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matthew6279

Supplemental Braking - What's Best for My Situation?

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Good morning,


I am new here. I will be picking up my motorhome later this week and I need some help on the best auxiliary braking system for my situation.


I think I have analysis paralysis at this point. I have researched them all. M&G, Blue Ox, Ready Brake RViBrake, BrakeBuddy, BrakeMaster as well as others. Then reading reviews there are these horror stories of ruined brakes, tires etc.


Here is my situation:


I will be using two different vehicles to tow depending on situation.


2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Lifted 3.25" with 35" tires. I already have a Blue Ox Aventa tow bar given to me by my father. I am going to use the Blue Ox off road adapters for attachment to my bumper.


Second vehicle will be a 2014 Ford Explorer.


For me a auxiliary brake that I can move from vehicle to vehicle would be best but again those horror stories of ruined tires and brakes. Maybe this is from improper installation or setup? Personally I like the idea of mechanical operation but since I am towing my lifted Jeep and will need a raised receiver adapter, can a mechanical setup, such as the ReadyBrake, be used since it would put additional strain on the receiver? If that is the case then a system such as the Invisibrake may be the best option and I will need to install one in each car.


Thanks for your help!

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Matthew,

Welcome to the Forum.

As many on this Forum will tell you, I prefer the M & G Engineering unit. It is designed to operate by applying pressure directly to the Master Cylinder and not by applying pressure to and through the Power Brake Booster. It applies the same pressure as the brakes on your coach.

All that being said, I didn't ask what kind of coach you are getting, gas or diesel. My statement above is for the diesel pusher with air brakes. M & G does make a unit for gas coaches but I am not familiar with it. I do know it requires an air pump.

Good luck on your new coach. Join FMCA and a chapter if you haven't already done so.

Herman

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matthew, I am also in the market and I tow a lifted Jeep Wrangler also. My BlueOx brake box bit the dust, parts are not available, its going in the trash. I have looked and touched all except the M&G system this past weekend at the Hershey RV show, after reading the installation manual I am sold on the M&G design, plus their pricing makes it much more desireable. If M&G were at the show I would have bought their system then.

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I have an older Brake Buddy and have never had a problem. I suppose if you didn't set it up right you could have a problem but that is with any supplemental braking devise.

Bill

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Matthew,

Welcome to the Forum.

As many on this Forum will tell you, I prefer the M & G Engineering unit. It is designed to operate by applying pressure directly to the Master Cylinder and not by applying pressure to and through the Power Brake Booster. It applies the same pressure as the brakes on your coach.

All that being said, I didn't ask what kind of coach you are getting, gas or diesel. My statement above is for the diesel pusher with air brakes. M & G does make a unit for gas coaches but I am not familiar with it. I do know it requires an air pump.

Good luck on your new coach. Join FMCA and a chapter if you haven't already done so.

Herman

It is gas. It is a 2005 Dutchmen FourWinds M34r. It's a C+ or Super C. On the c5500 chassis with the 8.1l.

matthew, I am also in the market and I tow a lifted Jeep Wrangler also. My BlueOx brake box bit the dust, parts are not available, its going in the trash. I have looked and touched all except the M&G system this past weekend at the Hershey RV show, after reading the installation manual I am sold on the M&G design, plus their pricing makes it much more desireable. If M&G were at the show I would have bought their system then.

I do like the M&G and it comes highly recommended I just hated to have to buy it twice with two vehicles I would be towing. One question on that, I am looking at getting the CoolTech harness. Most of the aux brakes simply press the brake pedal down, therefore activating the brake switch causing the brake lights to activate. This causes problems with the CoolTech harness because the brake light would wash out the blinker. Since the M&G presses at the master cylinder, then I would not think it would activate the brake switch so that problem would be eliminated?? Thanks!

