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Old 10-28-2015, 07:37 AM   #1
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2015 Update--Advice on Best Tow Bar and Brake System for Toad

Good Morning All,

Well, we have gone and done it! We are going to 'retire' the 5th wheel and move on up to a Motorhome in preparation for fulltiming in 2017.

Wanted to tap your brains on what you consider to be the best Tow Bar and Brake system. There is a thread in this forum that indicated Blue Ox was the best Tow Bar and the Air Force One Proportional brake was the best brake. Of course that thread ended in 2012, and I suspect that technology has advanced markedly in 3 years.

Our new Motorhome will be a Berkshire XLT, towing a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. Since the Berkie has a 15K towing capacity I wonder if the expense of a proportional braking system is necessary?

Finally, the overarching criteria for the towing system is quick, foolproof connection/disconnection to the Toad. The Trailhawk comes standard with frame mounted tow hooks, so I imagine hookup to a tow bar will be pretty straightforward.

TIA for your advice and recommendations!
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:17 AM   #2
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Take a look at RVI2 with integrated TPMS for the Toad! Great product, great service and hooks up easily! You can check the videos on their website.
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:30 AM   #3
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Ready Brute Elite tow bar by NSA! Has integrated surge brake. Simple but effective solution that is easy to hook up.
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:57 AM   #4
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I highly recommend the NSA ReadyBrute Elite towbars with built-in ReadyBrake! It is rated at 8000 lbs, extremely well built, and simple to install and operate! Oh yes, it's the least expensive system that I know of!
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:06 AM   #5
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ReadyBrute, if I were buying new.

I currently have a BrakeBuddy bought several years ago used for a good price. Moving to an Air Force One as it came with our new (to us) Motorhome.
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:57 AM   #6
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ReadyBrute Elite
Here's a vid I just posted a couple days ago showing how it works..

ReadyBrute Elite in action
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Old 10-28-2015, 10:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth01 View Post
Take a look at RVI2 with integrated TPMS for the Toad! Great product, great service and hooks up easily! You can check the videos on their website.
Hey, THANKS! I had written down a TPMS system for the Toad at one point then completely spaced! Thanks for reminding me!

Something that does amaze me are the few RV brands that offer TPMS For their motorhomes!
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:18 PM   #8
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Wow - and I had figured Blue Ox or Roadmaster would be the neck-to-neck competators! Off to read about ReadyBrute! Thanks for the advice!
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Old 10-28-2015, 04:35 PM   #9
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I guess I'm going to buck the trend here. We use Blue Ox towbars and baseplates on our rigs since 2005 and ran them for over 200,000 miles. However, I will no longer use them. We've found the quality of materials they use in their manufacture has done nothing but gone down. For example, the knuckles where the towbar attaches to the toad have worn badly on three different bars. To the point where I have to put steel shim material in the joints to keep the CLUNK from happening each time I accelerate ot brake. I took the bar to Quartzsite each and every year for their "Factory Checkup" the bars got so loose in a year that they were extremely difficult to hook up. On the baseplates, I had the one on my Silverado constantly come loose on one of my 7 trips to Alaska. I know it was installed correctly, because I installed it myself. I'm a master mechanic. The plate was thinning the frame at the Silverado attach points because they failed to use hardened washers to spread the loads as they should have. Despite numerous photographs, phone calls, emails and other documentation, the best Blue Ox would do was replace the two bent quills. THey disavowed all other responsibility. I ended up designing frame doublers that had to be welded in locally by a certified welder.

Finally, the Air Force One braking system ie beyond doubt the best out there---BAR NONE! I've had the same unit on 3 different Class A's since 2006 and it still is outstanding. Over 200,000 miles. Their customer support has been outstanding on the phone and in person. When I had a minor problem in Tucson they diverted a tech on his way to Quartzsite and fixed my unit on the side of the road. By the way I installed the AFOne unit in a campground in Valdez, AK after a Blue Ox Patriot failed and was replaced for the 4th time.

The thread I started in the Silverado Baseplate can be found at 2011 Chevy Silverado Blue Ox Base Plate

We're still using the same AFOne we bought in 2006. We have a Roadmaster Blackhawk2 10,000 lb towbar and the baseplate I redesigned and modified. An additional 20k miles on the baseplate mod without a problem
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Old 10-28-2015, 06:41 PM   #10
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Actually there is no "Best" since circumstances determine what is best.

For example. I like the concept of the Ready Brute tow bar with Ready Break Surge braking system.. BUT if you live in the salted north that parking brake type cable can size up on you and cost you anything from a brake job to your entire RV towed included. (Fire). NOTE That proper inspection and maintance are 100% protection against this.

NOTE also that is the type of system I'm looking at for my current towed, once I'm again able to tow it (Long story).

Tow bars.. Someone up-thread says Blue Ox is lowering quality. I've not yet noticed that but have not looked that close either... I have looked at several different brands and given my training (Fairly good in this area) I'm not able to recommend any brand over the others of the ones I've seen including Blue-OX, Roadmaster, Demco and the Ready Brute.

Braking systems.. Any INSTALLED system, Air force one, SMI. Invbisible Brake, US-Gear Unified Brake Decelerator.. M&G

I will mention the last two however
US-Gear is an electric over hydraulic system (uses an electric solenoid to pull the brake pedal) and gives more control over the towed's brakes than ANY other system out there. Same control as a Semi Driver has over his trailer in fact.. IF you know how to use it.

M&G uses Motor home Air, applied DIRECTLY to the master cylinder, Does not Pull the brake pedal and is not affected by booster vacuum. BUT does not fit all toweds (Slave is model specific when it fits).

The other systems I will mention are a class I call them "Box in the driver's seat" These are portable and can be easily moved from car to car but you the user have to install them every time you tow and stow them every time you unhook.. It is work, and it is very tempting for a short trip to say "oh it's too much trouble, Let's just forget it" and reget later.
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:30 PM   #11
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Blue Ox, RViBrake system and TireTracker tpms. Very pleased with all.
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:24 AM   #12
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We're picking up our "new to us" Red Wrangler in a couple of hours to pull behind our Minnie Winnie Class C. After all the research I've done here and other places, I'm 99% sure I'll be ordering a Ready Brute Elite tomorrow and either a Demco or Blue Ox baseplate. I really like the idea of a mechanical surge brake system compared to installing an electronic box of some sort.
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Old 10-30-2015, 09:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeD1 View Post
We're picking up our "new to us" Red Wrangler in a couple of hours to pull behind our Minnie Winnie Class C. After all the research I've done here and other places, I'm 99% sure I'll be ordering a Ready Brute Elite tomorrow and either a Demco or Blue Ox baseplate. I really like the idea of a mechanical surge brake system compared to installing an electronic box of some sort.
I would suggest looking at LOD Offroad bumpers and see if they have something you like..if you call them they will add towbrackets free and you get a custom bumper to boot.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:21 AM   #14
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I tow my 3/4 ton diesel with a BlueOX Aventa tow bar and base plate, no issues at all, and weighing in at 7,312 pounds it is a heavy vehicle. I have 2 toads and move my EvenBrake between them so I could avoid purchasing 2 braking systems, I would most likely have something else if I had only 1 toad. The EvenBrake gets the job done, but you do have to take it in and out when you connect or disconnect, as I get older I get lazier.
Everyone has a preference, I am not sure one is better than the other, and if you search around the various forums you will find the good, bad, and ugly in all of them.
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