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  1. Tow Bar Braking Systems
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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: $954.44
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 etrailer.com or call 1-636-306-4830 for expert service.
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  • Reviews (165)
  • Q & A (0)
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  • Why etrailer?

Brake Buddy Tow Bar Braking Systems - HM39524

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

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.


Features:

  • 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


Specs:

  • 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:  4.5 out of 5 stars   (165 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.

by:
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.




by:

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.


Comments
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


by:

The brake buddy was easy to install and ha worked great from the very first use. The only reason I would not give it 5 stars is the release for on the back that lowers the handle is plastic and has broken, the release needs to be more robust. I have used it many times and am very pleased except for the handle release.




by:

The people at Etrailer were so helpful and knowledgeable about this product! The Brakebuddy has performed very well. I had a few questions and the support they provided was exceptional. This was definitely the right product purchased from the right place!




by:

This item really didn't work in the Honda Fit that I was going to use it in. The unit was too big and the clamp didn't work on the brake pedal. However I informed you that I wanted to return it and that was handled well. So even though I gave you a low rating on this product, I'll give you an Excellent on the return. Thank you!


Comments
For your 2013 Honda Fit I would recommend the Demco SBS Stay-IN-Play DUO Supplemental Braking System part # SM99251. You would also need part # RM-88400. Once installed it provides a very smooth braking experience. You can also see the install on a 2011 Honda Fit in the link below.
-- Etrailer Expert Jenny N - 09/14/2022


by:

Everything was great except two things. I would buy this again.

1. The wiring was toooo short by at least 4-5 feet. I bought a sheathed wire set and had to splice the two lengths together.

2. Probably not your problem for most applications. The legs for the unit did not extend far enough to reach the floor mats. I had to use a short length of 2x6 lumber (with holes drilled for the front feet) to make the unit level with the brake peddle.




by:

Install was not an issue, took an hour or so. Setup is easy, it's a tight fit but not hard at all to BB into position. As far as operation I have not had any issues thus far, the BB works as advertised. There is peace of mind knowing it's there, when activated it does help to slow the motorhome (Jayco Class C), I would recommend.




by:

Great product, easy to install. Works as advertised. I would recommend this product to my friends and family. This is the third product I have ordered from etrailer, all the items have been of the highest Quality and were shipped to me in a very reasonable time frame. I am happy I chose etrailer to do business with. Also, etrailer provided easy to follow installation video’s for these products.




by:

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


Comments
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


by:
Buick Enclave

My Blue Ox Tow bar and Break Buddy System perform as advertised. I tow my Buick Enclave behind my 30’ class C with confidence.




by:
2014 Jeep Cherokee

I bought all of my products for flat towing my 2014 Jeep Cherokee for etrailer and I couldn’t be happier. The service was exceptional, the pricing was right, and when I did have a problem, they were right there to take care of it. When I need more goodies for the RV, I will be back!!!!




by:

Works great, this the 2d unit that I have used, the first one was old and died after about 8 years and lots of miles. You guys were really helpful with my installation questions, thanks!




by:

Very unhappy with this product. Proportional braking doesn’t work, locks up the brakes on slow steep hills. Never see it breaking on the remote monitor under hard and sever braking. At this point I’m only hopeful the breakaway will work if it’s needed. Would not recommend. Install wasn’t hard and set up is ok but sometime it fails during brake bleeding. Last trip I gave up as it would not complete the brake bleed process. Very unhappy.




by:

The Brakebuddy is an expensive part but I am concerned about the quality. The power cord socket is faulty and caused the unit to stop working traveling through Texas. The remote has the same problem, the power cord cuts out and has to be disconnected and reinserted to get it to work. I contacted Brakebuddy and they are supposed to send a new power cable but have not received it yet.


Comments
I also reached out to Hopkins, the manufacturer of BrakeBuddy, to ensure they follow up with you.
-- Etrailer Expert Thomas M - 02/03/2022


by:
2019 GMC Acadia

So far so good! Haven't towed yet, but installation and test was successful. Install directions leave a little to be desired, all of the wires on the wiring diagram are black some have a color listed next to them some don't, it would have been a guessing game if it wasn't for the videos I found on etrailer. Upon initial test of the system, it went through its 5 actuations, indicated "normal" but kept the brake depressed, I double checked all the wiring, redid some iffy connectors, next test was the same, 5 actuations then an "error" light. Unplugged the system and waited 5 min, then performed test again. It tested well, showed "normal" but kept the brake depressed. I began to suspect the brake away switch. I repeated the pin with no luck, removed the whole assembly and the brake released. I found there was a factory splice point about 6 inches from the switch, I redid thoes connections and the system works as advertised!!
Thank you etrailer for the recommendation. Will update once I hit the road




by:

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.


Comments
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


by:

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.




by:

I only gave the unit 4 stars because the first one would not work. etrailer quickly replaced the faulty unit and I was on my way. Easy install it you keep all of the wiring straight. I would suggest laying the different harnesses out on the floor of bench before starting as different ends on different harnesses to go the same places. Having the big picture in mind will save time.




by:

The only reason I am giving this a 4 rather than a 5 rating is that the connector on the dash side is kinda picky and you have to jiggle it around to get a good connection. That being said, I highly recommend both this product and etrailer.




by:

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.




by:

customer service is very good, but it still doesn't work. worst thing they made me pay $XX.00 for packaging, they did pay for shipping. I would suggest that they mail a replacement, then i could use their packaging to return. Still dont have repaired part


Comments
I will have our customer service team reach out to you.
-- Etrailer Expert Jenny N - 09/29/2022


by:

Unit arrived ahead of time. Installation was quick and easy, and no parts were missing. Best of all, IT WORKS!!! Order all my parts from etrailer now. Would recommend for anyone towing




by:

Poor fit for 2020 Jeep Wrangler 2 door. I had to buy the optional brake pedal adapter to get it to work at all in the Jeep. The remote is great to confirm the Brake Buddy is working. Good overall design, just not for 2 door Jeep.




by:

The package came as scheduled no issues great doing business with E-Trailer as always!!!




by:

Simple setup and operation. Moderate expertise is required for initial install of wiring.

Remote is old tech and passes little useful information; needs updated to provide feedback on connection, status, error, and operation.

The brake pedal connection linkage can be frustrating to connect because it doesn’t hold the adjustment position; a locking mechanism to hold the adjustment position would be useful.



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