Tekonsha Prodigy RF mounting location(s?)

If all goes according to plan, we will be picking up our 2018 320S Boondock this Friday :o   After months of lurking on this forum I expect to be posting plenty of “newbie owner” questions in the coming weeks/months, but one immediate issue is the mounting location of the power module for the Tekonsha Prodigy RF controller that we opted to use. Many folks appear to have this module mounted on the driver’s side of the tongue, on the outside, basically on top of the VIN and warning stickers as shown here:

http://tab-rv.vanillaforums.com/discussion/comment/10092#Comment_10092

I’ve seen references to mounting it inside the tongue but haven’t located those threads yet (and we’d like to reserve that inside-the-tongue space for future storage mods).  I’ll probably end up going with the “standard” location, but would appreciate hearing pros/cons (and pics?) of any other alternatives.  Thanks!
2018 320S Boondock | 2018 Ford Escape Titanium

Comments

  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Posts: 648Member
    @sqrpeg, I have mine mounted where the pic shows, but I don't have a boondock model. Because your model has a platform and larger tub, your stickers are moved forward. On my trailer, all of the stickers are readable and the unit is mounted on blank frame area. Love the Prodigy. Good luck with whatever you choose. 
    2017 [email protected] sofitel([email protected])TV 2005 gmc envoy xl. Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • LSkrabutLSkrabut Posts: 100Member
    Just as a side note, since I use my TV with different trailers. I wanted to use the same P3 controller. 

    So I cut some flat plate to mount the P3 to the plate was wider than the "C" channel of the trailer and had holes above and below the the C channel width. Use additional angle iron plate behind the C channel and just sandwich the plates to the C channel with 1/4" bolts and lock nuts. Easy to remove and use on other trailers or remove for times the [email protected] is not in use or removal at camp spots if desired.

    Utah Driven

    2018 [email protected] 400

    MB GLK 250 Diesel

  • tabiphiletabiphile Posts: 39Member
    sqrpeg said:
    one immediate issue is the mounting location of the power module for the Tekonsha Prodigy RF controller that we opted to use.
    I'm always curious about the brake controller choices... how did you happen to decide upon the RF unit? Will you be using more than one tow vehicle or does your vehicle require additional wiring?
    I've used a Tekonsha Prodigy 2 for 5 years and have installed it in two different vehicles without much effort, it works, it's plug and play, what am I missing?
  • LSkrabutLSkrabut Posts: 100Member
    edited December 2017
    For me. I elected an RF controller due to factory brake wiring (7 pin) was not proportional, just on/off. Did not want to fool around with wiring with an internal controller/wiring issues.

    Utah Driven

    2018 [email protected] 400

    MB GLK 250 Diesel

  • SAMSAM Posts: 2,140Member
    I should know this because we have the RF version.  You need a charge line but no brake wire required to be hooked to the TV 7 pin plug.  Saves running a brake wire.   It works by sensing deceleration.
    Sharon and John - Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Blue and Silver 2017 CSS towed by a 2015 Salsa Red Toyota Sienna
  • LSkrabutLSkrabut Posts: 100Member
    @SAM ;
    The Tekonsha Prodigy P3 uses a brake wire (pin 2) from the TV trailer plug (7 pin) to apply the braking force (current) the trailer electric brakes. The amount can be over ridden or adjusted by the remote hand controller (in the TV) which communicates by RF to the P3 controller mounted on the trailer.

    Is the RF you are referring to using a 7 pin TV plug?

    Utah Driven

    2018 [email protected] 400

    MB GLK 250 Diesel

  • SAMSAM Posts: 2,140Member
    edited December 2017
    Sqrpeg, in reviewing the Prodigy RF controller mounting instructions on etrailer.com, there was a picture showing the controller preferably mounted on the driver side.  Not sure why.  It sounds like as long as it is level and the cable faces in the correct direction, it should not matter.  


    Sharon and John - Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Blue and Silver 2017 CSS towed by a 2015 Salsa Red Toyota Sienna
  • SAMSAM Posts: 2,140Member
    LSkrabut- I am using the Prodigy Wireless RF trailer mounted controller that uses a 7 pin TV outlet/plug, but as part of that 7 pin, does not require a brake wire.  That is why a lot of people (like you) choose the RF version to avoid the wiring hassle.  Our minivan did not have a tow package/7 pin wiring to start with.

    You describe the P3 as using RF and a trailer mounted controller.  The P3 is a wired system using a brake wire and an in- dash connection to a dash mounted controller that uses the 7 pin brake wire for braking.  No trailer mounted controller.

    Are you calling the RF version a P3?  They are different.  Actually, for anybody that already has the wiring in place, the P3 is a sweet set up.  
    Sharon and John - Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Blue and Silver 2017 CSS towed by a 2015 Salsa Red Toyota Sienna
  • LSkrabutLSkrabut Posts: 100Member
    @Sam,

    My bad in using "P3" in the discussion of the RF version. 

    In my reading and understanding the RF version does still require a brake control wire on pin 2 per the installation PDF via a 7 pin connecter on the TV (http://www.tekonsha.com/support/installation/N90250.pdf).

    In the case of my TV, pin 2 only supplied a constant 12vdc when the brake is applied. This is where I needed the RF to apply proportional power to the trailer brakes and means of overriding the braking on the trailer via the remote controller if needed or desired. 

    As a side note, I had to wire the RF to a 6 pin adapter and used an incorrect wiring diagram, (there are 2 different applications available for a 6 pin connector). I ended up wiring pin 2 to a constant hot 12vdc and the brakes were always max on. Corrected the wiring to pin 2 to brake light hot from the TV and trailer brakes worked as expected.

