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Old 05-25-2008, 12:46 AM   #127
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Red face Prodigy

I just bought my first Airstream and bought a Prodigy brake controller at the local Airstream dealer who also installed it. Except the installer forgot to hook up two wires on my 2007 Tahoe that would provide power to the controller and provide power to the brakes in the trailer - oops! That was fixed pretty quickly on the second trip back to the dealer. I noticed the Prodigy display was not lighting up when the ignition was on and that started to worry me as I made plans to pick up my 2005 25FB from a private owner in another art of the state.

On the way to pick up the trailer, I noticed my cruise control had stopped working. I wondered if it had something to do with the brake controller, so I removed the plug and the cruise returned to life.

When I got to the pickup site and plugged in to the trailer, the Prodigy display told me I did not have a ground. I checked the ground and it seemed to be OK but just to make sure I spliced in another ground to the chassis. Still no ground.

I called the Tekonsha tech support number and - an American voice answered on the second ring boosting my confidence that I was going to get somewhere.

Don't you just hate it when you call the 800 helpme line and someone from India answers and says " Hello Mr. Jeem. Thees ees Bubba, how can I help you today?" and your thinking to your self, "Bubba?" that don't sound like no Bubba!)

I described the symptoms and at first the technician was suspecting a blown controller but then he asked me to check the cable plugging in to the back of the Prodigy. I did and it had the center two wires reversed. He told me how to fix that problem and assumed I was comeptent to do it (unlike Bubba from Bombay who assumes you are a complete idiot because you do sound like a real Bubba.) Once I rewired the cable to match the wiring diagram, eveything worked OK, even my cruise control!

Turns out the cruise was not working because the controller was trying to go through the brake lights for ground and signaling the cruise that I was applying the brakes.

Once it was working I followed the set up instructions and found the braking action to be very good when using boost level 1 and set to a little higher than the 6V that was my starting point for the brake foltage adjustment.

Except for the miswired cable, everything worked fine and as advertised.

As far as the Tahoe goes, it is prewired for the brake controller but the 12 v line appears to be always on. I would prefer to have a switched 12 V line so the brake controller can be left in teh vehicle plugged in all the time without fear of running down the battery.
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:16 AM   #128
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I put an inline switch on the power cable of the P-3 prodigy brake controller I put in last month. I just made a little bracket that mounts under the controller mounting bracket and puts the switch behind the controller out of sight.
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Old 05-25-2008, 08:07 PM   #129
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I believe the brake controller is supposed to be wired to an always hot lead. The Prodigy has circuitry to turn itself off after a while if it senses no motion - so no battery drain problems. It comes back to life immediately when you apply the brakes.

Perhaps if you accidentally leave the truck in neutral and the rig starts rolling you can jump in, hit the brakes, and have the trailer brakes work without turning the ignition on. Seems like a far-fetched need... but it's all I could think of!
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:58 PM   #130
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As well as the above mentioned run-away scene, having your controller always hot will insure your settings will remain in the gizmo's memory. Thus no need to reset every time you go to tow.

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Old 06-09-2008, 10:37 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by bhayden View Post
We have an Impulse made by Hopkins Mfg. Corp (aka Hoppy). It's a "time delay" type controller and doesn't sense inertia. In some respect I like this idea better as our tow vehicle is a little marginal and since I like to brake as slowly as possible the inertia type I think would put more strain on the TV brakes. I also wonder about long down grades where you're "riding the brakes" to maintain a constant speed. No speed change means no input to the interia sensor, right? That means you be relying heavily on the TV brakes on grades, the very situation Scott reports.

I'll have to live with it for a while. Hopefully the trailer brakes get less grabby with a little wear. Fortunately the control is easy to reach and dialing it in isn't too bad. The digital readout makes it easy to hit the right setting. A little adjustment of the brake light switch may also be in order. Right now you can depress the brake a little before the TV brakes actually engage. I looked to see if there was an adjustment on the time delay but couldn't find any info.
I also have one of these junkers. I set it at 35% for city, and 70% for highway, with the CONSTANT irritation that I will be running into a problem that require re-adjustment . . but I'm already involved in fast double-clutching my way down the gears with appropriate braking and steering inputs. That Hoppy is a liability by design, I'd need a third hand and a second set of eyes on stalks to get it right.

