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The Best Towed Vehicle Braking Systems to Offer Great Safety

Written by Philip Lopez / Fact checked by Paul Lemaire

Any vehicle you tow behind your RV or truck should have its own braking system. It prevents putting strain on your primary brakes and reduces the stopping distance; hence, keeping you safe at all situations. Therefore, investing in the best towed vehicle braking system is the right way to ensure your safety as well as your vehicle’s safety.

best towed vehicle braking system

For those who already understand the importance of a towed vehicle’s braking system and are looking to invest in one, we have discussed all in this in-depth towed vehicle braking systems’ review article.

  • Style: There are many types of towed vehicle braking systems that you can choose, from progressive to direct. Progressive brakes help avoid skidding with their gradual application of pressure, while direct brakes provide proper alignment for precision.
    If you’re a heavy trailer user, opt for the proportional braking system for towed vehicles like the Ready Brake system because you can hit it hard to stop in an instant.
  • Compatibility: Your brake system should be compatible with your vehicle to work. If not, it may require an additional adapter, as is usually the case for a Jeep flat tow brake system.
  • Alert System: Since you’ll be towing a vehicle from behind, you’ll need an LED or dash monitor for guidance. It would be even better to integrate your flat tow braking system monitor with an audio alert. This system is essential, as it will ensure precise control and better safety on the road.

I have selected some of the most popular braking systems available in the market and reviewed them for you.

Product name Outstanding Features
Top 1
Blue Ox BRK2019
  • Lightweight design
  • Two years warranty
  • Constantly auto checks
Top 2
NSA RB-4000
  • Dash monitory system
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Quick and full proportional braking
Top 3
Roadmaster 8700
  • Comes with an LED monitor
  • No fussing with on and off switch
  • Charges the battery during the towing

Table of Contents

Top-Quality Towed Vehicle Braking System Reviews

Below I share my personal experience with some of the best towed vehicle braking systems in the market.

1. Blue Ox BRK2019 3 Brake System

The first product on my list is a braking system that is highly reliable for your truck and camper by Blue Ox. I was expecting the product to be a bit heavy, but it is stunningly lightweight. So it became extremely easy for me to carry around.

Considering that the system is entirely electrical, there is no need to fuss with a hose or pump, which always has a risk of leakage. So, this makes the entire brake system well contained and synchronized. Since these brakes come with plug and play connectors, they offer effortless installation.

With this electronic device, you can rest assured about safety. It offers automatic check and control throughout the set-up and towing process, making sure the brake pressure is stable for fast response.

Moreover, with an electric braking system, you have to spend less on maintenance as opposed to a conventional braking system. This portable RV braking system comes with a two years of manufacturer’s warranty, which reassures of its quality build and reliable performance.

Another thing I liked about this system is that it merely took a couple of seconds to get to full brakes when I did a test run. Instead of giving sudden jolting that can result in a lot of damage, the vehicle’s brake system is steady and does not give any surprises. This is important for the safety of people who are on board.

A great integration in this product is the in-coach controller or remote controller, which has an extended range frequency of up to 53 feet. Moreover, it comes with an effective supercapacitor that offers sufficient backup and more energy storage. The faster-charging feature also makes it a great product.

On the flip side, the LED monitor lacks adequate brightness. With all the glaring, it becomes very difficult to see the options during the daytime.
  • Features an in-coach controller with an RF range up to 53 feet
  • Lightweight design makes it easy to carry the tool
  • Constantly auto checks and controls the brake for safety
  • Offers a two years of manufacturing warranty
  • Comes with a supercapacitor for more backup power
  • The brightness of the LED monitor is subpar
It is a high-quality braking system and popularly recommended for towing vehicles. The highlight of the product is the in-coach remoting system that gives you more control and better performance.

2. NSA RB-4000 EV Brake

The next brake system on my list is by NSA RV products. This RB-4000 EV brake comes with a strong design that ensures durability and high performance. It is considered one of the reliable braking systems available in the market.

The brake is designed to function on a hitch-mounted tow bar or tow vehicle. The system is entirely mechanical and does not feature even a single electrical component.

On the test drive, it offered proportional and instant braking for my towed vehicle. Additionally, you will also get a dash light that illuminates when you apply brakes on your towed vehicle. It holds the towing capacity of up to 8000 lbs and weighs around 20 lbs.

