Brake Buddy Classic 3 Portable Supplemental Braking System

Brake Buddy Classic 3 Portable Supplemental Braking System

Item # HM39494

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Tow Bar Braking Systems

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Brake Buddy Pre-Set System Tow Bar Braking Systems - HM39494
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In Use/Installed

  • Brake Systems
  • Brake Buddy
  • Pre-Set System
  • Portable System
  • Recurring Set-Up
Get reliable braking with this lightweight, portable system. Actuator unit applies towed car's brakes after receiving signal via internal inertia sensor. Braking power settings let you adjust brake intensity based on your towed car's weight. Lowest Prices for the best tow bar braking systems from Brake Buddy. Brake Buddy Classic 3 Portable Supplemental Braking System part number HM39494 can be ordered online at or call 800-298-8924 for expert service.

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  • Q & A (10)
  • Videos (1)
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  • Why etrailer?

Brake Buddy Tow Bar Braking Systems - HM39494

Get reliable braking with this lightweight, portable system. Actuator unit applies towed car's brakes after receiving signal via internal inertia sensor. Braking power settings let you adjust brake intensity based on your towed car's weight.


  • Supplemental braking system applies towed vehicle's brakes with preset intensity when it senses braking action of RV
    • Internal inertia sensor detects deceleration of towing rig and signals system to apply towed car's brakes
  • Braking power settings ensure that the system applies your car's brakes with the correct pressure
    • Eliminates over-braking and the damage it can cause
  • Advanced terrain-sensing ability prevents false braking
    • System won't activate when going over bumps
  • Wireless receiver plugs into 12V accessory outlet in cab of RV
    • Illuminates when system is activated
    • Flashes when car battery drops to below 10V
    • Gives off audible alert during breakaway
  • Lightweight, portable system is easy to position, adjust, and remove
    • TruFit risers allow unit to sit level for optimal performance
    • Quick-Lock clevis is simple to install on almost any car's brake pedal
  • Easy-Pull harness provides power and breakaway connection
  • 15-Amp charger charges your towed car's battery while you tow
  • 1-Touch Auto Start sequence prepares braking system with a push of a button
    • Removes excess vacuum pressure from your car's brakes
    • Checks braking system for errors
  • Compatible with hybrids and other cars with electric power-assist brakes


  • Dimensions: 19" long x 11-3/4" wide x 6-3/4" tall
  • Power draw at 12V: 15 amps
  • TruFit riser adjustment range: 1" - 4" tall
  • Easy-Pull harness length: 36"
  • Weight: 11 lbs
  • 5-Year limited warranty

Automatic Braking Action

The Brake Buddy Classic 3 has a built-in inertia sensor that detects when your rig slows down. Once the system recognizes that you're braking, it will engage the actuator arm to press your towed car's brake pedal with an intensity chosen by you.

The main unit of the Brake Buddy Classic 3 is designed to activate only when deceleration is actually taking place. It is built with advanced terrain-sensing technology that keeps the unit from activating when you go over bumps in the road. As a result, your towed car's brakes won't engage unless you intend for them to engage.

Braking Power Settings

Classic Control Panel

The braking power settings determine how intensely the Brake Buddy Classic 3 applies your towed car's brakes. When you're first setting up the Brake Buddy, choose the braking power setting that's recommended for your vehicle type, as seen on the chart below.

Vehicle TypeRecommended Setting
Cars and Compact SUVsLow
Mid-size Crossovers, Mid-size Pickups and Small SUVsMed
Full-size SUVs and PickupsHi

The setting should be enough to cause your towed car to give a slight tug at your RV during a braking event. Braking power doesn't normally need to be reset unless you're changing to a different towed car.

Note: For hybrids or other cars with power-assist brakes, switch the braking mode to Hybrid mode.

Wireless Alert System Monitors Braking Action

Classic Receiver

Included with the Brake Buddy Classic 3 is a wireless receiver that will alert you of braking activity from the Brake Buddy actuator unit. This receiver inserts into the 12-volt outlet in your RV's cab.

Classic Transmitter

A separate transmitter plugs into the actuator box to send signals to the receiver.

When the Brake Buddy unit activates the towed car's brakes, the receiver will illuminate. If the towed car breaks away from your RV, the receiver will produce an audible signal.

Powering the Brake Buddy

Instead of connecting to a 12V accessory outlet, the Brake Buddy Classic 3 draws power directly from your towed car's battery. To do this, the included wiring harness connects to your car's battery. Install the harness by routing the wire end through your car's firewall and into your engine compartment. Connect the harness to your battery with the included battery wire and ring terminal.

Mount the connector that's on the opposite end of the harness in a convenient, out-of-the-way location beneath your car's dash.

