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Old 05-03-2012, 01:20 PM   #1
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karencollins's Avatar
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 140
Be careful when you have ready brake installed

When recently bought a new 2012 Chevy Equinox to flat tow. After doing some research we decided to purchase the Ready Brute Elite, which includes the tow bar & braking system. My husband & friend installed the base plate but did not want to install the actual braking system, since my husband isn't good with that kind of stuff & our friend didn't want to drill thru the firewall of our brand new car. We called a local RV dealer in Willis, TX, Convenience RV, & asked if they would be able to install it. They assured us it would be no problem so we took the car & tow bar to them, along with the instructions & DVD. When they finished, they called & asked us to bring the RV so they could check it all out. They hooked up the tow bar & the line for the brake & said, yes, it was good to go. They gave my husband back some wires & said, this one you can hook up inside the RV & it will show you when the brake is on, but it's really not necessary. Figuring they knew what they were talking about, we said ok & off we went. BIG MISTAKE!! We never unhooked it & the next day we left TX for AZ. At a rest stop just outside Phoenix we stopped & I went to the car for something. I told my husband I could smell rubber burning. We pulled into a nearby RV center & asked them to check the hookup. The guy said they didn't know anything about that system but could tell the line to the brake was too tight. We unhooked the car & went to our site. The next day we took the car to the Chevy dealer to have the brakes checked. You can imagine our shock when they told us the brakes & rotors we completely destroyed on our 3 week old car. We then called the dealer we purchased the tow bar & braking system from to find out what we had to do to make sure it never happened again. After sending him several pictures & answering some questions, he reached the conclusion that the only thing installed was the break away & it was pulling on the brakes the whole trip. He gave us the name of a guy in Mesa, AZ who installed them a lot & we made an appointment to take it there. Needless to say, the whole thing was wrong & the line into the RV was important. They installed it correctly & charged less than half the price of the ones who did it wrong. I will admit, we should have read the instructions ourself, just to know what was going on, but when you aren't mechanically inclined, & you hire someone who says they know how to do it, you feel you've made the right decision. Of course, we will try to get reimbursed the $1500 for new brakes & rotors but we will probably have to hire an attorney to get it & we don't live in TX. Our advice is to call the company where you buy the tow bar & brake & make sure you hire someone who knows how to install the system.

Karen & Collins & Snuggles (our Shi-pooh)
Full timing & loving it!
Monaco Diplomat 2006
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:28 PM   #2
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Newmar Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 6,131
First...glad no one got hurt and nothing more than the brakes got charred!

I think I am learning that there are a lot of RV "service" departments that just "wing it". Those of us that are not mechanically inclined or just don't know better yet rely on these folks and in some cases get burned.

Good luck in getting restitution.

Don, Sandee & GSD Zeus. Guardian GSDs Gunny (7/11/15) & Thor (5/5/15)
2006 DSDP 4320, Spartan MM IFS, 2013 CR-V, Blue Ox Avail, SMI AF1, Samsung 197R Refer.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
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I will amplify the original poster's comment to include OTHER systems as well.

I used to tow a 1992 Chevy Lumina APV. when I had the dealer install the US gear system they had to remove a panel under the dash.. When they replaced the panel they got it off to one side a bit, it rubbed against the brakes, and caused the pedal to not properly release. 2,000 miles later it was time for brand new rotors and pads.. for the second time in 3 months. I was NOT a happy camper I can tell you.

The panal was more decrotive than functional, I removed it and had no problems after that .. But I'm still not happy.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:40 PM   #4
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Being retired from the automotive business I have seen too many people "taken" by bad mechanics. I refuse to call them technicians because they usually have no training or were self taught.

Too many times people would bring their cars to us to fix because "their mechanic" could not figure it out, usually after taking hundreds of dollars from the customer before they were told to "take it to the dealer".

The problem with RV's seems to be the same thing X 10.

Sorry to hear of your bad experience.
'98 Gulf Stream Sunsport 325, 7.5L Banks Power Pack, Koni FSD's, Air Bags, ReadyBrute Elite,
2000 Honda Accord

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Old 05-04-2012, 05:31 AM   #5
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Selling dealers are not good for repair


I am sure this will cause uproar.

