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Old 06-21-2017, 08:47 PM   #1
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Prodigy P3 at 14.0?

Hello Everyone,

I picked up my 2018 27FB today and towed it home using my 2011 Grand Cherokee V8. The dealer installed the Tekonsha Prodigy P3 controller and set it to 7.0. It seemed like the trailer was pushing my TV on the drive home, so I tried to set up the controller myself using the instructions that came with it (just about lock up the trailer brakes at 25mph using the lever).

I kept increasing the voltage by 0.5 each time, but even at the max setting of 14.0, the trailer brakes still would not lock up. It tows much better with the higher setting, so that's good. But do you think I should do something else, or could there be something wrong?
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Old 06-21-2017, 08:55 PM   #2
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New brakes have to wear in. They should get better as they wear. If thay don't improve after some use they may need adjusting.

If you are close enough to your dealer have them check the adjustment. You can check it yourself by jacking the wheels one at a time and spinning them by hand . They should turn freely with only a little drag felt. If they spin easily and coast several turns they need adjustment.

Al
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Old 06-21-2017, 08:59 PM   #3
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There are 2 settings to pay attention to here with a P3. The "Boost" setting made a huge difference in the feel when I was running a P3... it controls how much braking force is applied as soon as you touch the brake pedal enough to light your brakelights (i.e. before the accelerometer or timer start to kick in.) I found that I liked B2 on the highway, but in heavy traffic or suburban stop-and-go it got a bit grabby and I preferred B0 or B1 in those situations.

The way you determine the overall gain is by how the brakes behave with a full application of brake force with the manual lever, and as mentioned above may change a bit in the first couple hundred miles on the trailer. The way you adjust that "initial bite" of the brakes is with the Boost feature on a P3.
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Old 06-22-2017, 04:56 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice! It's good to hear that the brakes will likely get better as they wear in. Sadly, my dealer is over 100 miles away, so having them check them before our first trip in two days isn't really practical. Hopefully, they'll fix themselves over time so no dealer trip is needed.

DKB_SATX: I did use the manual level for a full application of braking power - and yet at 14.0 could not get them to lock-up. Yes, the Boost feature changed the way the trailer towed a lot! B2 worked for me too on the highway - haven't experienced stop and go traffic yet, but it's nice to know that B1 will help when I do.
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Old 06-22-2017, 10:29 AM   #5
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On brand new brakes you need to "break them in" via a few high speed applications - I thought this was in the Airstream owners manual (could have sworn it was in 2 of the 3 of my Airstream trailers as one had disc brakes).

So, bed those bad boys and you should be setting the prodigy around 5-7 based on your weight.

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Old 06-22-2017, 10:30 AM   #6
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BTW - at 14 they most defiantly should be locked solid!
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Old 06-22-2017, 11:54 AM   #7
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Keep an eye on it.
You don't want too much trailer brake causing premature wear of the brake shoes.
I'm not sure it will ever lock the trailer brakes.
Try just letting the Jeep barely roll in Drive and squeeze the hand control.
The trailer brakes alone should hold the tow vehicle and trailer.
Let the jeep start rolling again. Press the service brake with your foot.
The entire rig should stop smoothly with no jerking and snatching.
You should feel the trailer brakes apply slightly ahead of the tow vehicle brakes- smoothly.
Go through this procedure every time you leave home or leave a campground.
It will help you to know everything is working as it should and that the trailer umbilical is plugged in the tow vehicle.
You should be able to set the gain on the trailer brake controller once and forget it.
Once it is dialed in it shouldn't change much until the brake shoes actually wear or severe seasonal changes from warm temperatures to cool temperatures.
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Old 06-22-2017, 02:14 PM   #8
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Prodigy P3 at 14.0?

You may also find that you need to dial in a higher setting early in the day, then back it off a bit once the brakes settle down. In any case, you don't want the trailer 'pushing' your tow vehicle.

