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Old 09-28-2016, 12:16 PM   #1
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Grade Braking Four Down

Currently towing with a dolly but am contemplating four down towing. On the dolly, when engine braking down a grade, the surge brakes on the dolly will help hold back the dingy to some degree. If towing four down, which uses the dingy brakes, is there any braking that takes place or is it the coach that must hold it back. Not sure if this is brake system dependent but I have been looking at the RVibrake2 system.
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Old 09-28-2016, 12:23 PM   #2
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The Ready Brute Elite system will work the same as Dolly Surge Brakes. You can adjust the cable length and/or hitch height to get your desired effect. I have mine set to only actuate under firm braking.
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Old 09-28-2016, 02:45 PM   #3
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I highly recommend the NSA ReadyBrute Elite towbars with built-in ReadyBrake. This is a surge-type braking system which is simple, effective, and low cost!
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Old 09-28-2016, 04:05 PM   #4
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The RVi brake will not activate when you are grade braking using your exhaust brake (this is a good thing) but will activate if you use snub braking to slow youself down further.

No supplemental braking system should activate unless you are using the service brake. If it does, you will be overheating and wearing out your vehicle brakes prematurely.
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Old 09-28-2016, 04:16 PM   #5
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I have the Readybrute Elite, it doesn't ride the brakes down hill while using the gears on the motorhome to control speed. If I dab the brakes, the Jeep will brake momentarily as well, then return to just coasting along.


No brake system should drag the brakes going downhill.


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Old 09-28-2016, 04:39 PM   #6
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vettenuts-

Our toad is equipped with an SMI Stay-in-Play Duo auxiliary braking system. It uses two inputs to determine braking: 1) coach brake light activation and 2) a pendulum in the control unit. The control unit has a sensitivity setting. This tells the braking system how much of the pendulum action to translate to braking effort. I believe it operates on the rate of pendulum movement, not the amount, so a constant downgrade- even with gentle coach brake pedal use- should not trigger significant braking in the toad. Mash the brakes and it'll be there.

(NOTE: Per SMI, the Duo has a base level of decceleration that must be exceeded in order to activate, regardless of the sensitivity setting.)

I know this rambling may not apply to the RVI brake system you're considering, but figured it would give you a point of comparison with that and other systems mentioned by the other posters.
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Old 09-28-2016, 04:49 PM   #7
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Been using the RoadMaster BrakeMaster unit for years. It only activates when I press the brake treadle since it's air controlled and fully proportional.
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Old 09-28-2016, 04:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevemoores View Post
I have the Readybrute Elite, it doesn't ride the brakes down hill while using the gears on the motorhome to control speed. If I dab the brakes, the Jeep will brake momentarily as well, then return to just coasting along.


No brake system should drag the brakes going downhill.


Steve
I see the same. A momentary flash of activity with a down shift then coasting along not pushing the coach enough to actuate the tow bar.
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Old 09-29-2016, 11:22 AM   #9
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Any surge-type unit might activate when the grade brake engages, but generally there is going to be little braking action at the dinghy because the grade brake (downshifting) doesn't cause all that much slow-down. If the coach also has an engine brake or exhaust brake, there will be a greater brake effect and that in turn causes more surge braking.

As others have mentioned, many dinghy brake systems are interlocked tot the coach brake pedal or bake lights and won't activate at all unless the service brame is in use. Purely surge systems, though, will apply some brake force.
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:02 PM   #10
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Purely surge systems, though, will apply some brake force.
I can tell you that mine doesn't, but I only have a gas motorhome and use the gears going downhill, either just switch off OD or on some steep grades I'll shift it to 2nd (I have an older Ford with 1-2-D on the column shift and an OD button).

The readybrute has to overcome a spring before it will apply the brakes. I can see the actuator arm in my rearview camera and I see it apply initially then drop back into the rest position, the cable goes slack. There is no braking action at all on the toad when engine braking down a steep grade.

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Old 09-29-2016, 02:21 PM   #11
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My AirForceOne does not brake when the Jake Brake is in use, it only brakes when I apply the air brakes
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
I can tell you that mine doesn't, but I only have a gas motorhome and use the gears going downhill, either just switch off OD or on some steep grades I'll shift it to 2nd (I have an older Ford with 1-2-D on the column shift and an OD button).

The readybrute has to overcome a spring before it will apply the brakes. I can see the actuator arm in my rearview camera and I see it apply initially then drop back into the rest position, the cable goes slack. There is no braking action at all on the toad when engine braking down a steep grade.
I guess I wasn't clear. The surge brake will apply braking in proportion to the deceleration of the tow vehicle. That's what it does, always, whether the slowing is caused by gearing (tow haul) or service brake. In your case, it slowed for a moment as the lower gear engaged and then steadied out at a constant speed, so of course the surge brake slacked off. The same thing happens if you press the service brake for a moment to slow down, and then gently ride it to maintain an even speed. You are no longer decelerating, so no further surge braking either.

An inertial electric brake does the same thing. It's on, but since the tow vehicle is not slowing, it applies no further braking. However, a time-based electric controller keeps applying additional braking as long as the service brake pedal is pressed.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:27 PM   #13
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You are on the right track with the RVIbrake2. It does some surge braking. We have over 50,000 miles with ours and have not had the first problem.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:32 PM   #14
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We've put the Brake Buddy advantage in our jeep - works well
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