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Old 11-22-2018, 01:50 PM   #1
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Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
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Brake Controller

I've got an Escape 19 on order for next Spring and would like to take advantage of Black Friday to buy various bits of equipment for this project. One thing I'm going to need is a trailer brake controller. ETI offers the Tekonsha Primus IQ in its little store.

Is there any reason not to go with that brand and model? The Tekonsha P3 seems very popular, has more features, and is a bit more expensive. I am going to be towing with a Nissan Xterra, and the Escape is all I have any plans to tow, so multiple presets for different configurations of tow vehicle and trailer aren't really relevant. The Xterra is prewired for a brake controller and a 7 pin rv plug, so everything is plug and play. I understand that with any brake controller I'll need to Nissan wiring. I am new all this and would appreciate any input.

Thanks, and Happy (Yank) Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-22-2018, 02:36 PM   #2
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Link to P3 install overview on Etrailer. Go to frame 1:36 which shows the Nissan brake control wire location.


I would go with Tekonsha Prodigy.


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Old 12-29-2018, 01:57 PM   #3
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Since this thread seems to have stalled I'll suggest another brake controller. I have no experience with this model but has anyone used the Curt 51180 brake controller? It seems that this controller would uncomplicate life somewhat.

https://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Contr...rt/C51180.html
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Old 12-29-2018, 02:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farther View Post
Since this thread seems to have stalled I'll suggest another brake controller. I have no experience with this model but has anyone used the Curt 51180 brake controller? It seems that this controller would uncomplicate life somewhat.

https://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Contr...rt/C51180.html

Think I would be very leery of a wireless device for something as important as trailer brakes. YMMV
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilola View Post
Think I would be very leery of a wireless device for something as important as trailer brakes. YMMV
I have been happily using a wireless Tekonsha Prodigy RF brake controller on my FJ - 19' combination since 2013 with zero issues. I also have the same wireless controller for my 15B. I don't know about other devices but I have no issues or reservations recommending this wireless controller for others.
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farther View Post
Since this thread seems to have stalled I'll suggest another brake controller. I have no experience with this model but has anyone used the Curt 51180 brake controller? It seems that this controller would uncomplicate life somewhat.

https://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Contr...rt/C51180.html
The in-line package is clever. It takes the "no wiring" approach of the Teknonsha Prodigy RF one step further, by also eliminating the physical mounting. On the other hand, having that huge thing sticking out of the receptacle would be in the way for many setups, and I wouldn't trust the average receptacle mounting bracket to handle that.

I'll note that these wireless controllers all exist to avoid brake controller wiring on the tow vehicle, but they still need power, so they still need a 7-way connector (not the basic 4-way) with the reliable power to the +12V pin. As the installation instructions explain, with some tow vehicles it takes some convincing to get the power turned on, so in some cases that would need to be confirmed every time the tow vehicle is started; in those vehicle that would be an issue for charging the trailer battery anyway, but depending on it for brakes as well raises the stakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilola View Post
Think I would be very leery of a wireless device for something as important as trailer brakes. YMMV
As with other similar RF-connected and trailer-mounted controllers, the primary control does not involve any wireless connection. The controller is activated by the brake light signal in the 7-way receptacle, and the amount of braking is controlled based on acceleration, measured in the controller. The wireless connection is only used for adjustments, status, and manual braking. Yes, manual braking could be an emergency need, but manual braking in an emergency is only needed for an unstable trailer.

On the other hand, if you want the least reliable way to connect two devices, a Bluetooth connection to something outside of and behind the tow vehicle, controlled by a free mobile app, sounds like a good contender. I would expect it to lose connection occasionally, which might not be a big deal. As with any other current and similar mobile tech, it might still be working fine in a decade, but it could also be unsupported and non-functional next year or with your next phone.
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:14 AM   #7
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P3 prodigy

We have the Tekonsha prodigy p3 RF this has proved to be a very good brake controller. All we did was run a 10ga wire to a 7way Bargman and use it for our 12volt power The RF provides the brake proportional to the trailer Now we have a 2018 Expedition with a brake controller built in So we will not use the P3 any more Jim
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