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Best Supplemental Braking System for 2013 Honda Fit Towed by Motorhome With Hydraulic Brakes

Question:

I love your site. Looks like I can buy all parts needed to add braking system to my tow car. What is your recommended top picks of a proportioning braking system I can add to a 2013 Honda Fit? Will tow with Class A 34 ft Tiffin, gas engine no air brakes. From your experience, which brake systems are most reliable with minimum failures? I like idea of permanent mount with vacuum pump connected to brake booster but understand some failures have occurred with tug cable fraying and breaking directly under the brake peddle caused by cable compression during normal driving. Recommendations?

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Helpful Expert Reply:

Thanks for the kind words about the site and you can definitely get everything you need in order to flat tow your 2013 Honda Fit, including the supplemental braking system when you are flat towing it with your motorhome that has hydraulic brakes and not air brakes.

Let's talk about the best and most reliable system, which is the Stay-IN-Play DUO Supplemental Braking System # SM99251. This is a permanently mounted system that uses a vacuum pump, and though you mentioned a fraying cable, I can say with all honesty this is not a problem we have encountered. I went through all the reviews and searched our Q&As and could not find any reference to a problem like this.

The Stay-IN-Play has a fantastic reputation and I recommend it not only because of its reliability, but because it is unique in that it is a proportional system. What this means is that it has an inertia sensor so that your Fit's brakes will be activated with the same intensity as your motorhome. This is in contrast to other systems which have a pre-set braking power and put out far more braking pressure than is necessary. I have added a link to a video review of the Stay-IN-Play DUO Supplemental Braking System # SM99251 as well as a link to an install on a Honda Fit for you to take a look at.

In case you need it, here are the other parts I recommend for flat-towing your 2013 Honda Fit:

- Base Plate Kit: Roadmaster EZ Base Plate Kit # 521190-1
- Tow Bar: Roadmaster Falcon 2 Tow Bar # RM-520
- Safety Chains: RoadMaster 68" Single Hook, Coiled Safety Cables # RM-643
- Wiring Kit: Roadmaster Diode 7-Wire to 6-Wire Flexo-Coil Wiring Kit # RM-15267
- Roadmaster FuseMaster Fuse Bypass - 13" - 20-Amp Mini-Fuse # RM76511
- Roadmaster Brake-Lite Relay Kit for Towed Vehicles # RM-88400

You may also need a high-low adapter in order to keep your Fit level, and I've added a link to a help article which shows you how to determine if you need an adapter as well as a link to our selection of adapters. Additionally, I have added links to instruction manuals, video reviews and installations for you to take a look at.

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helpful expert reply by:
1
Kyle S

Question:

I also did some Internet research and I like the "SMI Stay-IN-Play DUO", however, it appears the if the actuator is attached to brake pedal of my 2013 Honda Fit as shown in the pics and video of installations that my size 10-1/2 shoe will not fit between the floor and the actuator. Do you know (or I should I ask the manufacturer direct) if the actuator can be attached high on the brake pedal arm and still function properly? If it will fit or work up high, I'm sold! If my shoe will not fit, is there another reliable permanent mount system that supplies vacuum to the brake boost system? I like the idea of applying vacuum to the towed car brake system to make braking easier. Are these vacuum assist systems suitable options? Brakebuddy Stealth: actuator is pretty large, may not fit in my Honda Fit. Your comments? InvisiBrake may fit. Your comments? Any others to consider?

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Helpful Expert Reply:

You question about the cylinder of the Stay-IN-Play DUO Supplemental Braking System # SM99251 and its position on the brake pedal is a good one, so I reached out to the the manufacturer. They reiterated what the instruction manual states, which is that the actuator arm can be positioned as high as needed not to interfere with your normal driving, but for the most effective braking it should be 1" to 2" above the driver's foot location.

They also said to be sure to note that pressing the brake pedal happens with the ball of your foot so it is unlikely any interference will occur. I also went through all of our reviews to on this system to see if this was a problem anybody had encountered, and as of this date it was only mentioned once. I added a cutout of that review for you, which said, "The brake pedal actuator went on without much fuss, although with my large feet I have noticed I'll catch the actuator with my toe on occasion. I may mark the location it's in now & merely raise it up a tab in between trips."

So you can use the Stay-IN-Play # SM99251 without issue and this system would still be my recommendation over the Brake Buddy Stealth # HM39530 and Roadmaster InvisiBrake # RM-8700. Both of these systems also require the clamp to be low on the brake pedal, and the clamp on the Stealth has pre-drilled holes which may stick out so it would not provide any advantage over the Stay-IN-Play. Of these two, the InvisiBrake would be the better option because it does allow you to trim off any excess part of the clamp if necessary, as shown in the linked installation instructions. Keep in mind you would need Brake-Lite Relay Kit # RM-88400 along with the InvisiBrake on your '13 Fit.

That said, the reason I still like the Stay-IN-Play more is because of its proportional braking, which is going to be a smoother system and better ride for you than the pre-set braking powers of the other systems.

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helpful expert reply by:
1
Kyle S

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