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Author Topic: Towed Vehicle Brakes  (Read 5922 times)

Wandering Elk

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Towed Vehicle Brakes
« on: April 20, 2005, 09:44:00 PM »
I am trying to decide on the type of auxiliary braking control system to install on my towed vehicle.  I have a 38 foot class A gas motor home with a 1995 Ford Escort towed vehicle.  I am looking at the U.S. Gear "Unified Tow Brake versus the Roadmaster Brake Pro.  Workhorse has chosen or is using their distribution channel to support the U.S. Gear 'Unified Tow Brake'.  Do any of you have an opinion that can help me decide which is the best solution. 

Thanks,

Wandering Elk

Ron

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Re: Towed Vehicle Brakes
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2005, 09:50:42 PM »
I am trying to decide on the type of auxiliary braking control system to install on my towed vehicle.  I have a 38 foot class A gas motor home with a 1995 Ford Escort towed vehicle.  I am looking at the U.S. Gear "Unified Tow Brake versus the Roadmaster Brake Pro.  Workhorse has chosen or is using their distribution channel to support the U.S. Gear 'Unified Tow Brake'.  Do any of you have an opinion that can help me decide which is the best solution. 

We have been using the brake Buddy for around ten years and have been completely satisfied.  I think at least on of the Framily has used the US Gear sytem and is also satisfied.  Personnally I have never heard anything good about the Brake-Pro.
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John From Detroit

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Re: Towed Vehicle Brakes
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2005, 06:49:52 AM »
I am trying to decide on the type of auxiliary braking control system to install on my towed vehicle.  I have a 38 foot class A gas motor home with a 1995 Ford Escort towed vehicle.  I am looking at the U.S. Gear "Unified Tow Brake versus the Roadmaster Brake Pro.  Workhorse has chosen or is using their distribution channel to support the U.S. Gear 'Unified Tow Brake'.  Do any of you have an opinion that can help me decide which is the best solution. 

Thanks,

Wandering Elk

I have looked at a whole bunch of different brake systems for my upcoming motorhome/towed combination and setteled on the US Gear Unified Tow Brake as the one I'm going to buy.

Here is the list:  M&G air brake system (Note, if your tow vehicle does not have air brakes they have a solution for that) Very nice, fits under the hood, NOTHING in the way of the driver when unhooked, does require instalation of an air compressor and routing of air lines, usees only "Tractor" (motor home) power.

Brake Buddy, This is a pedal pusher system, so it sits in the way of a driver and has to be removed before the towed can be driven. 

Now, I tend to get Brake Master and Brake Pro mixed so give me a sec/// Ok got it

Brake Pro-  Like the Brake buddy, however a better system on paper, worse in practice I'm told, uses towed power and should the battery run down a bit or the wireing not be up to it's needs.. Don't work

Brake MASTER,  This is a pedal pusher but works like the M&G, Uses tractor air, a compressor may be installed on the tractor if needed, Does use towed power for the brake lights.  Major disadvantage I can see is the same for all pedal pusher systems   You have to remove it before driving the towed cause it's in the way

Note; That is the ONLY thing I don't like about the Brake master and in fact it's a hard choice between it and tne unified gear

Unified gear, this is an all electric system, it is a pedal PULLER (I have issues with the design but believe I can address them when I go to have it installed)

In the specific instalation a "Control Unit" installs UNDER the driver's seat, out of the way, and a cable, not unlike a parking brake cable runs up under the carpeting to a pully behind the brake pedal, a standard clevis is then used to pull the pedal down, Thus there is NOTHING in the way of the driver when he gets in (like the M&G in this respect)
Uses towed vehicle power for lights and for a vaccume pump to power the vaccume assist unit.  Note, no reason the tractor can not charge the towed vehicle brakes (I will see if they can do that for me when I set it up) solving the issue of a weak battery on the toad. 

My only complaint here is they install with the cable under the carpet,  I Drive the toad every day in all sorts of weather and worry about the effects of salty snow on the cable as it soaks through the carpeting on my car...I intend ot ask about alternative mounting positions for the control unit (Perhaps the passanger firewall) should work, no reason technically I can see it not working, and up out of the water that way.

