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Old     (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-19-2012, 8:23 AM Reply   
Hey there,

So I know this may be a long shot, but I was wondering if there was anyone out there that uses the "Prodigy P2" brake controller in their tow vehicle. Actually, anyone with good knowledge of brake controllers may be able to help with this problem!

Basically, the brake controller isn't working. When I hooked up the light connector from my boat trailer to my truck, the brake controller flashes n.c. This means "not connected". I do know that the brake controller works!

We had an issue with the trailer lights not working when I first bought the boat and trailer. As you can see from the pictures below, I wrote up a little diagram to show how the lights are wired. At 5 o'clock, there is a blue wire that is suppose to control the trailer brake. At 7 oclock is the white GROUND wire, 9oclock is a yellow wire that controls the left signal, etc. I believe that thing in the middle has something to do with by-passing the brake controller when backing up.... but I'm not 100% sure.

Does anyone have any thoughts?
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Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       09-19-2012, 8:42 AM Reply   
i have a prodigy. best brake controler ever.did you try it with a different trailer? has it ever worked?. most likely the trailer but you never know. i have never seen a ski boat with electric brakes. i know their are some but never seen one

Last edited by 882001; 09-19-2012 at 8:44 AM.
Old     (pennery)      Join Date: Jul 2006       09-19-2012, 8:57 AM Reply   
I agree.. Are you sure you have electric brakes on that trailer? Anyhow the Middle is for your reverse lights and on the newer boats it unlocks the actuator to the Surge Brake system and allows you to reverse.
Also the Number 3 on your diagram should be the Blue wire which send the signal to your brake controller.. All Brake controllers are wired the same so the brand of the controller does not matter here but the Prodigy (I have a P3) is a great controller. Do a google search on 7 way electric brakes and you should come up with a better diagram. Etrailer has great info...
Old     (pennery)      Join Date: Jul 2006       09-19-2012, 9:01 AM Reply   
Also sometimes the metal tabs on the inside of the plug need to be bent back out to make contact with the truck end. You can see your Green (you have yellow and green mixed up on your diagram) tab is bent forward and that one should be bent back a little . I usually use a flatblade screwdriver and bend the tabs a little and that makes the plug snug and I get better contact...
Old     (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-19-2012, 9:22 AM Reply   
Hey thanks guys, good info!

I'm new to owning a trailer and boat, so I'm kind of confused when you say "I've never seen a ski boat with electric brakes". What other brake types would a trailer typically have? I would assume it would be a good idea to have brakes on the trailer when towing any wakeboard boat. I have a 2001 x-star which weighs a little over 3000lbs, and pull it with a Ford Ranger Extended Cab. So mine definitely needs the assistance from the trailer brakes!

I am sure it works yes. The guy I bought the boat/trailer from basically had the 7-way connector on backwards (I didn't know this when I bought it). He must have taken it apart, and the put the 7way connector back on turned 180 degrees the wrong way. So, instead of the trailer brake being located at 5oclock, it was actually located at 11oclock when I first bought it. Now if you look at the diagram I made, 11oclock is suppose to be the traveling light. So, when I turned on my traveling light, the brakes on the trailer would suddenly lock up! Weird eh? But yeah, that's how I know they work!

I'll take a look at the tabs, that's a good idea! Any more suggestions?
Old     (cwkoch)      Join Date: Aug 2006       09-19-2012, 9:34 AM Reply   
Boat trailers typcially have hydraulic "surge" brakes- the tongue of the trailer compresses a brake cylinder inside the tongue to apply brakes. They use hydraulic because electric brakes don't like to be submerged in water.

Another thing you'll sometimes see on large boat trailers, (I'm talking 50' boat trailers) is called electric over hydraulic. So, there's some sort of electric actuator to activate hydraulic brakes on the axles.

