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Old 05-08-2013, 03:56 PM   #1
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Break Away cable advice...

I need some opinions of what Im considering as far as the break away setup is concerned. Our new motor home is at the dealer and when she gets home Im going to install the ready brute, ready brake and ready stop. The ready brute and ready brake is pretty straight forward as they are integrated with each other. After reading these recent threads of towing system failures, Im considering pig tailing the ready stop (stopping device when the toad have broken away from the MH) a couple of feet longer than the emergency cable. If the tow bar fails, the emergency cable should keep the toad (jeep wrangler) from rolling off. Only after the emergency cable fails should the ready stop be activated. Anyone see a problem with this reasoning? TIA

Recent threads of towing, braking failures.
Recent catastrophic Blue Ox towbar failure

I almost lost my Jeep

Our Auxiliary Brake Experience
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:38 PM   #2
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I want the breakaway to come on while toad is still attached to MH. That way I have both emergency hookups working at the same time. I have heard of toads passing the tow vehicle.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:51 PM   #3
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I personally would install the ReadyStop breakaway kit per the instructions. I too want those brakes locked quickly if that toad is getting away! JMHO
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:58 PM   #4
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What is going to stop your toad from smashing into the back of your motorhome as your slowing down. You want the E stop to set and hold the brakes. X2 on the follow the instructions, I've got close to 30 k miles towing using ready brute, no problems.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:56 PM   #5
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good points guys... I read threads where, the toads are locking up their brakes but they are unnoticed therefore warping rotors, wheels etc...

Readybrake instructions sets the emergency stop to lock up the brakes as soon as the bar fails.... seems counter-intuitive for the emergency cable no?

I guess, which is the better scenario...
when the tow bar fails, emergency stop locks up the toad brakes and drag the toad along or even possibly cause the emergency cables to fail, leaving the toad behind.

or:

when the tow bar fails, let the emergency cable do its job and bring both the MH and Toad come to a very slow crawl and eventually stopping (without having the toad rear end the MH, it can be done). The emergency stop only activates when the emergency cable fails.

To me, it just seems that the emergency stop is the last alternative and is the last resort. The emergency cable is mandatory for most state, but not the emergency stop... so why not use the emergency cable for its intended purpose.

This is at the assumption that the MH have a rear view camera. Which scenerario would do the least damage?

Thanks for your opinions...
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:45 PM   #6
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If your tow bar fails and the towed vehicle is only connected by the safety cables, it will begin whipping side to side. Unless your going uphill I don't see how you would be able to keep a free wheeling towed from hitting the back of the coach while you're trying to slow down.

I want the breakaway to activate as soon as the tow bar fails. I'm confident that I will feel the added drag and the towed whipping back and forth in time to come to a pretty quick controlled stop.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:42 PM   #7
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This thread has got me thinking. I've never really have given it that much thought. I've essentially acted as a robot all these years when hooking up and just have done what I've been told to do without thinking it through.

I was instructed that the umbilical cord to the breakaway switch should always be longer than the safety cables/chains. That way, the brakes to the toad will activate in the emergency mode only under the scenario when BOTH the tow bar and the safety cables should fail.

I never thought of what happens when the brakes in the motorhome are applied if the towbar fails and the toad is still connected by the safety cables. In that case, the toad should still have proportional and progressive braking, correct? If you can see that the tow bar has come loose (dragging on the ground, seeing sparks, or the toad wiggling around though the camera), you still should be able to slowly brake and get off to the side of the road without the toad hitting the rear of the motorhome, correct? Or if it does hit the rear of the motorhome, it should be relatively gently?

Is my thinking correct here? This is what I'm assuming and why it is recommended that the umbilical cord be longer than the safety cables.

I have a U.S. Gear UTB and this is the way they have instructed as did the installer who set it up originally.

Here is an article that says the same thing pertaining to a breakaway switch: =click

It sounds as if some of you want the breakaway switch to activate once the towbar fails but when the toad is still connected by the safety cables? In that scenario, you'd be dragging the toad with the wheels locked up until you can pull over and get stopped, correct?

I'm not sure which is best either. I'm tempted for now to just keep hooking up the way I've been doing for years where the umbilical cord is longer than the safety cables.

Interesting discussion. Thanks for bring it up.

-harry
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amanda_h View Post
This thread has got me thinking. I've never really have given it that much thought. I've essentially acted as a robot all these years when hooking up and just have done what I've been told to do without thinking it through.

I was instructed that the umbilical cord to the breakaway switch should always be longer than the safety cables/chains. That way, the brakes to the toad will activate in the emergency mode only under the scenario when BOTH the tow bar and the safety cables should fail.

I never thought of what happens when the brakes in the motorhome are applied if the towbar fails and the toad is still connected by the safety cables. In that case, the toad should still have proportional and progressive braking, correct? If you can see that the tow bar has come loose (dragging on the ground, seeing sparks, or the toad wiggling around though the camera), you still should be able to slowly brake and get off to the side of the road without the toad hitting the rear of the motorhome, correct? Or if it does hit the rear of the motorhome, it should be relatively gently?

Is my thinking correct here? This is what I'm assuming and why it is recommended that the umbilical cord be longer than the safety cables.

