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Old 10-13-2014, 10:46 AM   #1
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U.S. Gear unified towed brake vs brake buddy with air actuator

I have recently changed from a gasser class A motorhome to a. 2004 travel supreme 45 select DS04 diesel pusher. The coach came complete with a brake buddy system that uses an air connector at the rear of the coach. My toad is my 2010 jeep rubicon which has an existing US gear unified brake system, ( uses a vacuum pump and has a solenoid mounted under the drivers seat).

Does anyone have experience with both systems? And is their any advantages to either system? I like the fact that the unified system is hidden and hands off so to say, however I find the braking system just adequate as you could not lock up the brakes on the toad even under max sliding. I will have to run wires to hook up the unified system into the coach, I will be checking with Spartan chassis to see if the 2004 K-2 chassis came pre wired for unified braking system.

Anyone with insight into the advantages of one system over the other will be appreciated, as I have only the experience with the U.S. Gear unified system.

2004 TS Select 45' DS04

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Old 10-13-2014, 11:00 AM   #2
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I don't have experience with these two systems, but I just installed a Air Force one on my Jeep/ Phaeton. I picked the AF1 because of the air connection, and no inertia sensing. So I would recommend using the air activated system. The AF1 also generates a vacuum for the toad, so there is no battery drain.

During testing, I placed a pressure gauge on the air connector from the coach. And I got a truly proportional pressure based on the brake pedal pressure in the coach.

You have the ability to make an adjustment by moving the mounting point of the air cylinder up/down on the brake pedal arm (adjusts leverage).

For these reasons, you might prefer the air actuated system.


2014 40QBH Phaeton DP Cummins 380HP ISL, Freightliner XC, 2014 Jeep Trailhawk TOAD
Blue Ox Aventa tow bar, SMI Air Force One -South Orange County Ca.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:56 PM   #3
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I have the US Gear on two vehcles, but no experience with Brake Buddy. Yours is installed and works. I would just wire a new controller and be good to go. I assume the BB is one of those boxes and your US Gear system should be way better than one of those, IMHO, of course.
2001 34' Alpine Coach
2008 Jeep Rubicon or 2012 Ford F150 4x4 Lariat towds
or a couple of different trailers
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:17 PM   #4
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"I find the braking system just adequate as you could not lock up the brakes on the toad even under max sliding."

I have the U.S.Gear Unified Towbrake and am completely happy with it. I have no experience with the Brake Buddy but the above sentence of your post caught my attention.

I set the gain to 5 on my controller. Much higher and my Jeep's brakes lock up and smoke the tires. Where do you have your gain set? Does the actuator have the ability to travel full scale on your Jeep's brake pedal?

Besides that issue, which will be the easiest to change over labor wise or the the least expensive?
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:31 PM   #5
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Having installed both my personal choice would be the US Gear setup much simpler to hook up and go. Attach the tow bar and plug it in and your on the road.
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:03 PM   #6
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Hi Rocky68D, I have set the gain up to 5 and no lock up, I am now beginning to suspect I may have a faulty solenoid. Something I am going to contact U.S. gear for troubleshooting. Thanks everyone for your input, I do like a built in system, I am hoping I can get the system similar to what Rocky has experienced so the braking is more than "just adequate".

2004 TS Select 45' DS04
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:26 AM   #7
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Braking system

I bought US Gear braking system way back when you could buy them for $600. I like the system but the electronic "brain" that is mounted inside the towed car is very expensive to replace. Three years ago $200. Then this year it went on the fritz again. I now use Reddy brake.

2001 Islander
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brake, tow

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