Take some pics of your trailer tongue and brakes on the trailer. Guys here will tell you what they are. I'm almost positive that trailer has surge brakes though, which would mean no brake controller is required. Brake controllers are only need for electric brakes.
Old     (cwkoch)      Join Date: Aug 2006       09-19-2012, 9:39 AM Reply   
By the way- X-Star behind a Ford Ranger sounds really scary!!!! Get a bigger truck man! I would never tow a wake boat behind a compact truck, unless it was like once a year to the boat launch to put it in, and take it back out in the fall. 1/2 ton truck minimum for towing a boat like that.
Old     (stanfield)      Join Date: Mar 2004       09-19-2012, 9:52 AM Reply   
You have surge brakes, not electric.
Old     (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-19-2012, 10:56 AM Reply   
Hey, yeah I will try and remember to take some pictures this weekend, and then I will post them up here.

I know the Ranger pulling the X-Star sounds risky but.... I believe the Ranger has a towing capacity of 3800lbs-3900lbs. The X-Star weighs around 3100lbs I think. I want to get a new truck anyways. Mine is 2 wheel drive and I want 4X4. Any suggestions on trucks?

The guy that sold me the trailer/boat told me that these were electric brakes, not surge. I'm not sure how well he knew his setup but... remember what I said about the brakes being activated when I turned on my travelling lights? This would indicate electric brakes wouldn't it??? Another thing I should mention is that this is NOT the matching Mastercraft trailer. It is some random make galvinized trailer.
Old     (cwkoch)      Join Date: Aug 2006       09-19-2012, 11:58 AM Reply   
3100 might be a dry weight, but i would actually think the dry weight was a little more than that even (my Malibu VTX is 3500 in a 20ft boat)..... To that add the fuel, gear, and TRAILER...... Depending on the trailer, you might be approaching 5K lbs..... Way too much for a Ranger.
Old     (stanfield)      Join Date: Mar 2004       09-19-2012, 6:05 PM Reply   
If it's an aftermarket galvanized trailer, I guess it could have electric brakes, but they're not really used on boat trailers because of the obvious water, electricity, corrosion issues. And if it does have electric brakes and they're not working, I'd guess it's from the electrical components being constantly dunked in the water. The part you plug into your receiver definitely looks pretty gunked up and has seen better days, I'd start there.

And with a Ranger with lets say a 4k tow capacity, you're definitely overloaded with an xstar/x1, trailer, fuel, gear, etc...and with non functioning trailer brakes, asking for trouble.
Old     (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-20-2012, 7:49 AM Reply   
Yep, I do believe they're electirc, however I'll take pictures to post anyways.

I will start by cleaning out the part that attaches to my receiver. What do you think is the best way to clean that out?

I just looked up the general weight of boat trailers. So I'm guessing mine would be somewhere between 1000lbs and 1500lbs. So yeah, that's well over the limit for a Ranger. I never really thought a trailer would weigh that much but... ya I'm definitely glad you guys have pointed this out. I always felt like the boat was a little big for that truck. For the most part it pulls it fine but, it definitely struggles a little goin up hills. Oh well, it was time for me to change trucks anyways.

So just out of curiosity, when looking up trailer specs, would I look up the length of the trailer based on the length of the boat? I mean... my X-Star is a 21foot boat, so the trailer is obviously longer than that! So would I search for "21 foot trailer", or would i have to measure the exact length of the trailer and then search for that? On the chart I was looking at, a 21 foot trailer was closer to 1000lbs, a 28 foot trailer is closer to 1500lbs.
Old     (Iceberg)      Join Date: Dec 2011       09-20-2012, 8:28 AM Reply   
Here is a very good diagram from etrailer. If your wiring is wrong on both plugs but matches, that may be usable. However, better to get it corrected so you can tow other trailers or someone else can tow your boat if required.

The weight of a trailer is very specific to the design. As a ballpark figure, 1,000lbs for a small single axle, 1,500 for a small dual axle and 2,000-2500 for a medium dual axle. Just drag your boat to a weigh-scale and you will know for sure what the weight is!

Old     (Iceberg)      Join Date: Dec 2011       09-20-2012, 8:48 AM Reply   
I forgot to add that some 7-way plugs will not work with some 7-way receptacles. The 7 pin or even the thickness and type of blades are usually the problem. I had this problem when someone borrowed one of my trailers. You may notice the plug not seating all the way in and the cover-latch not hooking on the plug edge.

Also, if you have one or 2 wires not in the proper position, the controller will give the NC signal.

