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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 02-12-2012 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


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