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Old 11-13-2007, 07:52 PM   #1
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We're still doing some research & trying to decide on this major issue. We considering the Unified Brake system (Monaco coach is pre-wired), XL base plates, and Roadmaster #576 Sterling Tow Bar.

We liked the Blue Ox Aladdin functionality, but kept turning back to Roadmaster. Any comments are appreciated.
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:52 PM   #2
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We're still doing some research & trying to decide on this major issue. We considering the Unified Brake system (Monaco coach is pre-wired), XL base plates, and Roadmaster #576 Sterling Tow Bar.

We liked the Blue Ox Aladdin functionality, but kept turning back to Roadmaster. Any comments are appreciated.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:48 AM   #3
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I went thru that same dilemma last year with the new car. After a lot of research, talking to dealers and vendors and current owners, and just plain thinking, I came up with a workable system for us and are really happy with it. I'm very mechanical and knowing how well something has been designed/built is probably the biggest factor. I like good/great customer service almost as much as a product, and have been very happy there too.

I went with the new SMI AirForce-I braking system mainly because it energizes the car's power brake system and doesn't just use the car's 'dead-pedal' to stop, therefore using the power brakes as intended. Some other systems simply apply more pressure to the de-energized pedal to stop the car (try pressing the brake-pedal someday without power brakes working). I had a long talk with the owner/designer at a Trade-Show, and he went thru the entire principle, design, test, and build stages with me. Very interesting. I also have a standing offer to try a new system they're working-on.

I already had the BlueOx Alladin from the Jeep Wrangler, and just needed the new hardware to attach to the van. Since it was a new-design installation system, there were many calls back-and-forth with BlueOx and they treated me superbly each time (for instance, I had a problem with a mis-matched bracket and received a whole new parts kit is return). Also needed a different drop-receiver because of the lowered new base-plate and the local dealer gave me some bad direction as to which length to use, but BlueOx swapped it out for me no-charge (even after several thousand miles of use). Also been in a couple hard-stops (more like "Holy $*!T" stops) and everything tracked and worked perfectly during and afterwards.

Not saying these products are best for everyone (that's why there's more than one mousetrap company out there), but I think I made a good decision for my applications. By the way, I don't work for or get $$ from any of these companies!

Oh, and I think RVUPGRADES.COM (one of the bigger sponsors of our website forums) sells these products too. Can't get better than that, eh?

HTH,
Ron

let us know what you decide.
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Old 11-14-2007, 04:29 AM   #4
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Rick and Mic,

Congratulations on your new toad. Great choice by the way!

We have the Roadmaster Sterling...now almost five years old...and are very happy. We are carfull to come to a stop with toad completely straight or we will have some binding. It's easy to release binding but it's an extra step which is not appreciated at the end of a long driving day! It's very possibe that with the new generation of Sterling's Roadmaster has addressed this problem. I know they have addressed binding in their marketing anyway. Rodmaster is at every rally and checks every coach in the parking area for Roadmaster tow bars and when found they lube and safety check every Roadmaster bar they find. They also send out the Roadmaster techs to the nearby RV Parks and perform the same service..unasked! The only sign of their visit is the postcard at your door with a tow-bar health report. I believe you will find that Blue-Ox performs this same service and I know you can't go wrong with either of these fine aftermarket suppliers. Best time to buy Riadmaster is at the RV Show in Quartzsite where you will find big discounts and low cost factory installation...if you can wait.
A year ago in Quartzsite I met Peter the SMI AirForce-I braking system owner/designer and you won't find a nicer guy and a better product. I had one installed which replaced my brake-in-box and have been very happy. RonBoc already explained the SMI AirForce-I braking system benifits above so I won't repeat these but musst add that the after the sale sevice from Peter and the SMI gang are top notch.
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Old 11-14-2007, 04:32 AM   #5
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Ronboc What braking system did you use in the Wrangler???
Rick
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:20 AM   #6
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Hey Latitude/Rick -

Uhhhh.... well..... ummm.... Now that the statutes of limitations on stupidity have probably run-out, I can tell you. I'd figured that since the coach weighs about 36k and the Wrangler added less than 10% to the total, I could get away without any additional braking system. I don't believe that now.

As mentioned, I now have the AirForce-I system and, while the van doesn't weigh all that much more than the Wrangler did, it sure is a lot more peace-of-mind knowing it's doing its part in "Whoa'ing" us down when needed.

I also have to add that, as a flat-lander, I never occasion to take the Wrangler up/down anything more than an Interstate bridge (so all stopping was essentially just highway slowing), but this summer saw its share of vertical inclines in Colorado/Wyoming. Glad I have it.
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:16 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by GoneFishin:
We're still doing some research & trying to decide on this major issue. We considering the Unified Brake system (Monaco coach is pre-wired), XL base plates, and Roadmaster #576 Sterling Tow Bar.

We liked the Blue Ox Aladdin functionality, but kept turning back to Roadmaster. Any comments are appreciated. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Rick & Mic,

the US Gear Unified Brake System and the Blue Ox Aladdin are exactly what I have used for the past nine years with no problems. Both systems have served me through two motorhomes and three toads.

The thing I like most about the Unified Brake System, is that after it's installed, you just forget it, and it's always ready to use. The only thing you have do do is plug in the break-away line on the car when you hook up. I also like the fact that it can be controlled from the dash of the motorhome, and that it works both progressively and proportionately (like real foot brakes do).

As for hitches, you can't go wrong with either Blue Ox or Roadmaster. They both make good products. IMO, it's mostly a matter of personal choice. I like the Blue Ox base plates a little better because when not in use, they are mostly invisible.
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:47 PM   #8
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Mick...
Sacs and I have been using the Blue Ox products ever since we have been towing with all 4 on the ground. The Audi behind the 1989 Bounder, the Blazer behind the 1994 Bounder and now the Silverado behind the Dip...We have never had any problems with the Blue Ox. I know we put the M&G braking system on the Dip...but I don't remember having anything like that on the two Bounders!

PS.. Overheard the guys at work talkin' about the salmon running!



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Old 11-15-2007, 08:59 PM   #9
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Counting the days!

Been visiting the Towing Section here at iRV2, gathering more info. There sure are a lot of nice people here who are very helpful. (Then there's me, who likes to ask lots of questions.) I think I might have helped someone the other day, or maybe I just caused them to pause and ponder. I try.

Good to see you here. You've been quiet for a few days.
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:23 PM   #10
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We narrowed our choice down to either the M&G and Air Force One for the same reasons Ronboc offered above. Both are truly proportional and use "boost" to operate the coach brakes. We went with M&G - it was a little cheaper and M&G is about 30 miles away. I visited their HQ and bought through them and they did me a "deal" on installation. I was impressed with Air Force One and M&G slave off the coach air brake concept for proportional braking which seemed pretty sophisticated and less prone to error.
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Old 11-16-2007, 05:12 PM   #11
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sorry, meant to say "operate the toad brakes"
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:15 PM   #12
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We went with the M & G also. Really like the system. We have a Apline coach so a little extra compressor was added. Now I have a backup air compressor also.The researching of the braking system really paid off....it great and we're happy with it.
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:45 PM   #13
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Mic..

Sacs says you may ot be able to use the M&G with the Honda... You may want to contact M&G directly to see if it can be used...

PS...I will be sending you a PM in the nwxt day or 2 ...watch for it!



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Old 11-20-2007, 10:14 AM   #14
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I also went with the M & G set up. I love the clean installation. I only need about 5 seconds to hook up the brakes and the break away switch. I also use the Roadmaster tow bar and it truely is a simple and easy hook up.
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