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Old 12-05-2010, 07:08 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 34
Brake Buddy failure

When leaving to come home from a trip today I noticed my brake buddy had stopped working. When we made our first stop I went back to check the brake buddy. As soon as I opened the door of my toad I knew something was very wrong, there was a strong odor of a burnt smell. I check the inline fuse feeding the power and it was blown. However, the fuse in the BB plug was not blown. Has this happened to anyone else? If so what was the issue, what if anything burnt? What may have caused this to happen?

Thanks for your input and assistance.


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Old 12-05-2010, 07:41 PM   #2
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Ford Super Duty Owner
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Posts: 295
Brake Buddy

Hi PapaD,
About 7 years ago my buddy and I purchased 2 Brake Buddies. He has never had a problem with his. I put more miles on my rv than he does. About 5 years ago I noticed that the indicator light didn't go on when I applied the brakes. Therefore the bb brakes weren't working. No problem at the time cause I don't set it tight. I called BB on the phone. They thought it might be a "board." They told me to give them a mailing address that I would be at in 3 or so days and they would mail me a replacement BB. I would then ship mine back to them in the same box. I did that and was all set. I think I paid a slight fee. They contacted me and told me that it indeed was a defective board. I have never had a problem since, nor has my buddy.

I have to say that the person that I talked to was very courteous and the transition went well. Give them a call and tell them what is going. See what they say.

Joe from Ct.

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Old 12-06-2010, 04:44 AM   #3
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 452
Yep, happened to me. Took weeks to get the smell out of the CRV. 6 years and 40,000 miles on the BB. Took the opprotunity to upgrade to the current model. Vantage Select. Much nicer unit.

BTW, it was the BB inerds having a meltdown. Too hot to handle the box. Thats why I opted for a new unit and not a rebuild. Nothing in the CRV wireing was damaged.
04 Allegro 30DA, WH 8.1, Banks, 03 Honda CRV/2012 Jeep Liberty Jet, Brake Buddy Adv Select, 300watts Solar, 7 Group 31 Optima AGMs, 2000watt PSW inverter
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:39 AM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Pikeville, NC
Posts: 1,705
I have the newer model, the "Vantage".

On the last two tows to Mississippi, about 400 miles each, I noticed that the green light was off and the air tank was empty when I went to unhook the BB.

I called BB and told them something was screwy in the power plug (sometimes it worked and then it didn't), they supply for a dedicated power source (it worked fine in the "Toads" cigarette/cigar lighter). They immediately sent me a new one. When I was installing it (it is provided with about a foot of wire and two butt splicers, pre-crimped)- as I pulled on the original "butt splicers" one wire was not crimped properly- it slipped right out, causing an intermediate condition in the power source to the BB. The faulty crimp was on the power plug end, which comes pre-crimped from BB, not the crimp I had made for the tie in when I had installed the original, dedicated power plug. I double crimped all four ends of the new tie in. All is well now.

I needed a "hot" power plug for the brake buddy because I use "a knife" type disconnect switch on the battery when towing the toad (yes, it's fused). I don't like fooling around with pulling/replacing fuses- The bride could never handle that chore in an emergency. She knows how to open the hood and throw that switch to power up the toad.
Max H,
2002 Newmar Mountain Aire, 37', 3778, W-22, 8.1 Vortac, Ultra Power upgrade, CAI (cold air intake), Taylor wires, colder plugs, Koni shocks.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:28 AM   #5
Join Date: May 2009
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I spoke with Brake Buddy this morning and it sounds like the compressor burned up. A compressor runs about $100.00 and labor is $30.00 then add on shipping both ways. As bad as it is it could be worst.

Keep Camping and be blessed. Merry Christmas

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Old 12-06-2010, 11:45 AM   #6
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Yep, I just had my compressor replaced by BB also. Unit is 9 years old.

This is second time I have spent $150 with BB to effect repairs.

Both times the unit failed, I was in the middle of a long trip with Western mountain grades to navigate. Sent the BB in, and continued on the trip.

Never missed the malfunctioning BB during the return trips.
1995 CC Magna #5280
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:55 PM   #7
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Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Posts: 231
Yep, I had a Brake Buddy and have many problems with it. Sometimes it would work, and sometimes it would not work. Finally I solved the problem when a bought an Even Brake made by Roadmaster. I have not had any problems with the Even Brake. I bought the Even Brake two years ago and have used it over 5500 miles.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:56 AM   #8
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same exact brakebuddy failure i have and it's the 2nd time! They fixed it under warranty the 1st time and it is still under warranty so I'll send it in again. I have lost confidence in this unit and I'm considering another product.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:31 PM   #9
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Posts: 27
Brake Buddy Failure

My Brake Buddy Vantage failed today. Got the "Check Brake Buddy" light on the remote. Pulled over and opened the car door. Smelled the burnt smell and the unit was hot. Called Brake Buddy but am a few months out of warranty. Will send it in for repair as a new one is big bucks!

Bill & Kathy Lemon
2008 Fleetwood Excursion
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