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-   -   What braking system do I need? (https://www.irv2.com/forums/f85/what-braking-system-do-i-need-114940.html)

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.

joe

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 rv.net>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:


:laugh:

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

Quote:

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

Quote:

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 https://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm look at the column "Brake Laws Towed Cars"

And... https://www.brakebuddy.com/Towing-Laws

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.

MSHappyCampers 02-12-2012 06:28 AM

Thanks for all the replies folks! The ReadyBrake really sounds good! One thing I forgot to ask though. What do I need to hook up the lights on the toad? Can you tell about what this part of the package will cost? Thanks again! :thumb::D

njs42 02-12-2012 06:34 AM

Use brakes to conform to the laws in some/most states and common sense in all states. They help you stop sooner; it is painful to be just a little long of stopping in time.

If and when I do it over I am going with Ready Brake.

dajudge 02-12-2012 06:43 AM

OK, here it is again, not all states required toad brakes. The ones that require them go by the weight of the toad. I think 4200lb. would reqjuire you to have it in states that require it, although I think if your home state does not require the toad brake, you are exempt if you are passing through. I think it is a good idea to have toad brakes. My toad weighs 3100# but I just bought a Roadmaster even brake on ebay at a good price. I am planning to install the components in both vehicles next week . What I like about that type is that is easy to install and if you trade your toad, you don't have to hire an engineer to swap vehicles.

Coma 02-12-2012 07:34 AM

May I piggyback on this Topic?

I'm doing research on this too. I don't want the toad to ride the brakes down the mountain. My MH's brake lights come on with the Pac Brake. Surge type brakes will have some brake applied due to the incline. One of the systems stops the toad brakes after 15 seconds which would probably be OK. Otherwise I'm leaning toward a system that operates off the air brake application.

Anyone have insight into this?

njs42 02-12-2012 07:45 AM

I should have stopped at (some) states require brakes. It is true most do not.

According to what I just read (unofficial) Mississippi does require brakes--no weight is mention. However a check of local laws will provide them with what they need. States have good websites on vehicle laws, look it up to be absolutely sure.

As to whether or not a state would not enforce their laws on a vehicle passing through I would like to know where that is cited? It is often said in these forums without crediting any source.

ahicks 02-12-2012 09:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coma (Post 1081813)
May I piggyback on this Topic?

I'm doing research on this too. I don't want the toad to ride the brakes down the mountain. My MH's brake lights come on with the Pac Brake. Surge type brakes will have some brake applied due to the incline. One of the systems stops the toad brakes after 15 seconds which would probably be OK. Otherwise I'm leaning toward a system that operates off the air brake application.

Anyone have insight into this?

On the bold, these guys that thought up that surge brake thing were pretty clever. They took this idea to heart. There's a pretty stiff spring that must be overcome prior to the bakes applying. This also lets the surge brake systems back up, though that's not of much consequence in this application. I can tell you for sure, the Ready Brake I'm using does not apply the brake on 8% grades.

njs42 02-12-2012 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coma (Post 1081813)
May I piggyback on this Topic?

I'm doing research on this too. I don't want the toad to ride the brakes down the mountain. My MH's brake lights come on with the Pac Brake. Surge type brakes will have some brake applied due to the incline. One of the systems stops the toad brakes after 15 seconds which would probably be OK. Otherwise I'm leaning toward a system that operates off the air brake application.

Anyone have insight into this?

I'll try.


My brake pro set up can adjust to requiring the most pressure from the towing vehicle MH and applying the least amount of braking in the tow--I don't think it is unique in that regard. We only get downhill braking when I really want/need it as a result; and then it is resistence but not locking up or dragging the tires.

On the other hand if I have to stand on the brakes it will apply the brakes hard.

I do not know anything about air brakes but it would seem to me if you can get proportional braking there it would be the simpilest for you, perhaps the lesat expensive as well.

buck62 02-12-2012 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ahicks (Post 1081882)
On the bold, these guys that thought up that surge brake thing were pretty clever. They took this idea to heart. There's a pretty stiff spring that must be overcome prior to the bakes applying. This also lets the surge brake systems back up, though that's not of much consequence in this application. I can tell you for sure, the Ready Brake I'm using does not apply the brake on 8% grades.

