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Old 11-26-2014, 07:59 AM   #43
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Clearly, there's not any assistance that we can collectively give to thirdwall at this time, but perhaps others might find information of value in this thread.

Some takeaways as I see them:

Understand your towed's componets -- brake system, lights, and computers -- that might be affected by any supplemental brake unit. Today's toweds are heavily dependent on computer modules, micro processors, and software as well as using sensitive LED bulbs. It's easy to have problems from non-OEM add on componets impacting these sensitive OEM parts and assemblies. Contrary to thirdwall's attitude about learning, it's relatively easy to understand descriptions and pictorials that are readily available on the Internet. Plus, it's even easier to find and talk/correspond with experts who will help us understand the ramifications, pros and cons of whatever we are considering.

Should after install problems occur, we should, as a first step, take time to contact the manufacturer's customer service. I dare say, in our rather extreme example provided by thirdwall, a call to M&G should have quickly pinpointed a simple adjustment that would have resolved his brakes/ABS issue. Of course, if neither the user or installer have much knowledge, wrong decisions should be an expected consequence.

John Wayne, I think, once said something to the effect "... like is hard enough without making it harder...". That probably applies to RVing in spades and especially to be his thread.
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:13 PM   #44
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[QUOTE=AppleUser;2325133]Clearly, there's not any assistance that we can collectively give to thirdwall at this time, but perhaps others might find information of value in this thread.

What are your qualifications as an expert on the M & G?
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:50 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Air Baron View Post

However, after looking over the contents of the shipment from SMI...I was amazed by the complexity, the bundles of wires and the amount of things that could go wrong...especially that black box. .
This is quite a thread which is focused on the M&G system, but I wanted to comment on the SMI (AF1) system. Personally I don't think it could be much simpler to install. YES - there are several bags of parts, but each bag is related to one specific area of the system.
1 bag (and tank assembly) for the coach air side.
1 bag for toad air cylinder
1 bag (and black box for the vehicle side)
1 bag for the breakaway switch
1 bag for brake light indicator (this one is optional)

In my opinion the install steps are well separated, and fairly easy.
for instance the black box has three hose connections and three wire connections.
Mounting the air cylinder is simple and only one hose needs to be run.
The coach connections are also easy with a total of three hose connections.
The great thing about this type of system is that there is no way for the toad brakes to activate if the coach is not connected.

The really tricky part was getting my toad brake lights to work properly since they were LED's. but this was easily solved with two relays and two blocking diodes. Now the turn signals work as expected (brake does not override the turn signal).

Regards,

Dan
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Old 11-27-2014, 10:19 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post

The great thing about this type of system is that there is no way for the toad brakes to activate if the coach is not connected.


Regards,

Dan
Dan, I had looked at the AF1 also. There are always a pro/con with any solution. In my opinion the AF1 and M&G for someone that uses only 1 Toad are in the top of the options I would use. I would use a removable unit if I had multiple Toads.

I chose the M&G for the mechanical integrity/simplicity. The M&G requires more attention to detail and a bit of understanding how hydraulic brake systems work for the installer. I believe in that sense the AF1 has the advantage, as it is basically an assembly process for installation.

I do posses the skill set to do more than my own maintenance(Engine builder, suspension tuning), therefore the installation was not an issue for me. Full Disclosure, I only have a basic understanding of nuclear fusion.

On the other hand, the M&G does not move the brake pedal (no activation of Toad brake lights),and is structurally more secure than any other product I have seen on the market. It becomes an integral part of the system.

As you can see, I chose one product, however I believe there is a place for the others. I may even be inclined to use one of the others if it "fits" the application.

Happy Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:22 AM   #47
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WOW, such heated discussion.

I went with US Gears Unified Tow Brake. Once the actuator is mounted in the the toad, I just plug in the pigtail and away we go.

I chose it because; Motorhome chassis was prewired for trailer brakes, not vehicle spacific (infact it's in it's second toad), no tapping into anything.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:01 AM   #48
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Hope you all don't mind me slipping back in here. So just as an FYI, I'll provide an update.
I decided on and purchased the Blue Ox Patriot System. While I wanted a built in air-from-the-coach braking system there were no qualified facilities to do the installations. The Patriot system came with good references and a good history as far as I could determine. Having a self contained system seemed to be the best fit for me to be able to install myself. I also purchased the Blue Ox light wiring kit. Now I'm looking for the best location to install both the breakaway switch and the wiring receptacle that is both secure and aesthetically pleasing.
Again, thank you all for your comments and suggestions, except the individual who felt the need to school me on the laws for supplemental breaking. As a retired police officer I'm familiar with towing laws in my state and those of other states. I won't go into it, but if you had read my post, you would know the point was me asking for suggestions as to "WHICH" supplemental system, not "WHETHER or not I was going to". Aside from the LAWs, I believe in safety for my family, other people on the road, myself and my vehicles.
Sorry for the rant, but I try to be very specific with my questions so I don't waste other people's time.
Back to the installation. I would be glad for any suggestions on placement of the breakaway switch and the plug if anyone has seen a really clean and stealth installation on a Tahoe or Suburban. Thanks!
EDIT: You all have made me think about something. I never thought of the actuator pushing the brake pedal would also activate the break lights.... so if I wire it, I would have double brake lights, albeit no running or turn signals. Hmmmm......
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:25 PM   #49
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for rvs with air brake system, m&g is the best hands down. it stays in engine bay and no in-car connections. one thing i have not seen anyone mentioning it - not all toads are supported. m&g has a list of compatible vehicles on their website m-gengineering.com. check it out and see if your specific toad is in the list.
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:53 AM   #50
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Hi Don,
Which specific wiring kit did you get?
There is a "EZ wiring kit" which is a harness that plugs into your existing TOAD harness, this would be the easiest.


