I’ve now used my Brake Buddy braking system (Classic version) for almost 2,000 miles so I feel like its time to throw out a review. I don’t have other braking systems to compare this one to from personal experience so take this review with a grain of salt.
The install wasn’t bad at all. The only part of the install that requires any time is running the wires for the brake disconnect from the front of the towed vehicle to underneath the drivers seat. I was on my back for about 45 minutes running the wire from the front of the Jeep to the seat. If you are a bit more mechanically-inclined than myself, I’m betting you could do it in about 20 minutes.
Here’s the quick rundown on the set up
-Scoot the drivers seat all the way back
-Sit the Brake Buddy in the Floorboard
-Latch the Brake Buddy Braking System’s “hand” to the brake
-Scoot the seat back up until it is barely not touching the Brake Buddy (or barely touching, either is fine)
-Plug in the breakaway cable from under the seat
-Plug the body into the towed vehicle cigarette lighter and let the air compressor fill up
-Hit the test button 5 times (each time you hit it, it takes about 5 seconds)
-Plug the alert box into the cigarette lighter of the RV
If you want to see a video of the setup, here’s one on YouTube that I found really helpful
The Brake Buddy has worked well for me over the past 2,000 miles. I still have not
Brake Buddy Braking System Cons and Pros
I forgot to unplug the Brake Buddy when we stopped overnight and my towed vehicle battery was drained the next morning. I’m not sure if unplugging overnight is a necessity. I’m pretty sure my battery is on its last leg, but there can be a battery drain with this thing, so keep it in mind.
Extra time/space for setup
Having a Brake Buddy Braking System is one more item in a pretty long list of things that need to be done when leaving or arriving at a destination. Sure, it only takes 10 minutes or less to set it up, but it is one more thing that could go wrong.
Since I was able to easily install the Brake Buddy myself, the overall price of the system was quite a bit less than other systems I looked at. Reviews in forums and Amazon are descent as well.
Wireless Alert System
Most of the braking systems I looked at required running a wire from the towed vehicle to the front of the RV up through the dash for an alert system. I love that the Brake Buddy’s wireless system is nothing more than plugging it into the cigarette lighter. My RV is 39′ long so I would image most RVs would be within range of the Brake Buddy.
Peace of Mind
This would likely apply to any braking system, but if you don’t have a braking system on your vehicle, there is a good chance you are breaking the law. I totally get not wanting to put the time and money into a braking system if it feels like you can already brake reasonably fast, but why take the chance? Especially if your wife and/or kids are with you. It’s just not worth it. For under a thousand bucks, and less than an hour of your time, you can slap a Brake Buddy Braking System into your towed vehicle and be on your way. That is the #1 reason I would recommend a Brake Buddy. Its once of the easiest ways to get starting with braking for your towed vehicle.