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Old 03-15-2016, 01:17 PM   #1
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Supplemental Braking Options and wiring

As a new Forester RV I am currently investigating all the hardware options necessary for towing out 2011 Subaru Impreza. Along the way I have figured out that i'm going to do a a Blue OX baseplate and have a method for working the tail lights, brakes and turn signals. Now I've got to figure out which tow bar to use and the supplemental braking systems. Also would like to know if my 3011DS is pre-wired for supplemental braking. If any has any recommendations they would surely be appreciated.

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Old 03-15-2016, 01:48 PM   #2
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Supplemental Braking Options and wiring

I have a roadmaster tow bar and brake buddy system in the classifieds if interested.

Road master falcon all terrain tow bar


Brake buddy system

No longer for sale Trc 50 amp surge guard 34750
2014 Evo 2850 "Woodstock"
2011 Toyota Tundra "Clifford"
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Old 03-15-2016, 02:08 PM   #3
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You will find that we all have different preferences as to equipment. That being said, the two biggest, Blue Ox and Roadmaster both have quality bars and equipment.
We tow a 2013 Subaru Crosstrek behind a Lexington 283ts. I have a Blue Ox base plate, Roadmaster Sterling tow bar, and an RVI2 Brake system.
All work properly, and I've had no problems in two years and almost 12,000 miles.
I did the base plate install myself...not hard if your a do it yourselfer and fimilar with auto's.
What I would recommend is that whatever tow bar set up you get, always err on the high side. My Subi weighs 3200 lbs and the bars are rated for 6000 lbs. Don't just get "adaquate", spend a few bucks more and get "best". And, you'll probably be set up for a heavier vehicle, if needed, in the future.
As for powering the supplemental brake system, it will depend on the system you get. The RVI2 system operates via 12 volt, and I used the hot wire off the 7 pin connector on the Lexi. Its a simple system to hook up and use.
Lighting, again, depends on how simple or comlicated you want to get.
I use a pair of high quality LED magnetic lights I mount on the rear hatch top. I ran a standard 4 wire trailer wire through the interior of the Subi with plugs at both ends. I simply plug wire plug from Subi to Lexi, just like you hook a plug to a simple trailer.
I direct you to RVI2 website, as they have a very informative vidio and info on setting up a brake system.
If you need info on my set up with the Subi, PM me.
Grumpy
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Old 03-18-2016, 03:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by grumpy0374 View Post
You will find that we all have different preferences as to equipment. That being said, the two biggest, Blue Ox and Roadmaster both have quality bars and equipment.
We tow a 2013 Subaru Crosstrek behind a Lexington 283ts. I have a Blue Ox base plate, Roadmaster Sterling tow bar, and an RVI2 Brake system.
All work properly, and I've had no problems in two years and almost 12,000 miles.
I did the base plate install myself...not hard if your a do it yourselfer and fimilar with auto's.
What I would recommend is that whatever tow bar set up you get, always err on the high side. My Subi weighs 3200 lbs and the bars are rated for 6000 lbs. Don't just get "adaquate", spend a few bucks more and get "best". And, you'll probably be set up for a heavier vehicle, if needed, in the future.
As for powering the supplemental brake system, it will depend on the system you get. The RVI2 system operates via 12 volt, and I used the hot wire off the 7 pin connector on the Lexi. Its a simple system to hook up and use.
Lighting, again, depends on how simple or comlicated you want to get.
I use a pair of high quality LED magnetic lights I mount on the rear hatch top. I ran a standard 4 wire trailer wire through the interior of the Subi with plugs at both ends. I simply plug wire plug from Subi to Lexi, just like you hook a plug to a simple trailer.
I direct you to RVI2 website, as they have a very informative vidio and info on setting up a brake system.
If you need info on my set up with the Subi, PM me.
Grumpy
G,

We actually test drove a 2016 Crosstrek but did not like the noise and high RPM's driving the manual at 70 mph although the CVT was actually pretty good. I kept looking and found a good deal on a low mileage 2011 Outback Sport where the manual mated with a 2.5 engine seems to be a much better pairing even if it gets slightly less MPG.

For now it seems that we have a lot in common in thinking about the towing components.

