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Old 04-07-2005, 06:12 PM   #21
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which brake controller....

Thanks all for the amazing info, it's been very helpful.

I'm still undecided though, any more experiences with the new BrakeSmart?
I'm a little confused about the sensor's or whatever they are talking about that have to go on the trailer.
Since I had my brakes re-done, bearings drums and all, (at inland rv, a very fine job!) the brakes have been grabbing very hard.
I think it is my ancient brake controller, an original 1988 part in my '88 Suburban that still run's off a line from the brake cylinder. No matter how much I adjust it, it makes no difference. Sometimes one of the wheels even locks up and skids.
Thus, I am looking for a new controller.

Has anyone had experience with a Husky Excursion? Dealer said it is exactly the same as the Prodigy, but $80 cheaper, and they've had no problems.
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Old 04-07-2005, 06:25 PM   #22
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Which Brake Controller

TobyJH!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TobyJH
which brake controller....

Thanks all for the amazing info, it's been very helpful.

I'm still undecided though, any more experiences with the new BrakeSmart?
I'm a little confused about the sensor's or whatever they are talking about that have to go on the trailer.
Since I had my brakes re-done, bearings drums and all, (at inland rv, a very fine job!) the brakes have been grabbing very hard.
I think it is my ancient brake controller, an original 1988 part in my '88 Suburban that still run's off a line from the brake cylinder. No matter how much I adjust it, it makes no difference. Sometimes one of the wheels even locks up and skids.
Thus, I am looking for a new controller.

Has anyone had experience with a Husky Excursion? Dealer said it is exactly the same as the Prodigy, but $80 cheaper, and they've had no problems.
The situation you describe with your '88 hydraulic brake controller indicates that you either need resistors on the coach's hitch or those that are mounted need adjustment or replacement. With the old-style brake control that had the hydraulic line leading to the tow vehicle's master cylinder, it was often necessary to have resistors in the system and they were most typically mounted on the coach -- I don't know whether it is still possible to find these resistors as I haven't utilized one of the hydraulic type brake controllers since 1983.

I haven't had any experience with the Husky Excursion brake controllers, but if you have confidence in the dealer who is making the recommendation it might be worth a try. The one caution that I would make is that it will be far easier to find parts and service for one of the popular brands when on the road and some distance from home -- I carry an extra new Hayes-Lemmerz Energize XPC brake controller with me when on the road since they are far from common -- have never had to use it, but it is a nice insurance policy (especially since I was able to get it on a super sale at more than 30% off regular retail).

Have you considered taking your coach back to the service center that performed your brake job? I would be concerned if just one wheel were typically locking up -- it usually isn't a brake controller problem that causes that -- at least when it happened to me it was caused by a wheel having incorrectly adjusted brakes. Also, on a new brake job, if the shoes weren't machined to match the drums, there can be problems even brake application.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 04-07-2005, 06:29 PM   #23
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Prodigy

After much advice from the forum I got the Tekonsha Prodigy.
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Old 04-07-2005, 06:43 PM   #24
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Which Brake Controller

Greetings TobyJH!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TobyJH
which brake controller....

Thanks all for the amazing info, it's been very helpful.

I'm a little confused about the sensor's or whatever they are talking about that have to go on the trailer.

I think it is my ancient brake controller, an original 1988 part in my '88 Suburban that still run's off a line from the brake cylinder. No matter how much I adjust it, it makes no difference. Sometimes one of the wheels even locks up and skids.

Thus, I am looking for a new controller.
I found a site with a comprehensive description of the earlier hydraulic/electric brake controller that discusses among many other things the selective resistors utilized in the system. It pre-dates 1988, but according to the unit that I had on my '83 GMC G20 Vandura there weren't very many changes. The information can be found at the link below:

http://airstream.net/members/documen...lsey-Hayes.pdf

Good luck with finding a solution to your braking issue!

