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Old 08-23-2014, 11:51 PM   #21
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Even though the Berkshire will stop itself and the toad, the most hazardous situation that I feel that the most braking power is required, is on roads with traffic lights and speed limits of 45 to 55 mph. Since one cannot estimate when a green light will turn to yellow, we all know (or should ) know to keep a good distance from the vehicle in front. However, even with no vehicle in front, sometimes the light goes yellow at a most inappropriate time and you can go sliding with brakes on into the intersection with cross traffic. Not good, so use a supplementary brake IMHO.

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Old 08-24-2014, 11:29 PM   #22
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I do not use a brake system either. Purchased a brake buddy for my original toad which was a 2005 dodge dakota. Used it a handful of times and it rode the brake and wore them down. Had to have the dakota brakes replaced twice within 3 weeks of each other. Mechanic told me it was the brake buddy. Not sure if it was faulty or if it was my installation, but i read and re-read the directions and seemed to have it positioned correctly. Stopped using it after that summer (2010) and have had no issues with my brakes since. I now tow a 2012 equinox (3500 lbs) with a 7500 lb. blue ox aladdin. No aux brake system. Dont even know it's back there. I take my time, keep my distance and let the engine do a lot of the work.

That being said, my biggest fear is a break away (rare but they do happen) and not having a brake system to stop the toad. My uncle uses the ready brake and has had no issues. Very simple to install and hook-up is a cinch at the campgrounds. Gonna save my pennies so i can purchase it and have it ready for summer 2015 travel season. Better to be safe than sorry.

Mike


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Old 08-25-2014, 12:08 AM   #23
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I had no problems when I used.the brake buddy with our old Saturn but I have experienced the same problem as Mike when I used it with my Flex. As I said in previous note
.. The Flex does not have a flat floor. This causes the unit to move slightly and cause the brakes to slightly engage.

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Old 08-25-2014, 05:28 AM   #24
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With reference to Mbh818's problem with excessive toad brake wear, we have a Patriot and have towed a Nissan Pathfinder about 30,000 miles. Brake wear has been negligible. I like the wireless remote that allows me to adjust the braking force to avoid it riding the Pathfinder's brakes. The Patriot will release the brakes if they have been applied for a period of time to avoid overheating them. I don't know the duration - I never had it happen. Also, with the wireless remote, I can apply the Pathfinder's brakes. I use this to test that it's working properly after we hook up.

With reference to lefaivre's problem with not having a flat floor, the Patriot has three adjustable feet for leveling.

One concern for any self-contained brake system is false brake applications. I'd had it happen a handful of times in 30,000 miles, like going over rough rail crossings. It always releases in a few seconds and has caused no problems.

I will state that it takes two or three seconds for the Patriot to fully apply the brakes. I don't know how that compares to others.

The Patriot has worked well for us but choose what's best for you. Having air brakes on your coach allows choices our Class C doesn't.
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:52 AM   #25
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I agree with ramble guy. Having the wireless remote on the dash with the Patriot is a major plus. I know when the brakes are on and when not. On a normal reasonable stop the Patriot does not activate but when I have a hard stop it seems to be right there with the coach's braking force. Even though it has 3 adjustable feet because of the floor configuration in my Explorer I use a bungee cord around the top and down to the seat bracket. It takes a couple of added seconds to attach but I find it holds the Patriot a little better. I would not travel without an auxiliary braking system beside being against the law in most states I want as much security as possible since sometimes stopping that 30000 pound monster can be a trick.


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Old 08-25-2014, 09:20 AM   #26
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I also have a remote on my Brake Buddy Vantage. I agree that it is nice to see when then brakes are being applied and the ability to adjust the system while going down the road. I don't see mine applied often, generally during a panic stop....and that's where I really need it. I think that all of the systems have their strong and weak points. I bought the brake buddy because I got it from a dealer that was decreasing his inventory and sold it to me for lees than $800. I have looked at the integrated systems, but for the amount of times that I use the toad, this is just as easy.


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Old 08-27-2014, 01:48 AM   #27
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I have a 2014 Berkshire and tow a 2014 Flex using Roadmaster products. I have the Blackhawk II tow bar, the Roadmaster baseplate, and Brakemaster 9160 braking system. I installed all of the products myself and I'm very happy with the setup.
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:50 AM   #28
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Not wanting to be an antagonist here, in fact I will probably get some sort of brake system in the near future simply to minimize my legal liability.

But here is a link to a thread on another forum. Pay particular attention to post #9; and within that post a link to all 50 states towing laws (and Canada too).

The poster makes some interesting points.

http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?s...e+%2Bbuddy#ent

Boowho??

