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Brake Buddy Classic 3 Portable Supplemental Braking System Review

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Review of the Brake Buddy Classic 3 Portable Supplemental Braking System


Rob: Rob here at etrailer.com and today you're going to be taking a look at the Brake Buddy Classic 3 Supplemental Braking System. Now whenever you're towing a vehicle behind your motorhome, most States are going to require you to have a supplemental braking system. And for good reason, we're adding a lot of weight to the back of our motorhome and if we don't have a braking system, we're completely relying on our motorhome to slow down itself and all that weight we added. Which over time can cause a lot of strain and stress on your motorhome, on the brakes, the suspension, not to mention your towed vehicle. But our Brake Buddy Classic 3 is going to allow our towed vehicle to slow itself down and stop itself so we're not putting all that strain and stress on the motorhome.So here's what our Brake Buddy looks like once we have it installed. It is going to be a portable system so whenever we're not towing our towed vehicle we can take it out and drive like normal.

But whenever we do want to tow, it's only going to take a few minutes to get it installed. The way our Brake Buddy is going to apply the brakes to our towed vehicle is it's going to have an actuator built in, that's actually going to come out and extend and press on the brake pedal so our towed vehicle can slow itself down. But the nice thing is we're not going to have to worry about false braking because our Brake Buddy has an internal inertia sensor that detects the deceleration or the slowing down of our towed vehicle. And it has advanced terrain technology as well so if we're going up and down a lot of hills where we are naturally going to slow down, our Brake Buddy is not going to slow down and apply the brakes in those situations.Now our Brake Buddy Classic 3 is going to be a preset system. So depending on how we have it set, when we hit the brakes in our motor home and it senses that it's slowing down, it's going to apply a certain amount of pressure depending on how we have it set.

But we are still going to be able to make those adjustments, we'll have three settings, low, medium, and high. The low setting is going to be good for cars and compact SUV's. The medium setting will be good for midsize crossovers, mid-size pickups and smaller SUV's and then the high setting is going to be for full-size SUV's and pickup trucks. And the way you're going to cycle through is if we just come to the button that has braking power we can start cycling through and you can see the light coming on to see which setting that we're actually on.Now, some of us may have hybrids or cars that have electric power assist brakes and that's perfectly fine our Classic 3 is still going to work with those, simply just come to the braking mode and put it in a hybrid and then we don't have to worry about it. Now having a braking system is a really nice thing, we can make sure that it's going to slow down and stop when we need it to, but if we're in our motorhome we don't know what's going on back here.

Well, Brake Buddy has this wireless transmitter that we plugged directly into the top of the Brake Buddy box that's going to send a signal to our motorhome so we can monitor what's going on.And what I really think sets our Brake Buddy apart from most other portable braking systems, is that it's really easy to be all self-contained. Most of them are going to require us to plug in a 12 volt power source into a cigarette lighter or anything like that instead of our car, which a lot of times, if we have to disconnect our battery, we're going to have to hardwire that to the battery so we can plug it in and have power. But at the same time, we're going to have to run a wire to the breakaway switch and there's just a lot more components we're going to have to plug in. With our Brake Buddy it's all contained in this one cable right here. So we'll have one cable that goes directly into our Brake Buddy and then another cable that's going to go into a harness that's mounted underneath your dash.