Kevin
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Old 04-07-2005, 07:07 PM   #25
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TobyJH,
I went to BrakeSmart when I bought an '04 Avalanche 2500 last March, installed the hydraulic sensor without any difficulty, and found the controller I had been hoping for compared to a couple of others I used extensively with previous vehicles. No delays between tow vehicle and Airstream, no grabbing; the same brake response from the trailer as I get from the truck. Great product, great technical support, and worth the price in my experience!
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Old 04-07-2005, 11:56 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
The best brake controller is the 'Tow Command'. The cost is $40,000 and it comes with a brand new (you choose the color) Ford Superduty.
Based on my experience I'll second this completely! The built-in brake controller in my 05 F250 is far superior to the Tekonsha Sentinel I previously used. However, the Tekonsha Sentinel was far superior to the Tekonsha Envoy I first tried.
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Old 04-08-2005, 12:31 AM   #27
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beware the tow command system

hi steve and others

since i don't pick up the new tin can for another 10 days or so, i have yet to tow it.

one of the main reasons i purchased an 05 superduty was the built it controller and having the protection of a ford factory warranty with it. the favorable reviews i read were the same one you and others likely read.

however......and this was a BIG surprise once i had the truck. if you look in the owners manual regarding the integrated brake control, there is a big box warning that says it is only to be used with electric-drum brakes, and not with electric over hydralic or other systems.......i had to reread this again in disbelief but it's there in english....... take a look for yourself.

since i had waited on my trailer order to get the disc brakes, after reading this i figured i was screwed and should have stuck with the drums......and WHY wouldn't the integrated brake controller work with electric to hydralic discs anyway???

repeated calls and emails to ford tech and no answers. discussion with the top mechanic at the dealer and no answers.

finally while i was touring at jackson center one of their folks was able to speak with an engineer at ford. and he confirmed that the system would work fine with the airstream factory disc system, with one exceptiion. while at a complete stop using the dash lever to apply trailer only brakes wouldn't work but during movement it would work fine as would the rest of the system.

so for me the best part of the factory visit was getting info on my tow vehicle!

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-08-2005, 07:50 AM   #28
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I can't believe this, I have a Prodigy in the Impala and one in the Suburban. About a month ago, I noticed that the boost light would come on (on the unit in the Impala) all by itself. I keep the boost off, so it only had the power indicator light on. I just noticed that there is now only one piece of the numeric display (one part of one number) now flickering. Not sure what the heck happened. I might have a ground issue, but if any of you have seen something like this, please let me know.
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Old 04-08-2005, 09:02 AM   #29
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On my previous TV and 24' Tradewind I had the Prodigy. I found that in certain situations I would get brake fade and would have to use the button to add a little more braking. This was after adjusting the controller properly. With my new TV and 28'CCD I went with the Brakesmart and there is a noticeable difference (improvement) in the response. There's no fade at all and the unit also alerts you if you have any brake line disconnects & for diesels there is or will be a brake temperature option.
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Old 04-08-2005, 12:33 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
hi steve and others

one of the main reasons i purchased an 05 superduty was the built it controller and having the protection of a ford factory warranty with it. the favorable reviews i read were the same one you and others likely read.

however......and this was a BIG surprise once i had the truck. if you look in the owners manual regarding the integrated brake control, there is a big box warning that says it is only to be used with electric-drum brakes, and not with electric over hydralic or other systems.......i had to reread this again in disbelief but it's there in english....... take a look for yourself.

since i had waited on my trailer order to get the disc brakes, after reading this i figured i was screwed and should have stuck with the drums......and WHY wouldn't the integrated brake controller work with electric to hydralic discs anyway???

repeated calls and emails to ford tech and no answers. discussion with the top mechanic at the dealer and no answers.

finally while i was touring at jackson center one of their folks was able to speak with an engineer at ford. and he confirmed that the system would work fine with the airstream factory disc system, with one exceptiion. while at a complete stop using the dash lever to apply trailer only brakes wouldn't work but during movement it would work fine as would the rest of the system.

so for me the best part of the factory visit was getting info on my tow vehicle!

cheers
2air'
I read the same thing in my Ford owner's manual and my first thought was "How does the brake controller know what kind of trailer brakes it is controlling so long as they take an electric signal to get them to work?"

