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Old 06-06-2006, 09:44 AM   #1
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The many toad braking systems on the market today cause my eyes to fog over when I start reading about their "features."

How does - for example - the "Brake Buddy," or "Even Brake" work without tapping into the toad's braking system? Seems to me if the engine is not running, such a device would have to exert a lot of pressure on the brake pedal before the toad would begin to slow.

Wouldn't a system that uses the toad's vacuum assist work better? Is there such a system?

How about the Unified Tow Brake? How does that work? And, does it require "professional" installation? Can it be properly set once and forgotten about from then on, or does it require adjustment each time the vehicle is towed?
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Old 06-06-2006, 09:44 AM   #2
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The many toad braking systems on the market today cause my eyes to fog over when I start reading about their "features."

How does - for example - the "Brake Buddy," or "Even Brake" work without tapping into the toad's braking system? Seems to me if the engine is not running, such a device would have to exert a lot of pressure on the brake pedal before the toad would begin to slow.

Wouldn't a system that uses the toad's vacuum assist work better? Is there such a system?

How about the Unified Tow Brake? How does that work? And, does it require "professional" installation? Can it be properly set once and forgotten about from then on, or does it require adjustment each time the vehicle is towed?
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Old 06-06-2006, 06:37 PM   #3
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Well, sounds like your opening a hornets nest. But I agree with you. I think the vacuum system works best. SMI has a Stay-n-Play that once installed (minimal) all you do do is turn it on & tow. Has a warning on the MH dash that lets you know when the toad brakes are on & also the sensitivity is controlled while you drive from the MH by you, if you want.
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Old 06-07-2006, 12:40 PM   #4
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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 Fred B.:
Well, sounds like your opening a hornets nest. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, I noticed how eager everyone was to jump on this one!

Thanks for your comments! I looked at the SMI, but can't figure out how the vacuum canister works on that one model.

It's my understanding that there is not a law in any state that requires a toad to have an aux braking system.

Most of us have "translated" trailer requirements to mean toads as well.

That's not to say that the concept is bad; what bothers me is almost everyone depends on devices that put as much as 30 lbs. (or more) on a brake pedal whether or not braking is normal or panic. Best I can tell, the mfgrs of such devices sort of leave it up to the user to decide how much pressure is needed.

Some devices depend on a pendelum swinging out of position to activate the brake system. I would think then that descending a steep grade using the tranny instead of braks to retard speed, the pendelum would be in a position to keep the brakes on the toad all the way down.

I think those devices will wear out a set of brakes in a relatively short period of time.

I'm getting all of these thoughts from reading literature, and would really like for those who own different toad braking systems to comment.
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Old 06-07-2006, 12:56 PM   #5
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Freddy, there are MANY topics here on iRV2 about this,even one that's going on right now in another forum...If you use the "find" button you can read post after post regarding this topic....

After using the Brake Buddy,with it's "box in the floor attached to the brake pedal" way of operation, I chose to switch to the Silent Partner by SMI in the toad...

There's no box to store and only a toggle switch to flip when I want to tow....

My SMI system has it's own air compressor that maintains the vacuum system of the toad at 10PSI and that's what is used to activate the cylinder attached to the brake pedal....I use the toad as my daily driver and I've never had an issue...

There's also the M and G system that requires tapping into the coach air brakes and then it uses a "quick disconnect" fitting on the toad.

Toad braking systems are like flavors of ice cream.....so many choices for so many that choose.
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Old 06-07-2006, 02:33 PM   #6
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I have the Brake Buddy too and it works well and makes a big difference on a quick stop, but is a hassle to set up each time.
I'll keep it because for $1100-$1500 I can get my Swaybar and Trackbar for the rear.

As for State requirements, almost every state requires Auxiliary braking for a Trailer/Toad over a specific weight. Roughly 3000lbs.
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Old 06-07-2006, 02:40 PM   #7
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50 State Towing Laws
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Old 06-08-2006, 02:56 AM   #8
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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 rebelsbeach:
50 State Towing Laws </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Interesting that this site seems to be sponsored as well as paraphrased by two aux braking system mfgrs.

I don't have time at the moment to find the law pertaining to my state. However, I do not believe that the law addresses RV towed vehicles; just trailers.

One might argue that there is no difference between a "trailer" and a "towed vehicle," but under the law there is a difference.
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Old 06-08-2006, 03:12 AM   #9
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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 rebelsbeach:
Freddy, there are MANY topics here on iRV2 about this,even one that's going on right now in another forum...If you use the "find" button you can read post after post regarding this topic.... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I did a search before starting this, and failed to find anything. Perhaps I didn't use the correct search words.

Can you point me in the right direction?
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Old 06-08-2006, 03:33 AM   #10
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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 don't have time at the moment to find the law pertaining to my state. However, I do not believe that the law addresses RV towed vehicles; just trailers.
One might argue that there is no difference between a "trailer" and a "towed vehicle," but under the law there is a difference. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Freddy, welcome to the world of gray area....I tend to agree with you as far as trailers versus toads,but who do you ask?
If your toad breaks loose going down the road and kills someone,is it your fault?
Shouldn't you at least have a functional breakaway?

ALL these questions!!

My own Winnebago dealer "muddies" the water by telling me his opinion is the law doesn't apply to toads...

What I DO know is that I feel I am responsible for what I pull down the road and I do know that my toad weighs almost four thousand pounds and it'd be awful messy going down the road by itself. I also know I don't want it smashing up the back end of my coach if I'm forced to "panic" stop and there isn't a braking system in it.

Those are the reasons I've chosen to use a toad braking system....we each have to make those decisions on our own...
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Old 06-08-2006, 03:36 AM   #11
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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 did a search before starting this, and failed to find anything. Perhaps I didn't use the correct search words.
Can you point me in the right direction? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sure.....no problem.

Go to "find" and type in "braking systems" and REMOVE the check mark in "search the current forum only" and you'll find 10 pages of posts.
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Old 06-08-2006, 04:04 AM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">My own Winnebago dealer "muddies" the water by telling me his opinion is the law doesn't apply to toads... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Unfortuneatly, the dealers opinion, and those of others don't matter one iota, if you are the one charged with not having brakes on your toad.

Whether the law applies or not, I wouldn't leave home without toad brakes, and hope all others use them also.

It's a terrible feeling knowing you're not going to be able to stop in time to avoid a collision. The break away feature is reassuring also.

IMHO, the CYA policy is the overriding factor here.
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Old 06-08-2006, 04:12 AM   #13
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If you plan to travel to Canada I think you will need a brake system there. I believe they have a specific law that requires a toad brake system.

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Old 06-08-2006, 04:40 AM   #14
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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 Route 66:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">My own Winnebago dealer "muddies" the water by telling me his opinion is the law doesn't apply to toads... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Unfortuneatly, the dealers opinion, and those of others don't matter one iota, if you are the one charged with not having brakes on your toad.
Whether the law applies or not, I wouldn't leave home without toad brakes, and hope all others use them also.
It's a terrible feeling knowing you're not going to be able to stop in time to avoid a collision. The break away feature is reassuring also.

IMHO, the CYA policy is the overriding factor here. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Dirk....we're saying the same thing and I agree with you 100 percent....
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