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Old 09-02-2013, 05:17 PM   #1
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pdvasquez's Avatar
2007 25' Safari SS SE
Hico , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 59
Do I need a Brake Controller?

I just got an airstream. 25' International 2007. I had a "Tow package" installed in my Range Rover Sport. No body told me about a brake controller. I've towed the AS about 3 times with a Sway bar and notice no problems.

However, are we supposed to have a controller?

I have been told Prodigy 2 or 3 are the ones to get. Can a layperson install them ourselves or do we need an expert? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Philip

Happy Trails,

Philip & Luci
Lazy Dude Ranch
Hico Texas
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:27 PM   #2
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,592
Yes, you need a brake controller and it is very dangerous to tow at all without one. You have no trailer brakes as you are now set up.

Please take your Range Rover to a trailer service department and have a brake controller installed. I believe you need someone to do it for you, not a do it yourself installation, I would judge by your post.

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Old 09-02-2013, 05:32 PM   #3
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1984 34' International
Toronto , Ontario
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Range Rovers are built for towing, so the vehicle electronics might well be controlling the trailer brakes, i.e a brake controller might be part of the tow package.

Check with your Land Rover garage for details.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:33 PM   #4
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1994 34' Excella
1978 31' Sovereign
Mansfield , Georgia
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Posts: 261
Big safety issue that needs immediate attention. Paying a professional to properly install and adjust is money well spent.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:22 PM   #5
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2000 19' Bambi
mt. Prospect , Illinois
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A brake controller activates the trailer brakes, doing so proportionally according to how fast the tow vehicle is stopping. It sends current to the electric brakes, energizing a magnet in each brake drum. If you hold a magnetic compass next to the wheel, and have someone else step on the brake, you should see movement of the compass pointer. That would at least tell you that you have brakes, and then you can find out what's activating them. No brakes - no good.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:43 PM   #6

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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You only need trailer brakes if a situation arises and you don't have them.

That situation WILL arise.

Your trailer is equipped with brakes, it behooves you to make sure they are working.

Do it for your Family and fellow travelers.

This tells me it needs a controller.

Maybe not this particular one but......

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:57 PM   #7
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1976 31' Sovereign
Oswego , Illinois
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Hooking up prodigy 2or 3 is a no brainer. When pur. make sure harness for you tv is included, then just plug in, follow inst. for settings, does not take pro. to do this.
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:36 PM   #8
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1969 29' Ambassador
brooksville , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,195
I have a p3 it's pretty good. It tells you if the trailer is not connected, if the breakaway switch is triggered, really cool. I bought a plug and play adapter harness for my F150. They might make one for your TV. Most of the online dealers who sells the p3 also sell the wiring harness plug.
Not all those who wonder are lost.
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:28 PM   #9
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
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Not having your trailer brakes working in sync with the TV is a huge safety issue as everyone agrees. Once the controller is installed and properly calibrated, you will be amazed at the improvement. None the less, even if you feel you're doing fine without the trailer brakes, the wear and tear on your TV brakes and suspension will significantly shorten the life of both. Just curious, but what does a 4 wheel brake cost on a Rover?
The ability to follow instructions is highly underrated.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:13 PM   #10
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2002 22' International CCD
San Luis Obispo , California
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 415
Not just a huge safety issue but a legal issue too. In California, and I assume most other states, trailer brakes are required for trailers over a certain weight. I believe it's 1500 pounds in Calif. Something to check, for sure.
2002 22' CCD
2008 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:14 PM   #11
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2007 27' Safari FB SE
elgin , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Yes, all the above is comparably true....

When it comes to the purchase price of your brake controller, do you consider how often you will be towing, what you will be towing, the safety of you towing on the roads, are you considering others family's on the road, how experienced you are towing a trailer, do you tow multiple trailers etc....

You have to consider all the variables that arrive while towing. What type of response do you want your brake controller to have at that moment....what type of delay do you want once you do your part, as the operator and push on the brake pedal....does your trailer ever lag, or push on your pickup. Do types of road surfaces effect braking? Does the trailer being loaded properly actually effect braking? How about the trailer sitting level loaded? Lots of issues to think about when towing.......

How much influence does the trailer your towing have on what your driving?

I have found a REAL solution and I have not said anything...Until that I have finally put some miles on this intellihitch. I bought this thing online about a month and a half ago. I used it pulling all types of utility trailers, my diesel transport 500 gallon trailer, a bobcat and now finally had the time to take a week off and get out of here for a while....

Ill skip the trip and get down to topic....
I have to say this hitch/surge brake controller actually out performs any thing I have ever felt, or actually didn't feel...i have to say.
In town driving. Wow was it smooth. Really couldn't even tell the trailer was back there. Even had an idiot who was turning right, not put on his blinker....I'm following with a good distance, then wham brake lights. So I slam on my brakes..all ready looking for a way out... and heck.. I just stopped, dang near like the trailer wasn't there.....even felt right. No, Oh MAN we're not gonna make it feeling....
This is why I chose to say something..... On highway travel. Just the same. Smooth.........getting to the site....I put my truck in reverse and had an embankment to back down. Started down it and was a cushioned feeling...very strange....but I love this thing.
Heck I couldn't hardly enjoy my trip cause this danged ole hitch/ brake controller was now stuck in my mind.....I found myself, on the trip home driving faster and not worrying so much of stopping distances...(not good)....

I pull trailers every day it seems....And I am impressed enough to say something about it...
This surge hitch is so effective. I have pulled loads with it ranging from 3000lbs to 14,000lbs and the feeling is always the same...The weight distribution bars I already use, slipped right in and off I went....
no setup, no thinking, just put it in receiver hitch and hook up and drive....the bad part about it is my wife has now taken it and put it on her suburban and it doesn't look like I'll be getting it back. They claim its better or easier on the animals in tow. We will see. She pulls horses around. But it will be easier to get her to pull an equipment trailer home for me on the occasion....
I cant wait till the goose-neck hitch comes out for my equipment trailers I'm always hooked onto...
It looks kinda gimicky online. But once I met up with some salesman and got my hands on it......damn this thing is impressive...(fortunate to live 7 hrs from where there based out of)
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:43 PM   #12
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
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Do you need a brake controller? This is like asking if you need a steering wheel for your car. Without a brake controller, you have no brakes on your trailer. Without trailer brakes, you tow vehicles brakes will be fried within 5,000 miles.


SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
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