Unboxing And Review Of The Blue Ox Patriot 2 Supplimental Braking Sytem
Right out of the box, or actually in the box, I noticed the Patriot 2 supplemental braking system was lightweight and compact in design. Like a kid at Christmas, I couldn’t wait to crack open the box and see what treasures awaited inside. I must say, I was impressed on how well the box was packed and could tell Blue Ox had done their homework when designing the packaging. We all know things can get beat up a bit in shipping, but our Patriot 2 was pristine inside when peering in.
Once I started pulling items out of the box, I noticed there wasn’t much to the entire system. Said differently, there wasn’t a million pieces and parts that had to be put together or installed on my RV or tow vehicle. When researching which braking system to purchase, this was one of the leading factors that persuaded us to buy the Patriot 2 in the first place.
I have two different vehicles I may tow with my Class C from time to time, so I wanted a system that could be moved from one vehicle to another. The Patriot 2 fit the bill perfectly. The only piece of the system permanently installed in the Dinghy (or toad, or tow behind, etc.) is the breakaway switch. It is simple to purchase and install a second switch in an additional vehicle. That option made this system an excellent fit for me.
Patriot 2 Installation
RF Controller and Breakaway Switch
The Patriot 2 uses RF (radio frequency) to communicate between the controller in the RV and the braking unit in the towed vehicle. Using an accelerometer similar to a smartphone, the system senses braking and then applies proportional braking in the towed vehicle. RF communication eliminates the need for additional cables running through the coach which makes for a straightforward install and set up. Extremely simple!
Mounting The Break-Away Switch
The first step I took was going to work mounting the breakaway switch in our 2012 Jeep JK. The instructions which came with our Blue Ox product stated not to attach the breakaway switch to the tow bar itself, so I went about looking for a more suitable location. We had our Blue Ox tow bar base plate and wiring installed by the dealer when we purchased the JK, and I noticed a slit which was cut in the plastic rock guard to fit around the base plate.
The slit in the plastic left some of the factory bumper exposed with just enough room with a spacer to mount the switch. There was no mounting hardware with the kit so I grabbed some out of my collection. Mounting the switch was rather easy.
All I had to do from there is run the breakaway harness into the engine bay and through the firewall on the driver’s side. A couple of cable ties later and the install was complete. Easy peasy!
Installing The Patriot 2 Braking Unit
My next step was installing and testing the braking system itself. It is a simple process, to say the least, due to the lightweight design of the Patriot 2. The Blue Ox Patriot 2 is placed on the floorboard of the vehicle after the driver’s seat has been pushed back. Using the included leveling feet on the Patriot 2, I was able to level out the unit quickly.
The adjustable spring-loaded clamp fit over the brake pedal with no issue. Then a turn of the locking knob made sure it wouldn’t come off the pedal. I then adjusted the backplate so it would fit over the seat adjustment bar on the JK’s seat. Power seats make this part much easier. Ultimately I got it to rest against the bottom of the seat itself. I then slid the driver’s seat forward thus lodging the unit in place.
Powering the Patriot 2
The Patriot 2 requires a 12-volt power source which is always on. In the case of the JK, it was found nestled inside the center console which was within easy reach of the power cord. I then plugged in the breakaway cable and hit the yee ole power button.
Once the flashing lights started indicating it was ready for set-up, I hit the “set-up” button. The braking system came to life and ran a couple of test brakes to calibrate itself to the vehicle. The braking unit is exceptionally intuitive! You can even do firmware updates by connecting to it via Bluetooth.
RF Controller Setup Up
Lastly was setting up the RF Control Unit in the RV. The controller also requires a 12-volt power source which was readily available in the dash of our Gulfstream. It powered right up, and I was able to adjust the “force” (or braking gain) at the touch of a button. The gain defaults to 5, which is the middle setting regarding adjustment options. I set ours on 7 as our RV is 24ft and the JK is a four-door. If I had a 40-ft pusher and a Kia, I’m sure a lower gain would be more suitable.
Patriot 2 Likes and Dislikes
The main thing I like about the Patriot 2 is the simplicity, and ability to move it from one vehicle to another. Most other braking systems must be permanently installed. I also like the fact it is all-electric. There is no splicing into hydraulic or air systems to actuate the braking system. Lastly, it flat out works. At the end of the day, a braking system should do a few things.
1. Save wear and tear on your vehicles.
2. Keep you from not getting a ticket for not having a system in the first place.
3. Stop your towed vehicle in the case of a breakaway situation.
The Patriot 2 does all of these. Period.
It isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, however. The Blue Ox Patriot 2 much like most braking systems is expensive. I at least consider $1000 expensive, I don’t know about you. Is it cheaper than totaling a vehicle though? Is it also worth not spending the rest of your life knowing you hurt or killed someone? I say yes!
Second, though I like the lightweight and compact design, this usually comes in the form of plastic. The Patriot 2 has a housing made entirely out of plastic. I basically carried it like a newborn baby everywhere I took it. Due to the cost, I’m not in a hurry to replace it anytime soon.
All in I am very happy with this product, and would definitely recommend it! If you are looking for a braking system for your towing needs you won’t be disappointed with the Blue Ox Patriot 2.
- All electric
- Faster response braking time
- No pump, tank, or air hoses
- No condensation to drain. Lightweight and Break-away included
- Works on all vehicles, including hybrids
Last update on 2020-03-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API