Towing without using a TOAD braking system?

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jymbee

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Having some issues with our BlueOx Patriot brake system. The other day when pulling slowly into a street I had to brake fairly hard and the brake locked the wheels on the TOAD. Not a pleasant sound and some people actually came out of their nearby house to see what had happened.

Other times when driving along and decelerating, the brake would just came on and off. So in effect the TOAD was trying to slow down a  10 ton motorhome. Again not good.

Still looking into what might be responsible and if there's a remedy but in the meantime I'm wondering if we can't figure it out how risky would it be to just not use it for the time being? At least until we can get to a BlueOx service center? We're towing our Odyssey van which puts us near the upper limit but we're traveling along the Southern US through TX, LA, etc. not over the Rockies. Obviously not having a braking system puts additional stress on the coach brakes and increases one's stopping ability but would not having a braking system be an unacceptable risk?

We never exceed 60 MPH when towing but again, the TOAD brake would seem to be the most critical when one might need to break quickly for some event.
 

Utclmjmpr

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If he shoots the brakes every time he stops,,,its certainly going to be hot..Stop without using the brakes to find any heat that way.>>>Dan
 

jymbee

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Arch Hoagland said:
I suggest you get an IR gun and shoot the front brakes every time you stop to see if the brakes are being applied all the time.

Couldn't find an emoji of someone waving their hand back and forth over their head as if to say "I have no idea what an 'IR gun' is".  :-\
 

Lou Schneider

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It's highly unlikely you'll overheat the brakes stopping on level ground.  Your stopping distance will increase, so plan accordingly.

Your biggest worry should be if you're in an accident and the opposing attorney sees the lack of required toad brakes as an easy way into your pocket.
 

wincom6

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First, I need to ask.  Are you taking the vacuum off your brake system before you start your trip? The symptoms you have described is what would happen if you have not relived the vacuum on your brakes. You do this by activating your brake system about 3 or 4 times after you turn your ignition off.
 

jymbee

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wincom6 said:
First, I need to ask.  Are you taking the vacuum off your brake system before you start your trip? The symptoms you have described is what would happen if you have not relived the vacuum on your brakes. You do this by activating your brake system about 3 or 4 times after you turn your ignition off.

Hmmmm... there's a shifting procedure we need to perform in order to prepare the TOAD for towing. At the end of that we turn the switch to the accessory position. At that point I hook up the Patriot and go through those steps to get to "Ready". You're saying that after turning the TOAD off and the switch is in the accessory position that I should work the brakes on the TOAD as you describe?

Apologies if I'm not understanding what you're saying but if that is what you meant I have to wonder why I've never seen that mentioned in any of the dozens of instructions I've read/viewed on how to use this system.
 

NY_Dutch

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Yes, that's what "wincom6" is saying.

And one reason we like our ReadyBrute/ReadyBrake system is that it is not capable of applying more braking than needed to relieve the car weight from the coach when stopping. Even with an active vacuum booster...
 

Larry N.

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Couldn't find an emoji of someone waving their hand back and forth over their head as if to say "I have no idea what an 'IR gun' is".  :-\

IR = InfraRed. It's a temperature sensor that reads IR as heat. Basically aim at what you want the temp of, press a button, and read temp.
 

Arch Hoagland

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Utclmjmpr said:
If he shoots the brakes every time he stops,,,its certainly going to be hot..Stop without using the brakes to find any heat that way.>>>Dan

IR is Infra red gun...about $30 to $50.


If you've got a brake that is dragging you will see it right away. I shoot mine a lot and they should always be about the same. 
 

jymbee

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NY_Dutch said:
Yes, that's what "wincom6" is saying.

And one reason we like our  is that it is not capable of applying more braking than needed to relieve the car weight from the coach when stopping. Even with an active vacuum booster...

When we were looking at various braking systems the portability of the Patriot system seemed appealing in that it could be switched from one vehicle to another or sold separately if we wanted to. Those perceived advantages just don't seem that advantageous on the whole looking back.

And thanks for the input re. the braking procedure. When we move and reconnect next week I'll follow all the procedures we normally do as well as the suggestions here. I'll post how we make out.
 

skydivemark

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I also use the patriot. It sounds like it may have an internal malfunction, maybe something causing the emergency disconnect to kick in.
I will be watching this thread for the final outcome.
 

jymbee

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skydivemark said:
I also use the patriot. It sounds like it may have an internal malfunction, maybe something causing the emergency disconnect to kick in.
I will be watching this thread for the final outcome.

