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Old 07-13-2003, 04:30 PM   #1
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Question Is Prodigy the best brake controller?

I've seen many posts (here and on other RV forums) that have pretty well convinced me to go with the Prodigy. Any other opinions out there? Are there different models? What's an acceptable price range (I'll be having the dealer install it when we take delivery)?
Thanks,
KL

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03 Toyota Tundra.
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Old 07-13-2003, 05:18 PM   #2
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Prodigy

I'm sold on the Prodigy and I have a lot of friends that are also sold on it. Easy to install and does a great job of braking.
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Old 07-13-2003, 05:33 PM   #3
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The answer to your subject question is noÖitís most popular though. Fans of the Prodigy like the plug-and-play feature whereas the leading competitor Jordan takes about 45 minutes to install. Installation time was not the deciding factor when I was searching for a control years ago, but rather, which unit would stop trailers best. I first bought the Prodigy and then the Jordan 2020 Ultima. Those who have both prefer Jordan, but many will tell you Prodigy is better without having tried the 2020 Ultima. Prodigy is a fine control and will likely serve you well but we decided to drop the Prodigy as it had some problems before the v2.4
Towing with the Jordan is a feeling you canít explain except itís truly proportional and never needs adjusting. No boost mode needed for larger weights, etc.
www.bestbrakecontroller.com has installation instructions and lots of other info. We were selling about 3 Jordanís to one Prodigy before we dropped it. As far as where to find the Prodigy, they are hot on Ebay at around $105 and the Jordan will cost you $120. Either should work fine. We ship the Jordanís every day, many to converts from the Tekonsha line including Prodigy. You can also call Jordan himself and he will tell you of the scores of warranty registration cards he receives from former owners of the Prodigy.
Randy
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Old 07-13-2003, 07:37 PM   #4
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KL,
I looked at both the Prodigy and the Jordan. I chose the Jordan and can tell you it truly is different from any inertial controller I have ever used. Braking starts as soon as I put the foot on the pedal, is truly proportional based on the pressure I put on the pedal. Its the smoothest braking I have ever had on a trailer.

You really can't go wrong with either controller. Both are in a class by themselves.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 07-13-2003, 07:38 PM   #5
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I have personally tried more than a dozen different brake controllers over the past 18 years and more than 80,000 miles of towing tag type trailers ,most of my experience has been with car haulers with an empty weight of 2500# to 5000# "depending on which trailer i was using" and a loaded weight of more than 12,000# at times.The first ,and BTW best controller I have used was the old Hydraulic System, but due to the use of Anti Lock braking systems we can no longer use them.But up until now hands down I feel the prodigy has the best feel that has been achieved with a inertia type controller to date. I will admit I have never used a jordon type system and have heard equally good comments about them. All I can say is I feel very comfortable and safe when using the Prodigy and have no reservations about recommending them to anyone.
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Old 07-13-2003, 08:16 PM   #6
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Thanks all! Nice to have a choice actually. I'm sure I'll be happy with either the Jordan or the Prodigy. Stay tuned, I'll post my choice when we take delivery (be interesting to see if our dealer pefers one or the other).
Thanks again,
KL
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Old 07-13-2003, 08:37 PM   #7
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Oh, I can guaranty your dealer will recommend a Prodigy or Voyager, maybe Kelsey or whatever they stock because they can install it in 5-10 minutes and charge you at least an hour labor. Thatís the main reason more dealers donít carry the Jordan. Jordan told me that himself. There is not a lot of mark-up in them so they rely on installation fees to make up the difference.
BTW, 71 tradewind is right that the best was the old hydraulic type that is nearly extinct due to liability issues. Good luck.
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Old 07-14-2003, 11:32 AM   #8
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interesting that we get so much dealer rationalization and such here.

From what I can tell, the major difference between the Jourdan and the Prodigy is that the Jourdan applies brake current depending upon how far down you push the brake pedal whereas the Prodigy applies brake current depending upon how much effect your braking effort is having on changing speed.

This means the Prodigy smarts are in its software (and it is upgraded from time to time) while the Jourdan's smarts are more in its mechanical linkage.

