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Old 07-24-2016, 07:45 PM   #1
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SMI AF1 air hose popped off while driving

While driving back from a rally in Big Sky MT, I noticed during a fuel stop that the air hose on the coach side had disconnected and had been dragging on the ground while still plugged into the toad for who knows how long. Half of the brass fitting (coach side) is worn away, and sections of the blue air hose are also flattened. There were no parts available at the truck stop so I drove carefully about 150 miles to our next stop in Mitchell, SD. I went to Menards, a tractor supply shop and 3 auto parts stores before I realized that this male fitting is NOT a standard air connector part. Neither is the blue hose, which is .25" OD. All of the air compressor hoses appear to be .25 ID and are much too large for these fittings. Not that I could find any.

In the end, I was able to find a .25" compression union at O'Reilly's. Fortunately, I had been using a 90 degree elbow at the toad's bumper to straighten out the hose (the connector on the bumper points almost straight down), and will disassemble it to use the male connector. This should serve as a temporary repair until I get home, and I'll contact SMI and order 2 hoses.

I'm also thinking of rigging up a "keeper chain" or line on each end of the air hose in the event one side decides to pop off again, which will hold it up and keep it from dragging on the ground. Had the SMI installer mounted the toad brake light notification LED in the coach correctly in the driver's sight line, and not hidden it behind the steering wheel, I would have noticed at some point that the toad's brake light was not activating during coach braking. I will be moving this LED soon.

Has anyone found a source for either the fittings or the hose, other than directly from SMI? I would like to stock up on the parts just in case.

-Barry
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:33 PM   #2
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Replacement Air Jumper for SMI Air Force One Supplemental Braking System SMI Accessories and Parts SM99666
Replaces the air jumper for SMI Air Force One supplemental braking system (SM99202).
I get all my stuff from etrailer.
2 stroker
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:36 PM   #3
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A bungee cord around the tow bar and all wiring will prevent hat from happening again. Several years ago my elec. connection came loose and was ruined. I secure them now. Lesson learned!
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 Stroker View Post
Replacement Air Jumper for SMI Air Force One Supplemental Braking System SMI Accessories and Parts SM99666
Replaces the air jumper for SMI Air Force One supplemental braking system (SM99202).
I get all my stuff from etrailer.
2 stroker
Thanks for the link, that is exactly what I need and is probably less expensive than buying directly from SMI. I still cannot find the connectors themselves, and nobody in the stores I've visited has ever seen them before. It does seem to be an unusual size that SMI chose to use.

Quote:
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A bungee cord around the tow bar and all wiring will prevent hat from happening again. Several years ago my elec. connection came loose and was ruined. I secure them now. Lesson learned!
That's a good idea. Sooner or later something will fall off, that's for sure.
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:00 AM   #5
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Make sure to clean the couplers every few months with silicone spray to keep the dirt and grime out from the back side of the couplers. The grime buildup can cause the couplers to not seat properly and subsequently pop off while towing.
If you spray the silicone spray behind the coupler and move it back and forth, it will ensure proper attachment, FWIW.
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:03 AM   #6
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Thanks for the link, that is exactly what I need and is probably less expensive than buying directly from SMI. I still cannot find the connectors themselves, and nobody in the stores I've visited has ever seen them before. It does seem to be an unusual size that SMI chose to use.
Look at the bottom of that link or page, everything is there to repair your messed up hose or give them a call. 855-304-3402
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:14 AM   #7
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"August West" is correct as to why they "pop" off. They get VERY dirty just by the sheer nature of where they are located. If you don't keep them clean and lubed, they don't snap on correctly. In 7 years, I had mine come off once because I didn't snap it on all the way. I now listen for the click and give it a tug.

The older model SMI air hoses were straight air lines. The newer ones are the coiled hoses. If you take the coiled hose and run your trailer umbilical cord through the center, you won't have an issue with it dragging should it come off. I use those small Velcro straps, about six of them, to tie the break away cable to the umbilical cable and then the air hose is coiled over them both. It makes a nice tiddy connection.
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
"August West" is correct as to why they "pop" off. They get VERY dirty just by the sheer nature of where they are located. If you don't keep them clean and lubed, they don't snap on correctly. In 7 years, I had mine come off once because I didn't snap it on all the way. I now listen for the click and give it a tug.

The older model SMI air hoses were straight air lines. The newer ones are the coiled hoses. If you take the coiled hose and run your trailer umbilical cord through the center, you won't have an issue with it dragging should it come off. I use those small Velcro straps, about six of them, to tie the break away cable to the umbilical cable and then the air hose is coiled over them both. It makes a nice tiddy connection.

By umbilical, do you mean one of the two steel cables? I like the idea of binding the air/electric/steel cable bundle with several Velcro ties. We have just been routing the electric cord and air line over the steel cables. This stops them from dragging, but would not do much if one of the cords popped out of their socket.

I learn so many new things on this forum!
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Old 07-26-2016, 03:37 PM   #9
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Excellent ideas, thanks everyone. We've been driving through a lot of gravel and dust, and I've noticed that the air hose connectors weren't as smooth-feeling as they used to be. I'll be sure to give them a shot of WD40 every now and again.
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:57 AM   #10
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Excellent ideas, thanks everyone. We've been driving through a lot of gravel and dust, and I've noticed that the air hose connectors weren't as smooth-feeling as they used to be. I'll be sure to give them a shot of WD40 every now and again.
Barmats, WD40 will leave a residue that will cause the buildup to increase. Please try a silicone spray so it will not leave anything behind to which dirt can cling.
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Old 07-27-2016, 03:23 PM   #11
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The umbilical cord is the cord that has your electrical wiring inside. If you run the electrical and the break away cable through the air hose line, it will not drag AND support your electrical cable.

I would never attach anything to safety cables.
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:22 PM   #12
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The umbilical cord is the cord that has your electrical wiring inside. If you run the electrical and the break away cable through the air hose line, it will not drag AND support your electrical cable.

I would never attach anything to safety cables.

Thank you Don. Got it.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Barmats, WD40 will leave a residue that will cause the buildup to increase. Please try a silicone spray so it will not leave anything behind to which dirt can cling.
Just ordered on Amazon - thanks for the recommendation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
The umbilical cord is the cord that has your electrical wiring inside. If you run the electrical and the break away cable through the air hose line, it will not drag AND support your electrical cable.

I would never attach anything to safety cables.
This is a good idea and I'll have to try it. There is quite a bit of spacing between the air hose and electrical connectors but there's probably enough play in the cables to make this work.
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