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Brake Buddy Select 3 Portable Supplemental Braking System - Proportional

Brake Buddy Select 3 Portable Supplemental Braking System - Proportional

Item # HM39524
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Our Price: $1,276.57
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Tow Bar Braking Systems

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Product Expert Mike S

Is this right for you? Product Expert Mike S says:

Yes, if you:

  • Need to be able to switch between towed vehicles
  • Have to use a portable system, but don’t have time to waste on complicated setup
  • Like the control and convenience of being able to adjust the brake pressure from inside your RV

No, if you:

  • Want a system that doesn’t require any setup at all
  • Have limited room in your RV or car to stow the system when it's not in use
Get intense, emergency braking or steady, smooth braking in a single portable system. Easily switch between proportional or full braking. One-touch Auto Start makes setup fast and easy. Remote lets you change settings from your RV. Lowest Prices for the best tow bar braking systems from Brake Buddy. Brake Buddy Select 3 Portable Supplemental Braking System - Proportional part number HM39524 can be ordered online at or call 800-298-1624 for expert service.
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  • Reviews (102)
  • Q & A (0)
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Brake Buddy Tow Bar Braking Systems - HM39524

  • Brake Systems
  • Proportional System
  • Portable System
  • Brake Buddy
  • Recurring Set-Up

Get intense, emergency braking or steady, smooth braking in a single portable system. Easily switch between proportional or full braking. One-touch Auto Start makes setup fast and easy. Remote lets you change settings from your RV.


  • Supplemental braking system applies towed vehicle's brakes in proportion to braking action of RV
    • Responds to deceleration of RV to activate towed car's brake pedal with matching intensity
  • Full-braking setting activates brakes in towed car with maximum power no matter how you apply the brakes in the RV
  • 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
  • Sensitivity control lets you adjust rate of responsiveness of internal sensor
    • Low sensitivity requires intense stopping action from RV to activate brakes in towed car
    • High sensitivity allows Brake Buddy to respond to even minimal slowing of RV
  • Advanced terrain-sensing ability prevents false braking
    • System won't activate when going over bumps
  • Wireless remote control mounts in cab of RV
    • Plug into 12V accessory outlet or use with AA batteries
    • Easily check readouts for potential problems
    • Change braking modes and settings while on the go
  • 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: 12 lbs
  • 5-Year limited warranty

Note: Removing your vehicle's floor mat before installation is recommended.

Proportional Braking

The Brake Buddy Select 3 is a proportional braking system that applies your towed car's brakes with an intensity that matches your RV's braking action. The built-in inertia sensor detects when and how your rig slows down, and it then engages the actuator arm to press your car's brake pedal with an intensity that matches that slowing action.

The main unit of the Brake Buddy Select 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.

Full Braking

You can also select the full-braking mode. When in this mode, the Brake Buddy will activate your towed car's brakes at the maximum preset intensity, regardless of how intensely your RV is decelerating. The full-braking setting is ideal for when you're towing a heavy truck or SUV, or if you're towing your car down a steep incline. By setting the power to a higher level, you can ensure that the momentum of your towed car won't cause it to push against your RV.

Braking Power Settings

Select Control Panel

The braking power settings determine how intensely the Brake Buddy Select 3 applies your towed car's brakes. When you're first setting up the Brake Buddy, choose a braking power based on your vehicle type. Begin with a pressure that falls into the recommended range for your towed car, as seen on the chart below.

Vehicle TypeRecommended Braking Power
Hybrids10 - 20 psi
Cars and Compact SUVs25 - 45 psi
Small Crossovers25 - 45 psi
Crossovers and Small SUVs35 - 65 psi
Mid-Size Pickups35 - 65 psi
Large SUVs and Pickups45 - 75 psi

After selecting an initial setting, press the plus or minus buttons on the actuator unit's control panel to fine-tune the power setting. 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.

Once the overall braking power is set, you can customize the sensitivity on the Brake Buddy. The sensitivity setting determines how aggressively you need to brake in the RV for the Brake Buddy to activate your towed car's brakes. If you set the sensitivity high, then your car's brakes will activate with just a light tap of your RV's brakes. Setting the sensitivity low ensures that your car's brakes will only activate when you hit the brakes in your RV with a fair amount of intensity.

