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Old 04-04-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
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Brake system: Breakaway feature

I'm not sure I want to use the breakaway feature that comes with the Patriot supplemental brake system.

It looks like it will immediately lock up the brakes and that could be a problem for traffic behind and the coach if it's still attached by safety chains.

Thoughts?

In my vision, the tow assembly lets go and the toad swings around as it's pulled down the road by the safety chains. I make a quick but not sudden effort to pull over and slow to a stop. I don't see this going quite this way if the pin comes out of the breakaway unit.

Roll
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:46 PM   #2
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I am not sure about the Patriot, but with my system( Ready Brake ) the only time the brake away will engage is if the chains give way also. It is a last resort to stop the toad before it goes away by itself!

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Old 04-04-2011, 07:53 PM   #3
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Same here. The break away is the last resort if your toad completely removes itself from the coach. I can only imagine it would have to be catastrophic in nature.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:54 PM   #4
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It works the same way on the Patriot. I don't see how the breakaway pin could be pulled free from the switch unless the chains had let go first.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:41 AM   #5
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Ok, I will describe a few "Break-a-way" situtations

1: The safety cables hold.. By the way.. I can tell you for a fact the standard safety cables provided with the Blue Ox 5,000 pound tow bars WILL hold a 4,000 pound Chevy Lumina APV.... If you have to ask how I know this your name is "ROCK"

In this case the 10 ton PLUS motor home iwll drag the 2 ton car as the alarm goes off and you slow to a stop.. Yes, I know this for a fact too, same way.. Traffice behind you.. Can not comment on that, There was none.

2: The safety cables do not hold.. You do not have a break-a-way hooked up so the towed goes off on it's own, through the median and head light to headlight with a JEEP going the other way killing the passenger and seriously injuring the driver.... Ok, in the specific accident I'm describing it was not a towed, it was a drunk driver. but the effect is the same. And I've read of or sent troopers to a few not much different.

3: You have the break-a-way, it breaks-away and the brakes on the towed lock up... There are two possible outcomes here.. ONE it comes to one SCREACHING stop 2 it rolls.. In both cases if the car behind it and the ones behind that, are following at a safe distance... The only damage is to your tires, (if it remains upright) or Towed (if it rolls)

Of course since the odds are the idiot behind you are following at no more than 1/3 the safe distance... But that is their fault, not yours.

I'd hook it up.. Odds are you are better off with it.

NOTE: The instructions say "Do not hook to any part of the tow system. I found out what that means.

I had the break away cable hooked to the cross bar the hitch receiver is welded to... Well, at each end of this cross bar is a bracket.. Which broke, dropping the cross bar, Break-a-way and all.. Thankfully the US-Gear brake system was prperly adjusted and stopped the car just as though I was still connected.. I was able to break the tow bar down, wife drove the car while I drove the coach and Simpson & Sons Service in Indiana welded me up newer, MUCH STRONGER, brackets.

I now hook the break-a-way cable to another part of the motor home.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:47 AM   #6
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The traffic behind you would have more to worry about if the toad was loose at speed going where ever it wanted to, and oncoming traffic on a two lane road would not be expecting something unmanned coming at them.

Hook It Up!
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:10 PM   #7
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WA8YXM I'm happy you came out whole in your experience it must have been harrowing. In theory all that you offer sounds good but I'm skeptical that the toad will brake in a straight line. It could just as easily brake to its left and find that Jeep to which you referred or roll as suggested and who could possibly predict where it will end up then.

The guy behind you may be following too close but he could still be dead as a result of my lack of maintenance or diligent inspection, not something I want on my conscience. Iím sure you will agree that the remedy for these incidences start with us, the operators, and our willingness to commit to safety procedures and that no amount of engineering or apparatus designs can replace that.
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:16 PM   #8
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There's a reason that breakaway systems are required for trailers. Despite the risks involved, it's safer to stop the unguided projectile as quickly as possible than to have it continuing on whatever path it chooses wreaking havoc until something brings it to a halt. What if the toad came unhitched on a long 6% downgrade - how far would it continue to coast? The farther it goes, the better the odds that it's going to wipe out something in its random path.

