Prodgy brake controller - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-02-2006, 08:05 PM   #1
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Trailer: 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel Dlx / 2001 Ford Ranger 4x4
Posts: 1,125
I got a dvd on this controller , but yet havent set it.... when I set it to the right setting am i suppose to have my foot on the brake when i do this?? It doesnst say that in the DVD. I had it hooked up to the trailer and didnt know what to do... so I asked the RV place where i take my Scamp and they gave me one...
I have to take it over on the 10th the get the sway bar put on and i want to be sure everything works ok...

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Old 04-02-2006, 08:43 PM   #2
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Posts: 4,999
I didn't watch the Prodigy DVD until after I had installed and set up the controller. It does show what to expect the working controller to look like, but didn't show the setting very well at all.

No, you do not put your foot on the brake when setting up the controller. The display shows the voltage being put to the trailer brakes, so if you are braking at the time you try to adjust it, you won't be seeing your adjustment. Instead, while stopped and not holding the brake pedal on (transmission in park or parking brake engaged), you pull the lever all the way on and the display shows your current full-braking setting. You turn the knob to change that setting, and pull the lever to check it.

Test stops are done by coasting (no tow vehicle braking) and pulling the lever on fully. The controller applies power according to your setting, the trailer brakes drag the whole rig down, and the idea is that the trailer brakes are supposed to almost lock up. You don't need to completely stop with the trailer brakes, just get an idea of how hard they are working. Obviously, starting from a low setting is a good plan to avoid unnecessary test-stop drama.

As mentioned in the controller instructions, some trailers never do lock up the tires, no matter how high the setting is. That's the case with my Boler, so I ended up with a setting that made the whole rig stop almost like the van alone, with the trailer doing it's share. If I set the controller too high, the trailer tries to do more than it's share, which is very jerky at low speeds. The test braking with the van coasting is still valuable to check for side-to-side pull: on my first test, I found out that one trailer brake was doing nothing because of the bad wiring under the trailer.
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
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