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Brake Buddy Stealth Supplemental Braking System - Proportional

Brake Buddy Stealth Supplemental Braking System - Proportional

Item # HM39530
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Retail:$1,438.99
Our Price: $857.73
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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:

  • Don’t have time to waste setting up a portable system before every trip
  • Are comfortable towing a trailer with a brake controller and want that same design for a braking system
  • Sometimes tow a boat trailer with your RV instead of flat towing your car

No, if you:

  • Are typically a DIYer, but don't want to have to deal with a more complicated install
  • Upgrade your towed car every few years
  • Have limited space in your RV cab to mount a brake controller
Get fully proportional braking with a system that never has to be removed, replaced, or reset. Actuator installs out of sight and remains virtually invisible when your car isn't being towed. Controller also works as a trailer brake controller. Lowest Prices for the best tow bar braking systems from Brake Buddy. Brake Buddy Stealth Supplemental Braking System - Proportional part number HM39530 can be ordered online at etrailer.com or call 800-298-1624 for expert service.
  • All Info
  • Reviews (34)
  • Q & A (0)
  • Photos
  • Why etrailer?

Brake Buddy Tow Bar Braking Systems - HM39530

  • Brake Systems
  • Proportional System
  • Hydraulic Brakes
  • Air Brakes
  • Air Over Hydraulic Brakes
  • Fixed System
  • One Time Set-Up
  • Brake Buddy
  • Power Assist Brake Compatible

Get fully proportional braking with a system that never has to be removed, replaced, or reset. Actuator installs out of sight and remains virtually invisible when your car isn't being towed. Controller also works as a trailer brake controller.


Features:

  • Supplemental braking system applies towed vehicle's brakes in proportion to braking action of RV
    • Towed car's brakes are activated at the same time and with the same intensity as those in your motorhome
  • Sensitivity control lets you adjust rate of responsiveness of braking sensor
    • Low sensitivity requires intense stopping action from RV to activate towed car's brakes
    • High sensitivity allows towed car to respond to light braking action of RV
  • 1-Time setup - no need to remove, reposition, or reset system
    • Main unit installs in an out-of-the-way spot, such as in the trunk
    • System automatically functions when RV and towed car are connected
  • Controller with digital display mounts in your RV's cab
    • Lets you easily adjust braking sensitivity
    • Shows braking action and breakaway status
    • Doubles as a proportional trailer brake controller
  • Built-in battery protection keeps your towed vehicle's battery charged as you tow
    • Main unit connects directly to your towed car's battery
  • Vacuum pump restores your car's vacuum after each braking event
    • Puts less strain on your towed car's brakes
    • Ensures compatibility with hybrids and other continuous power-assist vehicles
  • Low-profile, 7-way flat connector offers simple hookup and a clean look
    • Built-in breakaway automatically activates towed vehicle's brakes if plug disconnects
    • 4-Way vehicle-end plug connects to 4-way of tail light wiring kit (sold separately) on towed car
  • Flex-Coil adapter lets you easily hook up your towed car to your RV
    • Specially designed 7-flat connector plugs into the port installed at the front of your car
    • 7-Way, blade-style connector plugs into your RV
      • Nite-Glow connector lights up to confirm connection between your RV and vehicle
    • Coiled cord won't drag on the ground


Specs:

  • Actuator box dimensions: 14-1/2" long x 5-3/8" wide x 3-3/8" tall
  • Controller dimensions: 3" wide x 5" long x 1-1/4" tall
  • Power draw: 5 amps
  • 5-Year warranty


A supplemental braking system is crucial when you tow a car or truck behind your RV. Without it, the weight of the towed car can create a safety hazard, strain your RV's brakes, or affect your RV's warranty. Most states require a supplemental braking system.


Automatic, Proportional Braking

Instead of being a time-delayed system, which brakes at a preset level, the Brake Buddy Stealth is a proportional system that delivers consistent braking. The Stealth will activate the brakes in your towed car with an intensity that matches the braking action of your RV. The result is smooth, even braking across your entire flat-tow setup.


Brake System Controller

The Brake Buddy Stealth controller mounts in the cab of your RV and functions like a proportional trailer brake controller. This means that the braking intensity of the system is based on your RV's deceleration. So, if you slam on the brakes in your RV, your towed car's brakes will activate with that same harsh intensity. And if you gradually slow down as you approach a red light, your car will steadily brake in the same light manner.