With this product, you will get a DL-300 dash monitor system, ReadyBrake, conduit bracket, brake tie brackets, towed vehicle internal cable sling accompanied by conduit, and conduit floor mount, and instruction guide. You will get everything in this package, so you do not have to buy anything separately.

The dash monitor system enables you to monitor the towed vehicle braking system from the comfort and safety of your RV. And, lastly, the product comes with a limited lifetime manufacturer warranty so you can be assured of its quality.

The thing that I did not like about it is that it becomes difficult to get the right link for the cable. This especially happens when you go a little deep.
  • Features quick and full proportional braking
  • Massive towing capacity of 8000 lbs to carry different sized vehicles
  • Dash monitory system for safe control
  • Provides a limited lifetime manufacturer warranty
  • Difficult to get an accurate link for the cable.
This is undoubtedly a strong product that stands true to most of its claims. If you are looking for a brake system for RV, then this may be a product to consider.

3. Roadmaster 8700 Braking System

When it comes to choosing a powerful braking system, safety is the most important feature. And, Roadmaster 8700 is one of the top-tier systems to consider in this aspect. Roadmaster is one of the leading manufacturers, so I had great expectations on their product, and I was not disappointed.

This vehicle’s brake system is very compact, easily placed under the driver’s seat, and can be set-up as a flat tow brake system. The Roadmaster invisibrake braking system generates sufficient air as well as a vacuum, which is capable of optimally energizing the brakes of your towed vehicle.

Coming to the installation, I referred to the instruction guide, which is quite detailed and easy to understand. Read it thoroughly, and you will have no trouble setting it up. The adjustment process is extremely straightforward, and you do not have to fuss with any on and off switch.

The vehicle’s brake system comes with an LED monitor, which can be attached to the dash of your vehicle. You can connect the audio signal circuit board to this LED monitor in order to get an audio alert as well. During my test drive, I gauged the brake, and to say I was satisfied would be an understatement.

The progressive braking system is extremely well-designed, and if you need to stop the vehicle immediately, it engages the pedal and swiftly ramps up the braking. One of the best features of this product is while towing, the battery is getting charged.

While the LED monitor is a great feature, it does not work that efficiently. When I hooked it up for the first time, it did not light up. I had to adjust the braking pressure for this monitor to light up.
  • Features an emergency breakaway system for emergency situations
  • No fussing with on and off switch
  • Comes with an LED monitor as well as an audible alert
  • Charges the battery during the towing
  • Needs a little adjustment to light up the LED monitor
Overall, I am truly impressed by this braking system. Whether it is the backup mechanism or built-in safety, the features of the product make it worth the investment. If your towed vehicle features vacuum-powered brakes, this system will work perfectly well.

4. Hopkins 3 Towed Vehicle Brake System

Next on my list is a versatile product by Hopkins that I got to try recently. The 3 Towed vehicle brake system comes with all the right features that you would expect in a braking system. The supplement braking system ensures that braking action between the RV and the vehicle being towed remains proportionate.

The system is sleek and lightweight, which makes the installation process less complicated. It is also easier to move the product from one vehicle to another.

During my test drive, I found the brakes to be instant and swift. Moreover, it is integrated with proportional braking technology. This adds to the exceptional braking performance that I experienced.

Another thing that I was very impressed by was the one-touch startup button. You do not have to fuss with multiple settings; just push a button, and you are all set to go. There is one cord that offers braking power as well as a breakaway. The product is designed to work on all types of vehicles that include hybrids.

To charge the battery, your vehicle must have 12 volts available, so check the same before buying. Moreover, the brake clamps did not fit well as the pads are too small.
  • One button startup for better use
  • A universal design to work on all types of vehicles
  • Features proportional braking technology
  • Lightweight design for portability
  • Proportionate braking action with supplemental braking system
  • Chargers only work with 12 volts
  • The pads are too small to fit brake clamps
Overall, this product comes with decent features and good value for money. I like the fact that the manufacturer has focused on ease of use while designing the product.

5. Roadmaster 9160 Braking System

This 9160 Brakemaster is another great braking system offered by Roadmaster. To begin with, the installation was easy and straightforward. The guide was thoroughly laid out, so I did not have to waste the whole afternoon trying to figure out how the system works.

The real-time brakes are truly impressive. It performed well on the dry road and also did exceptionally well on the wet road when you need sudden stops.

