Rvpainter

Brake System For Toad

36 posts in this topic

Will be towing on all 4's a 2012 Honda Fit 2,800+/- Lbs. 31' Class C

Has anyone any experience with RVibrake ( www.rvibrake.com )

Sounds like a nice system very little if any installation - it is new to the market but very portable and easy to remove and reset back into toad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are looking at a system also, toad is Chevy pickup with Polaris Rzr in back, total weight approx 3800 #.

Would like comments. from experienced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gas or diesel. Air brakes or hydraulics. There are very good Tow vehicle brakes for both. You can have systems that are mounted to your toad and you can have units that you put in when towing and remove when driving you toad.

That is what I ment when I asked Charle 10 what coach he has.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be doing something similar - I have a 31 foot Class C and I have a Ford Escape. I'm wondering what the merits of the lightweight Roadmaster dolly compared to the cost of a braking system,plus wiring the lights, tow bar and mount with the installation both come in around 2K. The lightweight Roadmaster dolly does not have the electric brakes - are they necessary? any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For towing any vehicle that (FWD or AWD) can't be towed flat, so long as the back wheels down is permissible, a dolly is a good solution. You don't need a braking system for the toad, as the dolly has one of its own. I added the proportional controller, so the brakes on the dolly are applied in the same proportion as the brakes on the MH. I bought my dolly used, put new tires on it, and spent far less than equipping a flat tow vehicle would have cost. By the third time I was hooking up or unhooking, the time to do so is down to negligible, and I have complete confidence in the security of my car on the dolly, no tire wear issues on the toad, no transmission issues, no battery issues.

The only con: storage for the tow dolly when not in use can sometimes be an issue. eg, in the CG we spent a month last fall, it cost me $100 for storage for just the dolly. An unpleasant surprise, and I felt ripped, as there were 40ft MH in storage for the same price.

The lightwweight Roadmaster on their website has electric brakes, the same as the bigger one, so I don't see the one you are considering. The difference between the two on the site, one has steerable wheels, the other a swiveling deck. Slight capacity difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply - I was mistaken when I looked at the lightweight I took it didn't have brakes as it doesn't come with a controller (which I found can be purchased separately for around $150), You are correct both do have brakes and the only difference is the steerable wheels or swivel deck.

I have a FWD Ford Escape and it can be flat towed but with all the horror stories about transmission failures I'm having second thoughts on flat towing. Looking at the other options the dolly is about the same price or cheaper and I wouldn't have to worry about the transmission failing on a trip. As I don't have a towing solution yet I am open to anything. I guess what I am really looking for is there any noticeable different between flat towing and dolly towing. Also any other things you know of like the storage fee at a campground that someone new to a dolly would need to know. I don't yet towed anything with the RV.

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a 2000 diesel Allegro BUs and pull a 94 Chevy pickup, auto transmission.

My son is looking at a even Brake 9400 Kit.

Any suggestions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Charles10, sorry but before I forgot to say Welcome to the Forum.

Since you have a diesel coach with air brakes might I suggest the M and G Engineering brake unit. www.m-gengineering.com This unit is air operated and you only have to connect an air line and a disconnect cable between coach ah toad. There is nothing to move in front of the drivers seat and worry about running your battery down.

What do you have on the toad, 4X4, pump or disconnect? We have the Remco drive shaft disconnect. It was done by Drive Shaft King in Dallas, TX. Google them and ask for David. Also check and see if your Chevy truck does or does not have a steering wheel lock. Some don't and if your does not then all you have to do after hooking up is remove the key and lock the doors until you need to use the tow again.

Hope this helps and again welcome to the Forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rvpainter,

The M&G sytem is by far the most convenient. I attach an air line with quick disconnects between the coach and towed to tow. I disconnect the same air line when we park and use the van. Period. No boxes, brake pedal arms, adjustments, etc. It's that simple.

The M&G system can be used with gas or diesel coaches, with or without air brakes. The only downside is M&G does not have cylinders to fit every make and model vehicle. Usually depends on the "clearance" around the master cylinder area. Email or give them a call about your Honda.

Rmatteucci posted "I have a FWD Ford Escape and it can be flat towed but with all the horror stories about transmission failures I'm having second thoughts on flat towing." We are on our fourth vehicle of flat towing since 1994. All used the M&G system. Tow of the four were over 5000 lbs scaled weight and the van is over 6000 lbs scaled and loaded. No transmission or other issues on any of the tows.

The secret is do not believe anyone or any magazine or website regarding what they say about towing your vehicle four down. Carefully read the owners manual from the manufacturer. All three of our previous toweds stated that was OK in the manual. We put several thousand miles on each with no problems. With our current van it was not OK to tow four down so I installed the Remco driveshaft disconnect on it. It works perfectly. The transmission does not turn when being towed.

The rumor mills are alive with half truths and misinformed owners.

Chuck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Happy New Year All !

http://www.smibrake.com/index.html

Check this site out, had this unit SMI ( Air Force One ) installed and found it to be very good and no fussing whatsoever after install.

Get a good shop to install unless you know about air connections etc.

The toad's brake booster is used via the coach air to supply vacuum to power your toads brakes with the SMI controller mounted in the toad.

Hookup is very simple, a snap coupler for the air from coach and a breakaway switch cable for emergency.

