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Old 02-26-2004, 06:33 PM   #1
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Need Brake information

I have followed your information and got this this point but now I need more help. I installed the Prodigy brake controler and get a good read out according to the book. everything seems fine until I put on the brake. I set the power at 6 as directed but when the brake is applied I only get a reading of 1.5, It first goes to 0.0 then to 1.5. Is this telling me that the brakes are not working. If so I'll be back with a lot more questions as soon as I get the hubs off again. Thanks....Dave....
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Old 02-26-2004, 07:16 PM   #2
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David, is this voltage fluctuation accompanied by a flashing light on the brake controller? If so, you have a short to ground somewhere.If you get completely stuck, I will be driving through Arcadia next weekend, I can swing by and maybe give you a hand, if you would like.
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Old 02-27-2004, 02:13 PM   #3
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need brake information

OK need help bad, I have brakes on the overlander but here is my problem, I set the prodigy as instructed from the company and when applying manual 6V as told to do I get brake lock up but no brakes from the brake pedal, the brake shows 2.7v going to the brakes. I increase the prodigy to 11.5v and I get brakes from the brake pedal, and the prodigy shows 3.8v. This is setting on blocks and not on the road. I do have disk brakes. The part I don't understand is how the brakes lock up on manual and not have brakes from the brake pedal. Can someone explain this to me? Isn't 11v a little high setting to get brakes? I don't know so someone talk me through this. I have checked the voltage at all four wheels and it's there from the brake pedal. Help.....Thanks...Dave....
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Old 02-27-2004, 03:58 PM   #4
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The Prodigy output voltage is regulated based on your applying the brake pedal (as sensed through the brake light circuit on your tow vehicle) and the deceleration of your moving vehicle. Having the trailer on blocks is not a real situation - no decelleration. I don't recall what the "at rest" voltage is out of my unit, but I think it may be in the neighborhood of what you are seeing. Try it in-motion and see what happens.
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Old 02-27-2004, 08:00 PM   #5
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When all else fails...

Quote:
Originally posted by David Hall
OK need help bad, I have brakes on the overlander but here is my problem, I set the prodigy as instructed from the company and when applying manual 6V as told to do I get brake lock up but no brakes from the brake pedal, the brake shows 2.7v going to the brakes. I increase the prodigy to 11.5v and I get brakes from the brake pedal, and the prodigy shows 3.8v. This is setting on blocks and not on the road. I do have disk brakes. The part I don't understand is how the brakes lock up on manual and not have brakes from the brake pedal. Can someone explain this to me? Isn't 11v a little high setting to get brakes? I don't know so someone talk me through this. I have checked the voltage at all four wheels and it's there from the brake pedal. Help.....Thanks...Dave....
I think the directions tell you to take your trailer out on the road after initial leveling of your controller, and turn the gain up so that the trailer brakes lock up when you apply the trailer brakes manually, then turn the gain down till the brake just almost lock up. Your brakes should be where they need to be then.
Terry
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Old 02-28-2004, 04:42 AM   #6
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The vehicle needs to be in motion with the trailer in tow to be properly set up. The advise previously given is what I recommend also. This controller senses motion and decelleration to activate the trailer brakes properly. Check the set up instructions again. I believe it is working properly.
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Old 02-29-2004, 04:19 PM   #7
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Need brake information

I would like to take this time and thank all who helped and advised me on the rework of my overlander, I think I have it finished now, for awhile anyway, and all systems are go to go camping for a couple days and see if everything works as planed. I'm only going a few miles from here and I have no sway bars or load distributing hitch but with the overlander hooked to the truck I had to lower the hitch 3" in order to pull level. Do I need a distribution hitch and sway bars with this? What type do you recommend that I get. .....Thanks ...Dave...
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Old 02-29-2004, 04:46 PM   #8
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Need Brake information

Greetings Dave!

Quote:
Do I need a distribution hitch and sway bars with this? What type do you recommend that I get.
I have been thrilled with the performance of my Reese Strait-Line Hitch. This is the hitch that I have used with my Overlander since 1995, and with over 40,000 miles of towing it has performed flawlessly. The critical issues are getting the hitch head setup at the correct height and angle; and then obtaining weight distribution bars with a rating very close to the tongue weight of your coach (probably 700 or 800 pounds at most). The Dual Cam Sway Control that is part of this hitch is most effective when the weight distribution bars are rated close to the trailer's tongue weight in my experience.

You can find out more about the Reese Strait-Line Hitch at:

Reese Strait-Line Hitch

When I purchased the setup for my '78 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre, I stayed with the older style "U-Bolt" attachement method as I had reservations about drilling additional holes in the hitch of my Vintage coach.

Good luck with your hithc decision!

Kevin
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Old 02-29-2004, 05:47 PM   #9
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Second the Reese setup. I have their dual cam system and although I have yet to actually use it, we've used Reese stuff for decades. We had the friction sway control for about the same time. Great results.

There are other good ones out there too around the same price....but we've had great luck with Reese and didn't have to take out a second loan to pay for it!
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Old 02-29-2004, 06:03 PM   #10
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Brake information

Thanks for all your help Kevin, you have been with me sense this project begain and I sure want to thank you and all the other wonderful people who came to my rescue in my time of need. I could not have done this project without all of the help. Now if the wife and I can learn where and how to use it, things will be OK. Thanks for the info on the reese hitch, I only have 14" under the trailer tounge when it is level. the hitch looks very large in the picture, will it work and give me enough ground clearence.
I again would like to say Thanks to you and all the other wonderful people who gave me advice during this project...Dave....
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Old 02-29-2004, 10:05 PM   #11
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1964 26' Overlander
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Need Brake information

Greetings Dave!

