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Old 02-07-2016, 12:18 PM   #1
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Default toad brakes?!

Ok, now I am circling the idea of a toad. However, I confess that I am mystified by the braking options. All the RVers are quite pleased with SMI Air force 1 brakes, but I don't understand how it works on the coach side.

I am certain that I am really missing something here, but why isn't there a toad controller that just uses a glad hand connection, rather than a bunch of elaborate plumbing on the motorhome?
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:48 PM   #2
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RV Tow Bars - NSA RV Products

I use this and it works great? bought it on a rv site.

Sam
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Old 02-07-2016, 08:01 PM   #3
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I like the looks of that. Thanks
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:01 PM   #4
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what TOAD are you gonna pull?

do you already have your tow bar? I picked up a nice BlueOx (aluminum) Adventa tow bar for about 400 bucks (with the optional, but necessary, $450 base plates from a former owner).

heres a nice Falcon bar in Dallas for $500 as an example (just search for blueox, blue ox or towbar, tow bar).

Heres another one for $150

I (finally) bought a brake buddy VANTAGE (craigslist) for $250 (about 20% of the cost of a new unit)....it had the remote and the nice carrying bag.

there are some on EBAY - just to give you an idea of the pricing

heres one in Dallas - again just to give you an idea of pricing / availability etc.

The thing LOOKED like it hadn't been used at very much, all i had to add buy was a break away switch like this one (i pieced my own together for about 10 bucks. Trailer dot com has some even cheaper

I'd love to have the SMI system but then its only good for towing our (JEEP) toad by coach.

w/ the brake buddy (and my tow bar) i can confidently (and safely) tow the jeep behind anything w/ a receiver hitch (ala my F350 etc).

all this said - the ONLY reason I use the supplemental braking system on the toad is to avoid a liability issue (if my hitch should ever break loose or the grade 70 safety chains and clevis hooks should fail).



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Old 02-08-2016, 08:48 PM   #5
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I bought my brake buddy on a for sale section on an rv site. i got both the buddy and the brakeway for less than 200.00. it was a great deal. i got my blue ox tow bar off lsn.

Had to pay retail for the jeep base plate, and you tube on how to put it on, that was so easy. I have tow this with my chev truck and works great too. I need a base plate for my 55 now....lol

Like Don i dont need the braking system with this rig, but i sure did with my dutchman
I dont notice it behind me till i mess up and wish i could back up a few feet!

Sam
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samcrimm View Post

....I dont notice it behind me till i mess up and wish i could back up a few feet!

Sam

HA ! Ive lived your mistakes!

reality is i've only had to pull the toad (2 pins) to back up and disconnect maybe twice.

Once because mis-read a truck stop entrance and ended up in a gas station (I'm a slut for cheap fuel)... that was right next to the truckstop entrance.

that station was so small (and i was already committed) i was locked in as soon as i entered....no biggie, i took on fuel that was much cheaper than the truck stop....disconnected the toad/jeep (while fueling the 1st tank), put the wife in the jeep and had her wait for me at the station exit.....all this allowed me to back up & reposition / fill the other side tank and then make my exit.

the second time i missed the entrance for a campground....and rather drive a few miles (looking for a turn around or loop), i found a place i could back the coach in & turn around....again, pull 2 pins a cable & 2 chain hooks and the wife is in the jeep driving it to the campground.

it takes me more time to unlock and start the jeep than it does to connect/disconnect the jeep from the coach.
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Old 02-10-2016, 07:29 AM   #7
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The issue of not being able to back up and fix a turn has been a concern of mine. I confess that I have already shorted two turns that required a little back up adjustment.

All that aside, what I am really concerned about is all the extra equipment that must be installed in the toad for some of the braking systems. The simplicity of the system Samcrimm recommended might be the ticket for me. I too believe it is more of a compliance/liability issue than an actual braking issue, so I want to keep alterations to the toad to a minimum.

I want to make a toad of my F350, but I'm having difficulty locating a baseplate for it, since it is so old. We are also considering an older suburban as a toad candidate. I guess it is safe to say that the vehicle is up in the air, I just know it has to seat six with some room for gear.

I was trying to gather a better understanding of how the various toad braking systems work. I like the surge hitch/cable system for its simplicity. The Air force one looks slick, but i don't want to install all that gear in the toad, to still just have it pull the brake pedal.

I guess I was overthinking it, figuring there would be something more elegant that would directly interface with he toad's braking system and be actuated by the TC's air braking or electric braking system with no alterations to the TC.
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Old 02-10-2016, 10:32 AM   #8
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I was pleased how easy it was to drill two little holes in the floor board, and i think i have a clean neat front set up. F350, better check how you can tow that 4 down, 2 down or tow it with out removing the drive shaft. i bought a tow dolly first then read the owners manual and learned i could not tow it 2 down.... i pulled the drive shaft a couple of times and the last one was in the rain....
I was just not want to spend 3000 to tow. then i started learning and put together the set up i have now. i did this set up for less than 900.00 the base plate was the most, had to buy new. here are day time pixs of my set up, hoping you get the set up that works the best for you. The more info you have the better you are in making the right move.
Sam
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Old 02-10-2016, 11:37 AM   #9
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How does that ReadyBrake system work when you're coasting down a long grade...looks to me like the ReadyBrake will apply the brakes when the vehicle coasts forward against the hitch?
How does the ready brake apply the brakes proportionally (hard) in an panic or hard stop? It seem the ready brake system only has one breaking level.

There are a few alternative more permanent mount solutions (some air, some electric):

RoadMaster BrakeMaster and Invisibrake
BrakeBuddy Stealth

as much as i wanted an AIR over Air braking system for our TOAD, most of them limit you to the vehicle that its (permanently) installed in & then it can only be towed by the coach.

With a more portable system (ala BrakeBuddy Vantage / Vantage Select or Blue OX Patriot you have the advantage of being able to use it in any TOAD or tow your TOAD with any other (non airbrake) vehicle that has a receiver hitch (ala my f350 etc).
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Old 02-10-2016, 11:57 AM   #10
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It the lever thru the cable pulls the brake pedal, so a slight push applies a light braking, so the harder the toad goes against hitch the harder it pulls brake.
The lever is not all on when pressure is applied.
Did that help?
Sam


QUOTE=bushpilot;45074]How does that ReadyBrake system work when you're coasting down a long grade...looks to me like the ReadyBrake will apply the brakes when the vehicle coasts forward against the hitch?
How does the ready brake apply the brakes proportionally (hard) in an panic or hard stop? It seem the ready brake system only has one breaking level.

There are a few alternative more permanent mount solutions (some air, some electric):

RoadMaster BrakeMaster and Invisibrake
BrakeBuddy Stealth

as much as i wanted an AIR over Air braking system for our TOAD, most of them limit you to the vehicle that its (permanently) installed in & then it can only be towed by the coach.

With a more portable system (ala BrakeBuddy Vantage / Vantage Select or Blue OX Patriot you have the advantage of being able to use it in any TOAD or tow your TOAD with any other (non airbrake) vehicle that has a receiver hitch (ala my f350 etc).[/QUOTE]
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