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Old 02-09-2008, 04:57 AM   #1
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I know the BrakeBuddy has a lot of happy customers which is one of the primary reasons I bought one. So far it has failed miserably for me. And I have used it exactly as the manual and tech support recommends.

First, I have the Vantage which essentially is a cheap monitor in your coach that lets you adjust sensitivity and see when the brake buddy engages. This has never worked properly and only ate batteries even when it was plugged in.

I called the so called famous tech support and was told sorry it doesn't work with Pressure Pro because of similar frequencies. I was told it wasn't their problem and to move one of the monitors. First, then why does Pressure Pro work fine? Second, how is it any good if I can't read one of the monitors because it is too far away?

Anyway, I ran BrakeBuddy w/o Pressure Pro on at all. Still didn't work.

This time they said I could send out the monitor and they would test it. But, I had to send it to them first and they would sent it back. Have not heard from them in over a week after they received it.

As a comparison, when I told Pressure Pro one of the sensors was bad, they immediately sent me out a new one and gave me a return authorization for the old one. They even sent it to my next destination.

Second, I told them that the BB was wearing my battery down. I had to have the truck jump started at a KOA at 11 p.m. because of it. First response was to turn down the sensitivity. I tried that w/no luck. Then they said, well we have this direct wire to the battery kit. They sent that to me but, I have to install it. Not acceptable as ease of installation was a key feature. Also, I can't run above a 3 on sensitivity. Why have sensitivity built-in in the first place.

Third, now the unit won't work w/the breakaway cable attached. It just keeps the arm extended as in breakaway mode.

Fourth, not one person at BB can tell me what the difference is between adjusting the sensitivity and adjusting the psi. i.e. what does each do? My brakes are not powered when the vehicle is running so it is very easy to push the brake down all the way. Also, with the brake down all the way when not running it does not lock up the brakes. So I don't even know how much this thing is helping me. I can't tell if when it engages and doesn't, especially since I don't have a monitor that works.
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Old 02-09-2008, 04:57 AM   #2
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I know the BrakeBuddy has a lot of happy customers which is one of the primary reasons I bought one. So far it has failed miserably for me. And I have used it exactly as the manual and tech support recommends.

First, I have the Vantage which essentially is a cheap monitor in your coach that lets you adjust sensitivity and see when the brake buddy engages. This has never worked properly and only ate batteries even when it was plugged in.

I called the so called famous tech support and was told sorry it doesn't work with Pressure Pro because of similar frequencies. I was told it wasn't their problem and to move one of the monitors. First, then why does Pressure Pro work fine? Second, how is it any good if I can't read one of the monitors because it is too far away?

Anyway, I ran BrakeBuddy w/o Pressure Pro on at all. Still didn't work.

This time they said I could send out the monitor and they would test it. But, I had to send it to them first and they would sent it back. Have not heard from them in over a week after they received it.

As a comparison, when I told Pressure Pro one of the sensors was bad, they immediately sent me out a new one and gave me a return authorization for the old one. They even sent it to my next destination.

Second, I told them that the BB was wearing my battery down. I had to have the truck jump started at a KOA at 11 p.m. because of it. First response was to turn down the sensitivity. I tried that w/no luck. Then they said, well we have this direct wire to the battery kit. They sent that to me but, I have to install it. Not acceptable as ease of installation was a key feature. Also, I can't run above a 3 on sensitivity. Why have sensitivity built-in in the first place.

Third, now the unit won't work w/the breakaway cable attached. It just keeps the arm extended as in breakaway mode.

Fourth, not one person at BB can tell me what the difference is between adjusting the sensitivity and adjusting the psi. i.e. what does each do? My brakes are not powered when the vehicle is running so it is very easy to push the brake down all the way. Also, with the brake down all the way when not running it does not lock up the brakes. So I don't even know how much this thing is helping me. I can't tell if when it engages and doesn't, especially since I don't have a monitor that works.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:09 AM   #3
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Sounds like you're ready to speak to SMI.... They're one of our sponsors and answer their phone all the time...

