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Old 07-29-2006, 03:33 PM   #1
RLVoumard
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Prodigy Brake Controler

Just bought a Ford F250- set up and ready to go...

I have NO IDEA how to use the brake controller. Could someone PLEASE give me the HOW TO ??

Thanks
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Old 07-29-2006, 04:06 PM   #2
Cat320
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Short version: When properly set up in your truck, and with the trailer pig tail attached to the truck receptacle, the BC activates the brakes in the trailer. It is adjustable so you can set how/when/how much the trailer brakes come on.

Re the Prodigy...I just ordered one from RV Wholesalers for $99.99 plus $9 shipping. My dealer said it would be $215 plus $20 to install it, and it's $139 in CW. If you go that route, a bit more info...I called RV Wholesalers and the fellow I talked to said it was not necessary to order the separate harness, that the one with the unit was a universal model and would fit all trucks. My Prodigy has not yet arrived, so can't give you any information on the installation process. I did start a thread on the RV forum...all said it was very easy...at least that's their story and they're sticking to it. Here's the site: http://rvwholesalers.com/
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Old 07-29-2006, 04:15 PM   #3
Ozzie
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I've had my Prodigy for a couple years (3 already?)- at that time it did require the harness for my Chevy. That is, unless you wanted to wire it yourself. The harness makes quick work of the hookup and worth every penny.

Is this about a built in Ford brake controller or the Prodigy?
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Old 07-30-2006, 03:25 AM   #4
Bill and Ann
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Unless the Prodigy has changed make sure you get the right harness for your truck. The one supplied for my truck was the wrong one and the controller didn't work. Went back to CW and they phoned the company and told them which harness to give me. Works fine now.
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Old 07-31-2006, 06:47 AM   #5
Bighorn
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The harness that comes with the controller is universal but you have to cut and splice wires. For a few extra dollars you can order a harness specifically for your truck that doesnít require spicing. just plug it in and go. I bought my harness at a camping World store.
Can't seen to find them on their web page.

Ed
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Old 07-31-2006, 06:54 AM   #6
Bighorn
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Found it.

http://www.campingworld.com/browse/p...D=1511:src=TSC
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Old 08-01-2006, 03:30 PM   #7
Cat320
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My Prodigy arrived today. The guy at the 800# stretched the truth a bit...it does have a harness, but as noted above, only one end has the adapter attached. Therefore the buyer must get the adapter for his/her make of truck and wire it.

Think I'll order the preassembled harness.
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:16 PM   #8
Bill Frisbee
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Not sure whether you are asking how to USE the Prodigy or how to INSTALL the Prodigy ... or both. As for using the Prodigy, my experience (and what others have confirmed) is that setting the BOOST at level 2 and setting the GAIN at about 7.5 seems to be a reasonable place to start for normal highway travel. When I am at very low speeds like in a campground (especially when I am just starting out), I drop the BOOST back to level 1 and make my first couple of stops very slowly, using only the trailer brakes (by sliding the little lever on the Prodigy slowly to the left). This not only ensures that the trailer brakes are working but it also tests to ensure that you have a good hook-up with your hitch AND warms the brakes slightly which helps avoid "grabbing brakes" at low speed. I kick the BOOST back up to level 2 when I am on the highway. The big test is getting the brakes set up so that the truck and the trailer are braking at about the same time (or with the trailer just slightly ahead of the truck). I was fortunate to have a truck driver with an "educated butt" ride with me when I adjusted my brakes. With my BOOST at level 2 and my GAIN at 7.5, it all worked just about perfectly. Hope this is helpful.

Bill


BEAUTY: 2005 Montana 3400RL
THE BEAST:2005 Dodge Ram 3500 Laramie Pkg, 4X4, SRW, Cummins Turbo Diesel, Short Box, PullRite 16K Super Glide.
Guelph, Ontario


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Old 08-01-2006, 07:45 PM   #9
MAMalody
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Why didn't you use Boost 3. Boost 3 is for towing a trailer that is 40% greater in weight than the TV. If you TV weights 10000# and your trailor 14000#, it looks close to the 40% Prodigy is talking about. Am I looking at something wrong?

Mike

F350 7.3L LB
2003 3575RL
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Old 08-02-2006, 03:09 AM   #10
Ozzie
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I use the top boost when we're at highway speeds, but when we slow down(coming into towns, stoplights, etc.)I back it down because the brakes get too grabby.


327RKS
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Old 08-02-2006, 03:41 AM   #11
Bill and Ann
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I also use boost 3 on highways and drop it to 1 in towns where the traffic is stop and go.

If you can't play a sport....Be one.

