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Old 05-30-2015, 02:03 PM   #1
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Newbie question: Do I need a brake controller?

Greetings!!
As the new owner of 2015 Itasca Suncruiser, I'd like to tow my 2009 mini-cooper. (If anyone has done that, I've got some real questions for you...)

But the first question is: Do I need to have a brake controller installed in my Motorhome?

I've been looking at braking systems. Invisibrake uses the taillights (??) to activate the braking system, Brake Buddy uses (I think) a inertial sensing system and Brakemaster taps off the hydraulics on my gasser motorhome.

This surprises me since I thought the electric brake systems from trailers would be adapted to the automotive braking systems.

Thanks,
Jerald Pendleton
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Old 05-30-2015, 02:19 PM   #2
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Toad brakes

First of all an electric trailer brake controler woun't work on your toad (car). The easy out is one of the free standing brake buddy type systems, basically there plug and go and work in whatever your planning on towing in the future without any instalation, just stick it in there and plug it in.
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Old 05-30-2015, 02:21 PM   #3
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Need, yes. Have to have, no. Your Mini is not that heavy and I'm sure your coach has enough brakes to stop it under normal braking but why take the chance. There are many brake systems for toads available and most everybody thinks their choice is best. I use a Brake Buddy because I have two vehicles set up to tow and the Brake Buddy will swap from vehicle to vehicle, it's not the most convenient setup compared to the permanently installed systems but it serves my purpose. I had a friend tell me one time that if he ever has an accident, not having a supplemental braking system will not be something he can be sued over! It's additional insurance against a lawsuit in case of an accident and additional peace of mind in a sudden braking situation.
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Old 05-30-2015, 02:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrpend View Post
Greetings!!
As the new owner of 2015 Itasca Suncruiser, I'd like to tow my 2009 mini-cooper. (If anyone has done that, I've got some real questions for you...)

But the first question is: Do I need to have a brake controller installed in my Motorhome?

I've been looking at braking systems. Invisibrake uses the taillights (??) to activate the braking system, Brake Buddy uses (I think) a inertial sensing system and Brakemaster taps off the hydraulics on my gasser motorhome.

This surprises me since I thought the electric brake systems from trailers would be adapted to the automotive braking systems.

Thanks,
Jerald Pendleton
jrpend
Toad brakes and electric trailer brakes a horse of a different feather.
As far as I know no toad brake systems need a brake controller like trailer electric trailer brakes and some tow dollyies use.
Mel
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Old 05-30-2015, 02:28 PM   #5
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The 2009 Dinghy Towing Guide doesn't list the Mini Cooper, neither can I find a reference in the 2008 or 2010. The offical guide would be your owners manual. I have found numerous places that states the Mini Cooper is not towable with all 4 down and if it is that the warranty will be voided.

However, here's a link with MH owners that do tow mini coopers. Towing a Mini Cooper - Towing - FMCA Motorhome Forums
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Old 05-30-2015, 04:36 PM   #6
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My 2006 mini weighs in above 3500 pounds so I think you would need to have auxiliary braking to be legal in several states. Your mini needs to be a standard shift. Automatic trans and those with all wheel drive are NOT towable four wheels down.
The auto trans ones can be towed on a dolly (at least that's my understanding).
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 1ciderdog View Post
My 2006 mini weighs in above 3500 pounds so I think you would need to have auxiliary braking to be legal in several states. Your mini needs to be a standard shift. Automatic trans and those with all wheel drive are NOT towable four wheels down.
The auto trans ones can be towed on a dolly (at least that's my understanding).
We towed a 2005 CVT and a 2011 auto trans on a tow dolly w/no problems.
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