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Unread 03-10-2011, 09:24 PM   #1
decooney
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"Electronic" Brake Controller for Towing with a WK2?

Reviewing what Brake Controller to purchase, looking for references.

This is a question, and I'm not referring to the wiring itself or the pigtail that is suppose to come in the glovebox. I am asking about the additional brake module I will need to install under the steering column so I can use the electronic brakes on my trailer. I do have the factory tow package installed.
Thanks in advance for your replies.


Questions:
Which Electronic Brake Controllers have you reviewed - OR - already installed on your 2011 WK2 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

Why did you choose it over other controllers out there?

Is yours adjustable with an LED display?

Are there any "American Made" controllers any more?

What do you recommend now that you have yours, and why - if you can share?

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Unread 03-10-2011, 10:16 PM   #2
webspoke
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I am going to use a tekonsha prodigy p2. Had excellent performance with it on a previous truck, very smooth, proportional braking. That is, light braking when you are braking the tow vehicle lightly, heavy when you are braking heavy.

They don't make a direct fit harness yet for the wk2, but with the factory pigtail available from jeep, you can make a pretty simple installation. The factory connector is just above the parking brake.
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Unread 03-10-2011, 10:59 PM   #3
decooney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webspoke View Post
I am going to use a tekonsha prodigy p2. Had excellent performance with it on a previous truck, very smooth, proportional braking. That is, light braking when you are braking the tow vehicle lightly, heavy when you are braking heavy.

They don't make a direct fit harness yet for the wk2, but with the factory pigtail available from jeep, you can make a pretty simple installation. The factory connector is just above the parking brake.

Webspoke,
I'm glad you mentioned that unit. This is the only one I was considering too in absence of much else like it. I had wondered not seeing an adapter/harness if I'm just looking to early or if Tekinsha is not going to make one since the factory pigtail can be used; unsure. Did you just splice or use female connectors to join the factory pigtail to the Prodigy P2 unit or what was the cleanest approach without tearing into the factory wiring under the dash?
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Unread 03-11-2011, 03:59 AM   #4
webspoke
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I think it is just a little early to look for an dedicated harness from prodigy. I have not done the install yet, but have the prodigy already. I will be mating the factory pigtail harness to the prodigy pigtail, only 4 wires to join. If you mount the controller around the fuel door/ light switch area, the combined harness would be only about a foot long.
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Unread 03-11-2011, 06:50 AM   #5
wjs81866
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I had a Draw-Tite Activator II - 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee installed on my Limited late last year right before I put my boat away for the season. Seemed to work very well compared to an older one I had on another grand cherokee. I'm looking at putting a Tekonsha Prodigy P3 in my Laredo shortly, I haven't used one but I have talked to 2 people who have used it and they have said positive things about it.
__________________
1) 2011 Grand Cherokee LImited
Blackberry Pearl
5.7L
Quadra Trac 2
Lux Group 2
20" tires and rims
Towing package

2) 2011 Grand Cherokee Laredo X
Blackberry Pearl
5.7L
Quadra Drive 2
Quadra Lift
Laredo X Group 25 package
Chrome Fogs and Mirrors
Off-Road Adventure II Package
P265/60R18 Michelin LTX M/S 2's
BWoody 4" Velocity Intake
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Unread 03-11-2011, 07:04 AM   #6
little_Jeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webspoke View Post
I am going to use a tekonsha prodigy p2. Had excellent performance with it on a previous truck, very smooth, proportional braking. That is, light braking when you are braking the tow vehicle lightly, heavy when you are braking heavy.

