Flat Tow Braking – The Top 5 Choices For Your Towed Vehicle

The Top 5 flat tow braking systems

This article is about the top five flat tow braking systems that I can recommend for your RV.

And of course, braking is one of the most important and major parts of flat towing. So you need to get it right!

And without a braking system for the towed vehicle, all the braking pressure is put on the tow vehicle up front instead.

Now this can actually work okay under most circumstances. But what if you get into hard braking situations where you really need as much braking as you can get?

Well, the towed vehicle’s braking system can easily become overwhelmed.

And that’s when you’ll appreciate having another braking system back there in the towed vehicle.

Watch my video on flat tow braking systems by clicking here

There are several different kinds of flat tow braking systems too. And we’re going to talk about that in this article.

Also, we’re going to cover the top five that I can recommend for your consideration.

Table of Contents

Flat Tow Brake #1

So let’s start with the systems that are permanently mounted into your towed vehicle first.

And number one would be the Invisibrake made by Roadmaster.

Invisibrake braking system by Roadmaster
Invisibrake by Roadmaster

Roadmaster is well known in the flat towing industry for producing quality products.

And the way it works is it detects when the brake lights are being activated in the tow vehicle up front.

When that happens, it applies the brakes back in the towed vehicle as well.

Now there’s a lot of great reviews for Invisibrake online. And that means that lots of people are loving it.

The reviews say that it’s very reliable in real world use. And it generally costs right around $1000 to buy the braking hardware.

Download my R V guidebooks

Now that may seem like quite a bit of money. But most of these permanently mounted braking systems are going to be in that cost range.

But here’s an important point. Any of these permanently mounted braking systems is probably going to require having someone professionally install it.

Of course, if you’re a really good mechanic you might be able to do it yourself.

But most RVers are probably going to need to have it installed instead.

And if so, then you need to add the cost for the installation to the cost of the whole system. Then see if it will still fit into your budget.

Flat Tow Brake #2

Now let’s move along to our flat tow braking choice number two. It’s made by Demco, and it’s the Stay-In-Play Duo.

The Stay-In-Play flat tow braking system by Demco
Stay-In Play By Demco

And it’s very similar to the Invisibrake system. Because it also senses when the brake lights are being applied up front and then applies the brakes back in the towed vehicle.

But Demco goes one step further. And they also install an inertia sensor in the towed vehicle as well.

Now inertia sensors basically work when the vehicle lurches forward.

So when the tow vehicle puts on the brakes, the inertia sensor picks up on that. Then it applies the brakes back in the towed vehicle too.

So you actually have two systems working for you with the Demco Stay-In-Play Duo. And that’s kind of nice.

But even though it gets great reviews, it can be very complicated to install.

So you will most likely need some professional installation with this braking system too.

Flat Tow Braking System #3

Now let’s move on to the permanently installed flat tow braking system number three.

Again, it’s made by Demco, and it’s called the Air Force One.

How To Avoid Buying An RV Money Pit
Demco Air Force One Braking System
Demco Air Force One braking system

This one is a little bit different in that it ties into the air brake system of the tow vehicle.

So it’s really targeted for motorhomes with with air brakes. Most likely diesel pushers.

Happily, there are many online reviews from satisfied users of this system too.

And they say that it works very well and is very reliable. But it’s also complicated to install like the other permanently mounted systems.

So that means that you’ll probably need some professional installation on it as well.

Flat tow Brake #4

Now let’s move on to our fourth flat tow braking system. And that is a totally different type of system altogether.

It’s an inertia braking system. And it’s what many people think about when they think about putting brakes into a towed vehicle.

So the one we’re going to recommend here is the Blue Ox Patriot 3.

The Blue Ox Patriot 3 inertia brake
The Blue Ox Patriot 3 inertia brake

Now let’s talk about the way these auxiliary inertia braking systems work.

First of all, there is nothing that is hardwired into your towed vehicle’s brake system.

Instead, you’ve got a box containing the inertia brake that just sits on the floor.

And usually you put it right in front of the driver’s seat in the towed vehicle.

