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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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  #1  
Old 09-23-2008
konehd konehd is offline
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Default toad Braking systems

Ive got to set up my toad with a braking system and have been looking at whats out there...
Would like something that dosnt take much if any setup.
I came across this company that has an air cylinder mounted between the vacuum booster and master cylinder.

http://www.m-gengineering.com/BrakeSystem.html

Any one used this?? Any pros / cons??


Any while Im asking any pros / cons on tow bars?
Im thinking of the blue ox system as the base plate looks the best and dosnt require removal of the front skid plate...

This is to tow a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Thanks, Joe
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2008
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Rob Robinson Rob Robinson is offline
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Joe and Pat if I was in the market for auxilliary braking system M & G would be my choice. If by 'set up' you mean normal hookup before towing then M & G is not complicated. If however you are talking about the actual install of the equipment that is another story. Randy knows this system and can give you a good idea of how much effort and the level of expertise is needed to install and set one up.
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Last edited by Rob Robinson; 09-23-2008 at 10:28 AM.
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2008
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yesmar yesmar is offline
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Wink M & G

I am having one installed October 2nd. I have talked to a number of Blue Bird owners and they told me about it. Very simple and very reliable is what I was told.

They are $640 for the system, $25.00 for shipping, and $300.00 for the install. So they are cost effective and competitive with all other units. If you trade vehicles and the one you currently have is not compatable with your new vehicle, they will give you $180.00 credit towards a new unit. All you have to do is hook up a quick connect air line between the rear of your coach and tow car. For the Smart people out there, you also have to hook up your tow bar and tow lights before towing.

One Blue Bird owner goes to Texas to have his installed, but in Florida, Jerry in Monticello and Eagles Pride in Titusville installs them.

Richard
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2008
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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its a very simple install on my toads,Joe,what toad do you have?
i have been using the M&G setup for many years,the same unit has been on 4-5 toads.
M&G makes a good product,they are great people and are easy to deal with.
they have been in the tow brake business for a long time.
they make the only tow brake i would use.
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2008
bubblerboy64 bubblerboy64 is offline
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Default toad brakes

Check out Night Force Auto's ready brake system. I used their tow bar and braking system and am very happy with it. Easy install and very easy hookup each time you use it. I don't know the other systems being discussed so I can't ofter pros and cons to each but I think the system deserves a look see.
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Old 09-23-2008
fxdwg fxdwg is offline
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I'm using Roadmaster's air brake system. As opposed to M&G's, the actuator is a removeable piston that pushes on the toad's brake pedal. It utilizes the same type (almost exactly) break-away system as the M&G. I've combined mine so it all mounts on a removeable fixture. The only thing remaining in the toad is the floor mounted bracket. The nice thing about this type of setup is the option to have several toads. Once the air line is run and the vehicle specific bracket installed (2 bolts on my Explorer), I can swap the actuator very simply between vehicles. The install of either of these type braking systems is quite simple, as compared to the electrical aspects. I'll be at RIV if you want to look at mine.
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  #7  
Old 09-23-2008
Paul Paul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by konehd View Post
Ive got to set up my toad with a braking system and have been looking at whats out there...
Would like something that dosnt take much if any setup.
I came across this company that has an air cylinder mounted between the vacuum booster and master cylinder.

http://www.m-gengineering.com/BrakeSystem.html

Any one used this?? Any pros / cons??


Any while Im asking any pros / cons on tow bars?
Im thinking of the blue ox system as the base plate looks the best and dosn't require removal of the front skid plate...

This is to tow a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Thanks, Joe
Joe, The M&G is an excellent choice, and what many of us use. This uses an air cylinder actuated from the coach air brake system.

As to base plates/tow bars. You can mix and match to get the best of all worlds. I use a Blue Ox base Plate on my Liberty for the removable "tips" and a Roadmaster All Terrain tow bar that NEVER binds nor does it have to be level or straight to remove.

If mixing systems, just order the tow bar with ends to match the base plate.
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  #8  
Old 09-23-2008
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peteaeonix peteaeonix is offline
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In contrast, take a look at the SMI system. It's simple to install (I did mine, myself) and it's effective. I think the current version is called "Air Force One"


--
on the road near Scranton, PA
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2008
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gcyeaw gcyeaw is online now
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I also have the SMI unit. The big difference is that the M&G is a proportional system where the SMI is more of an emergency system. That is it applies the brakes or not, no in-between.

It uses a vacuum pump that is attached to the car's tank and uses a special air cylinder to apply the brake taking advantage of the car's power brake system. It applies pressure to the brake pedal in response to an inertia switch combined with the presence of the brake light power.

What I don't like is that it is a pain to adjust. You should only have to do it once, but it never seems to be just right. Since it is designed for emergency stopping it should only come on when you are leaning heavily on the brakes, however, on a steep downgrade with medium braking or retarder use it often activates. A warning alarm goes off and I need to cycle the brake lights to disengage it. The advantage is that in a breakaway situation it will engage the pump and apply the brakes till the battery dies (a long time).

The M&G system requires an additional accessory air tank to implement a breakaway system.

If I had it to do over I would think about the M&G.
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2008
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peteaeonix peteaeonix is offline
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I agree that the adjustment of the SMI sensitivity is somewhat of a pain. However, for the under 4,000 lb. toad, it's rather good -- eventually, I just set mine with the lowest sensitivity (doesn't kick in until maximum stopping effort) and eliminated the unwanted braking situations, like on downgrades, etc.

The reality is, my toad weighs about 6 or 7% of the running weight of my 'bird, so the amount of braking effort from the toad should be minimal -- only in a true panic stop do you need brakes from the toad (they're not very effective at slowing the bus,anyway). Perhaps, the SMI wouldn't be as desirable if you have a much heavier (in relation to the coach) toad -- but in my 2 years experience with the SMI, I've found it to be reliable, convenient (it's installed so that I don't have to unhook or remove anything to drive the toad), and provides braking effort when desired.

---
on the road near Scranton, PA
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