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Old 03-28-2018, 02:14 PM   #21
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The price of the braking system is a little tough to swallow. The list below shows the items I got to prep my CR-V for towing. As you can see, the braking system was half of the cost. (I installed everything myself.)

I decided to get the braking system because I wanted to be legal and as safe as possible. It may also help reduce wear on the RV brakes. I think we have all had situations where cars move in front of you and then they hit the brakes, so you have to brake hard to avoid hitting them, so any extra brake capacity is welcome.

Blue Ox BX2258 baseplate $360
Blue Ox BX7365 Alpha Tow Bar $543
Blue Ox BX8875 Tow Bar Cover $37
Blue Ox BX88206 7 to 6 pin cable $77
Blue Ox BRK2016 Patriot II Brake System $1091
Blue Ox BX8869 Bulb and Socket Tail Light Kit $53
Red Loctite $8
Trim clip tool $5
Hopkins 39332 Towed Vehicle Battery Maintainer $24

TOTAL $2198
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Old 03-28-2018, 03:26 PM   #22
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I agree: that might seem like a lot of money...

But what can an accident cost you?
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:37 PM   #23
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Many of not most States require braking systems on toads, and those that do not, IMO should. Its all a matter of safety, so you get to decide, what's your priority, being as safe as possible or something else. I used to tow using a 41 foot DP, very heavy, and lots of power. The coach was perfectly capable of stopping both the coach and the 3,000 pound toad, but if I ever had to absolutely slam the coach brakes on, the braking on the toad kept it lined up behind the DP, instead of allowing it to whiplash to the side. Like I said your call for you, but I would never tow without a toad braking system.
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:44 PM   #24
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Many if not most States require braking systems on toads, and those that do not, IMO should. Its all a matter of safety, so you get to decide, what's your priority, being as safe as possible or something else. I used to tow using a 41 foot DP, very heavy, and lots of power. The coach was perfectly capable of stopping both the coach and the 3,000 pound toad, but if I ever had to absolutely slam the coach brakes on, the braking on the toad kept it lined up behind the DP, instead of allowing it to whiplash to the side. Like I said your call for you, but I would never tow without a toad braking system.
Depends on the weight of the toad:
Under 3000 Lbs "many" and "most" are inaccurate descriptors.

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Old 03-28-2018, 05:58 PM   #25
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Thanks for posting this!
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:09 PM   #26
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100,000+ miles around the country, Canada, even Alaska with our Fiesta and Focus - never had one, don't know the vehilces even there, never had any issues, even when pulling one behind the many new coaches I've delivered from the factories to dealers.
Best you stay out of California, then, if you're not going to tow legally. Anything weighing more than 1500# MUST have auxiliary brakes installed. We tow a Fiat 500c, and while we don't know it's behind us, if ever we were in an accident -- even if we weren't at fault, we could be liable and lose everything (it's California, remember?) if we weren't towing with the legal setup.

Sometimes people also need to remember that it's not about themselves, it's about others and the implications their actions cause.

On Edit: I didn't read through the entire thread before posting. I appreciate the map that shows the requirements by state, especially since it confirms my statement above.
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:21 PM   #27
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Best you stay out of California, then, if you're not going to tow legally. Anything weighing more than 1500# MUST have auxiliary brakes installed. We tow a Fiat 500c, and while we don't know it's behind us, if ever we were in an accident -- even if we weren't at fault, we could be liable and lose everything (it's California, remember?) if we weren't towing with the legal setup.

Sometimes people also need to remember that it's not about themselves, it's about others and the implications their actions cause.

On Edit: I didn't read through the entire thread before posting. I appreciate the map that shows the requirements by state, especially since it confirms my statement above.
So let me get this straight:

You're cruising through Kalifornia with your 40' DP towing a 2000# Spark with no auxiliary brakes. You proceed through an intersection on a green light and some recreational MJ user blows through the red light at the same intersection at 50 mph and T-bones you, at the read axle, causing the violator to meet his maker. You think the MH driver would be "liable" for the death of the red light runner? You can't be liable if you aren't at fault; even in Kalifornia, the State where OJ walked..........

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Old 03-28-2018, 06:24 PM   #28
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So let me get this straight:

You're cruising through Kalifornia with your 40' DP towing a 2000# Spark with no auxiliary brakes. You proceed through an intersection on a green light and some recreational MJ user blows through the red light at the same intersection at 50 mph and T-bones you, at the read axle, causing the violator to meet his maker. You think the MH driver would be "liable" for the death of the red light runner? You can't be liable if you aren't at fault; even in Kalifornia, the State where OJ walked..........

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You care to chance it? My information came from an attorney who worked for a large auto insurance company. Anything's possible here.
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:40 PM   #29
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.....cut...... Its all a matter of safety, so you get to decide, what's your priority, being as safe as possible or something else. ....cut.....

Please define what is “being as safe as possible”.

It seems to me that no matter what you come up with, at any cost, I can add more to improve safety beyond that.


Whether it’s in aviation, or designing nuclear power plants, more safety can always be added, but we as a society place reasonable limits for obvious reasons.