Hopkins Brake Buddy Stealth Controller Functions

The above diagram shows the controls and components of the Stealth controller unit.

A. Mode indicator

B. Sensitivity adjustment button

C. Power level control buttons (trailer braking mode only)

D. Digital display

E. Test button (supplemental braking system mode) or manual override (trailer braking mode)

F. Mode control button

G. Mounting bracket slots


Internal Inertia Sensor

As long as the controller sits level on a horizontal plane and is pointed in the direction of travel, its internal inertia sensor will sense how your RV brakes and respond to the deceleration of your RV. It signals the actuator box to move the cable that attaches to your towed car's brake pedal so that the car's brakes activate with an intensity that matches your RV's braking.


Adjustable Sensitivity Settings

You can fine-tune the power output on the Stealth by adjusting the sensitivity of the internal sensor. Set the sensitivity low and the Stealth will only respond when you step down hard on your RV's brake pedal. Set the sensitivity high and it will respond even when you lightly tap your RV's brakes.


Use the adjustment buttons on the top of the controller to set your preferred level of braking intensity. Level 1 offers the least amount of sensitivity, making it ideal for lighter loads. Level 7, the highest level, provides the harshest braking. The heavier your load, the higher you will want to set the brake sensitivity.


Easy-to-Read Digital Display

On the front of the controller unit, there's a digital display that is designed to keep you informed about your towed car's braking action. This screen shows the braking sensitivity level, power level, and any error codes that might appear as you tow, such as a short circuit.


Mount Controller in Your RV's Cab

Mount the controller anywhere in your RV's cab that is within easy reach. It's recommended that the controller be mounted at an angle between -20 degrees and 70 degrees. Note: The Stealth controller must be mounted on a level horizontal (side-to-side) plane and must be lined up with the direction of travel for the internal sensor to function properly.


To install the controller, you will have to splice into your RV's wiring and connect the unit to your battery, stop light switch, and 7-way trailer connector. To do this, you will need some additional wiring and either a 20-amp circuit breaker or an in-line fuse. If you don't already have a 7-way trailer connector at the rear of your RV, you can use etrailer.com's exclusive 7- and 4-way brake control installation kit (ETBC7 - sold separately).


Trailer Brake Controller Functionality

The Stealth controller doesn't just work when you're towing a car. It also acts as a proportional trailer brake controller for when you're towing a trailer. Just press the mode control button on the side of the controller to switch from supplemental braking system mode to trailer braking mode. Then hook up your trailer to your RV. The Stealth controller works with trailers that have up to 4 axles (8 brake assemblies) and electric brakes.


When in trailer braking mode, the Stealth controller allows for the same smooth, proportional braking that you'll receive when you're towing your car. Slamming on your RV's brakes will signal your trailer to brake just as intensely. Steadily slowing down before a red light will signal your trailer's brakes to react just as gradually. Just set the initial power level, select your sensitivity setting, and you're ready to go.


Low-Profile, Semi-Permanent Installation

Some proportional braking systems are bulky, and they must be repositioned and reset before each use. And if you want to drive your towed vehicle, you need to remove the unit and find a place to stow it. With the Brake Buddy Stealth, a 1-time setup is all that's required, making it faster than ever to get your car ready to tow.


Actuator Box and Cable Pulley

Brake Buddy Stealth Actuator Box

The main actuator box installs in an out-of-the-way location in your vehicle, like in the trunk. The box's wiring connects to the 7-way flat connector that installs on the front of your towed vehicle. The black cable runs to the cable pulley system that installs on your car's brake pedal, so that the brakes can activate properly.


Brake Buddy Stealth Cable Pulley Attached to Brake Pedal

Because the installation is semi-permanent, you don't need to reactivate any parts when you're getting ready to tow, nor do you need to remove anything when you're done towing. The Brake Buddy Stealth can stay in your vehicle year-round. Once you're ready to tow again, just plug your towed car into your RV and the system will automatically begin functioning.


