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Old 07-24-2013, 02:01 PM   #1
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Ready Brake Question

Anyone ever use a "Ready Brake" braking system?
I have the base plate, tow bar, and have just started doing research on brake systems. The ready brake attachment that mounts between the receiver and the tow bar looks like the easiest and cheapest way to go.
I have seen them for $300.00. Everything else that I have seen runs about three times that.

Your thoughts???

thanks, Leo
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:05 PM   #2
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Yes, I have the Ready Brute, towbar with built in braking system. Have been using this for almost 3 years and no problems. Needs the cable adjusted occasionally, but other than that nothing. You can get the installation kits and parts from NSA (Night Shift Auto).

http://www.readybrake.com/
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:33 PM   #3
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Only thought I have is that you should have gone with the ReadyBrute Elite for your tow bar as it comes with the ReadyBrake surge brake built in. I've just recently purchased the ReadyBrute Elite and I'm impressed with the construction of the tow bar/brake combo.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:18 PM   #4
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Engle,
I've used the Ready Brake for several years and several thousand miles. They are a great auxiliary braking system. Yep, they are by far, the cheapest on the market. No, you don't need the "Ready Brute" tow bar because the system will work just fine with just about any tow bar out there. You just have to match things up as in, a Ready Brake system with a Ball or, one without the ball.

I changed the setup of the Ready Brake system quite a bit due to the fact that I didn't like the way they want you to do it. My cable is not "Permenantly" attached to the brake pedal in the toad. It sits under the floor mat and, when it comes time hook up for towing, the DW just reaches under the floor mat and puts it onto a pin that I installed on the brake arm. That's considerably nicer looking than the hideous clamp system they would have you install.

And, the cable is not being actuated each and every time you apply the brakes while driving the toad. That promotes longevity in that cable housing and cable itself. As for the "link cable" that attaches from the front of the toad to the actuator, I modified that too. I set mine up with a turn buckle so I can make infinite adjustments, if and when I might need it which. happens on occasion. That mod is seriously nicer than the original setup of cable clamps etc. that R/B normally has you set up.

If you'd like pics of my setup etc. PM me and I'd be glad to send you pics of all of my system. It's a good system and, I've shown the reps of Night Shift Auto parts (makers and marketers of Ready Brake) and they really like my adjustments to the system. But, it's the cost that's the primary reason they can't make any adjustments to their existing system. They want to keep it at its lowest possible cost. I don't blame them. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:03 AM   #5
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Well gents,
My last post to the OP on this subject generated more PMs than I thought it would. I'd have no problem answering any and all of them but, in the interest of time and ease, I'll just sort of answer all of them with one stone, so to speak. This is an explanation I sent to one of you so, with that being said, here's what I did.

Now, first, the pictures you'll see are of the first time I set up the R/B on our '04 Jeep Rubcon. Second, as you look at the pics, some are blurry due to the fact that the camera was focusing on items other than what I was trying to take the picture of at the time. So, please bear with them. And, as soon as I get some, I'll post pics of the way I set up our present toad, an '11 GMC Sierra 4x4 Extended Cab 1500.

Third, the method I used for this particular application of the R/B in our ‘04 Jeep Rubicon is/was different than the method I just used on our ‘11 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Extended cab truck. In the Jeep, I used two, small, pieces of aluminum to “sandwich” the brake arm. Then, I made a small plastic pulley that I wrapped the cable around and cinched a ferrule and crimped it close to the pulley.

Now, when it comes time to hook up for towing, all the wife does is reach below the floor mat, pick up the cable end with the enclosed pulley, place it in between the two pieces of aluminum and push a pin through the whole thing. That pin, incidentally, has a spring loaded ball on the side, close to the end, that keeps that pin in place while we’re towing. You can get them at some well equipped hardware stores.

Now, the difference between that style of attachment, in the Jeep, and, my new style on our ‘11 GMC is, I basically “Pressed” that pin, into a hole I drilled into the brake arm. I drilled the hole about .004 smaller than the size of that pin and used a giant C-Clamp and some sockets to basically press that pin, right through and into that hole. So, all you see is the pin tip, sticking out of the brake arm. EXTRA CLEAN!

And, instead of me being a moron and “Building” another pulley, I found them at the hardware store under, the screen door rollers section. It was package of two, brass with bearings in them for about $4.50. And, the inside diameter of those rollers is the same as the pin I installed, obviously I checked that prior to the install of that pin. So, now, she just picks up the cable with pulley attached and slides it right onto the pin and puts a clip through a small hole I drilled across the diameter of the pin. I could not use a “ball/spring loaded” one ‘cause it would not fit through the smaller hole I drilled in the brake arm.

