Brake controller - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-04-2020, 07:20 AM   #1
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Name: Craig
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Brake controller

In preparation for my new trailer due early 2021 I am researching brake controllers. I have never used one before so I have been studying. I will be towing a Happier Camper Traveler with a 2019 VW Atlas 6 cylinder.

The Prodigy consistently seems to be a top choice. What other controllers do you folk recommend?

Have any of you folk towed with an Atlas and what controller do you use? Are there any unique aspects of the Atlas to be aware of?
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:02 AM   #2
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First, does your Atlas have a built-in brake controller or a wiring harness ready for a plug-in controller? If not, you will need to have the controller wired into your system.

My preference is the Tekonsha P3, but the P2 is also very good. They are easy to program and use.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:06 AM   #3
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Tenkosha

We too are waiting on a trailer (16 Scamp) in December. After researching I put a Tenkosha P3 in out Tahoe and tested out the wiring. Probably overkill controller but what the heck
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:28 AM   #4
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My Atlas has the factory tow hitch package but no built in controller. I was told it has the wiring harness for a controller.

Thanks for the input on the P3. Can it be installed at any angle or does it need to be level?

This might seem a but silly but would some of you folk post a photo of your controller installed in your dashboard? I have not seen many installations and it would help for me to see where they can be installed.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:42 AM   #5
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While the Prodigy series and the Tekonsha name is unsurpassed in quality and reputation, they can be a bit difficult to locate in some tow vehicles.
There are a couple of others which will work just as well and offer more convenient and less intrusive installations...

I have used Prodigy for many years in various vehicles, but when I got my new Ranger last year I chose the InSight by Hopkins because it has conventional controls and a clear digital readout screen combined with the versatility of locating them within view and reach.


Another even less intrusive controller which has a completely built-in look but no actual digital readout is the REDARC. It is widely used and popular and shares the location versatility of the InSight.


If you have "adaptive cruise control" it may be a factor in what choice you make (consult your dealer for OEM applications) You may need to shut off the "adaptive" feature when towing and just use the regular cruise control feature.


Lastly, any of the controllers mentioned here will interface with your vehicle in the same way including if the vehicle has a plug and play harness.


nSIGHTâ„¢ Flex-Mountâ„¢ Brake Control



https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Bra...BRH-ACCV2.html


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Old 08-04-2020, 10:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig D. Thompson View Post
In preparation for my new trailer due early 2021 I am researching brake controllers. I have never used one before so I have been studying. I will be towing a Happier Camper Traveler with a 2019 VW Atlas 6 cylinder.

The Prodigy consistently seems to be a top choice. What other controllers do you folk recommend?

Have any of you folk towed with an Atlas and what controller do you use? Are there any unique aspects of the Atlas to be aware of?
I installed a Prodigy P3 in an Audi Q5 a few years back. I purchased a collection of parts from VW to adapt the controller to the factory wiring connecter in the car. I had a parts list from someone's post on an Audi forum; I don't know that I even checked to see if Tekonsha a connector cable that was ready-made.

So, you might want to check Tekonsha (and any other alternatives) to see if they offer a ready-made cable. It wasn't a difficult job to make up the cable, but it did add an additional step.

Installation video link
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Old 08-05-2020, 06:25 AM   #7
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Name: Craig
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Thanks for the input. The InSight looks promising.

I will research the cruise control question.

I have been reading about the Prodigy P2 & P3 and trying to understand the differences between them. Just being a little dense here. What are the main differences between the two controllers?
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Old 08-05-2020, 06:58 AM   #8
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The installation location became troublesome for me. It was mounted too low at the left drivers side. One day as I entered the vehicle I accidentally broke off the manual brake lever for the Prodigy 2. To the installers credit, it seemed like the best place to install it. It still works "fine" minus the lever.
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:58 AM   #9
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I was looking at my dashboard this morning. There is very little open space. The lower left might work but I really do not want to be hitting it with my leg.

The units that separate the electronic box from the controls are intriguing. The Hopkins InSight was mentioned earlier. It has a display unit and a dial.

The Redarc and Curt both have controllers with just a small dial on the dash. What do you give up without a display? Any members here have experience using any of these?