Exclusive Connector and Adapter Cord

Hopkins Brake Buddy Stealth 7-Way Flat Connector

The Brake Buddy Stealth uses a novel 7-way flat connector that mounts at the front of your towed vehicle. Unlike standard 7-way connectors, this low-profile socket stays out of sight when you're not towing. A dust cover is included to cover the connector when your vehicle is not connected to your RV.


Hopkins Brake Buddy Stealth 7-Way Flat Plug

All of the electrical functions that you need are built into this single connector.


Hopkins Brake Buddy Stealth Wiring Diagram

The diagram above shows how the 7-way flat installs.


Wire 1 connects to your vehicle's battery.

Wire 2 connects to the vacuum pump included with the Stealth.

Wires 3, 4, and 6 connect to the corresponding, color-coded wires on the Stealth's main unit. These wires have quick-plug ends for simple plug-and-play connecting.

Wire 5 is the ground wire. (Note: A ground wire extends out from the main unit as well. Both the 7-way flat and main Stealth unit must be grounded.)


Typically when you wire your towed car to get the signal lights required for towing, you will run a 4-way to the front of the car. This 4-way then has to be connected to your RV with a separate loop every time you tow. But with the Stealth, a wiring harness with a 4-way flat, vehicle-end plug is built into the back of the included 7-flat connector so that you can just plug in your towed car's tail light wiring kit.


Brake Buddy Stealth Coiled Cord with 7-Way Flat and 7-Way RV Style Plugs

The Brake Buddy Stealth system includes a coiled adapter cord that connects to your RV's 7-way, blade-style socket on one end and to the 7-way flat socket that installs on your towed car at the other end. The RV-style plug has Nite-Glow technology, so it will illuminate when connected to confirm that the plug is receiving power from your RV.


The adapter cord also comes with a built-in breakaway cable. If the cord comes unplugged from your RV while you're towing, the Stealth system will enter breakaway mode and your towed vehicle's brakes will activate. Note: The dust cover must be inserted into the connector when the car is not being towed to prevent the Stealth from going into breakaway mode.


Vacuum Pump

Brake Buddy Vacuum Pump

For many cars, trucks, and SUVs, the vacuum-assist function of their brakes stops working when the engine is off. As a result, many supplemental braking systems have to apply an extreme amount of force to activate the towed vehicle's brakes when it's being flat towed. The Brake Buddy Stealth's vacuum pump is designed to restore the vacuum force in your towed car's brakes each time the brakes are activated. No need to have a system that exerts a large amount of force to bring your towed vehicle to a stop.


Install the included vacuum pump under your towed car's hood to ensure that its vacuum-assist brakes operate correctly while the car is being towed.


Note: If you have a vehicle that has continuous power-assist brakes, you do not need to install the vacuum pump.



39530 Break Buddy Stealth Fixed Proportional Towed Vehicle Braking System by Hopkins

Installation Details HM39530 Installation instructions

This Product Fits The Following Vehicles



California residents: click here



Customer Reviews

Brake Buddy Stealth Supplemental Braking System - Proportional - HM39530

Average Customer Rating:  4.2 out of 5 stars   (34 Customer Reviews)

Get fully proportional braking with a system that never has to be removed, replaced, or reset. Actuator installs out of sight and remains virtually invisible when your car isn't being towed. Controller also works as a trailer brake controller.

- HM39530
by:

