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Old 07-16-2010, 09:49 AM   #1
Monaco Owners Club
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Location: Vancouver, WA & Las Vegas
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Braking system for tow car

forgive me for asking so many questions but we bought a new coach and a new car. I want to make sure I am doing the best I can in setting up the marriage between the two.
Getting ready to put on the Blue Ox tow bar and mounting plate, based on recommendations I received here, thanks to all that gave me the feed back. Now I am ready to put on the braking system on our 2010 Yukon pulled by our 2008 Patriot Thunder. so far it looks like the Air Force One system is the best, expensive as all get out, but looks like the best, most reliable and easiest to use. Any feed back from others on the Air Force One system?

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Old 07-16-2010, 10:42 AM   #2
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I have had the Air Force One system since March of 09 and just love it. You are correct in saying it is expensive but after extensive research I felt it was the best product offered and so far my experience with it leads me to believe I was right. About the only down side I found was when I purchased a new coach and had to move the equipment from the old one which meant having to remove the T's and splice the brake lines back together on the old coach then reinstalling everything on the new one.

According to your profile you are in Vancouver Wa. I would highly recommend you talk to Brazel's RV in Centralia. They installed mine and did a great job. They also have a small RV park where you can come in the night before and be ready to have the work done in the morning.

Brian, Loretta & Daisy (Golden Retriever)
2008 Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40 PDQ , ISL 400
2014 Ford Explorer toad
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:50 PM   #3
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I have a RoadMaster BrakeMaster 9160, it is a very nice unit. My brother-in-law has the M & G system (M & G Engineering - Car Braking Systems: Home Page) If I had my choice, I would have used that unit, but they don't make one for my toad. The only drawback to the unit is that it is vehicle specific.

Dennis & Debbie Z (Retired) F415847
Pipe Creek, TX
2008 HR Endeavor 40PDQ / 2014 Grand Cherokee Toad
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:13 PM   #4
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Airforce one is not the best.... But.. .It is close enough to it that I put it on my recommended list.. The M&G system mentioend by Dennis is also on the list

I'd prefer the M&G over the AirForce 1 due to simplicity of "Hook up" by the way.

The simpler the hook up ... The better.

(This makes the all-in-one box systems like brake Buddy, Even brake et-al, The worst cause they have the most involved hookup)

Why is simple hook up better?

Because with a more involved hook up.. You may tend to say 'Oh the heck with it" for a short trip.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:50 PM   #5
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Toad brake

I have the M&G on my Jeep Liberty. Really works well, other than is it is vehicle specific. If you change toads you have to purchase a new unit, however I have been told that M&G will give you some tradein towards new one.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:38 PM   #6
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I've used the Air Force One since 2007 and highly recommend it. Three connections need to be made: the break-away cable, electrical, and air line. Not very complicated; maybe takes a minute to make those 3 connections. Couple of the things I like about the SMI system is that the normal toad brake lights come on when the brakes are applied and I have a light on the MH dash that comes on showing me that the toad brakes are being applied.

I did have SMI do the install since I quit crawling under vehicles about 20 years ago. The AF1 comes with break-away as part of the system. The M&G will cost you an additional $195 for the break-away option but that still puts the AF1 more expensive.

To me the most important thing is to have a brake system installed in your toad.
Pete - Full Timing
2000 Country Coach Magna 40', CAT C10, #5892
2006 Jeep Liberty
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
I'd prefer the M&G over the AirForce 1 due to simplicity of "Hook up" by the way.
What makes the M&G easier to hook up than the AFO? All there is, is one air hose and the break away cable.

2008 King Aire 4562, Spartan K3(GT) w/ Cummins ISX 600
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 5.7L V8 Hemi w/ Blue Ox Aventa LX Tow Bar and baseplate, SMI Air Force One brake
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:29 AM   #8
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It all depends on whether or not you really want a system that is permanently installed and invasive like the Air Force One. I currently use D-Brake Professional Tow Brake and I like it because I have the ease of freely switching it for one car to another. It also doesn't use an air system which is why I eventually got rid of my old Brake Buddy.
2007 Tiffin Motorhomes ALLEGRO 35MH
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Old 07-30-2010, 07:01 PM   #9
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Yep I have the blue ox Patriot, which is the same thing as the D-Brake professional towbrake, but it costs less
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:02 PM   #10
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Chev, check out this thread and pay particular attention to the Cruzer post.
toad braking systems

Here is a little different write up from Cruzer.

I've had three different system on three coaches.

The first was the Brake Buddy. It puts out some serious pressure on the arm that connects to the brake pedal. In fact, the instructions tell you to pump the brakes to dump the vacuum out of the booster first because the Brake Buddy is designed to work with a non-power assisted pedal. The system worked but, like anything else, it has it's pros and cons. It's nice in that it's portable and can be used on just about anything and requires no installation chores (usually). You do have to set it in place and dial it in. If the seat moves you can either lose your braking capacity or drag the brakes. We had that a few times when you press the remote unlock button and the seat retracts for access on the Grand Cherokee. It's strictly inertia operated so going down a grade and using your gears or an engine brake to slow the coach down will cause the Brake Buddy to engage the toad brakes. The BB plugs into the lighter socket so if you tow a lot you may wear down your battery unless you hook up a charge kline to the RV. You also have to unhook it and remove it, then find a place to store it when you want to drive your toad. We wanted something easier to use so we sold it and went to the US Gear Unified Tow Brake.

The Unified Tow Brake is a permanent mounted system. It utilizes an electric solenoid to pull a cable that runs through a pullet that pulls on the brake pedal. It has a vacuum pump to keep the brake booster full of vacuum so it's not pulling on a dead pedal. That's a little different philosophy than Brake Buddy but they both work. The brakes energize via the trailer lighting circuit and a charge lione to the RV is also recommended. The controller is mounted up by the RV's dash and is also inertia operated although you can manually control it if desired. With this system you pretty much connect your tow bar, wiring harness, and breakaway cable to the toad and you are good to go. If you have adjustable brake pedals - forget it. The cable pulls on the pedal and if you adjust the pedal your brakes may drag or else the tow brake will be loose and won't apply the brakes. Also, the pulley takes room in the footwell and needs to line up with the brake pedal and the solenoid is big and needs to find a home as well. On my Grand Cherokee that was a real challenge. After Leann adjusted the pedals one day and my friont rotors were smoked I decided to go another way, which was the M&G.

The M&G was the best yet. It uses the coach's air pressure to apply the toad brakes. I just added a quick disconnect hose coupler next to the trailer lighting socket and the same on the toads (both Grand Cherokee and Wrangler) and connect them with a quick disconnect air line that rides right inside the center of the slinky lighting umbilical cord. This system is totally proportional and the toad brakes only go on when the coach brakes do. The toad module mounts between the master cylinder and vacuum booster so nothing goes inside the cabin. The module is failsafe in that it acts as a big pushrod when using the brake pedal yet applies the brakes via the master cylinder and air pressure whenever the coach's brake pedal is applied. The drawback is that it's only for a diesel with air brakes. You can get a compressor to use this system on a gasser but the extra cost isn't worth it because you are back to the US Gear method of braking so you might as well just get the US GEar or an SMI Stay-in-Play and ave some money.
Mark & Leann Quasius
2007 Allegro Bus 42QRP - Cummins 400 ISL
2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Jim with Judy
2017 Newmar Ventana 4369, 2005 Jeep Wrangler (Rock Crawler), 2016 Jeep Wrangler (Mall Crawler)
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