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Author Topic: Towed Car Braking System  (Read 7215 times)
fe2_o3
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« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2011, 08:51:08 PM »

  As a side note, I installed surge brakes on our tow dolly as a precaution in case of a collision while towing the wife's Focus. The dolly may not hit the target weight, bit the Focus could...Cable
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« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2011, 10:12:53 PM »

Well.....a toad brake will shorten your stopping distance.... matbe.  A provable fact?  Without doubt.  Safer?  Sure.  Affordable is a sticker but who can afford not to stop.

I bought the simplest surge brake affair I ever even heard of.  It has a cable that runs inside the toad, thru the firewall, and "pulls" on the toad brake for stopping.  Considering I run with all four down and the engine running....I GET 4 WHEEL ANTILOCK.  Adjusting mine is a snap....just set it to lock all four and it will modulate you to the shortest distance to whoa.  I am simply pleased.  A short extension in the receiver, a cable to the brake ped.  another cable that runs through a "capture" like device and if she comes loose the brake cable gets pulled on tight and stays that way even after that cable breaks.  I have all the lighting integrated into the truck system.

I only got this system to satisfy the Canadians and even then only at the border.  Great idea, however.

This system was cheap.  If you have the faculty and imagination to hook up the ball you can install the thing.  The name is Ready Brake...I think.  PM me for details.

John
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Lin
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« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2011, 10:19:53 PM »

Cable

The tow dolly is probably okay to pull without an aux brake.  It's only when you put the Focus on it that it becomes illegal.

http://www.happy-wanderers.com/rv-and-travel/112-auxiliary-brake-laws
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busguy01
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« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2011, 03:49:40 AM »

One Huge point that everyone is missing -- we stop a LOT faster than we accelerate so everytime you brake and the toad doesn't you are doing the same as slamming the toad into the back of your bus. The shock load is very hard on the car base plate, tow bar, hitch and attachment points that can and will lead to failure on one of those items or the structure of your bus. Sense the toad and bus are seldom level the forces applied are usually at a up or down level which also increases the damage. If you don't use a brake system you best be checking for cracks and loose fasteners at every use.JimH
« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 02:58:56 AM by busguy01 » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2011, 05:38:17 AM »

I have no experience with any toad braking systems, how do they apply the right amount of braking to the toad to keep from using the its brakes to slow the bus?  I am familiar with electric type trailer brakes with the control, is there something like that for the toad system.
I just pulled our jeep for the first time a couple of weeks ago and did not notice much if any difference in our stopping ability but would still like to look into a brake system.
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Doug Olson
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« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2011, 06:42:56 AM »

The shock load is very hard on the car base plate, tow bar, hitch and attachment points that can and will lead to failure on one of those items or the structure of your bus.  If you don't use a brake system you best be checking for cracks and loose fasteners at every use.
JimH

  Okay, im calling BS. How about the car senses the Bus stopping when it slams into the hitch, then the brakes apply and yank the hitch out of the Bus from all the extra pushing, pulling, and banging? Maybe the welds on the hitch arent up to NASA quality, better have them X-rayed? Maybe run 1/2 inch steel cable from the hitch to the rear axle so in case the hitch breaks off you wont lose your toad?

  Some here are towing with a tow dolly? Whats keeping the car from coming off? If the car comes off the dolly, whats going to stop it? How in Gods name is it safe to tow your car on a tow dolly, when the car has no possible way to stop itself should it come off, but its NOT safe to tow with a tow bar unless the toad can lock em up? Seems a bit hypocritical.

  Heck, if everyone here was graded on what everyone else thought of everyone elses rigs safety, etc., we would all fail. Many of these rigs are filled with loose furniture, books etc., heavy stone floors and counters, questionable securing of same and of walls and cabinets, questionable wiring, questionable plumbing, DIY repairs and modifications to the chassis, including welding and changes to the steering thats not been inspected, and on and on.

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« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2011, 07:48:20 AM »

Art.

I can not comment on the comparative safety of each setup, but as per the chart posted above I can say that the law requires some system in most states.  As foolish as it may sound, I am less concerned with how much the aux system helps than I am about being able to point at it if pulled over.

