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Old 09-29-2015, 12:37 PM   #1
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Question for those who have the Blue Ox Patriot

I am looking at purchasing the Blue Ex Patriot aux brake. For those that own it, do you notice any problems with the slow arm pressing the brake. It seems to take the longest to press the brake pedal down over other brands. Thanks for the input!
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Old 09-29-2015, 01:40 PM   #2
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Not sure what you are referring to but I can tell you, as a Patriot user for a few years, it works as advertised as a fully proportional braking system. Easy to set up and can be used in any vehicle without any mods to the vehicle.
The sensitivity can be adjusted to match the requirements for the terrain etc.

As far as customer service,
After about four years, I had a problem with the internal battery while on our way to Alaska. After a call to Blueox, they sent me a Brand New Patriot, pre paid to my next destination for about 1/3 the cost of a new one. I returned the old one, pre paid, to complete the deal.

This is the only braking system I have used so I can't compare it to others but would not hesitate to buy it again.
Hope this answers your concern.
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Old 09-29-2015, 02:05 PM   #3
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Matthew--
I owned and used the Patriot for a few years, but ultimately decided to replace it when I upgraded to my current DP, and thus had the advantage of RV air brakes to tap into. I upgraded to the M&G system, mostly for the following reasons:

First--the Patriot does brake slowly, as you suspected. There is one speed on that Patriot brake. If you hit your RV brakes just barely hard enough to trigger the Patriot, or if you all-out SLAM your brakes on, the speed that the Patriot system applies brakes is the same. The push-rod is electronically operated, and it comes out at constant and fairly slow rate. In my opinion, this would not help to reduce stopping distance as well as it should, particularly in an emergency stop.

Secondly--the Patriot doesn't seem to be very proportional either. The actuation is by what I envision is an internal pendulum. If the pendulum swings too far forward (i.e. from braking hard), it applies the brakes. It doesn't apply them any harder/softer (see above), it just applies them. Likewise, if you are going down a steep hill, that pendulum could still activate the brakes. This may be a good thing, as maybe you'd like your toad to slow itself down a little with its own brakes on a big decline. But if it's a long, LONG hill, you will be riding the toad's brakes the whole way -- and there's nothing you can do from the RV to control that. I'd rather have some control over how/when my toad brakes are applied.

Third--The box can slip out of position even if you are careful when you install it. I had mine shift three times even though I was always very careful about installing it. Two of those times it shifted so badly that it turned itself off. I got my best results when I removed a rubberized floor mat from underneath it, as the rubbery coating was a little too slippery for it. But even after learning this trick, it could still shift out of position in my Jeep Wrangler. You may have a better fit with your toad?

Forth--When I used this in my first RV, a 35' gasser, the little readout monitor with the sensitivity switch that you mount near the RV driver's seat would work only some of the time. It sends/receives data via a radio signal, and sometimes that signal would get lost, making that piece useless. When I upgraded to the 40' DP (actually 42 feet by measuring), the readout never would work. This does NOT render the Patriot useless--it will work without that part. But it does mean that you can't get braking feedback, and you can't make adjustments while you drive.

The big advantage that Dennis mentioned is that you can use the Patriot in different cars, so if you have more than one towable car, or you change toads, you do not need to install a new braking system.

I would say that the Patriot is certainly better than nothing! It helps to slow the toad for sure, and it does have a breakaway feature that you should install too, if you buy a Patriot. That will apply toad brakes in the event that the toad becomes separated from the RV while underway.

It's a good system, but I made the upgrade to one that I personally feel is better. If you have an RV with air brakes, I would recommend that you read up on the M&G system, and also the Air Force I system. Both use the RV's air brakes and offer truly proportional braking. If you "tap" RV brakes, you are simultaneously "tapping" your toad brakes. If you SLAM RV brakes, you are SLAMMING toad brakes. If you prefer to use your engine (or exhaust) brakes going down a hill, with only occasional brake use in RV and toad, it's all under your control. Both of these systems cost about the same or maybe a little more than the Patriot, but you also have to pay to have it installed unless you are a qualified mechanic. Installation nearly doubles the cost.
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Old 09-29-2015, 02:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
Not sure what you are referring to but I can tell you, as a Patriot user for a few years, it works as advertised as a fully proportional braking system. Easy to set up and can be used in any vehicle without any mods to the vehicle.
The sensitivity can be adjusted to match the requirements for the terrain etc.

As far as customer service,
After about four years, I had a problem with the internal battery while on our way to Alaska. After a call to Blueox, they sent me a Brand New Patriot, pre paid to my next destination for about 1/3 the cost of a new one. I returned the old one, pre paid, to complete the deal.