Easy Remote Operation

Select Remote

The included remote control allows you to monitor or change settings for the Brake Buddy Select 3 from the comfort of your RV's cab. You can easily switch from proportional braking to full braking and vice versa with the push of a button. You can also change the Brake Buddy's sensitivity settings, which makes it easy to fine-tune the braking as you drive so that you can adjust based on feel. Finally, the remote will illuminate to alert you of any errors with the Brake Buddy system, including a breakaway event.

Powering the Brake Buddy

Instead of connecting to a 12V accessory outlet, the Brake Buddy Select 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 Select 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 Select 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 Select 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

Select AutoStart

The Brake Buddy Select 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.

39524 Break Buddy Select Three Portable Towed Vehicle Braking System by Hopkins

Installation Details HM39524 Installation instructions

This Product Fits The Following Vehicles

California residents: click here

Customer Reviews

Brake Buddy Select 3 Portable Supplemental Braking System - Proportional - HM39524

Average Customer Rating:  4.6 out of 5 stars   (102 Customer Reviews)

Get intense, emergency braking or steady, smooth braking in a single portable system. Easily switch between proportional or full braking. One-touch Auto Start makes setup fast and easy. Remote lets you change settings from your RV.

- HM39524
Jeep Wrangler

I looked at several supplemental braking units and wanted one that was portable with nice features like wireless monitoring and parameter changes while flat towing my Jeep Wrangler. I reviewed the videos on the etrailer site for features and installation instructions, they’re well done and really helped with my buy decision and installation guidance. I decided on the Select 3 mainly because of the option for full or proportional braking, as I live in CA and take my RV through mountain passes often. The installation was straight forward with the help of the etrailer videos, very well done. The initial testing of the unit was a bit tricky, but it worked, after leveling the unit out. The first trip with the unit was from Southern CA to Paso Robles through the “Grapevine” pass and some other large hills, the unit worked well and gave me the extra braking I needed while flat towing my jeep behind my RV. During this trip, the unit was inconsistent in bleeding the brakes upon startup. I shared this information with etrailer in detail, and they sent me a replacement unit after trouble shooting. I want to thank etrailer for excellent support of a product which I entrust the safety of my family to while in use. The new unit has been wonderful on two other trips so far. I’m very happy with the performance and ease of use for the Select 3. It just takes a few minutes to position in the jeep, activate and get going down the road after the initial install was complete, which only took a few hours to run simple wiring. The unit is not very large or heavy, and easily fits in a normal storage compartment of the RV when we arrive at our destination. I look forward to many more trips with my family in our RV and the Select 3 giving us the supplement braking we need in our jeep on any road type.

- HM39524

Considering the fact that the most-towed vehicle is the Jeep Wrangler, this product barely fits and the leg adjusters are nearly useless on our 2016 Jeep Wrangler. I had to remove the pedal extender that my wife uses because she is not even 5’ tall but did not have to that when we used our old classic Brake Buddy. Other than that, the unit works as advertised and no other major complaints so far after 2 days and over 1,000 miles.

I had to take the unit back to the factory. Shortly after the review, the unit failed. Pressing the “start” button the caused the device to vent out the air pressure. Problem was that the air hose that connected to the actuator became disconnected and kept the unit from operating. Since I was on the roadI could not ship the unit and wait 3-4 weeks for return. Solution was to include Brake Buddy home office in my tour schedule. A few hundred miles out of my way but there was no other workable solution for me. Overall I am happy with the performance of the unit since the repair more than 6 months ago and about 5,000 miles.
Joseph - 01/18/2022

- HM39524

The cord end that goes in the dash mount does not make good connection. The Brake Buddy loses power on occasion. I replaced an old Brake Buddy Vantage Select. This unit is very smooth. I would give it 5 stars if it wasn't for the loose connection of the cord where it goes into the dash mounted receptacle

Unfortunately, this is a known issue for this model. If you wiggle the cord and you lose power on the Brake Buddy then this can be a replacement under the manufacturers warranty. Customer Service will reach out to you.
-- Etrailer Expert Sierra K - 10/25/2021

- HM39524

ordered my brake buddy select 3 , came in the mail with all needed parts with no damage. Noah is the representative I talked with for ordering he was very helpful and knew everything I needed for my F-150. I have not had a chance to install yet will get back to let Y'all know how it went.

