Archive for the ‘RV accessories’ Category

Towed Vehicle Brake Light Options

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Magnetic tow lights are the quick and easy way to connect the towed car’s turn signals and brake lights to the motorhome’s . The quality kits include the motorhome side socket, the vehicle side plug, the wire harness and two magnetic lights. Deluxe magnetic tow light kits come with the a storage case and anti-scratch pads to place between the magnet and the body of the towed vehicle. No splicing into the towed vehicle required, Magnetic tow lights are compatible with all makes of automobile and are DOT approved.

Universal wiring kits designed to splice into the vehicles electrical system are available. The best Universal wiring kits come with diodes which make connection easier and prevent electrical feedback to protect the towed vehicles wiring system. The diodes have two wire connections on one side and one on the other. Diodes are designed to be placed inline and have the second wire connection on the input side for the wire harness connecting the motorhome. Again a complete kit will come with diodes, a motorhome side socket, a vehicle side plug, mounting brackets, extension cord to go between the motorhome and the towed vehicle, plenty of bonded, wire connectors, and detailed instructions.

The most recent design is somewhat of a hybrid between the previous two styles of towed vehicle brake light systems. Tail light wiring kits with bulbs require little modification to the towed vehicle and at the same time can be neatly and permanently integrated. Tail light wiring kits with bulbs are like magnetic tow lights in that they operate completely independent of the towed vehicles wiring system however there are no magnets or lenses. Separate sockets and bulbs are mounted inside the towed vehicles tail lights conveniently bypassing the towed vehicles wiring system and protecting the manufacturers warranty. The wiring can be routed underneath the towed vehicle and the socket mounted to the grill or bumper facia. A good kit will include the motorhome side socket, the vehicle side plug, and extension cord to go between the motorhome and the towed vehicle, plenty of bonded wire, light sockets and bulbs.

As a final note, if you are going to splice into the vehicle’s electrical system check to see if the brake and turn signal configuration is the same. If the motorhome has separate brake and turn signals but the towed vehicle does not a wiring converter is required. If the motorhome and the towed vehicle both have separate brake and turn signals a total of 6 diodes is required. Post your questions and happy trails.

Torklift Camper Tie Downs

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

With camping season in full gear, we’ve added the entire line of Torklift Camper Tie Downs to the site this week.  The tie downs mount to the frame of your truck, allowing you to easily and securely attach your camper to the truck.  What makes the Torklift tie downs different from the rest, you say?  We’re glad you asked.

Torklift tie downs look a lot like a receiver trailer hitch.  They have a receiver portion and a tie-down portion.  This allows you to attach the mounts once and to only use the tie downs when you need them.  When you’re not using them, the tie downs are removed and the receiver portion is virtually invisible on your truck.

How do they fit such a wide range of trucks?  Well as the guy who added them to the site, I can tell you that there are A LOT of models of these suckers.  They’ve custom fitted them to each application, so you can be assured that they will fit like a glove (not like OJ’s…).  We’ve linked in the installation instructions for each bracket so you can see what you’re getting yourself into before you start.  The camper tie down brackets are designed to mount to existing holes on the frame where possible and, do not affect the ground clearance of your truck.

We’ve taken our normal philosophy of providing product selectors and have developed a Torklift Tie Down Selector to help customers find the models right for your truck rather than having them dig through pages and pages of listings.  In addition to the Make, Model, and Bed length of your truck, the type of hitch and the running board configuration is important in selecting the right brackets.  Let us know what you think of the selector.

We’re excited about our new relationship with Torklift and are looking forward to working with them on their quality camper products.

Roadmaster Tow Bar Bracket Selector

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

We’re pleased to announce the release of our new Roadmaster Tow Bar Bracket finder.  Now you can find the Roadmaster tow bar brackets for your vehicle with the click of your mouse.  You’ll be presented with a list of brackets that fit your vehicle.  If you click on the results, you’ll find a page of detailed information on the tow bar brackets, including detailed installation instructions, photographs of the brackets installed on that vehicle, and the specifications for the brackets.  To view the installed tow bar brackets in full size, simply move your mouse over the photo you want to view and a full size image will appear.