I choose the Brake Buddy Stealth for my 2021 Jeep Wrangler because I wanted a “stay in place” brake system and felt it would be a clean looking installation. I finished the toad side of the installation today and thought I’d leave some notes on what turned out to be a bigger project than I’d anticipated. Again, this is my experience on the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 2-door. Your experience on other vehicles may vary. I started this install after installing a Demco Tabless Base Plate. Right out of the blocks, there’s really no convenient location to mount the cable connector to the Demco baseplate. I chose to mount it to under side of the bumper on the driver’s side. To provide clearance and a route for the wires, I had to cut a notch into the plastic air dam. I used one of the already screw screw holes and used self tapping screws in the other three locations. For added strength I epoxied the connector to the bumper as well. Since the bumper would be unremovable if the connector were hardwired, I added a waterproof connector. The kit is stingy with wire lengths, so I substituted my own wire. The Stealth unit itself i mounted beneath the driver’s seat. Don’t be fooled into believing there is clearance when testing with the driver’s seat positioned for rear seat access. Once the seat is returned to normal operation it lowers a bit and the box keeps the seat from being move forehand aft. I solved the problem by installing 5/8” thick nylon washers under the rear end of the seat slides. I also cut away a bit of the carpet under the front, inboard corner of the box. You will need to remove the driver’s seat in order to attach the front screws of the box. Be sure to disconnect and isolate the neutral battery terminals to prevent inadvertent air bag discharge. After removing the interior trim from the A-pillar, the door sill, and the driver side foot well, The wiring and cable tucked nicely away along with the OEM wiring and wiring for my taillights. I mounted the pulley horizontally behind the brake pedal. Installing the vacuum pump was my biggest worry and challenge. Instructions are to zip tie it “somewhere”. That seemed pretty casual for a safety system. I chose, instead, to fabricate an aluminum bracket that attaches to the lip of the engine compartment and to the wheel well (this latter attachment point is necessary to keep the pump from vibrating). Finally, the kit comes with 3/8” fittings to tap into the brake booster vacuum lines. The Jeep, however, uses 8mm nylon tubing. Brake Buddy, via etrailer.com, stated that the tubing would stretch and all would be good. Again, this felt casual for a safety system. Instead, I purchased an 8mm check valve and a 8-6-8mm barbed tee through Another online retailer to do the job right. I had to heat the Jeep tubing to fit even the 8mm tee, so the is no way the larger 3/8” fittings would have worked. See photo of my finished vacuum line installation. Bottom line, it was a POA install, but looks great. Hopefully it will stop the Jeep when towing. I’ll find out soon. :D


Comments
The Brake Buddy performed fine on all of our trips in 2021, including some mountainness terrain. We learned early, however, that the Stealth unit installed in the Jeep is temperature sensitive. On chill morn8ngs we need to start and run the Jeep with the heater at full blast for 5-10 minutes before setting out. Otherwise we get false breakaway signals in the cab controller. The connector on the Jeep side is also touchy resulting in turn signal failure notices on our motorhome dash. The manufacturer hasn’t been very sympathetic nor helpful with either issue. In short, we are able to use the system, I’d not recommend this product today.
Jerry J - 01/24/2022


- HM39530
by:

I am a proficient DIYer (and was an auto mechanic many years ago). The installation took a lot of time - perhaps 8-10 hours for the brake controller. The most special tool needed was a rotary cutter (e.g., a Dremel tool). A cordless impact driver was also very helpful, especially with the self tapping screws. Getting the pully in the perfect position under the brake pedal took some trial-and-error to get perfect. Also, the included bolts for the brake pedal bracket where too short to accommodate the width of the brake lever - easily remedied with slightly longer standard bolts. Be very mindful of what is on the other side of the sheet metal you are planning to drill into. The brake supplemental vacuum system was a bit of a challenge, as the instructions are very vague regarding how to mount, and the space I had to work with was surprisingly tight. I ended up creating a mount on the inside front fender, and bolting the pump to that. Also, tapping into the vacuum lines took a couple of tries to get a leak-free connection. Think ahead about this, and be prepared to get a few small parts like hose clamps or right-angle hose connectors. This would be a potential consideration for any vacuum boost added on any vacuum power-assist application with any controller. I mounted the Brakebuddy main unit under the rear seat - that was a perfect location, and much better than the often suggested location under the driver's seat. I was very pleased with the installation result. I paired this with a Nighthawk tow bar. Be warned that the tow bar's included cable will not be compatible with the Stealth, as the Brakebuddy uses a proprietary connection at the towed vehicle. The upside of this proprietary connector is that all connections are build in, including the brake away cable and the battery charging line. (I modified the Nighthawk by replacing the included cable with a 4-pin cable to power the lighting system on the bar. This is just for extra safety and cool looks - I could have just not used the tow bar's included cable). With 1,200 miles of towing behind us, I can say I am very pleased with the performance. I rarely notice any difference in braking effort or effectiveness - which is a big advantage for a proportional system. My favorite feature is the ease and speed of connecting or disconnecting the towed vehicle. I'd give this a 4.5 stars out of five if I could, because I did need to add a few parts and make a couple trips to the hardware store to complete the installation. However, the excellent performance and ease of use once installed more than makes up for the inconvenience during initial installation. Special appreciation to the people at eTrailer, especially Nicole T, who provided support and guidance from pre-sales to installation. Also, I called Brakebuddy's support line with a concern, and they immediately picked up the line, addressed my question, and offered to immediately ship any parts if needed.



