July '20

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86 • RV PRO • July 2020 rv-pro.com signature Ready Brake supplemental surge tow brake system, according to Westervelt. "The big feather in our hat and the thing that makes us different from every- body else in the market is, we have a sup- plemental brake unit graded into our tow bar – nobody else does that," he says. Unlike competing products, NSA RV's Ready Brake braking system is purely mechanical and doesn't rely on electronics, which can fail. As a result, Ready Brake is easier to use than competing systems, according to Westervelt. "There's no box to move or calibrate. Just attach the cable and you are ready to tow," he says, adding that his towing system is compatible with any towable vehicle. The Ready Brake features all-steel construction, except for the internal com- ponents for the shock absorber, which are all aluminum, he notes. Westervelt says Ready Brake was devel- oped by an engineer who was dissatisfied with a braking system built by one of NSA's competitors. "He was an experienced engineer, so he went back to the drawing board and reengineered (it) and made the product we sell now," he says. "He made it so that you have an oil- filled shock absorber with a 250-pound spring inside that component. It made it a lot more reliable product than the (competing product) ever thought about NSA RV Products line of dinghy towing equipment includes two 8,000-pound towing capacity aluminum tow bars and two 12,000-pound towing capacity tow bars, including the heavy-duty Hercules model (pictured at top). Additionally, NSA manufactures the Ready Brake (pictured above) surge brake system, which can be integrated with its tow bars, plus the ReadyStop Emergency Breakaway Kit (pictured at right), which offers additional safety when towing a vehicle behind a motorhome. being. The (competing product) had air- craft cables inside of it that went back and forth throughout the inside of it, and it just wasn't a very thought-out process. So, he started having my father manufacture those, and eventually, we bought him out." Westervelt says he has redesigned Ready Brake's shock absorber several times over the years, in his view making it a little better each time. He says it's now easier to assemble and manufacture. After all of the incremental improvements, he says he's confident it is as good as it can get. "About every three or four years, I go back to the drawing board and think about how I can make it better. I got it to its current state around 2010 and I haven't changed it since then." New Product Development is Ongoing In addition to tow bars and tow brakes, NSA manufactures a number of other products. For additional protection for motor- homes and towed vehicles, NSA also sells the ReadyStop emergency break-away kit as a separate system that uses its own cable the connects to the towed vehicle brake pedal. ReadyStop can be used with Ready Brake or on its own. Additionally, the company sells dash monitoring systems for its supplemental brakes and sells safety cables, vacuum pumps and assorted other products asso- ciated with towing a car behind a motor- home. Westervelt hints at upcoming addi- tions to the product line. "I have some things still on the drawing board that will be introduced later this year, but I'm not ready to share those yet," says Westervelt, whose father, Neil, founded the company in 1996 as a man- ufacturer of aluminum racing reduction pulleys for race cars. The younger Westervelt grew up in the manufacturing business, coming to work with his dad when he was 14. Engineering piqued his interest during college, but he wound up becoming a certified draftsman. He acquired the business from his father in 2008. Westervelt's love of tinkering and devel- oping new products helps drive his com- pany's mission.

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