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Old 06-04-2013, 08:22 AM   #1
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Toad Brake systems

I am returning to Motorhoming after a period as a 'fiver-driver' and need to get a toad brake system.
There are 3 permanently-installed systems I am considering - US Gear Unified tow brake, SMI 'Stay-in-Play' Duo & Brake Buddy 'Stealth'.
I am leaning toward the Brake Buddy 'Stealth', but would like to hear about any good or bad experiences you have had with any of the three.
It is a big investment and I would like to avoid a costly mistake.
thanks !
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:16 AM   #2
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I would highly recommend the ReadyBrake from NSA RV Products. It's simple, easy to install, very effective, and MUCH lower cost than anything else out there! JMHO
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
I would highly recommend the ReadyBrake from NSA RV Products. It's simple, easy to install, very effective, and MUCH lower cost than anything else out there! JMHO
Joe, how long have you had the ReadyBrake? No issues?

Looks easy and very maintenance free. I sure like the price of the ReadyBrake too.

I was leaning to the Stay In Play Duo for my braking system (down the road), but its almost 1100.

I figured my total setup with the base plate, tow bar, and the braking system will be around 2,500. Too rich for my blood this year for sure, now that I have my new (to me) sofa bought, paid for, and installed.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:36 AM   #4
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My SMI Stay-in-Play has performed flawlessly for the last 5 years. I have zero experience with the other brands.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:40 AM   #5
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Another vote for Ready Brake. 8 years and 35,000 miles and still works perfect.

Hookup and disconnect in less than a minute and nothing to lift or store.

Jim
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:11 PM   #6
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I have the SMI duo installed in my CRV. Chose this over the other permanent aux systems because I liked how small the actuator is. (bad grammar) It is not normally noticeable and does not interfere with my brake foot. Like some of the others there is no additional setup when getting ready to tow, except turn the switch on.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:12 PM   #7
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I have the SMI duo installed in my CRV. Chose this over the other permanent aux systems because I liked how small the actuator is. (bad grammar) It is not normally noticeable and does not interfere with my brake foot. Like some of the others there is no additional setup when getting ready to tow, except turn the switch on.
Hi Selah,
The actuator position was one of my concerns with the SMI system - good to know it is not a problem.
thanks,
J.S.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
I would highly recommend the ReadyBrake from NSA RV Products. It's simple, easy to install, very effective, and MUCH lower cost than anything else out there! JMHO
Thanks for your reply,
My concern with Ready Brake is 'what happens if you have several brake applications before the brake booster vacuum is replenished by running the toad engine ? The systems I listed all have a vacuum pump which keeps the booster vacuum at a normal level.
Perhaps it is not a problem, but the required pedal pressure is much greater if there is no vacuum boost, so it seems to me that toad braking would be less.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:01 PM   #9
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Have had the SMI system for 3 years--- is quick, easy and works well. We have air brakes so there is always a ready supply of air.
The inside actuator/signal light also lets you know it is functioning.

bud
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowVilla View Post
Thanks for your reply,
My concern with Ready Brake is 'what happens if you have several brake applications before the brake booster vacuum is replenished by running the toad engine ? The systems I listed all have a vacuum pump which keeps the booster vacuum at a normal level.
Perhaps it is not a problem, but the required pedal pressure is much greater if there is no vacuum boost, so it seems to me that toad braking would be less.
I had this concern also, when I first bought the Ready Brute Elite. What I did during the initial set up was to be sure to adjust the cable after pumping the pedal to relieve the pressure. When I hook up the car now I just pump the pedal then hook up. Never had a problem, the proportional braking works just fine.
Actually, NSA sells an aftermarket vacuum booster for around $300 that you can install if you feel there is a need to, but it works just fine without.
Here is their FAQ page which addresses this and some other concerns:
Frequently Asked Questions - NSA RV Products
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:44 AM   #11
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Can this system be used on a gas MH.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnboy2 View Post
Joe, how long have you had the ReadyBrake? No issues?

Looks easy and very maintenance free. I sure like the price of the ReadyBrake too.

I was leaning to the Stay In Play Duo for my braking system (down the road), but its almost 1100.

I figured my total setup with the base plate, tow bar, and the braking system will be around 2,500. Too rich for my blood this year for sure, now that I have my new (to me) sofa bought, paid for, and installed.
Kent, we bought the ReadyBrute Elite towbars with built-in ReadyBrake when we got the MH last spring. We have put about 10,000 miles on it since then, with no problems. It is so simple there's hardly anything that can go wrong!
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowVilla View Post
Thanks for your reply,
My concern with Ready Brake is 'what happens if you have several brake applications before the brake booster vacuum is replenished by running the toad engine ? The systems I listed all have a vacuum pump which keeps the booster vacuum at a normal level.
Perhaps it is not a problem, but the required pedal pressure is much greater if there is no vacuum boost, so it seems to me that toad braking would be less.
I've never heard of that problem. You might want to call NSA RV Products tech support and ask them.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:49 PM   #14
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If you want the readybrute to stop faster you adjust the cable to your liking. Thats the beauty of the system...

I have 2 indicator lights (one from the surge brakes and another from the toad brakes). The delay between the 2 lights will give me instant feedback how the braking system is acting.
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