Brake Controllers - Prodigy vs P3 Predator - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-09-2009, 11:54 AM   #1
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From a current thread on RV.NET:

I did a little research and if I were buying a new brake controller, I would choose the P3 over the Prodigy (I am a Prodigy owner, BTW).

1. No note in instructions stating that it can be damaged by testing breakaway switch -- Since the breakaway switch manfs have one testing that switch often, it sounds like a recipe for smoke on the Prodigy -- I'd check with Tekonsha tech support to be sure it's not just an omission, however.

2. In the Troubleshooting Mode, one can look at the current being drawn by the magnets (Anything less than 3 Amps per braked wheel warrants inspection, IMHO) -- That's a TOOL, in my book, not a 'bells and whistles' item - YMMV.

3. There are no stated limits on the mounting angle of the P3 as there are, with diagram, for the Prodigy -- This could be very important if an unexpectedly steep hill is involved (We Small TTs are more likely to be taking the road to Telegraph Creek, BC with its 20% grade ) -- Again, a check with the techs would be in order

4. Prodigy says it is not designed for use with electric-hydraulic brake systems; again no such note for P3 -- Again, check with Tech in order.

5. Finally, there is a caution in P3 instructions about not being intended for use on icy roads (What am I doing towing a trailer on an icy road, but there it is...) -- In this case, no such caution with with the Prodigy -- And again, another check with tech.

So, there's my take on P3 vs Prodigy -- YMMV!

Wow, Tekonsha/Cequent has already answered my questions re: the difference between the instructions for the Prodigy and the P3.

I've inserted my comments on their comments in Italics:

Thank you for contacting Technical Support. In response to your email, any brake control unit can be subject to damage when the breakaway pin is pulled and the vehicle is electrically connected. The units are protected however they can only withstand the voltage back feed from the breakaway battery for a period of time.

Chalk this one up to no difference between controllers -- Omission from P3 instructions.

The P3 brake control unit can be mounted at virtually any angle vertically as long as the rear of the unit faces the direction of travel. However the horizontal orientation of the control unit must be level.

Chalk this one up as a plus for P3.

The Tekonsha P3 was designed to be used on Electric brake systems as well as electric/hydraulic brake systems.

Chalk this one up to P3 also.

For the boost mode, this gives you increased braking when you first apply the vehicle brake pedal so in icy situations you might find it necessary to turn off the boost mode. This is a debatable subject due to the fact, if you turn the boost off, then more of the braking will be put on the vehicle, and if the boost sets the voltage high enough the trailer wheels could break free causing the trailer to sway of jackknife.

Chalk this one as no difference between controllers. Omission from Prodigy instructions.

If you were to replace the Prodigy with the P3 the wiring harness will be the same connector, however depending on which mount you are using you would need to change the mounting bracket. If you have any questions or need further assistance feel free to write back or contact us at (888) 785-5832.

Chalk this up to easy switch to other controller, depending on what you have and what you want.

Bottom line for me is I would choose the P3 over the Prodigy if I didn't already have the Prodigy.

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Old 03-09-2009, 12:38 PM   #2
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I'm looking to buy a brake controller right now so this thread is timely. However, I am a little confused by your endorsements or plusses in each category. It seems to me they are very similar, yet you give the P3 the edge. In my situation with a minivan I'm wondering what I get for an extra $40.

1. No difference
2. Can the Prodigy not be mounted at any angle also? says no level adjustment necessary. Does this mean something else?
3. I only have electric brakes so having hydraulic capacity is not really advantageous for me.
4. No difference
5. Not a huge deal to me as I don't plan on switching controllers often.

Care to give any more insight? I guess if one had hydraulic brakes on their trailer, the upgrade might be nice but I don't know if it's worth it in most situations on here. Thanks.

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Old 03-09-2009, 03:13 PM   #3
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I talked to a technical rep a Tekonsha a couple weeks ago regarding just this, the difference between the P3 and the Prodigy. His response was that there really was 2 differences in how they operate and what they do. The P3 works with electric over hydraulic systems, and has more diagnostics. The 'workings' of the two function the same. Physical differences are how it mounts, a bit of difference in controls, and the display.

He said that either would effectively do the same thing in regards to your trailer breaking, and that I need to decide if I wanted the additional features. I did order the P3, primarily because of the mount.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:52 PM   #4
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It was part of a thread on another group.

I primarily give P3 my personal edge because of the diagnostics (current in Amps to the magnets) and also because there are fewer restrictions on mounting. Prodigy has angle restrictions but they are restricted even further when TV is on a hill, because it is the angle to level that counts, not the angle to the vehicle floor... I have a Prodigy, by the way, but if I were buying new, I'd get the P3.
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