Trailer Brakes

Discussion in 'Tow Rigs and Trailers' started by etjeep, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. etjeep

    etjeep New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Location:
    Cary, NC
    I am picking up a Kraftmade trailer next week and want to get some input on electric trailer brakes. Its a 5-ton trailer with brakes on each axle to be pulled with a 3/4 ton Silverado. Kraftmade can provide trailer brakes, but I am not sure what brand.

    Can anyone offer a recommendation for a good quality electric trailer brake?

    Eric
    '78 Wag
     
  2. Rob

    Rob Administrator Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Location:
    Sanford, NC
    One word. Prodigy
     
  3. etjeep

    etjeep New Member

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    Apr 20, 2005
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    Cary, NC
    I like your philosophy Rob. I know a few people who should adopt it. Where might I find a prodigy, are there local vendors or is on-line a better bet?
    Eric
    '78 Wag
     
  4. Rob

    Rob Administrator Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Location:
    Sanford, NC
    That I don't know. I was researching brake controllers on the net before I bought my truck, and prodigy came up on top. Mines a prodigy but it's built in so works different from the aftermarket ones. I don't know of any place local that sells them but I would ask around the RV places.
     
  5. etjeep

    etjeep New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Location:
    Cary, NC
    Thanks rob. Maybe someone else will pipe up. Last year I rented a trailer and took it to Uwharrie. It did not have a brake controller so I should be alright for the short term. I definately want to have one when we go to Paragon though. So I have a littel time.
     
  6. Aggressive1

    Aggressive1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Myrtle Beach
    If you are just looking for the controller you mount in the truck....Advanced Auto has a simple digital one that is all you need. Towed campers and car trailers with it and it works find. Don't know of much fancy crap you can get on a controller. Except for Fords new built in one is pretty sweet I hear.
     
  7. IN2JEEPN

    IN2JEEPN Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    Wilson, NC
    Musgrave Trailer and Equipment, 70 South of Goldsboro is where I got my Tenkonsha(sp?) Prodigy..

    Ebay always has them!!

    As far as I am concerned there should be no other aftermarket brake controler !!
     
  8. lomodyj

    lomodyj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Out in the Middle
    I've got an "Activator II" from "Draw-tite"...works just fine.

    Helped put a Prodigy in a bud's Dodge...works just fine. Cool thing was, you could get wire harnesses for the Prodigy that slipped between two connectors behind the dash...no hacking into the wiring. Didn't see that as an option on my Draw-tite.
     
  9. thecarman

    thecarman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Apex, NC
    I second (fourth?) the Tekonsha Prodigy. I have one in my K5, and it works better than the Northern Tool model in my rollback or the one in my parents Yukon (I don't remember the brand of that one, but it's better than the Northern one).

    Don't get me wrong, both of these cheaper controllers work fine to stop the trailer, but the Prodigy is so smooth and seamless - a very noticeable difference.

    I got my Prodigy from these guys a while back:
    http://www.truckxpressions.com/truc...es/tekonsha_prodigy.htm?source=broi&iorb=4764

    And Eric, I bet you can hook it up yourself with no prob - I think your truck already has the wiring run if you got the pigtail/harness from the dealer when you. Check out this Pirate thread for that (scroll down about 3 posts):
    http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=142024

    "Chevy didn't start until late 99, and that was on late model trucks. When Chevy came out with their "pre-wired" systems, the came out swinging hard, and connected with a home run. Their only fawk up so far, is they moved a wire in the socket for the brake controller. Chevy will have one brake controller harness for 99-02 trucks, and one for 03 trucks. Chevy has also stopped putting the required brake controller harness in the truck when they leave the factory. Ford is currently the only manufacture that still ships their trucks with the harness. Any of you with trucks on order, make sure you get that pigtail before you leave the lot. You paid for a towing package, make sure you get it all."
     
  10. Aggressive1

    Aggressive1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Myrtle Beach
    Got it :D
     
  11. yager

    yager Better Faster Stronger

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Wake Forest, NC
  12. jplive

    jplive New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Mooresville
    Same here, same controller, same dealer, cheapest I found and quickly shippied to my office.

    I like the fact that I can quickdisconnect it in my wrangler since the top is normally off.


     
  13. Blkvoodoo

    Blkvoodoo professionally useless Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    Archer Lodge
    Eric, I've installed both The Draw Tite ( Activators I and II ) and The Prodigy, Both are fine controlers, and they both operate a little differently. I have actually had the oppetunity recently to drive with a Prodigy, nice controler.

    BMC carries the Drawtite ( possible family discount ) and I know U Haul sells the Prodigy.

    Did you get a brake control harness with your truck ?

    they didn't put those in the '03s, ( but oddly enough, included them in '04 and '05.

    * be careful getting an aftermarket harness if you don't have the one with the truck. ( your plug should be white, if you get one with a brown plug, you need to re locate the little blue and brown wires)

    Of course, you know I'll hook you up ( nc ) takes minutes to do. Even if you get one from somewhere else. we may need to reset the height on your hitch too, depends on your trailer.

