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Old 10-17-2014, 09:33 AM   #15
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I think they all work, so its a matter of preference and your specific needs. If you have multiple toads or trade cars often, a portable unit like the RVI Brake or Brake Buddy is a good choice. Ditto if you tow the car with different vehicles from time to time.

The Brakemaster is good for air brake systems but takes a tiny bit more set-up than SMI Air Force One or Unified Tow Brake (from US Gear) or the M&G.

Ready Brake & Ready Brute are fine too, but slightly susceptible to mechanical issues with the cables, e.g. dirt, stretched cables, binding, etc. We don't see many reports of such problems, though, so not a big deal if you like that product.

I've been using the Brakemaster for 8 years and am very satisfied. I have it because my coach came with the coach side already installed, so it was a no-brainer choice.

All of them have plenty of mechanical power and those that are designed to do so work fine without power assist. Their advantage is that they do not require mods to the toad hydraulic system.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:55 AM   #16
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Don:
There are a lot of good systems on the market. We've used the portable system by Blue Ox, the Patriot Brake, and were pleased with it, but always left me in doubt as to whether I had installed it properly. When we upgraded to our Palazzo, I had the Unified Tow Brake system installed on our toad... no additional setup... when the umbilical cord from the MH is plugged in, it is set, and there is a remote in the MH to control sensitivity. The remote is plug and play in a connector on Freightliner chassis. We recently traded Motorhomes, and the remote will be plug and play on the new one, since it also is on freightliner chassis. Have been very pleased with it so far. System comes complete with breakaway switch and everything needed for installation.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:10 PM   #17
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Thanks to all for the responses. I've got a lot of names to research now so you all have responded exactly with what I was looking for. I'll respond back here with what I decide on and why. It might help someone else between all of your suggestions and what I ended up with.
Again, Thank you!
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:48 PM   #18
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Take a look at RVI2 system. Great portable system. Has easy to use settings for sensitivity (when it applies the brakes) and how much braking force is applied.
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Old 10-26-2014, 08:49 AM   #19
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Just purchased a Delta Force portable system from SMI. It should be delivered tomorrow. I will post the results here after installation and test. I am towing a 2014 Dodge Dart be hind a 2008 Holiday Rambler Arista
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Old 10-26-2014, 06:45 PM   #20
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I tow a Ford Flex with the SMI Delta Force portable brake. I have only used it once when the baseplate was installed and we towed the car home, but it was easy to set up and did what it was supposed to do. Since this our first tow setup I have nothing to compare it to but really like its size and especially like the anchor cable instead of propping it in place with the seat. This system includes a charge line for the toad as well!
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Old 11-15-2014, 06:00 PM   #21
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2,455 miles from southwestern CO, over the Rockies, to central FL with my new SMI DELTA FORCE.
I'm awaiting a response from SMI to a couple of questions I've asked them B4 sharing my experience with the unit.
I towed a 2011 Ford Explorer behind my 2012 Tiffin Phaeton 40 QBH.
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Old 11-16-2014, 08:39 PM   #22
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I just installed the Delta force in my Dodge Dart. Have only towed around the area to check the unit out. After getting the base setting on the the gain set properly everything seems to be working fine. Time from getting into my town until hooked up and ready to go was 12 mins.
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:33 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratman50th View Post
So I am setting up my vehicle to tow. I've got the bar and I'm still deciding on the lights, but what I want to ask you all is what braking system do you use and more importantly, why?
I've had some good advice on a permanent system, but the problem is I live in Maryland, which seems to be a barren wasteland of RV installers and repair facilities. I've also seen some good reviews on the self contained removable systems.
So, what system do you use and why?
42' 2006 Country Coach, 525HP Cat, 6 speed Allison pulling a 2011 Chevy Tahoe LTZ.
Remember, I'm really interested in the "why".
Oh, my original hesitation on the removable units was how well do they work actuating power brakes...... when there is no power? Do they do the job ok?
Thanks in advance.
It's the LAW in most states. Anything over 2000lbs being towed must have brakes installed and actuated in conjunction with the pulling vehicles. Let's see a 2011 Chevy Tahoe LTZ weighs 7300lbs and with that behind your MH as you attempt to come to a stop will increase your stopping distance substantially.
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:50 PM   #24
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It's the LAW in most states. Anything over 2000lbs being towed must have brakes installed and actuated in conjunction with the pulling vehicles.
Not really true, at least for WA, OR and CA. There the two vehicles become a "combination vehicle" and the laws go to a performance test. If the combination can stop in XX feet from XX mph then no add'l braking is required. WA and CA are the same, OR is stricter. Also, there is no reciprocity on braking requirements, you must be legal in each and every state you travel in. Your home state laws don't came with you like they do for drivers licenses and insurance.
Almost every "chart" showing the laws is wrong in one instance or another! Most take their info from the AAA which is also wrong.
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:27 PM   #25
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I highly recommend the RVI2 system. It's small and easy to install. You can quickly set it up for amount of braking (force applied to brake pedal) and sensitivity (under what circumstances it applies brakes). Comes with breakaway switch and remote monitor.
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:47 PM   #26
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Much has been written in the replies about the many positive M&G "why's", but an important point has not been mentioned.

The M&G system is the only one, that I've found that, when braking, does not activate the brake lights with the towed's 12v power. Only the 12v power from the MH is used. Thus, with the other braking systems that depress the brake pedal, the brake lights are receiving 12 volts from both the MH and from the towed. Plus, with the M&G, no towed battery drain is experienced for brake lights.

Arguably, the simple engineering design, performance, reliability, and ease of use are attributes that puts M&G at the top.
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Old 11-23-2014, 03:12 PM   #27
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Both Freightliner and Spartan recommend NOT cutting into the chassis air system... Probably because of incidents like a friend of mine who lost his AF1 air tank while rolling down the interstate. As stated earlier, take a look at the RVI2 brake package. The system installs in less than 2 minutes, does not require cutting into the coach chassis air system, can be adjusted/changed while in motion from the coach, if more or less sensitivity is required, AND has an integrated toad TPMS capability! I've tried four different systems in the last 14 years and this one is hands down the best I've used!
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Old 11-24-2014, 07:38 AM   #28
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Both Freightliner and Spartan recommend NOT cutting into the chassis air system... Probably because of incidents like a friend of mine who lost his AF1 air tank while rolling down the interstate. As stated earlier, take a look at the RVI2 brake package. The system installs in less than 2 minutes, does not require cutting into the coach chassis air system, can be adjusted/changed while in motion from the coach, if more or less sensitivity is required, AND has an integrated toad TPMS capability! I've tried four different systems in the last 14 years and this one is hands down the best I've used!
Ken, Your RVI2 no doubt meets your requirements. But, you might benefit from knowing more about how air brakes work. And, how the M&G, as well as the AF-1, function from an engineering perspective. Your post and "story" show a deficiency in that arena.

BTW, neither of the products "cut" the brake system air line. They tap into it with a "T" at a line connecting block. In concept it's not much different than Freightliner tractors connecting their trailer air lines. Oh, almost forgot, M&G and AF-1 have worked with all three RV chassis manufacturers regarding their brake systems -- Freightliner, Spartan, and Tiffin and those sources have a different company position than your claims.

Our RVing world is sometimes amusing in that one can walk around any RV park and pick up all kinds of stories about this or that equipment. My encouragement is to rely on the experts and develop factual info for RVing equipment decisions. All too often it becomes a matter of I like Fords and therefore you should, too, because those Chevy's....
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