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Old 07-08-2013, 07:29 PM   #15
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Ok, I found the tow bar and brake combo on ebay for around $900. What baseplate should I buy. What makes one better than another? How many of you folks have done your own installation. I'm pretty handy but at 70 years old some of the joints don't work so well. Any advice will be helpful.

Ray
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:41 PM   #16
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I will touch on several systems.

Several folks up-thread have mentioned the ready brake, Which can be used with either their own tow bar or a Blue Ox (I suspect the version I have) Blue Ox now makes one as well (The Auto-Stop) which likely will go on my next tow.

The US-Gear Unified brake Decelerator gives the motor home driver FULL either automatic or indpenendent control over the towed brakes, You can adjust the gain (Ralative braking power) you can set the brakes or (By settng gain to zero) Disable them, all from the driver's seath. I have had occsion to rather like the ability to set the towed brakes independent of the motor home (yes I had that on my last towed).

It is a very good system... Alas, I had issues. Not sure they were US-Gear's fault (Several reasons for saying that including a couple of short circuits).

DO NOT short the wires.

IT also provides a feature "Toad Charge" that most systems do not.

The Invisi-Brake (Roadmaster?) also provides that charge, lacks the "Remote" functions, however, but has most everyting else.

If you have air brakes (And yes, there is a version if you do not) M&G makes a very nice system, IF IT FITS.

The only brakeing systems I do not like are the "Box in the driver's seat" like Brake Buddy, Apollo, and the like. These are way too easy to "Forget" on a short trip. leaving you with no brakes.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socaltoolguy View Post
Ok, I found the tow bar and brake combo on ebay for around $900. What baseplate should I buy. What makes one better than another? How many of you folks have done your own installation. I'm pretty handy but at 70 years old some of the joints don't work so well. Any advice will be helpful.

Ray
Ray, I bought and installed a Blue Ox baseplate for my Subaru. I had done an installation on my previous car (Ford Focus) and it took me a day. The Subaru was easier. It really depends on the car. If you check Blue Ox's website, you can see if they offer a baseplate for your car, and you can download the installation instructions and see if you want to tackle it. I figure I saved about $500 by doing all the install work myself. I am pretty mechanically inclined and enjoy doing this stuff. That said, I have my limits, sometimes it's just easier to pay someone to do the work.
I can't speak to other brands, I'm sure it's a Ford vs Chevy thing; all the brands are good. Blue Ox just happens to be my preferred choice.
The hardest part about the ReadyBrute install is the cable installation, you have to find a spot behind the brake pedal to drill and run the cable through. I had a little problem finding a spot that would work and ended up calling NSA for advice. They were pretty helpful and I got through it.
Once the installation and adjustment is done however, you're done! Just hook up and go.
If you go this route I advise getting the ReadyBrute Elite, which has the brake built into the towbar.
You can also download the installation instructions for the towbar/brake system from NSA's website.
Good luck and let us know how it all goes!
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:15 PM   #18
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Also, ReadyBrake (NSA) includes the adapters for whatever brand baseplate you have, Blue OX, Demco, Roadmaster, etc., at no extra charge. You tell them what you have when you order. I got mine off eBay and the seller sent the adapters with the order. Make sure the seller includes the adapters!
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:17 PM   #19
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I may be a little simple... Bought an 05 Wrangler so I could tow 4 wheel dn, a harbor freight tow bar for around $80, a magnetic light kit for $20. I asked an highway patrolman with weights and measures about auxiliary brake system requirement, he said RVs pulling relatively light toads (like jeeps, not suburbans) were not on his troops radar screen... Overall length was a concern, and trailers pulling trailers were a definite concern. Sooo our low budget rig is a 29' class c with v-10, with a regular no frills tow bar,I can't tell the Jeep is back there, we do not overload the outfit. Drive at subsonic speeds... Have had no problems. I did invest in good safety chains and use Add-a-links for connection to vehicle rather than hooks. With a strap to hold the tow bar level, I can easily hook up solo, took a few times to master it. Good luck, and happy motoring.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:34 AM   #20
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Ray
As I stated on post #2, I have the ReadyBrake Elite towbar with the braking system built into it & it all works beautifully & I have the 'peace of mind' that I would not have with other systems. I would not consider towing without the aux brakes.

Contact NSA for a recommendation for the base plates. You can download all the installation instructions on everything to see what your getting into before you purchase & in my case I did the complete installation myself. The scariest part is drilling the little pilot hole thru the sheet metal on the floor behind the brake pedal and after I did it I smiled because it was so simple on my Subaru Forester. Dwight
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:15 AM   #21
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I use a Blue ox adventa tow bar. It is very easy to attach to the toad. Even my wife has hooked this up y herself and thinks it's so simple to do. We use a brake buddy. It is not hard to set up, tests itself and remote monitor and adjustments are easy to use.
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:15 PM   #22
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I have used this system by M&G Brake for several years with wonderful results, assuming you have air brakes on your Coach?

M & G Engineering - Car Braking Systems: Home Page
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:30 PM   #23
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I have used this system by M&G Brake for several years with wonderful results, assuming you have air brakes on your Coach?

M & G Engineering - Car Braking Systems: Home Page
You know what, I don't know. When I put my foot on the brake pedal, I hear a pump somewhere but I assumed that it was a hydra vac or something similar. Now you have me wondering. I'll have to check it out. Thanks,

Ray
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:33 PM   #24
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Ray
As I stated on post #2, I have the ReadyBrake Elite towbar with the braking system built into it & it all works beautifully & I have the 'peace of mind' that I would not have with other systems. I would not consider towing without the aux brakes.

Contact NSA for a recommendation for the base plates. You can download all the installation instructions on everything to see what your getting into before you purchase & in my case I did the complete installation myself. The scariest part is drilling the little pilot hole thru the sheet metal on the floor behind the brake pedal and after I did it I smiled because it was so simple on my Subaru Forester. Dwight
Dwight, check your PM box. I'm going to send you a private message in a bit. I have to put it together so give me a while.

Ray
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:01 PM   #25
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I use the Blue Ox aventa tow bar. It stays on the motorhome when not in use. I have the aluminum tow bar, it is light and strong. As for brakes, if your Scion is light enough , contrary to popular belief, most states do not require brakes on a towed vehicle.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:21 PM   #26
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I use the Blue Ox aventa tow bar. It stays on the motorhome when not in use. I have the aluminum tow bar, it is light and strong. As for brakes, if your Scion is light enough , contrary to popular belief, most states do not require brakes on a towed vehicle.
That's interesting. My Scion weighs about 3100 lbs. I was under the impression that I had to have some sort of braking control especially if we want to go to Alaska through Canada.

R
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:40 PM   #27
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I personally think it's a good idea to have brakes on the toad. I just received my ReadyBrute Elite through Fed Ex today and I am very impressed with the construction of the tow bar. NSA has made some upgrades to the bar that I wasn't aware of until now. They've added grease zerks so you can keep the tow bar legs lubricated and included a hole in each leg that can be used to lock the leg in the extended position with a 1/2" bent pin in an emergency situation to get you to where you can make permanent repairs. I ordered the tow bar, clevis, and break away kit from Adventure.Net and am very happy with the price. Everything was delivered to my door 5 days after I placed the order.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:42 PM   #28
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I should have added that I'm using the Blue Ox base plate on our Chevy Captiva, to be connected to our motorhome with the ReadyBrute Elite.
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