Anyone have experience with a Ready Brake - Ready Brute for toad?

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Well-known member
Jan 7, 2007
Southern California
I will be needing a tow bar AND braking system for my as yet undetermined (maybe a Sidekick) toad and this looks it might do it all. No buying a tow bar and then a brake buddy. Save a few $ too! Input anyone? Thanks!
It works, but most owners opt for something better, or at least perceived to be better.  The ready brake is a surge-operated system and in the past these have been somewhat less than optimal. Perhaps the surge mechanism technology has improved in recent years but in the past the mechanism has been subject to mechanical wear and corrosion and may not work well over time or require cleaning, lubrication and adjustment. Of course, that can be said of most anything if you want it to stay in good operating condition, but the  other systems do not have their mechanisms so exposed to whether, road dirt, etc.

U-Haul uses surge breaks on their trailers so they don't have to wire brake systems into the renter's vehicle, but they also maintain the trailers regularly and professionally. Private owners tent to use the stuff and forget them.
Go to, and you will find several testimonials concerning this system.  I only saw one negative review and it was due to improper lubrication.  Once the owner properly lubed the unit, he was happy with the performance.

I am looking for a setup for my Nissan Frontier.  I believe that I will be getting the Ready Brake/Ready Brute system.
Thanks - it seems like a good idea and I had a surge brake that seemed to work ok over 25 years ago on a tent trailer. Things had to have improved since then. Its nice that you can buy all you need at once for less $ - think I will go for it...
do surge brakes allow you to back up with the tow vehicle attached?  i thought I heard there used to be issues (maybe on trailers) where the surge would bind when backing up, causing the brakes on the tow vehicle to engage....

I am looking at buying one of these this summer, just got my 2007 Wrangler Unlimited (4 door), and I am ready to go campin! 

Yes, a surge can bind while backing up, especially up a hill. Backing generates the same pressures against the cylinder as stopping and I believe the technique is to start and move slowly, so as to keep the pressure minimal. I don't think it is a general problem that is encountered every time, but it is something to stay alert for.
We have one and love it.  It is easy to hook up and maintain.  We tow a Suzuki Samurai Tin Top and I couldn't see spending a ton of money to tow a 2000lb car.  I just bought a 2008 Escape Hybrid and am considering using the same system because I don't want to use an invasive supplemental brake system on the Hybrid and risk damaging the regenerative braking system.

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