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Be Very Careful When Having Ready Brake Installed!

Braking system surge brake ready brake

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#1 karenandcollins

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:15 PM

When recently bought a new 2012 Chevy Equinox to flat tow. After doing some research we decided to purchase the Ready Brute Elite, which includes the tow bar & braking system. My husband & friend installed the base plate but did not want to install the actual braking system, since my husband isn't good with that kind of stuff & our friend didn't want to drill thru the firewall of our brand new car.

We called a local RV dealer in Willis, TX, Convenience RV, & asked if they would be able to install it. They assured us it would be no problem so we took the car & tow bar to them, along with the instructions & DVD. When they finished, they called & asked us to bring the RV so they could check it all out. They hooked up the tow bar & the line for the brake & said, yes, it was good to go.

They gave my husband back some wires & said, this one you can hook up inside the RV & it will show you when the brake is on, but it's really not necessary. Figuring they knew what they were talking about, we said OK & off we went. BIG MISTAKE!! We never unhooked it & the next day we left TX for AZ. At a rest stop just outside Phoenix we stopped & I went to the car for something. I told my husband I could smell rubber burning. We pulled into a nearby RV center & asked them to check the hookup. The guy said they didn't know anything about that system but could tell the line to the brake was too tight. We unhooked the car & went to our site. The next day we took the car to the Chevy dealer to have the brakes checked. You can imagine our shock when they told us the brakes & rotors we completely destroyed on our 3 week old car.

We then called the dealer we purchased the tow bar & braking system from to find out what we had to do to make sure it never happened again. After sending him several pictures & answering some questions, he reached the conclusion that the only thing installed was the break away & it was pulling on the brakes the whole trip. He gave us the name of a guy in Mesa, AZ who installed them a lot & we made an appointment to take it there.

Needless to say, the whole thing was wrong & the line into the RV was important. They installed it correctly & charged less than half the price of the ones who did it wrong. I will admit, we should have read the instructions ourselves, just to know what was going on, but when you aren't mechanically inclined, & you hire someone who says they know how to do it, you feel you've made the right decision.

Of course, we will try to get reimbursed the $1500 for new brakes & rotors but we will probably have to hire an attorney to get it & we don't live in TX. Our advice is to call the company where you buy the tow bar & brake & make sure you hire someone who knows how to install the system.
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#2 wolfe10

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 04:30 PM

Our advice is to call the company where you buy the tow bar & brake & make sure you hire someone who knows how to install the system.


Excellent Advice!
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#3 lylefikse

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:53 PM

Don't know if FMCA helps with recovery of loss in this sort of thing. I know Good Sam Club has an advocate section that helps RV'ers recover loss for this sort of negligence.
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Lyle and Linda Fikse

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#4 dalltop

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:46 PM

I have used the ready break system for the past 15000 miles. It sounds like they did not have the adjustment set correctly. The cable that connects between the tow and motor home on mine has a clamp. I make sure the clamps are on the towed side not the coach side. There is not much space through the guide and you do not want the comps hanging on the guide.

I did not hook up the dash indicator light either but when I was adjusting the cable I hooked everything up pulled the Jeep forward until the arms were locked, then set my cable. Next I drove and had someone follow me and with walking talkies. I was able to be sure that the Jeep brake light would engage during stop and when I pulled away from the stop to cruise speed that the Jeep lights stayed off.

Once it is adjusted correctly you should not need to adjust it again. I always check my hub and tire temps on all wheels when ever I stop (by touch) and have not had an issue.

One thing to also consider, with all surge brake systems, if you are engine braking down long steep grades, your towed vehicle surge brakes are on. You may need to stop to check or let them cool. I believe this may be more of an issue out west were the grades are not really any steeper but they go on for miles longer then what we see on the east coast.

On the Jeep for long trips I remove the brake light fuse and hang an sign in the mirror that says fuse is out. Long trips will run down the battery. Every time you stop the brake lights will come on. I use magnetic tow lights.
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#5 karenandcollins

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 04:43 PM

Thanks for the info. The only thing the first company installed was the break away, They installed it improperly & the cable was too tight & it pulled on the brakes. Good point about checking the hubs & tire temps at stops.
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#6 dwightginnyputzke

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 05:27 AM

I have used the ready break system for the past 15000 miles.

I did not hook up the dash indicator light either

One thing to also consider, with all surge brake systems, if you are engine braking down long steep grades, your towed vehicle surge brakes are on. You may need to stop to check or let them cool. I believe this may be more of an issue out west were the grades are not really any steeper but they go on for miles longer then what we see on the east coast.


The above information is totally erroneous.

The ReadyBrake Surge System DOES NOT apply the brakes on the towed vehicle when downshifting the motorhome transmission to use engine braking when traveling down steep grades. The towed vehicle is just coasting along and the ReadyBrake does not apply unless the motorhome brakes are applied and then the towed vehicles brakes are applied in direct proportion to the motorhome brake application.
The light on the motorhome dash will show the moment the brake pedal on the towed vehicle begins to move even before the brakes are actually beginning to apply.
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Dwight & Ginny Putzke F 513s -1995 Bounder 35U - F53 460 7.5L - Subaru Forester - NSA ReadyBrake Elite Tow-bar Cold Spring, Minnesota - Retired School Bus Fleet Owner - Marco / Polo White Schnauzers
F513 - 1941 Flxible 19 Pass Bus 3/4 wide - Chevrolet FE 232 - 3 speed =Converted To M/H 1952 - 1966 Updated = Raised Roof 1' - Chevrolet FE 292 & 1965 Allison MT30 6 Speed w/Retarder





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