2701 South Congress ♦ Austin, TX 78704
512-444-3227 ♦ Website
When I first started RVing in 2001, I towed a little Saturn wagon that was light enough not to require an auxiliary braking system. But when I bought a new SUV in 2009, its heavier weight required it. Not only is it against the law in some states not to have it, but it helps to shorten stopping distance, as well as reduces wear on the motorhome brakes. I bought my Brake Buddy from Spillar Custom Hitches because Randy Baden there had previously installed my Blue Ox Aladdin tow bar system on the Saturn and motorhome.
Randy has always gone above and beyond the normal expectation of customer service. Once when I had a concern about my tow bar as I was heading out of town, he came over to the RV park to make sure everything was safely done and working properly. He even gave me his cell phone number in case I needed him after work hours. That is a real comfort to a solo woman who is not in the least bit mechanically minded for sure!
Here it is installed in my car. The pedal bracket fits over the brake pedal on the car and the unit butts up to the seat. Randy gave me detailed instructions on every step on how to properly install and configure it.
My model features a radio remote that communicates with the RV without any need for wiring in the motorhome.
Here’s the unit that plugs into the 12 volt plug in the RV. When the Brake Buddy is activated, a light comes on to show you it is working.
At first I thought that every time I applied the RV brakes that the Brake Buddy also was applied to the car’s brakes. This is not the case – only if the brakes are slammed on or when you’re going over 15 mph will it engage. This reduces battery useage.
There is also this break-away system that will bring the car to a controlled stop should it ever separate from the motorhome.
I was pretty nervous about the whole process at first, but Randy was so patient while he explained every step and waited while I took notes and pictures. The first time I used it, I called him from the road with a question and he was able to talk me through my issue and reassure me that all was well.
When I got my newer motorhome and tow car in 2013, there was no question in my mind that I would go back to Randy so I’d be sure it was done right. The lower profile of the Fit required an adapter, and of course I needed a new base plate for the car, but I could keep my Blue Ox which had served me well. However, it was reassuring to have Randy check everything out so I could feel safe hitting the road again!
I highly recommend him and believe what he said that some people come from other states to have him work on their hitches because they trust him that much. Spillar has two locations in Austin, and you can reach Randy at the south location at 800-252-7050. Give him a call for your hitching needs and give him my regards!
Towing Laws (Brake Buddy)
Supplemental Braking Systems (RV Tech Library.com)
Be Safe – Get An Auxiliary Braking System (BackRoadTravelers.com)