- HM39530
by:
2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara

I installed the break buddy in my 06 Suzuki Grand Vitara. I was looking for a way to get braking when I flat tow the Suzuki but would be unobtrusive when I am just driving around. The break buddy was the answer. Except for the clamp above the break pedal I would not be able to tell it is installed but when we pull the Suzuki, I have lights and breaks.



- HM39530
by:

did not fit under seat as shown but managed to locate it hidden away. Also, hard to find a flat place on firewall to mount bracket and bolts to mount to brake pedal are barely long enough since brake pedal arm gets wider closer to pedal. Parts seem generic not specific to vehicle.


Comments
I recommend watching the video installation video that we have on a 2020 Jeep Wrangler.
-- Etrailer Expert Jenny N - 04/11/2022


- HM39530
by:

To date I have been unable to see how the system works. Unknown to me it will only work with the Brake controller they send with the unit. Now I have to uninstall the built in factory unit out of my Ford, and install theirs under dash. This is not only annoying but I'll have two controllers to confuse anyone other than me,, and have received no call backs from [Brake buddy] tech support with any other options.


Comments
I spoke with Hopkins and they confirmed that the Brake Buddy Stealth # HM39530
Brake Buddy Stealth Supplemental Braking System - Proportional
$857.73
can only be used with the included brake controller.
-- Etrailer Expert Sierra K - 11/08/2021


- HM39530
by:
2010 Chevrolet Equinox

Lot of work to install but the system is super easy to use after. I saw some complaints that you need to use brake module it comes with. This was no problem as I didn’t have on in my motorhome yet.



- HM39530
by:

The design concept is great but I have had a couple problems. I have not yet contacted the manufacturer. It has acted like a breakaway situation after disconnecting the cable even though I put the cap on the jack i.e. the brake pedal stays active. Sometimes when driving the toad it loses vacuum assist. I tried putting in a check valve in the line from the vacuum pump but that did not help. I disconnected that vacuum line and capped the tee and did not experience loss of vacuum assist. I reconnected the line to the vacuum pump had trouble twice but after a fair amount of driving, did not have trouble again. Mostly the problem occurs when first putting the car in gear after starting the engine. TIP FOR ALL TOAD TOWERS: I mounted a bright red LED strip to the front of the toad and wired it to the actual brake light switch in the toad. The light allows me to use the RV's backup camera to confirm whether the brake pedal is getting activated and released properly. Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to road test that. (Use a switch or quick disconnect so that it can be disabled for regular driving.)



- HM39530
by:

This system, when sorted, works pretty well. It's also extremely easy to hook up and go, requiring none of the traditional nonsense associated with braking systems. Their all-in-one connector is excellent, and really works well. That said, it's been a long road (over a month) to get it installed and at a point where it safely stops the towed car. June 9: I ordered the Brake Buddy Stealth kit for my 2017 GMC Acadia V6. July 5: I set about installing the kit, and realized that I was missing the harness and umbilical from what appeared to be an open box item. Called Hopkins tech support, and they stepped up and sent replacement parts for what was probably an unscrupulous customer's swindle. Kudos! July 12: Install attempt round two. This time the install is successful, however, the controller that mounts in the towed vehicle is acting like it's fried. I called tech support and again, Hopkins stepped up and sent a replacement controller. July 18: Receive controller and install. Appears to have fixed the problem. But now, the brake pedal is only pulling in a quarter of an inch when testing breakaway or trying to actuate it with the test button on the controller. I called tech support again and determined it's a bad main unit. I ordered a whole new kit, figuring I'll get good parts from one kit and send back the bad parts. July 21: New kit arrived. I replaced the main unit and it changed nothing. Start advanced troubleshooting. Check voltages at the main unit under varying conditions - everything checks out. Detach the cable from the brake pedal and determine that the thing actually does stroke about four inches. Turns out the overload protection in the main unit is functioning as intended because too much effort is required to move the pedal. I test the vacuum pump and it's working as designed. I then moved the cable attachment point to the very bottom of the brake pedal for leverage. This isn't what was shown in the instructions, but I was able to make it work and it did help - brake now moved about 2 inches. Then I tried testing it with the towed car idling (to provide good vacuum) and found that the pedal would move about 4 inches before the protection overload would stop it. The conclusion - not enough vacuum. I tested the car's booster line with a vacuum gauge while running, and noted that it was pulling 25 inches of mercury (inhg). Tested the vacuum with the pump doing the work (engine off), and found that it would kick on at 10inhg and shut off at 15inhg. So the reason the system only works when the car is running is because the supplied vacuum pump is inadequate, providing ~10 less inches of vacuum than the car needs for proper booster operation. Then I did some research on the Dorman vacuum pump in the kit. It's used in Ford trucks to provide accessory vacuum when starting the car for stuff like the AC controls. It's really not intended for something as significant and critical as braking. In any event, I took it apart and found that I had some wiggle room on the thresholds. I adjusted the contacts in the vacuum switch, and got it to the point where it would kick on at 15inhg and run it up to about 20inhg. Reinstalled the pump and took the car for a tow test, and it worked pretty well for well spaced braking events. However, the vacuum pump ran every time I pressed the brake, and did so for 90-120 seconds. That wasn't going to cut it for multiple braking events within a one to two minute period (think traffic). Also, it sounded like it was working really hard to build 20inhg, and I suspected that it wouldn't be lasting very long. If it were to fail, I wouldn't have towed car braking, and that's no good since I'm taking my wife and four little kids on a cross country trip next month. So rather than start over, I set about fixing the vacuum deficit at the beginning of August. For around a hundred bucks, I was able to get a Volvo brake booster vacuum pump and a multicomp vacuum switch (search [online vendor]). I made a mounting plate and used these two pieces with a relay to power the pump directly from the battery (picture attached). The result is that I can maintain vacuum between 19-23 inches, and the system now seems to work great. This vacuum pump is far superior, and only runs for about ten seconds between braking events. Despite the fact that I'm good to go now, the vacuum pump included with the kit is sub-par and is now sitting in my parts bin. I contacted Hopkins with all of this information, and while they were responsive and helpful throughout this adventure, their engineers' final determination was that the provided vacuum pump should get the job done. That may be true for a Honda Civic, but in practice (and in fact) is was not adequate for my Acadia. In other words, unless you're really technically competent, I'd consider other options.



- HM39530
by:
2011 Tiffin Allegro Motorhome

I just received it. It looks good, but I won't know until I install it and use it.



- HM39530
by:

I was treated very goos by trailer and will buy from them again



- HM39530
by:

Could not get it to work, finally, after several phone calls, the gentleman, joking, said maybe the unit that goes in the RV, might be bad. It was, then they sent me another one, which took a little time, I got it working. The dust cover should be changed, so it’s really obvious which way it goes on. I did not get it on the right way and it locked up my tow vehicle. Had to loosen the cable on the brake to move it. Taking out the fuse did not make a difference. Thanks



- HM39530
by:

I gave each and every one of the items I purchased a 5star rating because they each have contributed greatly to my confidence and sense of security about full-time RVing in my Class C rv towing my little car behind. Each product has been well made and thought out and the service from etrailer has been great....from price to shipping and packaging. I couldn't be more pleased with everything. Job well done. Thank you.



- HM39530
by:

Works well once installed and "debugged". Had to install on/off switches in both the motorhome and tow vehicle because the self shut off never worked and it would run down my batteries. Box unit is pretty large so make good measurements to ensure it will fit where you want it.



- HM39530
by:
2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Items received look good arrived well packaged and safe. Sure it will work well once installed.



- HM39530
by:

