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Towbars, Hitches and Braking Systems for your Toads, etc. Questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding what equipment to use to tow your Toad with are discussed here.

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  #21  
Old 07-27-2015
bubblerboy64 bubblerboy64 is offline
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Originally Posted by Boatman1197 View Post
John, what tow bar do you have available? Is it the Ready Brute without the brake system?
Yes, I just took the braking system off of the tow bar. I've forgotten the details but I do have the tow bar. I might have the "stuff" to but the braking system back in place it you are going to go that way as well. It's been a while since I've looked at that tow bar so I don't remember all of the particulars.
My brain isn't as retentive as it used to be. I have to ask Shane for updates. He's like my lap top with legs (you other old guys who know Shane know what I mean)
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  #22  
Old 07-27-2015
Boatman1197 Boatman1197 is offline
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John, I sent you a PM.
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  #23  
Old 07-27-2015
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DTW1086@cox.net DTW1086@cox.net is offline
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Originally Posted by gcyeaw View Post
My Air Force One system has a vacuum generator that supplies the brake system in the toad. That way the system is not trying to overcome the force needed to apply the toad brakes when no vacuum is present.
What about vehicles that don't use vacuum to boost the power brakes??? My 2000 Silverado gets the "power" for the power brakes from the power steering pump as do many newer Ford products.
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  #24  
Old 07-27-2015
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I really like my Ready Brake. Simple and no problems for years.
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  #25  
Old 07-27-2015
bubblerboy64 bubblerboy64 is offline
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Here's some of what I see as if not a problem with the ready brake system a consideration. And my complains probably apply to a lot of the other systems as well.

First the cable length as to be perfectly adjusted. It has to be completely free of any restrictions to movement back and forth and it has to be directly in the center of the vehicles. How do you accomplish that because the brake is to the drivers side of the towed vehicle? If not then the cable length changes as the bus turns to the right or the left. Think this doesn't matter? I suggest it does because you are to adjust the cable length so it pulls just hard enough on light braking to activate the toad brake lights with the thoughts that harder braking (then light braking) then will activate the cable hard enough to pull the cable enough to actually bring the toad braking pads in contact with the rotors.

THEN there is the changing relationship of the pedal to the floor and the contact of the pads to the rotors. This changes with time brake wear and other variables.

I couldn't get it right. My suspicion is that if you never had a problem you probably had it set lightly enough that it never actually does activate the toad brakes. Which actually is probably the direction in which you want to error.

I think the brake buddy style systems are probably equally as in affective.

What I've written sorta sounds like I am an expert on the subject. Not the case at all. Just my personal experiences trying to make the Ready Brake system work for me. I very well be the problem and not the system. However with Randy of the same opinion I feel comfortable saying listen to him.
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  #26  
Old 07-27-2015
bubblerboy64 bubblerboy64 is offline
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Now to continue here's what I think as of July 27, 2015.

I like my TowMate trailer lights. No wires to run. Plug it in and go. Only negative. Don't forget to charge the lights up.

Tow bars pretty much all the same but I do like the Blue Ox because you can remove the connections and keep the toad vehicle very clean when you are not towing it. Probably other system can be. Blue Ox base plates and blue ox bar. First choice if buying today and willing to spend the $$$$

Braking systems. If your vehicle is light meaning something like my Spark I think the only thing needed is a break away and NSA makes a system for $109.00 which covers that.

If you need toad active braking the air force one system seems to be the system that I would buy.

This might change after July 28th 2015 but for today that's my idea and I may of may not stick to it.

Like batteries and tires everyone has opinions. Surge brakes work pretty good on trailers BUT no cables and the trailer is always directly in line with the center of the truck or bus.

As some of you know without me saying. I am not necessarily the sharpest knife in the drawer so consider that. I do think what ever you buy for a braking system "fool proof" would be a requirement. If there is a way to figure out a way to do it wrong I seem able to find that way. Hanging around with the rest of you I do know that I am not alone in this.
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  #27  
Old 07-27-2015
mrkane mrkane is offline
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Quote:
What about vehicles that don't use vacuum to boost the power brakes??? My 2000 Silverado gets the "power" for the power brakes from the power steering pump as do many newer Ford products.
My toad is a 2004 K3500 XCab SRW with a diesel engine. The power boost for the brakes on GM HD trucks is hydraulic from the power steering pump. Therefore, a system which does not rely on vacuum was needed.

The first few years, a BrakeBuddy system was used. It worked well, but was cumbersome to install for each tow. Storage when not in use was also an issue.

When the air pump eventually failed, it was replaced with an M and G Engineering system, shown below:




It consists of an air-activated cylinder installed between the hydraulic booster and the hydraulic brake cylinder. An air line runs from the cylinder to the front bumper. On the coach, a line is installed from the drive axle service brake manifold to the rear of the coach. To tow, a connecting air line is run from the coach to the toad, and the break-away tether is connected from the toad switch to the coach. That's it: No adjustments and nothing inside the cab.

This system has been in use for ~3 years. I recommend it for air-brake coach applications.

(The optional break-away set-up was also installed. It is a small accumulator pressure bottle, with an electrical valve to shut-off the line to the coach, and apply air pressure to the toad cylinder.)



M.R.Kane
1987 PT40 'Sleipnir'
currently Iron River, MI
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  #28  
Old 07-27-2015
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M.R.Kane

top of the line for sure that is!!!!!

John H what did you use that time going to RATS from MAXTON..what ever it worked way toooooooooooo well
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  #29  
Old 07-29-2015
Boatman1197 Boatman1197 is offline
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I decided to go with the Ready Brute tow bar and Air Force One braking system. From the comments here that seemed like a good combination. John Heckman had a ready brute he wasn't using so I bought that. He had taken the braking system off the ready brute so it is just a tow bar now. Thank you all.
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  #30  
Old 07-29-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatman1197 View Post
I decided to go with the Ready Brute tow bar and Air Force One braking system. From the comments here that seemed like a good combination. John Heckman had a ready brute he wasn't using so I bought that. He had taken the braking system off the ready brute so it is just a tow bar now. Thank you all.
I like my Air Force One as it plug and play.
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