- HM39524
2012 Jeep Liberty

The product arrived in good condition with all the components. The installation guide and order of installation was accurate and easy to understand. The install video on etrailer site was also very helpful. The installation went smoothly and test drive proved that the unit worked as advertised.

- HM39524

I’ve towed close to eight thousand miles in the past year. I had an incident when someone thought it amusing to pull my hitch pin while I pumped gas. The hitch dropped off about a half mile later and my break buddy saved me from any serious damage. Just got home today from a 3600 mile trip and no problem.

- HM39524

This unit says it would fit our Jeep Libery but it is a pain to get it just right to work properly. I wish the legs were a bit longer so it sat right on the floor instead of having to compensate for the front legs being to short and rear legs not adjustable to be shorter. System works fine when I get it set right.

I reached out to Hopkins and they said that it was okay for the Brake Buddy to sit against the base of the seat if it is not tall enough to reach the seat. The unit will still work properly in this position.
-- Etrailer Expert Thomas M - 11/30/2021

- HM39524

Works very good had problem first trip compressor burned out after 7 hours but brake buddy replaced after talking to supervisor working great ever since

- HM39524
2018 Kia Soul

The Brake Buddy works very well with my Kia Soul toad. When the unit arrived it had the wrong (generic) pedal adapter for the car. A call to get the correct adapter was made and the proper one arrived very quickly. I am impressed with the service of both the manufacturer and etrailer. Highly recommend!

- HM39524

This unit could not be made to function in the Kia Soul standard transmission. Even with assistance and alternate parts from Brake Buddy, it had to be returned.. The problem was fitting the actuating arm to the very narrow brake pedal. The return and credit was well done.

- HM39524

Hi Miranda, here are the pictures of the bracket and Brake Buddy installed in my Jeep. Works very well. I tried to move the seat forward a bit but when the Brake Buddy activated it pushed the seat adjuster and moved the seat all the way back. Thank you for the bracket.

- HM39524

It works very well. The only thing I don't like is having to take it out and put it back in. Sort of wish I bought a permanently mounted system. But it does work well.

If you would to try something different next time you could go with item # RED44FR
Redarc Tow-Pro Elite Trailer Brake Controller - 2 Braking Modes - 1 to 3 Axles - Proportional
with part # 331-TPH-007
Redarc Plug-and-Play Wiring Harness for Tow-Pro Trailer Brake Controllers
. If your 2018 Ford F150 does not have a factory 7 way you will need to purchase a hard wire kit item # ETBC7
Universal Installation Kit for Trailer Brake Controller - 7-Way RV and 4-Way Flat - 10 Gauge Wires
. If you do have a 7 way some models do not have power run to the brake controller port under the dash. If this is the case, you can add wiring kit item # BRK-ELECKIT
Power Wire Kit for Electric Trailer Brake Controllers - 12 Gauge
which you can use to run power to the brake controller port.
-- Etrailer Expert Sierra K - 01/04/2022

- HM39524

initial unit worked great for a month or two and then died, customer service got a new one out fast and paid to ship broken one back, since then not a problem and it's been almost a year of full time RVing and towing the toad. install and removable is simple and quick once you get used to it. (used with a Wrangler 2 door behind a class C coach)

- HM39524

Directions for installation and use were complete and easy to understand. Very user-friendly!

- HM39524

BrakeBuddy is a great product. I had verified this newer style included a 12 volt plug. It does, but there is no where to plug it in according to their manufacturer, Hopkins. I will need to rewire two tow vehicles before I can verify that this item works. The box was delivered and dropped off on my driveway without a signature for a $1300 item!!! Also, the box was not even taped shut. I have verified that all the parts are present.