The part where the Ready Brake does not apply the brakes on an 8% grade bothers me because that is saying that the full weight of your toad is now pushing behind your motorhome and relying on the motorhome brakes to stop both. I would prefer to have a proportional braking system that applied the brakes with light pressure or heavy braking pressure in proportion to the same braking being applied to the motorhome. There are several braking system being sold that offer proportional braking for the toad.

wa8yxm 02-12-2012 11:52 AM

There are many Braking systems and all have advantages and/or disadvantages.

Ready Brake, Is about as simple as a braking system can get, it's s surge brake system, it combines with the Ready Brute Tow bar (They make an adapter to use it with Blue Ox as well) and when the car pushes against the motor home it applies the brakes, the harder the push (the harder you are stopping the motor home) the harder it applies the brakes, Adjustment is 100% automated by laws of physics, and there is not much that can go wrong, Fast hook up, and easy disconnect though it is installed (Most all installed system have this feature) it is 100% invisible to the driver of the towed.

M&G, Air/Hydraulic If it will fit your towed, and your motor home has air brakes, Consider it.

Air-Force 1, If M&G won't fit.

US-Gear Unified brake Decelerator, this is electric/hydraulic, like the Ready brake it's easy to hook up and unhook and invisible to a driver of the towed. This system gives you full INDEPENDENT control of the towed's brakes from the motor home driver's seat. It is, near as I can tell, the only system that does this.. It is my choice, However.. i'm not sure I will re-choose it.

Invisible Brake.. Most all the features of the US gear save you only have "Automatic" control, no manual control. This is an "electrically compressed air"/Hydraulic sytem.

NOTE: Both of the above eat towed battery power (As does Air Force one but only a little) They also restore that power courtesy of the motor home's alternator.

Brake in a box system: Brake buddy, Even brake, et-al. These systems look nice on paper because you completly remove them when you drive the towed, thus you can install them in a different towed next time.. If you have several toweds they may well be the best choice, but if you do not (And most do not) I do not recommend them.. Here is why. Thought the box says "No installation required" the fact is you have to install them EVERY TIME YOU TOW,, And for a short trip (Say to the dealer) it is far too easy to say "Oh that's too much work, I'll just forget... OH @@@@@ I Wish I'd installed it".

They also eat battery power, but with no way to restore it. NORMALLY they do not eat enough to matter but on a long trip, with a "Weak" battery in the towed.

The reason I don't recommend them however is the "Oh, It's too much..." bit, not the battery.

Pusherman 02-12-2012 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coma (Post 1081813)
May I piggyback on this Topic?

I'm doing research on this too. I don't want the toad to ride the brakes down the mountain. My MH's brake lights come on with the Pac Brake. Surge type brakes will have some brake applied due to the incline. One of the systems stops the toad brakes after 15 seconds which would probably be OK. Otherwise I'm leaning toward a system that operates off the air brake application.

Anyone have insight into this?

For coaches with air brake systems, there are some toad brake systems which take a signal from the coach brake lights to actuate the toad brakes. I do not think this is a good idea, as you suggest in your concern above.

Most all motorhomes have enough inertia to slow the toad under gentle deceleration, such as using the engine or exhaust brake on a diesel when going town a hill. Most 'engine' brakes will illuminate the tail lights, which would signal the toad brakes to come on in the case described above. This means if the toad brakes come on under this scenerio, the toad will be braking, trying to slow the coach down when going down a long hill with just the 'engine' brake slowing the coach. Not good for the toad brakes.

The toad brake systems which get their signal from the coach air is the way to go in my opinion, such as SMI Air Force One or the M&G system.

I just installed the AFO and I like the way it will only actuate when the coach air brakes are applied, like coming to a stop, or a panic situation.

Going down a mountain grade, if you manage your transmission properly with the 'engine' brake, you may never have to apply the coach air brakes at all. When you do need them, both your coach and toad brakes will still be there for additional slowing or coming to a stop.

docj 02-12-2012 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by buck62 (Post 1081972)
The part where the Ready Brake does not apply the brakes on an 8% grade bothers me because that is saying that the full weight of your toad is now pushing behind your motorhome and relying on the motorhome brakes to stop both. I would prefer to have a proportional braking system that applied the brakes with light pressure or heavy braking pressure in proportion to the same braking being applied to the motorhome. There are several braking system being sold that offer proportional braking for the toad.