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The inertial braking systems (Brake Buddy, Ready Brake, etc.) offer the economy of being easily able to move the system from one vehicle to another. They have a drawback for diesel coaches because the engine brake will set off the inertial system thus applying the toad brakes every time the engine brake is activated. On long downhill slopes (mountains) that means that the toad brakes are getting a good toasting while the coach service brakes are cool. In essence, the toad becomes a supplemental braking system for the engine brake.

Since you are getting a gas coach, you won't have the engine braking. Downshifting to a lower gear with a gas engine can produce the same effect but most people don't use this technique often with a gas coach. Your driving habits and the terrain in which you expect to operate will affect your decision. Personally, I think that the proportional braking offered by systems linked to the coach service brakes offer the best choice.

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matthew, that was another selling point to the M&G, it doesn't press the pedal, just the master cylinder, I currently have to pull a fuse on my jeep, which is not a big deal, but I wont have to anymore. I also like the no drilling or mounting a cylinder under the dash, with the Jeeps low floor pan and tall rocker panels that could get painful trying to get into that small of an area for the install.

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I tow a Jeep Wrangler Sport, very modified and have the Invisibrake system, only because it was a carry over from a Colorado 4x4 V8, also very modified.

Had I known about the M&G, I would be using it now! I may change next year, or buy a stacker trailer to fit the Jeep & a car to tool around in...the pavement is not good for my NITTO tires!

Carl

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We just switched from Brake Buddy to the Blue Ox Patriot. I like the remote feature on the Blue Ox as is tells me when the toad's brakes are being applied and I can adjust the gain to suit current driving conditions. I am also able to remotely activate the toad's brakes via the control module.

FYI, we tow a 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 4wd that is lifted with 35" tires (sorry folks, that's all we have that can be towed 4 down). I had a fab shop build a riser with gussets to ensure the tow bar is parallel to the road surface.

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Mathew -

Welcome to the Forum.

I like and studied the M & G Engineering unit for the Jeep Grand Cherokee 2005 model I am towing. Because of the fuse blocks and other stuff under the hood with the Hemi engine, I could not find a way to install the unit without moving a lot of factory stuff. For that reason I went with the SMI engineering Air Force One. I have towed the Jeep over the Rocky mountains several time and have racked up many miles. I am more than pleased with both the unit and the customer support from SMI (I installed the system myself and needed considerable help with the connections to the antilock braked on the Coach.) It connects and disconnects with 2 simple connections one for the air and the other for the breakaway cable and I have never had a problem with stopping the rig nor have I had overheated brakes on the Jeep.

I see that you have a gasoline unit so you would need the Stay-N-Play DUO from SMI. I also have a diesel pusher with air brakes so I have never used the DUO, but It has the same engineering as the Air Force One and it should work for you.

Since you are new, I have a couple of suggestions about braking systems:

1 - Make sure that any braking system you choose has a breakaway system. For some manufacturers that is a separate cost item, but in my opinion it is not an option. I do not want to have an accident then see my Jeep going down the other lane past me. With the breakaway system active and the towed vehicle gets a few feet from the coach, the towed vehicle brakes are maximally applied.

2 - Over the years, I have had several braking systems. The variety that stays in the towed vehicle have a great benefit. They are ready to tow when you are. When I had a box that pressed the brake petal, it took at least 10 minutes to setup and remove the brake system every time I drove the Jeep. I have watched others take over 30 minutes to compete a single hookup. I am much too lazy for that much work each time I unhook. With a unit that stays in the vehicle the hookup for a gas motorhome is one cable clip for the breakaway unit. I tie wrapped the breakaway cable to the hitch so breakaway hookup is less than 10 seconds. The down side is that you must purchase a separate system for each towed vehicle.

No matter what you decide, be safe and have fun.

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Have no experienc with the others so sure they are good ... but.... I've used the Blue Ox Patriot system on two different motor homes and two different Jeep GC - this one being the Overland... works best for me... set in correctly, it works fine with no concerns.. have approx 65,000 miles on it including two trips in and around AZ, NM, CO, Yellowstone, etc. Gasser had the tow haul mode, the DP has the 2 stage jake... can easily adjust the remote to prevent break dragging...

