Wireless Brake Controller? - Fiberglass RV
Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-15-2020, 05:33 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Lisa
Trailer: Eggcamper
New York
Posts: 21
Wireless Brake Controller?

Hi All, we are thinking of getting a new tow vehicle. We have an EggCamper with brakes. We currently tow with an older RAV 4. We had to go to a private little company to have the brake controller wiring done. The Toyota dealer and Camping World wouldn't touch the job. They don't want to mess with the wiring harness. It was a big run around and the guy who finally did it took a long time and said he almost couldn't get it right. This time around I am wondering about the new wireless brake controllers. Does anyone have experience with them? Are they an easy solution to the problem of needing a brake controller with a small tow vehicle? Looking forward to your comments!
Lisa Fingerlakes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2020, 07:11 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 5,155
I hope this does not sound rude but this has been discussed many times on this forum. It would be helpful to review the posts already made, even if you get good feedback in this thread.
I would use Google with this filter in the search: "site:fiberglassrv.com"
Use the names of the various controllers as well as the general terms, wireless brake controller.
gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2020, 08:15 PM   #3
Member
 
Name: R.R.
Trailer: Escape 21
California
Posts: 83
Used a Tekonsha Prodigy RF and it was great! It went with the last trailer and now have integrated one from factory. Would use that Prodigy again though without hesitation.
Osos1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2020, 08:43 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
rdickens's Avatar
 
Name: Ray
Trailer: 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe
Missouri
Posts: 692
Lisa,

I don't know about more recent controllers but, several years ago we used the Teconsha Prodigy RF.

For the most part, it worked just fine.

The one thing that I did notice was that, after we parked the trailer for the night, I would hear a ticking sound for a while.

As it turned out, the Prodigy RF was periodically activating the brakes for a while and the ticking sound that I was hearing was the brake shoes contacting the drums. Eventually, the ticking would stop.

In all other respects the controller worked just fine.

That was a few years ago. Things may well have changed since then.

Best of luck to you!

Ray
rdickens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2020, 09:33 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Trailer: Escape 17 ft
Posts: 8,314
An after market installer wired my Prodigy P2 brake controller and installed hitch receiver in my 2008 RAV4 V6. He did the work at the dealership, prior to me taking possession.

He had no issues with the install and neither did I.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2020, 02:56 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Name: Kelly
Trailer: Trails West
Oregon
Posts: 3,011
The first thing to find out is if your vehicle has a plug under the dash that is already set up for trailer brakes. That makes the job pretty easy to do.

If they don't have that pre-installed feature then it will involve doing extra wiring under the hood and inside the dash.

If you can't or don't want to get involved with putting in the wiring then hire the job out. Most larger towns have companies that do that kind of work on vehicles and trailers. Actually so do a lot of the small towns located in farm country as the agricultural business involves hauling lots of stuff on trailers be it animals, vegetation, supplies, equipment etc.

Get Quotes!!!!
k corbin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2020, 05:35 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 11,609
Registry
Wireless Brake Controller?

Your old RAV4 is not pre-wired for trailer brakes, but it should be possible to install a wired controller. But is it a V6 with the optional factory tow prep package (HD radiator, HD alternator, transmission cooler)?

You also mentioned a new tow vehicle. What vehicle are you looking at? Many new vehicles have CAN-bus wiring systems, and tapping into a brake wire can send the computer haywire. From what Iíve read itís still possible if the installer knows what to do, but not everyone wants to mess with a brand new vehicle.

Honda Pilot and Passport are pre-wired for trailer brakes. Toyota crossovers are not.
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2020, 11:15 AM   #8
Member
 