This is the only braking system I have used so I can't compare it to others but would not hesitate to buy it again.
Hope this answers your concern.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Statgeek View Post
Matthew--
I owned and used the Patriot for a few years, but ultimately decided to replace it when I upgraded to my current DP, and thus had the advantage of RV air brakes to tap into. I upgraded to the M&G system, mostly for the following reasons:

First--the Patriot does brake slowly, as you suspected. There is one speed on that Patriot brake. If you hit your RV brakes just barely hard enough to trigger the Patriot, or if you all-out SLAM your brakes on, the speed that the Patriot system applies brakes is the same. The push-rod is electronically operated, and it comes out at constant and fairly slow rate. In my opinion, this would not help to reduce stopping distance as well as it should, particularly in an emergency stop.

Secondly--the Patriot doesn't seem to be very proportional either. The actuation is by what I envision is an internal pendulum. If the pendulum swings too far forward (i.e. from braking hard), it applies the brakes. It doesn't apply them any harder/softer (see above), it just applies them. Likewise, if you are going down a steep hill, that pendulum could still activate the brakes. This may be a good thing, as maybe you'd like your toad to slow itself down a little with its own brakes on a big decline. But if it's a long, LONG hill, you will be riding the toad's brakes the whole way -- and there's nothing you can do from the RV to control that. I'd rather have some control over how/when my toad brakes are applied.

Third--The box can slip out of position even if you are careful when you install it. I had mine shift three times even though I was always very careful about installing it. Two of those times it shifted so badly that it turned itself off. I got my best results when I removed a rubberized floor mat from underneath it, as the rubbery coating was a little too slippery for it. But even after learning this trick, it could still shift out of position in my Jeep Wrangler. You may have a better fit with your toad?

Forth--When I used this in my first RV, a 35' gasser, the little readout monitor with the sensitivity switch that you mount near the RV driver's seat would work only some of the time. It sends/receives data via a radio signal, and sometimes that signal would get lost, making that piece useless. When I upgraded to the 40' DP (actually 42 feet by measuring), the readout never would work. This does NOT render the Patriot useless--it will work without that part. But it does mean that you can't get braking feedback, and you can't make adjustments while you drive.

The big advantage that Dennis mentioned is that you can use the Patriot in different cars, so if you have more than one towable car, or you change toads, you do not need to install a new braking system.

I would say that the Patriot is certainly better than nothing! It helps to slow the toad for sure, and it does have a breakaway feature that you should install too, if you buy a Patriot. That will apply toad brakes in the event that the toad becomes separated from the RV while underway.

It's a good system, but I made the upgrade to one that I personally feel is better. If you have an RV with air brakes, I would recommend that you read up on the M&G system, and also the Air Force I system. Both use the RV's air brakes and offer truly proportional braking. If you "tap" RV brakes, you are simultaneously "tapping" your toad brakes. If you SLAM RV brakes, you are SLAMMING toad brakes. If you prefer to use your engine (or exhaust) brakes going down a hill, with only occasional brake use in RV and toad, it's all under your control. Both of these systems cost about the same or maybe a little more than the Patriot, but you also have to pay to have it installed unless you are a qualified mechanic. Installation nearly doubles the cost.
Thank you both for the replies. That is a lot of information. Some information on my side. My MH does not have air brakes, they are hydraulic. My toad is a 2015 Jeep Wrangler. I will also be towing a 2014 Ford Explorer so something portable best suits my needs, otherwise I would be going with the hydraulic over air system that M&G makes. My first pick for the brake was the RVi2 brake but found a really good deal on the Patriot. It may be going back though as it does seem to brake slow, slower than others. Your post does not make me feel better about the Patriot as it pretty much confirms my concerns. I had not thought about it slipping but since I am in a Wrangler as well I guess that is something I need to think about. I think that whatever system if it is a floor mounted portable it will need a bungee cord or something to help it not slip around. Thank you for your input!
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:08 PM   #5
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Now that I have a grasp on your concern about the Patriot operating slow, I suggest before you ditch the Patriot, give Blueox a call to discuss your concern. The system is designed such that it not supposed to slam on the toad brakes but the people who designed it will be able to explain this in more detail.
also, if the device you bought is used or an older version, it can be upgraded to the latest that has a few changes to improve it.
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:12 PM   #6
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I Use the Patriot in my 2014 CRV. We just returned from a 2600 mile round trip to Colorado Springs. On three or four times during this trip, the brake unit shut itself off. I attributed this to the unit bouncing around on the less than glassy smooth roads along the way. But that is just my guess. I have a to do list item to contact Blue Ox and ask them about this.
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
Now that I have a grasp on your concern about the Patriot operating slow, I suggest before you ditch the Patriot, give Blueox a call to discuss your concern. The system is designed such that it not supposed to slam on the toad brakes but the people who designed it will be able to explain this in more detail.
also, if the device you bought is used or an older version, it can be upgraded to the latest that has a few changes to improve it.
The one I am getting is brand new. Good advice I will give them a call.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobb.25 View Post
I Use the Patriot in my 2014 CRV. We just returned from a 2600 mile round trip to Colorado Springs. On three or four times during this trip, the brake unit shut itself off. I attributed this to the unit bouncing around on the less than glassy smooth roads along the way. But that is just my guess. I have a to do list item to contact Blue Ox and ask them about this.
Bob
I will be interested to hear what Blue Ox says about this. Please post and let us know. Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobb.25 View Post
I Use the Patriot in my 2014 CRV. We just returned from a 2600 mile round trip to Colorado Springs. On three or four times during this trip, the brake unit shut itself off. I attributed this to the unit bouncing around on the less than glassy smooth roads along the way. But that is just my guess. I have a to do list item to contact Blue Ox and ask them about this.
Bob
Bob, food for thought,
I tow a 2013 CRV and used to have problems with my Patriot after a couple hours on the road. I have a charge line from the MH to the CRC battery but after some head-banging I came to the conclusion the battery in the CRV is grossly undersized and was causing all my trouble. I stopped to fill with gas one day (not towing) and left my lights on. In the amount of time it took to fill 1/2 tank, the battery was Stone Dead. That was the last straw.