ReadyBrake is very definitely proportional; the greater the deceleration of the MH, the greater the braking force applied by the toad. The fact that the light comes on inside the MH just shows that some braking effort is being applied. I have my ReadyBrake set so it comes on partially when the Jake Brake on the MH is activated. Coasting down a mountain by itself doesn't activate it, but decelerating does whether or not that is caused by the MH's brakes or the Jake.

The braking pressure of the toad is proportional to the braking effort applied to the MH so with the Jake on the toad's brakes are not fully applied. I know that some people will be concerned that the toad's brakes will suffer wear and possible overheating due to being applied during downhill runs with the Jake on. All I can say is that we haven't seen any unusual wear after 15,000 miles of towing.

firedoc 02-12-2012 03:50 PM

You can adjust the Ready Break so that when the red light comes on there is initially no break application of the toad. This is the way I would rather have it as otherwise your toad is riding the brake all the way down the hill if you are running with engine brake. We all know not to do that. You WILL have hot brakes at the bottom. It was tough to get it adjusted to what I would call 'right'. But works like a charm when you do. Can definitely notice the decreased stopping distance.

Pusherman 02-12-2012 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by firedoc (Post 1082288)
You can adjust the Ready Break so that when the red light comes on there is initially no break application of the toad. This is the way I would rather have it as otherwise your toad is riding the brake all the way down the hill if you are running with engine brake. We all know not to do that. You WILL have hot brakes at the bottom. It was tough to get it adjusted to what I would call 'right'. But works like a charm when you do. Can definitely notice the decreased stopping distance.

That's what I like about the AFO system for diesel coaches w/ air brakes. No adjustments available or necessary.

CLarence39 02-12-2012 07:00 PM

I think the very best is M & G Engineering - Athens, Tx. 1-800-817-7698 An old installer ( Smitty's) here in Houston installs them - he advised for me and I have been very pleased. Clarence

Tom-NC 02-12-2012 07:20 PM

Hi, I agree all that wasaid plus whether states require or not put brakes on toad.

I do have a question first, do you know that you can tow the Accord four down and what modifications if any do you have to make in the car such as pulling fuses, etc. It may be that you can't tow that vehicle for down and need a tow dolly. Check it out first before buying the braking system.

As for the lights on the toad there is a diode package that you will need to install so as not to back feed motorhome power into the toad.

If you need a tow dolly then you will need electric brakes on the dolly and a controller in the motorhome but will not need the diodes as there are lights on the dolly.

Good Luck :dance::dance:

Dwight 02-13-2012 01:55 AM

EXCELLENT - - EXCELLENT - - DISCUSSION

I was glad to see the owners of large Diesel ENGINES responding to the effect of exhaust brakes relating to the application of the Ready Brake surge system. As was stated in post #13, the motor home driver will see the brake light indicator the moment the toad brake pedal moves but that doesn't mean the toad brakes have yet applied. It can be compared to the guy that drives down the highway with his left foot just touching the brake pedal and you see his brake lights going on and off. The cable on the Ready Brake tow bar can be adjusted a fraction of an inch longer and you won't have the indicator light activate under lite use of the Diesel exhaust brake on downhill use.

MSHappyCampers 02-13-2012 06:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom-NC (Post 1082495)
Hi, I agree all that wasaid plus whether states require or not put brakes on toad.

I do have a question first, do you know that you can tow the Accord four down and what modifications if any do you have to make in the car such as pulling fuses, etc. It may be that you can't tow that vehicle for down and need a tow dolly. Check it out first before buying the braking system.

As for the lights on the toad there is a diode package that you will need to install so as not to back feed motorhome power into the toad.

If you need a tow dolly then you will need electric brakes on the dolly and a controller in the motorhome but will not need the diodes as there are lights on the dolly.