Easy-Pull Harness

To connect the actuator unit to this connector, use the included Easy-Pull harness. This harness plugs into the connector below your dash, then into the braking system. When connected, the harness carries both power and breakaway functions in a single cord. And the large grip ring and wide handle make it easy to hold while connecting and disconnecting the actuator, all without ripping connectors or pulling on wires.

If you're concerned about your car's battery going dead as you tow, don't worry. The Brake Buddy Classic 3 includes a 15-amp charger that pulls power from your RV to keep your car's battery charged while the Brake Buddy is connected.

Fast Setup and Universal Design

Not every car is built the same. Some have brake pedals with unusual shapes. Some have uneven floorboards or mats. These differences can make it difficult to set up a portable braking system in your towed car. But the Brake Buddy Classic 3 is able to fit in almost any car on the market.

Quick-Lock Clevis

The Brake Buddy's actuator arm comes with an adjustable Quick-Lock clevis, which securely wraps around your towed car's brake pedal, regardless of the pedal's size or shape.

The clevis also comes with a quick-locking lever. Once you adjust the jaws of the clevis to fit your brake pedal, turn the lever to tighten the clevis in place. And when you're done towing, disconnecting the clevis is a snap. Just turn the lever to release the clevis jaws, and remove the clevis from your brake pedal. It's that simple.

Risers Off Kilter

Uneven floorboards can cause a portable braking system to sit at an angle in your towed car. This affects the leverage of the actuating arm, which can result in ineffective braking. Each of the TruFit risers on the Brake Buddy Classic 3 actuator unit can be individually adjusted, raising or lowering each corner of the actuator unit, so that the system sits level in your car. As a result, the actuator arm is able to press straight against the brake pedal to ensure that your brakes are properly depressed every time.

TruFit Risers with Wrench

To adjust the height of the risers, twist them counterclockwise, either by hand or with the included riser wrench. Pull each riser out to match the height you need, then twist the riser clockwise to secure it at that height.

One-Touch Auto Start

Classic AutoStart

The Brake Buddy Classic 3 will automatically check your brakes every time you start it up to confirm that your vehicle is ready to tow. After setting up the unit in your towed car, press the Auto Start button on the unit's control panel. The arm of the unit will push and release the brake pedal several times, removing vacuum pressure from the brakes to prevent overbraking. The unit will also check for any connection errors.

39499 Break Buddy Digital Classic Three Portable Towed Vehicle Braking System by Hopkins

This Product Fits The Following Vehicles

2010 - 2019 Ram 1500

2011 - 2011 Mazda 2

2012 - 2014 Chrysler 200

1995 - 1997 Nissan 200SX

1989 - 1989 Nissan 240SX

2010 - 2012 Ram 2500

1980 - 1983 Datsun 280ZX

2004 - 2013 Mazda 3

1993 - 2003 BMW 3 Series

1991 - 1996 Mitsubishi 3000GT

2007 - 2007 Chrysler 300C

1999 - 2004 Chrysler 300M

1984 - 1984 Datsun 300ZX

1990 - 1994 Mazda 323

2010 - 2012 Ram 3500

2013 - 2018 Nissan 370z

1984 - 2019 Toyota 4Runner

2006 - 2012 Mazda 5

2012 - 2019 Fiat 500

2014 - 2016 Fiat 500L

2006 - 2008 Mazda 6

1983 - 1989 Dodge 600

1986 - 1997 Mazda 626

1993 - 1994 Oldsmobile 88

2007 - 2019 GMC Acadia

2017 - 2017 GMC Acadia Limited

1995 - 2019 Hyundai Accent

1990 - 1995 Plymouth Acclaim

1981 - 2019 Honda Accord

1992 - 1998 Oldsmobile Achieva

See All Vehicle Fits

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Video of Brake Buddy Classic 3 Portable Supplemental Braking System

Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer installation instructions and specs for complete information.

Video Transcript for Review of Brake Buddy Tow Bar Braking Systems - Brake Systems - HM39494

Today we're going to take a look at the Brake Buddy Classic 3 portable supplemental braking system.You ask why portable Brake Buddy braking system Well a few reasons is it non-evasive to the tow vehicle and there's no risk of voiding your vehicle's factory warranty. It is self contained, requires no connection to the RV and it's easily transferred between two vehicles and RVs. Now it does include all these parts I laid out here on the table. It includes the Brake Buddy Classic 3 unit, the quick lock clevis that attaches to your brake pedal. This one offers the wireless alert system which is a receiver and a transmitter, a breakaway kit, 15 amp charger, a dash mount connector right here and this easy pull power cord that'll connect your unit to your towed vehicle. And it even gives you this nice little riser wrench and what that's for is these legs right here can be adjusted in or out and sometimes it's hard to by hand, lock or unlock them so they give you this wrench that you can use to lock or unlock them and set them to the position you need.Now this is a supplemental braking system that applies towed vehicle's brakes with a preset intensity when it senses braking action of the RV.

