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Old 02-12-2012, 08:20 PM   #29
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Hi, I agree all that wasaid plus whether states require or not put brakes on toad.

I do have a question first, do you know that you can tow the Accord four down and what modifications if any do you have to make in the car such as pulling fuses, etc. It may be that you can't tow that vehicle for down and need a tow dolly. Check it out first before buying the braking system.

As for the lights on the toad there is a diode package that you will need to install so as not to back feed motorhome power into the toad.

If you need a tow dolly then you will need electric brakes on the dolly and a controller in the motorhome but will not need the diodes as there are lights on the dolly.

Good Luck
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:55 AM   #30
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EXCELLENT - - EXCELLENT - - DISCUSSION

I was glad to see the owners of large Diesel ENGINES responding to the effect of exhaust brakes relating to the application of the Ready Brake surge system. As was stated in post #13, the motor home driver will see the brake light indicator the moment the toad brake pedal moves but that doesn't mean the toad brakes have yet applied. It can be compared to the guy that drives down the highway with his left foot just touching the brake pedal and you see his brake lights going on and off. The cable on the Ready Brake tow bar can be adjusted a fraction of an inch longer and you won't have the indicator light activate under lite use of the Diesel exhaust brake on downhill use.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:58 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Tom-NC View Post
Hi, I agree all that wasaid plus whether states require or not put brakes on toad.

I do have a question first, do you know that you can tow the Accord four down and what modifications if any do you have to make in the car such as pulling fuses, etc. It may be that you can't tow that vehicle for down and need a tow dolly. Check it out first before buying the braking system.

As for the lights on the toad there is a diode package that you will need to install so as not to back feed motorhome power into the toad.

If you need a tow dolly then you will need electric brakes on the dolly and a controller in the motorhome but will not need the diodes as there are lights on the dolly.

Good Luck
I have been told that the 2001 Honda Accord can be towed 4-down. The Honda manual does not say that because it was never tested, but I put that question on the forum a while ago and it seems to be OK.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:22 AM   #32
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Actually with the ReadyBrake the indicator light does not show when your brakes are applied on the toad! The shaft of the hitch moves in and out (surge brake). When it moves together an electrical contact is made with the 'actuating lever' on the brake and the light turns on. If you do not have the cable attached to the 'actuating lever' you will have no toad brakes but the light will still come on as the contact is made when you slow. The adjustment is in how tightly the cable is connected. If it is taught the brakes will come on earlier. If it is attached more loosely the brakes are activated later. BUT the light comes on at the same time no matter what.
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:16 AM   #33
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Ok.., not most... but 19 states REQUIRE them.. but I wouldn't won't to travel avoiding the states that do. Also, would not want to be in a accident and be blamed for not stopping soon enough regardless of laws!

See http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm look at the column "Brake Laws Towed Cars"

And... http://www.brakebuddy.com/Towing-Laws
Just a quick look at that site shows that the chart is totally wrong for WA and OR, they did get CA correct though. WA is the same as CA and OR is even stiffer in the stopping distance. That chart is probably the most accurate out there even though it's still wrong!
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:20 AM   #34
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On the bold, these guys that thought up that surge brake thing were pretty clever. They took this idea to heart. There's a pretty stiff spring that must be overcome prior to the bakes applying. This also lets the surge brake systems back up, though that's not of much consequence in this application. I can tell you for sure, the Ready Brake I'm using does not apply the brake on 8% grades.
Our first dolly had no "stiff spring" in the system and we burned up the brakes coming out of Jackson Hole to the West, 10% up and 10% down. Our present Demco KK-460 didn't have the correct one either but a call to Demco told me it should have and they sent one to install. Guess it's doing it's job as the brakes are still OK.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:24 AM   #35
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Actually with the ReadyBrake the indicator light does not show when your brakes are applied on the toad! The shaft of the hitch moves in and out (surge brake). When it moves together an electrical contact is made with the 'actuating lever' on the brake and the light turns on. If you do not have the cable attached to the 'actuating lever' you will have no toad brakes but the light will still come on as the contact is made when you slow. The adjustment is in how tightly the cable is connected. If it is taught the brakes will come on earlier. If it is attached more loosely the brakes are activated later. BUT the light comes on at the same time no matter what.
firedoc - - -You are 100% correct. My mistake on the dash light operation. Dwight
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:07 PM   #36
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The new ReadyBrake design must be different to include the indicator light circuit. I wired my light direct to the toad brake light switch, so when it lights, I know the car brakes are being activated.
Regarding steep descents, we drive in the CO mountains plenty and I never have felt that the car pushes the coach that much and the car brakes rarely activate just on steady descent. I keep the tranny grade brake on and tap the brakes intermittently to check the speed. That usually activates the toad brakes but they don't drag on.
Another thing. I often wonder how long the brake vacuum booster remains effective after we start towing? I do feel that it takes a bit harder coach braking action to set the toad brakes, but they still are perfectly functional.
The SMI systems (Air Force One and Stay-n-play) are really fine and I considered one. But for the price, I got my tow bar, aux. lights, plus brake and base plate installed, and still had quite a bit of money left over to waste (which I must have, it ain't around no more), and we have been happily and safely motoring for almost 5 years.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:18 PM   #37
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Unless I missed something (and that's all together possible) some key information is missing from this discussion. First of all I haven't seen the OP give us any information as to whether the coach is gas or diesel powered.