Like I stated before, if we want to optimize safety for others, parking the motorhome and staying home is the ultimate sacrifice.


If we want to save other people’s lives, I seriously doubt that spending money on toad brakes is the best investment. Those funds could save many more lives in other areas.
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:17 PM   #30
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You care to chance it? My information came from an attorney who worked for a large auto insurance company. Anything's possible here.
You can pretty much be sued by anybody; for anything that you do...

But the question is: Can they collect anything?

But you WILL find yourself having to hire a lawyer for your defense anyway!
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:58 PM   #31
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I guess I have a problem with defending NOT following the requirement, in most states, regarding safely towing a vehicle.

Why would you spend 10's of thousands of dollars for a motorhome and then decide to not follow the law just because of the additional cost. It just doesn't make sense to me.

I have $120,000 in my Miramar. The ONLY additional cost for my brake system was around $1,000 for my Brake Buddy. I can easily sell it when I am done or move it to another vehicle if needed.

So what GOOD reason can one use to justify not adding a Brake Buddy? I just don't get it.
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:12 PM   #32
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Could it be that folks spent every nickel already, and are just flat tapped-out?
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:56 PM   #33
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Other than cost, I suppose a “reason” for preferring not to use a brake system is convenience. I expect some RVers may not want to spend the added time required to install and uninstall each time they drive the toad. They may also prefer not to modify the toad as much if not required.

And even though it may be rare, there is an added risk the brake system can malfunction, thereby causing more problems than it solved.


I’ve towed a couple of vehicles without brakes, but each time it was completely legal. I would not tow unless it was. And that’s hard because sometimes laws don’t make technical sense.
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:59 PM   #34
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I agree with the shock part. I couldn't believe how much it costs for all the towing gear. It's roughly about the same hit with a dolly or four down equipment.

One concern that someone pointed out to me with the Readybrake: If you are facing down hill, will the weight of your car apply the brakes? If you are going down hill, will the car begin to put a drag on your momentum?


I have used a ReadyBrake system for 10 years(40000 miles)with a toad brake activation light on my RV dash. When the slack is properly set it will only activate on normal to hard braking. Never went off downhill without applying the brakes.
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:44 PM   #35
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I look at it somewhat different. I figure the stock brakes on my E350 chassis are about maxed out handling a 26ft coach. Add a 4000 lb Liberty and the brakes are going to wear out a bunch faster. I'll spend the $3600 to set it up with a tow bar plus brake system just because I don't like pushing the envelope on my chassis. A safety margin is a good thing in these sue happy days in my book. Also, I know I'm legal in any state.
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:05 PM   #36
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Other than cost, I suppose a “reason” for preferring not to use a brake system is convenience. I expect some RVers may not want to spend the added time required to install and uninstall each time they drive the toad. They may also prefer not to modify the toad as much if not required.
The system I have in my Fiat is literally plug-and-play. I hook up the tow bars, the 7-pin electrical, break-away cable, and safety cables and I'm done. Takes me about 15 minutes to get it all set up. And inside the Fiat I see absolutely nothing -- it's all under the driver's seat. I don't know what, if anything, was modified to get the system to work.

And a comment about cost. Nobody told me that RVing was going to be an inexpensive pastime. Heck, I've been squirreling away money for the time we have to replace our tires -- probably an outlay of about $2000. And we waited for 2 years before deciding to tow a car due to finances.

I'm grateful for the ability we have right now to afford this luxurious lifestyle. I hope we will be able to enjoy it for many more years to come.
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:04 PM   #37
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As to the question, what is as safe as possible? Since this thread is dealing with toad brakes, safe as possible means, you are safer with a braking system on your toad, then you would be without!!!!!!!!!!! Pretty elementary..... There is also the legal element, but IMO, being legal is only an added benefit to what IMO is towing safer.
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:08 PM   #38
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...And a comment about cost. Nobody told me that RVing was going to be an inexpensive pastime. ... And we waited for 2 years before deciding to tow a car due to finances.

I'm grateful for the ability we have right now to afford this luxurious lifestyle. I hope we will be able to enjoy it for many more years to come.
Amen...
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Old 04-10-2018, 02:30 PM   #39
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I'll give you an easy way to answer the question - ask your insurance person!
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Old 04-10-2018, 03:16 PM   #40
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I have always towed a car. There have been times that I have been glad that I had a good braking system for the toad. When the guy in front of you stops unexpectedly for example.

Yes it is expensive but we have used the same toad and braking system for many years, have traveled many miles, including cross country and would never think of not having a braking system for the toad.

Probably the police will never stop you to check if you have a braking system, but if you get in an accident you can be sure that is one of the first things they will want to know.
I have decided NOT to toad because I do not want to deal with the restrictions. I just wonder how many toads are being tower WITHOUT an auxiliary braking system. When I was young (around 20), I towed several vehicles with another vehicle and boy was it unsafe. With a proper tow hitch on the freeway above 55 mph it was very unstable. The braking systems are the ONLY way to travel, for you and your surrounding drivers.
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