakes off after the vehicle has come to a stop.

You can read about the various Tekonsha products here.

Roger
Thanks Roger, I have looked at the Tekonsha . I imagine that it would be a bad thing to have the brakes on when stopped for a length of time?
Tony
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Old 04-24-2007, 09:00 PM   #4
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Thanks Roger, I have looked at the Tekonsha . I imagine that it would be a bad thing to have the brakes on when stopped for a length of time?
Tony
Yes, I'd conjecture that it's probably not a good thing to have the electromagnets charged for much more time than necessary to stop the trailer.

Roger
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Old 04-24-2007, 09:06 PM   #5
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We went with the Tekonsha Prodigy and found it very easy to set up and think it to be well worth the few extra dollars.

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Old 04-25-2007, 02:01 PM   #6
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Dealers recommend the Voyager because they have it in stock and it is the most profitable for them. I see no reason to use this lower-level device when the superior Prodigy (from the same manufacturer) is available; the cost difference is negligible.

The Prodigy does not entirely release the trailer brakes after stopping, since it is good to have the trailer held stationary... instead, it re-applies them at some low level, the precise value of which I do not remember at the moment (it's in the manual, which is on the Tekonsha website). Without this feature, the brake current in a typical proportional controller (such as the Voyager and Prodigy) would be zero (since there is no deceleration happening); a timer-based control would presumably keep applying high brake current as long as the brake lights were on.
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Old 04-27-2007, 06:36 PM   #7
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Dealers recommend the Voyager because they have it in stock and it is the most profitable for them. I see no reason to use this lower-level device when the superior Prodigy (from the same manufacturer) is available; the cost difference is negligible.

The Prodigy does not entirely release the trailer brakes after stopping, since it is good to have the trailer held stationary... instead, it re-applies them at some low level, the precise value of which I do not remember at the moment (it's in the manual, which is on the Tekonsha website). Without this feature, the brake current in a typical proportional controller (such as the Voyager and Prodigy) would be zero (since there is no deceleration happening); a timer-based control would presumably keep applying high brake current as long as the brake lights were on.
Thanks for your input. I had the van wired today with the Prodigy control. It uses 25% power when stopped according to the info.It cost $400 plus tax a total of $455 Can. I had shopped around a few places and this was an average price. I have no idea how this compares to other areas. Like many things when you see it installed you realize that you could do it yourself. I am now ready to go and am looking forward to my first towing experience when I pick up the Bigfoot next week.
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Old 04-28-2007, 09:30 PM   #8
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Thanks for your input. I had the van wired today with the Prodigy control. It uses 25% power when stopped according to the info.It cost $400 plus tax a total of $455 Can. I had shopped around a few places and this was an average price. I have no idea how this compares to other areas. Like many things when you see it installed you realize that you could do it yourself. I am now ready to go and am looking forward to my first towing experience when I pick up the Bigfoot next week.
Tony I am assuming that the C$455 was installed? If so that is about what we paid.

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Old 04-29-2007, 11:16 AM   #9
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It cost $400 plus tax a total of $455 Can. I had shopped around a few places and this was an average price. I have no idea how this compares to other areas. Like many things when you see it installed you realize that you could do it yourself...
Since I installed my Prodigy myself, I don't have a great basis for cost comparison; however, I did ask for installation quotes (including the wiring for power to the trailer battery) and when added to what I paid for the controller they came to at least $400. U.S. residents should note that these controllers a quite a bit more expensive here, or at least they were a couple years ago when I bought mine.

I did the installation myself as much because I didn't like how the shops were proposing to do it as due to the cost. If you can get someone else to do a good installation and you don't enjoy doing this kind of work, then paying to have it installed sounds like a good plan to me.
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Old 04-29-2007, 03:02 PM   #10
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Tony I am assuming that the C$455 was installed? If so that is about what we paid.

Carol
Yes that was to wire the van with the seven pin socket and included the prodigy.Oddly.the off the shelf price of the Prodigy was $234 but they charged only$150 on the bill, the rest was labour?
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Old 04-29-2007, 03:10 PM   #11
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Since I installed my Prodigy myself, I don't have a great basis for cost comparison; however, I did ask for installation quotes (including the wiring for power to the trailer battery) and when added to what I paid for the controller they came to at least $400. U.S. residents should note that these controllers a quite a bit more expensive here, or at least they were a couple years ago when I bought mine.

I did the installation myself as much because I didn't like how the shops were proposing to do it as due to the cost. If you can get someone else to do a good installation and you don't enjoy doing this kind of work, then paying to have it installed sounds like a good plan to me.
I am surprised that they did not use marine grade wire to guard against corrosion, I have just sealed all the crimp on connections with liquid electrical sealer.Other wise they did a fair job.
Tony
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:26 PM   #12
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I am surprised that they did not use marine grade wire to guard against corrosion, I have just sealed all the crimp on connections with liquid electrical sealer.Other wise they did a fair job.
Tony
Marine grade wire? That's something new to me -- How is it different? Using liquid tape or some other sealer (even neoprene wet suit cement) is indeed a good idea to prevent corrosion getting up under the insulation.
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Old 04-29-2007, 07:36 PM   #13
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Marine grade wire? That's something new to me -- How is it different? Using liquid tape or some other sealer (even neoprene wet suit cement) is indeed a good idea to prevent corrosion getting up under the insulation.
Marine grade wire has every strand tinned along its whole length.It is a little more expensive but is worth the extra. I have my sailboat up for sale and will be doing more camping from now on. There are a lot of similarities between boats and travel trailers from the holding tanks to the 12v systems.
Tony
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