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Old 05-29-2015, 10:08 AM   #1
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New Unified Tow Brake anyone?

Any feedback from folks that have installed the new Unified Tow Brake system from SmartBrakeLL.com? It requires a trailer brake controller upfront. Looking into a Tekonsha P2 or similar. Coach is prewired for the controller.

Im just about ready to pull trigger on this system but looking where to install control box in my 2015 Jeep Trailhawk.

Also, thru this forum, found out Demco makes a plug and play brake lighting system with built in diodes so no cutting into electrical harness at tail lights.

There still is the problem of needing a relay at the brake pedal. Spoke to Demco about this and their engineering dept is looking into this.

Installing the Blue Ox base plate and tow bar setup.

P.S. Love the car so hope it tows behind RV well too.
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:12 PM   #2
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We have been using the original US Gear UTB since 2004. Had it on 3 different MH's and 3 toads. I did leave a message for the Smart Brake people as I thought it might be a nice upgrade . Never heard back from them. I don't like the idea of mounting the box under the hood. Hard to do on some vehicles. If they are priced similar I would just go the original. I think you can buy them online at a discounted price.
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Old 05-30-2015, 01:10 PM   #3
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Cost of the smartbrake?

I googled smartbrake and found their website, but they didn't list cost. Anybody have a ballpark on this system?

Thanks,
Jerald Pendleton

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Originally Posted by moisheh View Post
We have been using the original US Gear UTB since 2004. Had it on 3 different MH's and 3 toads. I did leave a message for the Smart Brake people as I thought it might be a nice upgrade . Never heard back from them. I don't like the idea of mounting the box under the hood. Hard to do on some vehicles. If they are priced similar I would just go the original. I think you can buy them online at a discounted price.
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:54 PM   #4
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Their website has the prices under their products tab.
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:03 PM   #5
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What is new about it, versus the original Unified Tow Brake?

Also, does this mean that US Gear no longer makes or markets the product?
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Old 05-31-2015, 01:03 PM   #6
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>>Also, does this mean that US Gear no longer makes or markets the product?<<

I got a used US Gear UTB with the toad that I bought and have installed it. It works great. The company is still in business and supports the product - I have exchanged emails and spoken with them. Not sure how actively they're marketing the product. I got the impression that sales were handled through dealers instead of direct although I never asked that specific question.

UPDATED: Oops! In rereading the original post, it occurred to me that the question may be in reference to a different product - perhaps for trailer towing (the comment about the trailer brake controller gave me a clue).

My reply was directed at the US Gear UTB-1000 system for installation in a motorhome/toad application. The UTB-1000 comes with its own control module for installation in the motorhome and a separate power module and vacuum pump for installation in the towed vehicle. Only the vacuum pump is installed under the toad's hood. Sorry if I confused the issue to a similar product name.
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Old 05-31-2015, 01:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRUSA14 View Post
What is new about it, versus the original Unified Tow Brake?

Also, does this mean that US Gear no longer makes or markets the product?
Back in August, an article in RVBusiness said that Ron Chestnut, the inventor of the patented "unified" brake system announced that the former manufacturer (presumably referring to U.S. Gear) was no longer handling manufacturing or distribution of the product and that he upgraded the system and will market it through Smart Brake LLC.

It sounds as if it is basically the same system that was patented over ten years ago but upgraded with new components.

Inventor Upgrades Unified Tow Brake System | RV Business

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Old 05-31-2015, 03:51 PM   #8
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The new updated version uses a standard trailer brake controller, in place of the special controller used. Pretty nice upgrade, cause then you can tow, either without having to change anything.

I still have an older model, but it should ever die, I'll use the new system.
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Old 05-31-2015, 04:50 PM   #9
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The new updated version uses a standard trailer brake controller, in place of the special controller used. Pretty nice upgrade, cause then you can tow, either without having to change anything.

I still have an older model, but it should ever die, I'll use the new system.
Ah, now that I read more about it, I do see that! Yes, that is a nice and significant improvement. Thank you.

I too use the old U.S. Gear version and will upgrade to the new one at the appropriate time.
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Old 05-31-2015, 05:08 PM   #10
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If that is the US Gear Unified braked decelerator then

1: It is not new at all.. I had one 10 years ago
2: It is NOT compatible with a standard trailer breake controller like the P3.. It uses a special controller made by US Gear.

I had some problems with mine but they were of either my making or the dealers.. Be care with cable mounting and double check dealer's routing (Do not let anything short out the cable)
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Old 05-31-2015, 05:44 PM   #11
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I don't think the business news article is correct. US Gear sold the rights to that product at least 4 years ago. It is being sold by AP products. I haven't tried phoning them but Ebay shows lots for sale. I have a complete spare system that I bought a few years ago and keep it for a spare.
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Old 05-31-2015, 06:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moisheh View Post
I don't think the business news article is correct. US Gear sold the rights to that product at least 4 years ago. It is being sold by AP products. I haven't tried phoning them but Ebay shows lots for sale. I have a complete spare system that I bought a few years ago and keep it for a spare.
Hmmm, you're right. AP products has been the distributor for the U.S. Gear version since at least 2008, correct? I'm wondering if the "U.S. Gear Unified Tow Brake" and the "Smart Brake" are totally separate products using the same patent?

U.S. Gear/AP Products still have active websites and appear to be doing business just as they have since I purchased mine in 2007.

So what's the real scoop in all of this?

AP Products website

U.S. Gear/AP Products website
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Old 05-31-2015, 06:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
If that is the US Gear Unified braked decelerator then

1: It is not new at all.. I had one 10 years ago
2: It is NOT compatible with a standard trailer breake controller like the P3.. It uses a special controller made by US Gear.

I had some problems with mine but they were of either my making or the dealers.. Be care with cable mounting and double check dealer's routing (Do not let anything short out the cable)

We're discussing the newest model that does use a standard brake controller.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDR John View Post
We're discussing the newest model that does use a standard brake controller.

I see that.. It was a great product..It appears it is now even greater... I like the idea of being able to use a P-3 made by my good friend from High School in place of the device US-Gear made. (Yes,,I went to high school in Tekonsha).
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