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Old 08-12-2011, 08:18 AM   #1
sechsgang [OP] sechsgang is offline
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Brake Controller

Which Brake controller do you guys suggest?
I am towing a Jayco X19H.

I am thinking of a Tekonsha P3. Do I need a special harness, or will the one from the factory be fine? One more ???: the P3 does not have to be installed level, correct?

Thanks everybody!
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:48 AM   #2
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You can't go wrong with the Tekonsha. I have the Prodigy and it works great. Just make sure you get the Toyota harness and it's just plug and play.

It doesn't have to be level but it does have to face you somewhat

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Old 08-12-2011, 09:56 AM   #3
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Tekonsha P3 is what I use. It works great and easy install.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:02 PM   #4
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Ok, now I am even more confused:
- I thought the Tekonsha P3 was the Prodigy, like in "Tekonsha Prodigy P3", I read that several times.
- so I do need a separate cable harness?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:46 PM   #5
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Etrailer.com Tekonsha P-3 with harness (3040-P). Good price. Quick delivery. Plug and play.
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sechsgang View Post
Which Brake controller do you guys suggest?
I am towing a Jayco X19H.

I am thinking of a Tekonsha P3. Do I need a special harness, or will the one from the factory be fine? One more ???: the P3 does not have to be installed level, correct?

Thanks everybody!
That is a nice trailer sechsgang! I am towing a Starcraft 176 RB, which is the cousin of your trailer (both are made by Jayco and are an identical floor plan).

I am running a Tekonsha Prodigy P3. I used the factory pigtail that was provided with the truck. No complaints here and I saved myself $10! I picked mine up from RV Wholesalers for $133.

The P3 controller has a 180 degree vertical plane operating range. It can be mounted between -90 degrees ,straight down, and 90 degrees, straight up
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:34 PM   #7
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Thanks Dan! I am set to replace my time based controller with the P3!
Since you are towing the same trailer --- did you see my other post discussing our GVWR and TT towing? Are you seeing the same thing?
PM me if you prefer that!
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:54 PM   #8
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I don't have much towing under my belt with the HTT. Just about 50 miles from the dealership to my house and then to my in laws to install my equalizer hitch. Neither time has the trailer been loaded, but after looking at your numbers I can see how one could easily overload the truck with the HTT, I will definitely be more cautious for how I load for my ten day hunting trip that will be the maiden voyage with our HTT!

Now my question is, could you compensate for the added weight by tweaking the WDH set up and transfer more back on the the trailer?
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 08TRDOFFROAD View Post
Now my question is, could you compensate for the added weight by tweaking the WDH set up and transfer more back on the the trailer?
I guess you could theoretically crank up that WD hitch until your rear wheels are off the ground.
Basically, the answer is no, not a good idea. The reason is that as a rule of thumb, for every three pounds you take off the rear axle with your WDH, you add one pound to the trailer axle(s) and two pounds to the front axle of the tow vehicle. You would very quickly over adjust and overload the front axle. Toyota and the hitch manufacturers recommend that you only adjust the WDH to the point that the front goes back to it's unhitched load, and never more (lower front).

So aside from reducing weight (leaving the wife at home, or telling her to go on a diet, LOL) the only real option is to move cargo back into the trailer, and position it in a way that reduces tongue weight.
But there is a very fine line here as well, because you NEVER want to go to below 10% of total weight on the tongue. That is very dangerous, especially with a light TV, as you'd get sway. But, very careful balancing would help with my setup, and that's what I'll do before buying a bigger truck. I will shoot for 12-13% tongue weight (~ 525lbs for my loaded trailer for the average trip) by putting cargo in the entrance door area (behind the axles) and in the shower tub. The problem is that in order to get 100lbs off the tongue, my calculation says I'll need to place about 300-350lbs of cargo back there. I will have to see if I have that much. Ten gallons or so of water in the black water tank would help to get there, but is kind of difficult to do on the way back home ...

Here is a tool I just ordered that will make this easier while avoiding a dangerously low tongue weight (see below).
Let me know if you have any questions!


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Old 08-17-2011, 07:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sechsgang View Post
I guess you could theoretically crank up that WD hitch until your rear wheels are off the ground.
Basically, the answer is no, not a good idea. The reason is that as a rule of thumb, for every three pounds you take off the rear axle with your WDH, you add one pound to the trailer axle(s) and two pounds to the front axle of the tow vehicle. You would very quickly over adjust and overload the front axle. Toyota and the hitch manufacturers recommend that you only adjust the WDH to the point that the front goes back to it's unhitched load, and never more (lower front).

So aside from reducing weight (leaving the wife at home, or telling her to go on a diet, LOL) the only real option is to move cargo back into the trailer, and position it in a way that reduces tongue weight.
But there is a very fine line here as well, because you NEVER want to go to below 10% of total weight on the tongue. That is very dangerous, especially with a light TV, as you'd get sway. But, very careful balancing would help with my setup, and that's what I'll do before buying a bigger truck. I will shoot for 12-13% tongue weight (~ 525lbs for my loaded trailer for the average trip) by putting cargo in the entrance door area (behind the axles) and in the shower tub. The problem is that in order to get 100lbs off the tongue, my calculation says I'll need to place about 300-350lbs of cargo back there. I will have to see if I have that much. Ten gallons or so of water in the black water tank would help to get there, but is kind of difficult to do on the way back home ...