Has an internal inertia sensor which will detect deceleration of your towing RV and it signals the system to apply tow car's brakes.Now the braking power setting ensure that the system applies your car's brakes with the correct pressure. They offer a low, medium and high setting, depending on your vehicle type and it eliminates over braking and the damage that it can cause. It is a nice lightweight portable system. If you pull up on this handle, it'll allow you to raise the handle. It's very lightweight, it's only about 11 pounds.

It's very easy to position, adjust and remove.On the very bottom I had mentioned earlier these risers. There's four of them and you can twist them to unlock them and it sets in whatever position you need so if you have a floorboard that's sort of uneven, these risers can be opened and set at each one at whatever height you need it to be and then locked into place at whatever height you need. And again, they give you that wrench if you can't do it by hand, you might want to use the wrench. But it gives your riser adjustment of anywheres, each one from one to four inches.And then attached to this end right here you can see it offers this quick lock clevis which is very simple to install in almost any car's brake pedal. Now when you do first set this up, or attach it to your brake pedal, you want to remove it, pull the pin and clip and remove it from the Brake Buddy and then attach this to your brake pedal and make your adjustments.

You can spin this to adjust it high or low and then once you get it for your correct brake pedal, this handle you can just push it and that'll lock it to the pedal when you go to install it.After you get your adjustment all set then you can go ahead and attach it to your Brake Buddy. Put your pin through, put your clip on there to hold it into place and then you're all ready to go. And then to remove it, you could just throw your handle, remove it off the brake pedal and then to lock it on the handle if you have it adjusted correctly you just do that and it'll lock it to the brake pedal.Now this does offer a one touch auto start sequence which prepares your braking system with a push of button. There's a button right here that says auto start. What you'll want to do is with your vehicle's engine off, you push that auto start button and it'll remove excess vacuum pressure from your car's brakes by extending the arm here about five times.

It'll go in and out and that's removing the vacuum pressure. It'll also go through a braking system check for any errors. It does also offer an advanced terrain sensing ability which prevents any false braking so the system won't activate when going over bumps.Now this one offers an alert system. It is a wireless receiver right there that'll plug into the 12 volt accessory outlet in the cab of your RV and it includes this transmitter that you'll plug into the top of the Brake Buddy. You want this antenna, when you install this, there's two holes there, you want this antenna to point to the front of the vehicle when you install it. Basically with that transmitter plugged in and then this in your cab of your RV, the receiver will illuminate when the system's activated. It'll flash when the car battery drops below 10 volts and it'll even give off an audible alert during breakaway.The dash mount connector which is this cord right over here, this will install in your towed vehicle and it wires into your breakaway kit and your 15 amp charger. The 15 amp charger will charge your towed car's battery while you tow as long as the 12 volt connection is made between your RV and the towed vehicle.The easy pull harness here, this is what'll provide the power and breakaway connection. This will plug into this dash mount connector and it says dash on this plug in right here so you just push this into the dash and then when you put your unit in there, you'll take this other end and this'll plug right into the front of the unit. There we go. Just like that and that'll supply the power and the breakaway connection. Now this, it's a nice easy pull harness here and you can see the length on this harness is about 36 inches long.Now this unit is compatible with hybrids and other cars who have electric power assist brakes. Power draw on this is about at 12 volts is about 15 amps. We had mentioned the weight on this is about 11 pounds and the dimension on this, let me put the handle down, I'm going to take our transmitter off. But basically the length of this is going to be about 19 inches long. The width's going to about 11-3/4 inches wide and the total height of it is about 6-3/4 inches tall.Now it does come with a nice instruction manual that'll describe all these pieces and how they connect and it even gives you pictures which will help out your connections and how it all operates.But that should do it for the review on the Brake Buddy Classic 3 portable supplemental braking system.


Ask the Experts about this Brake Buddy Tow Bar Braking Systems

Do you have a question about this Tow Bar Braking System?

  • Comparing the Brake Buddy Classic 3 and Brake Buddy Select 3 Supplemental Brake Systems
  • Great question! The Brake Buddy Classic 3 # HM39494 is a more basic system than the Brake Buddy Select 3 # HM39524 as the Classic just uses preset braking (which applies the brakes at a preset intensity when the inertia sensor detects deceleration) while Select lets you choose between proportional and full-braking action (activates towed vehicle brakes at max power regardless of RV brake pedal intensity) when you’re towing a vehicle. The Select also comes with a remote control so you...
    view full answer...

  • Will Brake Buddy Select Braking System Fit 2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
  • There's no reason the Brake Buddy Select part # HM39524 wouldn't work in your 2006 Jeep Wrangler. It just hasn't been added to our fitguide at this time. This is a proportional braking system that senses how hard you apply the vehicle brakes and applies them in a proportional amount on the tow vehicle. The advantage the Select model has over the Classic is that it can also give you a "full brake" setup which applies full braking power all the time when brakes are applied. This is particularly...
    view full answer...