We hope you find the new selector useful.  Let us know what you think!

Roadmaster’s Sterling All Terrain Tow Bar

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

We decided that we would give some detailed information on some of the new Roadmaster tow bars that we’ve added to the site. As we went down the list, we decided that one bar stood out above the rest in terms of technology and the features it offers. This is the one we decided to talk about first.
The Roadmaster Sterling All Terrain Non-Binding Tow Bar is the latest in a long line of Roadmaster Tow Bars. The Sterling is a first of a kind tow bar. It is made out of aircraft quality aluminum and includes safety cables and a wiring harness. The Sterling All Terrain non-binding tow bar is the top of the mark when it comes to tow bars. The egg shaped extruded aluminum (not bent aluminum) body is stronger and lighter than other 6,000 lb. tow bars. Utilizing steel and stainless steel in virtually every moving part gives it great structural integrity despite the lighter weight of the bar. What we found amazing is that this tow bar only weighs 35lbs, but can tow 3 tons of vehicle weight!!!
This tow bar incorporates all of the Roadmaster All Terrain features:

  • Autolok- which allows the tow bar arms to be free for easy connect and disconnect the arms self center and automatically lock as you drive away
  • Freedom Latch- allows the tow bar arm to release first time every time, even when it is in a bind
  • Easy Storage- the tow bar folds up and locks into a stored position when not in use
  • Quick Disconnect- easy one person tow bar mounting and removal
  • Built in Cable Guide- keeps safety cables and and wiring out of the way and protected
  • The Sterling All Terrain includes 6,000 lb. EZ hook safety cables and 4 or 6 wire electric cables.

By the time you ad up everything the Sterling All Terrain tow bar comes with you can easily see the value. If you add the safety cables and wiring to one of the other Roadmaster tow bars, you’ll find that the package price for the Sterling is the most attractive. And, coming from a company like Roadmaster who cares about their customer and delivers unsurpassed quality the choice is easy. If you are looking for the easiest to use, lightest, and most innovative tow bar available, the Sterling All Terrain non-binding tow bar is for you. See the video below for more details on how the All Terrain tow bars work.

New! Roadmaster Tow Bars and Towing Systems

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

We are proud to announce the addition of the new Roadmaster product line – Roadmaster Tow Bars, Roadmaster Tow Bar Brackets, Roadmaster Braking Systems, as well as the entire line of RV and Tow Bar Accessories. I was very impressed early this month when I visited the Portland Oregon companies manufacturing facility. Roadmaster really does make the parts they sell.

I followed Jerry A. Edwards, the founder of Roadmaster. He started by showing me some of the machines that make the parts used in their tow bars. From huge presses stamping out steel washers for the tow bar arms to the programable machines that make the smallest brass fittings for the proportionate braking systems. Attention to detail is important at Roadmaster, I saw the machine that cleans up the rough edges for a finer finish and the powder coat booth where the parts get their protective layer. Roadmaster even has a machine that makes their packing materials. Where can you buy tools that make tow bar parts, I wondered.

You can’t just go and buy these tools. The talented team at Roadmaster makes the tools they use too. The shelves where full of things fabricated on site in order to allow Roadmaster to create the parts they need to meet their exacting standards. As if that is not enough, the machines used to test their products built and operated on site as well.

I have never seen quality assurance testing like this. Roadmaster tests and re-tests to assure that the tow bar, braking system, or towing accessory that you buy will withstand real world. It starts with FEA, Finite Element Analysis. FEA is a computer testing system that will show stress points, fatigue levels and failing points. Before it is ever built the tolerances have been tested. The parts are tested again through out the production phase to ensure that there are no variances. During the assembly process the parts are tested again to verify that everything is working properly together. A final test is done to ensure that the product will withstand the forces that come with daily use. The Roadmaster rating system is like no other in the industry. Their products are designed to exceed the ratings. I watched a Sterling All Terrain 6,000 lb. aluminum tow bar being tested at 8,000 lb. of pressure, it would take 350,000 pushes and pulls before the tow bare even showed any sign of fatigue.