Instead of connecting to a 12V accessory outlet, the Brake Buddy 3 draws power directly from your towed cars battery. To do this, the included wiring harness connects to your cars battery. Install the harness by routing the wire end through your cars firewall and into your engine compartment. Connect the harness to your battery with the included battery wire and ring terminal. Mount the connector thats on the opposite end of the harness in a convenient, out-of-the-way location beneath your cars dash.
-- Etrailer Expert Thomas M - 01/24/2022

- HM39524

Have been using my brake buddy for over a year. Simple connections. Works well. The remote works great. Mounted with a magnet on my dash so I can pick it up and move around if needed. I’m very satisfied.

- HM39524
Chevrolet Equinox

I received the order quickly. The instructions and videos on the etrailer site allowed me to have some of the pre-wiring finished before the brake buddy arrived. Wiring and initial setup was straightforward and easy. I have used the brake buddy three times. Once as a test run then to and from a short camping trip. The third time setting up the unit was super easy and fast. With the blue ox system and the brake buddy I can hook up in just under five minutes. I tow a 2020 Chevrolet Equinox and had no problems with the battery draining because the system includes a battery charger.

- HM39524
1998 Jeep Wrangler

Even though my part was delayed due to stocking issues, I appreciated how etrailer sent emails to me frequently to update the situation. Today, good customer service is hard to find, but to me it makes all the difference in the world. Thank you etrailer!

- HM39524

I use the brake buddy when flat towing my Jeep. I just wish the proportional mode could brake lightly when my trucks brakes lightly and brake hard when my truck brakes hard. I found the settings difficult to dial in and took me many test runs braking down empty roads to find a compromise. For me, this system works better as an emergency brake so I set it up so my truck does all the braking unless I brake harder then my Jeep brakes hard also. There are a lot of settings to experiment with. If you set it wrong you could toast the brakes on your towed vehicle. It's nice i can change some settings from inside my truck so if I'm on the highway I can make it more sensitive than when in the city.

- HM39524
Jeep Wrangler

We use this in our Jeep JKUR (4-door wrangler) on every trip. The quick connect plug is much better than the previous power (cigarette lighter style) plug. The remote works flawless even though it is about 50' from the unit. This is our 2nd unit and still plenty of smiles per mile for us!

- HM39524
2003 Jeep Liberty

We have a 2003 keep liberty other than a little fiddling around to make it fit ( tight fit) it works get

- HM39524
2015 Jeep Cherokee

Disappointed. I bought this to replace my 8-yr old Brake Buddy Vantage on which the compressor died. Shipping was prompt. My plan was just to replace the main unit. Imagine my surprise to find out they have changed all the connections, so now I have to rewire my vehicle!!! The previous version plugged into a normal 12-volt outlet, and the emergency break away has its own connection. Now they have an all in one plug, so now need connections. Sure would have been handy to have a convertor for the old connections. Come on man!!! Also, the adjustable clevis for the brake is missing a lock nut, so the bottom just spins and you have to set it every time. I can't even add one, as the threaded shaft is welded to the top. Guess I will have to call them and get some parts. Hard to do since we are on the road and need to have the system.

- HM39524

Lightweight and easy to use. Instructions were straightforward but installing the wiring into the towed vehicle is not a trivial task. Failed once but was quickly replaced by etrailer. This happened close to home but could be a real nuisance on a long trip.

- HM39524

It didn’t even make it a year. The second day of a 6 week trip it stopped working. We had to buy a new system. We went with RVI. I shipped the BB back to be repaired but would rather have gotten my money back.

