Portable vs Installed Towed Braking System: Which Is Right For You? - RVi

Portable vs Installed Towed Braking System: Which Is Right For You?

Portable vs Installed Towed Braking System: Which Is Right For You?

If you're in the market for a towed braking system, you have probably come across two types of products: Permanently Installed and Portable. Because both have unique benefits, deciding between the two can be tricky. We want to help guide you toward the best option for your RV lifestyle, watch the video below and continue reading to discover which braking system is best for you!


Important Considerations

  • Do you have multiple towed vehicles?
  • Do you RV full-time or only on occasion?
  • Do you plan on purchasing new or switching towed vehicles?
  • Are you leasing your towed vehicle?
  • Can you install it? (see section below)

Portable Braking Systems: Pros & Cons



- Easy to use in multiple vehicles - Set up required every trip
- No cutting or drilling into towed vehicle - More gear to take on board
- Simple to upgrade or swap - Must remove before driving towed vehicle

Installed Braking Systems: Pros & Cons



- No set up required - More difficult to remove, upgrade, or swap
- No disconnecting to drive towed vehicle - Cannot be used in multiple towed vehicles

- Built-in features (i.e. battery charging in RVibrake Shadow)

- Cutting, drilling, etc. required to install

Can You Install It?

A crucial consideration when deciding between an installed or portable braking system is the installation process and how comfortable you feel with it. As previously mentioned, a portable system like RVibrake3 requires virtually no installation for the main device, however, the breakaway system (required by law) will need to be installed.

The standard breakaway installation will take around 45 minutes, depending on how handy you are and which type of vehicle you're installing it on. That said, there are solutions like the Breakaway Wireless Adapter that eliminate the need for cutting/drilling through your towed vehicle's firewall.

If you can install a breakaway, you can install RVibrake Shadow - it's that simple!

With RVibrake Shadow, you can either hand it off to a professional or install the entire system in around 2 hours at home. Watch the full installation video HERE.

RVibrake Shadow vs RVibrake3

RVi offers an Installed Braking System and a Portable Braking System, check out the chart below to see how they compare.

RVibrake3 vs RVibrake Shadow




  • Robert craig

    I am interested in a towbar and an auxiliary braking system, I live in Indiana (46962) and need a dealer that would have units in stock. I want to actually see the brake system to see if it will on my car. I have a BlueOx bracket already installed.

  • Tony Gress

    Need install on my 2010 jeep

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