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Old 03-26-2006, 10:06 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1966 22' Safari
san diego , California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 31
Brake Controller Box for my Ford Van?

I'm going to get a trailer hitch installed on my van (3/4 ton, V8) and the guy told me that I need a brake controller box put on the van as well.
I've never heard of this. I've had a small trailer before and didn't have this.

Can someone please tell me if this controller box is necessary?

Also, he mentioned a way on how to see if my brakes are actually working on the trailer (before I get the hitch installed), but I can't figure out what he said. Something about using the battery and listening for a click in the tires? Anyone know this test?

Oh, and one more thing. I find it strange that there's no hand brake on my trailer. Is this correct?

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Old 03-26-2006, 11:17 AM   #2
1977 31' Sovereign
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Kalispell , Montana
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 276
Hi, here is a link that should help you to understand towing your trailer, read thru all of it and you will begin to understand all ? that you are asking, this will help ed'ucate yourself for future purchase's of the components that you are going to need.

1977 31' landyacht Sovereign
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Old 03-26-2006, 04:45 PM   #3
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,340
Unless you have a Ford that has it integrated, yes, you need a brake controller. Jordan and Prodigy seem to be the favorites.
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
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Old 04-15-2006, 04:51 PM   #4
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Ditto on the need for brake controller. The brake controller unit needs to be in easy reach of the driver. On most brake controllers there is a lever that you would throw to activate just the trailer brakes -- most important if your tow vehicle (TV) is in control but the trailer is swinging wildly behind. Instructions for calibrating a Tekonsha Prodigy are to motor up to 20-25mph, take your foot off the gas and throw the manual lever hard over. Properly calibrated, the trailer brakes should bring the combined TV-trailer almost skidding to a halt.

I can't say I can hear a 'click' very well. I do wish to credit overlander64 for a test to make sure your brakes are working. We should expect this on a new unit, but you'd better be sure on a 1966! For my Argosy I turned a plastic bucket upside down and placed a standard magnetic compass as close as possible to the inside of the brake drum area. Check each side of your axles --- there should be a little needle swing when your test partner puts their foot on the brake pedal inside the TV.

If you get a Tekonsha Prodigy, Jack Canavera has cautioned that you should not test-pull your breakaway switch with the umbilical attached to the TV. It might burn out the Prodigy every time!!!

And it is for reasons like this that many of us have stepped up to support these Forums. The value is absolute! (click on the 'AIR' Stickers link at the upper right if you wish to see more)

5 meter Langford Nahanni

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