Brake Controllers - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-30-2008, 09:33 PM   #1
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Just wondering what most people use for brake controllers. I need a new one, so looking for advice.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:54 PM   #2
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Ches,

Sure been happy with my Prodigy as much as one can be happy with a brake controller, and after getting it for around $79 last June, its been worth the $$$
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:08 PM   #3
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I understand there are different types of prodigy controllers, and they don't have to sit level.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:44 PM   #4
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Ches, there is only one Prodigy. Tekonsha is the manufacturer and the "prodigy" is one model of controller they make.

Tekonsha Brake controllers

Their website sux eggs with Firefox, however.. you should switch to IE to view it.

In answer to your question, I have a prodigy and have been extremely happy with it. It seems to be the "standard" for consumer level controllers, is easy to use and is pretty forgiving about level etc, as you mentioned.

A story I have always told when asked about why I got it..

My brother is an experienced tugger. I asked him what he recommended. his reply was:

If you don't get a Prodigy, I will send my children to live with you.

That did it.

oh, and for once, he was right
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:12 PM   #5
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I'm a prodigy fan. It seems to me that the inertia system is the most reliable.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:27 PM   #6
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You might also check into Dexter's DX-2 "Predator" inertial/proportional brake controller which I consider a bargain at $59.95 including shipping.

It's from Dexter, the same company that builds most of the trailer axles and brakes installed on our little trailer.

It is less "automatic" than the Prodigy, allowing customization of braking forces to those willing to adjust the pendulum angle. That feature also allows it to be mounted at much more severe angles than the Prodigy, from less than horizontal to almost vertical, a helpful feature where the mounting surface (dashboard) may not offer many near-horizontal possibilities.

I don't work for Dexter, but I am a satisfied user.

Bob
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
You might also check into Dexter's DX-2 "Predator" inertial/proportional brake controller which I consider a bargain at $59.95 including shipping.

It's from Dexter, the same company that builds most of the trailer axles and brakes installed on our little trailer.

It is less "automatic" than the Prodigy, allowing customization of braking forces to those willing to adjust the pendulum angle. That feature also allows it to be mounted at much more severe angles than the Prodigy, from less than horizontal to almost vertical, a helpful feature where the mounting surface (dashboard) may not offer many near-horizontal possibilities.

I don't work for Dexter, but I am a satisfied user.

Bob

I'm not sure you're aware that the prodigy can be mounted up to a 70 angle. Not quite point straight up toward the stars, but pretty darn close.
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:59 AM   #8
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+1 on the Tekonsha Prodigy... can be had for <$100, doesn't have to be mounted perfectly level, can handle up to 3 axles, easily installed with good documentation...
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:11 AM   #9
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yada yada Prodigy yada yada
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:55 PM   #10
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Hi Ches; I used the same Tekonsha Voyager for many years through several vehicles and was quite happy with it's function, but it did require double checking on the settings on a regular basis.

We got the Prodigy for our newest tow vehicle and have been very pleased with it, requires very little checking and adjustment of settings. If you find you are in situations where you want a slightly more or less aggressive braking action from the trailer, these can be easily adjusted with the push of a button, even while underway, and it shows what your settings are. Highly recommend this unit. Picked mine up brand new from ebay for about $80 Canadian about a year ago, with very reasonable shipping as it was in the local region.

As for the installation of the unit, mine is mounted on a lower dash panel, well clear of my knees, at an angle of about 65 to 70 degrees. The more critical angle is that the mounting be fairly straight on in orientation to the front rear directional line of the vehicle (within about 5 to 10 degrees) In most vehicles this orientation is almost a non issue.

In the past, some have recommended the new P3 unit from Tekonsha, but the added features appear to be ones that 99% of fiberglass owners will never use based on the common current trailer brake and axle construction. If you look at some of the humongous 5th wheels and stickies that are going to the newer style disk brake systems, then that is the time to maybe consider the newer P3 unit.

When buying, make sure that it is a version 2.6 (software or firmware???) this is the most current. Some of the ones where it is not stated are 2.4 version or older.

Charlie
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:09 PM   #11
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I have no basis for comparison, but count one more vote for the Tekonsha Prodigy. I've also received prompt response from their email support team.

One annoying "feature" worth mentioning, though, is that it keeps probing the brakes on the trailer even with the ignition turned off. This can be annoying if you need to leave your trailer connected: you may hear a clicking sound coming from your brakes every 3-4 seconds when parked (or sleeping). This can be resolved by adding a manual flip switch to the blue cable or disconnecting your trailer. The Prodigy also constantly draws a few milliamps from your car battery when parked (normally not a problem). Also, be sure not to have the unit installed tilted downwards as mine was - if you do, it will blink constantly until you either straighten it out or go nuts.
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:49 PM   #12
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Another point in Prodigy favor is that they have a Lifetime Warranty -- If the unit fails, just take it to any RV dealer and they will swap it for a new one from their stock. Been there, done that, it works (and I bought it on EBay).

Voyageur does not have lifetime warranty (same company); dunno about Dexter model.
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Old 01-31-2008, 05:52 PM   #13
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Thanks all for your thoughts on this subject.
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:11 PM   #14
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Hi Ches; I used the same Tekonsha Voyager for many years through several vehicles and was quite happy with it's function, but it did require double checking on the settings on a regular basis.

We got the Prodigy for our newest tow vehicle and have been very pleased with it, requires very little checking and adjustment of settings. If you find you are in situations where you want a slightly more or less aggressive braking action from the trailer, these can be easily adjusted with the push of a button, even while underway, and it shows what your settings are. Highly recommend this unit. Picked mine up brand new from ebay for about $80 Canadian about a year ago, with very reasonable shipping as it was in the local region.

As for the installation of the unit, mine is mounted on a lower dash panel, well clear of my knees, at an angle of about 65 to 70 degrees. The more critical angle is that the mounting be fairly straight on in orientation to the front rear directional line of the vehicle (within about 5 to 10 degrees) In most vehicles this orientation is almost a non issue.

In the past, some have recommended the new P3 unit from Tekonsha, but the added features appear to be ones that 99% of fiberglass owners will never use based on the common current trailer brake and axle construction. If you look at some of the humongous 5th wheels and stickies that are going to the newer style disk brake systems, then that is the time to maybe consider the newer P3 unit.

When buying, make sure that it is a version 2.6 (software or firmware???) this is the most current. Some of the ones where it is not stated are 2.4 version or older.

Charlie
Where did you go to get yours installed, Charlie?
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