EDIT: Anyone have any info or an opinion on the Roadmaster Even Brake.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:51 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-RV View Post
Even though the Berkshire will stop itself and the toad, the most hazardous situation that I feel that the most braking power is required, is on roads with traffic lights and speed limits of 45 to 55 mph. Since one cannot estimate when a green light will turn to yellow, we all know (or should ) know to keep a good distance from the vehicle in front. However, even with no vehicle in front, sometimes the light goes yellow at a most inappropriate time and you can go sliding with brakes on into the intersection with cross traffic. Not good, so use a supplementary brake IMHO.

Hank
I know it pisses off other drivers, but (again) my driving habits are so "docile" that a full out panic stop would be VERY rare for me. On a road with traffic lights every mile or so, I drive at least 10 MPH under the limit, especially if there is a passing lane.

As a professional driver (18 wheels), I was taught to always expect the unexpected and to try and "gauge" every traffic light with respect as to whether or not it's about to change. Can't always do it, but MANY times you can anticipate an impending flip-to-red.

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Old 08-27-2014, 10:17 PM   #30
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Excellent reference to the rvnetwork thread, Boo. Thank you.


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Old 08-27-2014, 10:45 PM   #31
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Excellent reference to the rvnetwork thread, Boo. Thank you.


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You are more than welcome, Mike. I thought so too.

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Old 09-15-2014, 04:37 PM   #32
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Does anyone use or have explored the SMI Delta Force portable brake?
It compares favorably with the RVi2 brake (very close in price as well) but also offers dual-signal activation and it is anchored by a tether cable rather than pushing on the seat or seat pan. Seems like a good system.
Just wondering if there is any real-life experience with this unit.
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:01 PM   #33
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I feel that the SMI Air Force One is a great toad brake. It uses the air from the RV's brakes and thus applies the toad's brakes in proportion to the RV's. There is no setup to put anything in the toad when it is time to tow. It has a reserve air tank in the toad for break-away situations. I'd like to hear from anyone that has used it.

Hank


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Old 09-16-2014, 07:38 PM   #34
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I-RV: I feel the same about the AF1 but was advised against it by Freightliner. They recommended US Gear Unified Brake but I found out that company lost the patent on a key component and cannot sell it as a complete set now (questionable future?). I really like the Stay in Play Duo as an alternative to AF1 though.
Same basic components as AF1 with dual signal activation. Only thing lacking is a dash unit for the coach but a notification light can be added.


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Old 09-19-2014, 07:30 AM   #35
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H'mm, dose not appear that anyone within shouting distance of this forum has used AF1. I guess that says something!
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Old 09-19-2014, 09:21 AM   #36
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I decided to keep it simple and purchased SMI's Delta Force portable braking unit. It has the capability for dual-signal activation using inertia (which all the other 'boxes' use alone), plus the brake light signal from the coach. Seems like a good unit so I took the plunge. Since it just came out this summer I have not been able to find any reviews. I am awaiting delivery of the unit then installation of the baseplate and wiring of our new car on the 29th, but I will post a full review once I get to use it on the 30th.
*The choice of the Delta Force over the RVi2 unit was based on physical size of the units. Our new Ford Flex has an oddly contoured floor pan which would have had the RVi2 unit sitting at a downward angle and also required installation of a stop pan to hold the unit in place. The Delta Force has a smaller footprint and is tethered to the firewall by a cable to not only keep it in place but eliminate the need to brace the unit against the seat.
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Old 09-19-2014, 09:59 AM   #37
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Remind me to never deal with the trailer place RKC02 mentioned for advice!!!!!!

His kind of help or opinion is of no use to anyone
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:34 AM   #38
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I have the AF1 system and love it. I did the install myself and the hardest part was getting the courage to cut the chassis air line. The fact that the system has a check valve to prevent failure of the chassis brakes in the event of a leak eased my mind though. I have not read the literature in about 8 months so I may be wrong but I thought I recalled it being approved by Freightliner.

Initially I had difficulty seeing the brake notification lights that mount to the toad rearview mirror and face fowards and are intended to be visible in the rearview camera. Once I adjusted my camera contrast it was easier.

I towed for almost a year without an aux braking system but attended an FMCA rally in Perry GA this past March and the liability issue in the event of an accident put the fear in me. I can tell a difference when hard braking is required.
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Old 09-20-2014, 07:40 AM   #39
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Thank you Edgewant; at last I found someone using it on a Brkshire.
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:23 AM   #40
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Hank

I had the Air Force 1 installed as soon as we purchased our toad, in July of this year. No fuss, No muss. Just connect the air hose and drive away. Very clean install and it works as advertised.

I do recall my installer asking about which chassis we had and remember him saying Freightliner's air system provided for an easier install than others. We only have about 5000 miles towing but so far I'm pleased.
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