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Old 10-19-2011, 09:32 PM   #1
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Supplementary braking advice needed

I had purchased a tow dolly for use behind our Coachmen Mirada, but found that getting the toad on and off the dolly was a real pain, as was strapping the vehicle down. i have now purchased a Suzuki Escudo 2.5L V6 that can be towed four down behind the MH. I have the fittings installed and have towed the vehicle with no problems over a reasonably short test distance (40+ kms two ways). However the system has no supplemental braking system, and I am interested in putting one in. I have no intention of changing the tow vehicle for some time, but want a system that is easy to connect and disconnect, and I would like to install it myself if I can do so safely.

I have seen the ads and testimonials for the SMI systems, I presume that the Duo is the best system for my gas coach. Is there anything else as good that is a little cheaper? Or do you get what you pay for?

Any advice on other systems would be appreciated.

Also, I am looking at TPMS for the coach, would it be a good idea to add it to the toad as well, (or at least get one that could be added to easily)?
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:45 PM   #2
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Most everyone will tell you that what they have is the best, I can only tell you that I am happy with my choices.

I have the SMI Duo and am very happy with it. Don't know about cheaper alternatives. I use the Tire-SafeGuard system with 10 senders, also very happy with it.
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:12 AM   #3
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Hi GSGracie,
Consider the USGEAR breaking system. Depending on your setup, it can be wired into the same cable as the toad lights. It will also charge the toad battery. Go to U.S. Gear RV Performance Products and read about the product. I have use this product for 6 years. It performs as advertised.

For me, a TPMS is required for the toad. Without a TPMS, by the time a driver realizes something isn't right considerable damage can be done to the toad. The simplest versions are the valve stem screw on monitors. Go to PressurePro - Tire Pressure Monitoring System HOME and read about it. I have used this product for 6 years. It performs as advertised.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:58 AM   #4
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Check out the Ready Brake. It's very likely the simplest - from install to operation - and function is without issue.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:48 AM   #5
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The beauty of the SMI Duo, is the simplicity of hooking up. Flip a switch,
and away you go. Also, the toad can be towed by any motorhome, so if
you get a new coach, you need no modifications.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:58 PM   #6
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I am a firm believer in KISS (Keep It Super Simple) when it comes to hooking up your supplemental brakes... here is way:

Many folks like Brake Buddy systems, this is a box you install every time you want to tow and remove, completly, when you drive (Since it occupies the driver's foot and leg space) .... Imagine driving say 5 miles to the dealer "Oh it's too much trouble for such a short trip I'll just forge....CRASH... Dang I wish I'd installed it."

The US gear system someone up-thread linked to... Hook up is measured in seconds, and not very many of them (plug in a cable)

Plus you have FULL control over the towed brakes from the motor home, both the ability to manually SET them and the ability to disable them.. Since the controller reads your brake lights it sits there while you go down hill (The box systems may activate going down a steep enough grade)

There is now one called "Invisible Brake" as i recall.... This one is even easier to hook up.. YOU DO NOTHING.. that's right.. You hook up exactly as though you did not have an aux braking system.. (it hooks to the tail and stop/turn lights)

You do not, however, have the ability to set or adjust the brakes from the MH Driver's seat.

Both systems also provide charge current to the towed's battery.
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:37 PM   #7
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I've got supplemental breaking on both of my vehicles (see my signature) which are much heavier than your vehicle, I think. So, lacking further analysis, the best recommendation I might have for you is "don't bother". Unless your brakes on your rig are terribly undersized, save your money.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robi.1014 View Post
I've got supplemental breaking on both of my vehicles (see my signature) which are much heavier than your vehicle, I think. So, lacking further analysis, the best recommendation I might have for you is "don't bother". Unless your brakes on your rig are terribly undersized, save your money.


The Coachman Mirada is built on either a Ford or GM/Workhorse gas chassis. Both chassis manufacturers recommend auxillary brakes when towing anything weighing over 1,500 lbs. The US version of the Suzuki Sidekick/Escudo weighs 2624 lbs to 2954 lbs depending on the model.
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