They don't make a direct fit harness yet for the wk2, but with the factory pigtail available from jeep, you can make a pretty simple installation. The factory connector is just above the parking brake.
The Tekonsha is suppose to be the Cadillac of controllers. I have another brand install for years in my WJ. From what little I know, you want a digital controller (doesn't need to be level), you want one with an adjustable brake force setting (how hard brakes are applied in proportion to foot on pedal), and you want one that allows for adjustment to the delay (delay from time you touch brake pedal to time trailer brakes are activated). On mine, this last setting was set when installed with instructions to not adjust it ever again). The force adjustment is nice because you can adjust depending upon your load which keeps you from locking up the trailer brakes when you have a light load, or feeling like you have weak brakes when pulling a heavy load. Another benefit to the digital read out (I'm sure this is a common feature) is with trailer connected, you can push & hold brake pedal, if you have a solid digital read out, your braking system is working as it should. I just recently added a Brake A-way system to my trailer. Hopefully, I won't need this, but it is nice to know that it is there if I do.
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Unread 03-11-2011, 08:34 AM   #7
silver04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjs81866 View Post
I had a Draw-Tite Activator II - 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee installed on my Limited late last year right before I put my boat away for the season. Seemed to work very well compared to an older one I had on another grand cherokee. I'm looking at putting a Tekonsha Prodigy P3 in my Laredo shortly, I haven't used one but I have talked to 2 people who have used it and they have said positive things about it.
Your boat trailer has electric brakes ?
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Unread 03-11-2011, 08:42 AM   #8
little_Jeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver04 View Post
Your boat trailer has electric brakes ?
Interesting reading here,

http://www.ehow.com/about_6460349_el...er-brakes.html

Be sure to read the part where some States outlawed the use of surge brakes.



Electric Vs. Surge Boat Trailer Brakes
By an eHow Contributor .
Most boat trailer have brakes.parking remorques bateaux image by Unclesam from Fotolia.comMany boaters trailer their boat from home to the water. Most state regulations require brakes to be fitted on boat trailers that are over 3,000 pounds gross weight. These state regulations comply with federal guidelines issued by the Department of Transportation. There are two types of braking systems used to comply with these regulations. Electric brakes use an electric sensor at the brake pedal to transmit commands to the braking system on the trailer. Surge brakes use a hydraulic sensor on the trailer to mechanically apply the brakes.
.Function
Electric brakes and surge brakes serve the same purpose on a boat trailer. These breaks slow the momentum of the trailer to ensure both the vehicle and trailer can stop safely. Without trailer brakes the momentum of the trailer could force the tow vehicle forward, causing an accident. Both electric and surge brake systems are designed to operate in conjunction with the brakes of the tow vehicle. This means that the driver of the tow vehicle does not have to be concerned with applying multiple sets of brakes. Depressing the tow vehicle brake pedal stops both the trailer and the tow vehicle.
Features
Both types of brakes successfully prevent the boat trailer from dangerously impacting the performance of a tow vehicle. Each type of brake operates differently, however. Electric brakes are operated by a mechanism that senses brake pedal pressure. The brakes are commanded to apply increased pressure as pressure on the brake pedal increases. Surge brakes are operated by a coupling on the front of the trailer near the hitch. When the brakes on the tow vehicle are applied the momentum of the trailer pushes on the coupling. The amount and rate the coupling compresses determines the amount of breaking applied.

Considerations
Some boaters favor electric brakes while others favor surge brakes. Electric brakes are preferred because they can be activated in two ways. The tow vehicle driver can activate the brakes by depressing the brake panel. Additionally, the driver can activate the brakes by pulling a brake handle. This more easily allows a tow vehicle to hold a boat in place while stopped on a hill. Additionally, electric brakes are easier to maintain than surge brakes because surge brakes require maintenance of a hydraulic system.

Some boaters prefer surge brakes because they don't have electric components. Some electric components on electric brakes are located at the wheels. These components are soaked in water each time the boat is launched and can require recurring maintenance. All surge brake components are located near the hitch of the boat and might not be submerged. This can make for a more reliable system.

Legality
Until recently, surge brakes were not recommended by the United States Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Many states followed this recommendation and outlawed surge brakes.
Many manufacturers ignored this guidance and supplied surge brakes on boat trailers. In 2007 the FMCSA changed their recommendations for surge brakes and allowed them for interstate travel. Most states have updated their laws to be aligned with federal recommendations. Boaters should review state laws to ensure surge brakes are legal in their state.
.