If it's gas powered it really doesn't make any difference whether the state laws require supplemental brakes. Both Ford and Workhorse say a supplemental braking system is required when towing anything over 1,500 lbs. Neither chassis manufacturer gets into the semantics of whether a towed vehicle is a trailer. They both just say anything being towed that weighs over 1,500 lbs needs supplemental brakes.

As for the ReadyBrake being proportional it is (like any surge brake) once the towed vehicle overcomes the initial force (in this case 250 lbs) required to start activating the system.

The part of the equation Readybrake does not address is braking going up an incline or holding while stopped on an incline. This is a short comming of all surge brake systems. They require the towed vehicle or trailer to apply pressure to the hitch to activate the system. Once the towing vehicle is stopped the surge brake will release unless the driver keeps continuous pressure on the towing vehicles brake pedal. If the tow vehicle brake pedal is released and reapplied while the combination is stationary the towed vehicle brakes will release. About the only exception would be if the combination is stopped on a decline.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:26 PM   #38
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Tow Brake System

I believe that most states require that you have supplemental braking for towing a vehicle. Further, it is a great comfort of mind to know that with a quality, supplemental braking system that you can stop a large Class A motorhome with a car in tow, in a shorter distance than with only using the brakes of your RV. Having pulled a vehicle for many miles, I am extremely happy that I purchased this US Gear UTB system and did not get caught up the game of buying a lesser expensive system. As I live by an ole cliché, “If the first cost is the last cost, it’s generally the cheapest cost.”

I have a 2001 Monaco Dynasty (38 ft) and I am currently using a U.S. Gear, Unified Tow Brake system to tow a 2008 GMC Envoy that weighs about 4,500 lbs. I have been using this system since 2000 and prior to the Envoy was towing a 2001 GMC Jimmy (about 3,900 Lbs). This brake system is an extremely high quality system and I am very confident of its braking performance and could not be any happier with any other system on the market. It is so simple, connect to my Blue OX tow bar, connect the wires for lights (tail, brake & signal) and connect the emergency break-away disconnect cable and you’re ready to roll.

Just as information, I ran wires directly from my trailer wiring harness of the Motorhome to operate the lights (Tail, Brake & Signal) for the Tow Vehicle. I installed the individual Blue Ox BX88159 style, (3-wire) light sockets in the tail light housings of both my GMC Jimmy & the GMC Envoy and they work great, and I do not have to worry about conflicts with any wiring or electrical components in the towed vehicle electrical circuits. Blue Ox sells a complete wiring package under part no BX8869.

Hope this helps and Good Luck

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Old 02-16-2012, 01:04 PM   #39
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Unless I missed something (and that's all together possible) some key information is missing from this discussion. First of all I haven't seen the OP give us any information as to whether the coach is gas or diesel powered.

If it's gas powered it really doesn't make any difference whether the state laws require supplemental brakes. Both Ford and Workhorse say a supplemental braking system is required when towing anything over 1,500 lbs. Neither chassis manufacturer gets into the semantics of whether a towed vehicle is a trailer. They both just say anything being towed that weighs over 1,500 lbs needs supplemental brakes.
I believe Joe is considering a DP, but that is EXCELLENT info for gas coach owners.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:03 PM   #40
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If you need a tow dolly then you will need electric brakes on the dolly and a controller in the motorhome but will not need the diodes as there are lights on the dolly.

Not if you have surge brakes, no controller, no diodes, very simple but effective.

As for surge brakes not working while on an incline, ummm.... OK that's true.
But going uphill, my old friend 'gravity' seems to be a big help, and if I am afraid that my toad will pull me backwards down the hill when I stop, then that will probably be the least of my worries.

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Old 02-17-2012, 09:24 PM   #41
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ahhhh...... aren't we truly blessed to have so many terrific choices!

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Old 02-25-2012, 12:44 PM   #42
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my brake questions: does installation of a us gear TV-1000k, invisibrake, smi's stay and play, and of the models that permanently install under the hood and connect to you towed vehicle's vacuum line violate the warranty in a new tow car.


I just bought a 2012 Jeep Wrangler 2 door 4wd soft top for towing behind my 30 ft 2009 Winnebago gas RV, and would like a permanent braking solution, but not sure which one is the best to use. Your thoughts.

Neil
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