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Old 03-03-2015, 08:35 PM   #1
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SpaceNorman's Avatar
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,147
Hooking Up The Dingy

My wife and I are newbies and are in the process getting our RVing ducks in order. We recently purchased a new (to us!) 2012 Holiday Rambler 43' Endeavor DFT and are now getting our dinghy needs aligned. We're planning to close the deal tomorrow on a gently used 2012 Jeep Liberty 4x4 - and are making plans to the have coach and dinghy set up for towing.

I've web searched myself stupid as I've researched the various designs used in supplemental braking systems. I've read all the marketing from the various manufacturers as well as whatever reviews I could find. But, based on all that I've read so far - no one setup has emerged as a clear favorite in the marketplace. I've asked my dealer for his recommendation. He has proposed the following:

Roadmaster Sterling All Terrain Towbar and corresponding Base Plate
SMI Air Force One supplemental braking system

Based on my review of the Air Force One's features and functions - I'm comfortable that the Air Force One's design and operation are a good fit for my needs.

This brings me to my question to the forum - does anybody with experience with either of these products - have a strong opinion regarding build quality or manufacturer's server and support?

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Old 03-03-2015, 09:30 PM   #2
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Newmar Owners Club
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Location: Spicewood Texas (West of Austin)
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We are new to dingy towing as well. I chose Roadmaster base plates and the Roadmaster Blackhawk 2 tow bar, due to the weight of our F150. It has been very easy to use and I installed the base plates myself. Take your time and practice connecting under normal circumstances. The learning curve is short and you will develop your own system.

I chose a portable braking system (RVI Brake 2) because we were using a brand new vehicle and I wanted something that was the least invasive. The AF1 is definitely one of the favorites, when this question is asked.

Scotty and Kristen, Airedales Dagny and Wyatt
2007 Newmar Mountain Aire 4528, 450 HP ISM, Allison 4000, 8 Trojan T-105's
2014 F150 4x4 Crew Cab Platinum 157" WB
Roadmaster Blackhawk 2, RVI2 Brake System
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:40 PM   #3
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Location: Quitman MS
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Roadmaster is good equipment, I used them for over 15 yrs , M &G is the best system I think if you don't trade toads often and the AF one is also a good system but again it a system that is pretty hard to install, I use Roadmaster Brakemaster for the ease of transfer from one toad to another.
You can't go wrong with your dealer recomadition.
Walt & Will
2000 Dynasty
2017 Ram Big Horn Crew C 4X4 w/ M&G
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Old 03-04-2015, 04:32 AM   #4
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I've been using the sterling all-terrain on a 2007 Jeep Liberty since 2008, when I had a class c mh. Still working fine on the class a mh we got last year. Dave
Tiffin 32CA 2012
2007 Jeep Liberty
Mitzi-chihuahua+Ruby and Raisin- baby shih tzu sisters
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Old 03-04-2015, 04:48 AM   #5
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
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Location: Michigan
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Just a word of caution. Be sure the Liberty you are looking at has the "neutral position" for the transfer case. Not all Liberty models have this feature. If not you may have to disconnect the drive shaft to tow it. I doubt you will want to perform that task.
Steve & Sally / Hudson Our Little Pom / Heidi, Houston & HiTee Forever in our Hearts
04 NEWMAR MACA 3778 W22 / 05 PT Vert
Michigan (Summer) Michigan (Winter For Now)
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Old 03-04-2015, 03:48 PM   #6
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Location: Baraboo, Wisconsin
Posts: 1,634
I saw a traveling AF1 installer install a unit on a toad at a campground last year. I wish I had gotten his contact information because I was very impressed with both the AF1 and the great job the installer did. I don't think you will go wrong with the AF1, or most other brake units out there. I think it's really a matter of what you are most comfortable with that is most important. Good luck!

Steve & Nancy
2005 Itasca Sunrise 33', W20 Chassis, Ultrapower, Henderson Trac Bar
2012 Chevy Captiva Sport AWD, ReadyBrute Elite Tow Bar, Blue Ox Base Plate, Protect-A-Tow
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