Another great thing about the product is that you can easily connect, remove, and reconnect the cylinder when you need to use it in your car. It saves a lot of time and effort as it comes out quickly in comparison to the permanent system. Moreover, the actuator is compact and sports a lightweight design, so it won’t take much space under the seat.

The most popular part of the whole braking system is the monitor alert. The LED monitor is added to the brake light switch of the towed vehicle, and when the lights of your vehicle go on and off, the notification light responds in the same manner. This is very important as it notifies you whether or not the brake pedal has been pressed.

But you should check whether the seat adapter is compatible with your vehicle. This is because it is not designed to fit with every vehicle.
  • Compact and lightweight actuator
  • Precise and consistent braking
  • Properly aligned and synchronized brakings system
  • Removable and easy to use cylinder system
  • Features a LED monitor for better control
  • The seat adapter should have been more compatible
Other than the seat adapter, the brake system is highly efficient. The manufacturer has ensured that the product has all the useful features to provide a safer and more comfortable riding experience.

6. Blue Ox BRK2016 Braking System

If you are looking for a smooth and safe riding experience, then the BRK2016 braking system by Blue Ox is a product to consider. I had used another Blue Ox braking system before and was always satisfied. So I had good expectations for this product.

Contrary to the predecessor, the 2016 model is sleeker and more compact. Additionally, the integrated carrying handle faciles the moving of the device from one vehicle to another.

The system works in perfect sync; the brake pressure you apply on the RV perfectly matches the amount of force on the towed vehicle. This is possible because of the internal sensor and a faster actuator.

The brake system has also received a major safety upgrade, which helped in excessively reducing the shock as well as wear. So even if you are making a sudden stop, you do not have to worry about safety. Moreover, the swift mechanism also ensures that not much strain is placed on the brake, thereby protecting from further damage.

You will have no problem with the installation of the system, even if it is your first time. The instruction guide is thorough and well laid out with pictures, so you probably will have no problem with it. When you plug in the power cord, a green colored indicator light will lit to indicate the system is running.

There was no need for any adjustments on the Cherokee, which also made the set-up easier and faster. My previous model took an entire day to get properly installed.

Another great feature of this product is the coach monitor, which is reliable and allows you to adjust sensitivity settings. This is more convenient to use as you can make changes in the brake with just a push of a button. The wireless remoting system works well to change the backlight of its screen.

Along with that, it features an alerting system that generates a warning alert and then displays a default message in breakaway circumstances. I was also impressed by the efficiency of the supercapacitor battery, making sure the brakes always have adequate power to function properly.

However, I was not thrilled about the stand that is made of rubber on the controller. It creates problems in keeping it stable. You may have to create a base, especially for it.
  • An all-electric setting makes working efficient
  • There is no need for pre-changing
  • Features an in-coach wireless controller that is really reliable
  • Comes with supercapacitor battery to facilitate uninterrupted performance of the brake
  • The rubber pad which is made for the controller lacks stability
Overall, the BRK2016 stands true to its claim and my expectations. The electric braking system is precise and offers great safety.

7. Roadmaster 9400 Brake System

Roadmaster is one favored company when it comes to the brake system. I have personally tried multiple brake systems from it and have left completely satisfied. Similar is the case with their 9400 brake system. Weighing 30 lbs, it is a lightweight product that is easy to carry around.

It automatically increased or decreased the braking pressure, matching the proportion of the motorhome. This means that the brakes are applied at the same time and with the same intensity in both vehicle. Even brakes offer full emergency braking whenever you need it without causing any wear on the brake.

The brake system comes with an LED display, which allows you to have better control over the braking and towing. Moreover, the constant self-diagnostic testing ensures that the RV toad braking system continues to perform at its optimum capacity. It also comes with low battery protection that allows you to run the vehicle for extra time.

One of the things that I did not like about this product is the confusing instructions. There are so many ”ifs” in the steps that it will end up perplexing you, especially if you are doing it for the first time. Also, the air is too thin to work in a high altitude region, and the pump runs for a while and shuts off automatically.
  • Lightweight design for optimum portability
  • Comes with an LED display for better control
  • Constant self-diagnostic testing
  • Low battery protection for extra performance.
  • Aligned brake on both the vehicles
  • Confusing instructions make installation confusing.
  • The pump shut shown automatically after a while
With even braking, breakaway system, self-diagnostic testing, this system has a lot going on for itself. Despite the few cons, it continues to be a popular offering by the company.

