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Old 08-25-2010, 07:45 AM   #1
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aux braking systems

do you really need aux braking ? i have a diesel pusher an im thinkin about which is the best way to go ? i have a 97 holiday rambler endeavor it has a receptacle in the back that has a single pole in it? any ideas what that is ? ill be towing a jeep liberty ! any ideas an thoughts will be greatly appreciated !
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:56 AM   #2
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do you really need aux braking ? i have a diesel pusher an im thinkin about which is the best way to go ? i have a 97 holiday rambler endeavor it has a receptacle in the back that has a single pole in it? any ideas what that is ? ill be towing a jeep liberty ! any ideas an thoughts will be greatly appreciated !
fxdave, I'm sure that you will get a lot of recommendations for auxiliary braking systems however 2 of the very best of these systems are the SMI Air Force One and the M&G Tow Brake.

I went with the SMI system on my coach and I would recommend it to you because it's less invasive on your toad systems. Both work very well.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:34 PM   #3
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I like having a brake system more for safety purposes. For deciding on the right braking system, you need to answer two questions: Invasive vs. Noninvasive and Air vs. Electric. For me, personally, I like the noninvasive and electric. Two reasons: I can switch my D-Brake Professional Tow Brake from one car to the other and because it is electric, it won't unnecessarily slam on my brakes like air systems.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:54 PM   #4
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When installed properly the M&G will not slam on your toad brakes. I have no idea where some of the notions connected with the M&G come from. The system is completely proportional, if you slam on the COACH brakes then you also slam on the toad brakes.

As far as invasive it really isn't. I've been mechanicing for 30 years and it is very simple. There is an air operated cylinder approximately 3" in diameter which bolts on between the brake booster and master cylinder. It doesn't open or invade your toads factory system at all. The cylinder contains a two piece push rod, when driving your toad it acts just like normal. When hooked to the motorhome the front most half of the push rod is actuated by an air bladder to apply the brakes the same as if you were pushing on the pedal. It operates identical to driving the toad from inside with the engine running. The air pressure and therefore force on the toad brakes is proportional to the pressure being applied to the coach brakes and pedal.

It's one of the simplest to install and operate systems I found. It functions perfectly on two different toads for me with no worry. It is also a simple one air line hook-up after installation. Hook -up your tow bar, safety cables, electrical cord for tail lights, then one air line with a quick disconnect mounted to the coach and the toad.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:10 PM   #5
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Another top quality option is U S Gear's Unified Tow Brake. I have used one of these on two coaches pulling a grand cherokee and have been very pleased. Check them out.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:08 PM   #6
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Well.... Let's do a hypothetical

You are going down the road, Traffic stopps and you rear end me.. As we wait for the police I do the walk around and notice there is no break-a-way cable on your towed,, I glance inside and see not braking system (The brake in a box the break-a-way is optional) Count on the fact I'll be pointing this out to the very nice police officer.

AND TO MY LAWYER

Yes, you need a system, To be honest it won't prevent an accident.. Though it may reduce damage,,, but it will sure reduce the damage that I can cause you in the above scenaro. BIG TIME cause without it I'm will use some very nasty words when speaking to my attorney.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:13 PM   #7
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To be honest it won't prevent an accident..
I don't agree with the above as an absolute statement. Being able to stop, let's say, in 5' less distance could well be the difference between an accident and a close call in a given situation.

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Old 08-25-2010, 03:26 PM   #8
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To be honest it won't prevent an accident..
I disagree also as a blanket statement.

Supplemental braking systems reduce stopping distances and that reduced stopping distance may be the key to avoiding an accident.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:14 PM   #9
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Well as has already been demonstrated in one of the earlier responses, you may not need one legally or physically depending on the combined weigth of your MH and the weight of the toad. As long as you can stop safely within a certain distance. That is assuming that the state you are in doesnt require you to have one. However, if you rear end somebody in todays lawsuit happy society, people are not satisfied with the insurance company repairing the damage. They also feel the need to go out of their way to look for a reason to sue. I live in Colorado, and have held a class A drivers license for the last 25 years. I have seen lots of MH's going down Floyd hill riding the brakes and causing brake fade. Toad breaks or not, they are shortening their stopping distance considerably. My point is, if you dont have an aux brake system in your toad, and you are under the max weight requirements, and you are able to stop within a safe distance, and you dont overheat the brakes by riding them down hills, and you "drive correctly" and some lawsuit happy person in front of you slams on the brakes and tries to sue you. You can win. Especially if you can show that you have attended a safe driving course that includes pulling trailers, and you have practiced safe driving. Just remember, the more weight you have and the faster you are going means lots more stopping distance is required. Weather or not you have brakes in your toad, so maintain your distance accordingly.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:35 PM   #10
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I'm going with this one:

ReadyBrake. It is called ReadyBrute when integrated into the tow bar.
It is a surge system. A hydraulic system on the slide receiver (tow bar) uses a cable to pull on the arm of the toad’s brake pedal. A factory set threshold is used to prevent application of the toad’s brakes on minor pressure against the slide from the toad. Monitoring: Application of toad’s brakes is signaled to the coach without wiring.

Adjustments to the system from within the coach: Not required.

Adjustments to the system from within the toad: Not required.

It does not use the toad’s power (vacuum) assist to aid in the application of its brakes!

It does not connect to the brake line!

It does not use the toad’s electrical system!

It has a breakaway system!

It is proportional!

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Old 08-25-2010, 07:40 PM   #11
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I tow a jeep liberty and use the SMI air force one for my braking system. I like the systems that utilize the air brakes from the coach. I went' with the air force one because I thought the addition of the actuation system at the master cylinder would not work on my car. I now hear from others that it will so I was mistaken.

I have absolutely no complaints with the AF1 and recommend it to anyone who has an MH with air brakes.

I can't really say that I notice brakes on the toad being applied, other than the indicator light on the dash board. I've only made one panic stop since having my MH. I did unload some cabinets but it didn't feel like the toad was pushing me.

I tow a 2006 Jeep Liberty and it weighs almost 4000 pounds. I feel much more comfortable knowing that the bakes on the jeep are helping.

I have no idea what your receptacle might be.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:14 PM   #12
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M&G Brake System is proportional, failsafe, no electronics, no time on your knees in the rain to install and hooks up in 5 seconds. I love mine but the others work equally as well IMHO.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:30 PM   #13
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I don't agree with the above as an absolute statement. Being able to stop, let's say, in 5' less distance could well be the difference between an accident and a close call in a given situation.

Rusty

If you can stop 1 INCH shorter it may be the difference between stopping and having an accident which can cost many time more than what a braking system cost. Plus you should have a break-away system to stop the dinghy if the tow bar should come loose...and they do come loose.

Some people use the argument that the law says trailer. Well the motorhome has now way to know if yo have 3000# plus on a utility trailer of a 3000# plus auto in tow. The laws of physics out weigh the laws passed by lawyers. You are trying to stop 3000# more that is pushing you ahead. Mass x velocity = momentum. It takes more brakes and more tires on the road to stop more momentum.

Go ahead and do it right and get a braking system on the dinghy.

Ken
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:14 PM   #14
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For me the breakaway system is key. If something happens to the tow bar, I sleep better knowing the SMI plug n play will quickly bring my jeep to a halt, hopefully before it kills any innocent bystanders.

Which reminds me, the next time I hook up, I need to verify that my breakaway system will activate even if the safety cables are still attached.
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