Bill and Ann
Napanee, Ontario, Canada
2004 3670RL Big Sky
2003 GMC 2500HD Crew Cab 4x4 Short Bed
20K.Reece Hitch
Duramax/Allison
Prodigy Controller



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Old 08-02-2006, 11:05 AM   #12
Bill Frisbee
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Mike ...

Since about 20% (more or less) of the weight of a fifth wheel is actually being carried by the TV, I am not sure how the 40% factor plays out. The settings I use reflect the fact that I like the way the entire rig brakes with the BOOST at 2 and the GAIN at 7.5. That combination worked beautifully when I had to make a "jam on the brakes" emergency stop at 60 mph during my Class A Driver's Road Test. Everything stopped quickly, in a perfectly straight line, and with no sliding/squealing of tires. I do not think there is any hard and fast rule. You have to set things up in the way that makes you most comfortable and confident.

Bill


BEAUTY: 2005 Montana 3400RL
THE BEAST:2005 Dodge Ram 3500 Laramie Pkg, 4X4, SRW, Cummins Turbo Diesel, Short Box, PullRite 16K Super Glide.
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Old 08-02-2006, 12:11 PM   #13
MAMalody
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>>You have to set things up in the way that makes you most comfortable and confident.
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Old 08-02-2006, 03:08 PM   #14
sreigle
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It's been awhile but we used the Prodigy for a couple of years. I found my notes and I used 7.5 and boost 3. Boost 3 worked better for me but maybe that's because this Montana weighs 14,360. I left it on 3 all the time and never had grabby brakes with mine. I'm not sure why mine was different from Bill's.

You probably know this but the Boost feature allows the controller to send a stronger initial signal upon initial brake application to get the braking action started. It then reverts to normal braking per your setting (7.5) and the other factors it considers. The Prodigy is in my opinion one of the best aftermarket controller available, although I understand the Jordan is very good also.

See another Montana or Mountaineer on the road? Flash lights twice, it might be one of us!
Steve Reigle (pronounced Regal)
Fulltiming since 3/21/03
'03 3295RK
'05 Ford F250 SD Lariat CC SB 6.0L PSD/TS FX4 4x4

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Old 08-02-2006, 09:00 PM   #15
MAMalody
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I get my 3575 back from the dealer tomorrow with new slide toppers, bearings packed, brakes checked and adjusted and an external refer fan. I will be heading out again in a couple of weeks. I am currently set at B3 and 7.3 with my VCWR at 20,000 and the trailer at 14000. We will see how it goes. Thanks for the input.

Mike

F350 7.3L LB
2003 3575RL
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Old 08-03-2006, 03:05 AM   #16
Bill Frisbee
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Steve, I am running with a trailer weight considerably less than 14,360 lbs. At this point, we are doing exclusively weekend and short vacations. Inside, the Monty is essentially empty ... perhaps 200 lbs of systems information, bathroom supplies, our plastic dishes, etc ... when we tow. The basement is also mostly empty with the exception of basic supplies, chocks, light-weight chairs, etc. Probably 300 - 400 lbs at the most. If we get to a point where we are running heavier, I will likely kick up the BOOST ... but for the moment, things seems to work fine.

Mike, B3/7.3 seems totally reasonable to me. I am a long way from an expert on such matters but I would be surprised to learn that the braking issues you describe above are due to the Prodigy. Will be interested to see how the brakes perform after dealer servicing.

Bill




BEAUTY: 2005 Montana 3400RL
THE BEAST:2005 Dodge Ram 3500 Laramie Pkg, 4X4, SRW, Cummins Turbo Diesel, Short Box, PullRite 16K Super Glide.
Guelph, Ontario


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Old 08-03-2006, 05:02 AM   #17
sreigle
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Bill, I agree with you. Different setups require different settings. It takes some experimenting to find what is right for a particular rig.

Mike, chucking is when towing down the road, not braking, and you get some of that annoying back and forth movement. It is most common on concrete roads. You shouldn't be getting any shudder when braking. Is it only when braking? Can you tell if it is in the truck brakes or the trailer brkes or both? I wonder if your trailer brakes are working at all? If the truck is doing all the work maybe the ABS is kicking in? That would give you a shudder sensation. I'm probably way off base. Hopefully everything will work well now that you have the rig back.

See another Montana or Mountaineer on the road? Flash lights twice, it might be one of us!
Steve Reigle (pronounced Regal)
Fulltiming since 3/21/03
'03 3295RK
'05 Ford F250 SD Lariat CC SB 6.0L PSD/TS FX4 4x4

Our RV Travels (now Firefox-compatible)

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Old 08-05-2006, 07:00 PM   #18
RLVoumard
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Thanks everyone for the help !! I have a 319 BHS on it's way (delivery in about 2 weeks ) I did a TEST PULL w/my FORD 250 PSD- before buying and I had no idea how to set the prodigy - ( already in the truck )
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