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Review of Blue Ox Tow Bar Braking Systems - Patriot III Portable Proportional - BRK2019

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Blue Ox Tow Bar Braking Systems - Patriot III Portable Proportional - BRK2019 Review

Hey, everyone. I'm Ellen here at, and we're going to be taking a look at the Blue Ox Patriot III. This is going to be a portable, proportional, supplemental braking system for your towed vehicle. Now, those two things, portable and proportional, are going to be the two main benefits to this particular system for your vehicle. It works for a lot of different cars out there. It's pretty universal.

It might not work for everybody, but it works for a lot of different vehicles. So the way that this is going to be proportional is that it's going to sense how much pressure we're putting on our brake in our RV. The way it does that is actually by having a accelerometer sensor in our remote that goes in your coach. It goes in your RV. This is also going to be your control system for adjusting the pressure on the brakes or the sensitivity on the brakes.

So you can adjust how much braking force this is putting out, or how little.You can also hit this as a brake override, so if you happen to get in a situation where that towed vehicle is starting to sway behind you, it's starting to fish tail, you can hit the brakes here and apply it and slow that vehicle down. It also lets you know if anything happens like an accidental disconnect or if anything has gone amiss with the unit itself. So that's how this is the proportional system. The other benefit to it being a proportional system is that you never have to feel like that towed vehicle is pushing on your RV or pulling it back. It's going to match the braking force with your coach so that you really shouldn't even notice that your towed vehicle is back there.

You shouldn't feel like it's driving any differently than whenever you're not towing a vehicle behind you.The other nice thing about this particular kit is that it is a portable system as well. So you don't have to deal with installing an air tank or cutting into your vacuum lines on your towing vehicle. You can also switch it from one vehicle to the next. So if you usually go through cars frequently, or you maybe have one or more options as far as what you typically tow behind you, having a portable system is a really nice option because then you're not tied down to any one vehicle that you can tow behind your coach. So you'll be able to easily and quickly set this up every time.

If you're going to be using just one car for many years, that might not be a big benefit for you. It might actually be nicer to just have one braking system that you set it in there and then you never have to deal with anything, taking it out and getting it set up every time.So that is something to consider. This is really for those instances where you don't mind having to put the unit in, get it set up every time you hook up your car to the back of your coach. But if that is something you like, I think that this is probably the best of the portable systems. It's been around for many years. This is the third iteration of the Blue Ox Patriot, and they've made some updates to it to make it even better. So the main thing that's different with this particular unit over the previous ones is that it is going to continually check the brake to make sure that it is set up properly.So it's going to test that break every so often to make sure that everything is working well and that it's set up right. So it gives you a little peace of mind. It's a safety feature to make sure that everything is as it should be. And I think that this is a really nice system. Something else that I like about its portability is that it's pretty much self-contained. The only things that you really have to set up initially will be the breakaway switch that'll go on the front of your towed vehicle. That's just going to be on a little bracket at the front of your grill somewhere with your base plate and stuff like that. So that's one thing that you set up and then you don't really have to mess with ever again, and then running the power wire from that, which will be this cable here into the unit.Other than that, really the only thing you have to do is set up the claw around the brake. That's going to be this guy here. So that's going to wrap around your brake pedal. Kind of is a little clamp that goes on there. There's a couple other little hooks that it comes with to replace, to fit the shape best for your particular break. So you can see that arm articulates around so you can get the right angle or grip on your brake pedal so that it's going to clamp on there and not move. And then on the other side, this is going to be the pad that's going to butt up against our front seat, our front driver's seat, in our towed vehicle. And you can also adjust the height here. There's a little knob. So you can loosen that up and adjust this plate to be where you want it to be. And on the underside, there's a couple of threaded holes where you can place in these feet so you can get the height adjusted as well.And once you have the initial settings made for those, you get the height here where you want it, you figure out the right configuration for that cloth. That's all you have to do. So it's all pretty self-contained. There is a power cord here at the back that's going to go into your 12 volt socket in your towed vehicle, that cigarette lighter socket. So pretty straightforward. Again, I really like how simple this is. It's pretty compact, and it's pretty lightweight. Weighs about 15 pounds, maybe. So something you can easily tow around with you. It's not really too heavy. It's got that handle on there. So it makes it pretty easy to take it in and out of your vehicle and then get it put back.As I mentioned, this is going to be your remote. So this sits in your coach. It does have this rubbery little pad for it to sit in and hold it up. So you want to put this somewhere that's going to be out of the way of your line of vision while you're driving, but also still readily available or within arms reach so you can make any adjustments to the braking force, see what's going on with your unit. There's two different slots, one that's more slanted back and one that's more straight up, but since this is flexible and rubbery, it's going to grip on any of those dash materials. So you can set this in a lot of different spots. It does come with this cable here. This is going to go to our breakaway switch so the other end, connects to your RV, so in the event of an accidental disconnect, the braking force will still be applied by the unit, and will bring everything safely to a stop.Of course, it's important to have a supplemental braking system to not only have that proportional braking so that you don't feel like you have anything behind you, but that way you're also not wearing out your RV's brakes. If you are only relying on your RV brakes to slow down your towed vehicle, that can wear them out. It can also cause some undue stress on your towed vehicle and on your RV. So having a supplemental braking system is very important. Along with that, you also will have to get the other components necessary for a safe and complete flat tow setup. So supplemental braking system, tow bar, a base plate wiring, and any safety chains if they don't already come with your tow bar.You can find those and a lot other options here at Some vehicles require some other small parts to make sure that everything works properly. So definitely check out all that stuff right here at etrailer. We've got a lot of content, a lot of different videos to help you do it yourself as much as possible. So I think that's going to be a really good option for you. This is a really nice option as far as the portable systems, but we do have other systems that are more of a permanent install if you want to go that route as well. I hope this video has been helpful in deciding if this is the right braking system for you. Again, I'm Ellen here at Thanks for watching.

Questions and Comments about this Video

Wayne P.
I am towing a jeep wrangler 4000lbs+ I have a new Blue Ox Patriot 3, any idea what force setting I should use?
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Les D.

@Wayne I have attached a link to the installation manual for the Blue Ox Patriot 3 # BRK2019 portable braking system which discusses how into increase/decrease the braking pressure, but it cannot advise you what setting to use. You know how your towing vehicle feels when it is braking. Set the force for a midway setting and drive in a low-traffic area where you can drive over 15 mph, then depress the brake. If you feel like you are dragging something then you are using too much force. Continue to adjust downwards until you don't particularly feel the toad. I hope this information is helpful.

Ben W.
If I have to disconnect my negative battery cable will this system work with a supplemental 12 volt power system?
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

If your vehicle battery needs to be disconnected for flat towing then you need to install the 12V Outlet Kit # RM-9332 to power the Patriot 3 # BRK2019 braking system. I also recommend installing the Charge Line Kit # RM-156-25 so that you'll have a charge running to your towed vehicle battery.

Pocket B.
Great overview. It would have been helpful to see an example of how it was installed ... a look & feel ... perhaps on a 2020 Jeep Wrangler.
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

As soon as we're able to install this on a 2020 Wrangler we will absolutely make a video and have it available on our site.