Tekonsha Voyager Brake Controller

Submitted: Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 22:42
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Hi

We have a Tekonsha Voyager Brake Controller installed and tonight when I came home the brake lights were on. I touched the slide control and the lights went off.

Once before I had found the same thing and the brake lights were on and I thought it must be a short in the trailer plug. Fiddled with the brake pedal and did nothing, pulled the trailer plug apart looking for a short. Eventually the penny dropped that it might have something to do with the brake controller as it had caused the brake lights to come on and flash intermittently.

Now I am a bit concerned that the brake lights come on and stay on - though it is only twice now. Sure it is easy to fix but I would not be happy if my battery went flat.

Do you think that I should get it replaced? Is it a warranty issue or am I being an anal Andrew? It is probably about four years old.

Andrew
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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 22:47

Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 22:47
It probably is one of the crook ones at that age. They were replacing them with the new model one up till recently I believe. Take it back and pay the extra and get a PRODIGY model 1000% better than the voyager and no probs at all and will set your mind at rest as well.
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 23:12

Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 23:12
Why do you think it is so much better?? Better control or??
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Follow Up By: disco1942 - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 00:24

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 00:24
The Prodigy does not have a conventional pendulum - it uses a self levelling accelerometer which works over a large mounting range and you do not have to adjust it. There is better brake monitoring. Its also the latest model.

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Reply By: Shaker - Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 22:52

Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 22:52
You will probably find that it has a grey sticker on the front panel, the new ones have a burgundy sticker. Take it back & they will swap it for you.
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 23:11

Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 23:11
Yes - it is a nice grey one.

Andrew
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Reply By: itsdave - Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 22:53

Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 22:53
If it's the controller with the grey label on it then it is faulty. I had one doing the same thing and ended up with it being replaced. this was a common problem with this model, the later one with a purple face had the fault rectified.

Cheers Dave
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Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 23:39

Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 23:39
Theres a bloke at Romsey who does a bit of cuttin' and weldin' who also does a bit of brake controller gettin' who may be able to assist you with a replacement if the warranty is all gone
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 07:32

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 07:32
Thanks Bonz. Willl google him up if it comes to that. Paaaa; Romsey; weldin' Smilin' in the search should find him - Yes???

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 08:40

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 08:40
don't forget to add cuttin' else it wont work properly.

When r u back in the Ponderosa?
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 09:10

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 09:10
Jen decided that we should put a guest room in our little cottage so that country folks can stay while they are visiting Melbourne. Should be back in our 'Cottage in the 'Burbs'' about April
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 15:43

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 15:43
She is indeed a wise woman
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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 00:11

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 00:11
Here are two technical writeups so decide for yourself.
The Prodigy has more useful features and works really well

Tekonsha Prodigy
The Prodigy is the most technologically advanced controller available. Even with its pendulum based output it requires no levelling and is equipped with a self-adjusting sensing device to compensate for varying terrain. Its digital display illustrates the voltage level delivered to the caravan brakes whilst driving and also reports any electrical fault conditions such as power loss, short circuits and more. It has a plug in wiring harness for easy removal and a unique pocket mounting for flexible options. This Unit has a variable power level that is further complimented by a “boost” feature for incremental power. In summary, The Prodigy has a number of features, some are not important, but others particularly the self-levelling and digital displays make it an outstanding electric brake controller.



Tekonsha Voyager
The popular Voyager unit is a pendulum-based controller with an indicator light to confirm that the caravan is connected and the circuit is complete. The indicator light also changes colour as an indication of the amount of power going to the caravan brakes. It is an attractive looking controller with a manual-braking slide lever and variable gain control. The Voyager provides smooth brakes but can be a bit fiddly to adjust.
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Kath - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 07:47

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 07:47
There are some other factors for people too Graham that you haven't mentioned. Prodigy and some of the other so called "technologically advanced controller"(s) don't work with some braking systems. It won't work with mine for instance. The Voyager will.

I think the braking power pack on my Karavan is pretty advanced, even though the controller isn't:-)))
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 10:59

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 10:59
What is so advanced on your setup that it wont work and what have you got that does
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Kath - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 12:05

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 12:05
Don't know Graham, but it needs extra hardware to do it. There are some compatible controllers an some that aren't. Must be something in the pump electronics. Great brakes anyway. Good big dsks.. Will chirp the tyres on sand and dirt;-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 12:17

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 12:17
Sounds like you have hydraulics if you have a pump. If so of course ELECTRIC brake controllers wont work I dont think.

Perhaps you should find out what they are, helps when comes to servicing them or fixiing problems if and when they arise
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Kath - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 16:40

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 16:40
1200 psi Hydrastar Carlisle unit like this one Graham (I know this one says 800 psi, but...... : )

It required another controller thingie like this one Prodigy mod
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 19:48

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 19:48
Well thats different and certainly wont be too many of those around especially at the price.
But really not what the thread was about I guess.
Wouldnt say it was technologically advanced as its just a car type system adapted for a trailer.
You do say that the Prodigy will work with an adapter so which is catching up with which.
Some boat trailers use air brakes which are also different.
Everyone to their own I guess
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Reply By: Leroy - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 08:18

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 08:18
Andrew,

I had the same issue with a Voyager of a similar age. Send an email to Tekonsha in the US to find out the details of the Aussie distributor. I don't have the details of the distibutor in Dandenong anymore but they will tell you who they are.
What the prob is, is the unit you have is for the US market with the indicators being part of the braking circuit. Here our indicators are obviously separate. I paid $50 and exchanged it for a Prodigy. You'll be a lot happier with one.

