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Old 04-30-2006, 06:52 AM   #1
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Read the threads here on brake systems and they confirmed my thinking that the Brake Buddy/Apollo would be a bit of a PITA for a lazy ole geezer what with having to move them everytime you need to move the TOAD (and my experience has been that it always rains whenever you set/brreak camp and I don't want to sit in the rain with the door open for what ever time it takes to set up the box.

So, I'm leaning towards an SMI system, either Silent Partner or Stay and Play.

Appreciate any comments on comparing the 2 other than one is about $400 more.

And, especially appreciate comments on ease of installation on either of these in a '96 Grand Cherokee.

Thanks in advance for replies and for all of the other great info here. Steve
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Old 04-30-2006, 06:52 AM   #2
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Read the threads here on brake systems and they confirmed my thinking that the Brake Buddy/Apollo would be a bit of a PITA for a lazy ole geezer what with having to move them everytime you need to move the TOAD (and my experience has been that it always rains whenever you set/brreak camp and I don't want to sit in the rain with the door open for what ever time it takes to set up the box.

So, I'm leaning towards an SMI system, either Silent Partner or Stay and Play.

Appreciate any comments on comparing the 2 other than one is about $400 more.

And, especially appreciate comments on ease of installation on either of these in a '96 Grand Cherokee.

Thanks in advance for replies and for all of the other great info here. Steve
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Old 04-30-2006, 04:24 PM   #3
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Steve,

Both systems require essentially the same installation. The differences are that the SilentPartner system includes full wireless remote control from the coach and additional displays. The Stay-IN-Play system (which I have) only gives you a red LED and buzzer (when brakes are applied for more than 30 seconds) showing when the towed vehicles brakes are applied. The SilentPartner is more similar to the brake controller you would have in a truck and towing a travel trailer or fifth wheel trailer. You can remotely apply only the towed vehicle brakes. You can adjust the sensivity on the fly where you have a mechanical (finger knob) adjustment at the box in the Stay-IN-Play system. If your travels take you through many types of terrain, which may be the case if you full-time, the SilentPartner may be worth the additional $400.

John
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:25 PM   #4
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I installed the SMI Silent Partner in our PT Cruiser Turbo. I did have to fish 2 or 3 wires and a vacuum hose through the fire wall, some what difficult with the room available in the PT engine compartment . Under the dash the cylinder attaches to the brake pedal. You will have more room on the floor than I did . Other than that, some positive and ground wires, and tying into the brake wire on the toad and the RV. It would be a simple job for me to do it again .

If you can read a simple wiring diagram, and have a bit of mechanical skill, I wouldn't be afraid to do the install.

I purchased the Silent Partner because of the additional control I have in the MH. There is even an option to have the toad brakes apply when the MH's brake lights are activated. Very comforting in heavy traffic .
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:32 PM   #5
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The SMI Silent Partner also has dual modes for braking where the other SMI systems only have one, which is "latched". The Silent Partner provides "real time" and "latched". Latched means that when MH brakes are applied and sufficient G forces are applied to turn on the toad brakes, then the toad brakes stay applied until the MH brakes are released. Real time means that they apply just like the latched mode, but the toad brakes are released when the g forces are reduced. Real time releases the toad brakes earlier. Real time works great with a diesel with exhaust brakes. For a gas motorhome, the models with latched mode only would work well. Installation takes from 3 to 7 hours depending on many factors. Overall, not terribly difficult. Once installed, plug in the break-away cable, turn on the switch and you're ready to tow. SMI also has great technical support.....Fred
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Old 05-01-2006, 06:42 PM   #6
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I agree with Fred in regard to the technical support....I had an issue last weekend where I called the 800 number and the office recording gave me what turned out to the company founder's cell phone as he traveled with his wife across Tennessee....I had a couple of things screwed up that required me me moving the sending unit in the coach and he insisted I call him back as many times as necessary.

GREAT tech support with SMI and no box to store either!!!
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Old 05-02-2006, 03:24 AM   #7
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Thanks all for great input ! You answered my questions and I'm going to go SMI. Looks like there are only a few places that carry them so street price is about the same everywhere? Again, thanks! Steve

(My Blue Ox bar, plate etc arrive today so I'll have a TOAD this weekend )
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