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Old 08-20-2009, 10:49 PM   #1
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toad braking systems

we're going to need brakes for our car that we will be flat towing. would some of you comment on the braking system you have and what you like and dislike about you system. thanks for all the advice.walter

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Old 08-21-2009, 01:06 AM   #2
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I installed an SMI unit in our jeep wrangler. I really like the system. 15,000 mi. changed indicator lamp only problem.


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Old 08-21-2009, 04:24 AM   #3
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We have the Roadmaster Brake Pro and have had a lot of problems with the unit and not happy with it, the newer ones are the Even Brake by Roadmaster. My friend ownes the latter one and he's had problems. I would'nt recomend either one. Personally I think Roadmaster has not perfected a good braking unit.
John & Greta
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:07 AM   #4
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I've had three systems so far.

My first was a Brake Buddy. It's a portable system that sits on the floor and operates your brake pedal via an inertia sensor. It will apply brakes on a downgrade whether you want them to or not because it's leaning downhill and you are trying to control your descent. Plus, it's a lot of setup and you have to store it someplace when not in use. I didn't care for it and got rid of it. This was on a 2003 Suncruiser.

My second was a US Gear Unified Tow Brake - also on the Suncruiser. It operated the toad brakes via an electric pull-cylinder that connected to the brake pedal via a cable. It was a bulky setup that took up lots of room in the Grand Cherokee. The sensor was in the RV cab and I could adjust it and manually apply the toad brakes from the cab so this was a much nicer system. I had to add a trigger wire into the lighting cord from the RV to toad so I used a 6 wire cable and also fed a hot line to keep the toad battery charged as well. This system worked better. Since then other similar systems have been introduced, such as SMI, that operate in similar fashion.

My third was an M&G Tow Brake and is the best I've ever seen. But this was on my 2004 Allegro Bus, which had air brakes. You simply insert the M&G module behind the brake cylinder and add a quick disconnect air line between the toad and coach. The Jeep brakes only work when the coach brakes are applied and are totally proportional to the coach braking. They don't kick on prematurely when the Jake brake retards downslope speed unless I hit the brake pedal. And, it's simple to connect - just one air hose to snap into place. I went with the same system on my 2007 Bus and now have two M&G systems - one in each vehcile that I tow.

The M&G module is foolproof and failsafe. It acts as a big piston when air is applied yet is totally invisible when not towing and cannot cause the brake system to fail. One drawback is that they are designed for air brakes. If you have a gasser you can get an optional air compressor kit but that adds extra cost and you don't get the same proportional braking that you do with air brakes so you might just as well get a US Gear or SMI unit that's designed for gassers. The only other drawback is that you need to insert the module between the brake master cylinder and vacuum booster. On some toads this may not be possible if you have a lot of junk placed tightly in front of the master cylinder that can't be relocated. Checking with M&G will confirm whether or not the install is possible.

For more information on my Jeep Wrangler M&G installation check out M & G Tow Brake Installation for pictures and details.
Mark & Leann Quasius
2016 Cornerstone 45A
2007 Allegro Bus 42QRP (Sold)
2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited - Rubicon
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:17 AM   #5
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US Gear Unified Brake Decelerator

Advantages: Once installed (It must be installed) hook up takes all of a few seconds (Plug in a connector.. One could combine (and I will some day) the light and brake into a single 7-pin round and if you do this ..... IT takes ZERO seconds to hook up the brakes, well, one second to clip on the break-a-way cable.)

Transparant to driver when driving car independent of tow vehicle

Porportiona.. You can adjust the "Gain" of the controller to adjust how hard the towed brakes compared to the MH.

Progressive: Press lightly, it "Presses" lightly.. Stand on the brakes with both feet.. IT stands with both feet

The US gear system does not PUSH the pedal, it pulls it, and to keep the pressure (Tension) on the pedal to a reasonable amount it provides an aux-vacuum pump to power the car's vacuum assist booster. Very nice.

To provide power to the pump, not to mention the power unit (Solenoid) it also provides a "Towed Charge" line. My first trip west this came in very very handy as I lost a light control wire (Taillights) so I just hit hte parking light switch on the towed and relied on the US-Gear 40 amp tie-line to keep the battery in the towed up.. Worked great.

