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MSHappyCampers 02-11-2012 09:07 AM

What braking system do I need?
I am looking at buying a Class A that has never towed a vehicle. We have a 2001 Honda Accord with GVWR of 4235 lbs. What is the most economical braking system I can use for that vehicle? We will be traveling in the mountains quite a bit. Is it advisable to tow a vehicle that size without supplemental braking? Your advice is appreciated! :D

FlyingDiver 02-11-2012 10:58 AM

I would never tow any vehicle without supplemental braking, especially in the mountains. You need a supplemental brake to get a working break-away system. Don't focus on economical, focus on the type of brake system that works best for you. And that will depend (primarily) on two things - does the RV have air brakes, and do you want a permanent install (just connect cables/hoses), or do you want a unit that you have to install in the driver's compartment every time you tow the vehicle.


texnet 02-11-2012 11:02 AM

Most states require that you have supplemental braking. I use the U.S. Gear system. When we get ready to tow it is simple... hook up the tow bar, plug in the light/brake electrical plug and plug in the emergency disconnect cable.

two2go 02-11-2012 11:03 AM

ReadyBrake - Best value, simple, it works without all the electronics, air lines, unnecessary complexity.

BudtheDiplomat 02-11-2012 11:23 AM

The field of brake systems is complex and confusing! If you are willing to do some reading, google "supplemental braking systems." There is also a very good description/comparison at>Open Roads Forum>Dinghy Towing>Supplemental braking systems.

Your key word for me is "economical." My system, the M&G Engineering, is perfect for me but doesn't meet the economical criteria. As I recall, it was about $2600+ or so. It is permanent, proportional, and all of the hookups are outside the vehicles. Nothing is attached to the brake pedals.

Mine was installed at M&G factory, has been flawless, easy to set up and disconnect each time, and I can't even tell it is there when I'm driving the toad.

Take your time and good luck.

Possum 02-11-2012 11:38 AM

Do you think you could convince DW to sit in the toad with the prime objective of nailing the toad brakes whenever she sees you RV brake lights come on? :angel:

That would be cheapest, highly impractical but definitely cheapest.:blink:


GaryKD 02-11-2012 12:03 PM

Hi MSHappyCampers,
Forget economical. You're going to spend some $s no matter what you choose. FlyingDiver has the right idea. Read up on the different choices. Determine the tasks needed to be done by you for every connect and disconnect. Get the brake system that you are comfortable working with.

I have had a USGEAR system for 6+ years. Go to Unified Tow Brake and read about it. It has worked as advertised and I would make the same purchase again.

For the weight you're going to tow, every state will require a toad braking system.

Arch Hoagland 02-11-2012 12:18 PM

I use U.S. Gear and have moved it from my original toad. It wasn't cheap but I don't have to do a thing when hooking up.

The boxes you clamp on to the brake pedal appear to be a pain to me.

And I suspect if they are a bother some people would tend to not hook them up everytime.

racefn 02-11-2012 12:25 PM

Readybrake for me also , easy to install yourself if your so inclined, and fairly economical, you can purchase breakaway from same company for additional 100.00

ahicks 02-11-2012 05:59 PM

3rd vote for the Ready Brake. Mostly because it works great, but just as importantly, because it's so darn simple.

Mr_D 02-11-2012 06:07 PM


Originally Posted by texnet (Post 1081152)
Most states require that you have supplemental braking. I use the U.S. Gear system. When we get ready to tow it is simple... hook up the tow bar, plug in the light/brake electrical plug and plug in the emergency disconnect cable.

Actually it's more like some states require supplemental braking, however if you ever venture into a state that does and you don't have it then you are violating the law. Almost all the charts out there giving the laws are for trailers and some states specifically say that a trailer is designed to be towed and has no motive power of it's own. But a motorized vehicle being towed is not designed to be towed and has it's own engine.
However, you can't get away from the laws of physics: more weight requires more braking force.
We have the RoadMaster 9160 air system with breakaway and the optional seat bracket. I've had it on two toweds so far with no problems.

texnet 02-11-2012 10:00 PM


Originally Posted by Mr_D (Post 1081554)
Actually it's more like some states require supplemental braking,

Ok.., not most... but 19 states REQUIRE them.. but I wouldn't won't to travel avoiding the states that do. Also, would not want to be in a accident and be blamed for not stopping soon enough regardless of laws!

See look at the column "Brake Laws Towed Cars"


Dwight 02-12-2012 01:50 AM

Welcome : I have been mountain motorhoming and winter skiing since 6 years before they dug the Eisenhower tunnel in Colorado and I drove my motorhome through it the same day it opened.

4th vote for READY BRAKE -- It's built into the tow bar

If you enjoy fiddling and screwing around and constantly wounder if the aux braking system is adjusted properly for highway braking, panic braking in towns, and mountain breaking, then you have many aux brake choices from which to choose.

READY BRAKE: After installation it is out of sight and out of mind and guaranteed for life. When you open the doors on your towed vehicle, you will see nothing. In your motorhome you will see a little light on the dash the moment the brake pedal in your towed vehicle begins to move. It is always in adjustment, period.

I haven't seen a price that can compete with it and the installation is so simple "even a cave man can do it", but installing tail, brake, and turn signals on any toad is little more difficult.

Welcome Aboard, Dwight

Steve N Sal 02-12-2012 03:56 AM

Would never tow a vehicle without supplemental brake system. I would too look at the Ready Brake system.

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