With the introduction of its new InvisiBrake, Roadmaster has eliminated the hassle and inconvenience of setting up a towed car auxiliary brake system.
Many motorhome owners who tow “dinghy” vehicles that have supplemental braking devices complain that they are difficult to setup and later disconnect every time they use them. They don’t like having to install and then remove a box every time, find it awkward or impossible to reach under the dash to attach and detach the brake-pedal linkage, and then find stowage to be a problem.
To answer these concerns, Roadmaster recently introduced its all-new InvisiBrake model 8700, which just may revolutionize the use of automatic supplemental braking systems on dinghy vehicles towed behind motorhomes. One of the things that make Invisibrake different from other units is that it’s a completely automatic supplemental brake system. You don't have to install and then remove a box and crawl under the dash to connect and disconnect the unit every time you tow and then drive the dinghy vehicle. Invisibrake was intentionally designed with a minimum of complex components to make it reliable and easy to use. There are no switches, you simply plug your towed vehicle into the motorhome and it works. Once the system is installed, everything is tucked away out of sight and there is nothing more to do.
“All you have to do is plug the dinghy vehicle into the motorhome and off you go,” said David Robinson, marketing director for Vancouver, Washington-based Roadmaster. “To me, the most important factor is that it’s set-it-and-forget-it,” he added. “Invisibrake doesn’t require you to crawl under the steering wheel to install it.”
Compact Control Center
The Invisibrake system consists of a small control box and an actuator which both mount out of sight in the towed vehicle, and a small dash-mounted monitor which goes in the motorhome. The system has a built-in vacuum pump which supplies the power-brake booster, and a small air compressor provides pressure to an air-operated actuator that pulls on the brake pedal from behind to activate the brakes. It’s designed to work in virtually any towed vehicle with a vacuum-actuated power brake booster.
The wires from the motorhome that already operate the dinghy’s tail and brake lights are the same ones that operate InvisiBrake. When you apply the motorhome’s brakes the electrical signal from the brake-light switch to the brake lights activates the InvisiBrake. InvisiBrake also connects directly to the dinghy vehicle’s battery (leaving the cigarette lighter socket free) and constantly charges it during towing, so it won’t drain the battery like some other brands of supplementary braking units.
Invisibrake is intended to be permanently mounted in the towed vehicle for as long as you own it. The main control box is small enough (8.5 x 8.5 x 2.5 inches) that it can usually be mounted under a seat, without giving up any usable interior space. It’s not readily portable like some other units, including Roadmaster’s EvenBrake, but with this unit you simply hitch the tow bar and plug in the towed vehicle and you’re done.
The progressive braking design increases the braking on the towed vehicle the longer the motorhome’s brakes are applied up to a pre-set pressure. According to Roadmaster, the Invisibrake will never apply enough pressure to lock your brakes up. There’s a simple pressure-adjustment knob on the front of the unit which is set during installation to control the maximum pressure to the brake pedal (from five to 80 psi). This also allows owners to set their own pressure to match their specific braking preferences.
The compact monitoring unit mounts easily in view of the driver to indicate the braking status of the towed vehicle. A two-stage audible and visual alert in the motorhome’s cab warns of any malfunction and indicates if the brakes have been activated too long (over 20 seconds continually). If so, just release, reset and press the brake again as needed. It activates the dinghy’s brakes only when the motorhome’s brakes lights illuminate, so there’s no “false” braking.
Meets U.S. & Canadian Standards
Many states and provinces require operative brakes on towed vehicles and motorhome chassis manufacturers call for auxiliary braking systems for towed vehicles. Invisibrake includes an emergency break-away system and meets U.S. and Canadian auxiliary braking requirements. All of Roadmaster’s products are designed, engineered and manufactured in Portland, Oregon, and every process is done under the same roof to ensure manufacturing quality.
InvisiBrake (Item #56819) is available at Camping World, and professional installation is available at SuperCenters nationwide. (An experienced do-it-yourselfer can do it in about 3.5 to 5 hours.) For more information on the Invisibrake contact Roadmaster, Inc., 800-669-9690 or visit any Camping World SuperCenter.