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Old 09-02-2010, 03:23 PM   #1
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Saturn/Cavalier/Malibu/braking system

I prefer to get a Saturn (2350 lb) or Cavalier (2800 lb) to use as a toad.
I already have a Malibu (3100 lb).

In your opinion (hopefully opinions) how much difference would the 750 pounds make if I towed the Malibu.
I will be towing with a 24 foot Class C on a Chevy Express base.

Also, I like the idea of the ReadyBrake mechanical breaking system both for simplicity and cost. If however it would not be satisfactory and I had to buy a "break in a box" or other system, could both system act together.

Would give me belt and suspender setup and the non-mechanical system might be used or rebuilt.



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Old 09-04-2010, 03:14 PM   #2
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Not much, unless you tow uphill all the time. Weight makes very little difference in the rolling resistance, which is all that applies when level or downhill. Going uphill, the coach actually has to lift that weight to the top of the hill, so more fuel is consumed.

Frankly, I doubt if you would be able to measure any difference without lab instruments.

This assumes the RV has at least a 3500 lb towing capacity to handle the Malibu.

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Old 09-05-2010, 06:50 AM   #3
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I agree you won't be able to feel the difference of 750 lbs.

If you're in the market for a new car anyway, you may want to consider a lighter vehicle, if that lighter vehicle meets your needs; but I wouldn't go out and by another vehicle if I was happy with my current one just to save 750 lbs.

The first year we had our motorhome, we towed a full-size, extended cab, 4WD pickup weighing about 5600 lbs. We now tow a Saturn Vue that weighs in at about 4000 lbs. The 1600 lb. difference was definitely noticeable (especially uphill as Gary says), but not earth shattering. Gas mileage is about .2 mpg better with the lighter Vue.

If I understand correctly what you're asking about the brake systems is you want to try the ReadyBrake surge brake; but if it doesn't work, you are asking if you can add a "brake in a box." If the ready brake doesn't work, I would just eliminate it from the tow bar setup and use the brake in a box instead. You may want to try a search on this forum for "ReadyBrake" to see if you can find any opinions before you buy.
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Old 09-05-2010, 07:44 AM   #4
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You can't go wrong with any of these choices. The motor in your class C should be adequate to tow any of them. The only thought that I can add is that the motorhome is relatively light and the heavier the toad the more you might notice it in the handling. I had really good luck towing a Cavalier. It tracked very well behind my motorhome.

I have used the Brake Buddy Classic for 7 years now and love it for its simplicity and reliability. I have moved it to a new toad and taken it to Alaska twice. It works as it should and does not engage when it shouldn't. I wouldn't tow without a supplemental braking system.
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