I have a U.S. Gear UTB and this is the way they have instructed as did the installer who set it up originally.

Here is an article that says the same thing pertaining to a breakaway switch: =click

It sounds as if some of you want the breakaway switch to activate once the towbar fails but when the toad is still connected by the safety cables? In that scenario, you'd be dragging the toad with the wheels locked up until you can pull over and get stopped, correct?

I'm not sure which is best either. I'm tempted for now to just keep hooking up the way I've been doing for years where the umbilical cord is longer than the safety cables.

Interesting discussion. Thanks for bring it up.

-harry
In answer to the ??? in bold above, for the system Im installing will not be progressive.... It will be full lock since it is not smart (it is only a cable, pulling the brake pedal). Hence, my question for having full lock on the toad brakes while being pulled by the emergency cables.


Thank You Amanda... That's what I dont want to be, a robot... I will drive a DP, so Im not so sure if I can notice dragging a jeep. Once those brakes get hot, it will essentially turn to butter in no time. Those rotors and calipers aren't exactly Porsche size... and even Porsche brakes fade when they get hot around the track, much more get dragged. But, like you... Im not sure which is better, but Im leaning towards the break away longer than the emergency cable.


Here are some ideas (won't work for surge brakes, but will prob work for floor model brake systems.) There are essentially 4 lengths to tow a toad and they are all different lengths:

1. Length of the Tow Bar.
2. Length of the emergency cable, longer than tow bar. This is redundancy to the tow bar when it fails.
3. Length of the wire harness for brakes and lights, longer than emergency cable. So you will still have toad brakes and lights when to tow bar fails and pulling toad via emergency cable.
4. Length of the brake away switch, longer than emergency cable so it won't get activated when the tow bar fails and pulling via energency cable. Will act as emergency stop when the emergency cable fails only.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:26 AM   #9
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I just got off the phone with NSA RV Products who make the ReadyBrute towbars, ReadyBrake supplemental brake, breakaway kit, and safety cables. The guy told me that the breakaway cable total length, from the back of the MH to the brake pedal, should be about 1 foot LONGER than the safety cables! He says the brakes on the toad should never be locked as long as the safety cables are holding the toad!

I'm gonna check mine today. I don't believe the breakaway cable is that long!
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:09 AM   #10
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Well there you go... logic prevails. But, I dont think the instructions says longer than the emergency cables.

Another thing to consider is the emergency cable that comes with the readybrute, ready brake are rated 5000lbs each. Im sure when you lock up the brakes and pulling via cable, you are cutting it close to that 5000 limit (especially since it is now dynamic load. Jeeps are pretty close to 4500lbs.) As for me, I bought 10000lbs cables just to be safe. The cables that comes standard with the kit seems a bit small when towing something heavy.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:25 PM   #11
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Sorry about assuming that your setup would act similarly to mine. I've only used the U.S. Gear Unified Tow Brake so I really have not familiarized myself with the features or characteristics of other systems.

My umbilical cord is about 14" longer than the safety cables. Again, everything I read and have been told is that the umbilical cord should be longer than the safety cables. that link I posted I've had bookmarked for awhile now and I really didn't read it closely until just recently.

Dinghy Towing Behind a Motorhome: Caring for your dingy breakaway switch

One thing I had been doing initially was wrapping the umbilical cord around the tow bar to make sure it wouldn't flop around and drag but that is a no-no in that the cord should be directly routed from the place it is attached to the chassis to the breakaway switch on the toad.

And what I meant by noticing the "dragging" (or actually anything unusual) is that most if not all of us have the rear view camera constantly on while underway. As such, I think I'd notice any abnormality quickly. I can see my tow bar clearly in my monitor and will be able to see if it's dragging, off-center, sparks flying, the toad abnormally wiggling around, etc. We have a DP but that shouldn't matter in the situation described.

Thanks again.

-harry
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
I just got off the phone with NSA RV Products who make the ReadyBrute towbars, ReadyBrake supplemental brake, breakaway kit, and safety cables. The guy told me that the breakaway cable total length, from the back of the MH to the brake pedal, should be about 1 foot LONGER than the safety cables! He says the brakes on the toad should never be locked as long as the safety cables are holding the toad!

I'm gonna check mine today. I don't believe the breakaway cable is that long!
I installed my breakaway per the instruction provided by NSA and the logic I stated above. Looks like the I may have to rethink my setup. And hope I never need to find out what happens when the tow bar becomes disconnected from toad or MH.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:29 PM   #13
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I installed my breakaway per the instruction provided by NSA and the logic I stated above. Looks like the I may have to rethink my setup. And hope I never need to find out what happens when the tow bar becomes disconnected from toad or MH.

yeah, I think NSA needs to re-write their installation instruction, I dont see anywhere that states the break away cable needs to be longer than the emergency cable.

http://www.readybrake.com/instructions/RS-5000.pdf
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:53 PM   #14
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yeah, I think NSA needs to re-write their installation instruction, I dont see anywhere that states the break away cable needs to be longer than the emergency cable.

http://www.readybrake.com/instructions/RS-5000.pdf

I think you're absolutely right!
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