Name: Skip
Trailer: Casita
Arkansas
Posts: 47
My 2020 Ford Ranger came with the wiring harness and plug-in installed in the rear bumper, however without a brake controller and Ford doesn't offer one (if you can believe that). The dealer THOUGHT he could get an aftermarket one installed for around 700 bucks. I said no thanks and started my own research. What I ended up with was a Curt Echo wireless brake controller. I downloaded the app, plugged it into the truck and Casita trailer and it works better than my old wired controller on my previous truck. Additionally, I can remove it and use on other vehicles. May not work for everyone but works like a champ for me.
Flydog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2020, 11:39 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Trailer: Escape 17 ft
Posts: 8,314
FYI. In 2008 I had Hidden Hitch class 3 receiver installed in my RAV4, had Prodigy P2 brake controller that I provided installed. Installer ran 10 gauge wire instead of 12 at my request and the price for all was $650 CAD, plus cost of brake controller.
Had you checked prices at a hitch shop or U-Haul?
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2020, 05:31 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Name: Maria
Trailer: Parkliner 2018
Maryland
Posts: 135
CURT Echo Wireless Brake Controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flydog View Post
My 2020 Ford Ranger came with the wiring harness and plug-in installed in the rear bumper, however without a brake controller and Ford doesn't offer one (if you can believe that). The dealer THOUGHT he could get an aftermarket one installed for around 700 bucks. I said no thanks and started my own research. What I ended up with was a Curt Echo wireless brake controller. I downloaded the app, plugged it into the truck and Casita trailer and it works better than my old wired controller on my previous truck. Additionally, I can remove it and use on other vehicles. May not work for everyone but works like a champ for me.

Flydog, that's great to hear. I just ordered one through a local shop. A lot of the reviews (Amazon) complained about it fitting loose and concerns about losing it while on the move. Some said they actually lost it. I think I also read where CURT was going to do/add something to 'tie it' on for additional security.


Does yours have any such additional 'tie on'?
Maria in MD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2020, 06:37 PM   #11
Member
 
Name: Skip
Trailer: Casita
Arkansas
Posts: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria in MD View Post
Flydog, that's great to hear. I just ordered one through a local shop. A lot of the reviews (Amazon) complained about it fitting loose and concerns about losing it while on the move. Some said they actually lost it. I think I also read where CURT was going to do/add something to 'tie it' on for additional security.


Does yours have any such additional 'tie on'?
I use a thing called Multi Clamp (need 2 of them) that can be found in the electrical department at littlehousecustoms.com/store.
Flydog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2020, 08:09 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Name: Maria
Trailer: Parkliner 2018
Maryland
Posts: 135
CURT Echo Wireless Brake Controller

Thanks Flydog. I appreciate the link .
Maria in MD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2020, 10:32 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
John Colangelo's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Burro, HELIO
Washington
Posts: 118
Registry
I have a HELIO O3 that I tow with a Subaru Forester. I had a flat 4 pin connector that was used previously on my factory installed towing system on my Subaru. My car does not have a brake controller. Since the HELIO I own weighs 1600 pounds empty, it is equipped with electric brakes. After a lot of research I settled upon the ECHO Wireless Brake Controller. Here are the steps to install if you have a flat 4 pin. If you don't have a flat 4 pin and have a round plug, you're in better shape to begin with.

1. First, I ordered a specially equipped Flat 4 to 7 round adapter made to go with the wireless brake controller. It's part number ETBC7L from trailer.com. (not endorsing them, but they did a great job of product support and the price was as good as Amazon)

2. Then I ordered the CURT ECHO Wireless Trailer Brake Controller from trailer.com, part number C51180. (about $235)

3. When the kit arrives the controller needs 9 volt Power from the tow vehicle battery. This is the tricky part of the ENTIRE installation. The kit has everything you need but if you're not comfortable running a power wire from your battery to your hitch and threading the cable under the carpeting and seating, then take it somewhere and have them do this step. This can be time consuming since in my case I had to remove the back seats to thread the cable. The black power cable connect from the car battery to the ECHO system.

4. Now you have to attach the new 7 pin round connector to the bumper of your tow vehicle. This can be tricky since most cars now have plastic bumpers, you may have to attach it to the frame underneath by drilling a hole through the metal. Download the ap to your phone, be careful to scan the correct code for either the APPLE or the DROID.

5. Connect the ground wire and the power wire, the other two wires from the new 7 pin round do not need to be attached since the reverse light and the brake signal wire are not needed.

Make sure you secure them with zip ties because the ECHO is somewhat heavy and if it's not attached well, you can loose it. The brake controller works by sensing MOTION from the tow vehicle, NOT from a brake signal coming from the tow vehicle. (this is why you don't need to connect the brake signal cable to the 7 pin round.). In other words, once everything is installed, as your tow vehicle slows, the ECHO will sense the motion decreasing and it will PROPORTIONALLY apply the brakes. EASY.