About the only free space is on top of the dashboard, in the center where a shallow storage tray is. Is there any reason a Prodigy P2 or P3 or similar controller should not be mounted there? It is low enough to not block my view. It would be the easiest and fastest place to reach should I need to hit the manual brake button.

Sorry for such questions. I have never used a brake controller so I am trying to learn all I can.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:37 AM   #10
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If the Atlas is like the Touareg there is a 4 pin plug that is VW specific, but there is an adapter for the Prodigy. Otherwise you need to buy one off ebay or the pieces from VW.
One of the best deals I found was from Poland and it took a while to get here.
First find out what harness and plugs are needed.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:46 AM   #11
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I have used both the P-3 and the Redarc Pro-Tow and the Redarc is easier to find a mounting for the small knob, but the P-3 is smoother and I like the display better.
I use the P-3 in the Town and Country and the Redarc in the Touareg.
Here is a link to the VW Atlas forum that talks about trailer and the Atlas and also the need for the factory installed hitch.
https://www.vwatlasforum.com/threads...ch-atlas.1530/
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Craig D. Thompson View Post
I was looking at my dashboard this morning. There is very little open space. The lower left might work but I really do not want to be hitting it with my leg. ...
Hitting leg is not so bad... air bags are the bigger concern.. Anything, including brake controllers, must be mounted so as to not interfere with the air bag deployment.

My van for one has lots of airbags. In the dash, near the knees, on the sides, etc SO many I cant remember the count.
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:11 PM   #13
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I have mounted a Prodigy a couple of times on top of the dash next to the "A" pillar. It works nice and and is easy to reach and read.
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:21 PM   #14
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I use InSight. The versatility of the components placement easily beats the advantages of other brake controllers.
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:25 PM   #15
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How well does the InSight control the braking? Does it perform the job as well as say a Prodigy? Again, questions from a complete brake controler noob.
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:33 PM   #16
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Personally I did not use Prodigy controllers. But I used few other proportional controllers. To me, all work the same.
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig D. Thompson View Post
How well does the InSight control the braking? Does it perform the job as well as say a Prodigy? Again, questions from a complete brake controler noob.
It has the same advanced features and performs beautifully, PLUS! It can be placed InSight and InReach.
Very convenient and great price point.
Easy install as well.
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thumbnail.jpgIB1.jpg  
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:04 PM   #18
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Name: CHET
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...Have any of you folk towed with an Atlas and what controller do you use? Are there any unique aspects of the Atlas to be aware of?
May seem like a silly question, but are you certain your vehicle isn't already equipped with a trailer brake controller? If it came with a factory tow package, that's usually installed. Modern cars feature a digital controller that is accessed through the menu screen on your dash. It's not like the old days when you had a physical controller mounted under/in the dash itself.
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:52 PM   #19
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I have mounted our P3 in the lower-left of both the Jeep and the Q5 I worried that it would be a knee-knocker as I got in and out of the vehicle, but in the event neither location has been a problem. That said, the Insight looks pretty slick.

We had an open fault in the seven-pin connection recently. I realized it when we approached the first stop sign after departing from the house and I could feel the lack of trailer brakes. Now it will be part of our pre-departure checks along with the lights and everything else.

While it was easily remedied, it would have been nice to see the display up above the dash to indicate the lack of connection. I keep our old Garmin GPS up there on the dash behind the steering wheel as a sort of poor-man's heads-up display. I really like not having to take my eyes so far off the road as the in-dash GPS would require.

The angles that matter on mounting the P3 are illustrated below. Other units may have differing mounting requirements.

Quote:
Note: The P3 must be mounted on a level horizontal (side-to-side) plane and must be lined up with the direction of travel for the internal sensor to function properly.
https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Bra...018/90195.html
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Prodigy P3 Mounting.jpg   Prodigy P3 Mounting 2.jpg  

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Old 08-05-2020, 04:03 PM   #20
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I mounted our P3 in the corner on top of the dash, where I could see it while driving, and more importantly, reach the manual activation lever in an urgent or emergency situation without taking my eyes off the road.
The second photo also shows my new addition, a rear-view camera screen.
(Edit: there is a black cardstock shroud over the P3, so I can see it in sun-lit conditions.)
Attached Thumbnails
brakecontroller Loc-1.jpg   rear view cam and P3 controller.jpg  

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