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Old 01-06-2015, 06:17 PM   #1
Rkh
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Ready Brute tow system

Temps into single digits here in Indy. Driving toad down interstate I notice my car seeming to loose power. It would come and go. Didn't realize at the time that the brake cable had frozen within the sheath and was applying my brakes ever so slightly. By the time I got off the interstate, the brakes were locked up and hotter than hell. I disconnected the cable from the brake pedal and let the brakes cool off. Didn't take long at 10 degrees. Drove home and all seemed ok.
This seems like a non workable braking solution if I've got to disconnect the cable in the winter. When I call the manufacturer, NSA, I can't imagine they have a solution for this.
This was almost a catastrophe. What if I was hooked to the MH? Probably lots more damage!
Anybody else with this system have similar experience?
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:54 PM   #2
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I'm glad everything worked out OK for you. I can't even image driving in 10 degrees, I'm a SoCal guy. But wouldn't the engine heat keep the shielded cable above freezing. Even at the point where the cable exits the grill I would expect radiant heat to generate some warmth. From watching Ice Road Truckers I guess that at some temperature even the fluids going into the engine become at risk. But that seems to be at minus figures. Again, Just wondering. Be Safe and try to stay warm.
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:57 PM   #3
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I always disconnect the cable from the brake pedal when not towing, just something I feel more comfortable with.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:13 PM   #4
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The way my brake cable is setup there Is slack at both ends when not connected to motor home. Cannot vision how the cable could pull on brake pedal. But we are in a warm area the country for the winter.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronjhall View Post
The way my brake cable is setup there Is slack at both ends when not connected to motor home. Cannot vision how the cable could pull on brake pedal. But we are in a warm area the country for the winter.

You can't have too much slack or even the full travel of the tow bar lever wouldn't pull you pedal enough to overcome the vacuum assist. In other words, you can only have so much slack.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:21 PM   #6
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I drive my tow vehicle (2008 Hummer H3) all the time when not in tow. I have the ready brute elite system and have been driving it in snow, ice, and sub zero temps here in upstate NY. So far no problems as you describe. I'll certainly be on the lookout now.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalynzoo View Post
I'm glad everything worked out OK for you. I can't even image driving in 10 degrees, I'm a SoCal guy. But wouldn't the engine heat keep the shielded cable above freezing. Even at the point where the cable exits the grill I would expect radiant heat to generate some warmth. From watching Ice Road Truckers I guess that at some temperature even the fluids going into the engine become at risk. But that seems to be at minus figures. Again, Just wondering. Be Safe and try to stay warm.

You would think... But nope.. Cable frozen solid within the sheath.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rkh View Post
You can't have too much slack or even the full travel of the tow bar lever wouldn't pull you pedal enough to overcome the vacuum assist. In other words, you can only have so much slack.
I agree with this. I found that I've spent more time adjusting the cables than originally installing the system...
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Old 01-07-2015, 05:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
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You can't have too much slack or even the full travel of the tow bar lever wouldn't pull you pedal enough to overcome the vacuum assist. In other words, you can only have so much slack.
Sure you can when not connected to motorhome.
The cable end that sticks out front has about 5". When disconnected, cable is shoved behind grill. This requires about 2" of cable be pushed into sleeve. This pushes slack on the pedal side.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:16 AM   #10
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I have not had any similar problems with my Ready Brute. I do lube the cable every fall just to be sure that dirt and water haven't crept into the sleeve. Probably not necessary, but I do it on the motorcycle every fall so its no big deal to do one more cable.

I also have not had to adjust the cable since installation. I have an LED light installed in the RV that is wired to the towed's third brake light. It let's me know when the brake pedal has moved far enough to activate the towed's brake lights. Comes on just after the Ready Brute light indicates the Ready Brute has activated when I brake hard enough to activate the system.
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:20 AM   #11
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I've never heard of this problem. Please let up know what NSA tells you! Thanks for the heads-up!
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:39 AM   #12
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I have the Ready Brute installed on my Fiat and have towed about 8000 miles with no problem. I've never towed in below freezing temps but I have driven the car when it is slightly below freezing. I've lived in Alaska for about 35 years (the Fiat lives in the lower 48) so I have some experience operating equipment in cold temps. For instance, I never use the parking brake when it's cold because the warm-wet pads will freeze to the drum when they cool off.

The problem you experienced is from water collecting inside the cable housing while driving in warm (above freezing) temps. When it got cold the water obviously froze. I can think of a couple possible solicitations. First I would pull the cable out of the cable housing and blow out the moisture with compressed air. Using a compressor with a water separator to make sure the air is dry would be a good idea. Then lube the cable with a very light coat of low temp grease before re-installing it. Then I'd mount a bicycle cable boot

Amazon.com : CABLE BOOT PYR V-BRAKE RUBBER BLK : Bicycle Brake Cables : Sports & Outdoors

to the front opening of the cable to help keep the moisture out of the cable housing in the future.

Thanks for posting your experience. After reading it I will make a habit of pushing the slack in brake cable in after disconnecting to make sure it is free.
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:06 PM   #13
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AK john, thanks for the reply.. The boot is a good idea. NSA was very apologetic but have not had this complaint since they went with the white nylon conduit in front several years ago. They suggested either some sort of boot or grease into the front fitting.
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:17 PM   #14
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AKJohn totally nailed it. Keep the moisture out #1, #2 use a good grease. Ask a parts store for speedometer cable grease (worked well for 100 years).
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