And this harness is going to handle all of our power and our breakaway signals so we don't have to plug in too many things.And they did make it really nice and easy for us because these made these easy pull fasteners on the end of the plugs so we can just have a really good firm grip and not have to worry about pulling on the cable itself. And our Brake Buddy also is going to come with a battery charger because a lot of times when you have a supplemental braking system in your towed vehicle it can drain the battery, but this is going to have a triple charge, so whenever we're hooked up to our motorhome, as long as we have a 12 volt power source, this is going to have a small charge going to our battery so we never have to worry about a dead battery when we get to our destination.And Brake Buddy kind of went the extra mile, they went ahead and just cut out the middleman, said don't worry about that 12 volt power source we're just going to have you wire it directly to the battery. So between hooking it to the battery and having the charger, we should never have to worry about any kind of power issues with our Brake Buddy.We're also going to have a breakaway switch that's going to be mounted on the front of our towed vehicle. Now all brake systems are going to have a breakaway switch and what this is going to do in the event that our motorhome we're to become detached from our towed vehicle is this then would get pulled and our Brake Buddy is going to apply the brakes at full force. Now inside of our motorhome, we're going to be able to monitor everything that's going on with our towed vehicle, because we're going to have the receiver and this is going to be what's receiving all those signals from that transmitter, letting us know when our Brake Buddy is applying the brakes, when they're released. In the event of a breakaway we're going to all have some kind of alert when it's applying the brakes, we're going to have a red light come on. So we just looked down, don't even have to worry about taking our eyes off the road and we'll know that it's working.But in the event of a breakaway, it is going to have an audible alarm to let us know what's going on. And having all those features in a braking system is a really nice thing. But a lot of times customers wonder, well since I had to set this up every time, is it going to take me that much more time to get it in and take it out Well, that's the beauty of a portable system. It's extremely quick and easy to set up. And in fact, I can pull this out in a matter of minutes. Unplug our harness from the Brake Buddy and the socket, pull out our transmitter, unlock our clamp, and then we can pull it out.And honestly, one of my favorite parts about the Brake Buddy is how light it is. I can hold the whole thing with one finger because this entire unit is only going to weigh about 11 pounds. So even though we do have to crouch down to install it, it's going to be a lot easier than some of those larger heavier units. But now that we've seen our Brake Buddy in action and working, let's go and show you how to set it up. At this point we grab our Brake Buddy and if we come to the back section we'll have this lock release here, lift up, can actually rotate the handle into position and it makes a lot easier to grab. So you want to place your Brake Buddy on the floorboard and we want to push it all the way against the back seats so we have plenty of room to work at the brake pedal here.So we want to grab our clamp here. You'll notice it's going to have a little red lever on top. We want it to be in the position that it's going to be the furthest stretched out. So you can see as I rotate it, it's bringing that bottom section up. All we want to do is we want to turn this until we can slide it over our brake pedal and it grabs it really nice and then whenever we rotate that handle it squeezes that clamp on there so it's not going to move around. Every car should be a little different, but you can see we have a lot of adjustment here. So even if you have a really skinny brake pedal, we can wind this up until it wraps around it nicely.Now that our clamp is nice and secure, it's not moving either way once we have it locked down, once we loosen it we can clearly move the bracket on there. We have a couple different options of what we can do. We can either remove the clamp completely or we can leave it on there and we're going to slide our Brake Buddy forward until we have this round hole that will line up, with these two holes we're going to secure it using the provided pin and clip. So I'll slide my Brake Buddy forward just enough to get that pin to go through. And I'll secure it down with the clip.Now we look at the bottom of our Brake Buddy here, we're going to have these legs. Now these are adjustable because not all floorboards are perfectly flat. You can already see the front's a little bit higher than the back on ours because the back has a little bit higher section so it makes it nice and even. But if you need to adjust them, you can just grab the leg, should be able to twist it and be able to go in and out an inch every little section that there's a notch on. So we can go all the way from one inch to four inches. So let's find to where its nice and level, turn it the other way and it'll lock in place.Next we want to grab our harness. Now, one of thems going to have a black end, it'll say dash on there. This is going to plug into the plug that we chose to mount right over here. So plug that end in, now the gray plug is going to plug in right on the front of our Brake Buddy, I'm going to plug that in as well. And once we have it plugged in we should have a light coming on, letting us know that it's getting power. And before we adjust anything we want to double check, make sure our Brake Buddy is nice and level, it's not pushing against the pedal. And then we want to move our seat forward just to where it's barely going to make contact. But again, you don't want it to be pushing on the brake pedal because then it's going to be dragging the brakes.Next step is we're going to hit the auto start button. What that's going to do is it's going to cycle our brake pedal a few times, its going to take all that extra vacuum out of the system so we don't have over braking later on. Then we'll grab the transmitter for our Brake Buddy, that's going to be the one that has the two prongs on the back. We'll plug it in right into these two ports, you just want to make sure that it's pointing towards the front of your towed vehicle. And on the inside of our motorhome we're going to grab the receiver end. And this is just going to have a 12 volt power source coming out the corner here. There's no plugs or prongs on it, we're going to plug this into a 12 volt power source. We'll see the red lights going to come on real quick and then go out and this is going to allow us to monitor when our Brake Buddy comes on and in the event of any kind of catastrophic disconnect, an alarm will go off letting us know what's going on.We're also going to have a breakaway switch mounted to the front of your towed vehicle. So we're going to take the included cable. We'll take the small end, we're going to hook it to the ring that's our breakaway switch. And we're going to run this to the inaudible 00:10:27 on our motorhome. Once you have that set up, you're ready to finish setting up your flat tow and you're ready to hit the road. Just keep in mind it is going to be a little bit quicker the next time we set it up because we're not going to have to adjust the legs or mess with the clamp on the pedal. With all that being said, again I'm Rob here at etrailer.com and that'll finish up your look at the Brake Buddy Classic 3 Supplemental Braking System..


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Employee Jeff D
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