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Old 10-11-2013, 08:07 AM   #1
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Best Brake Controller?

The Brake Controller offered by Escape as an option (for the 19, at least) is the Primus IQ 90160. However, some on this forum have recommended/mentioned the Prodigy P2 or P3. What are the relative merits of these brands/models? Thanks.

Glenn
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:24 AM   #2
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See this comparison:
Comparison Between the Tekonsha P2 # 90885 and Primus IQ # TK90160 Electronic Brake Controllers | etrailer.com
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:43 AM   #3
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Thanks jamman.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abby View Post
The Brake Controller offered by Escape as an option (for the 19, at least) is the Primus IQ 90160. However, some on this forum have recommended/mentioned the Prodigy P2 or P3. What are the relative merits of these brands/models? Thanks.

Glenn
Many vehicles come from the factory already set up for "plug and play" installation of a brake controller. Looks like you are driving an FJ, which does not have that "plug and play" versatility. If your FJ has not already been wired for a brake controller (by you or a previous owner), you will have to have this done. When I inquired at a couple of local hitch shops about getting my FJ wired for a brake controller, the estimates were in the $500 range (including the controller). I chose to go with a Tekonsha Prodigy RF, which is a wireless controller that can be used without any special wiring on your tow vehicle (other than battery power to your 7-pin from the Tow Vehicle, which will also charge your trailer battery while towing). I have found that the wireless controller works very well, and since it's installation I have had no problems at all with it. Total cost of the controller was about $300.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:09 AM   #5
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Thanks Dave.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:11 AM   #6
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A neighbor was in the same position as Dave: needed a brake controller, had a vehicle without any pre-wiring. He also went with the Prodigy RF to save the cost of wiring the vehicle. The brake controller itself was slightly more expensive, but it saved a lot of money in installation.

No experience with it yet, though.

I've got a P2 in my truck, and I'm happy with it.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:14 AM   #7
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Here is a picture of the Prodigy RF:

And another with it installed on a trailer:

The guys at Escape installed the module on the front of my 19' when we picked it up from the factory. They placed it inside the frame so it cannot actually be seen unless you look underneath the front of the frame. Very unobtrusive.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:26 AM   #8
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Thanks for the pic and the additional info. I take it that the placement of the module inside the frame doesn't interfere with the signal transmission. I understand that the new 19s will have a 4" frame. My latent paranoia tells me that I'd be entering untested waters with an "inside" placement of the module with the thicker/bigger frame. Your thoughts?

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Old 10-11-2013, 09:31 AM   #9
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Thanks for the pic and the additional info. I take it that the placement of the module inside the frame doesn't interfere with the signal transmission. I understand that the new 19s will have a 4" frame. My latent paranoia tells me that I'd be entering untested waters with an "inside" placement of the module with the thicker/bigger frame. Your thoughts?

Glenn
Ours is inside the frame, just below the propane tanks. We have had absolutely no issues with signal transmission from that location. We did not put it outside the frame because we use a WD hitch and an outside location would interfere with the WD bar locations. In the picture below, you cannot see the controller but it is below the propane tanks on the inside of the passenger side frame.



The site I purchased from was this one: Prodigy RF Brake Control - Tekonsha 90250 — hitchweb
They are priced about $308 at this time and shipping is free in Canada or USA. (Not too many companies offer that).
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:57 AM   #10
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Ours is inside the frame, just below the propane tanks. We have had absolutely no issues with signal transmission from that location. We did not put it outside the frame because we use a WD hitch and an outside location would interfere with the WD bar locations. The site I purchased from was this one: Prodigy RF Brake Control - Tekonsha 90250 — hitchweb They are priced about $308 at this time and shipping is free in Canada or USA. (Not too many companies offer that).
Well, there's no arguing with actual experience. Our setup on the 19 will be identical to yours (WDH, 2 tanks, and "the box"). Did you add a dedicated 12 volt outlet in the FJ for the handheld unit? (I was thinking of adding one for GPS; could easily add 2.)
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:12 AM   #11
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...Did you add a dedicated 12 volt outlet in the FJ for the handheld unit? (I was thinking of adding one for GPS; could easily add 2.)
I added two 12V outlets along the back edge of the center console in the FJ (just in front of the rear passenger seat). I use one of the outlets for brake controller and the second outlet is used by the rear passengers for charging phones or ipads. The stock 12V outlet on the dash is used either for my GPS or my wife's Ipad or a phone charger.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:24 AM   #12
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I added two 12V outlets along the back edge of the center console in the FJ (just in front of the rear passenger seat).
Thanks Dave. That seems like an ideal solution.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:14 PM   #13
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We are new to towing and are working through the build list for our Escape 19, including the choice of a brake controller. I've ordered a P2 from eTrailer, and am now wondering where to position it.

The steering wheel in our 4Runner has thick spokes, making it hard to see the dash behind it. My rookie question is, how essential is it to be able to see the LED display on your brake controller at a glance, and continuously monitor it, while driving?

Thanks!
Brent.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:30 PM   #14
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I placed the controller to the left of the steering column, it is close to the plug and does not interfere with my knees. I do not find I look at it at all, the manual brake lever would be more important to have access.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:33 PM   #15
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In my RAV4 the Prodigy is located under the dash, above the gas pedal.
I look at the display fairly often to ensure I haven't lost the connection between the tow and trailer.
In that location, I can easily reach the manual braking lever ( which I hope to never have to use ).
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:38 AM   #16
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I placed the controller to the left of the steering column, it is close to the plug and does not interfere with my knees. I do not find I look at it at all, the manual brake lever would be more important to have access.
Thanks. It looks like you simply swivel it up to gain access to the fuses. Nice pic.

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Old 10-12-2013, 04:42 AM   #17
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In my RAV4 the Prodigy is located under the dash, above the gas pedal.
I look at the display fairly often to ensure I haven't lost the connection between the tow and trailer.
In that location, I can easily reach the manual braking lever ( which I hope to never have to use ).
Thanks. Reaching for the manual override is a concern with the wireless model that ice-breaker discussed. Unless mounted, I'd be concerned that I couldn't find it in an emergency. But I suppose that unit could be mounted via some sort of jury rig.

Glenn
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Thanks. Reaching for the manual override is a concern with the wireless model that ice-breaker discussed. Unless mounted, I'd be concerned that I couldn't find it in an emergency. But I suppose that unit could be mounted via some sort of jury rig.

Glenn
Reaching for the controller is no issue since I have used a piece of tape backed Velcro to stick the controller to the dash. It is easily removed when not in use and is probably more accessible than a device placed in a permanent location.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:25 AM   #19
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My Prodigy has mounting instructions that limit the angle it can be tilted. Outside that range, it's not going to work, so best read the instructions before tossing it in the glove box.
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