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Old 02-09-2007, 07:43 AM   #1
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Hello all. I am planning to tow my Jeep Wrangler with my motorhome and since this is my first time flat towing, I am concerned about passing a freeway here in So. Cal where the grade I think is 6% downhill. Has anyone flat towed a vehicle without tow brakes on a steep downhill freeway and any advice that you can give.

Thanks.

Alex
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Old 02-09-2007, 07:43 AM   #2
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Hello all. I am planning to tow my Jeep Wrangler with my motorhome and since this is my first time flat towing, I am concerned about passing a freeway here in So. Cal where the grade I think is 6% downhill. Has anyone flat towed a vehicle without tow brakes on a steep downhill freeway and any advice that you can give.

Thanks.

Alex
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Old 02-09-2007, 08:53 AM   #3
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Alex, welcome to iRV2.com. We are glad to have you join us. What kind of chassis do you have? I recommend having brake assist on any towed vehicle just in case. I also do not want a brake that on a long steep grade is energized. There are many different types of designs and recommend you do a little home work on the different brands and types. For the record I am using the Brake Master and have been pleased with it.
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:01 PM   #4
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I just came from the Spartan Chassis seminar here at the FMCA rally in Brooksville.

Spartan's position is that ANYTHING towed needs it's own brake system.
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:10 PM   #5
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Hi SJEG123,
I have not done what you are thinking about doing. This is one of those decisions that needs to be made with regard to safety first. It is also a long term decision. To me this means making a toad brake system purchase.

If for what ever reason you can not do this, consider having someone drive the toad. Please do not tow it down steep and/or long downgrades. Even if you were to make it safely this time, the odds are against you continuing to be lucky. In addition, the extra wear being put on the coach drivetrain will shorten its life.
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:38 PM   #6
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Most states also require brakes on a towed vehicle above 2500 or 3k lbs. With that said, before I got on the RV forums and found out I needed brakes, I drove a 30ft MH with Chevy P30 chassis and pulled a jeep behind it for 14 years, never put any brakes on it and didn't even know they were needed for several years. I never had any problems pulling up or down large grades with it, dragged it through the mountains of Colorado many a time. After I got a 5th wheel I pulled it behind that for 3 years the same way.
Even now I have a boat and trailer that didn't come with brakes because its only 2900 lbs so it wasn't required. I tow it behind everything and there's only 600lbs or so difference between it and a jeep.

But everyone is correct in that it would probably be safer and certainly more legal to put brakes on it.
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Old 02-09-2007, 02:19 PM   #7
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I also tow a Jeep Wrangler, though I do use a Roadmaster Even Brake. I have descended mountains with more than a 6% grade, and the Even Brake has never activated unless I had to actually hit the motorhome brakes to slow way down. With engine braking only, it has never activated.

I have to agree with others though, that a braking system really is a good (if not legal) idea -- when you need it, it really helps.
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:30 PM   #8
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Alex,
Welcome to irv2. Can it be done? Sure. However, as you've read so far the recommendation is to have some sort of brake system. It's bad enough doing a panic stop on flat terrain with a brake system. Wouldn't want to do one going downhill without one. Whatever you decide, stay safe and enjoy your travels.
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Old 02-09-2007, 04:44 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the reply and everyone's concern of my safety. I will be purchasing a tow brake before I tow downhill. I am lucky to post this question because come to think about it, I could have been spending a whole lot more money if I get into an accident. If I can avoid it by spending a little then I sure would do. This forum is good. Oh, BTW, I have a 04 31' Winnebago Adventurer on a W22. But, I noticed that the tow wiring is only a 4-wire. When I buy a tow brake, do I need to convert this to a 6 or 7-wire? Also, what is everyone using on their toad? 4-wire flat or 6-wire round?

Thanks. You guys are awesome.

Alex
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:30 PM   #10
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5JEG123 - The tow brake probably isn't a big deal on hills. You have a W22 chassis, which should have a grade brake, which is an excellent feature for descending steep hills.

As others have said, the real need for the brake is for quick stops. I have the sensitivity of my brake adjusted so it is not used until there is fairly hard braking from the motorhome. It doesn't come on down hill (you don't want the toad brakes dragging) and it seldom comes on in normal (gentle) stops. But it does work when I need it. Just today it kept me from sailing right into an intersection when I was surprised by a quick red light.

The connectors on both the Roadmaster and Blue Ox electrical umbilical cords are round (4 or 6 wire) and the connector they supply for the toad is also round. I use a 6-wire connector for my toad - turn signals (2), brake lights, tail tights, ground, and one wire not used.
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:18 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> I noticed that the tow wiring is only a 4-wire. When I buy a tow brake, do I need to convert this to a 6 or 7-wire? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm not sure about other brands but the BrakeBuddy gets its power from a 12V outlet in the toad. The wiring connector (mine is 6 pin) on the MH is for lights only.
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:29 PM   #12
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I towed a Honda for many years without auxiliary brakes. One of the reasons I finally started using a auxiliary brake system was "insurance credibility".
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