It's totally proportional depending on your brake pressure applied when braking your coach.

Also has a LED light mounted to your toad w/s in order to see if your toad brakes are working through your rear camera when braking.

I would recommend this system to anyone wanting to utilize the coach air sys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For all that do not know about the M & G brake. The M & G unit sits between the power brake booster and the master cylinder. When the brake is applied on the coach it applies the same amount of pressure to the toad. Think of this, have you ever tried to stop a vehicle with power brakes when the engine quits. It takes a lot of pressure to stop. That is the same with any braking system that applies pressure on to the brake pedal. There is no power drain on your battery either with the M & G.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heman,

Slight clarification. Many braking system including the Invibrake on ours from Roadmaster that apply the brake pedal also have a vacuum pump that "power" the brake vacuum booster. So it's single pump/compressor uses positive pressure to apply the brake (through a ram and cable) AND the vacuum side to "power" the brake vacuum booster. And on this system, if the coach running lights are on, it recharges the toad battery.

We drove from the Madison WI FMCA Convention this summer straight through to south Texas and the toad battery was still just fine when we got home.

As you and others have posted, there is no one ideal system-- the proof of that is some companies make more than one type of system.

As an example, the M&G only fit a limited number of toads, as there has to be room to move the master cylinder forward to allow installation of the M&G device. So that was not a possibility on our Ford-- not enough room under the hood to move the master cylinder.

My recommendation is to start by considering any system that will fit your toad and works well with your coach braking system and then rank the things that are important to you. Example, the Invisibrake we have is totally hidden-- nothing to put in or remove when going from driving the toad to towing it. But, if you change vehicles very often or tow two different tow vehicles, it would be a poor choice, as initial installation time is involved. But once installed, one wire to hook up coach to toad and the break-away cable. That's it.

Yes, this involves research, but you CAN tailor your brake system to your toad, coach and your specific requirements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bow to the Master.

But I still think that if there is a M & G unit that will fit your vehicle, that is the best road to take.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Herman,

Not sure about the master status, though I do admit I have achieved "master yard boy status" here at home?! However, that may be from lack of other applicants for the job.

If the M&G fit on our toad, indeed it would have been on my short list as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We also have an M&G and love it.

If the M&G wouldn't fit I'd look at the Air Force One system, I had a bad experience with a brake buddy so anything that sits on the floor and clamps to the brake pedal would not even be considered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any system that sits on the floor and pushes on the brake pedal does not make sense to me. It has been brought up the amount of pressure on the bake pedal is very high without the power brakes. Also any inertia system for applying the brakes seems suspect to me. I like the M&G system but of course it implies that your coach needs to have air brakes or an auxiliary compressor. I guess you have to decide based on your coach and toad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bizsmith,

M & G has a system for Hydraulic Brakes. It has what is called a "Power Pack". The power pack is wired into the coach and draws it power from the coach and not the toad. It works with a controller like those used on electric brakes. It still has an air line connected between the coach and toad. There is still the problem with space under your toads hood. To be able to use the M & G Braking system, your master cylinder must be able to move approx. 4 inches away from the power brake booster to allow for the cylinder and not interfere with the closing of your hood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ChuckNewman,

You commented about reading the owners manual concerning any vehicle but in conjunction with the Ford Escape.

The manual for the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 ALL say that the automatic Ford Escape can be towed flat (four down). Unfortunately myself and others have found this to be a problem due to the fried transmissions issue.

For myself, Ford replaced one and I have since had installed a Remco Tranmission Fluid Pump that Ford substantially paid for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hermanmullins,

You are correct. The powerpack is in effect an auxiliary compressor powered from the coach. I am not quite clear on how the brakes are applied proportional to the braking in the coach. If it is inertial, I still do not like the idea but it is an improvement over a system that pushes the brake pedal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My vote is for the SMI Air Force One. Many newer vehicles simply don't have room for the M&G system. Also, if you move the status light to inside the RV (recommended) there's no power needed or used from the towed vehicle.

I'm not a fan of tow dollies as they're just something else to deal with at the CG. They are also, without the TOAD on them, nearly impossible to back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was the point of my post that I didn't make clear. "For myself, Ford replaced one and I have since had installed a Remco Tranmission Fluid Pump that Ford substantially paid for." If the owners manual says you can drive the vehicle four down, the liability is on the manufacturer if in fact it damages the vehicle's drivetrain and you did everything properly. If some other source than the owners manual says it is OK to tow four down and they are wrong, your recovery options are more limited. If available at all. In your case, the manual said "yes" and Ford paid the bill. That is not to say Ford didn't screw up in their specs. And it has happened before with other vehicle makes.

Chuck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rvpainter

If you enter Ready Brake in the upper right search box and enter all forums and click on the black square You will find that you have entered the one braking system that is trouble free except one person wasn't sure how to install the cable thru the front grille. Check it out. It really is trouble free and when you unhook your tow bar you have nothing else to think about except remembering to take your significant other with you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a Coachmen Catalina 32' class A (gas) and a 2008 Honda CR-V. We installed the SMI Stay-in-Play Duo brake system and I love it. Just flip a small switch under the dash and it is ready to go. Nothing to install, remove or store each time you hitch or unhitched your toad. It may cost a bit more than some of the box type units, but it is worth every penny.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now