Has worked fine for me... takes less than 4-5 min to set up with test pulses, or remove...

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I haven't been looking but when I was there were several brake systems for sale in different forums and Craig's list. I bought a as new brake buddy and Blue Ox tow bar for $400.00. So it might not hurt to look in those places now.

Bill

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Joe,
The M & G units are designed to fit specific year vehicles. The bolt spacing differs on make and year model. Had it on my 2003 Yukon. Would not fit my 2008 Silverado. However Randy did take mine in as a tradein. I watched them install my first unit and did the next ones myself. They have both new and remanufactured units. Both carry Life Time warranties.

Lloyd should be in Perry.

Herman

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Called Brake Buddy and asked if they did a factory rehab. They told me as long as the unit worked and activated when you put the brakes on it was good. The way they said to test it was to strap it in the passenger seat and take it for a ride. if the arm actuated when you hit the brakes it was good.

I personally don't see a down side. This is a pretty simple devise that as long as the compressor pumps up and it holds air in the reservoir and the inertia sensor works. Please explain your fears?

The tow bar I took to Perry last time (before I had a car towable 4 down) and had Blue Ox re furbish it for me at the rally.

The only down side I see is I didn't get to give Camping world or some one another $1600 plus of my gas money. :P

Bill

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Having had most of the brake systems, and given away some including a Blue Ox to a friend on this forum, I found that I like the Invisi Brake the best ! That said. They are all good, just depends on your ride (toad), coach and how much you are willing to pay! Everyone has what they like!

I do agree with Brett !

Carl

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I can see purchasing a used portable box type, not something that was previously installed like an air force one or M&G etc....unless it was a refurbished unit from the manufacture.

I am going to call M&G today and see what my options are, so far they have the best pricing from my research in systems and I like their design over a cable type.

My Blue OX portable box type bit the dust, when I called Blue OX they told me they no longer support that model and parts are not available(I have the older Patriot with the blue casing). Honestly it was starting to become a nuisance to pull it in and out.

Thank you

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Joe,

I may be one of M & G's biggest advocate. If you have any questions just let me know.

Herman

After reading up on their product I was very impressed by the design and the ease of installation, looked like a great fit especially for a Jeep. If it hadn't been for you I would have never knew they existed.

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Ordered the M&G. Full set up with breakaway and coiled hose $685.00. I opted for the refurbished under hood master cylinder valve, saved me $215.00. Herman, I spoke to Robert, nice guy!

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Mathew, I can't offer any advise since I am in the same position as you, trying to decide on a brake system for my 33' 8.1L gas motor home. I'll be following your post and hope you keep us informed on your decision.

Thanks to Herman's suggestion in another thread about attending a Rally to see and handle many of the brake systems available and talk directly to the vendors, I believe I'm going to hold off making my decision until I can do that. Hopefully July in Iowa.

Good luck with your decision.

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Herman & Joe.

The inventor and manufacturer of the M&G is parked next to me. He's got a MCI Bus and travels with the Custom Coach Chapter and are staying here at Lake Whispering Pines RV Park in Midland, GA. He's coming in to Perry on Wed. I hope to visit more with him this morning....so far I like what he said!

Joe, since your Jeep and mine are the same! If I go with M&G, would I still have to water/dust protect it? I'm asking you cause the owner is way older than me!

Carl

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Carl and Joe,

By water dust protect is I presume you are asking about the air connect. M & G will give you a 90 degree spark plug cap to go over the inlet. This will allow the unit to let air in and out when not hooked to the coach. If the air connection is capped the brake on the vehicle you will either have no brakes or it might lock your brakes.

So If you are planning on doing some mudding it would be prudent to make an extension line/hose to raise it up like the jeeps had for their air intakes.

Lloyd is a nice fellow. Can be a bit grouchy at times but aren't we all.

Herman

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