I even had the company president on the phone on a Sunday afternoon troubleshooting an issue.

Click on their banner at the top of this page and see the braking systems they have to offer.
You'll never have to worry about where to store that box again.... I call it "thinking outside the box".

Yes, I know there are hundreds of happy BB customers, I just wasn't one of them either.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:23 AM   #4
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Unfortunately, your difficulties with BB customer service is not uncommon according to other posters on this forum and others.

Since BB was sold some time ago, their previous excellent customer service does not now seem to be what is was under the original owners.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:23 AM   #5
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Actually, I really wanted to go w/SMI but, could not get it installed in time to go on our trip last fall. We literally left 10 days after our season ended.

BB seemed like a solid interim solution especially since I found it online for only $950.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:50 AM   #6
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Anyone want to buy a BrakeBuddy? Works great, hardly used, all the bells and whistles.
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:03 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JavaJelly:
SNIP

Fourth, not one person at BB can tell me what the difference is between adjusting the sensitivity and adjusting the psi. i.e. what does each do? . </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I can help with this part of your post.
The psi setting determines how much force will be applied to the brake pedal when the system is activated.
The sensitivity setting determines how fast or hard of a stop activates the system.

I adjust my sensitivity so the Brake Buddy only activates in a very quick - panic - stop.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:31 AM   #8
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I`ve had a Brake Buddy For a few years -- Used it with 2 Saturn`s, Trail Blazer, Tahoe, Envoy, & now an Acadia -- It`s so simple to change it from one dingy to another -- I`ve had no trouble, & I set it like ClayL -- Bill Willard
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:46 AM   #9
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I have heard this definition before. However, when your brakes are not powered and it takes virtually no pressure to push them to the floor which is the only way to get any meaningful braking on the truck.

So one might argue that you could just adjust to the type of braking you have when not powered. I would agree except that the manual says to adjust psi per weight of vehicle.

Makes no sense to me as I apply the same pressure on my truck brakes as my wife's vehicle which is much lighter.
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:40 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Makes no sense to me as I apply the same pressure on my truck brakes as my wife's vehicle which is much lighter. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You are correct, except that you are applying power brakes, and the BB is applying non-powered brakes.
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:39 AM   #11
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I never thought that Brake Buddy was the best unit. I purchased the hard-wired system from Tow-V-Aire. It takes several hours to wire up the toad and MH but I am happy with it. I tow a 1999 Satun SW2 wagon. I set the compressor to about 25 lbs. When applying the MH brake, it sends a signal to apply the toad brakes. This goes thru a cable from the MH to the toad. No silly pendullum to bounce around. Brakes on, brakes on / brakes off, brakes off. A blue light installed on the MH dash verifies that the toad brakes on applied. Release and the light goes off. It may have taken time to do the wiring but I saved about $300.00 by purchasing their unit. So what made you want a Brake Buddy anyway?
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Old 02-19-2008, 11:05 AM   #12
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For my money the M&G was the best choice. I love the easy hook ups and the system works like a charm.
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:05 PM   #13
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Scott,

I had similar problems as those you described. I have Pressure Pro on my coach also. There has been no apparent conflict between the two systems.

After initial installation of the tow system, including the Brake Buddy, I had problems that were a result of Saturn's erroneous instructions on which fuse to pull to keep your battery from going dead. Saturn wound up eating a battery that was damaged because of their instructions.

The first coach monitor was bad and was replaced by dealer. When second monitor did not work I took the whole unit back, with my tow, to the dealer. After a little trouble shooting, the tech that had installed the whole unit found the problem. When they gave me the second coach monitor they neglected to tell me it had to be programed to work with unit in car. Kinda like programing your remote to work with your TV set. The tech had programed the original monitor during the installation of the tow package before I picked up the car. so I really did not know this had been done, or had to be done. He programed the new monitor and everything has worked great since. To help preserve the battery make sure you turn the monitor off when you're not using it. With the second coach monitor I received, there was included a 12v adapter so that you can plug it right into the dash, no batter necessary.
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