I have come to the conclusion that the RV dealers that are designated dealers for the manufacturer are qualified to be dealer only on their sales ability and record and the service department is not a consideration.

The manufacturer of our RV would not let us use a repair facility that wasnít degenerated by them as a dealer. The selling dealer couldnít even change a tire without damaging the RV and the mechanic working on the RV at one of the nation wide dealer organizations was unable to repair the problem we came in with.

Then when the lawsuits started we found the selling dealer didnít have any trained repair technicians and the only certified repair person on premise was the service manager. I have come to the conclusion that is the reason they are unable to keep a service manager for more than a month or so.

The only thing the selling dealer did correctly was install the fifth wheel hitch in accordance with the vehicle manufacturers instructions and lucky for me the hitch installation didnít require any electrical work. I had to teach their expert electrician how to use a VOM. LOL

After having the manufacturer refuse to even let, me bring the RV to their plant at my total expense so they could see first hand how bad their designated repair centers were I stated looking for some one qualified.

How I found a qualified repair company was by looking until I found several companies that repaired RVís only they were not involved in selling units.

The first ones I called couldnít work on the unit because it was too big for their shop. They all recommended a company that turned out to be excellent and could handle the larger RVís.

This company did excellent work, worked on the unit 3 weeks to repair the items the dealers had screwed up. Then had me bring the unit back in 6 months for an inspection and resealed any areas where the sealant has started to go bad free of charge.

Just my opinion all $11,000.00 worth

53 years towing experience. Largest load ever hauled on a public highway was 300,000lbs 30ft wide 70ft long and 22ft high max speed 15mph.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:01 AM   #6
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Over the years I have learned that mobile mechanics that have been in an area for a long time are some of the best RV repairmen.
Del & Charlotte
RVing - Time well wasted
2004 Phaeton 40TGH w/ 2010 Acadia
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by athuddriver View Post
First...glad no one got hurt and nothing more than the brakes got charred!

I think I am learning that there are a lot of RV "service" departments that just "wing it". Those of us that are not mechanically inclined or just don't know better yet rely on these folks and in some cases get burned.

Good luck in getting restitution.
Ditto on the above!

I had a local RV Centre install a brake controller. We were leaving town on our 2 week holiday after hooking up our car and Dolley when we noticed smoke coming from under the dash. They had hooked up 1 wire incorrectly and every time I pressed the brake, it shorted and started to burn. I made it back to their shop to find about 2 ft of wiring harness melted together. They fixed it on the spot and got us on our way.

That was a close call and could have been devastating!
Les (RVM12), Bonnie, Morgan and 4 leggers Bella, Shelby & Bruce
2010 Forest River Cardinal 3450RL 40' Full Body Paint- 2015 Ram 3500 Laramie 6.7 ltr Turbo Diesel, 68RFE Trans. 4x4 SRW SB Pullrite 2900 18K FMCA-420438 Good Sam
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:41 AM   #8
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Carolina Campers
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Location: Smithfield, NC
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I had posted this on another forum, but worth repeating. We had an rv center install the tow bracket on our 2011 malibu. When they attached the safety cables the lock holding the cable was rubbing against the air conditioner condenser, finally causing it to leak freon. Required replacemant at a tune of 800.00. Take a few moments and recheck the position of the tow bracket safety cables. I readjusted mine and use zip ties, but will check once a month for any movement.
henryn, 2018 coachmen Freelander 26rs, Smithfield NC
Hank, and Murphy( our four legged little guy)
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:09 AM   #9
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Newmar Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Grapevine, TX
Posts: 988
I also use ReadyBrake. I had my base plate and braking system installed by a local hitch installler that had installed the same for another iRV2 member. They have done 2 cars for me including my Equinox and I have had no problems. One thing the other member suggested and has been useful is having 2 lights installed on the dash, one to let you know the ReadyBrake has activated and one to let you know the vehicle brake is activated. This way you are able to see if either remains lit after braking.

2005 Kountry Star 3907, ISC330, Spartan chassis, M&G braking, Blue Ox Aventa XL
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