Good Luck :dance::dance:

I have been told that the 2001 Honda Accord can be towed 4-down. The Honda manual does not say that because it was never tested, but I put that question on the forum a while ago and it seems to be OK. :thumb:

firedoc 02-13-2012 11:22 PM

Actually with the ReadyBrake the indicator light does not show when your brakes are applied on the toad! The shaft of the hitch moves in and out (surge brake). When it moves together an electrical contact is made with the 'actuating lever' on the brake and the light turns on. If you do not have the cable attached to the 'actuating lever' you will have no toad brakes but the light will still come on as the contact is made when you slow. The adjustment is in how tightly the cable is connected. If it is taught the brakes will come on earlier. If it is attached more loosely the brakes are activated later. BUT the light comes on at the same time no matter what.

Mr_D 02-14-2012 12:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by texnet (Post 1081678)
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 https://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm look at the column "Brake Laws Towed Cars"

And... https://www.brakebuddy.com/Towing-Laws

Just a quick look at that site shows that the chart is totally wrong for WA and OR, they did get CA correct though. WA is the same as CA and OR is even stiffer in the stopping distance. That chart is probably the most accurate out there even though it's still wrong!

Mr_D 02-14-2012 12:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ahicks (Post 1081882)
On the bold, these guys that thought up that surge brake thing were pretty clever. They took this idea to heart. There's a pretty stiff spring that must be overcome prior to the bakes applying. This also lets the surge brake systems back up, though that's not of much consequence in this application. I can tell you for sure, the Ready Brake I'm using does not apply the brake on 8% grades.

Our first dolly had no "stiff spring" in the system and we burned up the brakes coming out of Jackson Hole to the West, 10% up and 10% down. Our present Demco KK-460 didn't have the correct one either but a call to Demco told me it should have and they sent one to install. Guess it's doing it's job as the brakes are still OK.

Dwight 02-15-2012 07:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by firedoc (Post 1083595)
Actually with the ReadyBrake the indicator light does not show when your brakes are applied on the toad! The shaft of the hitch moves in and out (surge brake). When it moves together an electrical contact is made with the 'actuating lever' on the brake and the light turns on. If you do not have the cable attached to the 'actuating lever' you will have no toad brakes but the light will still come on as the contact is made when you slow. The adjustment is in how tightly the cable is connected. If it is taught the brakes will come on earlier. If it is attached more loosely the brakes are activated later. BUT the light comes on at the same time no matter what.

firedoc - - -You are 100% correct. My mistake on the dash light operation. Dwight

two2go 02-15-2012 03:07 PM

The new ReadyBrake design must be different to include the indicator light circuit. I wired my light direct to the toad brake light switch, so when it lights, I know the car brakes are being activated.
Regarding steep descents, we drive in the CO mountains plenty and I never have felt that the car pushes the coach that much and the car brakes rarely activate just on steady descent. I keep the tranny grade brake on and tap the brakes intermittently to check the speed. That usually activates the toad brakes but they don't drag on.
Another thing. I often wonder how long the brake vacuum booster remains effective after we start towing? I do feel that it takes a bit harder coach braking action to set the toad brakes, but they still are perfectly functional.
The SMI systems (Air Force One and Stay-n-play) are really fine and I considered one. But for the price, I got my tow bar, aux. lights, plus brake and base plate installed, and still had quite a bit of money left over to waste (which I must have, it ain't around no more), and we have been happily and safely motoring for almost 5 years.

Hikerdogs 02-15-2012 04:18 PM

Unless I missed something (and that's all together possible) some key information is missing from this discussion. First of all I haven't seen the OP give us any information as to whether the coach is gas or diesel powered.

If it's gas powered it really doesn't make any difference whether the state laws require supplemental brakes. Both Ford and Workhorse say a supplemental braking system is required when towing anything over 1,500 lbs. Neither chassis manufacturer gets into the semantics of whether a towed vehicle is a trailer. They both just say anything being towed that weighs over 1,500 lbs needs supplemental brakes.

As for the ReadyBrake being proportional it is (like any surge brake) once the towed vehicle overcomes the initial force (in this case 250 lbs) required to start activating the system.

