Does The Ready Brake Stress The Motorhome Receiver Hitch?
Posted 28 July 2012 - 12:41 PM
My question is: Does the Ready Brake system place excessive stress/load on the receiver hitch of the motor home during turning and braking?
If the Ready Brake is installed between the MH hitch and the towbar, it would seem that the "extension" of the Ready Brake from the hitch would create a "lever arm" capable of putting quite a bit of torque/stress on the hitch itself. Have any Ready Brake users encountered any problems in this regard? Any thoughts as to whether this is a potentially a real problem or simply of no concern with the Ready Brake?
Recommendations or comments would be welcome.
WM in AR
Posted 28 July 2012 - 01:20 PM
I've been using my Ready Brake system for three years now with absolutely no problems. It's a simple design, easy to hook up and worry free. It is also the least expensive brake around. I tow a Saturn Ion with a Falcon II Tow bar.
My only advice is to make sure your tow bar, ready brake and receiver are on a level plane with the coach on a level surface. You would be alright within +/- 1 inch, IMHO.
Posted 28 July 2012 - 02:27 PM
Thanks very much for the info. Your positive comments about the Ready Brake are consistent with those I have seen from other RB users.
My MH receiver hitch is about 4" higher than my Jeep tow plate connectors. I do have a 4" drop receiver, but the drop receiver would add 9" to the "lever arm," which is my basic concern. With the drop receiver added to the Ready Brake itself and to the male component of the tow bar which fits into the back of the Ready Brake, the pivot point at the tow bar wishbone would be out about 32-33" behind the end of the MH receiver hitch.........and that distance is worrisome to me. Would the forces on the hitch compounded by a "lever arm" effect from that length present a problem?
If you wouldn't mind commenting, do you use a drop receiver? About how far is the pivot point on your towbar from the end of your MH hitch receiver? Sorry for nit-picky questions, but I'm trying to get a better picture as to whether the Ready Brake will be OK for me. I just don't want my MH hitch to bend or break off on some inopportune occasion.
Posted 28 July 2012 - 11:45 PM
I think you might be over thinking this. When the brake is applied, the pressure / force to the receiver is greatly reduced. I went to Night Shift Auto in Iola, KS to purchase and install my system. I'm sure I asked the same questions that concern you. I had a tour of their small but efficient shop with one of their engineers and left feeling good about my purchase. I'm sure if you contact them they will answer all your questions. I would make sure that the 4 inch drop receiver is a high quality one with a high rating.
http://www.readybrake.com , NSA RV Products, Inc., Home of the ReadyBrake RV Towing Surge Brake System, (800) 933-3372, 129 North Kentucky - Iola, Kansas 66749, (620) 365-7714.
Posted 30 July 2012 - 12:27 PM
I certaintly understand your concern with "MURPHY'S LAW"
I am a strong supporter of the ReadyBrake system and I don't need "bells & whistles" on my toad to make me "feel" safer.
I have a 1995 F53 460 Ford with a 36' Bounder towing a 1998 Subaru Forester that has the tow bar attached 12" above the pavement. My M/H rear bumper is 13' behind the rear axle and requires a 8" drop hitch that adds 12" and the tow bar adds anouther 12" before the up & down & side to side piviot point of the ReadyBrute Elite tow bar. That's like having a 15' teeter- todder behind my M/H rear axle when I try to drive thru the dips and tight turns going it or out of gas stations.
By adding the 12" ReadyBrake to your tow bar "MURPHY'S LAW" will not be engaged.
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
Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:06 AM
Posted 22 May 2013 - 12:38 PM
I did a DIY installation of a Ready Brake on my Jeep Wrangler about a year ago. Installation was not that difficult. Since then I have taken a couple of long cross-country road trips towing my Jeep, and the Ready Brake has seemed to function just fine. I like the system because the proportional braking concept and mechanism are easy for my feeble mind to grasp, and it makes sense to me. I also like the system because it is relatively inexpensive, it appears to be well made, it is a fairly simple mechanism with few components to fail, the hook-up/disconnect process is quick and simple, and no calibration is required every time you hook-up. So far, it has worked well for me.........knock wood.
I do still have some question about how much stress the system places on my MH receiver hitch, but I cannot find any evidence of a problem at this point. I did not install the included indicator light on the dashboard of my MH because I did not want to mess with that. The indicator is designed to light up when the lever arm on the Ready Brake is activated. Although it does not indicate actual braking, you can assume that when the lever arm is activated, at least some braking is occuring. I do check the system periodically and didn't think I needed the indicator. I don't know how to truly quantify the actual degree of the braking that occurs when the lever is activated, but everything stops as it should when I apply the brake in the MH and I think the degree of brake engagment on the tow vehicle is difficult to accurately assess with any system. The tow vehicle needs to brake.......but not too much.......and, again, that is why the proportional system of the Ready Brake appeals to me. After a braking stop, the front rotors on my Jeep are hot. If I coast to a slow stop after a period without braking, the rotors are cool to the touch, so the Ready Brake seems to be functioning as designed.
I know of someone whose Brake Buddy malfunctioned and the tow vehicle caught fire. That also influenced my decision to go with the Ready Brake. And, I would like to put in a good word for the folks at NSA (the Ready Brake manufacturer) in Iola, KS. They are very friendly, helpful, and easy to work with. Nothing is perfect, and I'm sure that someone somewhere out there has had a problem with their Ready Brake, but I have been happy with mine.
Good luck and safe travels,
Posted 22 May 2013 - 12:51 PM
PS: I don't know whether or not your Auto Stop tubing would work with the Ready Brake. If the cables are the same size and the tubing chase and end fasteners are still in decent shape, maybe it could work. The folks at NSA might be able to answer that question. On the other hand, in these days of worrisome litigation and liability issues, they might hesitate to recommend anything other than their own system set-up.
Posted 22 May 2013 - 01:36 PM
Thanks, wmurphy for the info.
I have always believed that keeping it simple was the best thing to do. I am sure glad the Brake Buddy didn't catch my toad on fire when the thing burned out. It did really stink up my car for a while. That product probably worked properly less than 50% of the time it was ever in use; it's just an awful product.
One time, when we pulled into a park in Moab, UT as I was removing the 12 volt connection the plugin from the Brake Buddy came apart small parts flew everywhere. Of course, we had to drive down a huge steep grade when we left there with no braking system. This month's FMCA magazine has an article on auxiliary braking systems. I just downloaded the PDF file yesterday.
I definitely will be going to the Ready Brake for sure!
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