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Old 04-05-2011, 03:00 PM   #9
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Hi Roll,
Consider adjusting the break away cable so it engages only after the safety cables break.

Consider this because, you will, most likely, not notice anything happening until the umbilical cord brakes away from the toad. When this happens the system you are using should sound an appropriate alarm. Looking in the rear view camera, the driver should then see what happened and negotiate an orderly stop. If the safety cables do break, one does want the toad to come to a stop as soon as possible.
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Old 04-05-2011, 03:10 PM   #10
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Consider if the brakes will lock up while the safety chains are still hooked as long as you don't dynamite the coach brakes you'll drag the toad while you slow down hopefully doing no damage to the back of the coach at least ways not as much as the toad kissing the back end at 50mph or so.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:26 PM   #11
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Hi JohnRR,
The only way I'd do the method in your post is if my umbilical cord would be disconnected when the safety chains started to extend. The driver will, most likely, not notice anything is wrong until the braking system tells him so. This happens (for me) when the umbilical becomes detached at either end. On my setup the umbilical will not become detached until the safety cables are broken. If the breakaway pin was pulled and the toad was still attached, I'd drag the toad a good way and my Cummins will just hunker down and haul harder. I envision quite a bit of damage could be done as I drag the toad down the road all the way down to the axles.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyJC View Post
There's a reason that breakaway systems are required for trailers. Despite the risks involved, it's safer to stop the unguided projectile as quickly as possible than to have it continuing on whatever path it chooses wreaking havoc until something brings it to a halt. What if the toad came unhitched on a long 6% downgrade - how far would it continue to coast? The farther it goes, the better the odds that it's going to wipe out something in its random path.

Rusty
It's not that disagree with what you say it's that I don't think there is a safe way for a toad to break-away, therefore the only fix is prevention.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:45 PM   #13
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30 yeas ago on an uncrowded freeway near San Diego I looked over to see my tent trailer pass me up. I thought gee, what are the chances of a guy towing the very same 15 year old tent trailer as I pull? Then, I realized it was MY trailer with no tow vehicle. It lazily passed me in the fast lane and then it turned slowly left going across the divided highway (no center divider) and went the wrong way up 101 in the south bound side. Traffic was everywhere. Somehow the trailer missed all on coming traffic and slowly continued to drift left until it went into the bushes and stopped facing the wrong way on the south bound side of 101. I got off the freeway and returned to the trailer. I pulled over, picked up the trailer, turned it around , reconnected the safety chains which were completely intact, hitched it back up, and took off. Somehow no one was hurt and no damage was done to anything but my ego. I pulled over to inspected everything carefully. I found no sign of trouble or a hitch that was somehow faulty. I always used a bolt with a nylock nut as a safety to keep the hitch from unhitching. It was missing and can only assume the it jiggled just right, unhooked itself, and threw both safety chains and went on it's own. I never heard or felt anything amiss other then it passing me up.

I have no idea why it took off and somehow undid both the hitch and safety chains and then, never hit anyting other then a bush on it's trip the wrong way up 101. Talk about having a guardian angel. I went and replaced the hitch and the saftey chain ends that just have a hook with ends that lock in place and bought a lockable hitch lock. I never again had a trailer go off unhooked. 4 years later I moved from that old Apachi tent trailer to a more modern Coleman tent trailer with a crank up top. Wow, all the comforts of home with a shower, toilet, stove and refer, ac, heat.... and enough beds to sleep an army. It also broke loose and just fell onto the safety chains going 10 miles an hour around a steep downhill curve. This time the ball stem broke off and the ball was still inside the hitch. Luckily, a passer by had a ball he gave me and I had a crescent wrench but that trailer needed 4 guys to lift the tung up and onto the new ball. we recruited two teenagers on bikes to help.

I then swiched over to a 5ers and since then, no problems whatsoever. I agree that the brake pull out is a last resort safety and, had my old Apachi had it, that trailer would never would have passed me up.
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
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It's not that disagree with what you say it's that I don't think there is a safe way for a toad to break-away, therefore the only fix is prevention.
I don't disagree that an unsafe condition exists if the toad breaks away. My point is, if it does despite all precautions, it needs to be stopped as expeditiously as possible.

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