    Utah Driven

    2018 [email protected] 400

    MB GLK 250 Diesel

  • sqrpegsqrpeg Posts: 26Member

    Thanks for all of the input!

    tabiphile - Although the Prodigy RF is pricier, I chose it specifically because my TV (2018 Ford Escape Titanium w/tow pkg) was only wired for a standard 4-pin flat connector, and:

    1) I didn’t want to have to position and mount a brake controller unit in the already-crowded driver’s compartment. The RF’s remote hand held unit is smaller, doesn't have to be mounted, and plugs into the 12v/cigarette lighter outlet.

    2) I didn’t want to have to run power/brake output wires thru the firewall to/from a controller unit. The RF’s trailer-mounted power module draws its power from the 12V battery charge circuit (pin 4), which I had to wire up anyway to charge the [email protected]’s battery.

    SAM – I saw that mounting diagram too, but was just curious if there were advantages to other alternative locations.

    LSkrabut – SAM’s correct that the RF only needs pin 4 to be powered (in addition to ground and basic light function pins).  I’ve tied off the wires for pins 2 (brake output signal – nothing to hook it up to) and 7 (backup lights/12v aux – not needed for [email protected]) on the receptacle.

    2018 320S Boondock | 2018 Ford Escape Titanium
  • LSkrabutLSkrabut Posts: 100Member
    So in a 4 pin setup on a TV to adapt to a 7 pin RF plug, Tail light (pin 3) and battery charge 12vdc are now tied together to pin 4 (RF) from the TV 4 pin plug - pin 3? 




    Must be a custom pin out wiring setup on the 4 pin plug adapter to 7 pin. Since a 4 pin plug does not offer a power pin option and tail light might not be delivering enough amperage to power electric brakes or charge battery as required for a trailer. Also if using tail light as a source, they must be on for brake sensor to work.

    I do understand the internal sensor in the RF determines the amount of amperage/voltage to be applied to the electric brakes via pin 2 out on the RF, but from what input pin is this from on the standard TV 7 pin plug - pin2 or pin 4? 

    I did see where for electric brakes 20 amps is required for the RF (3 axles), but Prodigy does not mention on what pin this requirement is for. But guessing 6.3 amps per axle is close for our single axle [email protected]'s? I would not want to see a blown fuse, melted wire on the TV or under braking condition occur on the trailer if the signal is from a tail light on the TV with limited current or ECU amperage monitoring for over draw on the tail light circuit. :)






    Utah Driven

    2018 [email protected] 400

    MB GLK 250 Diesel

  • tfire328tfire328 Posts: 22Member
    We have the Prodigy RF controller on our [email protected] and also tow with a Ford Escape Titanium. We had ours mounted in the recommended location and it works very well. Our dealer did the wiring to convert to a 7 pin for us. Highly recommended. Best part is if you have 2 vehicles you can tow with you can just move the wireless controller to whatever one you wish and it will work. Just love having options!
    Ted & Donna. Bay City, Michigan. Ford Escape, 2016 Tab Max-S

  • SAMSAM Posts: 2,140Member
    I wonder what you would see if you plugged in a 7 pin tester into the back of the controller?
    Sharon and John - Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Blue and Silver 2017 CSS towed by a 2015 Salsa Red Toyota Sienna
  • tabiphiletabiphile Posts: 39Member
    sqrpeg said:

    tabiphile - Although the Prodigy RF is pricier, I chose it specifically because my TV (2018 Ford Escape Titanium w/tow pkg) was only wired for a standard 4-pin flat connector, and:

    1) I didn’t want to have to position and mount a brake controller unit in the already-crowded driver’s compartment. The RF’s remote hand held unit is smaller, doesn't have to be mounted, and plugs into the 12v/cigarette lighter outlet.

    Makes sense..finding room for the controller can be a PITA. But, you lose a 12v plug....

    2) I didn’t want to have to run power/brake output wires thru the firewall to/from a controller unit. The RF’s trailer-mounted power module draws its power from the 12V battery charge circuit (pin 4), which I had to wire up anyway to charge the [email protected]’s battery.

    Pretty easy to run the 7 pin set-up...you can pick up a harness with 8 feet of wire from Wmart for about $30.00. Most firewalls have lots of wires running through them. But, it's not everyones cup of tea to do the installation. If you don't want to do it, most folks will wire you up (with the kit) for less than a $100 bucks.... it's a lower entry cost if you don't have multiple TV's and have room.

    .

  • sqrpegsqrpeg Posts: 26Member

    LSkrabut – using your diagrams, pins 1,2,3 and 4 on the 4-pin setup map to pins 6, 5, 3 and 1, respectively, on the 7-pin. Pin 4 on the 7-pin connector is directly-connected (with its own inline fuse) to the battery and is entirely separate from the lighting inputs. This is all standard wiring as far as I know, the only non-standard thing is that pin 2 is unconnected (and unused by the Prodigy RF), so I couldn’t pull a trailer that expects a conventional brake controller with this TV unless I actually install a conventional controller and the requisite brake output wiring.

    tfire328 – ease of switching TVs in a pinch was definitely another consideration (though I’m not hoping to any time soon).  FYI to other Escape owners, after some research I decided to wire the 12v line to an open slot in the fuse panel in the rear cargo compartment instead of running it all the way to the battery in front.  YMMV depending on year/trim/tow pkg.

    SAM – good question, I’m guessing it would look the same as if it were plugged into a TV that has a conventional controller. If I remember at the dealer tomorrow (yikes) I’ll ask if they have a tester to try.

    tabiphile – reason 1) was the bigger issue for us, and we can use a splitter if we still need a 12v plug (we mostly just use the USB ports).

    2018 320S Boondock | 2018 Ford Escape Titanium
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