Trailer brakes in the real world? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-18-2012, 12:08 AM   #29
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Name: Darrell
Trailer: 13 ft Ventura
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<comment removed>

Today we came back from a 24-hour vacation at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park where I sat by the fire and pieced some of this issue together.

I noticed the town hitch specialist stocked Reese brake controllers only. All Reese controllers appear to be time based (dated technology) rather than the latest inertia or proportional systems.

From the recommendations given here, I'll try to get a Prodigy 2 or P3. Although with 10" trailer brakes on a lightweight trailer I'm sure I won't need the "Boost" function of the P3.

I located a controller outlet under the dash for a plug n play installation. There's also factory trailer prewiring near the back end of the van which will simplify wiring up a 7-way connector.

Many thanks for all your advice and encouragement.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:02 AM   #30
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P2

Just installed Prodigy P2 in my new truck .Works well . Has boost
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:06 PM   #31
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We just installed a P3 and really like it - our first time with a brake controller.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:49 PM   #32
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:26 PM   #33
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if you have them on your trailer, for the little it will cost to hook them up , use them.
with your tow you don't need them




uh,,wait,,,i am not an expert on these things,,,,i just play one on t.v.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:35 PM   #34
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I ain't no expert nohow neither, but.....

If you have 'em - hook 'em up & use 'em

You MAY find that having brakes and not using them could potentially run you afoul of laws and or/ insurance policies
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:50 PM   #35
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I have the Tekonsha Primus IQ with Boost from my Popup and it worked great. Trailer shop who installed it said I didnt need all the fancy features on the Prodigy models for such a small, lightweight trailer. A little less expensive but does e'thing I need w/o being complicated, lol. I prefer simple.
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Old 05-18-2012, 05:39 PM   #36
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I didnt need all the fancy features on the Prodigy models for such a small, lightweight trailer. A little less expensive but does e'thing I need w/o being complicated...
For the little difference in price, I suggest buying up. You may not need it today, but you don't know what you might tow in the future.
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:34 PM   #37
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Could a Scamp 13ft exceed the 3000 when loaded with all your stuff?
Trailer Weights in the real world answers this for FGRV's pretty well Trailer Weights in the Real World
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:20 AM   #38
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Name: Darrell
Trailer: 13 ft Ventura
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Originally Posted by Darrell O View Post
<comment removed>

Today we came back from a 24-hour vacation at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park where I sat by the fire and pieced some of this issue together.

I noticed the town hitch specialist stocked Reese brake controllers only. All Reese controllers appear to be time based (dated technology) rather than the latest inertia or proportional systems.

From the recommendations given here, I'll try to get a Prodigy 2 or P3. Although with 10" trailer brakes on a lightweight trailer I'm sure I won't need the "Boost" function of the P3.

I located a controller outlet under the dash for a plug n play installation. There's also factory trailer prewiring near the back end of the van which will simplify wiring up a 7-way connector.

Many thanks for all your advice and encouragement.
The conclusion of the matter:

I ordered Prodigy P2 and harness online from Carstairs RV in Alberta and plugged it in to the under dash connector and it powered up fine.

There is one other business, a general auto repair shop, advertising hitch installations in the local Yellow Pages.

I brought the TV there to have the 7-pin connector connected and installed. After a lot of searching for factory wiring, including removal of interior panels the mechanic could find no factory trailer wiring running to the back of the vehicle. This got resolved by connecting the blue (brake) wire directly from the new controller back to the bumperr and another wire (with breaker) off of the battery. The new 7-pin connector plugs into the existing 4-pin that I previously installed in the vehicle. I was charged for three hours, although the job took longer after the futile search for factory wiring.

However, with the P2 the braking system work great and has a unified feel to it as though you are stopping a single vehicle. The P2 has boost setting but I set the boost to "off" as the 10" brakes are capable of locking at higher settings. The specialist hadn't heard of inertia-based controllers and proportional braking.

The first hour of use went well but then the display on the controller started randomly flashing codes for not connected to standby and back to connected - but the brakes still functioned normally. After emailling a description of this to Tekonsha I got a phone call four days later and the tech representative said they had a recent run of units with software issues and offered to exchange it. But by this time however, I had already mailed it back to Alberta. So here's hoping the replacement isn't another of the affected units - at this point Tekonsha doesn't have the problem units identified to a particular range of serial numbers.

Holy doodle, making this brake controller thing happen sure turned into a mega-project!
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:53 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Darrell O View Post

I brought the TV there to have the 7-pin connector connected and installed. After a lot of searching for factory wiring, including removal of interior panels the mechanic could find no factory trailer wiring running to the back of the vehicle. This got resolved by connecting the blue (brake) wire directly from the new controller back to the bumperr and another wire (with breaker) off of the battery. The new 7-pin connector plugs into the existing 4-pin that I previously installed in the vehicle. I was charged for three hours, although the job took longer after the futile search for factory wiring.

Holy doodle, making this brake controller thing happen sure turned into a mega-project!
Darrell I hope the new controller when it arrives works out better for you. I think you made the right decision to go with the one you did but agree its never fun when you waste a lot of time trying to install a product that doesn't actually work in the first place.

When you say there was no factory trailer wiring are you saying there was no hidden wiring connection for lights etc or just the brakes? You didnt indicate what tow vehicle you are using so no idea if they are one that you would have expected to find the basic trailer wiring pre installed - although you did indicate there was a wiring harness at the rear - I'm confused. If it was only the blue brake wire they couldnt find its pretty common even on tows that come with trailer wiring pre installed, a lot of manufactures dont include the brake line installed from the factory.

Hope you get it sorted and get out to enjoy your trailer soon.
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:10 AM   #40
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I have spent a bit of time, putting new brake shoes with backing plates,on our 93' Bigfoot. I drove it up thru Canada and Alaska and was pleased. very noticeable when using or not using them!
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:19 PM   #41
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Name: Darrell
Trailer: 13 ft Ventura
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
When you say there was no factory trailer wiring are you saying there was no hidden wiring connection for lights etc or just the brakes? You didnt indicate what tow vehicle you are using so no idea if they are one that you would have expected to find the basic trailer wiring pre installed - although you did indicate there was a wiring harness at the rear - I'm confused. If it was only the blue brake wire they couldnt find its pretty common even on tows that come with trailer wiring pre installed, a lot of manufactures dont include the brake line installed from the factory.

Hope you get it sorted and get out to enjoy your trailer soon.
Thanks Carol,
I installed the aftermarket 4-pin trailer light harness a couple of years ago. It sort of piggybacks into the tail light sockets.

My vehicle is a 2005 Ford e150 XLT van which is pretty loaded with options. As is I mentioned the controller plug was pre-wired at the factory. It was live/powered but the mechanic could not find the brake wire on the engine side of the firewall - or pre-wiring at the back of the van - except for the 4-pin flat I installed.

But for all that, I have to pick up some unrelated parts at the Ford dealer so I'll give the parts fellow the serial number and ask him to look up the wiring schematic. If there is indeed basic factory trailer light wiring back there somewhere I'd rather plug into a factory circuit, rather than tapping into the tail lights which is presently the case.

It's pretty hard to squeeze under this van to see things as it has surprisingly limited ground clearance for a truck-based chassis.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:26 PM   #42
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You will not regret the brakes on your trailer. Pulled ours home today in Owen Sound we are in a valley with the Niagara escarpment at the top just did 6th St. hill up no problem but down let’s just say I am so glad the trailer has 10” brakes and a proportional braking unit.
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