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Old 06-26-2011, 12:35 PM   #15
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I installed the M&G brake system on my 2008 Ram 1500 4x4 and it was a piece of cake, took about 30 minutes. Installing the air feed line on the coach took about as long. There's no way this system can wear brake pads prematurely as it only applies when the coach service brakes are applied. I love this system as it's proportional, no electronics to go south and hooks up in 5 seconds. Been using this system for over 4 years totally trouble free. My toad brake pads still look like new.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:49 PM   #16
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Break away is a lot less expensive than an "at fault accident" and is required in many States and Provinces. Rather be safe than sorry.
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:39 PM   #17
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I have the SMI air force 1 and it cost more than the M&G because there are things included that are options for M&G. If you are looking at price compare apples to apples.

Break away switch
Reserve coach air tank

From SMI website

Air Force One is also the industry's first and only supplemental brake system that protects the coach with a patent-pending breakaway system that seals the coach's air supply in the event of a separation of the coach and the towed vehicle. To meet federal regulations (To meet federal regulations (FMVSS 121) when using air brakes, the supplemental brake system must protect the towing vehicle air supply.
Air Force One is the safest air brake system available. No other air-operated system offers this level of safety and control) when using air brakes, the supplemental brake system must protect the towing vehicle air supply. SMI includes the components necessary to meet these important safety regulations. If the towed vehicle separates or the towing system fails, the coach air is protected. Air Force One is the safest air brake system available. No other air-operated system offers this level of safety and control

When I talked to M&G last year they could not meet that federal regulation.
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Old 06-26-2011, 04:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
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When I talked to M&G last year they could not meet that federal regulation.
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:57 PM   #19
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Thanks folks for some really good factual information. One of my questions that I don't believe anyone has addressed regarding the SMI is the installation time. Does it really take 8 hours for an experienced tech to install the SMI air Force One system?

Thanks
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:12 PM   #20
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Does it really take 8 hours for an experienced tech to install the SMI Air Force One system?
Jim, Lets put this in logical perspective. SMI goes to a 3 day FMCA Convention with a trailer full of products. They do installs at the rallies. If it took 8 hours to do an AF1 .... they may as well stay home because they certainly are not going to make any money at it. That's about as logical and simple as I can explain it.

My Original Stay-And-Play was installed in Casa Grade, NM in the month of August on a gravel lot. Even under these conditions it didn't take all day to install the brake and Pete (the owner) was training another tech.

Now it took me 8 hours to my install because, I was unfamiliar with the product, I was taking pictures and I was writing down editorial notes. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:26 PM   #21
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I've hopefully narrowed my braking system down to these two manufacturers. Now I'm looking at the economics.

M&G quoted me a price of $900 for a turn key installation of their system at their Athens, TX facility. Two hours install time.

The best price I have found for the SMI Air Force One is $1049.95 plus installation. I have not been able to locate an installer in the Houston area to get an install estimate. I read on another forum it took eight hours by an experienced shop to install the system on a similar MH and a Jeep Cherokee. Wow!

I'm leaning towards the SMI because of a couple comments about the M&G causing excessive wear on the toad brakes- two brake jobs in 40,000 actual odometer miles on a Honda CR-V toad and because the SMI is more easily transferred to another vehicle. But, I'm not willing to pay several hundred dollars ($6-800) more for the SMI.

I have an 08 Fleetwood Bounder, Freightliner chassis and a 2011 Chev Malibu.

What do you experienced users say?

Thanks.
I can't speak for the air force one put I installed an SMI StaynPlay Duo in my 2008 Jeep Wangler when new and it has performed flawlessly for four years now with our previous gasser and the new DP with air brakes.

Highly recommended and Pete at SMI is very helpful over the phone and via email.
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:27 PM   #22
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My thought exactly, Mike. I can't imagine it taking "them" eight hours...now me doing it is another time warp possibly. I sent them an email this weekend asking for some Houston area installers. I still like the idea of being able to move the system to another toad easily.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:10 PM   #23
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I had not had a response to my email to SMI by 2 PM so I called. They emailed me the names of the 3 dealers that had experience installing the Air Force One in the state of Texas. Two north of Dallas and one about 200 miles (the closest) ne of Houston. They said it would take at least 4 hours for a shop to install. It takes them (SMI) 1 1/2 hours with two men working and they've installed hundreds.

Sounds like my decision is getting easier.

Thanks again for all the input.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:08 PM   #24
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dons2346: Also considering the M&G system for my 84 CJ and interested in your comment about not getting the breakaway.

How many breakaways have you heard of?

The only ones I have ever heard of is from a friend who knew someone's aunt that thought she heard of one. Joking of course but the ones I have heard of were third and fourth party's who said they had heard......

There is no state/federal law that I know of that says you have to have a brakeaway system. If there is one, could someone please state the specific law?
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:24 PM   #25
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I have heard of several break-a-ways on trailers, Only two towed break aways (Well technically 3 but the 3rd one did not actually break away) two of them MY OWN CAR.

The 1st one the dang lock pin came out of the tow receiver pin and dropped the tow bar off the motor home.. Safety cables held but the break-away was what alerted me.

Second one the whole hitch receiver assembly came off the motor home but the US-Gear Brake system stopped the car....... RIGHT WHERE IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN. I was rather impressed with that.. Unhooked, loaded the remains in the towed, found a welding/fabracation shop that knows what it's doing and on the road again 140 dollars for the instant job, 5 minutes in additional repair later (all labor done by me) and 75 bucks for a new rear wheel for my bicycle. Much later. (Weld shops easier to find than bicycle repair and parts places)
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:26 PM   #26
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How many breakaways have you heard of?

The only ones I have ever heard of is from a friend who knew someone's aunt that thought she heard of one. Joking of course but the ones I have heard of were third and fourth party's who said they had heard......

There is no state/federal law that I know of that says you have to have a brakeaway system. If there is one, could someone please state the specific law?
Towing Laws | BrakeBuddy - Braking systems for motorhomes towing a vehicle
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:53 PM   #27
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According to the Info I have a break away system is required in all States and Provinces except Wyoming, New York, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Georgia, Maine, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Delaware,and Mass. Provinces Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Sakatawan. ( If you are above the weight requirement for aux. brakes for example Ca 1500 lbs for braking system would mean 1501 requires breakaway...NOT a PROBLEM unless you have an accident.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:01 PM   #28
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I have an M&G on my 99 Wrangler...awesome system, easy to hook up. Only negative would be that you may not be able to transfer the system to your next vehicle. I paid $650.0 for it, used, from a guy who had a Wrangler and bought a vehicle it would not fit on.
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