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Discussion Starter #1
After exchanging my 2012 for a 2014, I had the dealer swap over the Tekonsha Prodigy P2 brake controller.
The harness is still there as in previous years and could actually be seen with the fuse panel cover removed.
The plug is the same and will fit the harness made per Tekonsha tb0021.
However, on my 2014, the power and brake light leads were opposite. I was showing 12v present on the brake light switch(red) lead and nothing on the controller power(black) lead. Swapped those around and works as it did in the 2012. I did not install the relay (reference Tekonsha tb0021) on either vehicle and have towed over 4000 miles on the '12 utilizing the P2 with no issues. I've only towed the empty trailer 10 miles locally to test on the '14.

Separately, it seems to me the suspension is softer in the '14 compared to the '12. And I do not have the occasional Thudclunk from the rear suspension when driving over bumps, which I experienced in the 2012.
 

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Controller installation input.

We just took delivery of our 2014 Touareg :D (Friday), and are looking at the installation of the controller. Before I have the controller installed, I wanted to look at location options, clip versus hard mount, and models. We were about to pull the trigger on a 27FB Airstream, but after spending a little time on the forums I put that on hold to research.
 

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Is Brake Controller Necessary?

Just had a trailer hitch installed on my 2014 TDI. Dealer claims that I do not need to add an external brake controller since the ESP/ABS/etc. system recognizes an attached trailer and will provide proportional braking. I have my doubts but can't find any definitive information one way or the other.

Would like to install a Tekonsha Prodigy P3 if needed. Just want to know one way or the other that it is needed. I know that I will have to add the OE VW Adapter if I go this route.

Will be towing a 1964 Shasta 20' travel trailer.
 

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Still amazes me how clueless dealers are. And to think that NJ says that Tesla needs dealers.

If the trailer has brakes, you should use them and that requires you to install a brake controller.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The service department at your dealership is incorrect. A trailer brake controller is required to use a braked trailer which is required to tow more than -/+ 1600? lbs as per the owners manual. Look it up and show them.

Since it sounds like it wasn't factory equipped with a hitch, I wonder if the harness is still there. Another forum member may have that info.
 

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Just had a trailer hitch installed on my 2014 TDI. Dealer claims that I do not need to add an external brake controller since the ESP/ABS/etc. system recognizes an attached trailer and will provide proportional braking. I have my doubts but can't find any definitive information one way or the other.

Would like to install a Tekonsha Prodigy P3 if needed. Just want to know one way or the other that it is needed. I know that I will have to add the OE VW Adapter if I go this route.

Will be towing a 1964 Shasta 20' travel trailer.
Dealership is WRONG.... If your trailer has electric brakes, you will need to buy and install a brake controller. The plug should be behind the dash, near the A-Pillar, waaaaay up there somewhere.....
 

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Well, we just picked up our new 2014 TDI with factory hitch installed. We are picking up a 25' FB Airstream in a couple weeks. The dealer was completely clueless on break controller wiring and the parts department also clueless on a plug to adapt my Tekonsha Primus IQ. So, after poking around the threads here and a bit of internet research, I opted to go for the rather pricey Tekonsha Prodigy RF. Amazon has it for $310. Kind of a lot but it seems it will save much wiring harness headache and also worry over wrecking some delicate electronics. I'll post my progress.
 

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Anubus, this is helpful. The folks at Autobahn, here in Fort Worth, were more enlightened, but still left me lacking all the answers. No "one answer". We have decided to downsize from a 27FB to 25FB. This, even though I was convinced the 27 was doable. Continue the posts on this journey! :D
 

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Any luck with the RF controller? I finally got mine paired with another vehicle but the TDI still doesn't "see" the trailer. No voltage on the Battery Feed pin (one O'clock).
 

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Have been told the Primus IQ cannot be installed due to knee airbags, so I have remote compact version, but where is best position to install the dash panel controls..?
 

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Installed and works great, seems best option for avoiding knee airbags... The controls are in the dash right hand side, near lights switch...
 

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Well, it's taken me awhile to get back to posting. I can report success getting my 2014 TDI ready for, and actually towing. We traded in our 2013 Airstream Sport 16' for a 2014 Airstream 25FB -- had to have more space. Our vision is to spend extended time in it, weeks then expanding to months. A requirement was that the tow vehicle had to double as my commute vehicle as well. We both work and live in a condo with garage parking. No space (or money) for a dedicated tow vehicle. Plus the typical tow vehicles I see used are enormous! We needed something more reasonable in size and comfortable for long trips. The tow rating and comfort of the TDI combined with its great pulling engine made it a good choice. The torque is, well, amazing. The 6 cylinder turbo charged Diesel pulls great and is economical for the commute. I've had it 2 months now and can report a remarkable 30 to 32 MPG on the highway. That drops to 16 or 17 when towing, still not bad. More experience may reveal more accurate numbers. Anyway, time to report on getting it ready for towing.