One of my planned upgrades (for my 97 Excella) is a set of aftermarket disc brakes. I must admit that the brakes on my trailer work so well (they are brand new) that the disc brake upgrade is not the priority I thought it was.
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Old 06-16-2005, 11:46 AM   #31
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TEKONSHA Voyager is what we went with & what Arhardts trailers in Des Plaines reccomended. Question- We got it hooked up , so should the brake controller light always light up when I'm braking-hooked up or not? Because I am not getting anything to the brake controller unit , something must not be wired right....
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Old 06-16-2005, 06:02 PM   #32
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Which Brake controller

Greetings Chitown AirsStreamers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chitown AirStreamers
TEKONSHA Voyager is what we went with & what Arhardts trailers in Des Plaines reccomended. Question- We got it hooked up , so should the brake controller light always light up when I'm braking-hooked up or not? Because I am not getting anything to the brake controller unit , something must not be wired right....
On the Tekonsha Voyager that is in my Suburban, the only time the monitor lights illuminate is when it the tow vehicle is connected to the trailer. Unless Tekonsha has changed how they manufacture the Voyager, you likely have some type of problem -- either with wiring or corrossion that may be "bridging" the contacts in your tow vehicle's Bargman connector.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 06-16-2005, 11:44 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
...
however......and this was a BIG surprise once i had the truck. if you look in the owners manual regarding the integrated brake control, there is a big box warning that says it is only to be used with electric-drum brakes, and not with electric over hydralic or other systems.......i had to reread this again in disbelief but it's there in english....... take a look for yourself.

...finally while i was touring at jackson center one of their folks was able to speak with an engineer at ford. and he confirmed that the system would work fine with the airstream factory disc system, with one exceptiion. while at a complete stop using the dash lever to apply trailer only brakes wouldn't work but during movement it would work fine as would the rest of the system...

cheers
2air'
I am confused, does that mean that the dash lever will work at .00001 MPH and above but not at a complete stop? What is it in the controller that knows the that the vehicle is at a complete stop or not?

I have a friend who bought the new super duty with this controller specifically because of his 35' boat with triple axle disc brake trailer, he was told that the controller does not work on boat trailers, what would be the difference between a travel trailer and a boat trailer, other that the fact that you put a boat trailer in the water?

Bill
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Old 06-22-2005, 11:39 PM   #34
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hi bill and others

i'm not a mechanic and was just relaying what the as rep said the ford rep said....about the integrated brake controller.

my understanding is that power is delivered to the manual brake controller lever in a progressive fashion (below 20-25mph) and that as speed approaches zero the feed to/from the brake controller goes to zero for the hand lever. there has been some discussion of this issue on the powerstroke list serve and the master mechanics seem to agree the the system is set up so that using the hand lever at a stop will not trigger the trailer brakes......of course using the truck's brake pedal will trigger both the trailer brakes and the truck brakes at a stop and during movement at any speed.

since the primary reason to independently apply the trailer brakes is to bring the trailer back in line when yaw/sway occurs.......i'm fine with this design. it's unlikely i'll experience much sway when stopped already. and now that i've towed 4000 miles or so with a hensley on the 34.....well i'm not sure i'll ever experience much sway....the hitch is really something.

so by inference if the truck is moving at .00001 mph and the manual brake controller lever is applied, a very very small amount of trailer brake action would result......

i'm not familiar with boat trailers or the braking systems they utilize....but it would seem the controller should work fine....perhaps your friend was told it wouldn't work for the same reason i orginally was worried.....the factory manual says it won't.....he may need to contact ford or have the boat dealer contact ford.

again i'm just repeating what the tech explained to me.....if you're still curious about this ford system and any limitations that may be part of the system i'd suggest contacting ford.

regards
2air'
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Old 06-23-2005, 12:31 AM   #35
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Smile

Well I did indeed have a bad contact, got her working ,calibrated , left everything hooked up to the truck overnite, got in in the morning to leave & the brake controller was not working. Did leaving the vehicle hooked up do something?
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Old 06-23-2005, 02:13 AM   #36
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My choice was the Tek. Prodigy on my F150 , not equiped with the towing package; This choice was made when I see this brake controller, was able to indicate you if all trailer brakes are connected or not. i don't know the other models or other brands of brake controller so I prefered to buy the current best product succes instead of buying a bad system only for the low price.
On a vintage Airstream, you don't know how the brakes are working, how they become used ... so When i ve equiped with the prodigy, I 've replaced too the trailer brakes and that's working great now.

If that can help you in your choice...


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Old 08-20-2005, 01:15 PM   #37
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BrakeSmart

I have a BrakeSmart and love it. See my comments at:
Turbo Diesel Register Forums

It's expensive, and worth every penny.

Loren
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