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Roadmaster InvisiBrake Supplemental Braking System Review

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Review of the Roadmaster InvisiBrake Supplemental Braking System


Hey everybody, Ryan here at etrailer. Today, we're going to be checking out the Roadmaster InvisiBrake supplemental braking system. Now, when it comes to flat towing, it's a lot of fun. You know, it gives you an opportunity to get out on the road, see some new places and really spend a lot of quality time with your friends and your family. But one of the more intimidating parts is actually setting that flat tow up to begin with, you know, choosing all the right components and everything else. Well, one of the more complicated parts is the braking system.

You know, there's a lot of different choices out there, and it's really important that you pick the right one. That way, you have a great experience all in all and gives you some confidence, knowing that your braking system is going to be set up properly for your particular vehicle. So with that said, why don't we check this out a little bit more and make sure that this is going to be the right setup for you. First things first, let's kind of actually talk about what the braking system is going to do. So whenever you're hooked up to your motorhome and you're towing down the road, whenever you apply the brakes in the motorhome, the braking system is going to push down on the brake pedal in your towed vehicle.

And that's going to do a couple of things. It's going to provide you with a more safe and predictable stop and lessen the distance and time that it's going to take to come to a complete stop. That way, with a braking system, your motorhome isn't solely responsible for not only slowing itself down, but the towed vehicle. So braking system is going to help correct those issues. And what's really important specially when I talk to a lot of our customers is they're towing experience.

You know what I mean Whenever you're out on the road, you want everything to go smooth and work the way it should. And I've talked to several people that did not have a braking system and they hated the experience. You know, they could feel that vehicle kind of pushing 'em around a little bit. They could really feel it in the brake pedal on the motorhome, you know, trying to slow down all that weight. And they ended up switching over and getting a braking system and they're really happy with it, you know.

