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Old 03-10-2016, 06:32 PM   #1
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SMI Braking System

I am getting prices for a complete towing system and a dealer suggest the SMI breaking system. I am not familiar with it. Does anyone here use it and does anyone suggest it?

Phil
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Old 03-10-2016, 06:34 PM   #2
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I have the SMI Stay N Play and highly recommend it. Before this, I had the Patriot Blue Ox and this is much easier. Go for it.
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Old 03-10-2016, 06:41 PM   #3
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I have the smi air force one and love it. Before it I had a brake buddy and liked it too. Used it about 6 years with nary a problem. I must say I like the AF1 better and is much faster and easier to hookup. After the initial installation that is.

Chad
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TomandGloria View Post
I have the SMI Stay N Play and highly recommend it. Before this, I had the Patriot Blue Ox and this is much easier. Go for it.
Have you had any issue with the SMI system staying engaged too long causing the toad to "drag" the motorhome for a second or two? I'm having this issue and imagine it's hard on all of the components involved .... brakes, Toad, Tow Rig, etc. I have adjusted the set point so it engages later, but it still seems to lag a bit.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:19 PM   #5
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aa9zz-

I installed the SMI Stay-in-Play Duo in our 2009 Honda Fit Sport. It worked well during a coast-to-coast trip behind our former coach, a Class C.

The hookup for the Duo involved two steps:

1) connect the breakaway cable, and
2) flip the switch on the control unit to "on"

I have no experience with other systems.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:35 PM   #6
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Changing tow vehicle

If we change tow vehicles can the unit easily be moved to the new car?

Phil
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Old 03-11-2016, 07:19 AM   #7
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Phil-

It depends upon what you mean by "easily."

People have removed their Duos and/or Air Force Ones (for coaches with air brakes) and installed them in other vehicles.There is nothing vehicle-specific about Duo components. If you're not going to do the work yourself, then take the labor (quoted) to install it in your current vehicle and multiply by 1.5 for a rough estimate of what it would take to remove and install.

If you want the utmost in portability, you can buy the portable units, such as the Blue Ox Patriot (one among many), or a towbar-based surge brake unit, such as the ReadyBrake/ReadyBrute Elite.

If you want to hear from some of the self-installers of their brake systems (not just SMI), then you can read this thread. My post is #6.
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Old 03-11-2016, 10:30 AM   #8
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Brake. What stops the vehicle
Break. Take a break. Or, I hope it doesn't break.
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Old 03-12-2016, 06:40 AM   #9
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Mark,

That was very useful information. After reading the posts you directed me to, I don't believe I have the skills for a self install project as large and possibly as complicated as tow bar and braking systems.

Your information probably saved a marriage (I get cranky when I can't figure something out) and maybe a life (I have been in management for the past fifty years and don't actually know how to do things myself).

Thanks for both.

I found out that I live within 50 miles of the SMI manufacturer. I spoke with them after reading your post and they are going to do the entire installation.

Phil
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:58 AM   #10
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I put the SMI Stay in Play on my Jeep Liberty, it works very good. Yes it can be removed and installed on another vehicle. YMWV
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Old 03-12-2016, 11:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjkinlodi View Post
Have you had any issue with the SMI system staying engaged too long causing the toad to "drag" the motorhome for a second or two? I'm having this issue and imagine it's hard on all of the components involved .... brakes, Toad, Tow Rig, etc. I have adjusted the set point so it engages later, but it still seems to lag a bit.
I have not had any problems with any drag. It is set on the factory setting. I had it professionally installed. I did have an issue with my Blue Ox Patriot locking up my brakes on my last towed.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjkinlodi View Post
Have you had any issue with the SMI system staying engaged too long causing the toad to "drag" the motorhome for a second or two? I'm having this issue and imagine it's hard on all of the components involved .... brakes, Toad, Tow Rig, etc. I have adjusted the set point so it engages later, but it still seems to lag a bit.
Good morning,
Check the amount of slack in the cable that anchors to the firewall.
If the cable has excessive slack, the actuator will take longer than it should to return and could be the cause of this drag. If you would take a picture, I could verify if it is correctly adjusted. PM me if you wish and we'll talk through email.

Hope to hear from you.
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