View Full Version : Auxiliary Toad Brakes

08-23-2009, 09:41 PM
Hi Folks:

In my quest to learn as much as possible before we purchase our Newell another question has popped up. I looked through the threads but didn't see it addressed so here goes.

Most of you seem to have some type of auxiliary brake system for your toad (towed). I brought this up when we were at the factory in Miami this spring and were told that it wasn't necessary. Now I'm sure the weight of the vehicle and the the age of the coach plays a role but I would like to have your thoughts.


08-23-2009, 10:10 PM
Hi Larry,

I pull a Honda Pilot behind my Newell, and I have never felt that I needed brakes on the toad. I have had to stop sometimes pretty quick (my wife can attest to that fact) and I never have any problems. I will say that the brakes on this Newell (my third one) work much better than on my '93 and '87. I think that the difference is the disk brakes on the front & tag axles. This baby stops! One time my step daughter was in the rear bathroom sitting in a chair putting on her make-up and I slammed on the brakes. She was thrown foward - out of the chair - onto the floor! She came to the front of the coach and was laughing her head off! When we talk about how well the coach stops, we always tell that story!

From a legal standpoint, I think all 50 states require auxillary brake systems on towed vehicles. You can check in the January issue of FMCA magazine. However, I have never heard of anyone getting a ticket for not having a brake system. But, if you are involved in an accident not having a brake system on your toad might become an issue.

It's up to you!

08-23-2009, 10:27 PM
I pull a Hummer H2 behind my coach and I can never feel it. However I did my a Roadmaster break system because when you stop, all the weight of your vehicle pushes up against your towbar. Ive had my towbar for 5 years, and due to that fact that I didn't use a brake system, it is now worn out. Another reason, on a trip home from Newell, one of my pins fell out. I was lucky no damage was done, and I didn't hurt anybody. For around $1000, I felt it was a good investment to satisfy the law, and for my own safety.

08-23-2009, 11:37 PM
I've heard it said that nobody except plaintiff's counsel will ever know if you used a supplemental braking system. In this lawsuit happy country, I will use a supplemental braking system at all times.

08-24-2009, 01:41 AM
i use the M&G system with mine. i have driven it without hooking it up and i am not sure i could tell any difference, but it is required in most states and it was comforting to know i had it coming down a 11000 foot pass at a zillion percent grade.

to each his own....

i do have to think larry has it right in that the weight of the car is on the tow bar pushing forward. however, i guess you could say it pulls on the tow bar perhaps as much as pushing....i dont know.

doesnt matter because i have it.

i picked one that was always there and just needs to be plugged in each time. no box sitting on the floor and nothing pushing on the brake pedal.



08-24-2009, 06:09 PM
My take from what I'm reading is that Newell coaches can handle a tow without aux. brakes very well but to err on the side of caution they are a good idea. Tuga's comments indicated that panic stops are certainly no problem without aux brakes.

08-24-2009, 06:16 PM
i dont know how the performance of the disc vs drum brakes is on our rigs. i would like to believe the disc's are better but have nothing to back that up. my rig only has drum brakes.....


08-24-2009, 06:29 PM
My camper only has drum brakes, too. They stop pretty good, though!!

08-24-2009, 08:58 PM
I pull a Hummer H2 behind my coach and I can never feel it. However I did my a Roadmaster break system because when you stop, all the weight of your vehicle pushes up against your towbar. Ive had my towbar for 5 years, and due to that fact that I didn't use a brake system, it is now worn out. Another reason, on a trip home from Newell, one of my pins fell out. I was lucky no damage was done, and I didn't hurt anybody. For around $1000, I felt it was a good investment to satisfy the law, and for my own safety.

Reading about a pin falling out reminds me of what happened to a buddy of mine.

A friend of mine stopped at a truck stop for lunch and when he walked back to his MH he jumped in and drove off. About a mile down the road he noticed the tow vehicle was weaving right and left and when he applied the brakes it slams into the rear of the coach. Someone at the truck stop had REMOVED HIS PINS! Just to be mean I guess! He had over $30,000 worth of damage to his Prevost! And 2 of his pins were gone!

It's always a good idea to do a walk around and visually inspect everything before you drive off: tires, tow bar & pins, awning latches, etc.

08-24-2009, 10:16 PM
I have replaced the pins on my RoadMaster with padlocks to avoid such 'incidents'. It take a few seconds longer to unhook but I avoid accidental or intentional pin loss.