I picked up my new HELIO from Salem, OR and towed it back to Seattle, WA (4 hours) with no issues at all! You don't even really need the ap on the phone, the controller works even if your phone battery dies, you only need the ap on the phone if you want to gradually apply brakes down a very steep hill (I never needed to do that the controller worked so well by itself).

This amazing technology negates the need to install a bulky and expensive wired brake controller in the tow vehicle. For those people who have a tow vehicle with factory installed brake controllers and a 7 pin round connection in the back, you are GOLDEN without the need to do any of this (LUCKY DEVILS!).

Hope this helps!
John in Seattle
__________________
Think Positive Thoughts...........
Happy Trails, Life is Short....Camp Often!

John
John Colangelo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2020, 08:27 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Name: Maria
Trailer: Parkliner 2018
Maryland
Posts: 135
Thanks John. I'm hoping it's just plug and play since I have the 7pin already. I won't know if it works until I plug it in when I get to the camper, 8 hrs away ::sigh::
Maria in MD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2020, 10:01 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Name: Kelly
Trailer: Trails West
Oregon
Posts: 3,011
I look at those wireless brake controllers, $200 or so and I think, now there is an unsecured item worth some bucks that someone could quickly swipe if I go inside for a pit stop, do some quick grocery stopping or go into a cafe or even take a nap at a truck stop.

I would need to be constantly removing it and locking it inside the vehicle to be sure it will still be there when I get ready to roll.

Someone on Etrailer asked how the Curt brand one can be secured and this is their reply...

"There is no way to lock the Curt Echo Mobile Trailer Brake Controller part # C51180 to your vehicle, that is correct. In order to deter theft you will want to unplug the unit and place it in your truck each time you are in an unfamiliar area. The unit can then be plugged right back in without going through the setup process."

Yes it takes longer to install a standard style but if that is your only tow vehicle you need to figure out long term convenience versus a one time cost.
k corbin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2020, 05:55 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 5,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Colangelo View Post
... the controller needs 9 volt Power from the tow vehicle battery. ...
Good write up, but its ~12 volts (13+ when vehicle is running)

Quote:
Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
I look at those wireless brake controllers, $200 or so and I think, now there is an unsecured item worth some bucks that someone could quickly swipe if I go inside for a pit stop,..
Some like the AutowBrake controller could be mounted inside the camper. The AutowBrake controller is usually secured to the tongue and one could not just grab it and go, but to be even more secure it could be inside the camper.
gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2020, 06:37 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Alex Adams's Avatar
 
Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
Posts: 1,122
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Some like the AutowBrake controller could be mounted inside the camper. The AutowBrake controller is usually secured to the tongue and one could not just grab it and go, but to be even more secure it could be inside the camper.
That's what I did. I have the Autowbrake mounted inside the trailer. It works great.
Alex Adams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2020, 08:53 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
floyd's Avatar
 
Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
Posts: 8,448
Registry
Before you decide on wireless... What vehicle are you going with "this time around"?
Kinda Scary that Toyota can't install a brake controller on their own product.


4 wires... at least three of which require no contact with the vehicle harness.
floyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2020, 08:59 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
floyd's Avatar
 
Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
Posts: 8,448
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Adams View Post
That's what I did. I have the Autowbrake mounted inside the trailer. It works great.
I see the Autowbrake and the Echo each require a "working" 7 pole RV plug on the vehicle.
Did you have an RV plug already on your vehicle which was not prewired for a brake controller?
floyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2020, 09:12 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Alex Adams's Avatar
 
Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
Posts: 1,122
Actually, the Autowbrake only needs the standard 4 pins and power. Technically only 5 pins used from a 7-pin connector. I had an 8 gauge fused wire run from the battery to a 4 pin to 7 pin adapter. 2 pins on the 7 pin adapter are not being used (brake and backup). I know I have to unplug from the trailer when stopped for any length of time, but this way I do not touch any of the factory wiring.
Alex Adams is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wireless brake controller sweendog Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 14 02-17-2020 09:42 PM
Scamp 19 wireless brake controller dcs02d General Chat 5 07-29-2018 05:53 PM
Brake Controller Gina D. Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 20 12-02-2005 12:45 PM
Pod Brake Controller Gina D. Classified Archives 3 11-24-2005 05:34 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions Inc.