Roadmaster Even Brake - question...
Does anyone know if the Even Brake checks the brake lights during operation as well as during the TEST phase?
My Smart Car doesn't have working brake lights when being towed (I have a set of magnetics) and so I have wired the Even Brake into the brake lights and will set up and perform the test with the ignition switched on.
Then I will switch the ignition off and tow the car but I can't test it out until we are ready to leave.
So does anyone know if the unit checks the brake lights during actual operation and would it disable the system if it does not detect the brake lights operating during normal towing operation?
I can email Roadmaster but not sure if or how long they would take to reply.
PS not sure if there is a forum for 'braking systems'??
The even brake does not check any brake lights -- ever. It does use input from the brake light switch on the brake pedal lever to tell when the brakes are being applied. By law, the towed car must have brake lights that are operated by the towing vehicle. You can accomplish this with your magnetic lights wired into your motor home's wiring or by installing additional bulbs in your towed's light fixtures, or by installing diodes in your car. The brand or style of auxiliary braking system has nothing to do with the lights. As far as checking the lights, that's pretty much a 2 person job, one at the control in the motor home and one watching the car's tail lights.
Actually, if your towed rig does not have brake lights working when you apply the brakes, you need to install an optional stop light switch. See page 4 on the install guide.
Also, unlike some other brands, while the even brake does require the brake lights to activate, it does not actually receive a braking signal from your motorhome to know how/when to apply the brakes. Instead, it has an accelerometer built in that detects inertia of the rig and identifies when the brakes are being applied. If you press the brake when the motorhome is parked and the even brake is installed, it will not press the brake pedal. You have to be moving and it detects the braking of your motorhome.
In its setup/test sequence, it will send an error if the brake wire is not properly sending an electrical signal. Hence the need for the optional stop light switch in some cases.
In my case, we wired the vehicle being towed to have brake lights from the RV using the universal wiring kit which includes the diodes.
You can skip that portion if you prefer to use those magnetic tow lights. I chose to wire it as a more permanent solution for my 2003 Chevy Tracker.
I have this evenbrake system. It meets my needs. A few minutes to install and remove each time. The best solution probably is the the brake master (roadmaster) or Air force one that is similar, but I didn't want to cut into the brake lines on my RV and also would have had to give up precious storage space in a compartment on the RV for the compressor.
Some hate the "brake in a box" solutions but it works fine for me.
I use the falcon all terrain as the tow bar setup.
The issue is that with the Smart Car, the installation of the extra stop light switch will cost $600 which is not going to happen.
When you switch the system on, you have to press TEST to enable it - if the stop light switch is disconnected you get a "Stop Light' are not operational" message - if you wire the detection wire to 12V you get a "Stop lights are permantly on" error message - neither enables the system to start.
By running TEST with the ignition switch on the Smart 'on', the brake light circuit works correctly and the system passes the TEST and becomes functional
My worry is that when I then switch the ignition off, the brake lights from the car will not be working (but of course the magnetics from the coach wiring will be) and I am wondering if that will affect the Even Brake during operation after it has passed TEST and is functional.
I guess I will find out the first time I tow :)
I would caution you against doing as you plan. I had an occasion when I hit a big bump while braking and the box moved forward enough that it kept pushing the brake pedal after I let off the brakes. The even brake sent an alarm that warned me that the brakes were still applied. If it had not done that I probably would have burned up my brakes. I strongly encourage you to install your system properly.
I guess I don't understand how the inexpensive switch from Roadmaster to enable the stop light switch is $600. It's an inexpensive part and the install doesn't look complex. You may want to call Roadmaster's free tech support line to ask. They can be busy, so it may be a long call wait time. I've called to ask questions in the past.
The have the specific install instructions for your rig on this site:
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