Ready Brake / Ready Brute System - First Tow

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Fizzban

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Jul 31, 2006
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Memphis
FYI...........This is just for information on what seems to be a fairly new entrance of a tow/brake system.

Okay......I did a great deal of research before I chose a tow bar and brake system.  I decided right away that I didn't want that box sitting on the floor in the toad.  That lead me to wireless systems and the like.  While several of them sounded really good. (Notably the Unified gear)..  Because of talking to the fabricator, and the financial aspects, I decided on the Ready Brake/Brute system.  It is aluminum, and rated at 8K lbs.  I asked how they came up with the 8K rating.  They stated that they sent it to a consumer testing lab, and told them to try to break it.  The bolts sheared off at 22K lbs.  The price point of $780.00 + Base Plate attractive also.  It is a surge system.  I drove it 400 miles this past weekend, and had no problems at all.  It was pretty easy to hook up for one person. 

I pulled a 96 Jeep Cherokee Sport, Manual transmission with my class C, V-10 30 foot Tioga.  So far, I am very pleased with it.  I will be happy to help with anything I can. 
 

Tom

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Interesting. The surge action activates a lever which in turn pulls on a cable attached to the brake pedal of the towed vehicle. There's a clear graphic illustration on their web site.
 

jamesnaddie

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Aug 9, 2006
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College Station, TX
How does the pull cable route through the firewall?  Is there some sort of carrier tube.  That's the only part of the system that's fuzzy to me.
 

Fizzban

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Memphis
The cable goes through the firewall.  I had them drill a hole in my bumper so the cable goes through that, and then is routed to the firewall to attach to the brake pedal.  I had a break away switch installed too, so that was routed through the area where the tabs on the baseplate come out.  I had an electrical connector mounted, so all back lights work with the lights on the RV.  There is a light that came with the system I had mounted on the dash of the RV, that tells me when the brakes on the toad are being applied.  Kinda neat.

Fizzban....
 

stevemc

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Sep 5, 2006
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Fizzban,
Forgive me for being a little off the thread subject, but how does the V10 handle the 30' coach and toad? Does it feel like its got enough horsepower and torque to handle substantial hills like going through mountains on the interstates?? Thanks, Steve
 

Fizzban

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Memphis
It is quite likely I have everything overloaded.  I am quite a pack rat, and take far too much stuff with me.  I likely have 600lbs more stuff put in there than I should.  Having said that, the toad's curb weight is about 3200 lbs, and on level ground I don't know it is there.  I did go a space on a pretty steep grade and I really knew it was there.  I went up at about 30 mph okay.  I think I will be likely to maintain that speed on really steep grades.  Regular hills like you would find on the interstate, I think it is fine.

Hope that helps.
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
It is clear you have not traveled some of the intersteates I have and I know a few folks who have traveled interstates that make my expierences look rather flat (Denver anyone, I plan on testing that route..... Soon)

That said, it appears the Ready brake is porportional and progressive like the Unified gear, only not as adjustable  I also wonder about break-a-way braking and a few other things related.

As for the V-10 and going UP hills... Well, it does have the horsepower (more than my Vortec V-8) but whereas my V-8 peaks out fairly quickly on the speed curve, the V-10 has to be really roaring to peak out
 

stevemc

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What kind of gas mileage do you get with the V10 in a 30' coach on average interstate highways?  How many mpg do you loose pulling a toad like a Jeep Liberty?
My plan is t try to find a nice 29-30' coach with the V10 or big V8 depending on the year, and to pull a Jeep Liberty. Am I better off holding out for the V10?  Thanks, Steve
 

Fizzban

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John in Detroit.....I don't really know what you mean about roaring...I certainly didn't push it real hard uphill.  I guess I'm afraid of pushing things too hard.  I have pulled up steep grades where the engine was overheating.  NO such situation with the V10.  The temperature didn't rise at all.  The brake is adjustable via a cable that you can adjust with a socket wrench.

I pulled a 12k lb 36 ft travel trailer with a 454, 411 rear end Suburban from Memphis to Canada.  Largely had no problems at all.  Everything I read leads me to believe that the V10 has more HP.  Gas Mileage was about 8...which was the same as NOT pulling...

Steve,
The V10 seems to be giving me about 10 without the toad.  I drove it from Mesa, AZ to Memphis, TN.... Haven't measured with the toad yet.

Hope some of this helps....

Fizzban
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The point about "roaring" is that a V10 is a higher reving engine than a V8 and has to perform at higher RPMs to produce the same horsepower as the larger cylinders/pistons of a V8. The pistons of a V10 are smaller and lighter than a V8 of similar capacity and therefore the engine is not overstressed by running at higher RPMs, but those RPMS still make more mechanical noise.
 

stevemc

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Sep 5, 2006
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Thanks, that does help.  My Dad has a Ford 3/4 ton pickup with the 454, 4:11 rearend and his mpg is 8 also, loaded or not.  Great for pulling a trailer, but expensive to drive empty.

I understand that the V10 is a higher RPM engine than the V8.  I'm not sure if that makes it a better coach motor or not.  I guess I'd probably be happy with either.  Thanks for all the info.
Steve
 

Fizzban

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Roamer...so that means I SHOULD give it more fuel, huh.....hummm....never quite thought about it.  I always figured that if it was making that much noise, I probably was pushing it too hard.  I was watching the temp gauge, and it didn't move at all.  Thanks for the info. 