As for stresses on the vehicles and the tow members, that's the very nature of towing.  I hope that most of that is covered in the design and construction.
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« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2011, 08:36:30 AM »

Towing a car or a trailer or a dolly is just an engineering exercise.  You evaluate the problem and design a solution that accommodates the loads correctly.  Then, you maintain it.  No need to go all "it's going fail, crack, explode" or whatever.

As far as brakes are concerned, you need them or don't need them for two reasons - normal course of business rolling on down the road, and in an emergency.  Two different applications.  The worst case emergency is if the towed thing is separated from the towing thing.  There you need independent brakes, so you look into the rules and if you need them to be legal where you are driving, you have them, or you don't.  Or you look into the personal sense of responsibility/fear of liability and add the emergency braking system.

In normal course of business, you need brakes or don't need them according to the law in the land, the weight of the vehicles involved, and your personal sense of the right way to do things.  There are all sorts of ways to decide, pick one and run with it.  I don't have brakes at all on my 1500 lb landscape trailer, my tow dolly has electric brakes but I only use the emergency breakaway feature, and my big trailer has electronic control of the biggest brakes that fit on the axles.  So I made three different decisions based on three different sets of circumstances. and I'm probably pretty average in that.

Brian
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« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2011, 09:08:09 AM »

Thanks very much everyone.  Great discussion.

It's true that economics are a big factor.  I didn't consider the braking system when I budgeted this project and the extra $1,000 that I was quoted suddenly put it out of reach for now.  Now I see there are a few other options.

Gary, I will see you at the rally in Chase.  In fact it was a discussion with you in Agassiz when you showed us your toad setup that led to the decision to tow a vehicle.  I need to take another look at your braking system as well as other suggestions posted here.

I VERY much appreciate all the comments and advice.

Bryan
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Bryan
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JackConrad
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« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2011, 01:23:51 PM »

visit www.hitchtrader.com  Many used towing & braking components for sale at good prices.  This is whewre i found our base plates and out M&G braking system (all used and great prices)  Jack
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« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2011, 02:55:25 PM »

To Art:
I was talking about what happens when you do NOT have a toad braking system. If you still think the loads are BS then please tell me where you are towing so I can avoid you.
JimH
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« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2011, 04:00:23 PM »

  Like I said, I doubt anyone here could pass everyone elses standards even if its legal in all 47 states.  Something your doing, have done, or about to do will cause someone grief somewhere.

  But to claim toad brakes put LESS stress on your hitch? I am sure the hitch wont come apart regardless, but that is a rediculous statement.
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busguy01
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« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2011, 04:50:54 PM »

Art:
Please do yourself a favor and reread my posts. It PLAINLY says what can occur WITHOUT a toad brake system.
Jimh
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Started with nothing - still have most of it left!
1963 Eagle 01 with Detroit 60 series done (Gone-sold!)
MCI EL3 in progress. raised roof & Slides
2009 Revolution 42 Sticks and staple
Summer - Yankton, South Dakota
Winter- Port St Lucie, Florida
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« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2011, 05:43:36 PM »

This says it all.


http://www.readybrake.com/video.html

With this system you can skip the $150 toad lighting and wiring upgrade.  If you just leave your parking lights on you brake lights will come on with the brake ped.  I was told long ago that turn signals on the toad were not a requirement if the turn lights on the towing vehicle were clearly visible.  YMMV and that might be BS today.

I'll look for the price list and forward it also.  I laid in wait on Ebay and CL and ambushed a used system that was NIB.  Got it for a pittance.

John
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"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
—Pla
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« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2011, 05:52:33 PM »

Price list for Ready Brake system.  http://www.readybrake.com/brake-systems.html

I have a friend that installs these systems professionally.  I can get anything for my rig at wholesale prices.  This Ready Brake sells for $400 to 430.  I finally got one for $100.  I can't say it peforms well as I have never done a panic stop.  i can say that I have never become aware that the thing is back there or that the toad is "pushing" me.  Like I said....I have been watching these braking systems being installed for many years and I can honestly say that they all work well if installed properly.  All of them.  Did I mention that I bought the Brake Buddy system? Roll Eyes Grin

Happy Camper john
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"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
—Pla
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