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Old 07-06-2014, 03:30 PM   #1
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Equipment for toads

I went to Camping World to determine what I needed to set up to tow a vehicle. Great customer service, but I was intimadated by the price and all that was needed. #1 your thoughts. #2 is it imperative to do the external braking system for the towed vehicle? (28' MH, VW like toad) #3 any special brands suggested.

I tried to do a forum search on this without success.

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Old 07-06-2014, 03:38 PM   #2
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You'll get lots of differing answers on this, but I'll at least give you my opinion. Yes, you need a braking system. It is not a legal requirement in every state (it may not be in ANY), but it is a valuable piece of safety equipment. There are umpteen different kinds and brands, and I don't think any of them can lay claim to being the absolute overall best one on the market. Same goes for towbars, baseplates, and lights.
I use Blue Ox baseplates and a ReadyBrute Elite towbar/brake system. It works well for me and my Ram 1500 toad. It was also cheaper than the other systems out there.
I'm sure others will chime in with their preferences.
If you type "brake system" or some permutation of the same in the search box, you will have hours of reading pleasure.

Jeff, Tricia, 3 kids, and the occasional dog or two
2006 Winnebago Tour 40KD, 2013 Dodge Ram TOAD
350 Cat C7, Freightliner chassis
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:44 PM   #3
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I have BlueOx tow bar and baseplate and use SMI Stay-in-Play for braking. Once the SMI is installed it is ready to go as soon as you plug the toad lites in. It does get pricey unless you can do some or all of the install yourself.
Wayne & Roberta and Maggie the Miracle Dog
08 Winnebago Destination 39W Gas UFO Workhorse Chassis
Making the Journey in our Destination

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Old 07-06-2014, 03:56 PM   #4
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Price can be over $3000 with a complete setup including brakes. The more you do yourself the cheaper it is.
I have a Ready Brute Elite tow bar and and braking system. I bought the whole system on EBAY. Cost was less than $1000. Some parts were used. I did all the install myself. Not easy, but saved at least a $1000.
2004 Endura 6340D
2012 Chevy Captiva toad
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:46 PM   #5
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I gather you wish to tow 4Down.. This requires 3 things

1: Tow lights. There are 3 or for different systems here.
1A: Portable, magnetic or not, wireless or not, these are attached to the towed when you tow and stowed when you drive the towed, I DO NOT RECOMMEND
1B: Diode systems, I have used these and they work well, in this system the wiring is hooked up so the motor home OR the towed can activate the lights,, Switching is both silent and automatic.
2B: Add-a-bulb.. What I have now.. ON many cars there is room in the tail light sockets for an additional lamp, and thus my "Tow" lights look just like my "Service" (regular) Tail lights but are in fact different lamps.

Then you need a tow bar, Many manufacturers and with one and a half exceptions not much to recommend one over another.. You also need a matching base plate... One note:

Some of the tow bars stow on the towed when you go run about (Store for milk for example) Some stow on the motor home, I like the ones that stow on the motor home.

The one and a half exceptions are covered under brakes.

If you tow often, at least once a month, Ready Brute tow bar with Ready Brake, this is a surge brake system and is kind of automatic. Very simple hookup,, In this system the hitch adapter has a spring and some levers, if you apply the brakes on the motor home the towed will push against the spring, the lever levers and a cable pulls on the brake pedal of the towed.

Blue ox tow bars with AUTO-STOP (Selected models thus they are the half) See above.

M&G, If the motor home has air brakes and IF the slave fits your towed this is among the best, uses motor home AIR to run the brakes so no drain on the battery (By the way the above "Surge brake" Systems are like that save for only a very slight drain and then only if the towed brake lights work with the ignition off) Downside: Will not fit all toweds, and each towed uses a different slave.. If you do not have airbrakes they have that covered too.

US-Gear Unified Brake Decelerator,, THE MOST control of any system on the market.. Eats battery power but provides for replacement.

Many other systems like Invisible Brake and such,, Not as much control as the US-Gear but.. If you are not a professionally trained driver that really won't matter much.. I only used the "Advanced" features one time (hooking up on a downhill slope) on my US-Gear.

Brake in a box (Brake Buddy, Even Brake, Apollo) must be installed EVERY TIME you tow, and removed and stowed to drive, Lots of work I do not recommend less you have a stable of towed and wish to use one for all.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:31 PM   #6
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Shop around for instance I purchased a road master all terrain 2 10,000lb tow bar on amazon for $757.00 CW wanted $1,100 on sale
2007 Fleetwood Revolution LE 40V
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Yard Perfect View Post
I went to Camping World to determine what I needed to set up to tow a vehicle.... is it imperative to do the external braking system..... (28' MH, VW like toad)........

Before the advice gets too deep here, a couple of questions:
1) MH engine?
2) MH Hitch towing capacity?
4) Define "VW like toad".
a) What will you tow?
b) what will it weigh?
c) is it approved to tow 4-down?

John & Diane, Fulltimers. RVM103 NHSO
On the road since June '12 with Lincoln, the guard cat.
2002 Dutch Star 40, Freightliner, Cat 3126, 2004 Element
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Brake in a box (Brake Buddy, Even Brake, Apollo) must be installed EVERY TIME you tow, and removed and stowed to drive, Lots of work I do not recommend less you have a stable of towed and wish to use one for all.
I have the Even Brake, I install it in less than a minute. Move seat back, set unit on floor, hook up brake pedal, move seat forward against unit, plug in to 12V, Plug in cable to transmitter, push test button, done.
To take it out of vehicle, reverse above, put unit in trunk.
I had the old version called Brakepro, used it in 3 consecutive toads over 10 years. Best $1289 spent. Just my $0.02.
Roger and Val, Central California
2010 Jayco Melbourne
Toad is a 2009 Chevy Cobalt LT
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:03 PM   #9
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Newbie's 2 Cents

I'm a newbie so not sure I'm the best to even have an opinion. I just bought and used for the first time the RVi Brake 2 System on our Wrangler Unlimited. Have the break away wiring for the remote communicator tucked nicely under the floor mat for a quick connection each time. I have to say that it is extremely easy to install and set up. Adjusting sensitivity and vehicle size is simple from the dash mounted remote screen and away we went. Again, first time we used it but I was pleased at the simplicity of the set up and comfortable that the unit was doing what it was supposed to..
I will tell you I was not sure about wanting to invest the $$ for a braking system but the wise folks here at iRV Forums convinced me it was the right thing to do. Glad I did.

Keith & Diane White - Friends of Bill W.
2011 Thor Serrano (FRED), 2014 Jeep Wrangler
2 Retired Racers - KayT & Pebbles
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