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Old 02-01-2015, 05:31 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by vfauto View Post
Ok enough about brand! Can we just give pros and cons about cable vs electric (portable) tode brake systems. Just for starters as a Auto Tech and Electrician I think simple is typically better.The one avantage I see to portable units is if you change todes offten it is easier, but one simple cable sounds better to me.
Well Sir,
Amongst all the bickering about legalities about fittings and plumbing and all that, not sure you got your question answered. In reality, you've got a couple of cable operated, surge type braking systems, a few "robot" (big box that sits on the floor of your toad) types and, at least a couple of air actuated types. Now, first off, the air actuated types as you might probably have guessed, only work with air systems off of diesel type rigs that have air supply systems.

Second, the cable.... surge type, utilize the toads momentum as the force for applying the brakes.

Third, the robot type, the ones that sit on your floor of the toad, have electronics and, mechanical mechanisms that, depending on if the moon and sun, Jupiter, Venus and Mars are all lined up right, will work as planned.

Choosing which type is influenced by many things. Convenience, setup time (each time you're ready to head out for the days towing), how well the reputation is of any particular type of braking system has held up, COST, and a few more things to consider.

And, you're correct, simple is usually better. The cable system that many use, the "Ready Brake" is a fairly simple system to initially setup. I have modified the setup to make it even way easier and nicer than the factory junk.

In just about any case, you still have to hook something up between the coach and the toad. Be it an air line, curly-que electric pigtail, or, a cable, something's got to transmit signals for braking between the two. Now, there may be a "wireless" version out there but, I'm clueless about anything like that.

I've set up my Ready Brake system, inside our toad, an '11 GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab 4x4, so that it's totally invisible when not in use. And, when it is, it takes right at 10 seconds to set it up, and that's if you're lolly gagging around. PM me if you'd like more info. The worry warts on here have a hard time with the way I did it.

But, only you can make the decision as to what's going to work for you. The actual smartest thing would be if you had a bunch of coaches lined up, all with toads, and, all with different braking systems in the toads. Then watch each one do a prep-for-towing demo and see what you like and don't like about each one.
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:23 AM   #30
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IF you trust electronics (I do, but many do not), the RV iBrake2 is better than wireless: it is self contained. It reports its activities (and the toad's tire pressures if you get that option) back to the RV via a wireless connection, but it doesn't require any sort of signal from the RV to activate the toad's brakes. If you wish to manually engage the toad's brakes, that does use the wireless connection, but in normal operation, it applies the brakes based on the deceleration rate or if the breakaway switch gets triggered. If this sounds like NASA level complexity, think again: the best trailer brake controllers have operated this way for over 20 years.

The cable operated systems do not interest me in the least. The correct mechanical leverage for each toad will vary. Even two toads with identical weights will likely have different braking systems and require different leverage. Heck, if mechanic A connects the device to a different point on the brake pedal arm than mechanic B, the mechanical leverage changes and the device would require a different setup. A system with enough adjustment to cover a wide range will also have more complexity & failure points, and will require a more skilled individual to install it correctly. To me, this stacks up to a system that is conceptually simple, but as a product intended to cover a wide range of towed vehicles, would actually be quite complex.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:40 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by vfauto View Post
Ok enough about brand! Can we just give pros and cons about cable vs electric (portable) tode brake systems. Just for starters as a Auto Tech and Electrician I think simple is typically better.The one avantage I see to portable units is if you change todes offten it is easier, but one simple cable sounds better to me.

If the OP is considering a braking system for the motorhome in his profile it's a gas powered Newmar 3921 toy hauler. If that's the case all the posts talking about tying into the coach’s air system are mute. The Newmar 3921 is built on the Ford F53 chassis which has hydraulic brakes.

That being said we use the Roadmaster 9060 air powered braking system when towing our Jeep Wrangler TJ with on our gas powered motorhome. The system does provide truly proportional braking. It has its own compressor and air storage tank. The compressor/storage tank is part of a kit. It takes up about a cubic foot and has to be installed somewhere in the coach. The most likely place would be in an outdoor storage compartment. It also requires the installation of a proportioning valve in the hydraulic line of the coaches braking system. It does take a fair amount of time to do the initial installation.

Once the initial installation is complete it’s an easy system to use. It only requires the installation and removal of an air cylinder in the towed vehicle. It can be purchased with the optional break away kit and towed vehicle wiring kit. The basic kit also includes an LED that is installed in the towing vehicle’s dash to alert the driver when the towed vehicle’s brakes are applied.
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