I was going to buy BRAKESMART when I was in Weatherford, TX having Roger Williams Airstream install my Hensley hitch, but Dave Tidmore got me intrigued by what he said he'd been testing in controllers, so I decided to wait. Even talked to one of the Dr. Performance shop guys who had pulled up behind the dealership to work on another vehicle. Wish now I'd gotten it then.

I had long admired the Jordan (still do, and have taken Andy Thomson's positive comments about it to heart) but it still ain't in production.

My trailer isn't going anywhere for a while, but, if it does, then I'll get a Prodigy or P3 for the mean time.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:24 PM   #132
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I just completed 1500 miles of driving on country roads, city, intersate and mountains and the Prodigy worked fine. The only problem I had was the miswired cable but after that was fixed it worked fine. We had a few emergency stops and everything went smooth and I was pleasd with the stopping distances I was able to achieve.

The unit does power itself down after 15 minutes with no activity and ignition is off so it has not put a burden on the vehicle battery
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:44 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
I also have one of these junkers. [Impulse made by Hopkins Mfg. Corp (aka Hoppy)] I set it at 35% for city, and 70% for highway, with the CONSTANT irritation that I will be running into a problem that require re-adjustment . . .
After living with the Hoppy for almost two years I'll have to concur with the assessment that these are junk. The constant need for dialing in the adjustment is a pain and I think the lever operated lever brake system they had in the Long Long Trailer would be easier to use. TRAILER BRAKES!

I think I've said it in other threads but it's worth repeating. Don't buy a Hoppy. Should have kept the old Hayes system off my parents old '72 Pontiac
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:32 PM   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhayden View Post
After living with the Hoppy for almost two years I'll have to concur with the assessment that these are junk. The constant need for dialing in the adjustment is a pain and I think the lever operated lever brake system they had in the Long Long Trailer would be easier to use. TRAILER BRAKES!

I think I've said it in other threads but it's worth repeating. Don't buy a Hoppy. Should have kept the old Hayes system off my parents old '72 Pontiac
I'll put a shameless plug in for my Tekonsha P3 Brake controller for $75.

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Old 09-19-2008, 10:49 AM   #135
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Sounds to me like a prodigy is plug and play... any experience out there with adding the prodigy to a 2008 landcruiser? Anything about a toyota that would be different than a domestic vehicle? I am not sure but I think the tundra and the 08 landcrusier are a lot alike if there are tundra experiences out there. I need to get a controller on my new landcruiser by a week from today, and the simple plug and play sound good to me.
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Old 09-19-2008, 12:20 PM   #136
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Check with your Toyota dealer. I read somewhere that the 08 Landcruiser does not come with a plug for a brake controller. If that is the case you would have to tap into the wires to install one. Does the LC have a seven pin trailer connector installed?
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Old 09-19-2008, 02:09 PM   #137
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Absolutey, go Prodigy. It is the best I have used. Recommend the model that works when backing up. ffw
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:29 PM   #138
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If the Cruiser is like the Tundra and Sequoia, it is pre-wired for the trailer brake controls, including Prodigy. I've mounted them in both, and you just mount the controller under the steering wheel right in front of your right shin. Very happy with the prodigy.
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:52 PM   #139
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Soon I'll be doing my first Airstream towing. I guess I'll go with Prodegy for brake control based on reading this thread but I would like to know the difference between P3 and P2 and what I should expect to pay for each. Which is recommended? also I know I will have to buy an adapter to fit the connection in my particular TV (2004 GMC Envoy). Are there are any other extra items required?

Thanks, John
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:05 PM   #140
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eTrailer is a retailer with a fair amount of info, I saw them/him post on another site about the question.

My choice would, however, be a MAXBRAKE.
MaxBrake™ - Hydraulic over Electric Variable Brake Controller

Technology, here, has changed quickly. Ten years ago, it was the JORDAN 2020, then the BRAKESMART. Now, MAXBRAKE (among commercial RV tow'ers; threads read). And the factory packages keep changing, improving.

Take your time.
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