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Open Roads Forum  >  Dinghy Towing  >  Supplemental Braking Systems

 > Supplemental Brake... Necessity or Preference

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red ranger

w.pa

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Posted: 06/28/07 11:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Johnny T
thanks for starting a good discussion. many times i was happy to have my electric brakes on my 1800# tt towed by my 2400# car.

i can't see the same need with my 15000# mh towing a 3000# pickup. i try to anticipate need to slow or stop. i feel i can get better gas mileage by taking my foot off early rather than putting it down later.

that said, i don't know if it would have made a difference if i had been towing last month. on the fl tpk near ft lauderdale the caddy in front of me slowed to 40 and kept it there. maybe he thought i was too close, but i saw the front end of the caddy dive and i hit the brake.everything loose moved forward.





flrvman

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Posted: 07/03/07 05:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some systems work well and others do not. Bottom line is, YOU WILL STOP FASTER WITH MOST SYSTEMS. MUCH FASTER. So, you will be safer. You choose.


2007 B+ Lexington GTS 300SS Blue & Grey Ford V-10
2005 Malibu LT V6 toad

Jpjlauer

ELKHART, IN

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Posted: 08/08/07 08:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just spent $760.00 on a brake repair to my tow because my supplemental brake system unit shifted while sitting on the floor of the tow and actuated the brakes for an undetermined amount of time while traveling. The supplemental brake system did not malfunction, it just shifted while sitting on the floor of the tow and started putting pressure on the brakes without actually "activating". I'm going to put something on the dash of my Rig that will notify me if my tow brakes are being activated. But I am now very worried when I tow about the same thing happening again.

Another issue is once while driving down the road at 60 mph the "break-away" switch mal-functioned and locked up my tow brakes. Not a good situation! I no longer hook up the break-away switch.

I like the idea of braking assistence while towing, but I think the current technology has a way to go. I still use mine, but not without a lot of reservation.


Jim Lauer
2006 BTCruiser
2007 CRV tow

ReadytoRide

Stafford, VA

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Posted: 08/29/07 09:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It appears that most of the auxiliary braking system failures or malfunctions I have read about on here have involved the "brake-in-a-box" like Brake Buddy, etc. Of these, I don't know if any of them also used a remote indicator of toad brake activation.
My braking system is installed in the vehicle and uses a vacuum pump to help provide "power braking" assistance instead of dead pedal. I also have a dashboard light to let me know when the brakes are engaged. I had one occasion when the breakaway cable got pulled around a turn (my fault for not running it correctly,) and the dash light immediately let me know there was a problem. No damage done. The other problem was when I changed MH's and wired the connections wrong. The brakes were activated, and I didn't have the dash light installed yet. Pulled my toad several miles with brakes on. Glazed them over and got them hot, but other than new pads, and some replacement fluid, they were okay. Both occasions, my fault. Other than that my system works great, and I can feel the difference in the braking ability.


2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
Cummins ISL 400/Allison 6-spd
FMCA F354960, Good Sam, WIT
2005 Saturn VUE (FWD V6) Toad
with Blue Ox Aventa II and ToadStopQi with ProPort Control braking system


CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 09/01/07 10:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My experience with supplemental brake failure. I purchased BrakePro early in it's product cycle and it was very prone to false brake activation. To Roadmasters credit they did fix the design problems.

So I installed a light on the toad dash that's connected to the brake light. I can see this light with the rear view camera. And after reading some posts on the general problem of unwanted brake activation I concluded that I would always have an independent method of checking the brake activation and will soon wire up a light on the MH dash. This requirement means that I will not every use any type of system that bypasses activation of the toad brake lights from the toad.


2009 Holiday Rambler 42 Scepter with ISL 400 Cummins
2004 Honda CR-V

Bob


howhafner

Texas

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Posted: 09/01/07 10:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

spent a week studying a supplemental system. Decided to take my toad out and, at about 40 mph, turned off the motor, hit the brake bedal 3 times and on the 3rd time the pressure on the brake pedal to stop was extreme. Decided to go with the M & G system.

chuck4788

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Posted: 09/15/07 05:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think the warning light on the MH dash provides very important information about the status of the toad brakes. But I encountered a fellow who lost his toad to a fire caused by the toad brakes dragging, he didn't notice soon enough that the red light was on. His solution was to install a buzzer. My next project will be to install a buzzer to a relay that will sound if the toad brake are on and the MH brakes are not.


Chuck
02 Beaver
505hp C12 Cat
Trailblazer toad


macira

bullhead city,Az

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Posted: 10/20/07 09:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Aside from adding braking power , a supplemental system seems to me to be cheap "anti-lawyer" insurance.


Mac USAF retired
2001 Seaview 32 ft model 8311
Ford f53
2007 HHR
Brake buddy
Falcon2 Towbar

bib

Eldorado Ohio

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Posted: 12/17/07 04:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Excellant Johnny
Good Job!!!
Bib





kalynzoo

Los Angeles , California

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Posted: 01/24/08 09:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would guess that the decision to use a supplemental brake has allot to do with the type of motorhome/toad combination. I have always owned gas engine MHs. The toad brought the GVCW close to or over the limit. Years ago, with the Holiday Rambler, I was driving down from Oak Glen, a very steep road, and my MH brakes boiled. I was traveling slow, so I was able to safely stop at the curb. So as not to upset the family, I suggested we stop for a long lunch. After that trip I purchased a new dolly with surge brakes. Years later, driving down (South) along the rim of Flaming Gorge, I was truly thankful for the brakes. Now, driving 4 down with as gasser and a Saturn, my story of my lost toad has been posted more than a few times. I am sure that many feel as I do that on most roads East of the Rockies, owners find supplemental brake systems excesses, and another government intrusion in our enjoyment. However, just about anyplace I wish to go requires that I climb and descend the Grapevine, or Baker grade, or Grants Pass. For me, a toad brake is a necessity. Thank you for the opportunity to present just my view.

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