frequently asked questions
We have been making this system since May of 1997 and have sold thousands of them so you can trust us when we say the Ready Brake will work perfectly fine with the power brake booster not being powered up in your towed vehicle. The brake pedal is attached to the Ready Brake with an aircraft cable and since the weight and momentum of the towed vehicle is pulling the pedal down it doesn't matter if the brake booster is powered on or not. If you are still not convinced, we will gladly sell you our Vacuum Pump Kit but we insist that our tow brake does not need it.
No. We have engineered the Ready Brake not to activate until you step on the brake pedal of the motorhome. In our Ready Brake we have an oil filled shock absorber and a 250 lbs spring. The weight of the towed vehicle has to over come both of these before it will activate.
When traveling down a steep grade the motorhome and the towed vehicle are traveling at the same speed so the Ready Brake will not activate. If you use jake brakes on the motorhome they will not apply enough pressure on the Ready Brake to activate it.
Yes. We offer the Ready Brake with a 2 inch receiver connection and we offer the Ready Brake ball style which has a ball stinger in it that will fit any size ball. So it works with both ball style tow bars and 2 inch receiver style made by any brand. With Blue Ox tow bars you may need to use our Sling Adapter to keep the cable from snagging on Blue Ox's stow pin. With our Ready Brute Elite tow bar the Ready Brake is integrated into the tow bar so it's all one piece!
If your vehicle has a brake pedal then you can use a Ready Brake on it (except OLD Volkswagen Bugs that the brake pedal arm pushes into the floorboard). Jeep Wranglers and large trucks seem to be the easiest to install because there is plenty of room in the engine compartment to work around. Newer Honda CRV's and small compact cars are more difficult to install on because the engine compartment is so compact. The CRV is actually one of the most popular tow vehicles we do installs on. Some vehicles require routing the cable through the driver side wheel well or through the bottom of the floor board but so far NSA RV Products has not found a vehicle that we were unable to install a Ready Brake on ourselves. *Note: NSA RV Products has not installed a ReadyBrake on every single tow vehicle option available in the market.
When you apply brakes in your RV the towed vehicle surges forward actually pushing your RV. ReadyBrake uses this energy to move a lever forward. A cable is connected to this lever and the other end is clamped to your towed vehicle brake pedal. When the lever moves forward the brake pedal is pulled down and when you drive the RV forward again it allows the lever to move backward and the brake pedal goes back up releasing the towed vehicle brakes.
Proportional braking is achieved when your towed vehicle brakes approximately the same amount as your RV. When you brake lightly the lever on the ReadyBrake will move less than in a hard braking situation which makes it a proportional braking system.
At NSA RV Products we believe that electronics are not as reliable as mechanical systems for many applications. ReadyBrake is a mechanical system that does not drain your towed vehicle battery because it needs no power to work. To connect and disconnect ReadyBrake means to connect or disconnect a cable that drapes over the tow bar, while those electronic brakes have to be placed in front of your driver seat and then have to be adjusted each time and then you have to remove all of this when you are ready to drive. The biggest difference is the price. Considering ReadyBrake sells for less than half of what the electronic tow brakes do and it's more reliable, easier to use and has a lifetime warranty the difference in value is clear to see.
Our system does not require you to tap into your RV or towed vehicle electrical or hydraulic systems. No need to worry about warranty issues, battery life, electrical shorts or problems with air lines or hydraulic fittings. The cable connected to your brake pedal runs through metal and pvc conduit that is hidden inside your engine compartment and under the dash of your towed vehicle. The cable permanently remains in place unless you decide to remove it.
No. You only need to install the cable that connects to your new vehicle's brake pedal to use the ReadyBrake with it. The extra cable harness kit part #RB-011 is the same cable kit that comes with a new ReadyBrake and has all the hardware to install it on your new vehicle.
If you can change your own oil then you can install our tow brake system in about 2 hours. Every vehicle will have different install times depending on how much room you have to work with in the engine compartment area. The hardest part is finding a place to drill the small hole through your floorboard or firewall to run the cable through to the brake pedal. We have installed the Ready Brake cable on Jeep Wranglers in just over 30 minutes and on new Honda CR-Vs it takes almost 2 hours.
Tow bars need to be level to the ground when installed correctly. The National Standard for correct tow bar levelness is (+) or (-) 2" inches. This allows for a forward push by your towed vehicle. Having the tow bar too far from level puts a great deal of stress on your towing system and can also cause you to lose control of your RV in adverse conditions when heavy braking is applied. To measure levelness just subtract the difference in height of the center of your RV receiver from the ground with the height of the center of your baseplate tabs on the towed vehicle from the ground. Most baseplate brands list an approximate tab height for each vehicle on their websites if you do not have a baseplate installed to measure yet. If a drop or rise is needed we also manufacture hitches for this.
You may also have a problem we refer to as signal override when your towed vehicle only displays brake lights while your RV has turn signals and brake lights displayed. This is caused when you use a diode lighting kit on your towed vehicle and it has a single lamp that runs both turn signals and brake signals. The ReadyBrake system, or any brake system that pulls the brake pedal down on your towed vehicle, makes the brake light turn on which can override the turn signal being sent from the RV. We offer a Brake Circuit Disconnect that will resolve this issue by turning off the brake signal being sent from the brake pedal so your towed vehicle lights only get signals from the RV. If your towed vehicle has separate turn and brake lamps you will not experience this problem and no extra parts need to be installed. If your vehicle can use a bulb and socket style lighting kit you will also not have this problem since you will not be using your towed vehicle lights at all with this kit.
Yes. The ReadyBrake meets or exceeds towing laws in all 50 States, Canada and Australia. Supplemental brakes are required in many areas and you must follow the laws for the area you are towing through.
You need a baseplate on your towed vehicle to attach a tow bar to it, you need a tow bar and you need a lighting kit for the towed vehicle to display stop, turn and running lights. In most States and Provinces you will also need a supplemental brake system and a break-away system since they are required by law. Our Ready Brute Elite is a tow bar and brake system all in one.