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Old 03-18-2014, 10:02 AM   #1
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Which brake system for a toad?

I am about to install the blue ox baseplate on my 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The dealer who is going to do the installation is suggesting the electronic Rvi brake system. My son has the Ready Brake System on his larger motorhome towing a Grand Cherokee. He also suggests a system that works with the coach air system, like the SMI Air Force One Brake System. I am not sure which one would be the best. The dealer says they never had problems with the electronic system, but I heard that if the system fails it would destroy my breaks.
I would appreciate some guidance from the old timers that may have years of experience with any of these systems. Thank you.

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Old 03-18-2014, 10:19 AM   #2
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If any system fails it can ruin your brakes! Forgetting to put it in neutral can ruin your trans LOL.

I bought a Brakebuddy from the inventor some years ago - he was selling off refurb units he had collected over the years after selling off the company. It was like $500. We've used it on 3 different cars and it's been flawless. With the wireless monitor/indicator you can see when it activates, it's simple to setup, simple to remove, and can be passed easily from one toad to another.

IMO you really only need a braking unit for emergency stops or hard braking. the rest of the time the bigger coaches don't have any trouble handling a sub-5K lb tow. If you were towing a big car, like my sis has a Silverado 4dr 4x4 then I'd want something more. With the Brakebuddy you just set it up so it only comes on when you really step on it.

There are some good buys on ebay, new from about $600, used from $300-$500. I would buy the same thing again. Simple, effective, economical.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:07 AM   #3
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Freightliner frowns on tapping into the air supply when adding a supplemental braking system to your toad. In fact we were told at Camp Freightliner that if you have service at (at least the Gaffney location) Freightliner and they notice it, they will disconnect the added air connector for the toad brakes.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:26 AM   #4
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I have my tow brake tapped into my air system for 7 years and no problems so far.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:46 PM   #5
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We have a Ready Brute (surge brake) with a Blue Ox base plate.
Works great with nothing to install each time we tow.

As an FYI; we were told at Camp Freightliner that installing anything to the air system MAY void the warrantee. We were even told that when a coach comes in for service with something installed, they disconnect it.
Just saying!
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:52 PM   #6
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I just purchased the Ready Brute Elite tow bar that has the integrated surge brake. I've already installed the tow plates on my 2014 Jeep Wrangler. I plan on installing the brake cable and break-away system this weekend. Can't wait to pull it behind the Palazzo!
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:02 PM   #7
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I am using the Ready Brake Elite with Blue Ox baseplate to pull a Jeep Grand Cherokee. It's all mechanical. I subscribe to the KISS principle :-)
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:22 PM   #8
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You won't even know it's back there!
I have to look in the camera from time to time to make sure.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:24 PM   #9
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Jim
Hope you guys made it home ok. Hoping the rain stops so we can get ready for the FCOC rally this weekend.
See ya at MB next month.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcopeland View Post
Jim Hope you guys made it home ok. Hoping the rain stops so we can get ready for the FCOC rally this weekend. See ya at MB next month.
Had a beautiful drive back to Ohio and the next day the weather turned :-(
Stored the coach at Ocean Lakes and will be back for the TDC Rally. Hope the FCOC Rally will have good weather.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:07 PM   #11
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Mauro...
I've been using an RVi Brake system for about 2 years now and I'm very happy with it and have had great service from the company that makes it. The system is simple to set-up and easy to move around and store. In the event you get a new Jeep or (like me) have 2 Toads there is nothing permanently mounted so no issues moving to other vehicles. Also, never had any issue with killing the battery even doing a full day of driving (8-10 hours). They make a toad battery charger if you have a concern.

I had the generation 1 design first. This had an issue with reception from the remote that allows you to monitor and configure the system. Note, that the system in your toad does not require the remote to be communicating to do its job. When I called them about it they sent me a better antenna the next day, which took care of the issue. About 6 months ago they came out with a generation 2 system and have an excellent trade-in program for those with the older units. I've upgraded to this and extremely happy with the performance.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmadams View Post
Freightliner frowns on tapping into the air supply when adding a supplemental braking system to your toad. In fact we were told at Camp Freightliner that if you have service at (at least the Gaffney location) Freightliner and they notice it, they will disconnect the added air connector for the toad brakes.

I have a Roadmaster Breakmaster installed in ours. It is a proportional system that has worked great for me. We were in Gaffney for service last fall. They did not mention they had any problems with having it installed. They might disconnect it in case of problems with the brake, like an air leak.
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:30 PM   #13
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We are switching to SMI Air system from the brake buddy.

Our classic is an older version and failed in an emergency braking situation stopping uphill.

This bent the baseplate and the vehicle hit the Tow bar.

Thus requiring a new baseplate, tow bar and 3,000 of front end repairs.

If any dealer deinstalled any item on my coach without my authorization he'd find himself in court.
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcopeland View Post
We have a Ready Brute (surge brake) with a Blue Ox base plate.
Works great with nothing to install each time we tow.

As an FYI; we were told at Camp Freightliner that installing anything to the air system MAY void the warrantee. We were even told that when a coach comes in for service with something installed, they disconnect it.
Just saying!
I can't imagine anyone at Camp Freightliner telling someone that! I have the SMI Air Force One brake system on my 2012 RED. When I had my coach serviced during my attendance at Camp Freightliner, the service tech looked at the installation and commented that it was done in an acceptable manner. Freightliner's policy is to not endorse or suggest any attachment to the air system, however I can't believe any technician would just disconnect it unless it was connected in an improper or unsafe way.
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