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Old 03-06-2017, 04:57 PM   #1
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RVi Brake 3 vs. SMI Stay in Play

I am getting real close to buying the RVibrake3 for my supplemental braking system. I have seen a lot of good reviews on the version 2 but not a lot on the 3. Anyone have any words of caution? My other favorite was the SMI Stay in Play, but I am going to be towing a 2017 Honda Fit and there didn't seem like adequate room in the engine compartment for the box. I know the RVi will need power, but I was looking at having to install a battery charger anyhow because Honda makes me turn on the accessories in order to disable the steering lock. Any thoughts before I pull the trigger?
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:13 PM   #2
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LehoTravels-

I was able to fit the SMI Duo system unit in our 2009 Fit Sport by mounting it ahead of the radiators and behind the front bumper garnish. There's a 14-inch deep area there. I mounted it to the top of the Roadmaster towbar. I have pictures of the installation.

If your 2017 (hopefully a manual, as automatics can't be towed for Fits 2015 model years or later) has a similar layout, you can see that area by removing the plastic trim under the front of the hood, then removing the upper grille.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:52 PM   #3
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I have had the SMI Stay-in-Play in my CRV since 2008. I have nothing bad to say about it, it seems to work flawlessly.
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:52 AM   #4
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Just bought the RVi3 and although I haven't used it a lot yet it's been really easy to set up. I did have an issue with the command center hub. Was having an issue with its wifi signal. I called RVi and they were very helpful. After running some tests they decided to mail me a new one and I had it a few days later. They were great to work with. They told me they have about 600 units sold and I was only one of a couple that have been sent back. New one seems to be working.
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Old 03-07-2017, 09:15 AM   #5
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Think minutes for initial setup vs. hours. Fits are small and hard to find room to fit anything. I chose an RVi2 for my brake system and the hardest thing to do was run a wire through the firewall for the breakaway switch.
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Old 03-07-2017, 02:58 PM   #6
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Have the RVi2 for size, ease and simplicity. I wish I had the 3 but timing is everything. They announced it the weekend after I bought my 2.
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Old 03-08-2017, 10:03 AM   #7
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Will the RVi3 work with the Fit's curved seat base?

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I had just about decided on the RVi3 based on the comments and ease of installation; however, I was in contact with their tech support with 2 questions. The first was whether to get the battery charger vs battery connect kit. The second was whether the curved/scalloped seat base in the Fit would cause issues with the box because it would not seat perpendicular to the brake pedal, but would sit skewed slightly pointing to the left front tire. (See attached photo). After an initial response to my query, nothing heard from RVi. That is worrisome. I can figure out the wiring, but don't know about the seating of the unit on the floor. I guess I could use a wood block to square it up, but that would be one more thing to remember and what if it worked out while being towed. Not sure it is even anything to worry about but a response one way or the other from RVi would be nice.
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Old 03-08-2017, 10:12 AM   #8
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Thought there was an adapter plate if you needed one. When I bought my 2 it was included if needed. I did not need one.
I would just call back and ask.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:24 PM   #9
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RVi Contact

Quote:
Originally Posted by LehoTravels View Post
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I had just about decided on the RVi3 based on the comments and ease of installation; however, I was in contact with their tech support with 2 questions. The first was whether to get the battery charger vs battery connect kit. The second was whether the curved/scalloped seat base in the Fit would cause issues with the box because it would not seat perpendicular to the brake pedal, but would sit skewed slightly pointing to the left front tire. (See attached photo). After an initial response to my query, nothing heard from RVi. That is worrisome. I can figure out the wiring, but don't know about the seating of the unit on the floor. I guess I could use a wood block to square it up, but that would be one more thing to remember and what if it worked out while being towed. Not sure it is even anything to worry about but a response one way or the other from RVi would be nice.
I found they will call back, but getting someone to answer right away doesn't always happen. Will be getting their RVi3 and mounting ina 2014 CRV. They are re-tooling the seat bracket for the CRV.
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:23 PM   #10
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I would wait to hear back from them or call. The 3 Honda's listed on their website doesn't include the fit. I would question them on whether the new model fit has been tested. Your floorboard looks much different than many.

I have an RVI3 on order.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:55 AM   #11
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I have a Stay-n-Play on my element, and love it so easy just flip a switch. I also wired the switch on the unit to turn off the radio switched ignition via a normally on relay so that I don't have to remember to do that, and it's an extra indicator to turn off the braking system when driving the car.
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:29 AM   #12
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If you will be keeping the Fit for a number of years, I would probably go with the Stay-in-Play. Yes, the initial install is longer, but after that it's flipping a switch. Installing the RVI (I have one) takes a few minutes each time you tow, and then a couple more when you are done. It won't take too many trips before you more than make up for the longer install time.

If you think you will be changing towed vehicles in the near future, then the RVI may be a better choice. When you change vehicles, you just need to move the breakaway switch to the new car and install the seat pan bracket if needed.

In our case it worked out ok. Our 2015 Jeep Cherokee Limited spent too much time in the shop. Exit 2015 Cherokee and enter 2016 Grand Cherokee Limited .

Both of these aux brake units will do a good job.
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Old 03-31-2017, 03:01 PM   #13
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I installed the SMI stay & play on my 2016 F150 and am happy with It. I originally powered it from the motorhome Aux +12v using a relay to switch back to truck battery in breakaway condition or Aux +12 otherwise lost. I wanted to run the park lights and not worry about running the battery down so I changed it to charge truck battery from Aux +12. We just towed 200+ miles with this latter configuration and no issues with the truck battery management system. (I installed 30 amp self resetting breakers at both motorhome and truck batteries for safety/overload and also Aux+12 is only hot with motorhome ignition in run position. I also will never start or run truck with motorhome running to prevent battery management system issues). One other change was to use the motorhome aux brake control wire to light an LED on the dash of my motorhome for braking indication as I thought SMI's provided solution is not ideal. I was able to pull this signal fro the F150 fuse box with a fuse tap rather than cutting a wire.

For lighting changes, I wired the left and right rear turn/stop lamp signals through two relays controlled by the switch on the SMI control box. (The black wire coming out of this box is actually switched ground so I tied one side of the relay coils to +12 (fused) and the other to the SMI switched ground). These relays are in a Home Depot waterproof electrical box mounted under the truck bed near where the two wires had to be cut. So the motorhome controls these lamp filaments only when truck is connected to motorhome and motorhome ignition is on. For tail/license/marker lights at night, truck light switch must be on "park". Since truck battery is charging from motorhome, leaving them on is not a problem. Also note on a F150, the center high mount brake light functions normally when the SMI applies the brakes. (note I have the incandescent tail light assemblies not LED)

I used a standard 7 way trailer connector on the front of the truck and a jet connex 12806-05 coiled cable to connect the motorhome to truck.
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