There is one issue that you may see. With the Patriot pushing on the brake, the car will light BOTH brake lights. If your turn signal is also on, the coach will try to flash your brake/turn bulb. This will not hurt anything, but the light will not flash because of the brake supplying constant power. HOWEVER - the EZ wire kit should NOT show this issue.


Questions:
1. do you have combined Brake/Turn bulbs?
2. Do you have LED Brake/Turn lights.


I also read that you must turn on the coaches Tail lights to provide power to the Patriot. Instead of this, you "could" get 12V from the 7-pin trailer connector. In most coaches, this is switched by the ignition switch. I did this on my Freightliner chassis.


Regards,


Dan
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:01 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
Hi Don,
Which specific wiring kit did you get?
There is a "EZ wiring kit" which is a harness that plugs into your existing TOAD harness, this would be the easiest.


There is one issue that you may see. With the Patriot pushing on the brake, the car will light BOTH brake lights. If your turn signal is also on, the coach will try to flash your brake/turn bulb. This will not hurt anything, but the light will not flash because of the brake supplying constant power. HOWEVER - the EZ wire kit should NOT show this issue.


Questions:
1. do you have combined Brake/Turn bulbs?
2. Do you have LED Brake/Turn lights.


I also read that you must turn on the coaches Tail lights to provide power to the Patriot. Instead of this, you "could" get 12V from the 7-pin trailer connector. In most coaches, this is switched by the ignition switch. I did this on my Freightliner chassis.


Regards,


Dan
Hey Dan, I bought the simple one that has the sockets that install in the lens, 1' hole and 1157 bulbs. I do not have any LED lights yet. Thinking of swapping but not yet.
I was going to use the toad cigarette lighter plug to power the brakes, but I had thought of finding a constant hot from the coach umbilical and wiring in a cigarette lighter plug to that. Easier on the toad battery I think.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:06 PM   #52
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Hey Dan, I bought the simple one that has the sockets that install in the lens, 1' hole and 1157 bulbs. I do not have any LED lights yet. Thinking of swapping but not yet.
I was going to use the toad cigarette lighter plug to power the brakes, but I had thought of finding a constant hot from the coach umbilical and wiring in a cigarette lighter plug to that. Easier on the toad battery I think.
Remember, you need to power Invisibrake after breakaway, so you must connect to t he toad battery. You should be able to determine where to drill be removing the original bulb and looking inside the lens housing.


One more thing to point out.. since Invisibrake will push on your brake pedal, that will also activate the vehicle brake lights along with your installed "extra" bulbs.
The only down side to this is that when the turn signal is on, AND your have the brakes activated, the vehicle brake light will be steady-on. So you won't see a flashing turn indicator on your jeep.

Dan
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:35 PM   #53
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2,455 miles from southwestern CO, over the Rockies, to central FL with my new SMI DELTA FORCE.
I'm awaiting a response from SMI to a couple of questions I've asked them B4 sharing my experience with the unit.
I towed a 2011 Ford Explorer behind my 2012 Tiffin Phaeton 40 QBH.
I just purchased a SMI DELTA FORCE and had trouble today (as I was going for my initial test ride) getting it to keep a steady signal between the CoachLink and the brake system in the toad. Have you had trouble? Where did you place your antenna so that it wouldn't get interference from the engine/dash electronics? Did you install the system yourself? Thanks for any advice you can give.
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:50 AM   #54
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I would avoid the RVI brake, loses communication with the console almost immediately and they don't really have a solve for it.
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Old 05-01-2015, 03:53 PM   #55
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Jerry P -- I sent you a private message yesterday but apparently did not do so correctly. Reference your post I may have some info that will help but it would help if I knew what type of RV and toad you are using the Delta Force with.


"I just purchased a SMI DELTA FORCE and had trouble today (as I was going for my initial test ride) getting it to keep a steady signal between the CoachLink and the brake system in the toad. Have you had trouble? Where did you place your antenna so that it wouldn't get interference from the engine/dash electronics? Did you install the system yourself? Thanks for any advice you can give."
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