Wireless brake controller - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-18-2019, 11:00 AM   #1
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Scamp 13 Layout B
Washington
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Wireless brake controller

I just bought a 2014 Ford Explorer tow vehicle and I'm thinking about a wireless brake controller. Does anyone have experience with this unit from Curt?

ECHO MOBILE TRAILER BRAKE CONTROLLER #51180
MSRP $261.84 USD
Wireless, portable design allows for easy transfer from one vehicle to another
Bluetooth connection to control all brake settings from your smartphone
Custom-designed app monitors brake activity and sends status updates
Zero-tool, plug-and-play install between vehicle-trailer 7-way connectors
Triple-axis, motion-sensing accelerometer for highly responsive, smooth stops
Stores multiple user and vehicle-trailer profiles
Multi-color LED indicates power, trailer detection and wireless connectivity
Potted enclosure seals off electronics from the elements for lasting durability
Locking tab helps maintain a strong 7-way connection
Automatic calibration reduces setup requirements
Downloadable app available for Apple iOS and Android OS
Allows incoming calls to be received while app is running
Compatible with low-voltage systems, PWM systems, ABS and cruise control
Built-in reverse-polarity and short-circuit protection
Limited lifetime warranty
Assembled in USA
Notes:
Operates 2-4 trailer brakes at a time (1-2 axles)
Not compatible, but will not interfere, with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
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Old 05-18-2019, 01:53 PM   #2
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Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
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the wireless brake controller i've heard of a number of people using successfully is the Tekonsha Prodigy RF [1]

does your Explorer have a factory 7-blade harness as part of the tow package? If it does, there should be a Ford standard plug near the top of the far left side kick panel, just under the dash, you can get the harness connector [2] for a wired brake controller (example [3]) to plug into this, and done, it all works.

[1] https://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Contr...sha/90250.html
[2] https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories...ha/3035-P.html
[3] https://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Contr...sha/90885.html
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Old 05-19-2019, 01:20 PM   #3
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Name: Bruce
Trailer: 2017 Escape 19
New Hampshire
Posts: 32
Wireless brake controller

I have the Prodigy RF controller which works great. We drive German cars which are notoriously hard to install wired controllers in. The initial pairing of the Prodigy Bluetooth controller, which goes in the vehicle, with the wired brake control unit which mounts on the trailer frame, was a little tricky. It had to be done with an American car as the Audi was too “smart”. Once that was accomplished the cockpit controller is easily transferred between tow vehicles. The controller was simply unplugged from the cigarette lighter in the Q5 (old) and plugged back in to the Touareg (new). This avoided having to buy 2 controllers and to perform two difficult wired installs. It also theoretically allows me to easily loan our camper to friends/relatives with non-brake controller equipped tow vehicles. (Not going to happen!)
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Old 05-19-2019, 01:36 PM   #4
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Trailer: Scamp 13 Layout B
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And there it is, problem solved.
Thanks John and Bruce
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:33 AM   #5
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Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
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I have the Autowbrake, which works very well and mounts in the trailer itself. You do have a pendant to activate the brakes manually in case of sway and can be used to decrease or increase the braking force being exerted to fine-tune the brakes.

https://getautowbrake.com/
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:31 PM   #6
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Starting to think about getting our Scamp 16 ready for our first season of camping. I had about decided to order the Tekonsha Prodigy wireless brake controller from eTrailer, but it looks like they have stopped carrying it. When I asked, they suggested I look at the Curt C51180 wireless controller instead. It costs substantially less, around $200. It doesn't require a control box to be mounted on the trailer and there is no controller for the tow vehicle. Instead, you just use and app on your smart phone.

I'm perfectly comfortable with bluetooth, smart phones apps, etc. I guess my only concern is that there is no way to secure it so I'll always have to remember to remove it and lock it up.

Has anyone tried this Curt controller yet? Thoughts?
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:44 PM   #7
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Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpassmore View Post
Starting to think about getting our Scamp 16 ready for our first season of camping. I had about decided to order the Tekonsha Prodigy wireless brake controller from eTrailer, but it looks like they have stopped carrying it. When I asked, they suggested I look at the Curt C51180 wireless controller instead. It costs substantially less, around $200. It doesn't require a control box to be mounted on the trailer and there is no controller for the tow vehicle. Instead, you just use and app on your smart phone.

I'm perfectly comfortable with bluetooth, smart phones apps, etc. I guess my only concern is that there is no way to secure it so I'll always have to remember to remove it and lock it up.

Has anyone tried this Curt controller yet? Thoughts?
Um, I wouldn't want a brake controller that doesn't have a manual override for the trailer brakes so you can control the trailer in an emergency, for instance if the trailer is swaying, or if the hitch has come undone!!

If I'd had to find and open a trailer app on my phone when my trailer hitch broke last spring, EEEEK, I doubt it would have ended as nicely as it did (briefly panic, grab manual trailer brake, bring whole rig to a stop off the road). playing with my phone while my F250 was being bucked back and forth by the Escape 21 whipping on its safety chains? yah, not happening.

The Tekonsha Prodigy RF controller is still being made.
https://www.tekonsha.com/products/br...7Cwrs3HYB13zs=

no idea why eTrailer told you its not.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:11 PM   #8
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
...
The Tekonsha Prodigy RF controller is still being made.
https://www.tekonsha.com/products/br...7Cwrs3HYB13zs=

no idea why eTrailer told you its not.
Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. Camping World lists it as backordered.
And of course etrailer didn't say it that is wasn't being made.. they simply dont list it for sale on their site.

I suggest you call or email etrailer and Tekonsha and ask. Both are known for being responsive to customer inquires. We would like to know what you find out.

PS.. I share some of John's concerns, but I always said that if I were to go with a "wireless" brake controller (even if its not really wireless), then Tekonsha is the one I would choose. It does have a manual control... just not nearly as good as the P2, P3 etc. If I were limited to controlling the trailer brakes on my smartphone then I agree that would be a deal breaker!
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:42 PM   #9
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In BC, you'd get a hefty ticket for using a hand-held device while driving.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:19 PM   #10
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Name: Rich
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Wireless brake controller

I emailed eTrailer asking where the wireless model had gone to. They replied with a note listing all the WIRED Tekonsha controllers they have for sale and a suggestion that I consider the Curt option instead, so I assume something is going on, just wondered if folks here and heard something.

I have no problem using my iphone as a dedicated brake controller. The Curt app allows for a manual override if necessary, with controls for braking power and sensitivity. It looked pretty slick.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpassmore View Post
...
I have no problem using my iphone as a dedicated brake controller. ...
But you should have a problem with it.. or maybe I should say you will have... eventually, if you travel far enough.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:33 PM   #12
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We’ll find out!
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rpassmore View Post
We’ll find out!
That is true.. I hope you get to report back.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:14 PM   #14
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The fine for a distracted driving ticket is $368, along with four driver penalty points that will be applied to the driver's record. First-time violators must pay an extra Insurance Corporation of B.C. penalty fee of $210 for a total of $578.Mar 21, 2019


That's Canadian dollars, so less in USD. You might want to check for similar laws in US states and other provinces.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:42 PM   #15
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You do bring up a good point about hands free laws. Minnesota recently passed their version. Minnesota allows you to touch your screen while driving if it's an emergency. What defines an emergency isn't clearly defined. It's my understanding the BC also has a similar exception, but of course they also don't define emergency either. I would prefer the Tekonsha controller but I've got a couple of months to figure out what's going on with their product before I need to commit.
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