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Old 11-23-2012, 08:02 PM   #1
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Brake question?

Al Edwards, 2004 Infinity, 2009 Honda CRV:
Looking at a brake buddy but when I tow for an extended time I have to pull a fuse or the battery will drain. It looks like it needs to be pluged into the lighter for its power. Will pulling the fuse kill the power to the lighter? Never had a braking system before. We are fairly new to motorhomes.
Thanks,
Al Edwards
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:25 PM   #2
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I do not know if we are just an exception since a lot of people seem to have an issue, but we have towed an 07 CRV with NAV system behind our motorhome since the car was new with a Brake Buddy classic and have never pulled a fuse, or had a battery go dead. We make certain the NAV screen and AC is off before travel. The 12V plug on the instrument panel is iffy (under size) for plugging in the Brake Buddy - you would do well to call BB and get the kit to run an outlet directly from the battery.

We do limit our travel to 6-7 hours per day and I run the CRV engine when we stop for lunch, and also for a while when we stop for the night, in order to put some charge into battery. A lot of travelers run a charge line from the motorhome to charge the car battery to avoid the problem. I have also used an auxiliary power supply (sold as a jump starter) to power the Brake Buddy sometimes, instead of the car battery.

Good luck - enjoy your travels.
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:29 PM   #3
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When I had an EvenBrake I used a "jump box" to power it. I now have the SMI Stay-in-Play. We usually stop every 2 or 3 hours so I will start the CRV if we are going to be on the road for 6 or more hours.
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:41 PM   #4
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Al,
I believe that Brake Buddy and many of the portable brake systems use an inertial sensor to actuate the braking system. Motorhomes like yours with a jake brake or exhaust brake system do a terrific job of slowing both vehicles on mountain grades or even in stop and go traffic without using the brakes on the vehicle you are towing there by saving the brakes on that vehicle. The inertial sensor would not recognize that you are slowing gradually and would be applying the brakes.
I use a M & G permanently mounted air actuated system that uses the air brake system of the motorhome to apply proportional braking only when you apply the brakes. another system is the Air Force 1 system. Although these are not portable they make quick work of hooking up without having to place a box in front of the drivers seat and hooking it up to the brake pedal. The M & G or Airforce 1 system just requires a hose to hook up to an input at the front of the towed vehicle and you are ready to go. (of course there are always the wiring for lights too)
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:44 PM   #5
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Al,
I meant to give you a link to a discussion of a couple brake systems...
Auxiliary (toad) braking systems
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:03 PM   #6
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We tow an 05 Saturn Vue which has the Honda V6 engine and transaxle. We pull the ignition fuse (30 amp) as required by the manufacturer for insurance because we never start the Vue if we stop. We have never run down a battery, and plug our Brake Buddy Classic into the cigarette lighter socket in the dash. We have never blown a fuse or had any problems with the Brake buddy, and we have driven as far as 13 hours in one day.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:11 PM   #7
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You really don't want to hear my experience with Brake Buddy Advantage. I tow a 2012 Buick Enclave. Everything was fine towing from Florida to western Michigan. I used the Enclave for a week while visiting there--no problems. I TOAD the Enclave to Detroit--again no difficulty. The next stop was Niagra Falls. When detaching the Enclave, the battery was low in the Enclave despite the fact that I stop every 2 to 3 hour to run the Enclave for lube purposes. I was curious about the low battery??? I checked if the brake were hot. They were Not. I checked the Brake Buddy setup. It was just as with the other parts of the journey--no abnormalities, setup properly. So I called the local Buick dealer. He asked that I tow the Enclave to him. I did. The dealer call GM engineering. They sent out an engineer who inspected the whole system (the Enclave and the Brake Buddy.) He could not find any abnormality. After scratching his head for three hours, he said he could find nothing wrong except that the brakes at some time had gotten VERY HOT. He left and I paid more than $13,000 to get my Enclave fixed. NO MORE BRAKE BUDDY's. Yes I do have the Brake buddy monitoring system at the pilot seat of the RV. It gave NO indication of any problem. Now what do I do for a braking system in my TOAD. I'm considering M & G air brake system but I'M WARY of them all!!! Any thoughts or advise?
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:24 PM   #8
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Give Brake Buddy a call...the lighter in my Saturn Vue did not supply sufficant amps to maintain the Brake Buddy. They sent me a heavier wire and plug to attache directly to the battery. Even at that, I became tired of the BB and just purchased and had the Ready Brake installed. It is a surge brake and no power is required, also no box. Works for me.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:59 AM   #9
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Al Edwards (brake question)

Thanx everyone, great comments. I have been towing the CRV for about a year,
But all along the east coast and never new it was there. We are planning a trip west and looking at the mountain terrains I know I will be needing a break system.
Taanx again,
Al Edwards
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:44 AM   #10
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1) Follow Honda's towing procedures regardless of the type of aux braking you use.

2) Run the CRV for short periods of time if possible during lunch stops etc. on a long haul.

3) Do not leave your toad's power cord plugged into the coach if setting unused overnight.

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Old 11-24-2012, 10:46 PM   #11
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Thanks to all who have replied to my Brake Buddy experience. I was concerned that pulling the fuses as directed by Enclave would disrupt the 12V to the Brake Buddy. Therefore I obtained a heavy (10 g) braided wire with a fuse incorporated and ran the Brake Buddy straight from the battery. The dedicated wire is easy in an Enclave since the auto's battery is in the back seat foot well on the passenger side. The fuse in the dedicated line was not blown. I and a GM engineer are still befuddled!! Again thanks.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:56 PM   #12
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Put in a battery shut off switch. That should solve your problem. The Brake buddy will still work since it is connected directly to the battery. Worked for me for years on my Corolla.
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