Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-01-2009, 10:43 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
San Diego , California
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 331
Images: 6
Prodigy Brake Controller/Dead Battery in TV

I have a 2001 Expedition with the factory installed towing package. When I bought my Airstream 2-1/2 years ago, the A/S dealer (who I since have come to realize wasn't too sharp), installed a Tekonsha Prodigy Brake controller. It works fine. What is happening since is, if I don't drive the Expedition for a couple of weeks the battery goes dead. I think that the Prodigy is draining the battery. I had a 18 month old Costco battery, it went dead a couple of times and I thought it had a bad cell. I took it back to Costco and they exchanged it for a new one. (The top of their line). That one is less than one year old and it is having the same problem.

Does anybody have an idea as to what is going on? Should I unplug the Prodigy controller? (Take it out of it's cradle when not using the A/S?).

...and don't say...simple, just drive the Expedition more.

Thanks, Randy
__________________

__________________
OB Bambi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 10:50 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
Blaine , Washington
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 291
Yes. Unplug the Prodigy if you are not going to use the Expedition for a week or more to tow. I have an 2006 Expedition and a Prodigy and the Prodigy will run the battery down after a few days.

John
__________________

__________________
Relentless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 11:10 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
ROBERTSUNRUS's Avatar

 
2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,270
Images: 18
Blog Entries: 51
O.K. I won't say it!

Hi, since the brake controller is basically just plugged into the factory harness, it would be very difficult to wire incorrectly. [but not impossible] Your vehicle has several other items, with memories, that have a draw on your battery so if you don't want a dead battery, then you should look into a small solar panel that sits on your dash or sticks to your windshield. Also you can use a small trickle charger. I would not recommend disconnecting your battery because some items in your vehicle will lose their memory and/or will have to re-learn their functions.

There I didn't say it.
__________________
Bob

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
ROBERTSUNRUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2009, 09:58 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,814
Images: 12
I doubt that it is the brake controller that is draining your battery. The only time the controller draws current is when it is applying the brakes and then that current is measured in amps and would kill a battery over night if left on.

Yes you can disconnect the controller for a couple of weeks but it sounds like you not using the TV enough to recharge the battery. How often and how far do you drive the TV without the trailer? It takes at least 20 miles of driving to recharge a battery after one start. If you are only doing around town short runs you are draining the battery.

Another think to look at is the alternator. If you have a volt meter measure the battery voltage while the TV is not running. Now start the TV and measure the voltage. If the voltage does not increase by several volts from the first measurement you have an alternator problem. A good alternator should put out about 14 volts just after a start up.
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2009, 11:14 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
2005 19' Safari
GLENDALE , AZ
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,441
I had a Prodigy in our old Chevy pickup, which sat for 30-60 days between uses (we used it only for towing our Airstream). We never had any problems with the battery going dead, so I doubt if the brake controller is the problem. I'd check for something staying on when the ignition is off (like a light in the glove box, visor mirror, etc.; i.e. a parasitic drain).
__________________
Phoenix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2009, 06:22 PM   #6
1972 Travelux Princess 25
 
Cobourg , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,042
Here is a way to find out what is draining your battery. Disconnect the ground cable from the battery. Connect a 12 volt test light between the battery post and ground. If there is a current drain the bulb will light up. Now disconnect the brake control and see what happens. If the light is still on take out the fuses one by one. When the light goes out that is the circuit that is causing the drain.

Turn off the courtesy lights when you do this. You usually have the car door open while doing this test. With the door open the lights will come on. This will give a false impression that the courtesy lights are the problem. Check that circuit with the door closed and the courtesy lights on.
__________________
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
Ganaraska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2009, 07:20 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,814
Images: 12
There are several things in the newer cars and trucks that will draw current while in storage mode. The radio, alarm system, and any other computer or chip device that has memory.

A test light will remain on as long as these devices are in the vehicle.

You can get an idea of how much current is being drawn if you bridge the gap between the battery ground and the battery cable with a 2 amp fuse. If the fuse blows you do have a current drain that will kill the battery in short order. The memory chips won't draw 1 amp.
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2009, 07:54 PM   #8
3 Rivet Member
 
BeBop's Avatar
 
2000 27' Safari
Berkeley , California
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 135
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
I had a Prodigy in our old Chevy pickup, which sat for 30-60 days between uses (we used it only for towing our Airstream). We never had any problems with the battery going dead, so I doubt if the brake controller is the problem. I'd check for something staying on when the ignition is off (like a light in the glove box, visor mirror, etc.; i.e. a parasitic drain).
My experience is similar to Phoenix, except I drive my rig only to tow the Safari or the sailboat (and/or pick up some large items)... usually about once a month for a short distance. The Prodigy is always in the circuit with no drain or loss on the battery. You are experiencing a parasitic circuit somewhere. I know what a disappointment a dead battery can be... happens at the worst of times. Ganaraska has an excellent technique for analyzing the problem.
__________________

__________________
'00 Safari 27' Rear Twin
'03 Ford F-250 7.3TD/CC/LB 4x2 Bio-Diesel
"Hmmm... Smells like French Fries!"
Prodigy/Enkay/Hensley/Solar/LED lighting
AIR 4598 / WBCCI FCU 8579/
EAA 872814
BeBop is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lights on the Prodigy Brake Controller Bluto Brakes & Brake Controllers 6 02-02-2009 11:25 PM
New F150 '09 brake controller vs. Prodigy brake controller dukester Brakes & Brake Controllers 17 01-20-2009 11:46 PM
How to install a Prodigy brake controller Airstream 65 Brakes & Brake Controllers 1 04-07-2007 03:58 PM
Is Prodigy the best brake controller? silverback 2002 - 2005 International 13 07-28-2003 06:03 AM
Prodigy Brake Controller bdbluegrass Brakes & Brake Controllers 12 04-24-2003 11:14 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.