The part of the equation Readybrake does not address is braking going up an incline or holding while stopped on an incline. This is a short comming of all surge brake systems. They require the towed vehicle or trailer to apply pressure to the hitch to activate the system. Once the towing vehicle is stopped the surge brake will release unless the driver keeps continuous pressure on the towing vehicles brake pedal. If the tow vehicle brake pedal is released and reapplied while the combination is stationary the towed vehicle brakes will release. About the only exception would be if the combination is stopped on a decline.

Yukon Jack 02-16-2012 11:26 AM

Tow Brake System
 
I believe that most states require that you have supplemental braking for towing a vehicle. Further, it is a great comfort of mind to know that with a quality, supplemental braking system that you can stop a large Class A motorhome with a car in tow, in a shorter distance than with only using the brakes of your RV. Having pulled a vehicle for many miles, I am extremely happy that I purchased this US Gear UTB system and did not get caught up the game of buying a lesser expensive system. As I live by an ole cliché, “If the first cost is the last cost, it’s generally the cheapest cost.”

I have a 2001 Monaco Dynasty (38 ft) and I am currently using a U.S. Gear, Unified Tow Brake system to tow a 2008 GMC Envoy that weighs about 4,500 lbs. I have been using this system since 2000 and prior to the Envoy was towing a 2001 GMC Jimmy (about 3,900 Lbs). This brake system is an extremely high quality system and I am very confident of its braking performance and could not be any happier with any other system on the market. It is so simple, connect to my Blue OX tow bar, connect the wires for lights (tail, brake & signal) and connect the emergency break-away disconnect cable and you’re ready to roll.

Just as information, I ran wires directly from my trailer wiring harness of the Motorhome to operate the lights (Tail, Brake & Signal) for the Tow Vehicle. I installed the individual Blue Ox BX88159 style, (3-wire) light sockets in the tail light housings of both my GMC Jimmy & the GMC Envoy and they work great, and I do not have to worry about conflicts with any wiring or electrical components in the towed vehicle electrical circuits. Blue Ox sells a complete wiring package under part no BX8869.

Hope this helps and Good Luck

Yukon Jack

SarahW 02-16-2012 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hikerdogs (Post 1085060)
Unless I missed something (and that's all together possible) some key information is missing from this discussion. First of all I haven't seen the OP give us any information as to whether the coach is gas or diesel powered.

If it's gas powered it really doesn't make any difference whether the state laws require supplemental brakes. Both Ford and Workhorse say a supplemental braking system is required when towing anything over 1,500 lbs. Neither chassis manufacturer gets into the semantics of whether a towed vehicle is a trailer. They both just say anything being towed that weighs over 1,500 lbs needs supplemental brakes.

I believe Joe is considering a DP, but that is EXCELLENT info for gas coach owners.

Sequim Guy 02-16-2012 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom-NC (Post 1082495)

If you need a tow dolly then you will need electric brakes on the dolly and a controller in the motorhome but will not need the diodes as there are lights on the dolly.


Not if you have surge brakes, no controller, no diodes, very simple but effective.

As for surge brakes not working while on an incline, ummm.... OK that's true.
But going uphill, my old friend 'gravity' seems to be a big help, and if I am afraid that my toad will pull me backwards down the hill when I stop, then that will probably be the least of my worries.:whistling:

.

Jupiter 02-17-2012 08:24 PM

ahhhh...... aren't we truly blessed to have so many terrific choices! :thumb:

Joopy

sellhomz 02-25-2012 11:44 AM

my brake questions: does installation of a us gear TV-1000k, invisibrake, smi's stay and play, and of the models that permanently install under the hood and connect to you towed vehicle's vacuum line violate the warranty in a new tow car.


I just bought a 2012 Jeep Wrangler 2 door 4wd soft top for towing behind my 30 ft 2009 Winnebago gas RV, and would like a permanent braking solution, but not sure which one is the best to use. Your thoughts.

Neil

SarahW 02-25-2012 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sellhomz (Post 1094634)
my brake questions: does installation of a us gear TV-1000k, invisibrake, smi's stay and play, and of the models that permanently install under the hood and connect to you towed vehicle's vacuum line violate the warranty in a new tow car.


