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Old 11-30-2010, 10:27 PM   #1
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Ready Brute - Concern That Dealers Are Not Aware Of Them

OK, It's time to put down the plastic this week for the total package, tow bar, braking system, toad plates etc so I can get anything out there.

I have been reading posts on the subject of tow bars and braking systems for a few weeks now and I must have read 20 very positive reports from owners of the Ready Brute tow bar and integral surge braking system, and did not find one negative comment. That system comes out a cool thousand dollars less than other braking systems, it has a good looking 8,000 pound aluminum tow bar, the braking system is interestingly simple from an Engineering sense, plus there is no "braking box" to put in and take out of the toad every time.

I called 6 RV dealer service shops here in the Dallas area for purchase and installation. Most of them had not heard of Ready Brute. One of them said they had installed two but their mechanics "were uncomfortable" with the braking system concept of Ready Brute. I only found one shop in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that has installed 3 of them them and can say the Ready Brute is fine..well one sales guy said they were fine but another guy at the same shop was not so sure they were the best way to go. Since they cant buy the Ready Brute I have to buy the Ready Brute and take it to them to install, which I dont mind, but it seems odd. All the shops can provide the usual ones like Blue Ox, Roadmaster, Brake Buddy, SMI, etc. etc. but not Ready Brute.

I did take the recommendation of one post here on IRV2 and called the gentleman at Ready Brute and like the poster said, I too was treated very well by Ready Brute for all my questions.

I like what I read about the Ready Brute system, but it just seems strange that any product that is so highly regarded by owners in forum postings is practically an unknown to RV service centers that handle these things every day.
That old line of "if it sounds too good to be true...." seems to pop into my mind.

Does anyone have these concerns about Ready Brute, or has anyone moved out of a Ready Brute system and switched over to another brand due to problems with Ready Brute?

Of course if you want to brag about your Ready Brute that's fine too!

Thanks much in advance! I'm ready to spring for something this week and look forward to getting this decision behind me!

(Toad will be a 2003 Honda Element)
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:03 AM   #2
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I found the Ready Brake system pretty easy to install myself. There
is only a few things that need to be done assuming that you already have your baseplate installed.

1.) Fish the Ready Brake indicator lamp wire up through the frame rail from rear to front of the coach.
2) Drill a 1/4" hole where you want the surge brake LED indicator lamp to be located in the dash. Connect one end to a chassis ground wire, other end to 12 volt power source.
3) For the toad find the single wall section of the firewall to drill a small locator hole, enlarge hole and route the brake cable through it.
4) Secure the cable at both ends of the toad. Secure the cable with cable ties along the route of the cable.
5) Hook up the tow bar and adjust the surge brake cable as per the instructions.

As far as distribution is concerned, it seems the owner decided to lean more towards direct sales instead of setting up a dealer network.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanabee FTer View Post
1.) Fish the Ready Brake indicator lamp wire up through the frame rail from rear to front of the coach.
2) Drill a 1/4" hole where you want the surge brake LED indicator lamp to be located in the dash. Connect one end to a chassis ground wire, other end to 12 volt power source.
Or you can use the wireless indicator lamp like I bought from NSA.

And for dealers not knowing or wanting to install ReadyBrute, could it be that the service managers decided they can make more money installing the others?? JMHO
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:57 PM   #4
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I guess I'm kinda cheap that way, I just went with the free warning system that came with the tow bar.
How is the wireless set up working for you?
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:21 PM   #5
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Recently had the ReadyBrake Elite with Blue Ox base plate installed. The only negative Ive found is that because of the integrated surge brake into the towbar, it extends the length of the distance between receiver on M/H and towcar connection by about a foot or so, over a towbar that doesn't have the surge brake built in. I had planned to installed a Protect A Tow shield between the M/H rear bumper and the front of the towcar, and I find the increased laength of the towbar setup, requires that I have to order an extra long shield( 84" vs 65") which adds another $200+ to the picture. The standard 65" shield just is not long enough to hook to where it has to mount on our 2009 Honda CRV. To my knowlege, the Protect A Tow system is the only rock deflector system that will work with the ReadyBrake setup.
As far as the Ready Brake unit itself, it works very well, and is more than strong enough to handle the CRV. Adjusting the brake cable for the proper tension is fairily simple-it just takes some playing around with it to get it set properly. I set mine to where it doesn't come on everytime I hit the brakes on the M/H- I prefer it to come on when I apply a little stronger brake pedal rather than a light pedal.
These are just a couple of minor things I think you have to get used to, but certainly simplier than having to install a "brake box" in your towcar every time you set up to tow.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:14 PM   #6
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The Reason that Those Dealers are squeamish about Ready Brake by Nightshift Auto is quite simple! It is called Direct Sales. There are No dealers , You buy Direct from the Manufacturer. The Reason that the Price is so much Lower is because there is No Retail Markup and those Dealers have Nothing to come even close to the Ready Brake Products.