Wally Arntzen
08-24-2009, 11:38 PM
I tow a jeep liberty behind my 88 coach and can really tell the difference when I do not have my brakes hooked up. I use the roadmaster with the hookup to the brake pedal and it works great. I would not feel safe driving in the mountains without it. I love driving in the mountains but I would not like all the weight of the jeep pushing on that hitch on the down side of a steep hill on a regular basis.
Even if the brakes are spectacular on the coach the more wheels braking the better.

08-27-2009, 04:14 PM
I agree with everthing that's been said. A Newell does not need aux brakes to stop. HOWEVER, it is required in Canada and they have been known to ticket rigs without them. Also, in the rare case where the toad breaks loose, you (and a lot of people around you) will be mighty happy if you have an aux system. I have the M&G system with the brake-away feature. Well worth the investment.

08-27-2009, 05:47 PM
I really like the M&G system. There are some cars that cannot be fitted with that system due to space limitations. Unfortunately, my PT Cruiser is one of them.

12-09-2009, 09:54 PM
;I have replaced everything on my RoadMaster tow bar. However I was recently talking to a friend who pulls a Hummer as well and the arm broke on his tow bar that is just like mine. The Hummer started swerving and caused some body damage to his Essex. After seeing his coach and the tow bar, yesterday I went and bought a RoadMaster BlackHawk 2 All Terrain. It is rated 10000 lbs so it should pull the Hummer no problem. Well now I feel better about my towbar, im just out $900 .... :rolleyes:

Wally Arntzen
12-10-2009, 05:05 AM
Congratulations on the new tow bar, but did you complete the deal and get the brake system with it. If not, I would not even think about towing a Hummer without its own brake system.
Good luck my friend, thats my two cents worth and I'm sticking with it.

12-10-2009, 08:11 PM
I have a RoadMaster 9700 portable brake system. Before, I thought a brake system was unnecessary, but now I believe that is why my old tow bar was warn out.

01-10-2010, 07:35 PM
I am thinking of the M&G Braking System. Since you are a do-it-yourselfer did you install the M&G System or have it done?
I am also curious if anything keeps air in the Coaches Air System?

01-10-2010, 07:42 PM
hi steve,

when i was just finishing the remodel on our coach and getting ready to head out on a 2 month trip we bought a new honda crv to tow. so i just didnt have the time to install it myself.

so, i really didnt pay much attention to how they installed it. i believe a quck call to m&g would answer all your questions though.

it is extremely easy to use.



01-10-2010, 09:04 PM
Per the M&G website:

What if the air line develops a leak?
Air will only be present or leak while the coach brake pedal is applied. The 1/4" OD air line will not loose enough air pressure to affect the brakes on coach. The compressor puts in much more air than what is lost.

01-10-2010, 09:54 PM
Is anybody using the Ready Brake? Seems like a neat idea. I'm thinking of getting one for the Liberty.

01-10-2010, 10:15 PM
Take a look at the M&G Air Brake. This System looks like it was made for our Coaches. The Ready Brake appears to be somewhat complicated to install and use properly because of the Cable Linkage.
I saw the M&G System while we were at a Resort in Parker, AZ. The System looked straight forward and easy to connect.

02-21-2010, 05:24 PM
I'm trying to talk a friend of mine into buying a Newell. He has a Renagade toterhome now to pull his 35 ft stacker. He said it weighs around 30000lbs. Would a Newell tow that or more specifically what engine wouls you need in a Newell?

02-21-2010, 06:55 PM
If he needs to pull a 30,000 lb 35' trailer, I am not sure that a Newell or any other motorcoach/bus chassis is the best solution. First, Newell has one of the highest towing capacity of any motorcoach/bus but it is 20,000 lbs rather than 30,000. Secondly, a 45' Newell with a 35' trailer (plus hitch length) is an illegal overall length in virtually all states.

A truck type toter-home may well be his only choice if he REALLY needs that much length and weight carrying capacity.

With a Newell, depending on the model year, he would also be 80-90,000 lb gross combined weight.

Barry Rooker
09-27-2011, 08:29 PM
After some 35,000 uneventful & brake-less miles over a six year period, I added the Air Force 1 brake system to our new toad. Several reasons: (1) This past winter on I-15 south of Las Vegas a friend's Lexus SUV snapped it's receiver pin and the car, tow-bar & all, passed their coach on the right, then crossed in front of them, then crossed the opposing two lanes before coming to rest in the desert. BTW: It snapped the 5,000# safety cables; (2) it's the law and none of us want's trouble with law enforcement on the road OR in court after a loose toad hits someone; (3) I've had to drive on ice & snow more than once & while told by several 18 wheel truckers that my toad would never jackknife, why wouldn't it? Yes, got a new Blue Ox 10,000# tow bar AND 10,000# safety cables too.