Now, as for the link cable, from the front bumper of the toad to the actuator at the end of the tow bar, I used a high price, polished, stainless steel turn buckle for the Jeep application that I found at a boating supplies store. OUCH, that thing was costly, right at $32.00. So, for this new job, on our Truck, I used an aluminum one from a local hardware store. I certainly don’t like it near as much as the stainless one so, I may re-make that link cable with a better turn buckle. It (the aluminum one) lasted just fine for a recent 1200 mile trip we just completed without showing any signs of wear on the internal threads of it. But, I’m still leery of it.

Now, one thing here. What really helped in doing all these mods was the fact that I already had a ferrule crimper for cable ferrules. It looks like a set of bolt cutters only it’s got notches in the ends where the cutting teeth would be for a bolt cutter. Those notches are for different sized ferrules.

The tool is about $30.00 to $75.00, depending on where you get it and what kind of sale you can find. Those stinking ferrules are high priced, no matter where you look. Anyway, I bought what’s called “thimbles” for the ends of the cables that you wrap around and then put the end back into the ferrule. It makes protection for the cable in the loop. I got smaller thimbles than the ones that came with the R/B setup, those were hideously too large.

I set up the housing in the toad, then make the end of the cable up with the pulley in it, stuff it through the housing and then, determine how much is needed to be sticking out of the bumper or, cable housing, and make the other loop. Then, I place the tow bar on, add the actuator and put it all on some jack stands etc. so that it represents the total distance that’s needed to make up that link cable with turn buckle. I set the threads in the turn buckle to about 1/2 the adjustment (in and out) and make up the cable to accommodate that adjustment. Now, when it’s said and done, I’ve got adjustment in either direction and, it usually only takes about 2-3 turns on the turn buckle to make it the EXACT length needed for correct tension between the actuator and the “connected to the brake pedal cable”. I use “clevis” pieces to connect each end of that link cable. But, I don’t use the threaded type. Those are too hard to work and, you’d need tools to make sure they don’t come un done.

I use pins I make up with holes across the diameters near the end so “hitch pins” can be used to hold them in place. Hooking that link cable up takes me about 10 seconds if constructed in this manor. And, while adjustment is rarely needed, I can in a heartbeat, turn that turn buckle to achieve whatever tension I need, instantly.

So, there’s the picture. So to speak. Hope this helps some. If not, surely let me know.
Scott









Gents,
These are mods I made to make the system work to my satisfaction and look the way I wanted it to. The operational characteristics are not changed. It works EXACTLY as it would if I had not modified any portion of it. Many of you that already have a Ready Brake in place and have installed it the way the factory instructed you to, that's perfectly fine. As long as you're happy with it, then don't change. But, if you're on the brink of the install and, have a bit of enginuity and like to "tinker", then these mods will be simple for you and, I'm real sure you'll like the way it turns out.

I especially like the fact that the cable is not connected to the brake pedal of the toad 24/7/365. It's only connected when we're towing it. Otherwise, it disappears under the floor mat.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:24 AM   #6
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Love the set up. I am about to set up a new CRV to tow and an deciding on a tow bar a brake set up. This looks really good. What do do about the brake lights on the toad? I was thinking about going with a diode setup. Do you depend on the Ready Brake for the brake lights or wire them in to the RV?

Thanks
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:10 AM   #7
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All the above, love the system. I added an led for when the toad brake lights come on.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superiman View Post
Love the set up. I am about to set up a new CRV to tow and an deciding on a tow bar a brake set up. This looks really good. What do do about the brake lights on the toad? I was thinking about going with a diode setup. Do you depend on the Ready Brake for the brake lights or wire them in to the RV?

Thanks
Superiman,
Glad you like the setup. It was fun to do and, like stated, it's way more functional, infinitely adjustable and, looks SERIOUSLY better than the original R/B setup. Ok, as for the brake lights. This is a subject I've talked about a zillion times to folks getting ready to setup for towing. One of the things that many guys simply overlook when setting up a toad is the fact that many, not all but, many toads display brake lights when the brake pedal is pushed, EVEN WITHOUT THE KEY IN THE CAR!!!

