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Need advice on auxiliary braking system.

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This is a follow-up to my question about tow packages that focused on brands and not specifics of the auxiliary braking system. I have read horror stories about both the Blue Ox Patriot, and the Roadmaster InvisiBrake applying the tow car brakes at the wrong time and ruining tires and brakes. I am a novice at this and would much prefer the additional cost of an expert installation to the risk of vehicle damage.

 

I just purchased a Fleetwood Bounder in January and a Jeep Patriot tow car last week and, in about two weeks, will be taking them from Austin, TX to Springfield, OR. My RV dealer in San Antonio carries Blue Ox tow gear, and currently has the coach to correct punch list items. It would be easiest for me, a single guy, to drive the Jeep from Austin to the dealership and have the installation done there. However, I don't want to purchase a Blue Ox Patriot if it has a bad reputation for malfunctioning.

Please please let me know your thoughts and experiences in this matter.

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With the low weight of your Jeep Patriot (just over 3000 lbs depending on model & options), your Bounder will not even know its back there and your supplemental brake is more for show and to comply with various state towing laws. To keep things simple, I would use the easy to self install Brake Buddy . Thousands of us have been using the simple Brake Buddy for years, mines been flawless for 10 yrs.

With heavier towed vehicles there is a need for the more complex braking systems. But no need for all that complexity & costs for a light weight Jeep.

just my own opinion, others opinions will vary

 

PS: why was it necessary to post this same question 5 times in the forum? maybe one of the managers can clean up that mess.

Edited by Jim2

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Posting 5 times was not intentional. When I clicked the "Post" icon, the command line displayed "waiting" for several minutes so I assumed the server had locked up and was not posting. I finally went on to other tasks and, when I cam back, I had a "server error" displayed. I apologize for the resulting trash.

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I completely disagree with Jim2, since I can feel a 3500 car without braking behind my 40' DP. That happened when an older, no longer made, braking system had quit working and it was obvious to both my wife and myself while driving.

 

On another note, I have an Invisibrake and it works well. With the previous tow car we eventually ended up with a Brake Buddy and it worked well. My wife and I both need to be able to handle the motorhome alone and she has a bad back, so the Brake Buddy was out due to the twisting it required to put in and out.

Edited by Bill Joyce

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This is a follow-up to my question about tow packages that focused on brands and not specifics of the auxiliary braking system.

 

I just purchased a Fleetwood Bounder in January and a Jeep Patriot tow car last week and, in about two weeks, will be taking them from Austin, TX to Springfield, OR. My RV dealer in San Antonio carries Blue Ox tow gear, and currently has the coach to correct punch list items. It would be easiest for me, a single guy, to drive the Jeep from Austin to the dealership and have the installation done there.

 

Please please let me know your thoughts and experiences in this matter.

 

It has been quite a few years, but since you are in Austin, check with Spillar Custom Hitches. Randy Naylor did our tow gear and brake in 2000 on our Lazy Daze class C/Saturn and in 2004 on our Foretravel/CR-V. I don't know if Randy is still there (he was at the south location), but we were very pleased. In both cases we had a US Gear Unified Tow Brake installed. Blue Ox baseplates on the cars, Roadmaster Sterling (with Blue Ox ends) 6-wire electrical for the tow bars, including wiring in a charge line for the car battery.

 

Michelle

Edited by mkc

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With the low weight of your Jeep Patriot (just over 3000 lbs depending on model & options), your Bounder will not even know its back there and your supplemental brake is more for show and to comply with various state towing laws. To keep things simple, I would use the easy to self install Brake Buddy . ...............

.....

PS: why was it necessary to post this same question 5 times in the forum? maybe one of the managers can clean up that mess.

While I agree that the Brake Buddy (one of the oldest auxiliary brake systems available and with a stellar reputation) might be a good choice, I do not agree with the idea that it is just for show. There are no states that specifically require any braking in a vehicle towed on a tow-bar and while trailer laws may apply, I have never heard a report of a ticket for not treating it that way. But there is a very good reason for using one and that is the emergency stop. I used a BB on my CR-V and I kept it set up to only apply the brake when in a very hard stop. In the event that a child darts in front of you or some other sudden emergency you need every bit of braking that you can get. All large, heavy vehicles take longer to stop than would a car and too much stopping power does not exist.

 

There is also another important reason for using a brake system on the towed vehicle and that is the breakaway. Consider what will happen if the car should come loose when towing. The required safety cables are there to prevent that loose car from entering into traffic but what it does is to hit the limit of those cables and then come forward as you stop the RV and the rear of your RV stops the car. Consider the amount of damage that would then happen to the front of the car and the back of the motorhome? Is it really smart to save the cost of a brake system by risking that kind of damage to both the car and the RV?

 

Posting 5 times was not intentional.

 

As to the multiple posts, that can happen to anyone and it does happen even to the most experienced folks on occasion. Don't worry about it as it has been taken care of. That is part of what we volunteer moderators do here. :D

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