Brake Controller Installation (SE PA)

Discussion in 'RV Dealers & Repair Shops' started by strangiato, Jul 27, 2020.

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  1. strangiato

    strangiato Member

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    Hi All,
    We will be picking up our first PUP on 8/8 and I need to get a brake controller installed on my 2017 Outback. Wondering if anyone in my Southeastern PA area (PopupSteve or others) know a good place to get that done. I called Stoltzfus and they said the first available appointment is 8/20.
    I have a hitch and a 4-pin on the car already, so I need it converted to a 7-pin and all the wiring. The place we are buying the PUP from is about a 90 minute drive away, so it wouldn't work to have them install it since I would need off drop off my car.
    Also, what is a typical cost for the job? There is a place close to my house called The Hitch Man that quoted me $600 for wired, $500 for the Curt Echo Wireless.
    I like the idea of the wireless since it means nothing gets mounted to my dash, but I'm not sold on having to use my phone for it.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Ladiesman

    Ladiesman Active Member

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    If you are handy or know someone who has a little basic electrical skills you can buy the seven way kit and the Curt Echo from E Trailer for 300 bucks and do it your self. Save a couple hundred bucks.
     
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  3. mark30

    mark30 Member

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    Didn't know the Outback had room for a brake controller up front. [:D]

    For myself, I installed a wireless Prodigy RF brake controller. Works great except ive read that there could be pairing issues for tow vehicles with all LED lights. Read mixed reviews on curt's wireless offering.

    Also used an inexpensive plug n play curt adapter to convert the 4 way plug to a 7 way. In doing so, ran a power line from the car's battery. As an added measure, added a solenoid to the power line so it would turn off when the vehicle's ignition is turned off.
     
  4. Steveo4090

    Steveo4090 Well-Known Member

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    $600? Wow that seems expensive unless it includes the actual controller as well.

    I had Woerths used cars do the one for my wife's van...it's out in the boonies though. Might try Sauder motors in strasburg though.

    Are you sure the outback doesn't have a plug in for a bc pigtail already?
     
  5. Steveo4090

    Steveo4090 Well-Known Member

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    Are you getting the trailer from the Bethlehem RV value mart? Can they install the controller maybe?
     
  6. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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  7. strangiato

    strangiato Member

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    I'm handy and I'm sure I could do it, but I just don't think I'll have the time to get it done before the 8th.

    LOL, there's about 5-6" of space between my knees and the dash, so it could work. I just don't want a permanent device mounted there. Does the Legacy have the same towing cap as the OB? My wife drives a 2010 Legacy 2.5.
    Subaru didn't start going full LED on the OB until 2018 or 2019, so that shouldn't be an issue. I like that the Prodigy has it's own control device. I may go that route so I can still use GPS on my phone. The Curt Echo uses a phone app, which would need to be always on the screen for the manual brake button. I think I might have the Hitch Man install a 7-pin and then get the Prodigy RF. Do you have the model number of the solenoid? I like that idea.

    Yes, the $600 includes the controller, the parts to install, and labor. Although, I'm not sure which model they use. Stoltzfus said they use the Primus IQ for $469 installed.
    The OB has wiring for just a 4-pin, which is already installed.

    Yes, the one in Bethlehem. They're too far away (~77mi) as I would need to drop the car off and leave it there for a day so they could schedule it.

    That's the one that the Hitch Man was steering me to. I just don't like that I have to use an app since I use my phone for GPS.
     
  8. A-Ranger12

    A-Ranger12 Active Member

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    This sounds perfect for the Autowbrake. Mounts onto the trailer, no app or anything needed. Once it's installed, plug in and go. Not affiliated, just a happy customer.

    If you are moderately handy and inclined to DIY, running the power wire from the car battery and finding a ground point isn't too bad. It took me about 7 hours in total installing the 7 way connector and Autorbrake. That was going slowly and making all the connections weatherproof.
     
  9. strangiato

    strangiato Member

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    Unfortunately, the next day that I anticipate being able to get to this would be after we pick up our NTU PUP and drive it 77mi home. I am considering having a shop install the 7-pin socket for me and I'll get this or the Prodigy RF, which it seems is hard to find in stock right now.
     
  10. strangiato

    strangiato Member

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    So I have an appointment for next Wednesday to get the 7-pin harness installed at the Hitch Man and I have ordered the Tekonsha Prodigy RF. I had to get the controller on ebay because there is a national back-order on it - fingers crossed! The seller claims that it was brand new and was selling about 30 of them.
    Not sure at this point what I'll do about mounting it on the trailer when we pick it up. Might just bring a wad of extra long zip ties so I don't have to sit in their lot drilling holes and such.

    Before I even hit Post Reply, my controller was delivered! Opened the box and it appears to be brand new. Not even any scuff marks anywhere on it.
     
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  11. Steveo4090

    Steveo4090 Well-Known Member

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    The mount should just be 2 screws if it's anything like the P3. I think they were self tapping 1/4 head screws too.
    And I'm glad you were able to get the appt and the controller in time. Hope the installation goes smoothly as well.
     
  12. strangiato

    strangiato Member

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    It's actually 4 self-tapping 1/4" hex-head screws. They recommend drilling pilot holes.
     
  13. strangiato

    strangiato Member

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    Just realized I never "concluded" this. The RV service techs from the dealership actually mounted the controller box for me on the trailer A-frame and got it paired and working while we were getting the run-down on the PUP (and only charged about $80 to do that). We had an uneventful trip home and it did not take long at all to get the Prodigy RF dialed in.

    It works out great because I plug the Prodigy RF controller into the 12v outlet that is inside the center console storage, leaving the 12v plug in the dash for phone chargers.
     

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