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Author Topic: Brake Buddy or not  (Read 687 times)

L583727

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Brake Buddy or not
« on: November 27, 2017, 09:21:04 AM »
We have a 2005 38' Holiday Rambler, and we're going to tow a 2013 Ford Fusion.  With a 38', 20,000 lb motorhome, do we need a brake assist for the Fusion when towing it?

Alfa38User

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Re: Brake Buddy or not
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 09:22:39 AM »
It may depend on the State you and your vehicles are licensed in. They are especially useful in a breakaway situation should something like a tow bar break or......
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 01:25:09 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Brake Buddy or not
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2017, 10:33:03 AM »
Yes, whether it is legally required (it is in most states and provinces) or not.  It's a matter of safety, basically the distance it takes to stop the rig. 3000+ lbs of unbraked weight will increase the minimum stopping distance substantially.

State laws on towed cars vary quite a bit, but not many states allow unbraked tows. However, car towing is usually covered under different laws than trailer towing, so there is a lot of conflicting info around.  It may or may not be legal to tow a car without auxiliary braking in your state, but the rules change when you cross the state border anyway.  RVers generally need to follow the most restrictive laws unless they plan to limit their travel to one or two states.

Gary
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Kevin Means

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Re: Brake Buddy or not
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 02:18:27 PM »
A motorhome with good brakes could (probably) stop a towed vehicle without auxiliary brakes, adequately during "normal" driving. The problems occur during panic braking, when you might be swerving and braking to avoid something, or just trying to stop in a hurry - especially when descending grades. Now, there are several thousand pounds of additional weight pushing hard on the rear of the coach. If it's pushing at angle, who knows where the towed vehicle is going to end up, or if it will even stay attached to the RV. And if it does break free...

If you live out west, and you regularly climb and descend a lot of grades, you really don't want all that extra weight pushing full time on the RV's brakes. Proportional braking from an auxiliary brake is a big help.

Like Gary said, it may be technically legal in some states to tow a vehicle without an auxiliary brake, but it's a bad idea to go that route, just to save some money. If you're going to tow, please invest in an auxiliary brake.

Kev
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kdbgoat

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Re: Brake Buddy or not
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2017, 02:28:08 PM »
A motorhome with good brakes could (probably) stop a towed vehicle without auxiliary brakes, adequately during "normal" driving. The problems occur during panic braking, when you might be swerving and braking to avoid something, or just trying to stop in a hurry - especially when descending grades. Now, there are several thousand pounds of additional weight pushing hard on the rear of the coach. If it's pushing at angle, who knows where the towed vehicle is going to end up, or if it will even stay attached to the RV. And if it does break free...

If you live out west, and you regularly climb and descend a lot of grades, you really don't want all that extra weight pushing full time on the RV's brakes. Proportional braking from an auxiliary brake is a big help.

Like Gary said, it may be technically legal in some states to tow a vehicle without an auxiliary brake, but it's a bad idea to go that route, just to save some money. If you're going to tow, please invest in an auxiliary brake.

Kev

And from what I see of the tow bar angles some folks run, no toad brakes can very well lead to a good internet "fail" picture circulating around.
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Mile High

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Re: Brake Buddy or not
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2017, 03:09:41 PM »
Agreed, with above.  I have heard good arguments to how the law does not apply to towed motorized vehicles, however I think auxiliary brakes reduce stress on the tow bar as well as give other drivers half a chance if your toad disconnects.  I can't count how many times I have read of tow bars breaking, pins getting left out, etc.
Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
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John From Detroit

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Re: Brake Buddy or not
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2017, 06:06:55 PM »
DO you need aux brakes for the towed. YES. I know laws vary from state to state but this is a safety issue, You rear end sonmeone you gonna WISH you had brakes on the towed.

Second: Brake Buddy: IF you have only one towed I do not recommend that type of system (Box in the driver's seat) I recommend a properly installed system or Ready Brake (Surge Brakes)

There are two reaons: The box in the driver's seat (portalbe) need to be "Installed" every time and every install is a chance to SCREW IT UP as the dealer did with the installed system I had.

Second... It is tempting,,, for a short trip.. To say "Forget it".  and wish you had not later.
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billwild

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Re: Brake Buddy or not
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2017, 06:23:35 PM »
We towed our Honda CRV for 8 years with a Brake Buddy and never had a problem. worked like a charm. When doing trips of 4 days travelling south for winters, we left the brake buddy hooked up to the brake pedal and just unplugged and plugged in again in the mornings. It also never ran the battery down in the Honda which was a good thing. I purchased the Brake Buddy on EBay at a good discount.


Bill

jbbrick

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Re: Brake Buddy or not
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2017, 09:12:05 PM »
I use a BB and it works best for me since I've used it on 3 different tow cars. Yes, my MH will stop it easily, and the BB rarely even activates. I keep the sensitivity down a bit so it won't come on unless I stop hard. Safety aside, you know that in an accident the first thing the lawyer will ask is do you have a supplementary brake system?

john owens

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Re: Brake Buddy or not
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2017, 09:37:25 PM »
After towing our JK without any incidents for the last year you guys opened up my eyes to the "what if" possibilities. The Blue Ox wireless brake system will be deliverd this Friday. I feel better already...bettr safe than sorry huh? :-\
2011 Winnebago 37F Class A  2012 Unlimited JK 2001 HD roadking  1964 Manx 1641cc buggy 1985 22'Lazy Daze Class C 2007 Chaparrel 26' deck boat..Thats all folks!!

cadee2c

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Re: Brake Buddy or not
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2017, 03:59:33 AM »
Quote
The problems occur during panic braking, when you might be swerving and braking to avoid something, or just trying to stop in a hurry

and given the propensity of cars passing, then pulling over in front of you and hitting their brakes, theres gonna be a lot of that kind of braking.  :o
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whokares2

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Re: Brake Buddy or not
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2017, 06:36:03 AM »
For those of us that pull our toad only  limited times a year 4-8,  the Break Buddy is a very inexpensive way to go.  You can find them on Craigslist and eBay much cheaper than the permanent systems and you don't need to take it to a dealer for installation.  Even Facebook has local Market places in your area, I purchased mine for 100.00 that way.  There seems to be a good turn over on towing equipment.
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Mile High

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Re: Brake Buddy or not
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2017, 11:31:22 AM »
One advantage to portable auxiliary brakes is you can use them in multiple toads.  At one time I had several toad options depending on what I was doing on vacation and it would have been expensive to install permanent systems in every vehicle.
Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
FMCA 457993 / WIT W170238

 

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