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Old 01-21-2015, 04:55 AM   #1
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Cable vs Electric /Air

Ok enough about brand! Can we just give pros and cons about cable vs electric (portable) tode brake systems. Just for starters as a Auto Tech and Electrician I think simple is typically better.The one avantage I see to portable units is if you change todes offten it is easier, but one simple cable sounds better to me.
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:02 AM   #2
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Hello Frank, have you looked into air systems? I have/use the M&G braking system and love it...........
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:35 PM   #3
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If you don't mind spending 5-10 minutes setting up or taking down your brakes every time you drive, and you don't mind storing a brake box when not towing, then the portable units are cheaper and better.

To me, the least intrusive is the best. I like the ability to never mess with my brake installation after the initial install. I plug in my brake light cable from the coach, clip on the breakaway cable, and I"m done. No extra time whatsoever, and nothing to re-install or readjust each time I tow.

P.S. I use a USGear Unified Tow Brake.
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Old 01-24-2015, 09:56 PM   #4
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Use the BrakeMaster air system. Prefer the braking pressure of the toad equal to the pressure applied to the pedal of the MH.

Initial setup not bad, couple of hours.

Only additional hookup for towing is the air line between the coach and the toad, quick connect air fittings on each end so it adds an extra 15 seconds to the hookup procedure.
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Old 01-24-2015, 09:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DIYRVGuy View Post
Use the BrakeMaster air system. Prefer the braking pressure of the toad equal to the pressure applied to the pedal of the MH.

Initial setup not bad, couple of hours.

Only additional hookup for towing is the air line between the coach and the toad, quick connect air fittings on each end so it adds an extra 15 seconds to the hookup procedure.
Same for us too.
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:04 PM   #6
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Use the BrakeMaster air system. Prefer the braking pressure of the toad equal to the pressure applied to the pedal of the MH.

Initial setup not bad, couple of hours.

Only additional hookup for towing is the air line between the coach and the toad, quick connect air fittings on each end so it adds an extra 15 seconds to the hookup procedure.
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:10 PM   #7
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Tying in to the Coaches Air Brake system using quick connects ,Sounds extremely risky to Me! Is any of this approved by any sort of National Highway Safety Commission or is it strictly on the advice of the seller of the equipment?

There are thousands of Semi Trailer units out there on the Highways using properly certified Air Brake components ,I can't think of a single instance where an off the shelf Quick connect is used in any application.
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Old 01-25-2015, 08:55 AM   #8
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Tying in to the Coaches Air Brake system using quick connects ,Sounds extremely risky to Me! Is any of this approved by any sort of National Highway Safety Commission or is it strictly on the advice of the seller of the equipment?

There are thousands of Semi Trailer units out there on the Highways using properly certified Air Brake components ,I can't think of a single instance where an off the shelf Quick connect is used in any application.
I also use the Brakemaster By Roadmaster that uses a 1/4 inch air line between the coach and toad, if the 1/4 inch line did break the air compressor ( providing you do run the safety check on the air compressor to make sure it's working and Compressing at a acceptable rate) the compressor will easily keep the system pressure up. I have never had a problem with the connectors and have used them for years.
I like the Brakemaster because I do change toads often if not I would go with M&G that is in my openion the best out there.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:03 AM   #9
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Your on board Compressor may be capable of supplying enough air ,as long as it is working properly, the point that I was making is that the components that You are installing are not part of the approved design of the Coaches Air Braking system .
Regardless of Your good intentions ,You could be contravening the Highway Safety Standards in some way by installing this aftermarket equipment on Your Vehicle.

We are all responsible so make sure that the products We purchase and install meet or exceed the minimum safety requirements set out by whatever body is in charge.

Most of Us won't buy Tires that don't have a DOT Rating or Electrical Appliances without a UL or CSA Stamp or seal !

So why do so many RV ers buy and use Towing Equipment that doesn't have at least some sort of rating? Check Your Hitches, Tow Bars and Auxiliary Braking Systems, for an approval Stamp,Seal or Sticker.

Shouldn't the manufacturers be held accountable ?
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:22 AM   #10
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Rob what highway standars are we breaking, I would bet none, why not ask Roadmaster that question and let us know. I do run the test on my air compressor frequently to make sure it is up to standards but not each day or trip as required by DOT on trucks.
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:28 AM   #11
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On Spartan chassis coaches there is a Spartan approved air connection that can be installed.
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:33 AM   #12
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Tying in to the Coaches Air Brake system using quick connects ,Sounds extremely risky to Me! Is any of this approved by any sort of National Highway Safety Commission or is it strictly on the advice of the seller of the equipment?

There are thousands of Semi Trailer units out there on the Highways using properly certified Air Brake components ,I can't think of a single instance where an off the shelf Quick connect is used in any application.
Every chassis, with air suspension, air brake system, has a factory installed quick disconnect air chuck up front, and some in rear also, for owner use and for towing purpose's...........so the tow truck driver can charge up the "low" air tanks, for towing.........so the maxe brakes release. They are also installed right on the air tanks of big trucks.......for the same purpose, from the factory.
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:12 PM   #13
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The one avantage I see to portable units is if you change todes offten it is easier, but one simple cable sounds better to me.
You said it there, near as I can tell that is the ONLY (or very nearly the only) Advantage, you missed several systems though.

M&G, (Air/hydraulic) if it fits this is a great system EPICALLY if the motor home has air brakes, though they make one for non-air brake motor homes as well.

US-Gear Unified Brake Decelerator: (Electric/hydraulic) this system provides either control power for HydroBoost or vacuum for Vacuum boost. It gives the motor home driver complete control over the towed brakes, You can disable it, adjust it, or engage the towed brakes MANUALLY from the motor home driver's seat. NO other system has as many features. That said, I only used those advanced features one time in like 5 years.

Many systems like InvisiBrake, Stay & play (Assorted companies) use an inertial sensor some in the motor home, some in the car, (US-Gear does this) some also sense the status of the brake light switch on the motor home (US-Gear does this too) which means they only engage when you are pressing the pedal.

All the above (Save for the portable systems you described) are basically invisible to the car driver, as are the surge brake systems yet to be covered. The M&G is 100% invisible, there is no part of it inside the car's cockpit area.

Surge brakes (Ready Brake, or Auto-Stop (Blue-ox)

When the car tries to push the motor home a spring is compressed and a series of levers and cables pull the brake pedal, Advantages:
Porportional, (It only brakes as hard as needed, Self adjusting too)
Progressive: (The harder you brake, the harder it breakes, likewise auto-adjusting)

KISS, very simple

Disadvantage.. If you only tow a few times a year rust can cause the cable to size up usually pedal down.
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:29 PM   #14
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You also have the SMI brake system. I use the Air Force One and just like the others, just connect one air line and that is it. 100% proportion braking. very reasonable price and a very good customer service to work with.


SMI MANUFACTURING
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