Originally Posted by kensrv
Question: vehicle braking options for towing w class A motorhome with air brakes
!) mechanical cable operated(cheapest) blue ox techies not recommending for mountainous extreme braking
2)electronic type unit. (most expensive) must be placed on floorboard and secured before each use
3)pneumatic (medium price) using tap from air brakes in coach 4-6 hrs labor
which is best choice? Thinking of getting simple cable mechanical tower w brake
Well Sir, It appears you've done a bit of homework here. I'll just give you just a bit of insight your options.
1. I did the mechanical cable type for about 6 years. It was the Ready Brake unit. Not the "Ready Brute", just the Ready Brake. It worked and, yes, it was about the cheapest at the time. I modified the install of it due to the fact that they way R/B wants you to install it, it look hideous and, I didn't want that junky looking metal clamp on my brake pedal permanently. So, I set it up to be installed onto that brake pedal arm, in about 5 seconds. It was removable in the same amount of time. That system worked but, I was never really, totally sure that it would release, if and when the exhaust brake was on, on a long down hill grade.
2. I've never, ever been a fan of the "Robot" type that sit on the floor of the toad. First, you have to install them and hook them up to the brake pedal and, hook up whatever needs to be hooked up or plugged in. Some models need more than others. Second, when you're done towing, you now have to disconnect all that, pick that thing up, and carry it and store it some place. That means you have to have a designated place that you cannot store anything else, 'cause that's where your robot belongs.
3. I was lead to the M & G braking system. That's the one you labeled as "tap into the air lines" brake system. I wish I'd have seen and recognised that model of braking, the minute we bought our diesel coach. I would have canned that Ready Brake in a heart beat.
There's two parts to the installation. One, you install a diaphragm unit, between the power brake booster and, the master cylinder. That takes about an hour to two. Then, you run a 1/4" air line from it, to the front of the toad and, install the correct fitting on the end and mount it some place inconspicuous. DONE!!!
Then, you tap into the correct air brake line on your coach and, again, run a 1/4" air line to the rear of the coach and, again, install the correct fitting on the end of that air line and mount it, DONE!
Now, when it comes time to prep for towing, you break out your little curly cue black air hose and, connect one end to the toad and, the other end to the coach. DONE! That takes oh, if you're really slow, about 5 seconds.
Now, that air brake system has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ON THE INSIDE OF THE TOAD!!! No cables, no air cylinders, no attachments to the brake PEDAL, whatsoever. Another benefit is, since the diaphragm does NOT MOVE THE BRAKE PEDAL, your toads brake lights do not interfere with the brake light and turn signal wiring to the stock tail lights, if you wire yours that way.
And, another benefit. It's completely proportional. The harder you step on your coaches air brakes, the harder the toads brakes are applied.
One final benefit, your toads brakes are not activated by the exhaust brake or, Jake Brake, depending on which you have.
I did the install of the M & G unit in both toads we presently have. One is the '11 GMC Sierra 1500 Extra Cab 4x4 and, the other is an '03 Jeep Rubicon. Both installations were straight forward and, not very technical at all. If you become interested in that system and, would like some pointers, surely PM me and, I'd be glad to help. It's very simple. And, If you have questions about the install of the component on the coach side, M & G is right there, waiting by the phone, to answer anything you may ask.