So, if you set up a toad wiring system and, that system utilizes the stock tail lights as toad brake/turn/running lights, that dilemma must be considered. Now, I personally recommend doing it that way, that is, using the stock tail lights. It's seriously easy to do it and, the toads lights act the exact same way when towing, as they do when someone is driving it. That way, when someone is following you and, watching the lights on the toad, they get an "expected" true signal from all the lights that are needed at the time.

Now, don't bother telling me about the "drilling for additional sockets and adding bulbs" thing, I don't care for it because of the display characteristics of that system. It's your toad, wire it as you feel. I also don't care for magnetic lights and cords hanging all over the place etc.

Now, here's the deal on your CRV. Most, if not all CRVs have what's known as a "three filament system". That is, they have a running light bulb, a brake light bulb and, an "Amber" turn signal bulb. But, many motor homes don't have that setup, some do but, many don't. So, in order for you to actually use the AMBER turn signals from a motor home that does NOT have the three filament system, a convert box must be utilized. It's an easy install and, makes for accurate and true display of lights on the toad.

But, as for the brake lights, there's really nothing that has to be done to the circuit in the toad if, you're running an auxiliary braking system like Ready Brake. You see, if you wire it by using the stock tail light bulbs and, use the converter box, you'll have no issues. Because, since the Amber turn signals will be utilized for turns and no braking, (which by the way is illegal), then even if you send a brake light signal from the coach, and the brake lights on the toad receive a signal from the toads own brake pedal being applied by the Ready Brake, it's no big deal. Two signals, utilizing the same application, don't conflict.

When it's all said and done, a regular pig tail is hooked up for towing and that's it! Your CRVs lights work flawlessly.

Now, here's where the "DIODES" come into play. I will be sending along with this post, a drawing I made to show the exact wiring a CRV with Amber turn signals use, so there's no confusion as to how things are wired. And, the placement of diodes is in a specific spot. The primary reason for the use of diodes is to prevent back feed into the part of the toads circuit that you don't want it to be in. Since that's what a diode is, a one-way valve for electricity.

And, you don't have to run to your local RV supplies store or Camping World for that expensive set of diodes. Those run upwards of $20.00 or more for some fancy "Boxed" set of diodes. All that you need to do is, buzz down to your local Radio Shack and pickup a pack of them, (usually there's three in a pack but, only two are needed for your job) for about, $2.50. A diode is a diode. You want to pay more, that's up to you.

I installed a diode just in front of the "T" connection on each of the turn signal wires leading to the amber bulbs in the CRV. That way, the signal comes from the converter box which, is interpreting the signal from the coach and, hits the T intersection, turns left and hits the diode and stops. But, it also turns right and goes to the amber bulb for turn signal display. Simple huh? Now, if you're one of those that has a heart attack over "splicing" into factory wiring, I can't help you there. It's simple, and it's effective. And, when done with caution and accuracy, it will NEVER CAUSE ANY ISSUES IN RELATION TO WARRANTY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, I hope I've conveyed some thoughts about how I set things up in an easy to interpret manor. I've done it this exact way, on several toads and never, NEVER, had any issues what so ever and all of my toads, (1) Toyota Pickup, (7) different model years of Jeep Wrangler and Rubicon), (1) 2011 Honda CRV and our present toad, a 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Extended Cab truck. They were all done the exact same way without issues. Good luck, questions? Surely ask.
Scott

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Old 07-25-2013, 01:09 PM   #9
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We've had our Elite tow bar and brake system for three years and it has been trouble free.
We use a wireless Tow Mate light bar which has been a good investment. Also the wireless brake monitor. Very good system and a lot cheaper then any other.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:35 AM   #10
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Also use the elite and love it. That along with the Cooltech harness and we are good to go.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:50 PM   #11
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I highly recommend the ReadyBrake system! It is simple and low-cost, but very effective. Works for me!
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:22 AM   #12
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We have the Ready Brute Elite system and works great. Unfortunately, we have to leave the RV lifestyle and have posted it in the classifieds here..

Best of luck!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Engle View Post
Anyone ever use a "Ready Brake" braking system?
I have the base plate, tow bar, and have just started doing research on brake systems. The ready brake attachment that mounts between the receiver and the tow bar looks like the easiest and cheapest way to go.
I have seen them for $300.00. Everything else that I have seen runs about three times that.

Your thoughts???

thanks, Leo
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:34 PM   #13
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So I have ordered my Ready Brute Elite tow bar and Blueox baseplate. I hope to install them this weekend.
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