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Old 12-23-2009, 01:34 PM   #1
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Toad Stop with Proport Control

I am interested in hearing from other users of THIS system. When going down a long steady downhill grades, with the exhaust brake switch turned "on" in the motor home, the red light on the dash indicates that the Toad Stop is actively engaged in our minivan as long as the exhaust brake is engaged. This would seem to have the potential to cause the minivan brakes to overheat??

If I turn OFF the exhaust brake in the motor home, then the brake light indicator for the minivan turns on and off as minivan surges forward and releases as is described on the website for the ProPort control. During our trip to Alaska this summer the minivan brake cable snapped. This confirms that the brakes were actively engaged during our descents down the mountains. I had to call to Florida and have them send me a replacement cable. When we return to the lower 48, as they say in Alaska, we had the minivan brakes checked and they were fine.

Just trying to understand, this but it seems to me that in order to keep the minivan brakes from being on and overheating on long downhill, I have to turn off the Exhaust brake? That just doesn't seem right.

I am considering having an on/off switch installed for the Toad Stop system so I can simply turn it off during long descents.

Thanks
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:14 PM   #2
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What kind of Aux brakes do you have to Toad?
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:37 PM   #3
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I can not help with your system. My USGEAR system does not work like yours. Toad brakes are engaged only when I use the service brake pedal.

Maybe you could change the point where your toad brakes are engaged, using the service brake pedal as the trigger.

Or change the coach so the brake lights come on only when the service brake pedal is pushed.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:44 PM   #4
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If your toad braking actuation emulates surge brakes (that is, it brakes the toad in relation to MH deceleration as sensed by compressive force in the hitch/tow bar), the tow bar is always going to be in compression when the exhaust/engine brake is engaged. This is because the MH has a retarding force on it while the toad does not, so the toad braking system will apply the toad brakes forcefully enough to eliminate the compressive forces in the hitch/tow bar.

If, on the other hand, your toad braking system doesn't emulate surge brakes, ignore the above.

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Old 12-23-2009, 03:26 PM   #5
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My M&G works as Gary describes for his system.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:34 PM   #6
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Can't speak for your specific setup, but is the exaust brake actually engaged or just armed. If it engaged then the brake lights on your MH are probably on. I believe that some systems use the MH brake lights to actuate the toad brakes.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:32 PM   #7
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When the exhaust brake is activated, the brake lights on the motor home are illuminated. The Toad Stop system is activated by the motor home brake lights as well as a proport control arm thats installed on the hitch itself. The Proport uses the normal RV reciver hitch play to regulate braking between the RV and Toad.

Here's a schematic on the system,
http://www.toadstop.com/Schematic1.htm
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:38 PM   #8
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Rusty, The system works as you described compressive force (Proport Control Arm) as well as anytime the RV brakes are applied. I think the only answer is an on/off switch which I can control on the RV. I do not have any problems driving on level roads. You can see the diagram by viewing the link below.

http://www.toadstop.com/Schematic1.htm
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:52 AM   #9
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Hi Dave,
After looking at the schematic I can not tell if the toad brakes would be activated by just the proportional control (no brake lights). If you can determine this the solution might be to change the lighting of the coach brake light as stated in my earlier post.

If the proportional control arm will activate toad brakes regardless of the brake lights being on or off I'm not sure there is any hope with the product you use.
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:57 AM   #10
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It seems pretty clear from the schematic that the brake lights (yellow & green wires) will activate the Toad Stop system. In most coaches with factory-standard exhaust or engine brakes, the use of that brake turns on the coach brake lights and that clearly will trigger the Toad Stop. You can probably get the coach altered so that the exhaust brake does not turn on the brake lights if you want.

It's not clear to me that anything is actually wrong, though. The toad brakes may not have much pressure on them and should not if the Proport is doing its job. Is there any evidence the toad brakes are being applied enough to overheat?
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV Roamer [Gary] View Post
It's not clear to me that anything is actually wrong, though. The toad brakes may not have much pressure on them and should not if the Proport is doing its job. Is there any evidence the toad brakes are being applied enough to overheat?
If the Proport system is truly proportional, it should be braking just hard enough to relieve the compressive forces on the towbar/hitch. This is no different than the way surge brakes work, and I wouldn't think that the toad brakes would overheat if everything is working as it should be.

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Old 12-24-2009, 11:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryKD View Post
I can not help with your system. My USGEAR system does not work like yours. Toad brakes are engaged only when I use the service brake pedal..
Like Gary, my US-GEAR is activated by the brake pedal. No pedal, no brakes,, So when I use engine braking (Gasser, allison with grade brake transmission) the towed does not engage.

BTW.. I've researched brake systems.. Kind of hard to find one better than the US-Gear.. In fact. I have looked, and I've not found one better.

It is the closest thing to what my brother has on his truck I've seen to date.. He drives Semi.
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Old 12-25-2009, 08:28 AM   #13
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There are several toad brake systems that do not tie to the brake lights for any reason (my Brakemaster is one of them), but that's not what Chiefdave asked about.

There is no legal requirement for the brake lights to come on when the engine/exhaust retarder engages, so the easiest solution for him is to break the connection between the e-brake and the light system. That's assuming any need to inhibit the toad brakig in that circumstance at all.
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:01 AM   #14
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Thanks for everyone’s suggestions and comments. The engineer and maker of the Toad Stop system say that the system is designed to be a truly proportional braking system. If all things are adjusted properly, then system should work as advertised. Well all I can say is I like the system and it was installed by a reputable installer so I know it was installed properly back in 2007. I very much like the system except for the issue of long downhill grades. I have decided that it is much easier to add an on/off switch in lieu of altering the exhaust brake light function. I would only turn off the system during long descents. I appreciate everyone’s replies and I wish you all a Happy New Year and Safe Travels.
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