The amount of clearance below the hitch is an issue with many Vintage Airstreams. While there is minimal clearance, there is enough room for the Dual Cam System. The only times that I consistently experience problems is with my Minuet that has almost 2" less clearance than the Overlander. When backing it into my own driveway the hitch components will drag if I am not approaching from precisely the correct angle - - I now know to remove the weight distribution bars and pull the Dual Cam lever arms as close to the "A-frame" as possible. I have also learned that if I have problems with the Dual Cam hitting the pavement entering a gas station the rear of the trailer will want to drag upon exit - - this is an occassional problem with either trailer and is more common with the K2500 Suburban than with the Cadillac for some reason (I suspect the difference in suspension flexibility has a role to play).

Good luck with your Overlander!

Kevin
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Old 03-01-2004, 09:09 AM   #12
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Need Brake information

Back to the Prodigy topic, I have one also and believe that the user set voltage is the maximum that will ever be applied, more might cause wheel lockup. Actual braking voltage will always be somewhere between 0 and 6.0 volts on your trailer. The boost adjustment will increase the initial voltage that occurs when the brake light switch is activated, this allows the trailer brakes to apply some braking force before the tow vehicle brakes. The biggest variable of the voltage is the deceleration force . On blocks, that force is zero. A hard stop going downhill would probably generate a brake voltage of close to 6.0 volts.

The current may vary (drift) slightly on a static trailer because as the brake magnets warm up, the resistance will also increase - and the current will decrease. This is just the positive temperature coefficient of copper in action.
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Old 03-04-2004, 09:25 PM   #13
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Need brake information

Another question, I have been looking at hitches to buy and was wondering if a load distribution hitch was a requirement to use with sway bars on a trailer. I see that they are sold seperate or as a group. I don't feel I need a load distribution hitch unless it's a necessary thing to have, for safety or other reasons. My tounge wt is just under 400 lbs and you can't tell it' hooked to the truck. I want to go with the reese strait line if it's a requirement for both. Someone please explain....Thanks....Dave....
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Old 03-05-2004, 04:06 AM   #14
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Dave,
First, I find it surprising that the tongue weight is less than 400 pounds. Have you actually weighed it? It should be about 15 % of the total weight of the trailer for proper towing and stability.

Second, I recommend a weight distribution hitch. I think you will find that it feels better and is certainly a safer setup. There is lots of discussion on this forum on the subject. Do a search and see what others think.

Don't skimp on safety!

Jim
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Old 03-05-2004, 05:08 PM   #15
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Need Brake information

Greetings Dave!

Quote:
Another question, I have been looking at hitches to buy and was wondering if a load distribution hitch was a requirement to use with sway bars on a trailer. I see that they are sold seperate or as a group. I don't feel I need a load distribution hitch unless it's a necessary thing to have, for safety or other reasons.
If my memory is correct, your Overlander is a '61 model, and while a little lighter than my '64 from the factory the two coaches are likely quite similar when loaded - - in fact, if your coach has the front water tank (below the lounge), your tongue weight could actually be a bit higher than mine. The figure that you mention (400 pounds) is what my coach had empty and without options - - by the time options, fluids, and possessions carried are added in my tongue weight is close to 750 pounds (I have upgraded to 40 pound Worthington Aluminum LP cylinders) - - the trailer's gross weight approaches 6,100 pounds unless I am very careful about the Rally suupplies carried.

Even at 400 pounds on the tongue, I would recommend the Reese Strait-Line Hitch. I have used this hitch for more than 40,000 miles on my Overlander, and also have one for my Minuet 6.0 Metre. This hitch includes the Dual Cam Sway Control and results in a very stable towing relationship with both my '99 K2500 Suburban (10,000 pound trailer towing package) as well as with the '75 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (6,000 pound trailer towing package). One of the critical considerations with having a good functioning Dual Cam Sway Control is to have weight distribution bars that are very close in rating to the actual hitch weight; proper ball height and angle are also critical to the function of any hitch system selected.

You can find more information about the Reese Strait-Line Hitch at:

Reese Strait-Line Hitch

Good luck with your hitch selection!

Kevin
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Old 03-22-2004, 09:03 PM   #16
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Hello Again
I'm going with the Reese SL hitch, my question is... Does the load in the back of the truck, which lowers the rear be considered in the tongue weight. My tongue wt is near 500 lbs but with generator and other stuff in the back of the truck should I order the 550 or 750 lb tongue wt system. Thanks....Dave...
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Old 03-22-2004, 09:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by David Hall
Hello Again
I'm going with the Reese SL hitch, my question is... Does the load in the back of the truck, which lowers the rear be considered in the tongue weight. My tongue wt is near 500 lbs but with generator and other stuff in the back of the truck should I order the 550 or 750 lb tongue wt system. Thanks....Dave...
Dave... tongue weight is tongue weight. The load in your bed has to be considered regarding the gross axle weight, gross vehicle weight and gross combined vehicle weight, but not as tongue weight.

Roger
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Old 03-22-2004, 10:02 PM   #18
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Thanks Roger for the help....Dave...
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