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trailer brake controller

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by Sydenstricker Landscaping, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    I have a quick question. What is a good, decent priced trailer brake controller?? I am picking up my new 16 foot trailer this comming weekend and it has brakes, but I have no controller. Never dealt with one before, so I figure ask first before buying. Thanks in advance guys!!:waving:
     
  2. Bruce'sEx

    Bruce'sEx Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Don't go cheap on this, there is a big difference between controllers.
    This one is in one of our haul trucks,
    http://www.brake-controllers-usa.com/reese_elec_brakeman_dig.html
    and a similar one is in the other truck.

    That one in the first truck is about 4 years old now, and never had a problem, Second truck on has been in there 2 years now. The digit number display, makes setting it nicer, if you find you need to change the settings with the load changes behind you. You may be suprised how often that needs to be down. not sure what your pulling, but I find I need to change settings from different loads, different road conditions. and those controls with just the single led from red to green color. just didn't do it for me.

    We just bought this one and install it on our back up hauling truck
    http://www.brakecontroller.com/primus.htm
     
  3. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Even nicer than the rums try Tekonsha's Prodigy. microprocessor controlled all you do is set the upper limits of voltage. It constantly adjusts for changes in ride height, gives you the advantage of a "boost" feature to make the brakes more aggressive if wanted.
    It's only draw back is it is unable to work with Elec over Hyd. Brake. They are not common in the smaller trailers (under 10,000gtw)
    I have horse haulers ripping their old controllers out and installing prodigy.
    most user friendly controller outside of the top of the line Curt controllers.
    Not cheap ($150-180) but worth every penny.

    http://www.tekonsha.com/prodig.html
     
  4. Bruce'sEx

    Bruce'sEx Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    We also looked at the Prodigy. sounds like a great controller, they just didn't have one in stock at the time, and it's only back up truck so we just went with the model down. I would have loved to try the Prodigy, I think it's the only control thjat works right when backing up.
     
  5. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    thank you guys!!!:waving: It is only a 6.5x 16 landscape trailer tandem axle with brakes on both axles. They are twin 3500 lb axles and the trailer its self weighs ~1900 lbs empty. With my stuff on it, it wont see more than 3000 total including the weight of the trailer. Just pulling around lawnmowers on it, thats all. I have seen the ones from curt and they seem decent. But it looks like Tekonsha is the top of the line stuff. I dont mind spending extra on good stuff, but I prolly wont get the prodigy, probably go with the one Bruce's Ex showed. Thanks again guys. Tom
     
  6. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992


    That and the New P3, The difference is the electric over hydraulic capabilities.

    If you're a newbie to brake controllers, I think the Prodigy is the only way to go. Zero learning curve, it works properly right out of the box. Install it set the voltage to about 6.2 as a starting point, and a truck hauling a loaded trailer will stop quicker then just the truck. Plus with the plug on both ends harness a 5th grader can install it with nothing more then a screw driver to install the bracket.

    As for setting up a back up truck, you can buy the mount and harness for about $20 band move it from truck to truck.
     
  7. Bruce'sEx

    Bruce'sEx Senior Member
    Messages: 873


    Nah we couldn't two main trucks are under 2000, so no trailer package, they are hard wired at the time of install. the new back up truck, yeah other then the braceket we can just pop in and out and move it to another truck.
     
  8. payton

    payton Senior Member
    Messages: 470

  9. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Yeah it is, just requires a "trained" :rolleyes: operator to get the best performance.
     
  10. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    I have dealt with brake controllers in other trucks from other LCO's that I drove, just never had one in my own truck. I can fine-tune the brakes to where I am comfortable with it. I just want to do it right the first time and thats it. Thank you again guys!!!:waving:
     
  11. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    lol i was low on cash when i bought my trailer brake controller i got a "brake force" for $25 at wallmart was originally $50. for the ammount of towing i do it works well however if i pulled on a daily or weekly basis i like the one curt makes which i have used in other trucks.
     
  12. wild bill

    wild bill PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,239

    give me a brake

    i like the draw tite model 5500 activator II its a good heavy duty control will handel up to 4 Axel's with brake's on a average about $100.00 i have been selling them for about 9 years now and i think i only had 2 fail.they are simple .they don't have all the bells and whistle's of some of the other's but they more than get the job done! they last a long time we change out brake controls quite often for truck dealer's.and some of them do not survive the transfer your $40.00 unit's.hey but what ever work's for you!:salute:
     
  13. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    Well, I have ordered a Tekonsha Prodigy controller. My grandpa gets a real good discount at Camping World, so I got it through there. Only 110 bucks!!! I couldnt pass it up!!! Thanks again all!!!:waving:
     
  14. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    Good choice with the Prodigy. I'm going to ge tone of those soon. My dealer tossed in a Drawtite Activator on my truck when I bought it. The thing is a PITA! I am going to get rid of it soon.
     
  15. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    If you think you might get a trailer with elc/hydra brakes consider the P3
     
  16. shaltac

    shaltac Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Just jumping in

    I have the P3. Great controller, lifetime warranty, Towing a 5Ton trailer loaded from 2500 to 8000lb without a problem. The only issue is the limited stock. I'm having some button issues (down button sticks) and although Tekonsha finally came through and are sending me a swapout unit, There was some initial dificulty in getting the warranty fulfilled due to the unavalability, and current lack of production for this unit.

    Side note - Mounted on the dash the display is easy to see if it's dark out, or if the sun is beeming directly on it. Indirect light will cause the display to wash out. This isn't a problem most of the time, but makes it hard to see the screen flash red and warn you of an error.
     
  17. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Tekonsha is pretty reliable, never had an issue with warranty claims.

    You could have returned it to the dealer you purchased it from for a exchange unit. You don't have to go to the factory. We buy out of a distributor house and have not had issues in supply. Tekonsha also designer manufactures for Reese, Drawtite, Hidden Hitch, and Sure-Pull that could cause a factory delay if they weren't manufacturing the Tekonsha branded product at that time.

    The P3 is relatively new, and not all dealers want to fuss with the high end units. unfortunately many controllers are sold out of trailer dealerships and they are throwing it in as part of the trailer purchase or it's a clerk with no idea what they are talking about. Whichever, the end result is the same, the cheapest unit out there goes in the truck.