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Blue Ox Tow Bar Braking Systems - Brake Systems - BRK2016 Review

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Review of Blue Ox Tow Bar Braking Systems BRK2016

Today we're going to be taking a look at the Blue Ox Patriot II proportional portable braking system. This is an all electric proportional system that results in synchronized reliable braking for your towed vehicle. What that means is that the brake pedal in the vehicle that's being towed by the RV is going to be depressed with the same intensity or at the same time as the pedal in your RV. This is a portable system meaning that you can easily remove it from one vehicle and place it in another one for a flat towing situation, so it's not a permanent installation. It's easily portable. This part of the unit only weighs about 10 pounds, so it's a nice lightweight design and it has the built-in carrying handle.

That way you can easily transport it to the vehicle or when you're done using it, you can transport it to storage or to another vehicle. It's going to feature an electric actuator that requires less power than air pumps, that way you don't have to deal with the mess. You don't have any hoses. You don't have any storage tanks to get in the way and you don't have to worry about any type of leaking getting onto the floorboard of your vehicle. It's a nice compact unit. Again it's going to feature that electric actuator.

Now one of the big things about this unit is that it features the wireless radio frequency remote controller, that's this portion right here. This mounts in the cab of your RV and plugs into a standard 12 volt outlet. This is designed to continuously communicate with the braking system, so no more wiring. You can mount this at the dash of the vehicle. It's going to come with some Velcro pieces with adhesive backing as well as a rubber stand. It's going to allow you to monitor all the brake functions.

It's also got a unit on there where you can actually manually apply the brakes. That's going to allow you to do that from the comfort of the driver seat of the RV. It's got the nice easy to read LED display that shows sensitivity settings. It's going to have your gain knobs that way you can adjust sensitivity, the greater the number the more pressure's going to be applied to the towed vehicle's brakes. It's going to have that manual override, that way you can activate the towed vehicle's brakes anytime that manual override is pressed.

It's going to feature an error system. It's going to have some error lights, that's going to warn you of any problems. Errors with the yellow screen will prevent the brake from working properly but do not require you to immediately pull over. Then errors that are in red are going to require that you immediately pull over and address the issues. Again it's going to come with that rubber stand and Velcro fasteners, that way you can easily mount the display. The braking system easily mounts in the towed vehicle and plugs into a 12 volt outlet. It's got the power port back here. It's got an area that you can wrap around for compact storage. The actuator is positioned on the floor in front of the driver seat. It is going to come with some feet, that you can install here on the bottom. These are threaded, that way you can adjust the height of them. It's going to come with these feet that way it ensures proper height for uneven floorboards. It's also going to have this bracket that clamps around the brake pedal and it positions into place to achieve the best leverage. It's also going to come with some additional, these are called extra large top fangs for a universal fit no matter the size of your pedal. You can replace the top fangs that come standard with the larger ones if you have a larger brake pedal. Also, on the back side here it's going to feature an adjustable push pad, you can adjust that up and down. You need to make sure that makes contact or that it's properly positioned in relationship to the seat. Now when it comes to the battery that it uses. Again it's going to plug into a 12 volt outlet in the vehicle. But it also has a built in super capacitor battery that ensures power is always available to the brake. This unit's even compatible with hybrid models. Just keep in mind that the gain setting must be between one and three for hybrids with continuous power assist brakes. Again it's got that convenient carrying handle and that wrap around cleat for the plug and wiring. That's going to simplify storage and removal. You'll notice laid here on the table, it comes with a few more pieces. You're going to get a breakaway kit, that's included. Now this unit will automatically engage the brakes if a disconnection between the RV and the towed vehicle occurs, which would eventually bring the vehicle to a safe stop. Again the wiring for that, it's a simple plug and go system, and the actual breakaway switch as well as a cable. All of that's included. Now I did take some rough measurements of the unit. I measured back to front and got a measurement of about 15 and a half inches. I measured side to side at the widest point, got a measurement of about nine inches. Then when I measured the height it was about 11 to 12 inches tall depending on if you use the included feet or not. Again this portion of the unit only weighs about 10 pounds. The product is made in the USA. The last thing that I want to go over is I just want to show you that it does come with some very detailed installation instructions. Now these are going to walk you through the entire installation process step by step. I really like these, they have colored images on there, so it's going to make installation easier, goes through the components of everything that's included. Shows you the power button, the breakaway port, the brake claw, actuator arm, set up button, carrying handle, adjustable push pad. Goes through some of the controls of the radio frequency controller. It's got some additional items in there that can be purchased separately if you want to add some upgrades to the unit. Then it goes through the towed vehicle set up, so it shows you exactly how to set it up in the towed vehicle. Then it shows you the portion that needs to be set up in the motor coach or in the RV. You got the locking brake claw operating instructions. There's just so much information in here to go over, so that's really helpful. It's going to ensure that you have everything set the way it needs to be. Goes through the breakaway installation, installation notes, operating instructions. Even walks you through how to disconnect it when you're ready to do that. Pairing the remote is a simple process as well if it's not paired automatically. Goes through your error codes. Then it also goes through just some care and maintenance reminders as being the owner of this unit. That's going to do it for today's look at the Blue Ox Patriot II.

Questions and Comments about this Video

Rick W.
My wireless remote controller for the Patriot 1 has blown the fuse where it connects to the 12v receptacle on the dash. What size fuse does the unit take. Thank you
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I'm not sure what size fuse it takes but you should be able to remove it to see.

My Class A has a a Jake Brake that I use for most slowing. Does this unit ONLY apply brake when I press my brake pedal, or does it sense the change in inertia and apply brakes? My Jake Brake can slow my 37,000 bus from 60mph to almost stopped with some quickness, so if this is inertia-based it could result in the toad braking whenever the Jake Brake kicks into action. Thanks!
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Kef G.

A proportional system like this doesn't use inertia. It relies on the electrical hookup to receive signals from your RV's braking system. That means the brakes are only applied when pressed on in your RV.

Ron A.
Will I regret if I purchase a Patriot II Brake System over the Patriot 3. Trying to save some money. Just purchase my RV and a car to tow.
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

The only difference between the Patriot II # BRK2016 and Patriot 3 # BRK2019 is that the Patriot 3 will actively monitor your brake pressure. Aside from that they are essentially the same thing. The Patriot II was super popular so I don't think you would regret going with that instead of the Patriot 3.

James W.
Is very good video, but do you know why when I press brake in RV it does not apply brake in tow vehicle, but if I press the manual button on unit in rv it applies the brake in car.
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Rachael H.

It is likely because this is a proportional braking system and the sensor is in the towed vehicle so it has to be moving to sense the braking (either soft braking or harsh braking). Since it does apply the brakes when you use the override button, the portable unit in the towed vehicle is getting signal, but if you are sitting still there is no change in momentum to trigger a braking action.