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Old 03-12-2010, 07:26 PM   #1
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BudtheDiplomat's Avatar
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 434
Finally, a toad

I've been toadless since my original purchase in February 2008. Always rented a car at destination.
Renting became cumbersome and my frugal (read "cheap") wife suggested that I buy a crew cab truck.
I wanted something pretty nice. Looked at the Ford 4WD Harley Davidson, Platinum, and King Ranch, and the Chevy 1500 4WD Z71 fully decked out. All of them come with an electronic transfer case. You cannot get a manual transfer case on a Ford Harley Davidson, Platinum, or King Ranch, and the Ford electronic transfer case CANNOT BE TOWED 4 down!
The Chevy, on the other hand, you hook up, turn the dial to Neutral, and off you go!
I bought the 2010 Chevy 1500 4WD Z71 Crew Cab and got every available option.

All of that to ask this:
What do I get: Roadmaster All terrain tow bar and baseplate, Brake Buddy Vantage Select or,
Blue Ox Aventa LX, baseplate, and Patriot.
Which has the fewer problems? Is one a better quality? Service? Support?

I thought about the SMI or M&G which use the coach air brakes, but those don't seem to brake automatically when your exhaust brake comes on.

Thanks for your ideas.


US Army Major, Retired
'08 Monaco Diplomat SFT,
'11 Z-71 4X4 toad
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:51 PM   #2
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Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 12
Congrats on your new toad.
I do not think you would not want a system where the brakes activate with the exhaust brake or the toad brakes would be applied for a very long time while decending a long grade. Your toad brakes would not like you very much me thinks.

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Old 03-12-2010, 09:44 PM   #3
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Posts: 256
Blue Ox Aventa LX, baseplate
Yes to the above. M&G for the brake system. You do not want your toad brakes to be on while going down a grade using only the exhaust brake. You will burn them out real quick. The Aventa is real easy to release in any kind of terrain.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:50 AM   #4
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Location: Hangin' with Sacs and the Pins
Posts: 9,413
Bud.. we also have the Adventa with the M&G brake system on our Chevy Crewcab. It is very user friendly, Bud.

Good Luck with your new Chevy...I know SacsTC loves ours!

*MonacoMama with the 2 Pins & SacsTC Nearby*
*2007 Monaco Diplomat 40' SFT<>2006 Chevy VortecMax Toad<>2006 Buick Lucerne Leading the Way*
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:08 AM   #5
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Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 1,632
I have almost the same toad, except it's older and has a different bed in the back, but the running gear is the same. Yes, it's nice to be able to just put the transfer case in neutral, put the tranny in park, then take the key and lock things up. It doesn't get any easier than that.

I don't think you will have any problems with either the Roadmaster or Blue Ox towbar setups. Check them both out in person and see what you like better. I've had good luck with my Roadmaster Blackhawk II all-terrain tow bar. While I like the idea of the bellows on the Blue Ox, but I preferred the integrated cable guides on the Roadmaster. It makes for a neater installation, no tangled cables, and when you lower the arms to the toad, the required cables are right there where they need to be.

For braking, I would agree with the others so far. I absolutely don't want the toad brakes coming on with the exhaust brake. I've done some long downhill runs, using the exhaust brake for several miles at a time. The toad brakes would be absolutely cooked if they were on that long.

I went with the US Gear Unified Tow Brake. Partly because it works with a vacuum pump so the toad's power brakes are active and it isn't working a dead pedal, partly because everything is hidden and requires no installation each time you hook or unhook, partly because there is the control panel in the cab to monitor operation, make adjustments, and manually control braking, and partly because the coach was already wired for it. It requires power, ground, and a brake signal, and I wired them into the toad's lighting umbilical using a 6 pin plug on the toad end, and the standard 7 pin plug on the coach end. That way, I only have one cable to connect, so there is nothing special to do to hookup the braking system other than to clip on the breakaway switch lanyard. It was a little more work to install it, but the down-the-road convenience was well worth it.

Good luck in your choices, there are a lot of good products out there to choose from.
Adam and Sue, and a pack of little furballs
2007 Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40PDQ Limited Edition - Cummins ISL 400
2013 Ford F-150 FX4 toad - USGear Unified Tow Brake, Roadmaster Blackhawk II Tow bar, Blue Ox baseplate
Home base near Buffalo NY, often on the road to a dog show
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