The box has an arm that goes out and attaches to the vehicle’s brake pedal.

And it also has an inertia sensor in the box. So when the tow vehicle lurches forward as the brakes are applied, it mechanically applies the brake on the towed vehicle as well.

This all happens without being connected to the tow vehicle at all.

RV Gear

And once again, there are lots of people that are very happy with the Blue Ox Patriot 3.

More About Inertia Braking Systems

But I have to say this though. And that is that these inertia brakes work very well in many cases.

But they’re not as reliable as the permanently mounted units. Although, Blue Ox seems to do a very good job with theirs.

But some of their competition is not nearly as reliable as they are.

So if you want an inertia braking system, the Blue Ox Patriot 3 is a very good choice.

And one of the best things about it is that it doesn’t take a lot of installation.

Also, you can easily move it from one vehicle to another. And that’s unlike all the permanently mounted units that don’t allow you to do that.

With them, you’re probably going to need to buy a new system for every towed vehicle that you get.

But with the Blue Ox Patriot 3, you can just take it and move it to another towed vehicle. And in fact, it’ll fit almost any vehicle out there.

Now one drawback is that it does cost more initially to buy. In fact, it’s right around $1500.

Instead of about $1000 for most of the permanently mounted units.

But keep in mind that you’re not going to have any installation costs on top of that.

Flat Tow Braking System #5

Now let’s move on to flat tow braking system number five. And it’s a very different kind of brake.

It’s the NSA Ready Brake. And it is very unique. Because it works entirely mechanically.

The NSA Ready Brake flat tow braking system
The NSA Ready Brake braking system

It slides into the hitch on the tow vehicle first. Then there’s a cable that runs from it all the way up to the brake pedal in the towed vehicle.

And there it wraps around the brake pedal. So when the brakes are applied up front, inertia naturally shifts forward.

Then the NSA brake pulls the cable and puts the brakes on manually in the towed vehicle.

So it’s a very simple, very low tech, braking system that just simply works well.

And let me tell you, there’s a ton of happy people with the NSA Ready Brake system. There’s lots of positive reviews for it online.

In addition, it’s also fairly portable. So it’s not going to be a one-off type system like many of the permanently mounted ones are.

RV repairs - don't pay for them

On top of that, the really good news is that it’s the least expensive of all the options I’ve mentioned.

In fact, it can very often be bought for somewhere between five to seven hundred dollars. And that’s a real deal!

All right, that’s the five flat tow braking systems that I feel that I can recommend for you.

Just follow the links that I have provided to get more information about them.

Don’t Forget Safety

Now my final point is this. When you get a braking system for your towed vehicle don’t just get the system itself.

You will also need to make sure that it has an automatic breakaway switch too. And what do I mean by that?

Well, what happens if that towed vehicle somehow disconnects from your tow vehicle? And believe me, that has happened on numerous occasions.

So you do not want the towed vehicle just free-rolling down the highway, do you? And doing all kinds of damage?

No, you want it to stop right away after disconnecting. And that means you need a breakaway system that’s going to apply the brakes when it disconnects.

So make sure that you have that as well. It’s a very important safety feature.


Now what about choosing among the systems that I’ve covered today?

Well really, any of them will work fine for you. First, just look at the price and decide how much can you afford.

Then look at the suitability to your particular vehicle. The one you intend to use as your towed vehicle.

Also, what is the installation that’s going to be required? Ask yourself “Can I do it myself or will I have to pay an expert to install it for me?”

And if someone installs it for me, will I stay inside my budget for flat tow braking?

So by thinking through what I’ve mentioned very carefully, you can decide what works best for you.

Truthfully though, if you choose any one of these five systems, I feel that you’re going to be very happy with the results.

Have safe and happy travels my friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get My FREE Camping Guide

“The Top 5 Ways To Save Money On Campground Costs”

Get My Newsletter

Save on RV repairs

Get the best RV gear

Learn about RV life

RV tips and tricks

And get my free guide – The Top 5 Ways To Save Money On Campground Costs”