Outdated Products

Hopkins Classic Ii Braking System (Outdated)

Brake buddy Classic is a popular braking system and for all the right reasons. To begin with, it offers compatibility with all types of vehicles including hybrid models. There is a dash mount connector, and an easy pull power cord makes it easier to connect the device to the towed vehicle.

The unit comes with a quick-lock clevis attached to the brake pedal, thereby reducing the chances of accidents. The lightweight design makes it easier to transfer between multiple vehicles.

The wireless alert system comes with a receiver and transmitter. When the braking system is activated, you will get an alert on the dashboard of the RV or motorhome. The receiver plugs into a 12-volt outlet to provide this indication. On the other hand, the transmitter is connected on top of the braking system and sends a signal to the receiver when the system is activated.

The proportional braking technology is another great feature, which ensures that when the brake is applied, equal amount of pressure is applied on both vehicles. Moreover, a nice rise wrench allows the legs to be adjusted in and out.

The only thing is that the installation process can be a bit tedious. I had to make a lot of adjustments before I could get the system up and running.
  • Wireless system for ease of use
  • Dash mount connection and pull power code for easy connection to the towed vehicle
  • The lightweight design makes it easier to carry
  • Breakaway kit for easy detachment
  • Tedious installation process
Overall, it is a great vehicle for people who are constantly on the road trips. With robust and advanced features, this product is ideal for RV owners.

SMI 99251 Tow Braking System (Outdated)

The 99251 tow brake system by SMI has been my new addition to the RV. Contrary to other braking systems that need two activation signals to get the required control and prevention to steer clear from unwanted incidents, it offers an automatic and proportional mechanism.

It is also the only braking system, that sports out of an way, soft-pedal proportional braking design. You do not have to take out or reset the system; once you have set it up, you are good to go.

When I took it for a test drive, I was impressed with the performance it delivered. The stop was instant and smooth. The SMI braking system is capable of boosting the braking power of your vehicle without a running engine.

Another thing that I liked about it is the use of hydraulic brakes that use liquids that do not compress while transferring the pressure. This makes these brakes more reliable as well as consistent. The fast break performance certainly adds to the safety of the products.

Moreover, the DUO comes with a built-in safety feature reckoned as the coach notification. It will alert you when the system is activated irrespective of whether or not the brake pedal of the truck is depressed. So when the lights of my truck went off or on, so did the notification light.

The break-away system makes sure that the vehicle stays at a safe stopping distance from the RV while towing and on the road.

The only thing that bothered me about this product is the arduous installation process. It took me a couple of hours to entirely set up the system.
  • The consistent and automatic braking offers improved performance
  • The use of hydraulic brakes adds to the efficiency
  • Comes with the breakaway kit for better safety
  • Sports a LED coach notification system
  • The installation process is complicated and lengthy
This is a great product with all the right features that you would expect from a towed vehicle’s braking system. From safety, consistent, to durability, and efficiency, you get everything with this product.

Demco 9599006 Braking System (Outdated)

I am someone who often travels with my family and knows how, at times, it can be chaotic. This is why I have decided to invest in a braking system and ensure that my trip stays safe without any hassle. Since I plan to keep my RV for a longer time, I have been excited to try Demco’s Stay-In Play Duo braking system.

The unit is compact, and I was able to install it under the passenger seat easily and placed the primary operating unit under the driver’s seat. One of the best things is that the whole system is automatic, which makes the setup process less complicated. This system works perfectly well with vacuum brakes.

Additionally, the LED monitor that I placed on the dash made it efficient for me to ramp up the system and make necessary adjustments. The brakes were fast and consistent, which I was truly impressed with. The panic stop feature was also effortless, which makes it a reliable product to consider. This braking system uses hydraulic brakes so along with consistency you can also expect durability.

The coach notification system is another great feature of this product. It enables you to see whether or not the brake is powered on. When the brake lights are lit, it confirms that the brakes are on.

The only thing that concerned me about the product was the installation. I am mechanically inclined even then it took me hours to get everything set up. If you are someone who is doing this for the first time or haven’t got much experience, it may be complicated for you.
  • Hydraulic brakes offer more durability
  • The coach notification system is highly reliable
  • Sports panic stop breaking for better safety
  • Comes with a reliable coach notification system for better performance
  • The installation can take up several hours
If you can bear with the installation process, then this product is ideal for you. With the kind of features it comes with, it will make it easier for you to carry your vehicle along on your road trips.

