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Author Topic: Braking whilst towing  (Read 3836 times)

4DogsRV

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Braking whilst towing
« on: May 12, 2013, 07:29:38 PM »
We have finally decided on the toad we would like behind our rig. The question we are asking ourselves now is, do we need any additional braking assistance for it? It will be something similar to a Ford Ranger or Toyota Tacoma. The rig is fitted with a Blue Ox 10k tow hitch.
Mark and Leah
2002 Winnebago Brave 34D
4 Dogs (2 Labs, 2 Chihuahuas)
Kia Soul toad
Canon EOS 7D

John Hilley

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2013, 07:51:14 PM »
We have finally decided on the toad we would like behind our rig. The question we are asking ourselves now is, do we need any additional braking assistance for it? It will be something similar to a Ford Ranger or Toyota Tacoma. The rig is fitted with a Blue Ox 10k tow hitch.

I would think the receiver is only rated at 5,000 lbs.
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 38G
1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport
1999 Winnebago Brave 35C
  Handicap Lift & Hospital Bed

afchap

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2013, 07:58:11 PM »
YES ...if you want a good chance to stop safely in an emergency, you need an aux braking system. And some states would require it.
Paul ... (KE5LXU), was fulltimin', now parttimin'...
'03 Winnebago Ultimate Advantage 40e
'05 Honda Odyssey toad
Escapees, FMCA, SMART, WIT
http://www.pjrider.com

2dalake

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2013, 08:18:07 PM »
Agree with supplemental braking.  While it not only helps slow/stop the train, it also provides emergency braking of the toad in the unlikely event of a disconnect.  I don't want the guilt or liability of causing injury or worse if my toad should break loose and take off on its own.

Also agree that most gas motorhomes of that time had a 5,000 lb tow rating. 
2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

Old Snipe

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2013, 08:22:56 PM »
Also towing an un-braked toad may void some chassis manufacturer's warranties.

Best Regards!
Paul D
2007 Winnebago Journey 39K
2003 Honda Element Toad
www.rsanityrvtravels.blogspot.com

Bob Buchanan

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2013, 11:20:30 PM »
YES ...if you want a good chance to stop safely in an emergency, you need an aux braking system. And some states would require it.

    Actually, very few states seem to require it - but most all have a stopping distance requirement on all vehicles including MH's towing. Laws change so would advise checking your state vs. relying on tables such as this though they do give a good starting point and general idea.

http://home.roadrunner.com/~morodat/toad-brakes-by-state.html

I've had the US Gear unified braking system for the past 10 years first on my Class C 29' MH, then moved to my current 34' Class A gas MH's. I sure feel more comfortable coming down steep Western grades with it installed, especially with the US Gear cockpit controls at hand.

But for sure if you plan to get a system, check the library here as there are many systems on the market with many tradeoffs involved.
Bob (fulltimer - Rocklin, CA residency)
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4DogsRV

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 07:13:21 AM »
Just to clear up a point here, you guys are absolutely correct in saying that the MH is only rated for 5000 lbs towing capacity, it is the Blue Ox hitch itself that will pull up to 10 k, but obviously not on my vehicle.

Thanks for the input, I will be checking out the forum for aux braking options.
Mark and Leah
2002 Winnebago Brave 34D
4 Dogs (2 Labs, 2 Chihuahuas)
Kia Soul toad
Canon EOS 7D

Marsha/CA

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2013, 09:21:24 AM »
Just to clear up a point here, you guys are absolutely correct in saying that the MH is only rated for 5000 lbs towing capacity, it is the Blue Ox hitch itself that will pull up to 10 k, but obviously not on my vehicle.

Thanks for the input, I will be checking out the forum for aux braking options.


The Blue Ox hitch will not make up for the 5,000 lb receiver on the RV.  The receiver, which is bolted or welded, to the frame of the RV is limited to 5,000lbs.  If the tow vehicle you plan to pull weights any where near that limit, you will have to reinforce the hitch frame by "beefing" it up.  Most gas coaches come with the 5,000lb limit.

Marsha~
2017 Heartland Mallard IDM231 Travel Trailer....Small but mighty.

Water Dog

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 09:35:57 AM »
North Carolina requires brakes at 4000 pounds, but I agree with the others, that auxillary brakes ae always the way to go. I wouldn't leave home without them.
Dennis

"Heart is where the home is"
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Dennis & Vici Bernhard
2000 Bounder
1999 Jeep Wrangler
Home: Sumner, TX

Joezeppy

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2013, 11:00:07 AM »
I don't think the OP is intending to say that they are going to tow 10,000 lbs - just that the Blue Ox tow bar is rated that high. The Ranger or Tacoma they are considering should come in well under the 5,000 max of their MH.
Joe & Kim
Upstate NY - Kuyahoora Valley
2010 GMC Sierra 2500HD - 6.0L
2017 Keystone Hideout 295BHS
Andersen Ultimate Aluminum 5th wheel hitch

4DogsRV

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2013, 04:48:35 PM »
I don't think the OP is intending to say that they are going to tow 10,000 lbs - just that the Blue Ox tow bar is rated that high. The Ranger or Tacoma they are considering should come in well under the 5,000 max of their MH.

Thank you for pointing that out Joezeppy, my point exactly - I just didn't put it so directly. :)
Mark and Leah
2002 Winnebago Brave 34D
4 Dogs (2 Labs, 2 Chihuahuas)
Kia Soul toad
Canon EOS 7D

4DogsRV

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2013, 05:12:22 PM »
After having read through several forum posts on the subject of towing I find myself now facing the issue of what braking system to purchase. The Patriot system from Blue Ox appears to be rather popular, but, if at all possible, I would like to get some feedback from others who have tried out the various systems.

