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Old 12-07-2019, 05:29 PM   #1
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Brake controller brand advice '16 GL 350 bluetec

I just bought a 2016 GL 350 Bluetec to pull my 7X14 dual axle cargo trailer. This is to replace my '13 ML 350 bluetec that has over 160k miles (majority of these miles was with towing!) and just starting to get expensive with replacing parts. I never had good luck with the break controller in my ML. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't and I could never figure out why. It literally would work one day then not the next. Seems like I read somewhere in this forum there was a specific brand of brake controller that seemed to work better with mercedes? I live in TX which is truck country, so finding anyone here to help me with my mercedes tow vehicle will be impossible. Thank you for any advice!
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:10 PM   #2
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I have a 2008 GL320, and I am using a Tekonsha Prodigy wireless controller, which works just fine, and saved me from having to figure out and run the wiring that would be required for a conventional controller. Not saying that a conventional controller can't work, but the Prodigy saved me some head scratching, at least.

good luck!
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:01 AM   #3
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As long as you have a dedicated 12v charge line wired to the 7 pin plug on your car, the Prodigy RF should work well. If you want to use the brake controller with more than one trailer, there is one made by (I think) Curt that plugs in to the 7 pin connector, and is monitored/set up/actuated using an app on your smart phone. I've installed many Prodigy RFs with success, only installed the other one once. The one time, though, worked as advertised.
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:04 AM   #4
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Ditto on the Prodigy RF. I have a 2020 GLS and while the wiring is right there in the footwell, there are very few options for mounting a controller without interfering with something else. Very few storage cubbies too. The handheld unit plugs into the 12V outlet and is handy to say the least. Requires drilling into the trailer frame, but I figure it is going to go with the trailer if I sell it. I was worried about having to mount it partially under the Propane bottles but it communicates fine and paired up OK. Mine is mounted on the Street side.

I looked at the Curt model at a local U-Haul dealer, but it is pretty long (8 or 9 inches at least) and in my vehicle, the 7-pin connector is angled down about 45 degrees... Afraid it would get snagged and ripped out on uneven terrain.
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Old 12-08-2019, 11:48 AM   #5
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One more vote for the Prodigy RF controller. I had a 2011 350, and the Prodigy installed and worked well. When I got rid of the GL for reliability reasons, I kept the Prodigy and use if towing with a truck that does not have an integrated brake controller.

Neil
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Old 12-08-2019, 11:54 AM   #6
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Ditto on the Prodigy RF. Iíve used one for a few years on my 2014 ML 350 BT pulling a 19 Intíl. Thereís no place to mount an inside controller without hacking up something pretty. It just works, never needs adjusting, handset stays in the glove box. Couldnít be nicer.

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Old 12-08-2019, 12:08 PM   #7
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Controller for electric over hydraulic brakes?

Our 20' 1966 Globetrotter was updated with HydraStar actuated electic over hydraulic disc brakes. The Tekonsha Prodigy model required for that type of brakes was the P2. It has worked beautifully in our 2015 ML250 Bluetec.
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Old 12-08-2019, 12:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirGT65 View Post
Our 20' 1966 Globetrotter was updated with HydraStar actuated electic over hydraulic disc brakes. The Tekonsha Prodigy model required for that type of brakes was the P2. It has worked beautifully in our 2015 ML250 Bluetec.
The newer Prodigy P3 also works with EOH. I have no experience with one on a Mercedes, but I used one instead of the built in one on my Ram when testing my trailer brakes.

Al
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Old 12-08-2019, 12:31 PM   #9
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P3 brake controller, not P2

My mistake! We installed the Tenonsha Prodigy P3 proportional controller for our electric over hydralic disc brakes, NOT the P2. It has great settings adjustments for different downhill and sidewind conditions. Reassuring with a shorter tow vehicle like our ML S.U.V.
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Old 12-08-2019, 12:44 PM   #10
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Use the Prodigy RF on my 2007 ML320 CDI with 194,000 miles. It was built to my order in October of 2006 as one of the first 2007 models. The factory forgot to run the wiring from the footwell to the 7 pin plug in the first two months of production.

Did not want to tear out the interior, so acquired the Tekonsha product.

Used that along with a new Hensley Arrow hitch to tow our new 2013 25FB International Serenity (had full propane and fresh water tanks and nothing else inside) home from the Los Angles dealership to east side of the Phoenix urban sprawl.

Got a flat right rear tire that created a major problem for five hours as had to put donut spare on right front..... then drive back into LA to CostCo to fix flat and then swap tires again....

A major pain in the backside is my Prodigy unit will pulsate the brakes in time with the turn signals and ramp up the brake voltage so it jerks like crazy. No solution from Tekonsha.

When we traded the 25FB in on our 2014 Classic with the ProPride hitch, I kept the Hensley Arrow and the Prodigy. When we added our 2015 23D International Serenity, I upgraded to 15" Michelins and 15" SenDel wheels on the dealership lot and installed both the Prodigy and the Hensley Arrow. Since the elevated 23D is at the same height off the ground as the 25FB was on the 15" Michelin tires we put on, all the Hensley settings worked.

