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Old 06-08-2006, 05:31 AM   #15
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Freddy, we have the Unified Tow Brake by US Gear. It takes about 4 hours to install. It has a small compressor under the hood to supply vacuum for the brake system. The actuator is installed under the passenger's seat in our 2006 Saturn Vue and a cable runs from that location under the floor mat, up to a pulley on the firewall near the brake pedal and then fastens to the brake pedal. I have a six wire cable that connects the motorhome to the car. Four wires are used for the lights and the remaining two are used for the brake system. The two wires for the brake system supply charging power to keep the car battery charged while towing and also supplies the braking signals. Once you have the brake system adjusted correctly you don't have to touch it again. To tow we connect the six wire cable and the lights and the brake system are ready for towing. Disconnecting the six wire cable puts everything back to normal. Since the actuator is hidden under the seat you can't tell the Saturn Vue from any other Vue when driving around without the braking system connected. Very simple operation and no box to store away or hassle with.
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Old 06-08-2006, 07:08 AM   #16
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I don't think anyone wants to be involved in a litagation that centers around "Not having a Brake System on a towed vehicle". The lawyers will win this in the courtroom. You might want to check with your Insurance Company.
Many of the RV Manufacturers mention the amount of Weight the RV can tow and some suggest a Braking system. This puts the obligation on the RV owner.

Check with Camping World--They carry many different brands and types.
I use Roadmaster's 9000 system--expensive, but works well. I moved it from my last RV.
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Old 06-08-2006, 02:43 PM   #17
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We, also, use the Unified system, which I install myself and then moved it to a new MH. Monaco is putting the coach prt of the system into all thier coaches now. The Unified basically puts an invisible mimic in your toad which applies the toads' own pwer brakes simultaniously as you apply the MH brakes. You have an audible and visual display in the MH as part of the intensity adjustment unit. I hadthe pleasure of meeting the patent owner at Quartzite several years ago and got coached on the unit.
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Old 06-09-2006, 12:48 PM   #18
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My vote is also for the Unified Tow Brake system (UTB). When I got my Toad ready for towing, I researched and decided on the UTB because of safety. With the UTB, you use the vehicle's vacuum brakes which has greater stopping power than dead brakes. Also, I don't have to set it up each time and test it. Also, I can just apply the Toad brakes from inside the motorhome. UTB help you stop the motorhome as well which helps save those brakes as well. The breakaway works very well. I once forgot to pull the cable and insert the cable-less pin and my wheel caught the cable and pulled it out. My car stopped immediately. With the unit inside the motorhome, you can tell audibly and visually that's it's operational.

As for price, try PPLmotorhomes.com...best price around.
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Old 06-12-2006, 04:59 AM   #19
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It's hasn't been my argument that one should not use "common sense" and install and aux braking system. It has been my argument that state laws generally cover aux braking systems on trailers, and do not specifically address vehicles towed by RVs.

My question pertains to aux systems that apply the brakes on a toad equipped with power brakes without interacting with the vacuum booster.

Seems to me that those types of aux braking systems are practically useless, and at best only partially effective. A trial lawyer might have a few arguments showing the ineffectiveness of such a system; and perhaps any aux braking system.

I agree that some sort of break away switch is needed.

Hence, the aux braking system that I eventually install will be one that uses the toad's vacuum booster to apply the brakes, and not the reliability of a pendelum, or other device that "senses" the application of the RV's brake.
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Old 06-12-2006, 11:06 AM   #20
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Freddy:
It's hasn't been my argument that one should not use "common sense" and install and aux braking system. It has been my argument that state laws generally cover aux braking systems on trailers, and do not specifically address vehicles towed by RVs.

My question pertains to aux systems that apply the brakes on a toad equipped with power brakes without interacting with the vacuum booster.

Seems to me that those types of aux braking systems are practically useless, and at best only partially effective. A trial lawyer might have a few arguments showing the ineffectiveness of such a system; and perhaps any aux braking system.

I agree that some sort of break away switch is needed.

Hence, the aux braking system that I eventually install will be one that uses the toad's vacuum booster to apply the brakes, and not the reliability of a pendelum, or other device that "senses" the application of the RV's brake. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Don't tar all systems with the same wide brush. For coaches with air brakes, M&G Engineering is powerful and simple. Yet, it does not use the vacuum booster. It does apply pressure on the master cylinder with compressed air. These are not "dead" brakes.

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Old 06-12-2006, 11:38 AM   #21
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Ditto on the M&G. After having 3 systems (Brake Buddy, Unified Tow Brake, and M&G) I am most happy with the M&G and will stick with it.