Last edited by Iceberg; 09-20-2012 at 8:50 AM. Reason: addition
Old     (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-20-2012, 9:29 AM Reply   
Dude, that is so helpful!! Thanks a million!

So, I guess I should clarify, the diagram I wrote by hand and posted here is the diagram for the vehicle, not the trailer! This would explain why pennery thought I had the yellow and green backwards. I should also mention that all the lights on my truck work properly... just not the brake controller! It looks my diagram is for the most part correct. It's pretty similar to the one from eTrailer.

My trailer is a dual axle. What would you consider a "small" trailer, and what you consider a "medium" sized trailer. Based on what your saying, mine is at least 1500lbs since it is a dual axle.
Old     (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-20-2012, 9:31 AM Reply   
And where would I go to find a weigh-scale? I have no idea; I've never used one before!
Old     (SteveW)      Join Date: Jun 2011       09-20-2012, 10:10 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by greg_smith View Post
And where would I go to find a weigh-scale? I have no idea; I've never used one before!
A truck stop would be a good place to start. Usually you pay for the first weight and a reweigh would be free. Look up Cat scales in the yellow pages. Depending on where you are in the county, if you are near agriculture operations some of the larger outfits will have public scales.
Old     (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-21-2012, 5:04 AM Reply   
Awesome thanks. Ya I just took a look at There is one about 20 minutes away from here and it's on the way to my place up north.. so that works perfectly!

Gotta love the wakeworld forums! There's so many people with good knowledge of this sport and all the little things that come with it!
Old     (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-24-2012, 2:35 PM Reply   
Ok so here's some pictures of the trailer. Electric or surge breaks?
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Old     (stanfield)      Join Date: Mar 2004       09-24-2012, 3:16 PM Reply   
Electric. Looks even more out of place on a boat trailer than I imagined.
Old     (pennery)      Join Date: Jul 2006       09-24-2012, 7:00 PM Reply   
Electric brakes on one axle only. And its a crap job taping the wire to the axle like that... I am assuming that every time you put that trailer in the water you are filling up tube with the water. Most wiring runs on the inside of the axle which is just a hollow tube. There are numerous places that could be problematic. I would start with the truck wiring.. How is the Controller wired to the truck? Most newer trucks are prewired for a controller but i am not sure about the Ranger.
Try the truck on an RV or any other trailer with Electric brakes to see if the truck and controller activate the brakes. You don't even need to hook up the trailer. You should be able to hear them but you may need another person to do this. If it works then you know your problem is in the trailer.
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       09-24-2012, 7:02 PM Reply   
prop and fins dont hit that non inboard trailer?
Old     (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-25-2012, 6:30 PM Reply   
Rpenner, I'm not sure exactly how the controller is wired to the truck. I basically just took it to U-haul, bought the controller off them, and let them install it. It's not really a newer Ranger. It's a 2006.

882001, no the prop sticks out the back. What makes a trailer an "inboard trailer"?
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Old     (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       09-25-2012, 6:48 PM Reply   
Inboard trailer lets the boat sit on it instead of hanging out the back like yours does. That is completely the wrong trailer for your boat. A proper trailer will have a Prop guard under the prop and rudder. Unless you just tow very little you really need a new trailer. With the boat that far back do you have any tongue weight at all?
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       09-25-2012, 8:11 PM Reply   
yeah that trailer aint right. it seems to work but if you do lots of trailering i would sell that thing and buy an inboard trailer, with a prop guard. x-stars must not have fins?
Old     (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       09-25-2012, 9:08 PM Reply   
I was thinking the same thing. Fins wouldn't clear that bar. Unless floating it on, but sets setting yourself up for failure when you get a shallow ramp and rip a fin off. Luckily it will be on the trailer and not sink from the hole in the bottom of the boat.
Old     (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-26-2012, 2:09 PM Reply   
Hmmm, okay good things to watch out for! Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Ya I don't do much trailering at all. Pretty much I only take it out if it needs a clean, or if it's going to the mechanics. Other than that, it sits at a dock about an hour from where I live.
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Old     (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       09-26-2012, 6:40 PM Reply   
It's a good looking boat, Greg!!
Old     (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-26-2012, 7:42 PM Reply   
Thanks man! It throws a nice little wake too
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