What To Know Before Buying A Towed Vehicles Braking System


Choosing the right braking system will make a significant difference to your vehicle brake system and a significant difference to the safety of you and your vehicle. Below I have laid out some factors that you should consider while choosing the braking system:

  • Portability

A Portable tow car brake system makes it easier for you to set up and carry from one vehicle to another. So if you have to tow more than one vehicle, then portability is an important factor to consider. A portable towed vehicle is convenient as you do not have to pay extra money.

Many of the tow braking systems are easy to install. All you have to do is place it near the driver’s seat on the floorboard, connect the arm to the brake pedal, and set up the braking power. The only drawback of portable systems is that it gets damaged quicker when moving around a lot.

  • Permanent Braking Systems for Towed Vehicles

Permanent braking systems as the name suggests once installed stay there and are typically hard-wired to the towed vehicle and in some cases, also to the vehicle doing the towing. These systems can be mounted in a way that it is out of the way. And once you start the device, you do not have to do anymore controlling.

Considering that the device needs to wire into mechanical and electrical systems, the costs associated with the installation can be higher. But it is a one-time investment.

  • Adjustment

There must be an adequate mechanism that controls the reaction of the brake. The brakes must be prepared to offer optimum power to stop at a safe stopping distance so that it is able to ramp up the braking pressure automatically without any input from you. Additionally, it should be able to decrease the pressure itself while avoiding pressure on the brake.

  • Driver Signal

Another important feature of the tow vehicle brake system is the capability to control while driving the main vehicle through a dashboard signal or any other kind of signal. You should always be aware of whether or not the brakes are active and the kind of pressure they are putting. Moreover, the brakes should also be able to account for the brake lights of the towing vehicle.

  • LED Display

Generally, the auxiliary braking system comes with some type of LED display. It is a useful feature as it informs you regarding the status of the system and other important data, including diagnostic tools. When you are aware of things such as output current, output voltage, or warning system alerts, you can better identify the issue and take rectifying measures sooner.

There are LED diagnostic displays that feature various colors and have multiple language options for better use. Make sure you choose a display system that is easier to understand and comes with user-friendly menu options.

  • Choosing Between Hydraulic and Air Brakes

Not all brake systems for towed vehicles work in a similar manner since most of the brake systems come with hydraulic brakes. But some of them need compressed air to power the brakes of larger and heavier vehicles. Therefore when looking for a brake system, make sure that it works with the brake type that is integrated into the vehicle that you will be using to tow.

  • When Choosing Progressive Brake

These types of braking systems for towed vehicles function only when the brakes of the towed vehicle are engaged. The auxiliary braking system worked when it determined that the vehicle’s brakes had been activated. The longer you press on the brakes, the longer the auxiliary brakes will sustain.

This is executed to protect the brakes from overheating. The main drawback of using this system is that it only depends on the signal offered by the main brakes. However, it is often inaccurate as the system calculates or estimates the declaration of your vehicle.

  • Check the Legal Compliance

Prior to deciding on a braking system, it is better to check the legal regulations for the state where you reside. This is because states like New York need a braking system if the weight of the towed vehicle exceeds 1000 pounds. Additionally for Michigan, the weight limit stands at 15,000 pounds.

For that reason, it would be safer to be compliant with the law of the state you live in and the state you are traveling to.

  • Be Clear About the Warranty Information

Generally, the braking systems for towed vehicles come with a warranty. The period of warranty can stand at one year or be a lifetime warranty.

It is better to buy a supplemental braking system that features a warranty. This is because damages to these systems can prove to be very expensive and a warranty will help you save such costs.

Additionally, you should also check the warranty information on the installation of the braking system as well. Based on the model you select, certain things can void the manufacturer’s warranty, and you have to take it to certain professionals.

  • Compatibility with Vehicle

Some towed car brake systems might not be compatible with particular models. So check whether or not this specific information is provided by the manufacturer. While vehicles of Chevy, Jeep Wrangler, Honda, etc. are compatible with brake systems, you might need to purchase an additional adapter for properly setting up.

