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Old 05-24-2010, 04:49 PM   #1
OSB
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Arrow Recommendation on a brake controller?

Hello folks,

I'd like to ask for your recommendations on a brake controller.

I've searched the forum and did not quite find what I was looking for, which may very well be an indication of my searching capabilities (or lack thereof as me missus might sometimes say).

We'll be pulling a 23' KZ Frontier travel trailer with a 2004 GMC Yukon XL. The Frontier comes with a trailer stabilizer setup. I've ordered TTT towing mirrors, and would like to add a brake controller to the Yukon as well.

I braved the great wide web and its wealth of information, and quickly realized that there was far more information and merchandise available than my level of RV education could process to make an intelligent decision.

Knowing our setup, and that it will not be changing for some time, might any of you have any recommendations on a brake controller?

Thank you so very much in advance for your help!

Cheers!


Edit: I was able to get a hold of my friend who is selling me the Frontier (and also has a Suburban to tow it). He pointed me in the right direction and I've purchased the following: Tekonsha Prodigy P2 Brake Control for GM Vehicles (2003 and up).
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:30 PM   #2
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A lot of people use the Prodigy and are happy with it. It is well marketed, easy to install and not priced to high. I don't like any of the inertia controllers.

I use a MaxBrake controller which acts directly from the hydraulic pressure in the brake line. pretty much fool proof, but it over twice the cost of a Prodigy. When you look at the cost of your truck and trailer and put a value on your family safety, price is no object.

As a minimum, get the Prodigy and none of the less expensive controllers.

You will also need a friction sway control device fro the trailer as well as weight distributing type hitch.

Ken
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:25 PM   #3
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Tekonsha Prodigy or P3 would be my choices. Prodigy is a heck of a controller for a very reasonable price.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:02 PM   #4
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I would second the recommmmendation of Maxbrake, best controller I have found.
Larry
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:09 PM   #5
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I had only used the inertia type controllers and found them very inconvenient, spent a lot of time tuning the settings for different conditions. Our new pickup came with a Prodigy, the difference is flat out amazing. So much smoother and no tinkering.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:11 PM   #6
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Roy, the Prodigy is an inertia based controller.

ken
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:42 PM   #7
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I love my BrakeSmart controller. A pressure sensor installed near the master cylinder of the tow vehicle gives truly proportional trailer braking based on your tow vehicles brake output.
Very pricey, but well worth the cost in my opinion.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:04 PM   #8
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Ken, I must be mistaken about them. I thought the inertia based units were the cheaper units with the weight, either on or off. I found them difficult to keep adjusted for smooth operation.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:18 PM   #9
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The Prodigy uses a decelorometer (a high-tech solid state device) to sense inertia. The older units use a pendulum and a light beam to sense deceleration.

The MaxBrake is a hydraulic based unit using a small pressure sensor mounted on a Tee in the brake line. It is a true proportional brake controller.

The fallacy with the Prodigy is that in order to apply trailer brakes it needs to sense deceleration or a change in inertia to send a signal to the trailer brakes. If you happen to be on a slick street, and the truck is braking and starts to slide, there is little deceleration to sense so little if any trailer brakes until the unit has time to ramp up and start applying the brakes on the trailer. Scary as all get out when you want to stop and the trailer is merrily pushing you through a red light and starting to jack-knife. That was the last trip the Prodigy made and I went with a Jordan 202 which is no longer produced. The Jordan died and I went to a MaxBrake and it is wonderful. It is smooth, like the truck and trailer act as one unit, never requires and changes between city and highway.

To get the best, I was willing to spend a little more.

Ken
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