The conditions where the difference between the two is of much significance are rather rare, I think.

It does seem that the behavior of the Prodigy would be easier to customize to suit, but I have seem some folks try to cite that as a disadvantage. I do think the complex install of the Jourdan is a downer, though.
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Old 07-14-2003, 07:11 PM   #9
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With my 19' Bambi I am very pleased with the Prodigy. I had the Voyager and it was a total joke. The Prodigy is smooth as glass.

The Jordan might be good as well, but I have never tried or been in a rig that had it.

Eric
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Old 07-15-2003, 07:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Leipper
I do think the complex install of the Jourdan is a downer, though.
I hate complex installations (since I'm not the handiest) and the Jordan is really not in that ballpark. It a matter of clamping a bracket to the brake pedal and adjusting the cable from the controller so that it activates the controller as you step on the pedal. Not much rocket science here.

I think the thing I like about the Jordan is two things. First it requires no brake light voltage to activate the braking function. That takes the brake light switch out of the picture as a point of failure. Secondly it doesn't require inertia to increase the voltage to the brakes. While that ramp up time is small it may make a difference in where you stop. How much different? A foot or less? This is one of those questions you probably can't resolve without a test which we will never have.

I figure I need all the help I can get when I tow and if I can get a split second difference in getting power to my trailer brakes, I'll take it.

Again as I noted you can't go wrong with either controller, but I don't want anyone to throw out considering the Jordan because they might think that the installation is considerable or beyond basic skills.

Jack
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Old 07-15-2003, 08:33 AM   #11
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ease of installation

I installed my Jordan in about 15 minutes. Very easy to install. Works great.
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Old 07-27-2003, 04:18 PM   #12
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Cool Full circle

Well we drove home with our new CCD yesterday and yes a Prodigy brake controller. Having nothing to compare it too (my first towing experience), it seemed to work perfectly. I'll have plenty of time next week to really get to know how it performs as we're going out for our first road trip. I'd love to hear from everyone on operational tips/tricks. Thanks to all for the great discussion.
Ken
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Old 07-28-2003, 01:10 AM   #13
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There are two favorites that I found on this forum. One is the Prodigy and the other is the Jordan.

I had the Voyager (made by the same company that makes the Prodigy).

It was a total piece of crap (can I tell you how I really feel?)

A forum member that moved to the Jordan, sold me his old Prodigy. Since installing it, braking is a total dream. Smooth as can be, yet very effective.

So, first hand the Prodigy is a fantastic unit. I am positive also that the Jordan is just as good or better from what I've read.

Do a search on brake controllers and you'll find a ton of info.
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Old 07-28-2003, 05:03 AM   #14
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I use the Jordan on our 19C Bambi and love the glassy smooth operation that it provides. A feature unique to the Jordan is that it displays actual AMPS being drawn by the trailer brakes rather than voltage. All other controllers that have a display provide the VOLTAGE being applied (voltage is independent of how many trailer brakes are being controlled). Here is where knowing current vs voltage makes a world of difference. After towing with the Jordan for a period, I developed a mental note as to the normal current readings during various types of braking action. While out on a trip back in June, I happened to look down at the controller while stopping and noted that the current seemed LOW (about 1/2 normal, but it was normal when we originally departed). When we reached our destination, I immediately looked under the trailer and sure enough, the wire to the curbside brake had pulled loose where the wires from the brake and the trailer wiring were joined (no idea what caught the wire and pulled it from the crimp connector). It was an easy fix. What is interesting is that I never felt anything unusual during braking (although I never had to make anything but a nice, slow deceleration/stop). I am sure that if I had been put into a situation where an aggressive stop was required, I would have immediately noted that something was not right (ie trailer yawing to the side of the disconnected brake and reduced trailer braking action), BUT I would must prefer knowing something is wrong PRIOR a situation where having full trailer braking could make a big difference. Just remember that a voltage indicating controller gives you an indication of the controller's intentions (ie higher voltage means more braking action intended), but it will NOT give a indication that one or more of the brakes is not working. Just something to consider.
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