Steve....in talking with lots of people, I got the distinct impression that the V10 was a better coach engine.  My brother in law has had one for a long time and loves it.  He drives it from Florida to Vermont two or more times a year.  They likely have solved the problem by now, but I had overheating problems on my old 87 454...even had engine oil cooler and transmission cooler on it.  It would fry the solenoid....I solved it to some degree by putting racing insulation around the wiring and the starter.

I still used to keep a starter with me all the time.  I was the fastest at changing a starter of anyone I know!
 

stevemc

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Sep 5, 2006
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That sure doesn't sound like much fun!!
Thanks, I appreciate all the input.  From the research I've done so far I think they switched from the Ford 460 to the V10 in '99. Proabably a good idea to try to get one at least that new anyway.  Good luck with your setup, sounds like you've got the right combination.  Steve
 

Fizzban

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Steve, it is also my understanding that about 2003 or 2004, Ford increased the HP or something in the engine that made in better at pulling.  I am sure someone here, or on the web can inform you of that.  So if you are thinking of getting a V10 from a certain year to date, you may want that information.  Mine is a 2004 model, but has a 2003 chassis.  It was such a good buy, I couldn't pass on it.

Good Luck!

Fizzban
 

beekay

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Nov 16, 2005
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Conifer, Colorado
stevemc said:
What kind of gas mileage do you get with the V10 in a 30' coach on average interstate highways?  How many mpg do you loose pulling a toad like a Jeep Liberty?
My plan is t try to find a nice 29-30' coach with the V10 or big V8 depending on the year, and to pull a Jeep Liberty. Am I better off holding out for the V10?  Thanks, Steve
I wanted to add a bit in here, as I have a V10 in my 29'bigfoot 29sl.  I tripped across the country from Conifer CO (mountains outside Denver) to Falmouth MA (where I grew up).  The way out, I got about 5-7 mpg.  I was fully loaded at 20k pounds (14,400 for RV and rest in the trailer, car and goodies on the trailer).  Average speed was 65mph (through the midwest, I was going 75 easy).  the Engine was definately hot.  my leg was burning, but the engine was still in nominal range (not overheating at all!). 
The way back, we got about 4 mpg!  ugh.  We were coming back as Katrina hit the coast and gas was jacking up (and we were filling up 2-3 time a day trying to get home).  It does pull up the big hills here in Denver. did a lot better at 14k pounds than it did at 20k pounds, but it could still handle it.  i think 285 into conifer, where it gets a bit steep, we were down to 35 mph and the engine was doing the best it could, high altitude and steep grades considering.

hope this off topic comment helps.

bk
 

Bob Buchanan

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Philadelphia, PA
stevemc said:
Am I better off holding out for the V10?  Thanks, Steve

Last year I traded a 29' Tioga Class C ('98) for my current Class A rig. It was a V10 on a 450 chassis -- and I was always right at the gvwr. I was pulling a 96 Jeep Cherokee. My mileage average around 7mpg -- and unless stuck behind a truck and having to slow down and the begin acceleration all over again on a grade, the rig would easily do 45mph in 2nd gear. And that was on most all grades in CA (Tehachapi, Donner Summit, the Grapevine, and so forth). Also, it never overheated regardless of the outside temps -- and I rarely turned the dash air off.

I also had the US Gear braking system installed on the Tioga -- and it worked as advertised. When I traded for the Class A, I had the wiring moved from the Tioga to the new rig at a cost of around $150. The jeep wiring is more complex in a US Gear system, but that remained as is.

The braking system that is the subject of this thread could easily be moved to another rig vs. the US Gear that has more wiring around the rig dash area. However, the US Gear system can be activated and the gain adjusted from the cockpit based on the driving environment vs. just seeing if it's working or not. Also, US Gear uses the power assist of the Jeep both in normal braking and break away.

A major downside of US Gear is if the toad is upgraded or changed. Wiring of the toad (placing the solenoid to pull the brake pedal and vacum stuff for the power brakes took 1/2 day shop time when installed initially. However, that to me is much better than connecting a box to the pedal or lever to the pedal each time I connect. BTW, when installing a 6 prong connector, I am able to include the US Gear connection in the same cable as the Jeep lighting cable -- so there "is" no extra hook up for the braking system.
 

azimagery

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May 6, 2007
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4
We drive a 30ft. with the V10 and I had the Banks systems installed.  Made a big difference in climbing the hills in Arizona.  Check out the V10 comments on the RV Net, there has been a lot of discussion.  It does rev a lot higher and the first time I was out with it, I was worried I was pushing it too hard.  Did a little research and found out that it actually likes to rev high.  We use the Ready Brute tow system as well and love it.  For me it is about the KISS system - Keep it simple.... I (female) do all the driving, hook up etc and wanted something that was easy for me to manage on my own.  My husband is disabled and unable to help me hook up the toad - the Ready Brute system works great for us.
 

Fizzban

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Joined
Jul 31, 2006
Posts
60
Location
Memphis
Well, glad to hear someone else is having a good experience with the Ready/Brake/Brute system.  It isn't much extra hook up, and I am pleased with the performance.  I have hauled it many times now, and have had no concerns at all.  I know many that would haul my 96 Jeep Cherokee without a brake system at all, but I like the comfort level it gives me to know that the toad is brakeing when I am.  I got pushed through a stop light by a trailer whose wires had worn through one time.  VERY ugly, scary feeling.....

FIZZ
 
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