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Old 06-15-2006, 12:03 PM   #29
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Freddy, I realize the laws do not spell out specifically, what we in RVing call a "toad". I look at it this way, if I ever got into an accident I could honestly say that I did all humanly possible to prevent the accidnet by having a brake system. regardless of what brand it is. I have had the "Brake Buddy" on my rig for the past 2 years and I am very satisfied with it. Granted it only operates in a panic mode and that is all I need. I find that my MH brakes work quite well in normal driving to stop safely.
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Old 06-15-2006, 03:23 PM   #30
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I have a lot of trouble with the people that try to justify not using dinghy brakes since most of the laws address "trailers" as opposed to a dinghy or a toad. First, most of the gass chassis makers palce a 1000# or 1500# limit on towing unbraked loads...so over the 1500# you need aux brakes.

Also, how can your RV determine if you have a trailer loaded with rocks that weighs 4000# or is it a 4000# dinghy. It does not matter...you have 4000# of additional load pushing when you try to stop. Weight is weight no matter what you call it and it adds to the stopping effort.

When we had motorhomes, we had a brake system in the dinghy, complete with a break-away system. If you spend the big bucks to get a nice motorhome, a few more $$$ to make it safe and protect your investment is not very much in the total scheme of things.

I think that the states need to step up and require all TOWED loads over 1500# are required to have a brake systemand a break away system.

Ken
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Old 06-15-2006, 03:57 PM   #31
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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 TXiceman:
I have a lot of trouble with the people that try to justify not using dinghy brakes since most of the laws address "trailers" as opposed to a dinghy or a toad. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I hope you're able to sleep at night.

Seriously, I agree with most of what you said. My question really had more to do with the various types of braking systems that are available; to sort out the features, and sort the good ones from the junk.

It was only secondary that the discussion moved into what the law requires. It makes no difference what someone believes the law is, or should be. It's a matter of what the law actually says. There is a difference under the law between 4000# of rocks on a trailer, and a 4000# vehicle being towed behind an RV if the law doesn't address the RV toad.

I don't think that I've ever written that it wasn't prudent to protect yourself with an aux braking system. All I want to know is which one will give me the most reliable performance for the $1K+ cost.
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Old 06-15-2006, 04:03 PM   #32
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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 ghamblen:
Freddy, we have the Unified Tow Brake by US Gear. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Gary, did you install the UTB yourself? If not, where did you have it installed.

This looks like a braking system that I might be interested in.
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Old 06-15-2006, 04:37 PM   #33
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Freddy, I purchased the UTB from pplmotorhomes.com when it was on sale for $695. When we purchased our 2006 Saturn VUE AWD in Savoy, Illinois the dealership installed the new base plates for the tow bar, wired the Vue lights for towing and installed the UTB. They charged $1000 for everything above which is quite reasonable since the new base plates for the Roadmaster Sterling tow bar cost $390 and they had to disassemble a good portion of the front end sheet metal to install them. They installed everything in one day and we drove the motorhome over the next morning to check everything out. The tech had not seen a UTB before and he spent 4 hours installing it. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:46 PM   #34
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Freddy, I did not mean to insult and I do sleep at night. I researched brake systems when I had a motorhome and wound up with a Brakemaster system and had to mount an air compressor in my class a and class C. Systems have progress a lot in the last 6 or 7 years. I have seen some of the newer systems and I like the Brake Buddy for it's simplicity. The MG system is very nice, but is tied to one vehicle. UTB looks like a good system as well and it gets a lot of praise.

In any case, the system should have a break away system and a feed back to the cab that the system is activated. Some systems have these features included and some have them as add on's.

I had one trip where some road debris managed to hit my break away cable and tripped the brakes. I had rigged my own light in the cab that showed when I had a brake activation (was not available at the time I bought it) in the dinghy. I knew right away I had a problem and pulled over to check the system.

I had to make a couple of stops that I was sure glad I had some help from the dinghy. Our dinghy was about 2700#.

No matter which system you get, it will help when needed.

I am an engineer and see weight being towed as weight, makes no matter if it is a utility trailer of a Jeep...you have to stop it irregardless of if the local law says 3000# and above on trailers. The law needs to state towed load.

Best of luck. If I had to get one today, I'd go for a Brake Buddy or like unit due to the simplicity and they work.

Ken
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:38 AM   #35
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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 TXiceman:
Freddy, I did not mean to insult and I do sleep at night. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I didn't take your comment as an insult, and with the little I tried to show that I was being facetious.
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:58 AM   #36
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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 ghamblen:
Freddy, I purchased the UTB from pplmotorhomes.com </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Gary, that's very helpful information! Thanks for your assistance. We're also looking to upgrade the toad from a 2002 Saturn SC2 to the '06 or perhaps '07 Vue. I'm much to tall to ride very far in that little Saturn.
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:58 PM   #37
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I recently purchased and installed a US Gear system. Works great so far. The primary reason I went this way is to have use of the toad brake booster. Installation not bad. You can purchase on Ebay for $645. Good luck.
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Old 06-20-2006, 07:41 PM   #38
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I installed my US Gear today in 5 hours. Bought it off eBay for $525.
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Old 07-08-2006, 01:49 PM   #39
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I chose a system you don't hear a lot about - Ready Brake. It is proportional and very easy to install. Comes with a indicator light for the RV dash that tells when the toad brake is being applied. That is the only electrical piece in the whole system. It takes about 15 seconds to hook it up or unhook it. The only piece you have to lift is a 3/32" cable about 3' long. Simple design and moderate cost. What more could you ask for (-:

Regarding some discussion about needing vacuum to the booster for the brakes to work - quite a few years ago the federal gov mandated that you should be able to stop safely with no vacuum to the booster.

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Old 08-08-2006, 05:35 PM   #40
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Unless an M&G system or similar product fits your price range and application then I would consider the following options...
1. tow a vehicle at least lighter than your State or Provincal requirements for braking,
2. add a lift and carry a vehicle (ie motorcycle) keeping in mind gross weights (axel, tires, vehicle etc),
3. Rent-a-Wreck rentals.
Auxillary braking is not cheap and you should run, not walk way from most of what is offered out there.
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:16 AM   #41
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I've finally decided on Roadmaster's "Even Brake." It should arrive today.

Anyone have experience attaching the break away switch on a Saturn Vue? Primarily wondering about best place to install it on front of vehicle.
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Old 08-11-2006, 04:16 PM   #42
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Hi there, I have used the Brake Buddy with nice results and I also had a older system that used the vacumn system on the motorhome. I always had problems with the front pads burning out and the last time it took out the whole brake system.Thats when I switched to the brake buddy.I only wish I had waited and got the newer system that is proportional.There are alot of systems as there is reasons to have them.I liked the way the man at one of the rallys said it;"your motorhome brake system doesn't know the difference between towing a 3000pd car or towing a trailer with 3000pds of bricks on it.Would you feel safe pulling a trailer full of bricks without trailer brakes? Then why would anyone tow a car without brakes"
Sold!! Nuff said? Not only that, have a accident and don't have tow brakes on it and see if your insurance will pay for it! Good Luck!! Dan
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