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Old 08-22-2014, 08:43 PM   #11
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I'm towing a 08 Explorer. I elected to use the Blue Ox Alpha tow bar, the Patriot brake system and a Towmate wireless lighting system. I've spent over three weeks pulling it all over the Northeast without a problem. It's a breeze to setup and have had zero issues running the toad's battery down. I am very happy with my setup.

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Old 08-22-2014, 09:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Hoglou View Post
Don't run a brake buddy, but what do you dislike about it? Once I understood the patriot claw I was good to go. Push set up watch it cycle and go to ready.
I thought the only diff btw the two was patriot was all electric (and back up internal batt) and brake buddy was air / electric.
The Brake Buddy is a good set up and has worked well for us. After awhile it gets old removing the box, putting it away and moving the floor mat. I now have a dedicated spot on the LH side storage bay for it. Also, you have to be careful when using it in cold weather, as the seals won't hold air. We leave it in the house as long as we can before leaving and keep it inside the coach when stopping for the night. I have the same concern about the Invisibrake. It's rated down to -2 F. It's not uncommon for us to have a night or two in -5 F or lower.

Now that I have a toad that I will have for awhile, I looking at upgrading.

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2013 Chevrolet 3500 CC, DD SRW
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:17 PM   #13
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I've got a blue ox aventa lx, brake buddy vantage with proportional braking and a charging system to the battery. Also, some cars must have a fuse pulled to limit battery discharge or you can run a switch to turn off power to that fuse when towing. I've been happy with the Brake Buddy and blue ox. A word of caution (from experience): many auto manufacturers state that you should run/idle the car after every so many miles to keep the transmission lubed. When you do this, make sure to purge the system before you start your trip again or your brakes will lock up the first time you brake the coach. Also, I would never consider using a toad without an auxillary braking system....but to each their own.
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:19 PM   #14
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Location: Sussex County, NJ
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Thanks to all for these great replies and information! I have more research to do but just watched the Brake Buddy video - looks pretty good. They claim their unit actuated quicker than the Patriot but I haven't seen that voiced by Patriot owners.

Lefaivre: thanks for the Flex backup! We think it checks all the boxes and will be great for us. Luxurious ride, nice entry height, and versatile. If all goes well we will pick it up next week. Tow bar works like new with only cosmetic scratches from installation and light use a few times. After the base plate is on I have to determine the height difference for an adapter.

Thanks again for all the replies!!! It is so nice to have this community to talk to!

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2014 390RB-60 "The Shire"
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:29 PM   #15
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Brake Buddy a charm.when we used it on our Saturn with its flat floor and hard seat fronts. With the Flex ... things have been less than stellar. The Flex has soft seat fronts meaning that when the brake buddy powers up it is pushing against a soft surface thereby delaying braking. An other problem is the fact that the foot well is not flat. This causes the unit to rock and move making setup very difficult. I have managed to work through this by first placing a wooden bracket into the foot well. One part of the bracket levels the floor and the other part braces against the front of the seat.

The system works but it does take some work

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Old 08-23-2014, 07:32 AM   #16
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Blue Ox Patriot couldn't be easier. Takes about two minutes to install and run setup.

Check this for laws:
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:35 AM   #17
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I tow my '13 Ford Explorer behind my Berk 390 BH 360 using the Blue Ox tow bar (10,000 pound rated model) along with the Patriot system. We just finished a 6500 mile trip and towing went quite well. Very easy hook up and disconnect. Only took a few minutes for each. Had a few problems with the Patriot as I need to send it in for a new battery and software up date. Throughout the west and all the mountains we never knew the Explorer was behind us even up and down the steepest of grades. We also had to add a charging wire system from the coach to the Explorer as the car has a large parasitic electric draw when in neutral and accessory active. We have keyless ignition on the Explorer. I think the Explorer is a few hundred pounds more than the Flex so you should have no trouble towing it.

Good choice in a toad and you should have many miles of enjoyment

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Old 08-23-2014, 12:27 PM   #18
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Towed Brakes

X2 on the RVi2 Brake. I have used it and the previous one without problem. It is easy to set up and seems to work well. Most states and all of Canada require a supplemental brake system if your towed rig exceeds 3000 pounds. It doesn't matter what the towing capacity of the motor home is.

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2016 (So Far) - 104 days & 6015 miles
2013 - 2015 - 328 days & 15414 miles
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:28 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by downeyr View Post
X2 on the RVi2 Brake. I have used it and the previous one without problem. It is easy to set up and seems to work well. Most states and all of Canada require a supplemental brake system if your towed rig exceeds 3000 pounds. It doesn't matter what the towing capacity of the motor home is.
Yep, my Fiesta weighs just 2600 and change. I've towed over 10K miles with NO toad brake and NO problems.

Been over some mountain passes that might scare the pants off a "flat lander"; like Red Mountain pass between Silverton and Ouray, CO. Ya oughta see the switch backs on that badboy.

Been down (THEN up... It's a pass that is upside down!!) through Salt River Canyon between Show Low and Globe, AZ several times with no problems whatsoever. Once again, hairpin county and switch back city, for a total of about 7 miles; and a total drop of over 1000 feet.

Never even know the toad is back there unless I look at the camera. Far more than enough braking power from the Berk's brakes.

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Old 08-23-2014, 11:03 PM   #20
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The only input I would add as most everything has been covered is stopping power. Yes the Berk has good brakes and under normal conditions it is enough. The issue u have is when close to GCVW is it enough? If you need to stop in an emergency situation is it enough. Not for me. I only tow a two door Wrangler at about 3500#. That puts me at 34000 gross and a bit over weight. The brake system is not a luxury in my opinion. I don't want to slam on the brakes and not have every chance of stopping safely.

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