For this last trip which we just completed I ran through all the setup I usually do plus followed the suggestions here such as pumping the brakes. Also, all of the videos I've seen showing how to connect had me moving the seat forward to just touch the Patriot. This seemed to leave more space between the seat and Patriot after running setup. Their instructions (yes, I actually read the manual!  :) ) says to move the seat forward just to a point before the brake light comes on.

In any event this trip of a bit over three hours went very well with no discernable issues-- until very close to our destination. At that point when making a turn onto a new road we heard & felt a very loud vibration! Uh... not sure why I didn't see that rumble strip so close to the shoulder, but that was what we were hearing.  :-[

Even though the preparation we have to do to set things up is pretty straight forward-- running a specific sequence to set up the car's transmission and setup the Patriot-- I have a printed step-by-step procedure that I insist we follow rather than rely on memory and take a chance that even though we've done it a thousand times, some basic step might be omitted. It seems this comes from the kind of checklist pilots do on their rollup before takeoff that I've witnessed hundreds of times (doing aerial photography). Of course the implications of not checking everything point by point for pilot can be just a bit more consequential!
 

billwild

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Just noticed on EBay today, a Brake Buddy for sale at $465.00. I had one and it worked well.
 

jymbee

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NY_Dutch said:
No check list needed with our ReadyBrake system. Clip on the brake actuator cable and the breakaway cable. Done... ;)

Hey-- that's TWO whole things I would have to remember. I would definitely need a printed list for that many steps. ;D  ;)  ::)

But seriously... the shifting pattern we need to use for the TOAD is just part of the equation in our case. Nothing complex at all involved but I like to do things in a repeatable sequence. Make all the BlueOx connections, prepare the TOAD transmission, setup the Patriot brake, then run a check of all the signal lights in the coach and TOAD.
 

NY_Dutch

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jymbee said:
Hey-- that's TWO whole things I would have to remember. I would definitely need a printed list for that many steps. ;D ;) ::)

But seriously... the shifting pattern we need to use for the TOAD is just part of the equation in our case. Nothing complex at all involved but I like to do things in a repeatable sequence. Make all the BlueOx connections, prepare the TOAD transmission, setup the Patriot brake, then run a check of all the signal lights in the coach and TOAD.


:)) :)) :))

 

lancslad

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Firstly there is no vacuum involved with this system. Its all 12v electric.  Do you have a remote controller on the dash and if so what is it set to? I have the same system and mine is set to 5 ( on a 1-10 scale). Is the Patriot plugged in to the toad and is there power on that plug?  when you press set up does the Patriot operate the brake pedal --- this is finding the brake point and how much "stroke" to use for maximum braking. From then on the braking is proportional to the amount of effort required to brake the toad at the same rate as the motorhome. I did have a problem with mine when I first got it, all due to a dead toad battery. The problem went away when I installed a charge line from the motorhome to toad.
 

jymbee

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lancslad said:
Firstly there is no vacuum involved with this system. Its all 12v electric.  Do you have a remote controller on the dash and if so what is it set to? I have the same system and mine is set to 5 ( on a 1-10 scale). Is the Patriot plugged in to the toad and is there power on that plug?  when you press set up does the Patriot operate the brake pedal --- this is finding the brake point and how much "stroke" to use for maximum braking. From then on the braking is proportional to the amount of effort required to brake the toad at the same rate as the motorhome. I did have a problem with mine when I first got it, all due to a dead toad battery. The problem went away when I installed a charge line from the motorhome to toad.

Thanks for the clarification re. vacuum system.

Yes, there's a remote controller and it's set to the default of 5. Also, it's plugged in, setup runs normally (depressing brake pedal 3 times). The dealer also installed a charge line to prevent battery drain.

However I've had more issues in these past few days. For example, when parked after hooking up and connecting everything, I simple released the parking brake which caused the car to move just slightly. The Patriot immediately applied full force to the brake and wouldn't release.

It also seems that whenever I have to apply anything beyond a very gentle, firm pressure when stopping the coach, there are issues. Once as I described previously, it locked the car's brakes. Just yesterday when slowing to make a turn and applying the brake more firmly, red light on the controller came on, the LED flashed "8" and when I pulled over and went back to the Patriot it was displaying a message that read "Breaking timeout".(???)



 

nfredrick

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Give Patriot a call , they should know what  the problem is. I had an issue with my  Brake Buddy  locking up  and they sent  me a complete  new unit.
 
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