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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 07-23-2015
Boatman1197 Boatman1197 is offline
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Default Ready Brute Elite vs Air Force One

I'm getting ready to set up to tow flat. I have people wanting to sell me a ready Brute Elite and another wants to sell me an Air Force One.
Your opinions, pros- cons?
Thanks
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Old 07-23-2015
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alvahall alvahall is offline
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I bought a Ready Brute Elite in March after my Demco wore out. It is by far the best made of the three tow bars I've owned. The other was a Blue Ox. I have been using the Ready Brake for eight years with the two other bars, so I picked the Elite because the same brake was built into the tow bar.
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Old 07-23-2015
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As far as I know air force one is a braking system (not sure they make towbars) - ready brute elite is a towbar with the readybrake built in. If it was the same price, I'd take the readybrute towbar and the air force one brake.

However, I have the readybrute elite and love it - brake works fine and it's brutally simple and over-built.

fyi -
readybrute = towbar
readybrute elite = readybrute towbar with readybrake built in
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Old 07-24-2015
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I am so glad you posted this! I was about to drop $1200 on an Air Force one but someone will have to give a very compelling reason for me NOT to buy the readybrute elite and sell my BlueOx tow bar... I love the simple install and the simple mechanics of it.
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Old 07-24-2015
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I don't like surge braking systems. My issue is going down long steep grades using the retarder and lower gears. A surge system can and most likely will apply the toad brakes in this situation and overheat them, or at least result in excessive wear. I know the system was enabled by the brake lights, but the retarder activates the brake lights, thus the above issues.

I had a surge operated brake system on the toad and it acted as I described above. I went with a proportional air operated Air Force One system and a heavy Demco tow bar and I am very pleased with it.
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Old 07-24-2015
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I'm in the same boat - getting ready to set up my toad for flat towing, trying to learn all I can.

With proportional air (AFO), when the jake engages the brake lights on the coach AND toad come on - but the toad brakes ARE NOT engaged until the coach brakes are engaged ...is that correct?

With the ReadyBrute Elite it works the same BUT, the toad brakes would also engage when the jake is engaged due to the surge ... is that right?
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  #7  
Old 07-24-2015
Boatman1197 Boatman1197 is offline
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I don't have a retarder in my 79. It's simple like me. So, I'm thinking Gardner's very real concern would not effect me. Correct? Yes, the Air Force One is a breaking system.
The guy with the air force one said he has seen ready brute failures. Keep in mind that he is trying to sell me an air force. He mentioned that if the cable broke on the ready brute the toad brakes would engage and I probably wouldn't even know it and keep driving. I'm not sure how likely that is. Somehow i don't think very likely. Of course the guy selling the ready brute says that's the best there is for the same reasons. I suspect both systems are good. A lively discussion on wog would be helpful to a few of us I think.
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  #8  
Old 07-24-2015
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Any kind of a cable operated brake is going to give trouble.
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Old 07-24-2015
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I do not have a Ready Brute elite, so keep this in mind, But the way I see the operation, if the cable broke, you would not have brakes on the towed. I think this is better than the brakes defaulting to the on position.
Also reading reviews online about the system, if you adjust the cable slack properly, you can have it so the toad brakes will not come on during normal down hill coasting, where the bus may be slowing the toad slightly. It sounds like the preferred way to get the "slack" in the cable set properly is to have someone ride in the toad and observe the braking, then adjusting the cable slack until you get the braking set at the level you desire. Then once set it is an easy hook up from then on.
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  #10  
Old 07-24-2015
photoadjuster photoadjuster is online now
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Default What Randy says

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Dupree View Post
Any kind of a cable operated brake is going to give trouble.
What Randy says, no cable please.

If you have air brakes on the coach, the SMI Air Force One is the best choice. Great company. They are located just west of Louisville, Ky in Indiana.

I always stop by when in the area and they update mine at no charge. Customer service by phone is also great.
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