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Trailer Brakes


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Hi all,

I have a 2006 Monaco and use a car hauler to trailer my Jeep.  What kind of braking system do you have in your rig for your trailer, or can anyone recommend a unit?  I had one of those small controllers in my truck when pulling a 5th wheel, with a class A and air brakes, is there a specific type of braking system I need for the trailer?

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I installed a Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller in my 93 Dynasty.
The wiring to the rear was already there, just had to connect to it.
The Prodigy is a very nice controller, and will handle at least 6 brakes, maybe 8 IIRC.
Check out E-Trailer.com.  I've bought several items from them and always been treated well.

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I also installed the Prodigy on my 04 Monaco Knight, i ordered mine from Amazon but also have ordered many things from eTrailer with good results.  My coach was already wired with a 6 wire trailer light plug and an old (unused/defective) flat tow controller so I tied onto both of those systems to install a new 7 wire/4 wire combo plug as I tow both big and small trailers for ATV's, Airboat, Swamp buggy, etc. and most of the trailers have electric brakes.  There is a switched 12 volt off the key up under the dash that was pretty easy to find but finding the brake signal was a little difficult.  I did find it on the electrical panel outside behind the basement door under the driver side window, which is where the brake lights get their signal/power from.  I just jumped onto that and ran a wire in through the front firewall to the steering wheel area where I mounted the controller, and just to be sure the brakes worked correctly I ran a new brake wire back to the 7 wire plug just strung under the coach where I could get it through and keep it protected.  It took me a day to do and it wasn't easy but it works great, would be easy if i had to do it again now that I know how it all works.  I read that the coach is already wired for electric brake control but with all the wires being white it was a pain to find so I just made it work with what I had.  I could send pictures of how I installed it if it would help you.  Good Luck!

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Have you found the unused white 6 wire plug near the bottom of the steering column… pre wiring for the brake controller? 
Having started with a controller (a rheostat with a manual lever) paying $100+ for one seems absurd to me, especially for installing in a MH that weighs 4X the trailer. Plenty of $50 ones that will do the job.

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When Full-Time RVing and hauling a 30 foot cargo trailer I installed a Tekonsha P2 for my first controller. Then my brother suggested upgrading to the P3 which I did and between the two I prefer the P3. Sold the trailer a few years back and now just tow my car. We are now Part-Time RVer's.

https://www.tekonsha.com/products/brake-controllers/proportional-controllers

Edited by Dr4Film
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Hey something to concider when towing, because all control modules operate when they see the brake light circuit applie, and my rig MAY be unique in that when im using my engine brake when it comes on it also turns on my brake lights. For the most part thats not a problem you just need to remember if your “gain” on the controller is set for your load that there may SOME times you will want less trailer brakes, like long engine brake run coming down the sierras or like mountain terrain. I say this in a caring mannor, for you flatlanders out there driving on flat roads are one thing, however if your not used to mountain roads keeping your little trailer brakes engauged for long runs WILL overheat them, causing premature failure and more!!! Ask me how i know🤦‍♂️🙀

Before my next trip im going to put a spring loaded switch in the the blue wire to the brakes so i can interupt the current to the trailer stopping that from happening again, an yes i know i could just drop the gain at the controller however when driving i just dont want to have to distract myself from the task at hand. 
Safe travels everyone😎

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Rik, whoever wired up your brake controller should not have used the brake lights to trigger the brake controller. Prodigy's instructions clearly state that the controller should be triggered from the switch on the brake pedal, photo attached.

My brakes lights activate when I step on the brake or when the exhaust brake is activated. However my brake controller ONLY activates when I step on the brake NOT when the brakes lights are on.

The only thing I had to do extra (only because Monaco uses the ground on the brake switch) was to install a relay to change the signal from a negative one coming from the brake switch to a positive one that the brake controller needs to see.

faq051_hh_500.jpg

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I realize I'm a Beaver and not a pure Monaco, but I am a Beaver merged with Monaco.  In my dash wiring I had a proper polarity service brake wire independent of the brake lights.  I would not want trailer brakes (or toad brakes for that matter) to come on when the brake lights are active simply for the engine brake situation.  I want brake lights when the engine brake is slowing me down, but not necessarily engaging real brakes in the towed vehicle until I step on the brake pedal.

IMHO

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18 hours ago, Ivylog said:

Have you found the unused white 6 wire plug near the bottom of the steering column… pre wiring for the brake controller? 
Having started with a controller (a rheostat with a manual lever) paying $100+ for one seems absurd to me, especially for installing in a MH that weighs 4X the trailer. Plenty of $50 ones that will do the job.

There's a big difference in how smoothly, and how quickly in an emergency stop situation, that a good controller and a cheap one operate.
When it comes to stopping my rig, that extra $100 or so is money well spent.

18 hours ago, Rikadoo said:

Hey something to concider when towing, because all control modules operate when they see the brake light circuit applie, and my rig MAY be unique in that when im using my engine brake when it comes on it also turns on my brake lights. For the most part thats not a problem you just need to remember if your “gain” on the controller is set for your load that there may SOME times you will want less trailer brakes, like long engine brake run coming down the sierras or like mountain terrain. I say this in a caring mannor, for you flatlanders out there driving on flat roads are one thing, however if your not used to mountain roads keeping your little trailer brakes engauged for long runs WILL overheat them, causing premature failure and more!!! Ask me how i know🤦‍♂️🙀

Before my next trip im going to put a spring loaded switch in the the blue wire to the brakes so i can interupt the current to the trailer stopping that from happening again, an yes i know i could just drop the gain at the controller however when driving i just dont want to have to distract myself from the task at hand. 
Safe travels everyone😎

Your brake controller should be wired into the brake light circuit before the engine brake, so it only operates when you step on the brake pedal.
Better yet, your brake lights should not activate when you're not actually stepping on the brakes anyway.
Having them on continuously on a grade will result in those behind you not being able to tell that you're suddenly slowing or stopping if something unexpected occurs.
Ever followed a car down the road whose brake lights are stuck on?  After a minute or so you just assume they're stuck, and if they stop, you have no warning.

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You can disable the brake lights coming on when using the Jake/exhaust brake by pulling the 15A fuse in the FRBox.

Helps to have the MH 10’ away to take a picture.901F211D-2416-49B4-936E-6A4E4086494B.thumb.jpeg.4c3bb774436c00da2bafdf2316051e23.jpeg

Edited by Ivylog
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Well i shall revisit the wiring, i connected to what was already there and tested inputs an outputs, the only thing different was instead of the blue wire in the harness someone had run a seperate blue wire from controller to the tow plug and using a DVOM it confirms controller is being activated with the engine brake. I apologize if i gave misinformation as it was truley not my intent. However when it cooked the brakes on my brand new dollie on its maiden voyage to Az i knew i had to do something... 
 

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21 hours ago, Rikadoo said:

Well i shall revisit the wiring, i connected to what was already there and tested inputs an outputs, the only thing different was instead of the blue wire in the harness someone had run a seperate blue wire from controller to the tow plug and using a DVOM it confirms controller is being activated with the engine brake. I apologize if i gave misinformation as it was truley not my intent. However when it cooked the brakes on my brand new dollie on its maiden voyage to Az i knew i had to do something... 
 

You're lucky.  I've seen trailers burned to the ground from this issue. 

Brakes get hot enough to set the bearing grease on fire, which spreads to the tires, and the whole trailer is soon engulfed. 

Sometimes they noticed it soon enough to pull over and unhitch before it burns the coach down too.

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