Our TDI came with the class III hitch package factory installed. This simplifies things a great deal. The biggest help is the wiring. There is a 7 wire connector already mounted and ready to go plus a connector for a brake controller available under the dash, though hard to find. More on this below. I originally bought, and was ready to use, a Prodigy RF controller just to relieve headaches of dealing with the wiring of a standard controller. The folks at Colonial Airstream suggested this as an option as well, particularly if you don't have the factory pre-wire. However, apparently the factory prewire does a couple things for you. I have heard unconfirmed reports that with a factory hitch install there is a vehicle computer firmware flash upgrade that, among other things, changes the transmission shifting profile when it senses a connected trailer. I can confirm that it does,in fact, disable the auto opening of the back hatch when connected. This helps avoid the possibility of striking the tailer as the hatch swings open. All good reasons to use the pre-wire if you have it. Based on this information, I decided to try and use the Prodigy Primus IQ [http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001P11SCM/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=] wired controller I already owned. Since I had the Prodigy RF controller ready new in the box as a backup, I dove in.

First order of business -- find the brake controller connector! Anyone who has done any forum research knows this is tricky. Volkswagen hides it very well. My dealership (as others have reported) was completely clueless about any towing information. In fact, they tried to convince me that a brake controller was already included. This is not only not true, it is dangerous information! The very useful information posted JSFcheck here [http://www.clubtouareg.com/forums/f73/diy-tekonsha-prodigy-wiring-harness-install-35416.html] and SteveK-O [http://www.clubtouareg.com/forums/f66/brake-controller-basics-prodigy-solution-47687.html] were a big help! Removing the cover under the drivers’s side dash needed a Torx 20 bit. The Touareg includes a Torx driver with the hitch tool set, but it's not the right size for these fasteners. Fortunately, I had one already included with another screw driver set. I used it to remove the two fasteners holding the plastic piece under the steering wheel. The front of this panel, nearest the firewall, is held in place by a couple duck bill plastic pieces. With some jockeying, it slides right out. On my TDI, this plastic panel has the OBD connector and a foot-well light mounted on it with wires going to the vehicle. I carefully unsnapped each of these and set the panel aside. Then on my back with a flashlight, I peered deep up into the depths of the under dash area and, after almost giving up, I noticed the cylindrical gray foam covered connector tucked up, almost beyond reach. If I hadn't known to look for the gray foam I never would have found it! Thanks to many other posters for this hint. You can see this foam barely visible in my picture.


My TDI also has a large (about 6"x6"x2") black plastic electronics box mounted right in the way of getting access to this connector. It's visible just to the right in the picture. It looked too hard to remove so I left it there. With it in place, I could either look and see what I was doing or reach up with my hands, but not both. Challenging! I was able to pull the connector out of its hiding and roll back the foam to reveal the 4 pin connector others have described, all by feel with one hand. Unfortunately, Volkswagen made the wires short so that I could only pull it about halfway down. This meant I still had to reach almost a foot up under the dash to get a hand on it. Not easy!

The best way to mate to this connector is with Volkswagen connector parts. It is possible to do it with individual blade connectors. I actually did it that way first and it worked but it was an enormous pain and easy to make a mistake. I strongly recommend getting the connector. Some have reported trouble finding it from Volkswagen. I found them from ECS Tuning. Fortunately they had them in stock and shipped fast. They are ECS part numbers ES1009146 [http://www.ecstuning.com/ES1009146/] for the pigtail (order two of these) and ES311294 [http://www.ecstuning.com/ES311294/] for the connector housing. I got mine in 3 days with normal shipping.

The two pigtail leads have a connector on each end. Snipping them in half gave me four pigtails. I then spliced the four pigtails to my brake controller's wires using crimp connectors from a kit I had purchased at Walmart that had a crimping tool and connectors. The blade connectors snapped firmly into the connector housing. I checked the placement of the connectors in the housing with the color coding between the brake controller and the TDI's wiring many times to make sure it was right. I used information from a couple places but best is the Tekonsha bulletin [http://www.clubtouareg.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=10712&d=1289097989] mention in several forums. It’s old but still seems appropriate. Getting this wrong will most certainly cause damage to the controller, or the car. The connector housing has two fold in wings the snap in place to keep the blade connectors snug.


It was then a pleasure to reach the connector up and snap it into place. I pulled the foam sleeve back over the connector. I suspect its purpose is to keep the connector from rattling. A nice touch as I know that would drive me nuts.


Now I could connect my brake controller and try towing the trailer to make sure it all worked. It did! I've had a lot of experience with this controller on our Murano towing the 16' Sport so I knew what to look for on the indicator. The trailer lights all worked, the indicator showed connected, and it reported the voltage numbers it was sending to the brakes correctly. Most importantly the brakes worked correctly. Note, I DID NOT include the relay in the brake line as other posters have reported. The only anomaly I have noticed so far is that with vehicle lights turned off, the trailer lights on our 16' Sport will blink every few seconds with a very sort duration flash. The Airstream has all LED lights and this may have something to do with it. If I were to hazard a guess, I might think this is the Touareg's vehicle computer sending a brief voltage pulse to the trailer lights to see if there is a trailer connected. Seems a reasonable explanation but I have no idea if it is correct. I've seen references by other posters talking about a resistor to help the TDI’s computer sense the correct voltage. I will keep an eye on this and see if it changes when I start towing our new 25FB. This is minor and does not bother me, so I plan to ignore it (at least for now). Now that I knew my Prodigy Pimus IQ worked, I returned the expensive RF controller to Amazon for a full refund.

