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Toad Breakaway Cable


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Installing my breakaway switch and cable and I saw a concerning point. With the car attached to the tow bars, there was 48 inches from my measuring point to the switch. The safety cables with my Blue Ox tow bar, the black spiral ones, are 87 inches long. The spiral breakaway cable was 97 inches long when stretched out. So if the car breaks away from the tow bar, it will go back 87 inches. The breakaway cable being 97 inches long would never pull the pin. Slow down the MH and the toad will ram into the rear of the MH. This could be repeated many times before stopping. In order to stop this from happening, I shortened the breakaway cable to 65" and that would pull the pin before the safety cables are maxed out.  I'd rather have a damaged car than the MH. It took me 16 years and a new supplemental braking system (RVi3) to realize those breakaway cables aren't effective. Fortunately never needed them.

Gary 05 AMB DST

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11 minutes ago, Gary 05 AMB DST said:

Installing my breakaway switch and cable and I saw a concerning point. With the car attached to the tow bars, there was 48 inches from my measuring point to the switch. The safety cables with my Blue Ox tow bar, the black spiral ones, are 87 inches long. The spiral breakaway cable was 97 inches long when stretched out. So if the car breaks away from the tow bar, it will go back 87 inches. The breakaway cable being 97 inches long would never pull the pin. Slow down the MH and the toad will ram into the rear of the MH. This could be repeated many times before stopping. In order to stop this from happening, I shortened the breakaway cable to 65" and that would pull the pin before the safety cables are maxed out.  I'd rather have a damaged car than the MH. It took me 16 years and a new supplemental braking system (RVi3) to realize those breakaway cables aren't effective. Fortunately never needed them.

Gary 05 AMB DST

Will be rereading this later. Getting ready to do same 

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I guess my assumption that the safety cables are designed to catch the toad in case of break away (before brake activation) might not be the only option on this. I  prefer the brake activation in case the cables fail. My assumption would mean the brake cable would be longer.

I had assumed also that the extra pressure put on the cables by the braking could actually over stress and cause the safety cables to fail. Then, even though braking, the car is loose and possibly damage or injure others behind me.  I had rather take the damage to my vehicles than risk what could happen to others.

Apparently there are more schools of thought on this subject.

Edited by David White
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11 hours ago, David White said:

I guess my assumption that the safety cables are designed to catch the toad in case of break away (before brake activation) might not be the only option on this. I  prefer the brake activation in case the cables fail. My assumption would mean the brake cable would be longer.

I had assumed also that the extra pressure put on the cables by the braking could actually over stress and cause the safety cables to fail. Then, even though braking, the car is loose and possibly damage or injure others behind me.  I had rather take the damage to my vehicles than risk what could happen to others.

Apparently there are more schools of thought on this subject.

David, I just switched to the RVi3 braking system. In their installation instructions they said that as long as there is power going to the RVi and the pin is pulled, the brakes will stay on. Since the power is from the battery, the breakaway will remain activated. Seems like if the safety cables don't do their job, the responsibility falls on Blue Ox.

Gary 05 AMB DST

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Gary, I understand but it seems the safety cables are the weak link, in most.  Maybe the RVi3 is better, but a car with brakes applied would increase the stress on the cables. BlueOx is unlikely to take responsibility for anything, including the failure of towbars in most cases. Maybe RVi3 would since it’s built in to the setup.  

I’m an ideal situation, I would want the safety cables to hold and the brakes on the car to keep it from crashing into my coach, or anything.

Edited by David White
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Some say the breakaway lanyard should be longer than the safety cables, and only activate the brakes with a total failure.

I'm with you. Activate the brakes first and hopefully the toad doesn't run into the back of the coach, or, God forbid, My Harley 😲!

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I have first hand experience, I was rear ended while in a turning lane. At the time of the accident we were in the left hand turning lane and was stopped waiting for the oncoming traffic lane to clear when the right rear of toad was hit. Both safety cables broke as well as the tow bar collapsing. The brake safety did not pull loose or break. The toad did move because the damage jammed the right rear wheel. My toad wa totaled. Fortunately my MH only suffered minor damage, radiator, fan and lower center grill were the destroyed, only minor body damage.

There also was no injuries.

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