Max cruising speed for us is 55mpg and we see 16 to 17 mpg taking it easy. Downshifts to 4th on grades and maintains 55 without a challenge. Use 2nd gear at 35 mpg on mountain descents and have no need to use the brakes as the engine does the work.
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Old 12-08-2019, 03:56 PM   #11
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I am having good performance with the Tuson DirecLink 100 system. Excellent customer sevice and exceptionally smooth braking with my Hensley hitch.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:00 PM   #12
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Tekonsha 90250 Prodigy RF Electronic Brake Controller

Have used this wireless brake controller for the last six years with zero issues. Big advantage is that we didn't have to mount it anywhere or do any wiring setup. It's 100% reliability has been an unexpected bonus. Also, it's easy to adjust on the fly when you get to the steep downhills as well. Not much else to say about it. It just works.
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirGT65 View Post
My mistake! We installed the Tenonsha Prodigy P3 proportional controller for our electric over hydralic disc brakes, NOT the P2. It has great settings adjustments for different downhill and sidewind conditions. Reassuring with a shorter tow vehicle like our ML S.U.V.
Can you tell me how the P3 settings for sidewind and downhill adjustments are accessed? I can't locate these features.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheas View Post
I just bought a 2016 GL 350 Bluetec to pull my 7X14 dual axle cargo trailer. This is to replace my '13 ML 350 bluetec that has over 160k miles (majority of these miles was with towing!) and just starting to get expensive with replacing parts. I never had good luck with the break controller in my ML. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't and I could never figure out why. It literally would work one day then not the next. Seems like I read somewhere in this forum there was a specific brand of brake controller that seemed to work better with mercedes? I live in TX which is truck country, so finding anyone here to help me with my mercedes tow vehicle will be impossible. Thank you for any advice!
I've had 2 different ones so far. The first one was a very basic one MB but in and later I put in a Tekonsha P3. That is the one I still use. It's hooked up to the factory plug under the dash. It works well for my 07 classic, on my 08 ML320CDI.
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Old 12-17-2019, 11:23 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=Sheas;2313982]I just bought a 2016 GL 350 Bluetec to pull my 7X14 dual axle cargo trailer. This is to replace my '13 ML 350 bluetec that has over 160k miles (majority of these miles was with towing!) and just starting to get expensive with replacing parts. I never had good luck with the break controller in my ML. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't and I could never figure out why. It literally would work one day then not the next. Seems like I read somewhere in this forum there was a specific brand of brake controller that seemed to work better with mercedes? I live in TX which is truck country, so finding anyone here to help me with my mercedes tow vehicle will be impossible. Thank you for any advice![/QUOTE

I run a 2009 ml320 bluetec with a factory installed hitch. It had a plug for the brake controller on the left side of the dash,which i had to wire in, in the fuse panel area. Everything required for the trailer hitch is ready to go. the only problem is that i had to add a converter between the vehicle plug and the trailer lead. My trailer has complete led lights so the vehicle wouldn't recognize my trailer because there was not enough load. This converter plug adds the required loads to activate the trailer lights. I did not go for any specific controller.On newer Benzs, i am not sure of their setup.
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Old 12-17-2019, 12:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRIPPPIN View Post
Can you tell me how the P3 settings for sidewind and downhill adjustments are accessed? I can't locate these features.
The "Boost" function (button on the upper right side) helps stabilize our trailer on steep downhills and with strong sidewinds. Here is a quick video:
I keep it on "level 1", just to take some strain off our ML250 Bluetec's brakes and smooth the braking process. The manual override slider (on the bottom edge) can be used on really steep or long downhill runs. Also, our 2015 ML has a factory anti-sway system that automatically applies selective wheel braking if the computer detects a problem.
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Old 12-18-2019, 08:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirGT65 View Post
The "Boost" function (button on the upper right side) helps stabilize our trailer on steep downhills and with strong sidewinds. Here is a quick video:
I keep it on "level 1", just to take some strain off our ML250 Bluetec's brakes and smooth the braking process. The manual override slider (on the bottom edge) can be used on really steep or long downhill runs. Also, our 2015 ML has a factory anti-sway system that automatically applies selective wheel braking if the computer detects a problem.
There is no sidewind reference in the video or any reference to trailer stabilization. Boost function only changes the speed of application and the power of braking.
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Old 12-18-2019, 08:58 AM   #18
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I have the Tekonsha P3 it was good. However...
I upgraded to the Tuson DirecLink and have not looked back. What a great controller.
I still have the like new Tekonsha P3 if you interested in it private message me.

-Dennis
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Old 12-18-2019, 09:29 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
I have a 2008 GL320, and I am using a Tekonsha Prodigy wireless controller, which works just fine, and saved me from having to figure out and run the wiring that would be required for a conventional controller. Not saying that a conventional controller can't work, but the Prodigy saved me some head scratching, at least.

good luck!
When I bought the Bambi, it came with the wireless Prodigy brake controller which was fantastic and ease of use. Only need to use power plug in your MB. Wish I had this when I was towing 3 different pop ups.
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Old 12-18-2019, 04:09 PM   #20
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Brake Controller

We used a Prodigy with our FC26 and ML350, 2012 Bluetec. We towed for about four short trips and decided we needed more muscle. Now have F250, 6.7 diesel
with built in controller and feel like we, instead of SPARKLE, are in control. The Prodigy worked well for us but now no longer needed...packed it back in its box, now on the shelf in my garage. The accelerometer technology is old school and proven and should last for years.
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