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Toad Braking System


SWharton

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I have read a few threads on toad braking systems but this is a brand new world to me and most of the threads have been older by several years.

 

I have read about several systems and ended up being very confused.

 

End goal:

 

Easy system to hitch and unhitch, fast.

No additional items to lug in and out of the car, we are trying to simplify our lives.

 

Have read about(and do not have enough knowledge to compare):

 

Brake Buddy(I don't think this one meets my wish list)

Brakemaster

ReadyBrake

any others without muddying the water too much

In the end, does it really make much difference which one I use as long as I use one.

 

I am fairly sure we will go with a Blue Ox base plate(seems to be the industry standard). My dealer will install that.

 

I looked at Remco(a name I remember from a past Escapade) but they are not close and there only dealer is Camping World. Though the site did tell me I don't need a tranny pump for my CRV.

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Readybrake is much like a Brake Buddy, which is a big unit that you lug. Brakemaster requires a cylinder to be installed to the brake pedal every time you drive. It sounds like who ever gave you info was talking price more than your want to not have something to lug in and out of the car.

We have the Roadmaster Invisibrake, http://roadmasterinc.com/products/braking/invisibrake/index.html, which matches your wants since it is just an extra cable from the car to motorhome.

Air Force One (diesel air brakes)/Stay-in-Play Duo (other brakes) from http://www.smibrake.com/, US Gear's Unified Tow Brake, http://www.usgear.cc/unified_tow_brake.htm, and M&G Engineering's braking system, http://m-gengineering.com/ are all good choices with many people loving them. These four systems can be mostly moved between cars and do not require extra parts to be installed, other than cables or hoses between the toad and motorhome, You already have a cable for lights, so you can store it together.

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We are planning on a gas MH 36' towing a CRV.

 

I just looked at the Readybrake website(maybe there are 2 with the similar names?) and it is a surge tow bar(Ready Brute) or the std. Ready Brake which is only a cable to your car brake that is actuated by an add-on between the tow bar and the MH. I think similar to your invisibrake.

 

I guess I didn't ready far enough on Brakemaster, that is now out of the running also.

 

No one was talking price, not even mentioned.

 

I'll go look at invisibrake and the other 2 later today.

 

This is why I created the thread. Hopefully it will help me and others to sort out what is out there.

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We are planning on a gas MH 36' towing a CRV.

Like so many things in the RV world, this is one of those things which has many different products that have long histories of satisfied customers. Making things even more complicated is that very few of us have actually used more than on brand of product or type of product design. Like so many things, if you buy one and it works well for you, most of us never buy any of the others to compare. All too often we also the proclaim the one that we used as the best and the only satisfactory product. What really bothers me is when folks attack the competitive products to tell you what is wrong with them, even though they have never used one!

 

I too have only used one brake system and it served us very well for a very long time and so it is the only one that I personally can recommend, but I'll not go to the extend of many and claim it to be the best or the only good one. I will tell you what is good about it and I'll try to dispel some of the myths that users of other products spread. Most of our experience was towing a CR-V behind a 36' gas chassis motorhome.

 

What I used was the Brake Buddy Classic, buying my first one in the fall of 1996 and using that one until I upgraded in 2007 or 8, and sold that one to a member of these forums who was still using it the last time I saw him mention it. The Brake Buddy was the very first company to market an axillary brake system for a vehicle being towed behind a motorhome, to the best of my knowledge. It had been on the market for several years when I bought mine and I chose it based upon a review that I read of it in Motorhome Magazine. I lucked out and found one that was used less than a year so saved a few bucks on it. It is popular for detractors to say that they are heavy and difficult to install, but Pam always set ours in place and connected it up as I was connecting the tow-bar and she also removed it when unhooking, and she never complained about that. It does have more setup than would one of the permanently installed devices, but it is easily portable from one vehicle to another. It is not proportional but I just kept mine set to only apply brakes when I would brake hard, and to apply them hard at that point. It has no extra installation required other than the brake-away switch which is permanently attached to the tow car.

 

If I were buying a new brake system today, I would consider the Brake Buddy but I would also look at some of the other products as well. None of them seem to be cheap and prices seen to be similar with most such products and there are several that I would seriously consider. Probably the thing that I would consider to be it's most attractive feature would be the ease of moving the system from one vehicle to another. I used the BB with two different motorhomes and three different tow vehicles over a period of 15 years. Like most long-term, satisfied users, I could tell several anecdotal stories of it's service if you are interested. Since we not tow a travel trailer, I have not shopped such systems in a couple of years.

 

There are many quality systems with good records out there so what is important is that you use one of them.

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ReadyBrake is probably the simplest system out there. I use one to tow my Z71 with Rzr in the bed, about 6500#. Works great. 1 clip to snap/unsnap when I hook up the tow bar. Nothing inside to remove or connect to the braking system. Since it's a surge brake system it only activates the toad brake when the coach slows down. Once the toad and coach speeds match it is disengaged.

 

I had mine on a Demco tow bar.

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We drive a 36' Gas motor home, pulling a 3300lb, 2008 Honda CR-V. We use a Blue Ox tow bar, and a US Gear Unified Tow Brake, TV-1000K.