What Are The Types Of Towed Vehicle Braking Systems

The following are the common types of towed vehicle brake systems –

  • Proportional Braking System

These systems work together with the towing vehicle. If you slam the vehicle hard, then the brakes on the towed vehicle will also slam hard. This is accomplished via a sensor known as an accelerometer, which senses how slowly or quickly your truck or RV is decelerating.

Then the same force is aligned to decrease the speed of the toad. In multiple cases, the proportional braking system must be set with the adjusted pressure to the weight of the vehicle that is being towed. Once that is set, there is no need for further adjustments.

One of the major challenges of this braking system is that it does not work efficiently with hybrids featuring power-assisted brakes.

  • Progressive Braking Systems

These systems are more basic and function only when the brakes of the towing vehicle are engaged. The supplemental brakes are added as quickly as the system gets a signal that the towing vehicle’s brakes have been engaged.

The longer the brakes are pressure, the higher will be the pressure that this system puts on the toad. Additionally, sensors assert brake pressure to a particular point and then release after a specific time. This is done to protect the system from getting overheated.

  • Direct

These RV tow vehicle brake systems are more precise in their functioning. Although it has to predict how much braking is needed, the direct method does eliminate the guesswork and offers proper alignment. This is because it is connected directly to the brake of the vehicle, which you are using to tow. This implies that there is no issue of under-baking or over-braking.

When installing a direct braking system, it is better to refer to a manufacturer’s guidelines. This is because tapping into the brake lines may void the warranty on certain vehicles. The installation of this system can be complicated and require some mechanical skills.

Benefits Of The Towed Vehicle Braking Systems

If you want to transport a vehicle from one place to another safely, then investing in a braking system can be worthwhile. Here are some of the main advantages of towed vehicle braking systems

  • To Prolong the Brake Life of Motorhomes

Depending solely on the main braking system while towing vehicles every time is not a good idea. This tends to generate wear on the brakes easily. If one of them malfunctions while you are on the road, it will be difficult for you to call for help and get the issue fixed. But when you have a toad brake system, you can make sure that the brakes of your main vehicle are working properly as there is less pressure on them.

  • Safety

If you wish to carry another vehicle through a tow dolly, then you would definitely need a good braking system so that you can ensure that it stops at the exact moment when you step on the brake. And this is what a toad braking system works to provide. It is dangerous to drive on a rough road or a freeway relying only on the main brake system. The heavyweight of the vehicle will certainly impact the performance and increase the chances of mishaps.

  • Ensure the Quality of the Tow Bar

When you invest in a tow bar, you have to ensure that it’s maintained in top condition. One of the most suitable ways to ensure that it does not sustain damage is by buying a braking system for towing your vehicle. Without a proper braking system, the tow bar absorbs the momentum of the vehicle that is being towed. And when this happens constantly, the tow bar will eventually bend, which will compromise its performance.

  • To Protect The Main Vehicle’s Warranty

Warranty is imperative when you own a motorhome or RV. Other than collisions and physical damages, the warranty takes the burden of a lot of expenses.

Additionally, if the brakes of your vehicle start to malfunction due to inadequate deceleration or an accident due to the vehicle or its impact, then the damage is not covered by the policy providing company. A good-quality braking system can help you in preventing this from happening.

  • Adherence to the Law

Across the United States, people use dinghy towing brake systems; similarly, they would consider the weight limit required on a motor vehicle or RV. If you own a tow bar or tow dolly, you must install an adequate braking system to safely and legally travel across the country.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do towed vehicle braking systems work?

Towing braking systems generally feature breakaway kits and battery-powered electronics that detect when the vehicle which is being towed has been separated from the main vehicle.

The battery sends power to the brake of the unhitched vehicles, slowing down the runaway vehicle and mitigating any potential damages to the driver or the drivers. It is installed in a towed vehicle and connected to the towing vehicle electrically. Additionally, if you want to tow a vehicle through a motorhome, ensure that you do not avoid the procurement.

Who makes the top-tier towed vehicle braking system?


When it comes to choosing the top-rated towed vehicle braking system in the market, the brand is an important aspect to consider. And below are some of the most trusted brands to rely on to purchase a braking system for towing vehicles –

  • Blue Ox

Blue Ox in the year 1991 was acquired by Automatic Equipment, and since then it has been a leading company in the aftermarket towing industry. Along with braking systems, the brand also manufactures carriers, hitches, and tow bars.