I just bought a 2012 Jeep Wrangler 2 door 4wd soft top for towing behind my 30 ft 2009 Winnebago gas RV, and would like a permanent braking solution, but not sure which one is the best to use. Your thoughts.

Neil

Neil--your best bet is to call Jeep and ask them. (I just did this last week for the ReadyBrute system and a CoolTech wiring harness for our 2012 Wrangler.) I didn't want to putz with the new car warranty.

FlyingDiver 02-25-2012 02:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sellhomz (Post 1094634)
my brake questions: does installation of a us gear TV-1000k, invisibrake, smi's stay and play, and of the models that permanently install under the hood and connect to you towed vehicle's vacuum line violate the warranty in a new tow car.

Short answer is no. There's some Federal law, I forget the name, that says that modifying a vehicle cannot void the warranty unless the modifications cause the malfunction.

Ah. It's the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Keeping Your Mod's Warranty Intact - For Dummies

joe

wa8yxm 02-25-2012 02:56 PM

If you do NOT already have a tow bar the Ready brute with Ready Brake beats all others for "Economy" also it beats all others for simplicity and I do believe in KISS (keep it super simple) There is basically nothing that can go wrong with it safe for rust in the cable. (And that would not be a problem for full timers) Do follow instructions as to testing and lubrication.

If you already have a tow bar most systems are in the same price range.

I went with the US-Gear on my towed, It is simply the best in terms of giving the driver control over the towed. Invisible to the driver of the towed (provided you don't wear size 13 gunboats... Like I do) quick and easy to hook up, No temptation to say "The heck with it" But it is one of the most complex systems out there.

Invisible brake is much like the US gear but it does not give the driver as much control.

Both of these do use electricity from the towed's battery, but allow for repleneshment of said electricity by the motor home Both are quick to hook up (Invisible brake is a tad faster, but not much) both invisible to the driver (With exception above) of the towed.

If your tow vehicle has air brakes,, M&G is the hands down winner for invisibility, even if you wear gunboats longer than mine. There is NOTHING, aboslutly NOTHING of this system inside the cockpit on the car.

Air-Force One is also a good system.

Finally we have Brake Master Pro.. this is a "Crossover" system, it uses MH Air (Either from the brake system of a DP or from an optional electric compressor on a gasser, note this applies to the other two air-brake systems as well) but it uses a pedal pusher that has to be attached,,, however the pusher stows under the driver's seat so it's fairly quick to attach.. Still, I like the other two systems better.

And that covers the major players.

two2go 02-25-2012 09:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wa8yxm (Post 1094798)
And that covers the major players.

Very nicely, but for one additional bit of complexity--what is the activation method? Is the system truly proportional to the braking force of the coach, or is it on a switch or a time delay that applies what you hope is an appropriate amount of braking force to the toad relative to the coach. Some use pendulum (old school?) or accelerometer sensing of the coach braking to control the toad braking force. A bit complex but fine for use when properly set up.
One of the new systems (Roadmaster?) appears to use a time delay. More time = more braking force. I had two types of brake controllers when I was trailer towing. I used the time delay one twice and gave it away. I got and kept the inertial unit with a pendulum. Much smoother proportional braking on the trailer.
It's nice to have so many choices. Every commercial brake system available has its merits and plenty of acceptance. Given the product liability laws, none had better be a dud.

sellhomz 02-27-2012 09:01 AM

Great information! Thanks to everyoine.

It looks like I am down to either the SMI stay and play duo, which needs both the brake lights of the RV and a decleration sensor mounted in the towed vehicle to activte the brake and is progressive and proportionate vacuum assisted system. A small air cylnder is attached to and activates the brake pedal. Nothing is needed in the RV, and notice of applying brake is from a light in the towed vehicle on the rear view mirror visable from the rear camera monitor in the RV.

Or the US Gears D-celerator Unified tow brake, which uses the wiring harness in the RV dash to connect the controller and deceleration sensor mounted in the RV, but has a larger solenoid than SMI that needs to be under the deiver seat or under dash to acivate the break pedal. This is both progressive and proportionate. Is this harder to install than the SMI. I have a good friend that is mechanical and into RVs that I will do the installiation with, and am looking for the best working and easiest install of these two, so if anyone had installed either of these let me know. The purchase price is almost the same.

