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Old 01-30-2012, 06:38 PM   #1
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brakes for towed ford ranger

I am trying to find the best system for towing my 98 Ford ranger, 4 wheels on ground. I have been towing it with no brakes, but feel better if I can find a good brake system, that is quickly removable. Thanks For Help

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Old 01-30-2012, 07:04 PM   #2
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There are so many good ones that I'm not sure there is a BEST. So I'll run a list.

If your motor home is a DP with air brakes, and there is room to install it very little is better than the M&G system. This installs between the booster and the master cylinder and thus is immune to vacuum in the booster, In this it is very nearly unique.

Next comes Air Force One, which also uses Motor home air, but is a pedal pusher (I count both pushers and pullers in the same group) It has a vacuum assist pump to maintain vacuum on the booster.

US-Gear Unified Brake Decelerator is an all electric pedal puller.

All of these have very simple hook up, you hook up the break-a-way lead and the power/control/air lead and that's it folks.

here is a new system by Roadmaster,,, Invisible brake, this uses compressed air but it compresses it. Also a pedal puller.. Hook up is even easier.. You plug in your tow lights (Which you had to do anyway) and the break-away cable, there is also an indicator lead you can plug in... Or not. (not needed for operation but nice to know it's there) These both have vacuum assist pumps as well.

NOTE: the electric units do take battery power from the towed, but they also include a way to recharge,, at least up to this point, from here down no towed charge system is included.

Next we have Ready brake, coupled with the Ready brute tow bar, this is a surge brake system, it is affected by vacuum in the booster tank but it automatically adjusts for it so it does not matter that it lacks a booster pump,, The way this works is very simple and nearly foolproof. As the towed presses against the decelerating motor home a system of levers pulls on a cable pulling the brake pedal toward the floor, the harder you brake the motor home the harder the pedal pulls, It pulls ONLY hard enough to slow the towed the same amount as you are slowing the motor home NO HARDER.. Augomaticall compensating for loss of vacuum in the booster.

Again hook up is quick and easy (Two cables)

Finally we have the ones I do not like.. The "Box" systems like Brake Budy, Even Brake and so on. These are boxes usually with built in air compressors and control hardware that fit in the driver's position and push on the pedal. The main advantage is you can quickly move them to a new car. The main DISadvantage is you have to install them EVERY TIME YOU TOW and un-install them to drive.. This gets to be tiresome and I have had folks admit to saying "oh the heck with it, I'm only going a few miles" and of course good old Murphy says that's when you are gonna wish you'd installed it. I am, after all a dedicated believer in Murphy's laws. (OK that's a joke)

Actually.. the amazing thing in in the book Murphy's law and other reasons why things go wrong book two.. One of the collaries (If nothing can go wrong.. It will anyway) is properly attributed to someone with my last name.. yes, I wrote it. How the author of the book figured that out I'll never know.

(Murphy's law went wrong)

But that.. And of course the tendency of the boxes to "Grow legs" when you are driving the towed, and the fact that they eat towed battery power with out a towed-battery charge option (Though you can add that) is why I don't like them.

Home is where I park it!
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:07 AM   #3
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Location: Chaffee, MO.
Posts: 392
Hi Jim, Couple of other things to think about you'll of course need a tow bar, base plates, (tow bar attaching point) for the vehicle, and the vehicle will have to have some type of lighting for brakes and turn signals.

I don't know maybe you are already set up for this but if not, Etrailer.com has some good instructional video's for wiring and installing base plates.

I have always done my own base plate installation along with the wiring, its not that hard if you are familar with basic tools.

Here's a link to etrailer take a look around they have about all you need to get started.

Trailer hitch, hitches and bike rack (800)298-8924

I'm stupid, reread your post and you stated that you have been towing it so probably have all the stuff to tow with...sorry.
Well I got my Blue Ox brake in the box that I have used in several vehicles off Craigs list for 350. Look around on E-bay also sometimes a good bargin can be had there, just buyer beware. Look for good feedback numbers from the seller.

Hope this helps

Happy Trails
MGySgt USMC(R) 1961-1991
2001 Fleetwood Expedition
2013 Jeep Wrangler Sierra Toad
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