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New to towing..What to buy?

2039 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  mdavis7

New Mada owner(and member!) and I am looking for some direct info on towing my trailer. I read through the towing thread but it seemed more aimed at larger campers. I will be towing an open trailer that holds my race car, total weight of about 5000lbs and about 4 adults.

Do I need to get an equalizer setup?
Will it even work with my open trailer? I couldn't find a yes or no from their website.

The trailer has an electric brake system and I was going to get the prodigy controller. Anyone know a place that has a good deal on them?

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Did you get the Big Tow package?
scr38 said:
Did you get the Big Tow package?
Yes, got an 05 LE fully loaded.
You won't need a load leveling hitch for that load. The Prodigy is the best controller you can buy. I did a search on the internet and found several places with prices just under $100.00.
You should have the pigtail for the controller in your glove box. Be careful when you connect it, the wire colors do not match. The Nissan pigtail will have the function of each wire marked, match these functions to the controller function. There have been many posts here and on about this installation. A search will find them.
Tongue Weight?

You might want to see what your tongue weight is, which is just as important as overall trailer weight in deciding if you need a weight distributing hitch. All a WD hitch does is lever some tongue weight onto your front wheels. At 5k you are somewhat near borderline to consider a WD hitch. What size ball does you car hauler require? If it is 2-1/4” diameter you should probably go with a WD hitch. If you tow a lot in windy areas you will most likely want some sort of anti-sway device. I recommend a WD hitch like a equalizer or dual-cam with the device built in. I use an add-on friction device that works good but an integrated setup would be more convenient and maybe more effective. The Prodigy controller is the best in my book. And when towing, drive a little slower and extra safely, that’s a lot of weight flying down the road that my family might be on. Enjoy1
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Cillyone said:
I recommend a WD hitch like a equalizer or dual-cam with the device built in.
Thanks guys! I am going to purchase the prodigy and equalizer today. I would rather be safe then sorry with the wd hitch.

This is gotta be the best forum "ever" .. lol ..

mdavis7: What brand and size trailer do you have?

My next major purchase will be a car hauler .. not a racecar .. my daily driver / show car. It's an 84 Nissan 300ZX (yeah I know its an old car .. but she's mine and there aren't too many of 'em left .. besides driving multiple vehicles to carshows gets real old) Hence the Armada (w/BIG TOW pkg) ..

Anyone out there (besides mdavis7) w/recommendations for car haulers? I prefer open trailers .. but hey if I can find a good deal on an enclosed unit, I'll jump at it .. so I'm looking at recommendations too!

I've read a little on the electronic controllers, so I've heard of the Prodigy .. so at what point (trailer size?) are electronic brakes/controllers: recommended? A requirement (must)?
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tandem axle trailer?

I think any non-agricultural tandem axle trailer is required by law to have brakes, at least in California. My tandem utility trailer (5,000 GVWR) has them on one axle and the toybox (10,000 GVWR) on both.
OK .. maybe I'm completely "out in the field" .. or just not clear enough?

For a car hauler .. I'm planning on a tandem axel trailer.

I thought there were 2 types of brakes ..

Electronic .. hence needing (or should have) an electronic controller.

And non-electronic .. "surge brakes".

The question?

At what size (trailer) would the electronic brakes become required or highly recommended?
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My opinion on electric brakes

I have never used surge brakes myself, but the information I've read about ( is they are not highly thought of. Electronic brakes are much more readily controllable (adjustable). Last week I towed a 4wd Yanmar tractor with a heavy pto rototiller mounted along with a separate box scraper w/ripper in my utility trailer. The total weight w/trailer was about 3.600 lbs and even with this light load (compared to my toybox) I was glad to have the extra braking power. Besides being safer it is easier on the Armada. The main feature I like about trailer brakes is there is less of a chance of the trailer coming around (passing you up) in a panic stop situation. As far as pulling a car hauler is concerned I would not dream of towing one loaded more than a couple “low speed miles” without electronic brakes. Brake controllers are a piece of cake to install and operate, especially the Prodigy. After owning some single axle trailers and now tandem axle, I will never go back to a non-braked single axle. Just having the extra tire has been a blessing when I have had a flat, I can limp along at low speed (lightly loaded) without destroying a tire or losing control.
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Again the information provided is priceless ..

Looks like electronic brakes and a Prodigy is on the MUST GET requirements list!
inqui-Z-tor said:
Again the information provided is priceless ..

Looks like electronic brakes and a Prodigy is on the MUST GET requirements list!
Sorry guys I have been away on business.

I am not sure what type of trailer I have to be honest, I just bought it from a buddy and haven't been home long enough to look at it! lol

When I get back I will take a look. I know it has electronic brakes and that is about all I know. The previous owner used a WD hitch when towing with it.

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