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 > Supplemental brake locked up - at the wrong time.

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way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 04/19/21 06:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our CRV has been set up to tow since 2013. I installed a cable actuated supplemental brake system with breakaway. I went with this system because we have the ready brute elite tow bars with integrated mechanical brake. Initially we had a MH and towed it pretty much wherever we went. We recently bought a truck and FW but I never removed the base plates, wiring or supplemental brake with breakaway. I figured I might tow it again one day if we ever go back to MH or it's convenient that if it ever breaks down I can tow the car myself with my truck.

Anyway, over the weekend we are driving to go out to dinner and the car started slowing abruptly. We were able to pull into a parking lot and into a spot just about the time that car was unable to move. Upon inspection the emergency breakaway just decided to completely seize up. The release button did nothing and I had to disassemble the thing to get the car to move. I have since removed it completely.

No idea why it decided to fail. Could have been catastrophic if we were on the interstate. Could have been lack of use - we haven't towed in about 2 years, but it seems like a pretty critical failure that shouldn't just happen despite lack of use. The way it's engineered is that it has to be pulled to activate. That didn't happen.

Anyone ever have this happen?

If I glean anything from this is that periodic maintenance and checks are critical, but I never thought it would fail on it's own being dormant.


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2020 FR Cedar Creek Silverback 29rw

Pangaea Ron

Anacortes, WA, USA

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Posted: 04/19/21 09:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My RoadMaster Braking System locked up while towing my CR-V on the Interstate. We were traveling at 55mph when I felt a tug and saw smoke coming from the tires of the CR-V. Everything stopped in a straight line in about 250 feet, and cars were able to swerve around us. Fortunately we were just at an exit with lots of room and I was able to stop there. I disconnected the system, inspected things, and continued driving to St George, Utah, when I finally disconnected the CR-V, felt the squared off tires, drove to a tire shop and replaced all 4 tires.

After phone calls to RoadMaster, the installer, and tire shops, it appears that the rubber floor mat needed to be removed before hooking up the system. Apparently the braking system can shift its location when on a slippery system, and lock the brakes. I was never told this before, and the installer had left the mat in place when I towed the CR-V away. That was expensive!


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Dutch_12078

Winters south, summers north

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Posted: 04/19/21 11:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If this is the ReadyStop system from NSA, the only way I can see it locking up the brakes without being pulled on from the front breakaway loop would be if the ReadyBrute/ReadyBrake applied the brakes and somehow the ReadyStop cable became jammed where it passes through the firewall. The ReadyStop cable is not in a casing like the ReadyBrake cable and there should be at least 3"-4" of slack in it between the brake peddle and the locking device. The slack should be wire tied where it can't be snagged by any moving parts of the vehicle.


Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
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2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox baseplate


way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 04/19/21 11:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dutch_12078 wrote:

If this is the ReadyStop system from NSA, the only way I can see it locking up the brakes without being pulled on from the front breakaway loop would be if the ReadyBrute/ReadyBrake applied the brakes and somehow the ReadyStop cable became jammed where it passes through the firewall. The ReadyStop cable is not in a casing like the ReadyBrake cable and there should be at least 3"-4" of slack in it between the brake peddle and the locking device. The slack should be wire tied where it can't be snagged by any moving parts of the vehicle.


It is the ready brake system. That's what's weird, when I disconnected and pulled the cable through the firewall there was no resistance. I didn't try both ways though. But like I said, the red unit, was totally frozen. The release button wouldn't work. I do recall it getting worse as I applied the brakes, so I guess it's totally possible that applying the brakes pushed the cable through the unit and it wouldn't come back. But there is no conduit the cable slides in to enable this to happen easily - pushing a chain up a hill comes to mind. The main cable has such a sleeve. I would still consider that a failure on the part. I see the new ones have a grease zerk, mine does not. Very possible it simply rusted and froze up after these years and we live near the shore where salt air accelerates corrosion.

No one was hurt, thank goodness and a few minute fix. If I ever tow it again I'll just have to reinstall a new one.

Just very weird it happened out of the blue and behaved like a breakaway.

Is it possible someone pulled the cable - like a kid or something while we were parked somewhere? Doesn't explain why the release wouldn't work though. And doesn't explain why it didn't do it while leaving our neighborhood until we got out on the main road. I will probably never know the root cause. Thank goodness I figured out what happened. Initially I thought it was a seized caliper and was ready to call a tow truck.

On edit: Something else that was odd, the main supplemental brake cable was apparently pulled also, so hard in fact that it snapped the cable at the brake pedal. Must have taken some serious force to do that.

DW tells me sort of casually that parking the other day she scraped the bottom of the front spoiler on a curb. Lightbulb! I guess it's possible this caught both cables and pulled them taught. Still doesn't explain why the breakaway decided to wait to some random time a day later to engage and not let go, but it does add a piece to the puzzle and probably explains the snapped primary cable.

* This post was edited 04/19/21 12:25pm by way2roll *

zigzagrv

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Posted: 04/19/21 02:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just finished installing the Readybrake cable and breakaway cable on my Ford Edge, and can't see any way for that to happen except for someone/thing pulling on the breakaway cable. My cables come out well above the front airdam. If yours are down that low sounds like improper installation.


Ron

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way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 04/19/21 03:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

zigzagrv wrote:

I just finished installing the Readybrake cable and breakaway cable on my Ford Edge, and can't see any way for that to happen except for someone/thing pulling on the breakaway cable. My cables come out well above the front airdam. If yours are down that low sounds like improper installation.


Agreed. I did the installation on the base plates myself but when the cables came the car was in the shop anyway so I asked them to do it. Wasn't happy at all with how they did it. The emergency breakaway was completely exposed under the car. A myriad of things could hit it - like the curb in my DW's example. Still scratching my head as to how it could lock up a day later - after driving for a few miles but I am guessing that had something to do with it.

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