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Old 09-18-2015, 04:35 PM   #15
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The other part of this is the effect on the motorhome of no auxiliary brakes for the toad. Higher braking temps and such on the motorhome's systems can lead to early failure, cracked discs and the like.
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Old 09-18-2015, 11:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Do I need tow brake and what do you recommend

Short answer: Yes, in virtually every scenario you should have an aux brake.

I use the RVi Brake. Easy in, easy out, works well.
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Old 09-19-2015, 03:56 PM   #17
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Do you need a tow brake: Yes. towing without one, if you get in an accident, can be very expensive.

Which one.. That is much harder.

I do not recommend portable systems that you have to install every time you tow (These are self contained boxes that sit in the driver's seat) and remove when you drive the towed.. Reason.. Well for one thing you have to INSTALL them every time you need to tow.. and it is far too easy to say "Oh Forget It" for a short trip. or to make an error and wind up without brakes on the towed.. Or without towed.

Systems that look interesting:

Ready Brake (Works best with Ready Brute tow bar but you can get for Blue ox/Other as well) Or the blue Ox Auto Stop.

These are surge brake systems,, IF the towed "pushes" against the motor home (hard enough) then it applies the brakes,, It is self adjusting and fully automatic, Once installed it takes only a couple seconds to connect or disconnect so no danger of "Oh Forget It".

Downside: The cable is a "parking brake" type cable.. IF you live in an area where parking brakes do not work.. You will have to do something about that cable (Lubricate often or replace often).

M&G Air/hydraulic system.. IF your motor home has air brakes (Even if it does not they have a system) and the slave fits this looks very interesting. Bypasses the booster making it the simpliest of systems.

US-Gear Unified Brake Decelerator, This is a pedal Puller once installed there is a small bracket you can see if you look for it and a power unit normally under the seat (I put mine elsewhere) this is the most flexible system.. It provided vacuum for the booster as well .

Many other installed systems. Too many to list, All good.
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Old 09-19-2015, 04:17 PM   #18
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Another vote for the Ready Brake! This thing is idiot proof.....

Forget about the legality, you need a supplemental brake system and break-away switch on anything as heavy as a motor vehicle for your safety and for others on the road with you. That's just common sense!

The Ready Brake is one of the cheapest, most effective, and absolutely trouble free systems out there. I used to use a Roadmaster electric w/air cylinders and it was a major PITA. Always something with it that wasn't working properly, and repairs were almost as much as the Ready Brake was to purchase. With the RB, it's all mechanical, so you don't have any of the electrical glitches. There is no "remote" unit for transmitting or receiving signals..... none of that crap, just a surge brake that is maintenance free and fully reliable. They also sell a great break-away switch!
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:32 AM   #19
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I use an Intellibrake. Been happy so far. Only had it for a few months and about 2500 miles of towing.
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:15 AM   #20
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I have been very happy with my SMI Stay and Play System. The SMI is activated when the brake lights come on and it self adjusts depending on the inertia detected as to how much braking is needed on the TOAD. I installed the SMI System to use on my gas powered motorhome, I am now wondering if I will have problems with my new diesel pusher, as the brake lights come on when the exhaust brake comes on. Hmmmm. JH
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Old 09-20-2015, 06:18 AM   #21
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micpib1-

Search the threads for the exhaust brake issue. I'm not a DP guy, so I didn't pay a lot of attention to the discussions.

If you haven't already done it, call SMI and ask them about your new coach. I found their tech support folks very pleasant and helpful.

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Old 09-20-2015, 09:38 PM   #22
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I am also very pleased with the RVI braking system.
As others have indicated they have a great customer service department.
After coming out with the RVI system for a short period of time they came out with an improved version RVI2. Instead of giving you a small discount if you upgraded they let you upgrade for 100.00 I sent mine in for the upgrade and had the new one back in less than a week.

I had a brake problem on my new enclave we had to install new rotors and pads on the front at 20,000 miles. I called RVI and asked if it could be my braking system. One of their employees had an Envoy which is the GMC version of the enclave ( actually was the owners car) They took it out and test drove it trying to find some way to make it fail in case there was something in the way the brakes on the enclave engaged. 7000 miles later we had to replace the back rotors and pads. Again I called and told them my problem. All of this work was done under warranty but I was concerned with what happened after the warranty expired. The People at RVI told me if my brakes failed because of their system they would pay for the repairs.
After we installed the back pads the Buick mechanic found a shop bulletin to check the brake pedal installation. Buick replaced the pedal and we have not had a problem since.

My last story of dealing with RVI customer service. Due to a moment of stupidity on my part I broke the antenna connection on the unit. It was totally my fault and nothing that could have been prevented in the design. I called RVI and asked them how I needed to get it fixed. Told them it was my fault. They said it was under warranty to just send it back to them. Again I reiterated that it was my fault and I had broken it. They said it did not matter it was under warranty that they would fix it. They sent me a prepaid shipping label to send it back with.