Next I spent quite a bit of time considering exactly where to mount the controller. I hated the thought of drilling holes in my brand new TDI. I knew it had to be done and I wanted to get it right. I considered 4 things. First the length of the leads I had remaining meant I had to mount it somewhere from the left side to directly under the steering column. Next I wanted to make sure my legs wouldn't hit it (I have long legs). I also wanted the display to be clearly visible and the controls easily accessible while driving. Apparently some other Touaregs come with knee airbags. This would complicate mounting positions. Fortunately mine does not have these. Finally, the two sheet metal screws have sharp points. I wanted to ensure they did not pierce any wires of other things when I fastened it in place. I found a good spot just left of center, marked the spot with a sharpie. I then held my breath and drilled two 1/16” holes. I screwed the bracket in place, connected the controller and reinstalled the cover panel. The controller seems to be in a good spot. I can see the display through the steering wheel while driving and easily reach the controls with my left hand, and my legs do not bump it while driving or getting in and out.


Quite the adventure but I am now very satisfied with the mounting and integration of the brake controller in the TDI. Last month we hooked up our 2013 Airstream Sport 16' and towed it up to Colonial Airstream to trade it in on our new 25FB Flying Cloud. We are looking forward to years of touring the country with this combination. Last weekend we headed out to the Shenandoah to join the Memorial Day crowds for the unofficial start to summer!
 

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Thanks snzuloz!
It looks like the posting up-load futzed some of my URL links. Here are some of them again. Hope these work better:
1. Primus IQ on Amazon: Amazon.com: Tekonsha 90160 Primus IQ Brake Control: Automotive
2. JFScheck's post: http://www.clubtouareg.com/forums/f73/diy-tekonsha-prodigy-wiring-harness-install-35416.html
3. StevK-O's post: http://www.clubtouareg.com/forums/f66/brake-controller-basics-prodigy-solution-47687.html
4. Pigtail from ECS: 000979228E - Repair Wire - Priced Each - ES#1009146
5. Connector housing from ECS: 1J0972782 - Electrical Connector Housing - ES#311294
Hope these format better!
 

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Thanks for the post I plan to hard wire a brake controller and you have done all the leg work. Thanks again for sharing and all the pictures and links.
On another note are you using a load equalizing hitch when towing your Airstream. I was surprised to read in in my manual that you should not use a equalizer hitch on Touareg.
 

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You will find much discussion on this both here and over on the Airstream forums. Here's a recent intro post:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463/vw-touareg-diesel-118834.html
There are three factors, the tow capacity, tow hitch weight, and weight distribution hitches (WDH) versus anti-sway.
I stay within the towing capacity easily. The TDI is a dream for the long trips and has no trouble pulling our 7,300 lb Airstream. I load it carefully and use a hitch scale to watch the hitch ball weight. Finally, I use a Reese WDH despite the manual :-O
 

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Anubus, Very nice post. I spent a fair amount of time searching this information two months ago. Its great contribution here to help others in the future with all these details in one place. We just purchased a '09 Touareg TDI and added the Tekonsa P3 (a proportional controller). I was fortunate in the VW dealer had a master tech who had installed the brake controllers in the past. So he knew what was involved. The only issue they ran into was the P3 does not turn off for 20 minutes after the ignition switch is turned off. This was not included in the instructions which required some investigation to confirm this. In the end they did a great job with the installation at a reasonable price.

Additionally, the all the RV dealers, we spoke with did not recommend the RF radio versions with a variety issues.

Finally back to the comment about not needing a brake controller. In the manual the describe the towing capacity of 1600 lbs without trailer brakes and 7700 lbs with trailer brakes. Brake controllers are required.

Excellent post.
 

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Budman,
I live in Fort Worth and test drove both the 2014 Touareg and Jeep GC. Was very impressed with both, but I am more than a little nervous with the Jeep/Chrysler reliability so probably going with the Touareg. I went to Metro as they had the trim line and color I wanted. Haven't spoke with the guys at Autobahn yet. Do you have a salesman you would recommend? What do you think of the dealership in general, are they good to work with and will they offer a fair price. I've heard they do not come down on their price much. Metro offered a pretty nice discount. I was telling my wife I've yet to notice a Touareg on the road Fort Worth, but obviously they do exist.
 

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Question regarding the brake controller, I believe my Nautique trailer has surge brakes, so if that is the case I would not need a brake controller.
 

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Question regarding the brake controller, I believe my Nautique trailer has surge brakes, so if that is the case I would not need a brake controller.
Be sure to check with the RV dealer in this regard to be sure. We have had two Jeeps over the years and will not go back. We purchased our Touareg four months and absolutely love it. We have driven 9000 miles already. A summer full of camping.
 
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