    Kevin
     
  14. etjeep

    etjeep New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Location:
    Cary, NC
    Thanks everyone. Looks like there's a couple out there that have happy customers. It sounds like Prodigy customers are happiest of all. I saw Jon's Prodigy last week. He has the one thats removable. Thats a good feature I'll look for so I can take it out when using the truck as a DD. I don't think my '03 Chevy is pre-wired. At least there was not anything in the manual. I'll have to dig around under the dash to see if there is a connector.
    Eric
     
  15. Rich

    Rich Asshole at large

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Central PA
    It outta be pre-wired, just might not have the plug-in harness laying around. Why remove it? just leave the silly thing in there.

    My truck came with the Voyager (one step down from the prodigy) and it works well enough, but one of these days, it'll get replaced by a Prodigy..

    The brake controller in the Ford is the cat's meow though.. damn that thing is unnoticable as a passenger.
     
  16. thecarman

    thecarman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Apex, NC
    Beefed up the rear leafs in my Suburban this weekend and installed a receiver hitch (previous owner had a home-made hitch on it). Already had a Drawtite Activator II controller in it, so I left it in. It works great - smooth and not noticeable, and easy to adjust. It is much better than other controllers I've used, except for the Prodigy. :)

    I haven't noticed much difference between it and the Prodigy yet.

    Towed the trailer unloaded this morning and it was great. Will have a Honda on the trailer tonite, so we'll see how well this controller works with some weight on the trailer.
     
  17. Aggressive1

    Aggressive1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Myrtle Beach
    I looked at mine over the weekend (while towing the TJ) and its a drawtight too. Easy to work. carman, I noticed I had to adjust is between empty and full. So you will probably have to turn it up for a load, but then down when empty or you will lock up and drag the tires.
     
  18. Blkvoodoo

    Blkvoodoo professionally useless Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    Archer Lodge
    Eric, your truck IS prewired, you just need the controller harness to plug into the bulkhead under driver side dash ( remove black cover, install in second slot over from left across the top )

    You will need to add a fuse to the underhood power center to have constant power lead to 7 pin connector to chrage battery on trailer.

    Buy it at the dealer you get the right harness and the right fuse and a 7 to 4 adapter for about $28. ( all in one box )

    Kevin
     
  19. Gofer

    Gofer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Location:
    Greensboro
    I started out with a Proidigy a little older model it was proportional.
    It always worked okay more or less but it seemed like I had to really hit the brakes to get it to kick in.
    I did have to reset the level on it once and while and the it would work better for a short time.
    The end result from no adjusting level was was warped front rotors.
    Now that's nothing new on a Ford so I won't blame it all on the controller.
    Kevin turned me on to a Jordan ultima 2020
    http://www.jordanbrake.com/ it was like night and day.
    The Jordan uses an actual cable mounted to the brake pedal assembly instead of inertia sensors or anything like that
    First tow it was like night and day almost like the trailer brakes were never working before.
    I'm sure the newer prodigy units may be much better than my old one, but I will take a direct hoolup via the brake pedal any day from now on.
    Sorry to muddy the waters :)
     
  20. etjeep

    etjeep New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Location:
    Cary, NC
    Kevin,
    Thanks. My UHFB has a slot for TB ( no fuse, GM save a nickel damn). BTW the owners manual pretty much bites...time for a FSM. Over on the diesel place, they guys w/ '03s say its a piece of cake install, just need to order w/the '03 harness. Supposedly there is a connector inside a panel by yer left foot. I'm gonna buy it on faith. so far I found an on-line place w/03 connector $ free shipping for ~$124.

    The only thing is, I learned, I'm gonna buy the 40-Amp re-settable circuit breaker instead of a straight fuse for safety. It should reset if it overloads instead of burning out and not having trailer brakes.

    I called Pat today, but did not leave a message. I'll try again tomorrow.
    Eric
     
  21. etjeep

    etjeep New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Location:
    Cary, NC
    Sheldon,
    You're not muddyin waters, just giving ideas and opinions like I asked for initially.
    I have not gone through all the tech stuff on the techonsa web page yet ( http://www.tekonsha.com/prodig.html ) on how to calibrate the resistance. This site has a lot of good info.
    Eric
     
  22. Blkvoodoo

    Blkvoodoo professionally useless Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    Archer Lodge
    I'm out of town this week, Pat will put you off till next week when I get back.
    The UHFB 40 amp fuse is for the hot lead to the plug only for charging battery on trailer, does not control the brake controller itself, that is a seperate fuse. I will look up the circut and see how how the power for the controller is handled when I get home.

    Kevin
     
  23. BoltOnJohn

    BoltOnJohn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Franklinton, NC
    On my Prodigy controller you hook up a 20 amp or 30 amp auto reset circuit breaker to provide power to the controller. Then the controller has an output that directly drives the trailer brakes.

    That's in addition to the 40 amp you mention on the hot lead.
     
  24. etjeep

    etjeep New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Location:
    Cary, NC
    I finally got around to ordering a prodigy controller on-line. I should have it by the weekend.

    Its sobering when you do the math, 6K Jeep + 2.2K trailer pushing a 6K Truck it just makes sense to install one ASAP.
     
  25. etjeep

    etjeep New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Location:
    Cary, NC
    Got the Prodigy last week and plan to install this weekend. It came with the '03 harness. Hopefully they shipped the right one and its plug and play or I'll have to swing down to the dealership next week and pick up a factory harness.
     

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