- HM39524
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Easy to order, delivery on time and a good price. Thanks

Show More Reviews

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    It sounds like you already have some of the parts needed to flat tow your 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I am just going to list out everything needed and you can leave off what you already have. First you need a Base Plate kit unique to your Jeep. I recommend the Roadmaster # RM-521440-5 Direct-Connect kit with removable arms. You mentioned you wanted direct-connect, and this is the bar I would have recommended either way. The direct-connect system hooks up faster. Next you will need a...
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  • Does Odometer Work When Flat Towing 2021 Ford Ranger?
    Generally, If a vehicle has a mechanical odometer, then you will accrue mileage on the odometer, and if you have an electronic odometer it usually does not, unless your towing requirements have the ignition in the ACC position where the electronic odometer is powered. When you test drive that Ranger you could conduct an experiment to verify your specific circumstances. To flat tow your ranger you will need a Roadmaster # RM-524459-5 base plate kit, a Roadmaster # RM-522 "Falcon" all-terrain,...
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  • Wiring, Base Plate And Accessories Needed To Flat Tow a 2014 Kia Soul
    I recommend the Roadmaster Diode 7-Wire to 6-Wire Flexo-Coil Wiring Kit # RM-15267 to go with your Blue Ox Base Plate Kit # BX2726 on the front of your 2014 Kia Soul. This wiring kit contains everything needed from the coiled cable to the 6-way connector that is mounted on the front of the baseplate and the wiring and diodes needed for connecting to the tail lights on your Soul. The 6-way connector also allows you to use a Battery Charge Line Kit # RM-156-25. This will help to ensure...
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  • jFlat Towing 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited behind 2020 Holiday Rambler Motorhome
    It sounds like you have your system spec'ed out about perfect. The Roadmaster # M-676 Nighthawk All-Terrain tow bar will connect your 2020 Holiday Rambler to your 2016 Wrangler Unlimited if it has a Roadmaster EZ5 Base plate Kit # RM-521448-5 installed. You may need a tow bar adapter to match the hitch height with the tow bar when level or within 3 inches. An example is the Blue Ox # BX88130 +/- 6” adapter. I have attached a link to all of our adapters and a link to an FAQ article that...
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  • Flat Towing Recommendations For A 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara With Quadratec Bumper
    I spoke with Quadratec and was able to confirm that your Qaudratec Bumper #12057.0210 is rated to flat tow. You'll be able to use the the Roadmaster D-ring mount adapters and tow from your D-ring mounts instead of a lengthy base plate install that would require you to alter or remove your bumper. If your mounts are 1" thick you'll want the # RM-035-1 or for 3/4" thick mounts the # RM-035. You'll also need a tow bar, tow bar wiring kit, braking system, and safety cables. I have the following...
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  • Flat Towing Equipment Recommendations For A 2021 Buick Encore GX
    There currently isn't any info available for flat towing equipment for the 2022 Buick Encore GX. It will probably be some time before manufacturers are able to get one in to fabricate the correct equipment. I do however have flat towing information available for the 2021 Buick Encore GX: Looking at the online manual for the 2021 Buick Encore GX it states that the AWD models are capable of being flat towed (all four wheels on the ground) but are not capable of being dolly towed (two...
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  • Flat Towing Equipment Recommendations For A 2019 Dodge Ram 4x4 Rebel Edition
    The 2019 Ram 1500 4WD models can be flat towed. I recommend reading the "Recreational Vehicle Towing" section of your owner's manual for the required steps to get your vehicle ready to be flat towed. You'll need a tow bar, tow bar wiring kit, braking system, base plate, and safety cables. I have the following recommendations for you listed below: Tow Bar: etrailer XHD Non-Binding Tow Bar for Roadmaster Direct-Connect Base Plate - 2" RV Mount - 10.5K Item # e84ZR. This tow bar has a non-binding...
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  • Flat Towing Recommendations For A 2021 Chevy Colorado Z71
    The Demco Tabless Base Plate Kit - Removable Arms Item # DM9519319 will fit your 2021 Chevy Colorado as long as it doesn't have adaptive cruise control. If you do have adaptive cruise control I recommend the Roadmaster Crossbar-Style Base Plate Kit - Removable Arms Item # RM57VR. The Demco Commander II Non-Binding Tow Bar - Victory Series - RV Mount - 2" Hitch - 6,000lbs Item # DM9511012 you linked to will work with the # DM9519319 but will require an adapter # RM-032 to work with this...
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