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Old 08-19-2012, 01:00 PM   #1
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Supplemental Brake systems

I have just purchased a Jeep Wrangler to use as a dinghy vehicle for my MH. I have decided to tow it 4 wheels down using a tow bar, and are now looking into a supplemental brake system.

I see all kinds of products with lights and cabin controls advertised in magazines. Also, I have seen the Brakebuddy electric unit advertised everywhere for around $1,000 and have also found the purely mechanical ReadyBrake supplemental brake system for a little over $400. A link to their site with a video is ReadyBrake Supplemental Brake System for Towed Vehicles - NSA RV Products

Any advise on which would be a better choice and the real life differences in using both products would be greatly appreciated. We have never towed a vehicle before, and i just want to make sure we don't have any problems when trying to brake. I guess I am really asking if the electric system is worth the extra $$$ in terms of safety and actual performance to justify the increased price.

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Old 08-19-2012, 01:21 PM   #2
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Would want to talk with some other RVers about this brake system before buyiny it. One thing I don't see is an way for brake system to apply brakes on towed vehicle if it should be come disconnected. Looks to me that there could be issues with instalation around radiator and other engine parts.

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Old 08-19-2012, 01:26 PM   #3
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First of all, I have towed a Wrangler both without and with a braking system. By all means use a supplemental braking system. It really makes a tremendous difference. Beyond that there are so many systems that people use and like, you will receive many opinions and suggestions. In fact you could search for this topic under this heading and see several prior threads concerning this subject. Personally, I use a portable system, the Roadmaster EvenBrake that I purchase used on ebay for a 1/4 of retail. Serves our needs well with low investment and no permanent alterations to toad. Not a recommendation per se just my set up. Do your research and make a decision that you are comfortable with. The key being using some type of braking system.
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:26 PM   #4
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We use the usgear unified progressive tow brake system. We could be happier with it.
Not the cheapest but probably the best.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:41 AM   #5
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Depends on if you want to spend 5-10 seconds to hook it up or 3-5 minutes (it makes a big difference in the rain).
The US Gear and most like it are just ONE plug to connect. The mechanical devices require storage, installation, etc.
Hal & Ginny Miller '04 Beaver Santiam PRT40
'04 Saturn Vue - US Gear Brake - Blue Ox tow
4 "girls" (3 Irish Setters - Retriever)
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:59 AM   #6
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I have towed two jeeps a Wrangler and now a grand cherokee. I use a Blue Ox electric braking box that goes on the floor and attaches to the brake pedal. The jeep has two 12V cigarette lighter outlets one is switched and one is not switched. I use the unswitched outlet. Takes about 2-3 minutes to install and setup...turn on and hit the setup button. Pretty simple. It comes with a remote controller I mounted on my dash so I can see what the brake is doing and adjust the setting remotely. I found out by experience that you need to reduce the brake setting on wet pavement if you dont want the wheels on the toad locking up. Seeing that jeep sliding on the exit off ramp in the rain in the rear view mirror got my heat pumping. Trust me the braking system works very well.
2010 Winnebago Tour 42AD
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Happy Trails, Tom
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:21 AM   #7
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If you decide on a Ready Brake system, make sure to invest in a Ready Stop breakaway to go with it.

I installed o both on our Tracker in only a few hours. If you can operate a drill and are handy with tools it is no problem. I did not connect the dashboard monitoring system (little red lamp) but that doesn't look to hard either. The toad had a baseplate already installed when we bought it.

To hookup and go you connect the towbar like any other, snap on two cables and connect the lights. We have done it enough so it only takes a couple of minutes. I think we spend more time rechecking our work than actually connecting everything.

I am sure the other brake systems mentioned here are also good quality but this is the only one we have ever used. We chose it due to its simplicity and value. The Tracker only weighs in at about 2200lbs so we could get away without a braking system but feel safer with one.
Mark & Nancy
2004 Winnebago Vectra 40KD
Shep dog, R.I.P. Kenzie dog Toad 2015 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:14 AM   #8
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We have a Wrangler bought primarily for toad duty (also for dragging brush down to the burn pile) and to which I fitted the Invisibrake system.

Can't speak too highly of it. You would never know it was there - just plug and play.