The unit itself is very small and light. Not like the bigger box units that people are talking about. The calibration procedure takes just a minute or two if that long.
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:00 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by gemini5362 View Post
I am also very pleased with the RVI braking system.
As others have indicated they have a great customer service department.
After coming out with the RVI system for a short period of time they came out with an improved version RVI2. Instead of giving you a small discount if you upgraded they let you upgrade for 100.00 I sent mine in for the upgrade and had the new one back in less than a week.

I had a brake problem on my new enclave we had to install new rotors and pads on the front at 20,000 miles. I called RVI and asked if it could be my braking system. One of their employees had an Envoy which is the GMC version of the enclave ( actually was the owners car) They took it out and test drove it trying to find some way to make it fail in case there was something in the way the brakes on the enclave engaged. 7000 miles later we had to replace the back rotors and pads. Again I called and told them my problem. All of this work was done under warranty but I was concerned with what happened after the warranty expired. The People at RVI told me if my brakes failed because of their system they would pay for the repairs.
After we installed the back pads the Buick mechanic found a shop bulletin to check the brake pedal installation. Buick replaced the pedal and we have not had a problem since.

My last story of dealing with RVI customer service. Due to a moment of stupidity on my part I broke the antenna connection on the unit. It was totally my fault and nothing that could have been prevented in the design. I called RVI and asked them how I needed to get it fixed. Told them it was my fault. They said it was under warranty to just send it back to them. Again I reiterated that it was my fault and I had broken it. They said it did not matter it was under warranty that they would fix it. They sent me a prepaid shipping label to send it back with.


The unit itself is very small and light. Not like the bigger box units that people are talking about. The calibration procedure takes just a minute or two if that long.
I am a newbe, I purchased an RVI2 system and have not used it yet. What do you do for turn signals?
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:54 AM   #24
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Quote:
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I have been very happy with my SMI Stay and Play System. The SMI is activated when the brake lights come on and it self adjusts depending on the inertia detected as to how much braking is needed on the TOAD. I installed the SMI System to use on my gas powered motorhome, I am now wondering if I will have problems with my new diesel pusher, as the brake lights come on when the exhaust brake comes on. Hmmmm. JH
You may have to wire in a relay that only activates the brake system when you depress the foot pedal and not activate from the brake lights... You do NOT want your towed vehicle (toad or trailer) brakes activated by the exhaust brake alone.

One of our early trips, we used a dolly to tow a car. The dolly had electric brakes and going down Wolf Creek Pass in CO, I came really close to catching the dolly wheels on fire. 7 or 8 miles down grade with the exhaust brake and the dolly brakes drug lightly the whole time. Not Good! We now have an extra relay activated by the pressure switch on the brake treadle valve, which supplies power to the brake controller for electric brakes.

For our toad, we now have the Air Force 1 system from SMI and I highly recommend it!
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Old 01-30-2016, 02:12 PM   #25
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I have been very happy with my SMI Stay and Play System. The SMI is activated when the brake lights come on and it self adjusts depending on the inertia detected as to how much braking is needed on the TOAD. I installed the SMI System to use on my gas powered motorhome, I am now wondering if I will have problems with my new diesel pusher, as the brake lights come on when the exhaust brake comes on. Hmmmm. JH
You need to call SMI. These are 2 different systems and I don't think your Stay and Play is compatible with your DP. Our Air Force One works from the air system and brakes when the brake on the rig is applied.( both service and exhaust) There is an air line that connects from the rig to the car
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Old 01-30-2016, 02:29 PM   #26
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I'll echo the recommendation for the Readi-Brake. We towed our Jeep Liberty about eight thousand miles last year. It worked fine and is easy to hook up.


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Old 01-30-2016, 04:22 PM   #27
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I have used Blue Ox Auto Stop and Brake Buddy. I had the Auto Stop installed when I purchase my first coach and then moved over to our 2nd coach. I am relatively handy with mechanical apparatus. I installed and maintained the Auto Stop consistently. Bottom line (and I told the Blue Ox folks this after a number of CSR phone calls) it should be called Auto Junk. Just to jenky to use. After a nasty downhill into Ten Sleep, we gave up and bought the Brake Buddy. Easy Peasy to use - yep gotta put it in each time but it WORKS.

So absolutely without equivocation both safety and in most states legally - got to have a supplemental brake system.

PS: This all just my opinion based on our experiences.
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:20 PM   #28
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Toad Braking System

If you have towed without an aux brake in the toad, then tow with one, you will appreciate the difference, especially if you are late in braking, a little above a desired decelerating speed, on a downslope with a Rolls Royce in front of you.

Don't leave home without it!

As far as type of system, an air system has worked out very well. So convenient to hook up and unhook.

Actually don't know the brand I have, but had it installed at a truck/4 wheel warehouse on both the Class A and the Jeep Wrangler.

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