This system, when sorted, works pretty well. It's also extremely easy to hook up and go, requiring none of the traditional nonsense associated with braking systems. Their all-in-one connector is excellent, and really works well. That said, it's been a long road (over a month) to get it installed and at a point where it safely stops the towed car. June 9: I ordered the Brake Buddy Stealth kit from eTrailer for my 2017 GMC Acadia V6. July 5: I set about installing the kit, and realized that I was missing the harness and umbilical from what appeared to be an open box item. eTrailer stepped up and sent replacement parts for what was probably an unscrupulous customer's swindle. Kudos! July 12: Install attempt round two. This time the install is successful, however, the controller that mounts in the towed vehicle is acting like it's fried. I called tech support and again, eTrailer stepped up and sent a replacement controller. July 18: Receive controller and install. Appears to have fixed the problem. But now, the brake pedal is only pulling in a quarter of an inch when testing breakaway or trying to actuate it with the test button on the controller. I called tech support again and determined it's a bad main unit. I ordered a whole new kit from eTrailer next day air. I figure I'll get good parts from one kit and send back the bad parts. July 21: New kit arrived. I replaced the main unit and it changed nothing. Start advanced troubleshooting. Check voltages at the main unit under varying conditions - everything checks out. Detach the cable from the brake pedal and determine that the thing actually does stroke about four inches. Turns out the overload protection in the main unit is functioning as intended because too much effort is required to move the pedal. I test the vacuum pump and it's working as designed. I then moved the cable attachment point to the very bottom of the brake pedal for leverage. This isn't what was shown in the instructions, but I was able to make it work and it did help - brake now moved about 2 inches. Then I tried testing it with the towed car idling (to provide good vacuum) and found that the pedal would move about 4 inches before the protection overload would stop it. The conclusion - not enough vacuum. I tested the car's booster line with a vacuum gauge while running, and noted that it was pulling 25 inches of mercury (inhg). Tested the vacuum with the pump doing the work (engine off), and found that it would kick on at 10inhg and shut off at 15inhg. So the reason the system only works when the car is running is because the supplied vacuum pump is inadequate, providing ~10 less inches of vacuum than the car needs for proper booster operation. Then I did some research on the Dorman vacuum pump in the kit. It's used in Ford trucks to provide accessory vacuum when starting the car for stuff like the AC controls. It's really not intended for something as significant and critical as braking. In any event, I took it apart and found that I had some wiggle room on the thresholds. I adjusted the contacts in the vacuum switch, and got it to the point where it would kick on at 15inhg and run it up to about 20inhg. Reinstalled the pump and took the car for a tow test, and it worked pretty well for well spaced braking events. However, the vacuum pump ran every time I pressed the brake, and did so for 90-120 seconds. That wasn't going to cut it for multiple braking events within a one to two minute period (think traffic). Also, it sounded like it was working really hard to build 20inhg, and I suspected that it wouldn't be lasting very long. If it were to fail, I wouldn't have towed car braking, and that's no good since I'm taking my wife and four little kids on a cross country trip next month. So rather than start over, I set about fixing the vacuum deficit. For around a hundred bucks, I was able to get a Volvo brake booster vacuum pump and a multicomp vacuum switch (search Amazon). I made a mounting plate and used these two pieces with a relay to power the pump directly from the battery (picture attached). The result is that I can maintain vacuum between 19-23 inches, and the system now seems to work great. This vacuum pump is far superior, and only runs for about ten seconds between braking events. Despite the fact that I'm good to go now, I feel like the vacuum pump included with the kit is sub-par. I contacted Hopkins with all of this information, and while responsive and helpful, their final determination from "the engineers" was that the provided vacuum pump should get the job done. That may be true for a Honda Civic, but in practice (and in fact) is was not adequate for my Acadia. In other words, unless you're really technically competent, I'd consider other options.



- HM39530
by:
2007 Jeep Wrangler

Install was fairly easy. I did call support with a couple questions and they were very helpful.



- HM39530
by:

Fairly easy to install, just follow instructions and videos and you get there. Works perfect!



- HM39530
by:

Everything was received sooner than expected. These people are great to work with! They are all knowledgeable with the products they sell!



- HM39530
by:

I'm only giving this three stars, because of the installation issues. First the main Stealth box will not fit under the front seat as shown in the video. The only location is the floor under the rear seat. There are no manufactured through holes in the firewall. A hole must be drilled and there is not much space to work with. Additionally, the same applies to the pully. Be careful here because you will have limited space to insert the cable without kinking it. The brake pedal arm is wider than the bolts supplied. You will need 1 3/5 inch minimum. The arm pulls at an angle which makes pully alignment tricky. Sorry no pictures got so frustrated I was focused on getting it done.



- HM39530
by:

Every one was very helpful and got my order to very fast, thanks for everything.



- HM39530
by:

Working great.



- HM39530
by:



- HM39530
by:



- HM39530
by:



- HM39530
by:
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee


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