The M&G module goes directly between the master cylinder and brake booster. It applies direct pressure to the cylinder and doesn't affect the brake pedal linkage or vacuum booster. It's totally proportional and will apply the same as what your RV brake pedal is applying at the time. It is not confused or affected by brake lights or jake brakes. It's really the perfect choice for a DP with air brakes because all you do is connect a quick disconnect hose between the two when you hook up your toad. Like all the rest, it does come with an optional breakaway feature. The only drawback is that if you don't have air brakes you have to buy the compressor kit for the RV, which adds some more money to the purchase cost.

Regarding trailer brakes and the law - We've gone through that. In the state of Wisconsin a trailer is considered any towed unit that is designed to carry a load and not incidentally towed on the road to get where it's going. All the other stuff was grouped under the "Road Construction Equipment" clause. As such, items such as log splitters, concrete mixers, stump grinders, etc were all exempt from the trailer requirements regarding lights and brakes. We had one state trooper who didn't see it that way and kept bothering our customers pulling log splitters, etc so we took him to court and won.

Now that doesn't mean that your state doesn't have laws regarding towed vehicles behind an RV. Just don't confuse them with trailer laws, which are different.

Regardless of what the laws state, I still wouldn't run without toad brakes. As previously mentioned, it's not a very good feeling after an accident to know that you could have stopped sooner had you had them. It's probably not a lot of fun to watch your toad sail off into the sunset either should it break free of the RV.
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Old 06-12-2006, 02:53 PM   #22
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Freddy,
Take a look at the M&G Engineering system. It taps into the air line on your coach air brakes, and it drives a "master cylinder" that is installed just downstream from your toad's master cylinder. Thus, the more you step on the coach brakes, the more your slave cylinder under the hood of your toad will push your hydraulic brake fluid. Just like your normal toad brake system.
Once installed, the only thing you need to do to hook up is to plug in the air line from your coach into the grill of your toad. Takes about 30 secs.
I've had two of them and I love them.

Don't quote me on this, but I THINK the M&G is cheaper than the funny boxes you have to set up on the floor of your car every time you want to move.
That's only my opinion.
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Old 06-13-2006, 04:31 AM   #23
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I don't tow without the aux brakes hooked up.

Let your conscience and your net worth be your guide.

Even if a state doesn't require aux brakes; a trial will cost a small or large fortune, even if you are found not guilty. Your attorney won't be smiling because you were found not guilty, but because of your contribution to his retirement account.

The civil law suits are a whole different ball game with still more attorneys involved. Guess who the winners are again!
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Old 06-13-2006, 01:20 PM   #24
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kiwi:
Don't tar all systems with the same wide brush. For coaches with air brakes, M&G Engineering is powerful and simple. Yet, it does not use the vacuum booster. It does apply pressure on the master cylinder with compressed air. These are not "dead" brakes.

Walt </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'll keep that in mind when I start looking at aux braking systems for DP's.
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Old 06-13-2006, 01:23 PM   #25
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Cruzer:

Now that doesn't mean that your state doesn't have laws regarding towed vehicles behind an RV. Just don't confuse them with trailer laws, which are different.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I wish someone - anyone - would quote specific law from any state that requires an RV pulling a toad to have an aux braking system.
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Old 06-13-2006, 02:28 PM   #26
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Freddy:
I wish someone - anyone - would quote specific law from any state that requires an RV pulling a toad to have an aux braking system. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Freddy,

In the quote below, I have cut and pasted subsection (f) from North Carolina Statute 20-124. I added the 'red highlight' to the wording that seems to require a motorhome pulling a toad weighing over 4,000# to be capable of stopping on a dry, hard, approximately level highway (free from loose material) at a speed of 20 MPH within 30 feet using both hand and service brake applied simultaneously and 50 feet when either is applied separately.

I suppose one could argue that no toad brake is required so long as their motorhome with a toad attached will stop in 50' or less with the footbrake.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
(f) Every semitrailer, or trailer, <span class="ev_code_RED">or separate vehicle, attached by a drawbar or coupling to a towing vehicle, and having a gross weight of two tons,</span> and all house trailers of 1,000 pounds gross weight or more, shall be equipped with brakes controlled or operated by the driver of the towing vehicle, which shall conform to the specifications set forth in subsection (e) of this section and shall be of a type approved by the Commissioner.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 06-14-2006, 03:25 AM   #27
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Hitchhiker:


In the quote below, I have cut and pasted subsection (f) from North Carolina Statute 20-124.

I suppose one could argue that no toad brake is required so long as their motorhome with a toad attached will stop in 50' or less with the footbrake.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

...or weighs less that 4000 lbs. But, to a layman it certainly appears to address what we call a "toad."

I'm still waiting for an official interpretation from my state govt.
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:34 AM   #28
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by PDB:
Freddy,
Take a look at the M&G Engineering system. /QUOTE]

This looks like an excellent system. But, unfortunately, I have a gas coach.

It appears to me that those boxes you have to install and attach to the brake pedal (e.g., Brake Buddy) are only good for panic stopping. They seem to have no practical use in normal stop and go traffic.
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