Base Plate - going be purchasing a Blue OX BX3615 which may be the exact same as what you have and will be installing myself.

Tow Bar - Looking at Blue OX bars. There is a local guy selling a used alexus BX7435 which by the pictures does not look it's in bad shape but I'm going to going to go and take a look at it just to check it out.

Supp Braking - Also looking at a used RVI2 and trying to work out the details with a seller now. Although I will probably hook up the 12V from the RV to the toad battery via a $50 RViBrake charger instead of directly to the RVi2 as you did just in case I may need another 12V device to operate while towing.

Lights - getting a little creative here. Going to mod the OEM lights to use the existing LED's for Turn, Brake and Tail and then going to retrofit the exiting turn bulb filament socket to use 2 Way LED bulbs for all trailer light functions.

I am interested to hear how your making out with your setup since it looks like I may end up with something very similar to what you have.
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Old 03-18-2016, 03:48 PM   #5
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I may be mis-understanging you as to how your going to power your brake setup. If your going to power it via a connection to the motor home...NO!!!
You need to power it via the toad's battery. Why? Your brake a way switch. If your toad breaks away, the toads battery is what is used to power the brake system. If you power it via the motor home and your toad breaks away, so will the electric connection, and,....no brakes.
Just keep it simple and power it directly from the toad's battery, and use a dedicated outlet. Don't use one from the Subi as the brake system needs a 20 amp fuse and many factory outlets are 10-15 amp, along with lighter gauge wire.
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Old 03-19-2016, 06:31 PM   #6
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I'm with Grumpy on almost everything, but would submit this for your consideration - look into the Roadmaster Brakemaster proportional brake system. Our 2009 Lexi has had the same unit installed for years and we've used it on both a Honda Fit and now a CRV. Compressed air from a small compressor and reservoir in the Lexi goes through a beautifully simple tubing set-up to the servo cylinder in the toad. Pushes against a pin screwed to the floor pan, clips to the brake pedal. Takes me under two minutes to install or remove it - the easiest part of hooking up. The system includes a break-away switch to stop the toad if it breaks free. The (adjustable) pressure on the toad brake pedal is exactly proportional to how hard you push the break pedal in the MH. In thousands of miles this thing has always worked perfectly and it meets every state's requirements.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy0374 View Post
I may be mis-understanging you as to how your going to power your brake setup. If your going to power it via a connection to the motor home...NO!!!
You need to power it via the toad's battery. Why? Your brake a way switch. If your toad breaks away, the toads battery is what is used to power the brake system. If you power it via the motor home and your toad breaks away, so will the electric connection, and,....no brakes.
Just keep it simple and power it directly from the toad's battery, and use a dedicated outlet. Don't use one from the Subi as the brake system needs a 20 amp fuse and many factory outlets are 10-15 amp, along with lighter gauge wire.
Grumpy
Correct! Although some people don't use the breakaway switch and then that would not be a concern. That won't be me!

Also, thanks for the tip on the need for 20A. The Installation and user guide make no mention of this as the only thing it says about power is:

"Insert RVibrake2ís 12-volt adapter into the12-volt receptacle of the towed vehicle. The red lights on the control panel of RVibrake2 will start to flash. The compressor may or may not come on at this time."

Although I see their direct connect option is rated at 20A so if that is the case you would think that would be mentioned in the install guide as well.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:50 AM   #8
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I "think" that the 20 amp is not "required", but higher than really needed but there for a safety buffer. You don't want the fuse feeding power to the brake unit to blow at a critical time.
As for the dedicated plug...just common sense. For a safety device I wouldn't want to have anything else but the dedicated line. Also, the plug as RVI sells is a heavy duty plug with a heavier gauge wire then most dash outlets, 16 gauge as opposed to 18 gauge.
I've always been one to err on the side of safety and overkill, so an extra 20 bucks is, to me, money well spent.
Grumpy
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Old 04-04-2016, 04:14 PM   #9
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Well I was able to pick up a used RViBrake2 system on craigslist for $600 and a Blue Ox Alexus tow bar on eBay for $300. The tow bar looks hardly used, just need to clean and lube the arms and the brake kit doe initialize. Now, just need to buy the Blue OX base plate and put it all together to see how it works.
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