My experience was horrific. I bought a brand new RViBrake3 which comes with a Wi-Fi tablet that allows you to remotely set and monitor the toads brake unit. The first chance I got to test it was 2,000 miles from home where we drove our C-Max Energi to pick up our new motorhome. This would be my 3rd toad and 3rd Class A so I am not new at this. The only questions were regarding active brakes and the correct ignition position. I have it in writing from Ford that any C-Max should be towed in neutral with the ignition off. I have it in writing from RViBrake “The C-Max brake pedal acts like a 'dead pedal'. You are to run the RVi3 in the Vacuum 'Compact Car' set point.” I doubted this so tested it by coasting down a long hill in neutral with the ignition off. Sure enough it acted like a regular vacuum system, some assist for a couple of brake attempts then it required a lot of effort. Sorry if it took so long to get to the point but I thought setting the scenario was important. Now the horror story:
Before I left I installed new Michelin tires on my C-Max. I had it all ready to be towed including the RViBrake3. I set it exactly as the company told me it should be set. Everything seemed fine for the first 15 or 20 minutes until I was on a highway doing about 55. When I applied my brakes to come to a normal stop the brake unit jammed on my brakes locking them up completely. I could see smoke in my rear view monitor as I dragged the car until the unit released. I had no way to pull off the road for quite a while during which the brakes locked up two more times. Finally I was able to get it disconnected and continued on without toad brakes. When I was able to contact the manufacturer they suggested a different setting which I tested in a controlled situation. This time I set it to “active” along with the lowest pressure setting of 5 pound. At about 10 MPH I pressed the test button only to have the brake engage hard enough to jerk the motorhome. I had to make the 2,000 trip home without the brake unit. It was difficult at first because the MH brakes weren't broke in. Bottom line, the trip home was difficult. The first time I drove the C-Max after the three major lockup’s I got that horrible thump, thump sound indicating the tires were damaged. One actually had a flat spot down to the wear warning bar. Towing it home like that was scary but fortunately we made it home safe. I just went back to Costco and had all four tires replaced again with just a bit over 4,000 miles including the tow miles that did not register on the odometer.
I have nothing bad to say about the company at this point. They admit I did nothing wrong and are bewildered at what exactly caused this. I think they will take my RVibrake3 back and pay for my tires. All I have asked for is they making me whole and I expect they will.
Next I decided to go with the Patriot 1 since it has a simple 0 to 9 brake pressure selector. A couple of weeks ago my first test while towing behind my pickup went well. I set the new Patriot to #3 before I could feel brakes engaging on the C-Max. #1 and #2 engaged too gently to feel any pullback. Today I took it out for a real road test behind the motorhome and got a quite a surprise, the C-Max skidded at setting #2. I did pump the C-Max brakes and the ignition had not been turned on since. There is only one logical explanation for this; the C-Max must be spontaneously reactivating the power (active) brakes even with ignition off. When I switched to setting #1 it didn't happen again but who knows what could happen since it is so unpredictable. I'm seriously considering putting a shutoff switch on the 12 volt battery. In afterthought I can't disconnect the 12 volt battery because then the Patriot would have no power. Maybe there's a single fuse that would interrupt the active brakes. Or I could go ahead and disconnect the C-Max 12 volt battery and connect the 20 amp charge circuit from the MH to the Patriot. Since the Patriot has a built in backup battery it would still function in case of breakaway. Any ideas would be appreciated. I have way too much invested to start over with another toad.
Edited by John A Smith, 01 July 2017 - 03:30 PM.