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Old 08-24-2012, 01:24 PM   #1
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Rented Airstream - brake controller questions!

Hi all!

In short, my girlfriend and I have a 19ft Airstream rented for Labor Day weekend, and I want to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.

A few questions:
  • My truck just died, so we also have to rent a truck to tow with. How "invasive" is the install of something like a Tekonsha P2/P3? Any cutting, or just plugging? I figure there's two steps to consider: the install of the unit, and the running of 7-pole connectors if the rental truck isn't setup for this. Foresight if we should be considering this with a rental truck? We're likely renting a Lincoln Navigator, and I found the quote, "if your Lincoln Navigator has a factory installed hitch and 7-way connector, then all of the wires for the brake controller have already been run. If not, additional parts will be required to complete the installation of the brake controller." Tekonsha Brake Controller with Wiring for Lincoln Navigator 2011 - 39510-3035P

  • Do I need a Navigator harness like the one in this auction? Or is this just someone trying to make an extra buck? TEKONSHA P3 BRAKE CONTROLLER 98-11 Lincoln Navigator | eBay

  • How long does the unit install take, assuming the regular wiring is already in place? And if not?
  • What else should I foresee with the Navigator? What kind of tow ball, class hitch, other technical jargon. IE, you're renting both truck and trailer and both are sight-unseen. What do you do ahead of time to make sure you're driving off on your vacation with a smile on your face, hopefully not too many hours after pickup? :P

Much appreciated!
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:29 PM   #2
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If the truck is wired and has the 7-way, it should be easy. IF the adapter to plug under the dash is there. If not, you could pick one up (that's the extra harness you asked about). Having that, it's plug and play and only takes few minutes.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:55 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Wayne&Sam.

Update: Did some research, looks like the adapter for the Navigator is a pretty common part, available at most Tekonsha dealers. I'll likely just buy a P2/P3 and harness in person and try to get it set up / trouble shoot this weekend.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:00 PM   #4
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You found a company that will let you tow with the vehicle you rent from them?
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday'59 View Post
You found a company that will let you tow with the vehicle you rent from them?
I did. The first was a Uhaul pickup that's rated to tow 5,000+. I decided against this though, instead renting from a friends of friend's company (who, as you suggest, usually doesn't allow towing but made an exception). My consolation is that I got confirmation that my insurance extends to both the Navigator, as well as the Airstream.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:39 PM   #6
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Hi, I have the Tekonsha P-3 brake controller and with the connecting harness, it just plugs in. You will have to mount the controller usually, on the dash board somewhere. This may need holes drilled or the use of existing screws in the dash. Some vehicles need a fuse or relay installed for the use of a brake controller; Mine, either didn't need one, or it was already installed. it would be in the glove box and from Ford. Will the trailer rental come with some sort of WD hitch and will they be setting it up for you?
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:50 PM   #7
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Or just use some velcro with tape on it then you can take it off when done and no holes. It should last for the trip you are taking.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:59 PM   #8
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Use the 3M velcro like stuff, it sticks better and releases better, it is in with the stick on hooks in hardware stores.
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:41 AM   #9
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Thanks again for the replies.

Yeah I was thinking the same thing about velcro and some goof-off after.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, I have the Tekonsha P-3 brake controller and with the connecting harness, it just plugs in. You will have to mount the controller usually, on the dash board somewhere. This may need holes drilled or the use of existing screws in the dash. Some vehicles need a fuse or relay installed for the use of a brake controller; Mine, either didn't need one, or it was already installed. it would be in the glove box and from Ford. Will the trailer rental come with some sort of WD hitch and will they be setting it up for you?
The fuse thing is new to me. I'm looking to buy the P2 harness for the Lincoln Navigator at a Tekonsha dealer, so hopefully they can recommend on that.

Regarding the WD hitch, I'm new to that as well. Is it required for towing a 19-foot AirStream? To my knowledge, I simply have a Lincoln Navigator 5,000lb+ tow capacity and a 2.5in ball.
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ever View Post
Thanks again for the replies.

Yeah I was thinking the same thing about velcro and some goof-off after.




The fuse thing is new to me. I'm looking to buy the P2 harness for the Lincoln Navigator at a Tekonsha dealer, so hopefully they can recommend on that.

Regarding the WD hitch, I'm new to that as well. Is it required for towing a 19-foot AirStream? To my knowledge, I simply have a Lincoln Navigator 5,000lb+ tow capacity and a 2.5in ball.
Hi, a WD hitch isn't required, but could make the drive safer. My Lincoln has a tow rating of 8,900 lbs. And the ball should be 2 5/16".
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:40 PM   #11
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Last question if things go well from here on out!

I'm a little concerned about the wiring. Reminder that I'm both a novice at this, AND I'm renting both the Airstream and the Navigator.

Regarding the wiring, the airstream is a 7-prong plug, correct? This means that the back of the Navigator must be 7-prong, I trust. If so, what kind of adapter is needed for this?

This whole time I've been caught up with the adapter for the brake controller (the one to plug in under the dash). But I realized today that I might need more parts, but I'm yet to see this pointed out in this thread (looking back at Wayne&Sam's reply, perhaps that was the one...)

So will I come up short in this case? Do I actually need two adapters? One for the controller, and one for the rear of the car?

Thanks again.
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:44 PM   #12
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Hi, if the Lincoln has the 7 blade receptacle, and most of them do, you won't need any adapters.
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:27 PM   #13
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Thanks Robert.

The owner texted me that, "would send a photo of the four-prong plug when the previous renter returns it." I'm not sure if he's saying that he knows it's four plug and is going to send a photo, of if he's reiterating my concern that it's a four-plug but that he himself isn't sure.

I'll know for sure this time tomorrow, but that only leaves me 24 hours for a quick-fix if it's for some reason not seven-prong.

Thanks again, and I'll check back in as soon as I know tomorrow.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:12 PM   #14
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Sent this email to my trusty sidekick for us to do some final calling around before a hopeful pickup and install this evening.


"We for sure need:

• Break Controller. Either Tekonsha P2, or the more-expensive P3.

• Wiring adapter for 2003 Lincoln Navigator, part 3035-P



We might need:

• Wiring harness adapter for the hitch – four pole to seven pole converter (Airstream is 7 pole, Navigator should be 7 by default but I fear it's currently setup as 4 pole)


A dealer with all three would rock. A store with the first two is the most important for now and more likely to come across as we're calling official dealers. I spoke with Company ! last week and they had it but they close too early. Call and find out if they still have it, just in case, and confirm close time. Then call and find out if any others have both “in hand,” get their names, and find out what time they close. Thanks so much!
"
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