  • Dimensions Between Removable Tabs for Blue Ox Base Plate Kit for 2008 Ford Focus
  • The distance between the tabs that the tow bar connects to for the Blue Ox Base Plate Kit# BX2199 is 20". This is a custom fit base plate kit for a 2008 - 2011 Ford Focus so it will fit on the outside of your frame on either side as you can see from the linked instructions and sample installation video. If you measure outside frame to outside frame in the locations that this kit installs you will get the measurements you are looking for. For a complete flat towing setup you will need...
    view full answer...

  • Can 2014 Honda CR-V 2WD be Flat Towed
  • I checked the online version of the owner's manual for a 2014 Honda CR-V and the only limitations that it specifies for flat towing is that an AWD version cannot be towed using a tow dolly. This means that you can definitely flat tow a 2WD version. For flat towing equipment I recommend the following: Demco Tabless Base Plate Kit # DM9519328 Demco Commander II Tow Bar # DM9511012 Demco Tow Bar Combo Kit with Diode System # DM9523057 and Charge Line Kit # RM-156-25 Brake Buddy Classic...
    view full answer...

  • Does The Brake Buddy Classic 3 Require Splicing Into Towed Vehicle's Brake Light Wiring
  • I am happy to answer all of your questions about the Brake Buddy Classic 3 Supplemental Braking System part # HM39494. The Brake Buddy Classic 3 uses a built-in inertia sensor to detect when the motor home is braking then the the actuator arm will depress the towed vehicle's brake pedal. The only wiring you have to do with the Brake Buddy Classic 3 is to wire to the towed vehicle's battery for power. One end of the included harness connects to the vehicle's battery and the other end...
    view full answer...

  • How is Breakaway Switch Activated for Flat Towing a 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
  • The Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit w/ Built-In Charger # 20099 that you referenced is actually designed to activate electric trailer brakes and is typically installed on the trailer tongue. Since it sounds like you are getting your 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited ready to flat tow you won't be needing this to activate your trailer brakes as a supplemental braking system will connect directly to the battery on your Jeep for power in an emergency situation. For example,...
    view full answer...

  • Is Roadmaster Falcon All-Terrain Tow Bar a Good Option for a 2007 Mini Cooper Convertible
  • The Roadmaster Falcon All Terrain, Non-Binding Tow Bar # RM-522 is a fanstastic option to use for flat towing your 2007 Mini Cooper Convertible. You just need the EZ Base Plate Kit # 521876-1 (which fits the Sport suspension but not the Aerodynamic Package) to connect to the tow bar. To finish out your towing setup I recommend the Combo Towing Kit # RM-9243-1 which gives you wiring, safety cables, and some locks and covers to preserve the life of your towing equipment, as well as the...
    view full answer...

  • Can a 2015 Kia Soul be Flat Towed
  • According to my research a 2015 Kia Soul with a manual transmission can be flat towed but if you have an automatic you will need to tow it using a tow dolly. You need to confirm all of this in your copy of the owner's manual and/or with your local Kia dealer. If you have a manual transmission I recommend the following equipment: Demco Classic Base Plate Kit - # DM9518312 Demco Commander II Series Tow Bar - # DM9511012 Demco Tow Bar Combo Kit with Diode System - # DM9523057 Brake...
    view full answer...

  • Parts Needed to Flat Tow a 2007 Ford Mustang with Automatic Transmission
  • If your 2007 Ford Mustang is an automatic then you would need to use a drive shaft coupling (disconnect) to flat tow it. Typically vehicle manufacturers don't recommend doing this so while I can't say that it is "safe" for your vehicle and recommend that you install one, I can give you a list of parts to use IF you were to install a disconnect. The tow bar I recommend using with the Blue Ox Base Plate Kit # BX2186 (which fits all models but the Shelby GT) is the Demco Dominator Non-Binding...
    view full answer...

  • Can Brake Buddy Classic work w Tow Vehicle w Air Brakes and Towed Vehicle with Battery Disconnected
  • The Brake Buddy Classic 3 Portable Supplemental Braking System # HM39494 that you referenced will work perfectly fine with your setup. Your tow vehicle having air brakes won't be an issue as this does not have to interface with that system at all, and then to power the unit in your 2019 Chevy Colorado that has to have the battery disconnected all you need is a power outlet kit part # RM-9332 which wires directly to the battery. So your vehicle being disconnected from the battery wouldn't...
    view full answer...

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Info for this part was:

Edited by:
Lindsey S
Video Edited:
Jeff D
Expert Research:
Jameson C
Updated by:
Leah S
Written by:
Alexander C
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Installed by:
Robert C

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