It really does a great job and it gives you a lot more confidence whenever you're towing down the road. One of the big questions that we do get asked all the time is if this braking system is going to work with a particular vehicle or a particular motorhome. And one of the great things about the InvisiBrake is for the most part, it is pretty much universal and will work with just about any setup. Now, granted there are a few exceptions which we'll talk about in a moment, but for the most part, regardless of your setup, it's probably going to work. And that holds true for not only the motorhome side, but the vehicle side as well. So if your motorhome has hydraulic brakes like ours does today, or even air brakes, doesn't matter, InvisiBrake will work with it. If your vehicle is a hybrid like ours is, today for example, it'll still work. So I think that part there is really important too, these hybrids are getting more and more popular. People really liked the benefits of them and you're probably going to start seeing a lot more of 'em getting flat towed behind motorhomes. So the fact that it is compatible with the hybrid is something that's really important. So now I do want to bring up the kind of rare situations where the InvisiBrake won't work. Chances are pretty good, it's going to work with your setup, but you don't want to be the one person that hits the kit with high hopes, come to find out later, it's not going to work, so figured, we cover our bases here. The system is not going to work on two types of vehicle braking systems, if that makes sense, okay. So one of 'em is a non-electric Hydroboost braking system. Those are kind of a thing of the past. Generally speaking, you'll see that on a lot of older diesel pickup trucks and potentially older sports cars that are turbo or supercharged, and there's one other type of vehicle and that'll be vehicles that require you to disconnect the battery whenever you're flat towing, when it has electric Hydroboost brakes, and it's not going to work with that setup. And that's because the vehicles that have the electric Hydroboost brakes, whenever you disconnect the power, the brake pedal inside of your vehicle is not going to have any assistance or power brakes. And the InvisiBrake doesn't have enough strength to overcome that hard brake pedal pressure. So you're going to want to use a different system. Good news is there's multiple other systems that will work with those particular setups. And if that's your case, you can find those here at etrailer. Well, with that said, and I know I gave you quite a bit of technical type information there, and chances are pretty good, your vehicle's not going to fall into those categories, but if you're unsure and want to double check, you could always reach out to the vehicle's manufacturer and they'll let you know exactly what type of factory braking system the vehicle is equipped with. One of the nice things about this setup is the fact that the main operating unit is going to be mounted inside of your vehicle. So in our case today, we have it under our floor covering, right there in the corner. And that's pretty convenient, you know, especially compared to some of the older type braking systems, they would end up running into some issues, really getting beat up and worn out from being exposed to all the elements being outside of the vehicle. And clearly, not the case at this one. It's going to be safe inside of here and out of all the elements and bad weather. So, should get a ton of use from the . Not really a huge deal. But you know, it would be nice if the box is maybe just a little bit smaller. You know, cars nowadays are getting more and more compact. So sometimes it can be a little tight getting this in here, but we've yet to run across a vehicle where this would not fit. So it's still going to work and get the job done. And it's really convenient being in here. It's going to be easy to see and easy to use whenever you need to do that. One of the benefits to the system is how easy it's going to be to use once you have it installed. Once it's in place, you're more or less just going to hook up with the rest of your flat tow components and you're ready to go. You don't really need to mess around with the braking system. However, with that said, you are going to need to make a first time adjustment on the main unit. There's going to be a gauge and a knob that you can adjust. And what that's going to do is adjust your braking pressure. They do give you a chart of some recommendations where to set that pressure, which is a great reference to have. Generally speaking, on normal size SUVs you're going to be about halfway. And you can fine tune it to your particular vehicle, but you can go from below, all the way up to high more or less so, pretty much covers any vehicle, whether you have a compact car that weighs hardly anything, you don't want to ton of breaking pressure to slow that down, so you can dial it into there. In the same note, if you have a full-sized pickup truck or a comparable vehicle to that that weighs a lot, you're going to need more braking pressure. So you can really dial it in and get maximum performance regardless on what type of vehicle you have. So I mentioned the install and we get a ton of feedback about it, you know. People putting it on themselves and installing the braking system. And it's definitely doable, just a little time consuming. Now keep in mind, some vehicles are going to be a little bit easier than others and some more challenging, just really depends on the layout of your vehicle. But I think it's safe to say these from my experience, probably one of the more tough parts is actually setting up the pulley system here that attaches to your vehicles' brake pedal. And this is what's actually going to push that brake pedal down whenever you hit the brakes in the motorhome. A lot of times you don't have a ton of space to work here, and it's very thick steel where you need to secure that pulley system. As long as you take your time, you know, you'll be able to get it where you want. The good news is, once it's in, it's in and you're done, these things are super reliable. They use a nice, thick, heavy duty cable and you know, really do a good job. They're strong and you're not going to have to worry about these breaking or anything like that. So once it's in there, it's something you can rely on. If you are looking for some guidance or some tips on how to get the braking system installed, we have done several vehicles here and you can check out those install videos to help get you going in the right direction. Just to kind of give you an idea on how the pulley system works. It's going to be smooth and gradual and really help your car come to a predictable stop. Whenever the brakes are applied, the system will activate and push down your brake pedal. That brings me to my next point. This braking system is going to have a fixed amount of braking pressure regardless how hard you're hitting the brake here inside of the motorhome. So, regardless if you're just barely hitting the brakes or completely standing on them, the braking system is going to operate at that pressure you have it set at. Not really a huge deal, you know, in most cases, especially how smooth it operates. You're really not going to be able to notice a difference as compared to proportional type breaking systems. Alright, those proportional types, what they're going to do is match the pressure here inside of the motorhome and the towed vehicle. So with the proportional type, let's say you're barely on the brakes, towed vehicles going to do the same thing. If you end up standing on the brakes with the proportional type system, the brakes inside of the towed vehicle are going to be applied very hard as well. So, can't really notice a big difference. The proportional does have a slight advantage in some cases. One of them being, really mountainous trail, if you're going up hills all the time, up and down those hills, a proportional type system may have an advantage there. So that's your case, you