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Old 03-29-2023, 10:47 AM   #1
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Changing Toad - NSA or not?

Hi all,

Previously I had set up our 2010 Element as a toad using a used NSA Ready Brute Elite bar and the Ready Brake cable system. While I liked the simplicity and cost savings of the setup, I found it to be somewhat finicky and had difficulty getting it to work consistently well.

My biggest issue was that I felt like too often the toad brakes didn't come into play early enough - it took too much of a "jolt" to get them to kick in. I spent a fair amount of time troubleshooting and playing with cable tension, etc. but never felt like I got it dialed in right. I know lots of others on here have had great luck with the NSA system, so maybe it was just me, or my specific car's setup (cable routing / friction, etc).

I have sold the Element and picked up a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 6 speed, and need to set it up as a toad. I still have the Ready Brute bar and am at a crossroads. I can either use the Ready Brute with another type of braking system, or take another swing at the Ready Brake.

Because my toad will be at the upper end of my MH's towing capacity, I really want to make sure the toad brakes are doing their fair share of work. The biggest thing is proportionality - I want the toad to start braking almost as soon as the MH does (something I never reliably achieved with my old setup).

I'd value your suggestions & input on this decision. Is there another system that will meet my goals better?

Thank you!
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Old 03-29-2023, 11:10 AM   #2
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I think you have answered your own question - you lack faith in the NSA surge system to achieve what you want. Rather than trying to overcome your doubts, why not choose another system? Either a fixed install such as the Stay'nPlay Duo or a portable like EvenBrake or whatever.


I'm not bashing the Ready Brute Elite, but see no reason why it would operate differently on the Wrangler and you already said you aren't happy with that.
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Old 03-29-2023, 11:28 AM   #3
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Thanks Gary... I mostly agree with you. Since I'm operating from a sample size of one, I guess I am leaving the possibility open that my last experience was a fluke.

Also, guidance on what other systems will do what I want would be useful - I know they use various technologies to sense braking and I wasn't sure if one would be better for my circumstances / goals than another. Since there's a decent investment involved, I'm hoping the benefit of other's experiences will save another mistake.
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Old 03-29-2023, 11:48 AM   #4
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In addition to what Gary already said, you have not said your preference in the brake system. I suspect this is going to turn into a "I use ..." brake thread. With that said, I'll be the first. I didn't want an "installed" brake system, so I went with the RVibrake and absolutely love it. My 6 or 7 year old RVibrake 2 recently bit the dust, so I went with the RVibrake. I expect to be using it for the first time in a couple week when I go to get the coach from Red Bay.
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Old 03-29-2023, 11:56 AM   #5
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In addition to what Gary already said, you have not said your preference in the brake system.
Thanks Dewey! I appreciate your input. As far as my preference, really it is just that it has enough sensitivity / proportionality to engage the toad brakes early enough.

Our MH is a gasser, so no air brakes. We both still work FT, so we don't travel / tow very often - so I don't mind going with a portable / removable unit. In fact in some ways that may be better since I can move it to another toad down the line and hold on to my investment...

Hope that helps focus things a bit.
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Old 03-30-2023, 07:59 AM   #6
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If you don't need to change your towbar to go another route like a portable I think you will find a portable offers more control over your toad braking performance and visual feedback on toad braking
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Old 03-30-2023, 10:36 AM   #7
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The NSA cable installation on a Wrangler is absolutely simple and works very good. A brand new cable kit cost $68. You just can't beat the simplicity, reliability and proportional application of the Ready Brute Elite when used with a Wrangler.

You already have the RBE. $68 for a complete new cable system. 1hr of your time. The answer is pretty simple to me.
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Old 03-31-2023, 05:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ChrisDParise View Post
If you don't need to change your towbar to go another route like a portable I think you will find a portable offers more control over your toad braking performance and visual feedback on toad braking
Thanks for this, Chris!

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The NSA cable installation on a Wrangler is absolutely simple and works very good. A brand new cable kit cost $68. You just can't beat the simplicity, reliability and proportional application of the Ready Brute Elite when used with a Wrangler.

You already have the RBE. $68 for a complete new cable system. 1hr of your time. The answer is pretty simple to me.
Good points! And your last one speaks to my cheap, er, cash efficient side. Might be a bit more than an hour - but I'll have everything apart installing a baseplate anyway.
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Old 03-31-2023, 09:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKIQPilot View Post
You already have the RBE. $68 for a complete new cable system. 1hr of your time. The answer is pretty simple to me.

Don't forget the $100 or so for the Ready Stop breakaway cable - supplemental braking is useless when the vehicle separates from the RV.
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Old 03-31-2023, 10:15 AM   #10
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I think you should at least give it a try since you already own most of the parts. Since the jeep is heavier than your old toad I think you'll find that it will engage sooner and harder. On the ready brute the levelness of the setup can also make a difference, are you close to level?
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Old 03-31-2023, 11:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Don't forget the $100 or so for the Ready Stop breakaway cable - supplemental braking is useless when the vehicle separates from the RV.
Yep, that's definitely on the list if I go that direction...

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I think you should at least give it a try since you already own most of the parts. Since the jeep is heavier than your old toad I think you'll find that it will engage sooner and harder. On the ready brute the levelness of the setup can also make a difference, are you close to level?
It was very level with the Element. MH is trapped in winter storage for another month so I can't check level until then. Hoping it won't be too far off.
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Old 03-31-2023, 04:06 PM   #12
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Don't forget the $100 or so for the Ready Stop breakaway cable - supplemental braking is useless when the vehicle separates from the RV.
I figured he would just remove that from his old toad as it won't be needed for that. The ready stop is easy to reuse and transfer from one vehicle to the next.

I suggested a new cable kit because he would get to start with a fresh full length conduit and cable that has never been altered or had a sharp bend.

Install in a Wrangler is simple.
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Old 05-13-2023, 04:26 PM   #13
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Just wanted to circle back and give an update. I decided, alll things considered, that I'd give the NSA system another shot. I've completed most of the installation, including the ReadyBrake cable and the ReadyStop for break-away. Given my previous experience, I was able to route the ReadyBrake cable on the Jeep with what I hope will be much less friction and better responsiveness.

Will be making the final connnections and test drives next weekend. Hoping for a better and more consistent result!

Thanks for everyone's input!
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Old 06-06-2023, 04:09 PM   #14
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Would love to know how this goes as I'm looking at the same system for my Wrangler JLU
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