Read more: Electric Vs. Surge Boat Trailer Brakes | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6460349_el...#ixzz1GJ2Un9hu
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Unread 03-11-2011, 10:32 AM   #9
wjs81866
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver04 View Post
Your boat trailer has electric brakes ?
Yes it has electric brakes
__________________
1) 2011 Grand Cherokee LImited
Blackberry Pearl
5.7L
Quadra Trac 2
Lux Group 2
20" tires and rims
Towing package

2) 2011 Grand Cherokee Laredo X
Blackberry Pearl
5.7L
Quadra Drive 2
Quadra Lift
Laredo X Group 25 package
Chrome Fogs and Mirrors
Off-Road Adventure II Package
P265/60R18 Michelin LTX M/S 2's
BWoody 4" Velocity Intake
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Unread 03-11-2011, 11:15 AM   #10
hammer1234
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My 2000+ lb pop-up camper has surge brakes. I'll want electric brakes on the next one I get...I'll feel more comfortable on the hilly roads in New England.
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Unread 03-11-2011, 12:34 PM   #11
TheProfessional
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I've run E-brakes on a dump trailer. System was clumsy and felt a bit like the tail wagging the dog when I would stop no matter what adjustment I made to the controller.

I live in Florida currently so it's not a big deal but I can imagine up in the hills it's a bit more serious.
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Unread 03-11-2011, 06:40 PM   #12
silver04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjs81866 View Post
Yes it has electric brakes
Just noticed your location.
I like electric but in the Pacific salt water they wouldn't last a season.
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Unread 03-13-2011, 07:13 AM   #13
WK2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decooney View Post
Webspoke,
I'm glad you mentioned that unit. This is the only one I was considering too in absence of much else like it. I had wondered not seeing an adapter/harness if I'm just looking to early or if Tekinsha is not going to make one since the factory pigtail can be used; unsure. Did you just splice or use female connectors to join the factory pigtail to the Prodigy P2 unit or what was the cleanest approach without tearing into the factory wiring under the dash?
They just came out with one...finally.

http://www.tekonsha.com/content/prod...45&part=3045-P
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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland, Mineral Gray, Black interior, Hemi, Off Road Adventure II, 430N, Bwoody 4" short RAM intake, 20" Black SRT Reps, MOPAR Rock Rails, 5202bulbs 35W HID 4300K Fog Lamps, SharkFin.
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Unread 03-13-2011, 04:08 PM   #14
mjw930
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I just connected the brake controller harness into the pigtail that came with the Overland then plugged that into the connector over the parking brake. I use a Tekonsha P3 and so far it works great.

As for electric boat trailer brakes, you need Electric over Hydraulic and at a controller that has a setting for hydraulic. If you use an older generic or timed controller it won't work correctly for electric/hydraulic brakes and you'll get the surging and slow action issues. I had those on my last boat trailer with disk brakes and they worked flawlessly with the P3. The article above talks about standard electric brakes on the boat trailer! That's patently wrong DON'T DO IT.
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Unread 03-13-2011, 04:51 PM   #15
JeepOrvis97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjw930 View Post
I just connected the brake controller harness into the pigtail that came with the Overland then plugged that into the connector over the parking brake. I use a Tekonsha P3 and so far it works great.

As for electric boat trailer brakes, you need Electric over Hydraulic and at a controller that has a setting for hydraulic. If you use an older generic or timed controller it won't work correctly for electric/hydraulic brakes and you'll get the surging and slow action issues. I had those on my last boat trailer with disk brakes and they worked flawlessly with the P3. The article above talks about standard electric brakes on the boat trailer! That's patently wrong DON'T DO IT.
Ya, ours came with an electric brake pigtail as well, my mom noticed it in the glove box yesterday, I had no idea it came with that.
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