know, may want to look into one of those types of systems. If you do a little bit of everything, can't really go wrong with either one, they're both going to get the job done and help slow you down. Something that I do really like about this braking system is the fact that they give you an indicator light, and what's going to happen with this, whenever you're flat towing down the road and the brake pedal is being pushed in your towed vehicle, that's going to illuminate red. Such is a quick, easy way to kind of keep an eye on things, to make sure that the braking system is working correctly in your vehicle, and you know, this being red, you kind of see it out of the corner of your eye. You don't have to take your eyes off the road and look at your monitor or anything like that. Not only is it an indicator, you know, to let you know everything's working properly, it'll also let you know if there's any issues. So let's say, for example, if you're just maybe driving down the highway and you're not pushing the brake, you know, the light should not be on just like how it is here, but if you're going down and not hitting the brake and that light is red, you know something's going on there, you know that the brake pedal is being pushed in your towed vehicle. And this will also illuminate if you have an unlikely disconnect. So if the towed vehicle we're to come separated from your motorhome, this will light up red. And so it's this kind of a good indicator both ways, you know, to keep an eye on things, making sure it's working right. And if you notice that something is giving you trouble, you can fall off to the side of the road or at the nearest spot and check things out. There's also going to be a small buzzer that gives you an audible warning if something's going on. And typically, you're only going to hear that in the event of a failure or an emergency. So when the brake pedal has been pressed down for quite some time and not released, that's when that buzzer is going to go off. So say for example, if you had some type of failure, some mechanical failure in the InvisiBrake braking system and caused it to keep the brake pedal on the towed vehicle pushed down, that's when that buzzer would go or in the event of an unlikely disconnect. So if your vehicle got separated from the motorhome, that's when the buzzer go off. So, you know, a nice step to kind of go the extra mile and help you know what's going on. There is something, a feature that I think is a great idea, that this particular breaking system has. And that is, let's say, for example, if you're sitting at a red light or stuck in traffic, okay, and you're on the brake, whenever you're not moving, you really don't need that extra power that the braking system gives us in our towed vehicle. You're not trying to slow anything down. Generally speaking, your motorhome's brakes are gonna be more than enough just to keep everything stationary. So it don't make sense to put extra wear and tear on the braking system for no good reason, really. So the braking system recognize that and after an allotted amount of time of that brake pedal being pushed down and not really going anywhere, it will release itself. That way, you're not burning up your system for no good reason when you're just stuck at that red light or sitting in traffic. The kit is going to come with what's called a breakaway switch, and this is going to be that safety device. And in the event of that unlikely disconnect, when everything separates, this is going to get pulled out. And when that gets pulled out, what that's going to do is activate the braking system inside of your vehicle, helping to bring it to a safe stop and keep everything going in the right direction. The braking system does need to get power from somewhere in order to activate. And it's going to get power from your towed vehicle's battery. Perfectly fine. However, the downside to that is if you flat tow for a long time without running your vehicle, this is constantly going to get a little bit of juice taken from it each time the braking system operates. So in order to combat that, this system will actually more or less trickle charge, or maintain your towed vehicle's battery when you're flat towing. As long as you have your tail lights on or your running lights going, it's going to use a little bit of that power to help keep this trickle charged. But don't worry, it's not going to affect the way your tail lights or any of your other signals' function. So you have nothing to worry about there. At the end of the day, you know, a braking system that you really can't go wrong with. These things are tried and true, and they kind of cover all your bases. You know, they work with a ton of different vehicles. And one of my favorite things, and probably one of the more important things when you are flat towing is the ease of use and it does not get much more simple than this setup. Whenever you're ready to hit the road, just gotta hook up your other components. And as far as the braking system is concerned, you put this tether from your breakaway switch to the back of your motorhome and you're done. You're ready to get out, enjoy yourself and have some fun. Now that we checked a few things out with the braking system, I figured why not hook up to our towed vehicle and just take it out for a spin. And actually, get some seat time in here and see how it feels. So we're just here to be cruising around the lot here. We're not going to get out of the highway speeds or anything like that. So, I'm going to pick up a little bit of speed here. I think I'm gonna do two tests, one where we kind of just come to a gradual stop and another one where we come to a quicker stop. So, pick up a little bit of speed, just kind of slowly hit our brakes and really smooth actually, you know. We have a relatively heavy vehicle in our case today and a pretty small motorhome actually. And didn't even feel the vehicle really behind us at all when I just hit the breaks. So, well, braking system's definitely doing its job. I feel like if it wasn't there, we'd definitely feel the weight of the vehicle, you know, during that braking sequence there. What I'll do now is go ahead and we'll just kind of straighten out. That way, I can get back up to speed and just go around like I said, I'm going to get a little more aggressive, you know, hit the brakes a little bit harder. So gotta get rolling here, and hit our brakes. And really good, actually. I'm actually pretty surprised how well that works. Everything felt smooth. It didn't feel like the vehicle was wanting to nose dive or drag us down or anything like that. So really smooth, kind of, for lack of a better term. It feels good. And honestly, if I was going down the road, it gives me that extra bit of confidence that, you know, you're always looking for..


Ray S.

8/7/2022

This is our first towing experience and we found etrailer to be a trusted and expert source of info to guide our shopping experience. The ability to find information that fits your specific vehicle is invaluable. Certainly more reliable than finding blogs and "social media based experts" whose opinions and experience may be helpful but not often objective. We needed a tow bar and connecting gear and the braking system. We selected the RM Falcon towing package and the InvisiBrake. All of our experience to-date has been trouble free and easy to use. The only issue we encountered was with the installation of the InvisiBrake box. The folks that did our install said they could not find a place under the hood or our 201l, 2 dr Jeep Wrangler Sport for the box! The only other place that would work was on the back floorboard behind the passenger seat. That has worked fine BUT it takes up a lot of that space. Therefore, we have to be careful getting our dog in and out of the backseat or friends riding in the back. That was the only difficulty we had. The entire package has worked flawlessly for about 10,000 miles of RV/Jeep towing travel. Just what we hoped for!! Thanks to etrailer!

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