Major advantage of this system: , note: They do not sell it this way but again I'll bet it can be optioned:   Should you ever be flying down the freeway and the vehicle engine die.. Well, you now have aq choice, hit nuteral and seriously increase your coast range (Perhaps enough to get safely off either into a breakdown lane or an exit) or leave it iin gear so the engine turns so you have vaccume for the brakes... This gives a 3rd option,  Hit nuteral, do the better coast, turn on the pump so you have brakes a-plunty (Best of both options 1 and 2)

It is the system I'm choosing for my toad
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Tom

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Re: Towed Vehicle Brakes
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2005, 09:06:08 AM »
I second Ron's suggestion of a Brake Buddy for it's simplicity and reliability when towing with a gas coach, and I've heard nothing but good things from everyone who's used it. My experience with BrakePro (competitior to Brake Buddy) was really bad, and I ended up returning it. Their tech support wasn't very customer friendly either.
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Ned

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Re: Towed Vehicle Brakes
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2005, 09:42:18 AM »
Along with the Brake Buddy is the Blue Ox Apollo.  Similar in design, but different internally.  We looked at both and went with the Apollo because of our the excellent service we've received from Blue Ox.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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rhmahoney

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Re: Towed Vehicle Brakes
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2005, 01:53:09 PM »
I have had the U.S. Gear 'Unified Tow Brake' for several years. It just works and I can't start off without it by being too lazy to set it up as I think would happen all too often with the Brake Buddy.
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John From Detroit

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Re: Towed Vehicle Brakes
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2005, 02:45:10 PM »
I have had the U.S. Gear 'Unified Tow Brake' for several years. It just works and I can't start off without it by being too lazy to set it up as I think would happen all too often with the Brake Buddy.

RH, Tell me more about the Unified brake system from a user's standpoint... After listening to others and doing a ton of research it's the system I'm planing on when the MH arrives next month but I'd love to hear from a user.

Read my post above re my concerns,  Ever have it run out of oomph due to a low battery on the towed

Ever have an issue with the cable?

Thanks in advance
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

blueblood

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Re: Towed Vehicle Brakes
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2005, 06:03:05 PM »
I have had the U.S. Gear 'Unified Tow Brake' for several years. It just works and I can't start off without it by being too lazy to set it up as I think would happen all too often with the Brake Buddy.

R I'd love to hear from a user.

Read my post above re my concerns,  Ever have it run out of oomph due to a low battery on the towed

Ever have an issue with the cable?

Thanks in advance

I have used the unified brake for 5 years. I lived until last month in UT in snow country and never had a problem with cable. I found the control unit next driver a great asset on several occassions when in heavy city traffic (like Denver) when suddenly the lane came to a flying stop and I need both the entire braking power of the MH and the toad. A quick push on lever locked the toad brakes and I made a safe stop. I have experieinced one problem. The break away switch has continually failed to work due to I believe mositure getting into it. I think a different location would help since it really was designed to be on a TT in a more protected environment than on the front of car exposed to all the road conditions.  A second problem was just the opposite. When going through a car wash in Branson with my toad , the washing machine yanked the plug (used when not connected to MH cable) out of the switch, the brakes came on and all hell broke loose until operator could stop the wash conveyor belt and I jumped out and reinserted plug.
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John From Detroit

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Re: Towed Vehicle Brakes
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2005, 07:26:03 PM »

  A second problem was just the opposite. When going through a car wash in Branson with my toad , the washing machine yanked the plug (used when not connected to MH cable) out of the switch, the brakes came on and all hell broke loose until operator could stop the wash conveyor belt and I jumped out and reinserted plug.

Thanks, that is something I seriously may need to know once I have it installed since I currently work, and will likely continue to work for about a year after instalation, in a place that is not good to park a car in w/o regular washing (I'm either downwind of a steel foundry or an iol refinery or another oil refrinery or another oil ... Well you get the picture ACID RAIN even if it's not raining., and TRUE GRIT too)

I'd hate to mess up the $2.00 car wash
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

 

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