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Old 02-03-2011, 10:30 AM   #21
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There are several braking systems out there.. The Even brake is of a class I call a "Brake in a box" This is a box you install in the driver's seat EVERY TIME you tow the car and have to remove to drive,, Very much a lot of work and way to easy to say "Oh, I'm only going a short distance" and forget it.. and, I might add, regret it later.

Someone up-thread recommended the Ready Brake system... This is a very good system and frankly... IT is one of 3 I recommend.

There are a number of other systems too.. One is the M*G Air/hydraulic system, this will not fit on all cars but if your motor home has air brakes it is a good system.. It is 100% transparant to a car driver, Once installed (One time) it is left alone the driver can not even see it, (it's not in the cockpit at all) and it bypasses the vacuum assist so there are not "First stop" issues as there are with the Even Brake (more on that in last paragraph)

There is a system called, as I recall Air-Force one that is a pedal pusher, like the even brake, but much smaller and easier to hook up, it can be "Stored" under the driver's seat when not in use, Harder to say "Too much work"

The system I like best is either the ready brake or the US-Gear Unified Brake Decelerator.. This last one is an electric/hydraulic system. The unit is fully controlled from/by the motor home, the driver of the motor home has the ability to adjust the relative braking force, to disable it, or to set the brakes by hand from the cockpit of the motor home.. The unit will NOT activate till the motor home brake pedal is depressed (Brake in a box and ready brake can be activated by going down hill)

And again it is transparent, though there is a bracket the driver can see if he knows where to look.

Now,, the vacuum assist brake problem.

With pedal pushers, save for the US-Gear system, the first few presses of the brake pedal after you turn off the engine are far more effective than following presses.. So either your system (if set with vacuum present) has little effect after the first full stops or the first few stops are very powerful unless you remember to bleed off the vacuum by pressing the brakes several times when you install it.

US-Gear gets around this by providing an electric vacuum pump.
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:23 AM   #22
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Another Ready Brake/Ready Stop here. Our toad is light enough that I think we could get away with no brake on it but for peace of mind, safety and legality it was the most simple option. If you can operate some basic tools and a drill it can be installed in your garage. Took me a Saturday and very few swear words to complete.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:15 AM   #23
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Our vote for the Blue Ox Patriot Braking System -- all wireless and self contained. Simple to install/remove and does not draw any power from the towed vehicle.
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:13 AM   #24
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+ 4..... SMI.... You do not store under the seat????

It comes with Stay & Play setup for non air brakes and it comes in Air Force One for air brakes.

It is the smallest brake actuator in the market and attaches to the arm of your brake pedal, you will never know it's there. I have it with my Blue Ox tow bar system.

Vey easy to hook and unhook, break away system, and more. Cheap it is not, and if you are not real handy should be professionally installed.

Study them all first. Then decide. SMI is a quality product.

Regards... Jim P.
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:43 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by pameridan04 View Post
+ 4..... SMI.... You do not store under the seat????

It comes with Stay & Play setup for non air brakes and it comes in Air Force One for air brakes.

It is the smallest brake actuator in the market and attaches to the arm of your brake pedal, you will never know it's there. I have it with my Blue Ox tow bar system.

Vey easy to hook and unhook, break away system, and more. Cheap it is not, and if you are not real handy should be professionally installed.

Study them all first. Then decide. SMI is a quality product.

Regards... Jim P.

After all of my searching this is the way we're leaning to go when the time comes. Will say I doubt I'll do it myself though.

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Old 02-07-2011, 05:16 AM   #26
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We have used the Brake Buddy system for 10 years with no problems even going up and down mountains. We have used the system on several cars and only need to adjust the settings for sensativity when changing vehicles because of weight of the towed vehicle. The system has aidedd us in a few panic stops and we have been very glad it was there!

The newer BB systems are proportional - Check them out!
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:40 AM   #27
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Third vote for ReadyBreak. I've had excellent luck with mine. Nothing electrical to worry about, pure mechanics. Check this website for the ReadyBrute Elite: Readybrake RV Tow Bars and RV Surge Braking Systems for Car Towing - Night Shift Auto

Oh... as part of your research... do a search on the brands in which you're interested.. for each one you'll find stories of ruined toad tires (and more) when they failed... but, no such stories for ReadyBrake were found.
Have a question about the ready brake, since it works off of a surge system, what happen's when you in the mountains coming down a 6-7% grade using the engine brake of the DP. Would this not cause the brakes of the towed to be on for the whole decent.

Some of those grades are 5+ miles long, I would think that could overheat the towed vehicles brakes.

Could be wrong but just curious.


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Old 02-07-2011, 11:06 AM   #28
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I have been using my ReadyBrake for 3 years. I have a dash light wired to the towed brake light switch, so I can see when the car brake is activated. I have come down many mountain grades using my engine compression (gas engine--probably not as aggressive as diesel exhaust braking). At steady descent speeds, the towed brake does not come on, only when I tap the coach brakes to check speed.
On my HHR, I imagine the vacuum for the power brake gets depleted, so the braking force is higher, as noted in one of the above posts. Even so, the brake does activate when the stopping force is high enough. I have no experience with a diesel, so I know I can't adequately address your concern. Maybe some DP owner has direct experience. However, if your exhaust brake maintains a steady or slightly increasing speed with occasional braking to check speed on the decline, I am certain your towed brake would not come on unless needed. In 3 years, I have not experienced any issues on the towed's brakes with unusual wear, overheating, or anything. In fact, I think the car's brakes see less use than if I were driving it on the same route, but still enough to be safe and effective.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:09 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Traps90 View Post
Have a question about the ready brake, since it works off of a surge system, what happen's when you in the mountains coming down a 6-7% grade using the engine brake of the DP. Would this not cause the brakes of the towed to be on for the whole decent.

Some of those grades are 5+ miles long, I would think that could overheat the towed vehicles brakes.

Could be wrong but just curious.


Trap
My take on it would be that the "surge" style brakes activate "Hard" only when you are actually slowing down the MH. That is when inerta (objects in motion want to stay in motion) would cause a lot of pressure from the toad acting on the connecting link (actuator). In the case of a steady speed of both vehicles down hill, even though the MH brakes are being used to hold back any acceleration, the amount of pressure on the link would be smaller than when slowing down, and the amount of braking applied to the toad would be the same amount that would be required if the toad were being driven by itself.

This assumes that the system is properly designed and set up. The one advantage that this system has is that it is auto-correcting. That is, if too much braking is applied to the toad, it will release quickly because the pressure on the actuator link will be gone. I would expect that a badly designed or set up system that caused over-braking would tend to produce a jerky effect that would indicate a problem.
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