I'm not certain why my rig does this, but I suspect it's brake temperature or just moisture from overnight in humid areas.
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Old 06-22-2017, 02:41 PM   #9
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The generally specified process for adjusting the brake controller is to set the gain just below the point at which full power on the lever will lock the brakes at about 25 mph. When I towed my Safari 25 with my F-150 and P3, that's how I set it up and like others on here I used B2 or B3 on the highway and lower settings in stop/go traffic in town. With that setup, I felt like the braking performance of the truck/trailer combo was pretty close, if not the same as, the truck alone.

I don't remember for sure, but I think it was the same with the 25 and my Ram 2500 with its integrated trailer brake controller. Now that I have a 30 Classic slideout at 9100#, I can't lock the brakes, and I get the distinct impression that I have less braking than with the 25 and the 30 is pushing the truck into stops.

I bought a replacement P3 but I haven'g hooked it up yet. I am hopeful that the boost feature will at least improve the pushing, and it would be nice if the P3 was able to provide more voltage to the brakes. I'm not sure that the ITBC is giving me full power.

Al
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Old 06-23-2017, 04:49 PM   #10
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Not quite the same issue but my Prodigy was set by the dealership to 6. It was working fine and then just stopped working entirely. I'm not sure why it stopped and how to get it working again. I don't want to bug them for every little thing if I don't have to.

Thanks
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:08 PM   #11
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So the display is not lighting up? IF it is completely dead, check to make sure the connector was fully seated on the rear of the unit.

Al
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2002 Classic 30 Slideout
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2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
WBCCI 1322, TAC FL-39, AIR 82265

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Old 06-23-2017, 05:15 PM   #12
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25 MPH rule

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
The generally specified process for adjusting the brake controller is to set the gain just below the point at which full power on the lever will lock the brakes at about 25 mph. When I towed my Safari 25 with my F-150 and P3, that's how I set it up and like others on here I used B2 or B3 on the highway and lower settings in stop/go traffic in town. With that setup, I felt like the braking performance of the truck/trailer combo was pretty close, if not the same as, the truck alone.

I don't remember for sure, but I think it was the same with the 25 and my Ram 2500 with its integrated trailer brake controller. Now that I have a 30 Classic slideout at 9100#, I can't lock the brakes, and I get the distinct impression that I have less braking than with the 25 and the 30 is pushing the truck into stops.

I bought a replacement P3 but I haven'g hooked it up yet. I am hopeful that the boost feature will at least improve the pushing, and it would be nice if the P3 was able to provide more voltage to the brakes. I'm not sure that the ITBC is giving me full power.

Al
I've heard this 25 MPH rule before. It's even in the owner's manual for my tow vehicle. But I have a question about it. To do the test, do you slam on the brakes as fast/hard as you can? Or do you apply them just quickly? I find the brakes are more able to lock up with the "slam" approach.
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Old 06-23-2017, 06:54 PM   #13
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You just operate the trailer brakes with the lever, not the brake pedal. I haven't paid any attention to how I apply them, just flip the lever on the controller. With my 25, they would lock up at a P3 gain of 8 or 9. I don't recall the specifics of my ITBC on the Ram with the 25, but I can't lock my 30 brakes with the ITBC under any circumstances. I have the replacement P3 wired in now. When I get a chance to to go try it with the trailer I will report on my A-B comparison. I tested the 2500 ITBC and Classic 30 by stopping on dry pavement from 25 mph with just the trailer brakes. Using the P3 will make an interesting comparison.

Al
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Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO
2002 Classic 30 Slideout
S/OS #004
2013 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 Megacab Cummins
2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
WBCCI 1322, TAC FL-39, AIR 82265

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Old 07-08-2017, 03:31 PM   #14
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Another point of view.

I'd leave the P3 set where it is (max) with no boost. This is how Andy at Can-Am sets up just about all his AS's. This way the full braking power is available if needed. Modulate braking of the TV as normal and the AS will do likewise. Makes for a very integrated braking experience at all speeds.

If you set the brakes to anything less than max you are essentially saying AS put bigger brakes on the trailer than needed. I think most will agree there is room for improvement in any drum brake TT setup so why dial them back?

I have been running with this setup for about a year and it works well.
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