So, I went to Honda and purchased and new battery box for a 2013 Odessy and a Real Battery and have not had a dead battery or problem with my Patriot since. See attached link. I really like my CRV but this was an issue that Honda kept denying and now, the 2015 models have the larger battery as standard.

Dead Battery on Honda CRV
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Old 09-30-2015, 08:04 AM   #9
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I think in all surge portable braking systems the important thing is to situate them correctly in the vehicle. Having the drivers seat as far forward as possible, if the front portion of the seat is soft order out the seat stiffener from Blue Ox. You can adjust the sensitivity from the drivers seat. I've never had all the problems mentioned with my Patriot braking system. I suspect if slugish braking is occuring it could be the softness of the front of the seat. I use a seat stiffener with mine.
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Old 09-30-2015, 08:57 AM   #10
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Since you are looking for a portable braking unit, I suggest you give a look at the RVi Brake. It's small, light, and sits on the floor pan of your vehicle - and it works very well. Go to their website and watch the videos - they will explain the whole system and even show you a video comparing the RVi2 to the BlueOx. I too was surprised how slow the BlueOx was. The website is rvibrake.com.
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Old 09-30-2015, 12:29 PM   #11
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Since you are looking for a portable braking unit, I suggest you give a look at the RVi Brake. It's small, light, and sits on the floor pan of your vehicle - and it works very well. Go to their website and watch the videos - they will explain the whole system and even show you a video comparing the RVi2 to the BlueOx. I too was surprised how slow the BlueOx was. The website is rvibrake.com.
The RVi was my first choice but I got such a good deal on the Patriot I went with that. Received it today. I have not actually towed with it yet but I did set it up and test it out with the remote. It is very slow to engage the brake which would seem bad in a panic situation. If you are just stopping normally I would guess it is fine. What concerns me more actually is how slow it is to disengage the pedal. If I was going down a large decline where I am using the brakes some, there would be a delay after I let off the brake pedal to when the Patriot is retracted enough to be off the brakes. Also going down a decline I'm not on the brakes much so by the time I press the brake pedal and let off the patriot has barely started braking the towed vehicle and then it seems useless as the braking force would still be on the MH. I am going to test it out, I really want to like it, especially for the price, but I'm not sure.
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:25 AM   #12
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If what you are describing is true and you have it set up correctly there is something wrong with your unit. Mine doesn't operate any slower than I normally apply my brake. That said, I do drive at times on snow, ice and slippery roads. I don't think I would want instant on braking and risk my toad skidding side ways.
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Old 10-01-2015, 02:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by matthew6279 View Post
The RVi was my first choice but I got such a good deal on the Patriot I went with that. Received it today. I have not actually towed with it yet but I did set it up and test it out with the remote. It is very slow to engage the brake which would seem bad in a panic situation. If you are just stopping normally I would guess it is fine. What concerns me more actually is how slow it is to disengage the pedal. If I was going down a large decline where I am using the brakes some, there would be a delay after I let off the brake pedal to when the Patriot is retracted enough to be off the brakes. Also going down a decline I'm not on the brakes much so by the time I press the brake pedal and let off the patriot has barely started braking the towed vehicle and then it seems useless as the braking force would still be on the MH. I am going to test it out, I really want to like it, especially for the price, but I'm not sure.

Yup. This was my experience and assessment also. It's better than no breaking system at all, but it's not the best.
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Old 10-01-2015, 02:48 PM   #14
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We have the Patriot and also toad is 15 Jeep Wrangler, haven't had any problems with it so far, even on some pretty rough roads. We do put a different mat under it. Safe travels.
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