Here is a tool I just ordered that will make this easier while avoiding a dangerously low tongue weight (see below).
Let me know if you have any questions!


So have I gone too far with about a 1/2 inch suspension compression in the rear and about a 1/4 of compression in the front with my WDH set up? Have I put too much weight on my front axle? This was all done with the truck and trailer empty.

Ready to camp I will have a generator w/fuel (130 lbs), the wife and I (325 lbs together) an empty 55 g water drum (15 lbs for when we boondock it), our archery tackle (20 lbs), plus the weight of the hitch (90 lbs), and tongue weight(roughly 500 lbs). And in the trailer I will have food, clothing, misc gear (won't fill up the water tank until we are passing the last gas station before our destination). I suspect I may have to make some last minute adjustments to the WDH before we set out. But my numbers aren't unsafe here are they?

Payload=1080 lbs (I now see what you mean about the payload being the limiting factor with our trucks in your other thread...)

Trailer=No more than the 3500 lb GVWR.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:58 PM   #11
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You are close, but you should be ok, I think.
Theoretically, you should not adjust the front to be compressed more than unhitched. But, 1/4" is so small that it could be measurement error. Also, theoretically the adjustments should be done with both truck and trailer loaded. But I know, that is not all that easy. It would be tough to tell my kids to sit still in the truck for two hours while I keep on adjusting - hitching - unhitching - adjusting .... LOL. How many washers did you need to get where you are?

The only way to really know is to go to a scale and weight it, all axles. Then let us know here what the numbers are. I go to our local landfill when we head out sometimes, they let me use the scale for free (they don't have much of an option when you drive right onto it, I guess, lol). Go on there with all axles. Record the reading. Drive the front axle off the scale. Record the reading. Then drive the rear axle off (now only the trailer is on the scale). Record. That will give you a very good idea. The only number missing is the tongue weight (and therefore total trailer weight), but you'll know axle loads, GVW and GCW. To get the tongue weight and axle weights you'd need to unhook.

Have fun on the trip, and let us know what the numbers are when you go to the scale. Yes, you are probably right at your GVWR (maybe a little over) with only being at under 60% of the tow rating. The GVWR is the most limiting number for our trucks and it sucks.

Oh, and I do think that you are very likely over 3,500lbs for the trailer. Your 176RB is rated at 3,370lbs dry, right? That does not include any options, no A/C, no batteries, no propane tank, no cargo. Measure it. There is almost no way you are at 3,500lbs. Mine is rated at 3,615lbs dry, and we were at right around 4,200 with no water, and very little cargo.

One more thing: if you installed the WDH yourself (and it sounds like you did), then you are most likely better adjusted than 90% of the people who have that done at the dealer.
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:19 PM   #12
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You are close, but you should be ok, I think.
Theoretically, you should not adjust the front to be compressed more than unhitched. But, 1/4" is so small that it could be measurement error. Also, theoretically the adjustments should be done with both truck and trailer loaded. But I know, that is not all that easy. It would be tough to tell my kids to sit still in the truck for two hours while I keep on adjusting - hitching - unhitching - adjusting .... LOL. How many washers did you need to get where you are?

I believe I used four washers....but it may have been five. How many washers did you end up using? Also did you buy a special shank or use the one that came with the standard hitch. During the setup the lowest I could get the top of the ball was 20", but my trailer level is only 18" so it sits a touch off level when hitched.

The only way to really know is to go to a scale and weight it, all axles. Then let us know here what the numbers are. I go to our local landfill when we head out sometimes, they let me use the scale for free (they don't have much of an option when you drive right onto it, I guess, lol). Go on there with all axles. Record the reading. Drive the front axle off the scale. Record the reading. Then drive the rear axle off (now only the trailer is on the scale). Record. That will give you a very good idea. The only number missing is the tongue weight (and therefore total trailer weight), but you'll know axle loads, GVW and GCW. To get the tongue weight and axle weights you'd need to unhook.

I will have to try to find somewhere that would let me run the scale for free...I wonder if one of the Port of Entry's would let me....?

Have fun on the trip, and let us know what the numbers are when you go to the scale. Yes, you are probably right at your GVWR (maybe a little over) with only being at under 60% of the tow rating. The GVWR is the most limiting number for our trucks and it sucks.

Oh, and I do think that you are very likely over 3,500lbs for the trailer. Your 176RB is rated at 3,370lbs dry, right? That does not include any options, no A/C, no batteries, no propane tank, no cargo. Measure it. There is almost no way you are at 3,500lbs. Mine is rated at 3,615lbs dry, and we were at right around 4,200 with no water, and very little cargo.

The yellow sticker on the screen doors says a dry weight of 3024 lbs. It also notes that a full load of water is 228 lbs.

I have a single battery set up and a 7 gal propane tank and a 13500 btu A/C unit.

One more thing: if you installed the WDH yourself (and it sounds like you did), then you are most likely better adjusted than 90% of the people who have that done at the dealer.

Yep, my father-in-law and I installed in in about an hour a few weeks ago.
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