Leroy
AnswerID: 281141

Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 09:18

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 09:18
Thanks for the advice. Have emailed them and will let you know how I get on.
Andrew
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Reply By: furph - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 08:29

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 08:29
If you Google Tekonsha you can down load all the instructions and tech. details.
The problem with the tails lights coming on intermittantly (some times longer) is documented and is a problem with the Voyager model.
The Tekonsha solution is a diode in the red wire from the brake pedal switch. This prevents voltage from the controller feeding back to the lights, still allowing unit activation voltage when the brake pedal is depressed.
The latest unit has some internal mod. to prevent this happening.
furph
AnswerID: 281142

Follow Up By: disco1942 - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 20:26

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 20:26
The diode is not the Tekonsha way, Tekonsha replace the unit. The wire to the brake circuit is a two way device, placing a diode in the line prevents the controller activating the lights - this is illegal as the brake lights are required to illuminate when the hand controller on the Tekonsha is used to apply the brakes. If you contact Tekonsha or one of their reputable agents they will replace your unit.

furph, I would suggest you desist from propagating this bum information.

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Reply By: dougie 41 - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 08:32

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 08:32
hi bigkidz, had one of these with same problem went to auto
electrician and he pit a diode in the wiring.cost $5
didnt have anymore trouble with it.the other thing
you could do is disconnect when you are not
using it.
regards doug



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Follow Up By: disco1942 - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 20:30

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 20:30
Doug

Your auto electrician is a shonkie. He has done the wrong thing by you. See my reply to Reply 7.

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Reply By: Stu-k - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 09:32

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 09:32
Prodigy is good but..
if you mount it level in the 4b when you go up hills it has silly flashing lights that are damn annoying at night.
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Follow Up By: Pete and Lez - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 10:16

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 10:16
Because going uphill alters the optimum working angle. 0-70 deg.
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Follow Up By: Stu-k - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 19:24

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 19:24
Yep but you would think they could make it so you could disable the lights
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 19:51

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 19:51
The lights are there to tell you of faults so why would you disable them.
Be really handy if u dropped the trailer connection and had the lights disabled and then had to brake in a hurry.
Bye Bye bigtime
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Follow Up By: Stu-k - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 21:34

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 21:34
Its only a level light, other lights tell of other probs. Even in the controller box its says it won`t effect braking performance.
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Reply By: Grungle - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 11:00

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 11:00
Hi Andrew,

This was common problem with the early model Voyager brake controllers. They fixed the problem in 2004 so as long as you get one with a build date after 09-04 then you will be right (printed on a sticker). If yours has a build date before this then ring Camec and said that Danny Dunn, Technical Service Coordinator for Cequent Electrical Products 888-785-5832 (US) said to send it in for replacement.

I contacted the makers in the States and got an email back stating the above so I call Camec and arranged to send it in (even though I did not purchase from them). I didn't need to send in a tax invoice either. They promptly replaced it with a new one and have not had any problems since.

Regards
David
AnswerID: 281169

Follow Up By: Grungle - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 11:07

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 11:07
Original email:

David,

Thank you for contacting the Tekonsha Tech Support. The Tekonsha Voyager has had changes made to it to correct this issue. Any Voyager manufactured after 9-04 will not experience this concern. All you have to do is return your current Voyager to your local dealer and have it exchanged and make sure the new one was made after 9-04. If I can be of further assistance please let me know.

Best Regards,

Danny Dunn
Technical Service Coordinator
Cequent Electrical Products
888-785-5832
dedunn AT cequentgroup.com (changed for SPAM reasons - substitute AT for @)

BTW - don't rely on a local dealer as none of the ones I contacted would even talk to me about the above. Camec were the only helpful ones hence my recommendation to talk to them (first).

Regards
David
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Follow Up By: Grungle - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 11:09

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 11:09
Original email:

David,

Thank you for contacting the Tekonsha Tech Support. The Tekonsha Voyager has had changes made to it to correct this issue. Any Voyager manufactured after 9-04 will not experience this concern. All you have to do is return your current Voyager to your local dealer and have it exchanged and make sure the new one was made after 9-04. If I can be of further assistance please let me know.

Best Regards,

Danny Dunn
Technical Service Coordinator
Cequent Electrical Products
888-785-5832
dedunn AT cequentgroup.com (changed for SPAM reasons - substitute AT for @)

BTW - don't rely on a local dealer as none of the ones I contacted would even talk to me about the above. Camec were the only helpful ones hence my recommendation to talk to them (first).

Regards
David
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 20:54

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 20:54
Hi David

Thanks for the advice. Had mine in the car in August 2004 so clearly is one of the dodgy ones.

Andrew
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Reply By: Ralph C - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 11:47

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 11:47
We bought a brand new Prodigy. After three months our starter battery kept going flat overnight. Problem traced to Prodigy. The inmporter claims they have never had a single warranty claim but electrician is adamant and appears correct. Will keep you informed after replacement fitted.
Other than that I agree with other users the unit is much better than those previously.
AnswerID: 281177

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 19:43

Saturday, Jan 12, 2008 at 19:43
Well Ive had mine in two different vehicles over two years and never had a moments trouble.
Installed it myself in both.
Can cause a problem if you put the red wire on the hot side of the brake light switch. It should be on the "out" or cold wire to work correctly.
Dont know if thats your prob but would be drawing power all the time if it was.
You should be able to tell its state by the little lights on the front.
After you shut down you should have two lights for a couple of minutes and then they go out.
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Reply By: Ralph C - Sunday, Jan 13, 2008 at 12:17

Sunday, Jan 13, 2008 at 12:17
Hi Graham,
Thanks for this. The unit was installed by an Auto Sparky but that doesn't mean it is correct. I will take it back to them.
From memory our little red light syays on all the time.
Cheers Ralph C
AnswerID: 281356

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