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Old 02-08-2023, 04:12 PM   #1
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Questions on Ready Brute

I installed my Ready Brute Elite II with brake today, everything went well and I think it will be a great tow bar/brake system. Tomorrow I will do the wiring. I do have one question and one comment, first the comment. I didn't receive the small clevis that fits to the brake lever arm and when I called they said the Elite II does not come with a brake arm clevis Since you cannot remove the carabiner after you have adjusted the sling cable, this means you have to pull on the toad brake side to get enough slack for the carabiner to clear which means you have to start the toad up to get booster power if you have power brakes I find that to be ridiculous and will add a clevis from the hardware store tomorrow.
Now to my questions, first, how do you fold this thing up to fit into a storage bag? I called and asked if I needed to remove a bolt and he said no, I can fold the hitch end up then articulate the arms to make it all flat. Maybe I'm dumb but I can't figure out how that is possible without removing a bolt. Am I missing something or is the pictured 90 degree fold as good as it gets?
Second, the pins that hold the arms to the base plate use hitch pins that are nearly impossible to remove with your hands, what do you guys use? Are there locking ones?
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Old 02-09-2023, 12:23 AM   #2
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Our older ReadyBrute has the smaller clevis for the brake arm, and there is a hook on the arm side that when the arms are folded, that hook is held by the clevis and the arms are folded and swing to the left or right in a somewhat stored position. Doing such allows driving the coach with the Ready Brute in placed and in a stowed position.
It also allows covering with the supplied cover.

Zooming in on your unit, yours doesn’t have the hook, and I suspect from what I am seeing is the arms will lay over and hinge to the left or right, while at the same time allowing that first knuckle to fold up and over so the weight of the folded arms breaks over center of the knuckle and keeps the arms in place - which I wouldn’t trust if I were to drive the coach without the toad in tow - or something to insure the Ready Brute didn’t drop back, unfold, and start dragging on the ground. Even if covered with the Ready Brute supplied cover, on yours there is t anything that I can see is a positive “locked in place in stowed position”.

For our Brute, the pull cable goes through the hook piece mentioned.

When we are hooking up, we have the arms compressed enough to allow the arm clevis’s to be connected to the toad and the cable connected with plenty of slack in the cable. Then we set the arm locking levers such that the engage as I move the coach forward about a foot. When they lock, the brake cable then has the proper slack for proper operation.

To unhook the toad - we try to do so only on flat ground. Doing so relieves any load on the arm clevis’s at the baseplate, which in turn should relieve any tension on the cable (as it should have the proper slack in it). And then we undo the carabiner at the toad, compress the arms, disconnect the carabiner at the lever arm, and raise the arms to cause the hook to catch in the clevis (the one you say you are missing) to the lever arm.
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Old 02-09-2023, 05:16 AM   #3
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Yours looks different than my Hercules. I wonder if when you fold it up for stowage, you are supposed to put a pin through this hole to keep it from falling back down. Maybe a pin would catch the angle of the readybrake....can't tell. Mine came with a pin for this purpose but it goes through the body of the Hercules.

I also do what bigb56 does. I hook up my brake cable prior to fully extending the arms.

I have found NSA customer service to be very knowledgeable for tech questions.
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Old 02-09-2023, 08:03 AM   #4
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Yours looks different than my Hercules. I wonder if when you fold it up for stowage, you are supposed to put a pin through this hole to keep it from falling back down. Maybe a pin would catch the angle of the readybrake....can't tell. Mine came with a pin for this purpose but it goes through the body of the Hercules.

I also do what bigb56 does. I hook up my brake cable prior to fully extending the arms.

I have found NSA customer service to be very knowledgeable for tech questions.
Good catch TFell! I didnt see the hole in the knuckle - and once seeing it, the matching hole in the U of the knuckle is just barely visible above both the head of the knuckle bolt and on the opposite side where a glean of light can be seen coming through the hole on the opposite leg of the U.

So a locking pin of sorts can be put thru the folded assembly locking it all in place when stowing.
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Old 02-09-2023, 08:23 AM   #5
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Yes there is a pin that goes in the holes you guys are referring to, sorry I had that removed when I took the pic. So it looks like I can only fold it to a stow position that is a 90. Never owned a tow bar before and I thought it would fold up all the way flat to stow in a carry bag. I hadn't thought of just leaving it in the receiver of the motorhome which is actually a pretty good idea. I have a set of locking hitch pins and that's probably what I will do.
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Old 02-09-2023, 08:47 AM   #6
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Good catch TFell! I didn’t see the hole in the knuckle - and once seeing it, the matching hole in the “U” of the knuckle is just barely visible above both the head of the knuckle bolt and on the opposite side where a glean of light can be seen coming through the hole on the opposite leg of the “U”.