Tow bars are not the only thing being tested. Testing is going on everywhere, circuit boards, fire wires, compressors, and hoses for the braking systems; safety cables, crimped ends, electrical diodes, the list goes on and on. Roadmaster takes towing systems and product quality seriously so you can relax.

Like I said in the beginning, I was impressed and we are proud to offer the full line of Roadmaster towing systems, braking systems, suspension systems and RV accessories. Come to the site and see the innovative products available. Thank you for visiting and I look forward to your feedback.


The Facts About Towed Vehicle Braking

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

roadmaster, brakemaster proportionate towed car braking system,
Follow this link to view Roadmaster Supplemental Brake Systems

Like every other law of physics, the second law of motion isn’t open for debate. “Mass” (the weight of the towed vehicle) times “acceleration” (65 miles an hour, in the examples above) equals “force.” Always. Which creates, in effect, a 3,000- to 10,000-pound battering ram aimed directly at the back of the coach.

Motorhome brakes aren’t built to stop an additional 3,000 or 4,000 (or 10,000) pounds of towed weight. They’re built to stop the weight of the coach and its contents. But even if you had an extra two or three tons of braking capacity, the weight of a towed vehicle isn’t over the motorhome’s brakes. It’s pushing on them from behind.

It’s the “battering ram” effect of the towed vehicle’s momentum (mass times acceleration) that adds braking distance to a towed vehicle-motorhome combination.

So it’s not surprising, that safety is the number one reason most people add a supplemental braking system. Supplemental brakes take the load off the motorhome. The motorhome and the towed vehicle brake in tandem, taking significantly less time and distance to come to a controlled stop approximately 34 percent less, according to a study* by ROADMASTER

Supplemental brakes also relieve stress on the tow bar and the mounting brackets. an emergency stop without supplemental brakes is a leading causes of tow system failure. Towed Vehicle Supplemental Braking Systems also keep the combination straight as you brake, so there’s less chance of a “jackknife.” A Towed Vehicle Brake System will also prevent catastrophic failure caused by sustained braking on a decline.

Safety notwithstanding, there are several other compelling reasons to add supplemental brakes…

It’s required — To one degree or another, every state and province in North America has recognized the significant benefits. Which is why supplemental brakes are required in virtually every state and province. The majority of states, plus many Canadian provinces, specify 3,000 pounds as the maximum weight which can be towed without supplemental brakes, according to the American Automobile Association.

There’s currently no national standard, and the towed weight limits vary from state to state (and in Canada, from province to province) — 4,500 pounds in Texas, 10,000 pounds in Massachusetts, and 3,080 pounds in British Columbia (again, according to the American Automobile Association).

There is, however, that universal standard — “force equals mass times acceleration.” Whether you’re in Texas, Massachusetts or British Columbia, every towed vehicle combination is always in compliance with the second law of motion.

Chassis warranty and liability — Some motorhome chassis manufacturers will void your warranty (and insurance adjusters will void your policy) against damage claims if you tow without supplemental brakes. Workhorse will void your chassis warranty if you tow more than 1,000 pounds without supplemental brakes; Ford stipulates 1,500 pounds.

Wear and tear — Supplemental brakes cut down on everyday wear and tear — on the tow bar and the bracket, and on the frame of the towed vehicle. So they last longer. And because they aren’t braking for two vehicles, your motorhome’s brakes last longer, also.

It just makes good sense — Every other trailer on the road today has supplemental brakes — fifth wheels, travel trailers, semi-trailers — they all have their own braking systems. When you’re towing a couple of extra tons — or more — shouldn’t you have a supplemental braking system to stop it?

* Test data — Motorhome: 34-foot 1996 Winnebago Adventurer, Ford Superduty chassis with a 460 gas engine; GVWR: 17,000 pounds; brakes: hydraulic four-wheel disc. Towed vehicle: 1995 Oldsmobile Aurora; GVWR: 4,690 pounds (actual test weight: 4,110 pounds). Braking pressure: 80 pounds of force directed to the brake pedal representing a “hard stop.”