 

http://www.usgear.cc/unified_tow_brake.htm

 

Our goals were the same as yours:

  • Easy system to hitch and unhitch, fast.
  • No additional items to lug in and out of the car, we are trying to simplify our lives.

It is not necessarily cheap, but it works beautifully. We have had it for two years (14,000 miles), and it takes a few seconds to hitch/unhitch the braking portion of our pulling configuration (Umbilical cord, deadman lanyard) - the other activities being the Honda preparation, and Tow Bar hookup. I would mention, this system is very simple & easy to use, but the installation was complicated enough that I 'quickly' decided to have a dealer install it.

 

All-in-all, we can hitch / unhitch in about 4 - 5 minutes.

Jim

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We tow our Element with an Air Force One. SMI makes the gas product also. Yes we have several cables but once we used it a few times it only takes a few minutes. While Ron hooks up the tow cables I snap in the air, electric and release cables. Also in a couple times we needed to unhook in a hurry it was just jump in the car without needing to move a unit out of the way. We found it on sale so spent less than $800. We bought it on the recommendation of multiple friends who had switched to it from other types of units

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Bill, ReadyBrake is a different product altogether:

 

http://www.readybrake.com/

 

It can be used separately, or as an integral part of NSA's ReadyBrute tow bar. This is the setup we had on a previous toad.

Sorry, I had it mixed up with a Roadmaster product. I worry about surge brakes with CRVs, since we had lots of problems with Blue Ox's Autostop with our 2002 CRV, which was a similar product to ReadyBrake. We were not the only ones. Blue Ox stopped making that product for some reason, but told us us it was a good product up to when they stopped making it. Maybe the problem was only with 2002 era CRVs, maybe only with the Blue Ox Autostop, but it made me dislike surge brakes.

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I worry about surge brakes with CRVs, since we had lots of problems with Blue Ox's Autostop with our 2002 CRV, which was a similar product to ReadyBrake.

I am not a fan of surge brake systems either based upon experience with both travel trailers and horse trailers that used one. They are better than no brake, but I would consider them my last choice.

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We've been very satisfied with the performance of our ReadyBrute Elite tow bar with an integrated ReadyBrake system. As said, hooking up is literally a snap, and the proportional braking unloads all but a hundred pounds or so of the toad's weight from the coach when stopping. That last hundred pounds is due to the preload spring that minimizes problems with steep downhill braking, etc. that used to be a concern with the older hydraulic surge brake systems used on boat, horse, and some travel trailers. The ReadyBrake system is virtually maintenance free, and being purely mechanical, has no electronics, compressors, or vacuum lines, to potentially fail.

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After doing a lot of reading yesterday and comparing everything we will be going with the Ready Brute Elite. Our reasoning is there is that it is simple to use, mostly mechanical, nothing to really stop functioning.

 

Thank you all for your help and I hope the discussion will help someone else with their decision.

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After doing a lot of reading yesterday and comparing everything we will be going with the Ready Brute Elite. Our reasoning is there is that it is simple to use, mostly mechanical, nothing to really stop functioning.

 

Thank you all for your help and I hope the discussion will help someone else with their decision.

 

A good choice! I highly recommend also getting NSA's "ReadyStop" breakaway kit as well. Installing it at the same time as the ReadyBrake cable setup doesn't take much additional labor.

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The DL-300 is included with the ReadyBrake or ReadyBrute Elite. It's a simple LED indicator that's installed on the coach dash and lights up to indicate when the ReadyBrake is activated. I prefer the previous DL-100 setup myself. The DL-300 uses a switch built in to the ReadyBrake/ReadyBrute unit to turn the LED on. The older DL-100 used a direct wire from the toad brake light switch to light the LED, giving what I feel is a more positive indication of toad braking. I believe they made the change to simplify the installation and avoid issues with isolating the toad brake switch from the coach brake light wiring. A simple 12-volt relay takes care of that though.

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l think the brake system depends on the towing vehicle. I have had Brake Buddies but were not thrilled with them. My unit is now a 40' diesel pusher and after extensive research and conferring with other owners settled on the M&G brake system as it ties into the coach air brakes and brake pressure is directly proportional to the brake pressure in the coach. I personally know 14 people that have this system and have never heard a complaint. Can't say that about most of the rest of the products out there. Easy hook up and unhook. Plug in the air from the coach and clip the break away cable and go!

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I have an inertial braking system. Easy to install, because it stays installed. Nothing to really go wrong, since it has no moving parts to speak of. Step on the brakes of the RV, the forward motion of the towed applies the cars brakes.

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I know its not on your wish list but I do have to mention the RViBrake2 system which you do have to put in and out of the car - takes a whopping 2 minutes tops. The smaller, flatter design mostly mitigates, what some would term, the hassle of setting up and a good shopper can usually find a brand new one for about a quarter of the list price. The company is aces when is comes to customer support.

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  • 1 month later...

Are all these systems suggested also to be considered for a car hauler two axel (brakes to all four wheels on the trailer and 7500 lbs each axel) with a Chevy 2500 HD Crew Cab as the load on the trailer? Are the electric over hydraulic brakes on the car hauler sufficient for towing the loaded trailer. What do you all suggest? I am new to this towing with a motor home. Or is this really a different subject. I leave that to the moderator, as I do not intend to hijack a thread or posting.

 

Thanks

regards,

robt65

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