Thanks again.

Neil

Davdeb1 02-27-2012 11:48 AM

I have a big RV, and a small tow vehicle. I can't physically install it, so I need it installed. I don't want to hook and unhook stuff up inside the car every time. I just want it to hook up awt the hitch and forget it. Is there any such thing?

Mr_D 02-27-2012 11:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yukon Jack (Post 1085723)
I believe that most states require that you have supplemental braking for towing a vehicle. Further, it is a great comfort of mind to know that with a quality, supplemental braking system that you can stop a large Class A motorhome with a car in tow, in a shorter distance than with only using the brakes of your RV.

Actually it's just the opposite: very few states require supplemental braking on a motorized vehicle being towed. BUT you must comply with any/all state's laws that you travel through.
The charts you see published all over the internet purporting to show when brakes are required are almost always for trailers and have no bearing on a motorized vehicle pulling another motorized vehicle.

FlyingDiver 02-27-2012 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Davdeb1 (Post 1096956)
I have a big RV, and a small tow vehicle. I can't physically install it, so I need it installed. I don't want to hook and unhook stuff up inside the car every time. I just want it to hook up awt the hitch and forget it. Is there any such thing?

Sure, lots of them. I'm partial to the SMI Air Force One system, if you have a DP with air brakes. If not, there are others.

joe

sellhomz 02-27-2012 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Davdeb1 (Post 1096956)
I have a big RV, and a small tow vehicle. I can't physically install it, so I need it installed. I don't want to hook and unhook stuff up inside the car every time. I just want it to hook up awt the hitch and forget it. Is there any such thing?

both of the systems I mentiones SMI and US gears only require two cables which are quickly connected, 1.the connector plug from the RV 7 prong to the towed vehicle 6 prong on bumper. and 2. the safety cable to the breakaway emergency Brake actuator on the towed bumper. once these systems are installed in the towed auto it is very easy to connect and disconnect.

Neil

Pusherman 02-27-2012 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr_D (Post 1096976)
Actually it's just the opposite: very few states require supplemental braking on a motorized vehicle being towed. BUT you must comply with any/all state's laws that you travel through.
The charts you see published all over the internet purporting to show when brakes are required are almost always for trailers and have no bearing on a motorized vehicle pulling another motorized vehicle.

I agree with your interpretation of the towing laws. I checked w/ NYS DMV and pretty much got the 'trailer' requirements read back to me.

Physics dictate that it takes longer to stop a motorhome with a 2K-3K+lbs towed behind it.

Common sense suggests your far safer with toad brakes than without.

I wouldn't want to test the laws in front of a jury who could find you negligent for causing an accident because you couldn't stop fast enough.

I have toad brakes on my rig.

wa8yxm 02-28-2012 07:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr_D (Post 1083612)
Just a quick look at that site shows that the chart is totally wrong for WA and OR, they did get CA correct though. WA is the same as CA and OR is even stiffer in the stopping distance. That chart is probably the most accurate out there even though it's still wrong!

I do not trust those charts either. Many sates have laws that say "A car towed 4 down" or words to that effect.

Many do not, but in most all states they have a law that says "Trailers over xxxx pounds". The states that do now have a "Car" law, usually define a car, towed 4 down, as a trailer.. Michigan is such a state.


And given the fact the US Gear says it can make up to a 30 percent difference in your stopping distance towing without brakes is just plain reckless.

sellhomz 11-12-2012 05:05 AM

I tow a jeep wrangler one of the lightest and easiest toads. I put the simi stay and play all self contained ( in the toad) braking system. Used it with my gas vista till I just got a do. And I liked having it help slow down as I put only brakes going down the mountains or the flat roads. Just knowing if there is ever an accident. I will not be looked at as contributing to the cause by not having it. Costs about $900 and just a few hours to install yourself or with a handy friend. Well worth the money and effort for the insurance

isa 11-13-2012 06:30 AM

TOWING REGULATIONS

The best reference that I have found with respect to the 50 states is:

home.roadrunner.com/~morodat/toad-brakes-by-state.html

(copy the above and paste into your browser)


and for Canada https://www.rvda.ca/ProvBrakeReqts.asp


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