How Anti-Lock Brakes Work

Trailer Surge Brakes - how to (not) destroy them in single descent.

  • If the hill is steep enough to need a brake check area, it is important to stop. Particularly if it's been a long climb up the hill, you need to stop and let your transmission cool. It's just had a workout getting up the hill, and it's going to get another going down. Give it 10 minutes or so (with the engine idling) to cool off.
  • Don't ride the brakes. Allow the vehicle to coast for short periods to gain 5-10 MPH, then brake firmly to slow by 5-10 MPH. By braking firmly, you shift some of the heat off the front brakes onto the rear brakes and trailer brakes. And you will be more aware of when the brakes start to fade

Toad Brakes

  • Hydrolic — requires tapping into brake lines. Hydrolic lines always have a potential for leaking, which of course can cause brake failure. Liability risk.
  • Mechanical surge system (AutoStop by Blue Ox). Cost $450 for small box. Advantages: instantaneous, and proportional. Once adjusted to the toad, it requires no further readjustment. Disadvanage is will break cable if you try to back up.
  • Power assist brakes..not a problem as cable pull is strong enough. Disadvantage — in a few cases brake return spring is inadequate to get toad's brake fully back up. Solution has been a bungy cord to ensure brake pedal fully extends again after braking.
  • Automatic Equipment Mfg, not in Camping World.
  • Tow bars Blue Ox uses under bumper mounting bracket.
  • Mechanical surge break in Autostop (Blue Ox). When MH brakes applied, toad pushes against receiver. That is translated into mechanical application of toad brakes. Anytime the toad's brakes are working, a light on the dash confirms they're working. Drawbacks: Needs to be level; and can't back up. To do so would be to apply the brakes on the toad. Two hour installation. It's adjustable so that easily changed to ease off on braking when e.g. downhill using an exhaust brake you don't wear out toad brakes.
  • Air systems. Generally use air system to push the brake down.
  • Tow bar needs be level - no more than 4" height difference. In panic stop, MH front goes down and back goes up, if big difference toad can go under MH (it happened).
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