So a locking pin of sorts can be put thru the folded assembly locking it all in place when stowing.
Oh yeah! Now I see the matching hole. At least that problem is solved!

I do leave mine in the hitch whenever possible. Much easier for me, especially with the steel Hercules which is like 70lbs.
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Old 02-09-2023, 02:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bigb56 View Post
Yes there is a pin that goes in the holes you guys are referring to, sorry I had that removed when I took the pic. So it looks like I can only fold it to a stow position that is a 90. Never owned a tow bar before and I thought it would fold up all the way flat to stow in a carry bag. I hadn't thought of just leaving it in the receiver of the motorhome which is actually a pretty good idea. I have a set of locking hitch pins and that's probably what I will do.
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Oh yeah! Now I see the matching hole. At least that problem is solved!

I do leave mine in the hitch whenever possible. Much easier for me, especially with the steel Hercules which is like 70lbs.
Leave ours attached all the time as well - using locking hitch pins ( ow where did I put those keys? !).
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Old 02-09-2023, 06:11 PM   #8
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I dont think you will need to start the engine to get slack in the brake cable to make the connection. I definitely dont on my set up. The cable pulls easy enough to get plenty of slack to make the connection. I would consider adding the small shackle if I were you. Definitely easier to clip into the shackle rather than the actuator arm. But pulling the brake cable on the toad end of things is easy on a Wrangler.

I use D Handles hitch pins. They can be found at Tractor Supply, Blains Farm and Fleet, etrailer, amazon or likely dozens of other places. They come in a wide variety of diameters and lengths.

Google Clevis Pin with Handle or Hitch Pin with Handle and you will find plenty of options.

Much better than the original pins that came from NSA.


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Old 02-09-2023, 06:17 PM   #9
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Another view of the hitch pins I use. As seen in the picture I also use bungee cords to pull the two hitch pins together. This is just an added safety measure and assures the lynch pins never touch anything except the pin and the lynch pins could fall out but the hitch pin is still held securely in place. I can see the entire assembly in the rear view camera on the RV.

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Old 02-10-2023, 05:55 AM   #10
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Another view of the hitch pins I use. As seen in the picture I also use bungee cords to pull the two hitch pins together. This is just an added safety measure and assures the lynch pins never touch anything except the pin and the lynch pins could fall out but the hitch pin is still held securely in place. I can see the entire assembly in the rear view camera on the RV.

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Thanks, they have those pins at my local Ace. Great idea on the bungees.
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Old 02-25-2023, 01:59 PM   #11
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So I got everything working but I have a buggar of a time releasing the sling cable without that bow shackle, for the life of me I cannot understand why they stopped suppling one. I have to start the engine on the toad, put on a leather glove and pull the sling cable in order to be able to turn the carabiner sideways enough to slip it out of the actuator. My slack on the sling cable is right at 2.5" and the braking seems perfect. I cannot find a 1/4" bow shackle with a hitch pin anywhere in the US, they all have screw pins that could come unscrewed on the road, or a bolt/nut with cotter pin. I did find the NSA one in Australia (see pic) but wanted to check here first to ask if anyone has seen a 1/4" bow shackle with a hitch pin for sale anywhere?
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Old 02-25-2023, 07:42 PM   #12
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Old 02-26-2023, 03:37 AM   #13
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So I got everything working but I have a buggar of a time releasing the sling cable without that bow shackle, for the life of me I cannot understand why they stopped suppling one. I have to start the engine on the toad, put on a leather glove and pull the sling cable in order to be able to turn the carabiner sideways enough to slip it out of the actuator. My slack on the sling cable is right at 2.5" and the braking seems perfect. I cannot find a 1/4" bow shackle with a hitch pin anywhere in the US, they all have screw pins that could come unscrewed on the road, or a bolt/nut with cotter pin. I did find the NSA one in Australia (see pic) but wanted to check here first to ask if anyone has seen a 1/4" bow shackle with a hitch pin for sale anywhere?


What if you unhooked the cable on the toad end and not the actuator arm. I can imagine it would be very difficult to remove the carabiner from the actuator arm of the brake mechanism.
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Old 02-26-2023, 07:29 AM   #14
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What if you unhooked the cable on the toad end and not the actuator arm. I can imagine it would be very difficult to remove the carabiner from the actuator arm of the brake mechanism.
I did try that, still not enough slack.
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