It does include a break away switch fitted to the front plate. However, I'm more concerned with a vandal pulling out the plug thereby locking up the brakes than the jeep actually breaking away so that switch is turned away and taped up.
Champaign County Illinois
2016 Thor Tuscany 45 AT, 2014 Jeep Cherokee
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:59 AM   #9
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There are several good systems out there.. Now the things I like about the ready break are as follows: First it is the simpliest system out there, And I do like KISS principle (keep it Super Simple) (Ok, that's the cleaned version).

2nd since it acts on the brake pedal, with all the other systems you either need a rube goldburg device to maintain vacuum booster vacuum.. Or you need to bleed it off every thime you tow.. This thing self adjusts to compensate.

3: If you load or unload your towed with a bunch of "Stuff" you need to re-adjust.. The ready brake automatically adjusts .

And last: The unit is 100% invisible to the driver of the towed when unhooked.
(At least unless you go looking for it)

I have only heard of 2 problems with this system, one was an installation issue and the other may have been a bad spring, but was easily fixed. (Break away activated when it should not have). It may also have been an installation issue not that I think of it.

If your Motor home has air brakes the M&G should fit most jeeps. It ignores the vacuum booster. It is also a simple system but. Unlike the Ready brake, adjustment is not so easy. (or even possible if I'm not mistaken).

Air Force one.. This one acts on the pedal but otherwise is a lot like the M&G.

Invisible Brake,, This one is activated by the brake lights, it is also a pedal puller.

US-Gear: Controlled from the cockpit of the motor home this unit gives you unparallelled control over your towed, You can disable the towed's brakes, adjust them, (Relative to the motor home) and even activate them independent of the motor home. All from the MH driver's seat.

All of these remain installed in the car full time and are invisible to the driver of the car when it is not hooked up.

BOX systems: like even brake, Apolo, and Brake Buddy.

I do not like these, they have to be installed every time you tow and un-installed every time you "Drop" and drive. Too much chance for an installation error or even a "Ah, for this short trip just forget it"

IF, however you have a bunch of diferent towed's or change toweds often, then these do have the advantage of being easily moved car to car.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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Mechanical Ready Brake . KISS principle. Works every time :O)
1999 National Dolphin
1995 Range Rover County SWB.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:04 PM   #11
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hi, i have a used Even Brake that I purchased to be used in my car when I tow it but the guy installing it can't get it working. keeps getting error messages he can't find answers to. do you have any easy suggestions?
Thanks, Jim
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:48 AM   #12
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After my EvenBrake burned out, I installed the ReadyBrake. WOW, was so easy and simple, will never go back.

Jerry & Patsy Potter, Taz & Jake Jr.
2000 Winnebago Journey
2006 Ford Explorer 4X4
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:10 AM   #13
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This thread starts about every other month. There are twenty ways to add aux braking and 20 opinions about which one is best. My 07 Wrangler uses a ready brute tow bar and the ready brake aux braking. It's integrated in to the tow bar receiver. No electricity needed. Easy to install, easy to use and very reasonably priced. I did the install myself. Tow bar, receivers, adapter, brakes, lighting harness from CooltechLLC, everything.... under $1400.00. Thousands of miles later and still happy with my purchase.
Rick and Julia
2005 Dolphin 5376, W24, Solid Body Paint, Koni FSD's
2007 Wrangler Unlimited....it follows us everywhere.
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:53 AM   #14
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I have read many comments here and in other forums regardign the Ready Brake system..

Two people have had problems that I know of.

ONE person had a problem, Just one, near as we can tell it was a bad adjustment and has been corrected by re-adjustment.

There is a break-a-way

One person the break away was activating when it should not, He fixed with a bunge cord.

The system has several advantages over other systems and one disadvantage over SOME systems. I will list:

First the disadvantage: There is no direct control of the system like there is with the US-Gear Unified Brake Decelerator.. The US-Gear lets the driver of the motor home both disable the towed brake, or SET the brakes on the towed, independetly from the motor home brakes, Useful if hooking up on a down-slope I might add. Very few systems have this kind of control.

Now the advantages.

Talk about KISS (Keep It Super Simple) this system has that in spades!!!! none simpler.

Adjustable gain? Who needs it, the system is self adjusting. (After initial set up)

Either a complex vacuum pump or bleed off the brake booster vacuum.. Again the system is self adjusting so it compensates automatically.

When next I tow. I am SERIOUSLY considering the ready brake.

Home is where I park it!
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