  • Roadmaster

This company was established in 1970 and had been constructing aftermarket towing products for the last 50 years. They manufacture all their products at their dedicated plant located in Vancouver, Washington.

  • Demco

This company started 70 years ago as a manufacturer of agricultural products and later shifted to making motor accessories. Over the years, it has expanded into recreational vehicles and manufacturing brake systems.

  • Hopkins

This company was started out in 1953 in Emporia, KS. It is one of the oldest and the most popular companies that produce towing electrical products. The company envisions making the towing experience of the consumers safer and more efficient.

What are the 3 main braking systems on a lorry?

The three main braking systems on a lorry include –

  • Service Brake

The service brake in a lorry is the main braking system. It is generally controlled by foot and separated mechanically from the emergency brake or parking brake. This can include drum or disk brakes or both depending on the system.

It is generally hydraulic and depends on hydraulic pressure to launch the braking system. The general service brake harnesses a bias where most of the braking force is applied on the front brakes. This maintains the control of the vehicle under heavy braking requirements.

  • Secondary Brakes

These brakes are designed to work when the primary brake fails to launch. It is generally located at the front axle and is controlled by a hand lever. This type of brake also includes a piston that is used to clamp a brake rotor against a steady reaction plate.

  • Emergency Brake

An emergency brake is used when the vehicle is in a stationary position. It comes with a cable connected to the wheel brakes and then further integrated to a pulling mechanism. Typically, parking brakes are operated on the rear wheels to reduce the traction when applying the brake.

How do you set up and use a towed vehicle braking system?

Some of the braking systems are difficult to install. The challenge of installing a towing braking system mainly depends on how often you change your motor homes. Some people continue to shop for different RVs, buying and selling for better units. But there are also people who are content with their investment and plan to use the RV for a long time.

If you change your RV frequently, I would suggest portable braking systems as it would be easier to switch between multiple vehicles. Moreover, the installation process of these systems typically takes one to two hours. The main task is to adjust the pedal clamp on the brake pedal of the RV, plugging into the wiring harness, and add the power cord into a proper power source.

On the other hand, if you only tow a single vehicle behind your RV, then a direct braking system would be more adequate. It is directly connected to the braking system of your RV; therefore, the installation process is more time-consuming and demanding. Also, having a direct braking system does not make the whole setup permanent, and it would be difficult to move the system from one place to another.

Is a towed vehicle braking system removable?

Yes, unlike permanent models, an automobile braking system can be removable when it’s a portable or wireless unit. This is because such products allow you to detach the systems and install them on other vehicles.

Here are the other pros and cons of wireless brake controller.

These portable models are lightweight and easy to install since they don’t require any cutting or drilling. They’re also cheaper than hard-wired braking systems. In addition, they allow you to switch between vehicles with ease.

However, wireless brake controllers have a limited range and can interfere with signal-jamming devices. Their limited battery life can also pose an issue.

Are air brakes better than electric brakes?

An air brake system is better for flat towing large and heavy trailers. It has adequate power to stop bulky vehicles short. This makes air brakes safer for RV towing.

Electric brakes are ideal for lightweight applications. They’re easy to use because they work independently using a brake controller. While these brakes are cheaper than the air brake models, they need an expensive battery to work and costly repairs.

How much can you tow without brake controller?

It depends on the area where you’re towing. In North Carolina and New York, you can tow without a brake controller if the trailer is lighter than 1,000 lbs.

However, in other regions, such as North Dakota and or New Jersey, brake controllers are always required when towing, regardless of weight. Therefore, it would be best just to check the local regulations to decide the best course of action.

How much does a whole new brake system cost?

A whole new brake system may cost around $800-$1,500. With this kit, you’ll get everything, including the operating unit, hardware, and connection assembly.

If you want a cheap flat tow brake system, you can find some good used flat tow brake system units in auto parts and surplus.


There are a plethora of aspects that an RV owner should know when investing in a towed vehicle’s braking system prior to making a purchase decision. Having proper knowledge allows you to buy the right product and eliminates the chances of any mishaps to you or your vehicle. And when you search for a towed vehicle braking system, there will be a lot of options available.

This abundance of options can become confusing and overwhelming. To make things easier for you, I have listed and reviewed some of the best towed vehicle braking system available in the market. Additionally, I have also added additional information that will make your buying process easier and more efficient. Hence, just go through these vehicle braking system reviews and make a perfect buying decision.

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