I contacted Night shift a couple of Years ago to explore setting up a Dealership. I passed because I wanted to sell something that I could make a reasonable Margin on. I couldn't crack them then and Am proud to say that No one Else has been able to either!

Great Products from a Terrific Company!
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanabee FTer View Post
I guess I'm kinda cheap that way, I just went with the free warning system that came with the tow bar.
How is the wireless set up working for you?

I like the wireless system and find myself hardly noticing the signal light anymore. I pay closer attention to make sure it works properly but not continuously at the start of each day or when reconnecting.

I decided that I didn't want anymore wires running up to the driver area, so even though the wireless was more, I thought it was worth it and continue to love the system.

Bill
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:31 PM   #8
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The Reason that Those Dealers are squeamish about Ready Brake by Nightshift Auto is quite simple! It is called Direct Sales. There are No dealers , You buy Direct from the Manufacturer. The Reason that the Price is so much Lower is because there is No Retail Markup and those Dealers have Nothing to come even close to the Ready Brake Products.

I contacted Night shift a couple of Years ago to explore setting up a Dealership. I passed because I wanted to sell something that I could make a reasonable Margin on. I couldn't crack them then and Am proud to say that No one Else has been able to either!

Great Products from a Terrific Company!
We have the Ready Brake system and totally agree with RobRV!
Our protect-a-tow fits perfect. another good product. lucky twice,,,,,,,,,
Beagle
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:57 PM   #9
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There's actually one dealer who carries ReadyBrute towbars, Howard RV in Wilmington, NC. If I hadn't already set up my toad with towbar and braking system I'd seriously consider them.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:36 PM   #10
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Smitty's RV & welding in west Houston can install. I did my baseplate but ran out of time for the cable into the cobalt. Call Keith there. I think they are a dealer too. I didn't now it when I bought from towbarsunlimited.com-who had great total package prices. RV Masters down here recommend Smitty's. My first test tow is this weekend!
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:49 AM   #11
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I ended up going to "Discount Hitch" in Arlington TX (in the Dallas Ft Worth area). I met Mark (the store Manager) at the last Dallas RV show and was impressed.
I was not there while they did the hook ups in the Toad (Honda Element) but I was there for the final hook ups to the MH and they did a great job on both.
There is one tricky part of adjusting the cable...and I had to call Ready Brute. Discount Hitch did a nice job of adjusting it to be "just" right...I was satisfied with what they did...but come to find out it was just a LITTLE bit too tight because it wore on the cable just a little when I went over dips in the road or made a tight turn. Where it goes thru the metal slot it was wearing a little.

Also, I bought TWO LED indicators...one that lights up when the surge is activated and one when the Honda brake pedal is depressed by the system...very good to have both and I would recommend it. Only $35 additional in parts.

Having that second light allowed me to see that when going over dips the surge-activated LED did not come on but the Toad brake pedal indicator light DID come on..bingo..cable too tight and that's what Ready Brute confirmed..other than that small adjustment, I'm impressed and pleased with the Ready Brute integrated tow bar and braking system, and I love not having anything sitting on the floor of the toad.
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:25 AM   #12
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We have the ready brake and ready stop emergency system but using a Blue Ox tow bar I already had. Installed them myself using a drill, some simple tools, a few beers, a Saturday afternoon and very few swear words. Our toad is so small the cables ended up going through the right front wheel well so I used extra silicone to make sure it didn't leak. I have not installed the indicator light yet.

I bought it to be legal more than for safety as the toad at 2200 lbs would probably be fine without any supplemental brake. A previous owner used it as a toad and I can see no evidence of a brake system although a wireless electric might not show any.

I liked the simplicity of the thing. No electronics and not too many moving parts. Would also be easy enough to move to a new vehicle. Most of the small hardware could be replaced at Home Depot too.

If you decide to get one you could always check with an RV dealer first to see if they will install it and get a price or even try your favorite auto repair shop. It's nothing any decent grease monkey couldn't do.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:53 AM   #13
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Also, I bought TWO LED indicators...one when the Honda brake pedal is depressed by the system...
Curt,

Where did you buy this item, and do you have a part # for it? I'd be interested in one.
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:04 AM   #14
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towbarsunlimited.com

I bought my whole package here, and being in Texas, Demco was shipped from Dallas in 2 days and the bar the next day.

Tow Bars Unlimited

seems to be the best price all around. All I have left to do now is install the $35 light package and set my brake cable.

Thanks for the heads-up on not making the cable too tight for dips and turns. O
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