Oh, and when you unhook and go to "Store" your brake system... Nothing to store, I mean NOTHING, it's all hidden in the towed all the time.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by faye View Post
we're going to need brakes for our car that we will be flat towing. would some of you comment on the braking system you have and what you like and dislike about you system. thanks for all the advice.walter
Depends partly upon how much you are willing to spend. I have the Brake Buddy, myself, got it as part of a tow package setup, from K&C Trailer in Eugene, OR.

I have never had the problem Cruzer mentions; I can only guess his sensitivity was set too high. My experience has been that it activates when I need it to, e.g., upon activating the coach brakes when coming down a grade, or a hard stop from, say, fifty mph. I can't imagine a grade steep enough for it to activate on its own.

Yes, it sits on the floor, attaches to the brake pedal, and communicates with a small receiver plugged into your cigarette lighter; a red light indicates tagalong brakes are being applied, as the result of sufficient deceleration force. Works fine, takes three or four minutes to set up, takes a little space in the trunk when not in use.

Your choice . . . but whatever, enjoy.

Ken & Carolee, 1994 36' Pace Arrow/Ford 7.5L, Mobil 1 full syn & Banks Pack. Towing a 1999 Saturn SL2 with Roadmaster Sterling All-Terrain & Brake Buddy.
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:46 PM   #7
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Roadmaster must of gotten it right with "BrakeMaster" as it works very good with my MH.

Because it connects directly to what powers your motorhome’s brakes, BrakeMaster is a truly proportional, truly synchronized braking system — however you brake the motorhome, BrakeMaster automatically applies the same pressure. Every time.
99 Discovery 34Q ISB
2014 MKS AWD EcoBoost Toad
Fulltime Since "99"
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:59 PM   #8
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Ditto on the Roadmaster Brakemaster --- I've used mine for 5 years and right at 35,000 miles of towing. Easy to hookup/unhook, and works flawlessly everytime. And it COMES WITH with breakaway and a monitor light on the MH dash that are extra on many other systems.
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
'03 Winnebago UA 40e / '05 Honda Odyssey toad
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:56 PM   #9
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We use the Apolloy,by Blue Ox.Haved used it 5 years about 50000 miles with no problem.Blue ox even installed a upgrade free about 2 years ago.It can be fix to what ever power I want,has a break away,and indcator light.It takes about 5 min. to set up and stores in rv.We don't tow the same car and this works good for us.What ever you use you will feel better going down the road
Good Luck Happy Kamping
HR--Neptune---Chev Tracker--Toad
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by AFChap View Post
Ditto on the Roadmaster Brakemaster --- I've used mine for 5 years and right at 35,000 miles of towing. Easy to hookup/unhook, and works flawlessly everytime. And it COMES WITH with breakaway and a monitor light on the MH dash that are extra on many other systems.
Agree.....Roadmaster Brakemaster...fast and easy hookup in less than 4 minutes. Have over 6000 miles in less than a year towing. Won't leave home without the toad any more.
'07 Fleetwood Bounder Diesel 38N
Brazel's added: MP-8, Aero Muffler, Koni FSD Shocks, Bell Crank and Comfort Ride Control Valves. '08 Ford Escape Hybrid, Brakemaster 9100
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:33 AM   #11
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We had Brake Buddy and I really never trusted it although I can't say that it did anything wrong. It was easy to set up and worked well. I always did have to find a place for the box and brake pedal. Still not a big issue considering.

Got the US Gear and have not looked back. Just plug in or unplug, depending on which end of the trip your at, and its a done deal. I like the US Gear
Phil & Carol & Ariel, Grey Lady
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:00 AM   #12
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since I have a gas powered MH I opted for the SMI Stay-IN-Play DUO... had a dealer do the install... easy to connect and works like a charm... If you have a diesel with air look at their Air Force One unit...

Jayco Greyhawk 31SS + 2008 Ford Edge TOAD
BlueOx Aventa LX
SMI Stay-IN-Play DUO
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:05 AM   #13
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We have the Apollo braking system. Granted it is somewhat of a hassle hooking up,but not that bad. Its seems to do what it was meant to do. We normally store it in the basement while at our destination.
06 Adventurer 38R

Equinox Toad
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:10 AM   #14
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I have the U S gear system on a Jeep Wrangler, self installed, and while I am very happy with it, I would strongly consider the M & G system for motor homes with air brakes, if you don't mind tying into the M/H's air system. If you have reservations about tying into the air system of the M/H, or don't have air brakes, the U S gear system is going to be hard to beat. Just one opinion to be considered.

Robert L Rice

2002 36GD Journey DL
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