We will not be buying a vehicle that weighs over 5 000 lbs, in fact we want one that weighs less than 3 000. I will be keeping the Blue Ox tow bar that was mounted on our MH when we got it, even if we will never need the 10 k towing power that it offers.

Any input on this issue would be very much appreciated.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 05:18:13 PM by 4DogsRV »
Mark and Leah
2002 Winnebago Brave 34D
4 Dogs (2 Labs, 2 Chihuahuas)
Kia Soul toad
Canon EOS 7D

John Beard

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2013, 05:21:51 PM »
I chose the SMI Play-IN-Stay Duo for my toad braking system. It works well and is very easy to use, simply turn on a switch, hook-up the umbilical chord and brake-away switch and you're good to go. There is nothing to remove and/or install whenever we hook up and go.
John & Susan
2014 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2005 Jeep Wrangler X, Toad, a little modified
Northwest Las Vegas, NV

Steve & Linda

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2013, 06:16:48 PM »
We just had the InvisiBrake installed in our 2012 F150 in anticipation of our 'out West' trip that starts later this weekend. We'll let you know how it works out for us. Embarrassed to tell you we didn't realize we really needed the brake assist until I started reading about them here.  I guess you could say we've been very lucky to this point; our Blue Ox hitch did well on our trip up the East Coast and around Southern States, but I just felt the 'real mtns' out West could compromise us in ways we didn't want to have to face.  Thank God I read about toad brakes on this forum!

Linda
Steve & Linda
2012 Fleetwood Discovery 40X
Toad: Ford F150 Platinum
Home: South Carolina
Members: FMCA, Monaco America and Georgia Funseekers

Selah

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2013, 06:28:50 PM »
Question: Do you need additional braking for your toad?
Answer:  YES!   End of discussion!

Ok, more details if you insist.
You really don't want two tons of rolling inertia trying to keep you for stopping when some idiot cuts you off at an intersection just as the light turns red. Yes it would probably serve him right as your 24000 pond vehicle crushes his Mazda but it will spoil the rest of your trip.
Paul & Kathy
2014 Phaeton 42 LH
2013 Honda CR-V
SMI DUO braking system

Bob Buchanan

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2013, 07:15:16 PM »
I would like to get some feedback from others who have tried out the various systems.

     This one has been discussed a bunch over the years - and has become one of those, "mine is better than yours" discussions. I just did a forum search using keywords, "which toad braking" - and received 90 hits. So in addition to what will be posted here for you, there are many opinions that you can ponder with those search results.

The details of why I chose US Gear are covered in the opening pages of their website. Notice the cockpit controls. I can tell if the brakes are applied, how much is being applied, or turn them off -- and if necessary floor board the toad power brakes manually in case of MH brake failure or fade. While driving around an RV park, for example, I don't need them so turn them off. BTW, it uses the power assist braking of the toad vs. having to press the dead pedal otherwise as a system like Brake Buddy must dol

http://www.usgear.cc/unified_tow_brake.htm

Also note that Monaco, Freightliner, Workhorse and Winnebago on all Class A MH's pre-wire for US Gear braking.

The downside "is" that it must be installed in both the MH and Toad - and reinstalled if moved. However, once installed, I just connect the brakeaway cable. The US Gear system is part of the cable I use to connect the toad lights anyway. So it's that simple. Then a simple press of the MH brake pedal verifies from the cockpit is connected OK and the gain being applied.
Bob (fulltimer - Rocklin, CA residency)
Current Location
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Tom

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2013, 07:50:58 PM »
You could check out our library article on the various Auxiliary (toad) braking systems.

Quote
Monaco, Freightliner, Workhorse and Winnebago on all Class A MH's pre-wire for US Gear braking.

I believe that's an old data point Bob. Monaco has since declared bankruptcy and was acquired by Navistar.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 07:52:34 PM by Tom »
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Marsha/CA

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2013, 08:32:05 PM »
Thank you for pointing that out Joezeppy, my point exactly - I just didn't put it so directly. :)

And, that's what I get for reading too fast <slapping my forehead>   My apologies.   ::)

Marsha~
2017 Heartland Mallard IDM231 Travel Trailer....Small but mighty.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2013, 12:57:07 PM »
The RVi brake seems a very convenient package for a portable brake system. Take a look at it HERE, as well as the SMI Stay-in-Play at the same site.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

John Beard

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2013, 02:31:34 PM »
The SMI Play-IN-Stay Duo comes with a LED strip that is supposed to hook to the tow bar, or toad vehicle rear view mirror which illuminates whenever the SMI is actuated. It takes two separate occurrences for the braking system to engage...deceleration and a signal from the brake switch. I had the led wired to the cockpit of the coach for my convenience...I did not want to be looking at the toad to determine if the brakes were engaged in a braking situation.

I paid $995.00 for the system and a whopping $750.00 for the install at Findlay RV in Las Vegas. I have to enter this disclaimer, I have only been using the system for a few hundred miles. 
John & Susan
2014 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2005 Jeep Wrangler X, Toad, a little modified
Northwest Las Vegas, NV

Bob Buchanan

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Re: Braking whilst towing
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2013, 03:19:04 PM »
The RVi brake seems a very convenient package for a portable brake system. Take a look at it HERE, as well as the SMI Stay-in-Play at the same site.

Their video indicates their system bleeds the vacuum from the brakes during it's setup. US Gear maintains the vacuum and utilizes the power assist vs. having to press the dead pedal weight otherwise.
Bob (fulltimer - Rocklin, CA residency)
Current Location
My Photo Album
Business Website

 

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