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Old 06-07-2009, 02:35 PM   #1
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Toad Braking Systems

I'm seeking experiences & actual user results on SMI Vs M&G toad braking systems. I had an M&G unit on my '99 Jeep Grand Cherokee that I towed all 4 down behind my Mountain Aire DP 4304. I experienced over braking on the front axle of the Jeep & the front brakes got hot. M&G installed a pressure regulator that partially helped the problem. I just bought a new Jeep Grand Cherokee with the Quadra Trac II trans. so I can tow it all 4 down. Has anyone had experience with SMI on a Jeep? How does SMI perform Vs M&G?
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. Bill View Post
I'm seeking experiences & actual user results on SMI Vs M&G toad braking systems. I had an M&G unit on my '99 Jeep Grand Cherokee that I towed all 4 down behind my Mountain Aire DP 4304. I experienced over braking on the front axle of the Jeep & the front brakes got hot. M&G installed a pressure regulator that partially helped the problem. I just bought a new Jeep Grand Cherokee with the Quadra Trac II trans. so I can tow it all 4 down. Has anyone had experience with SMI on a Jeep? How does SMI perform Vs M&G?
Hi Bill,
I can't say anything about the M&G but I just changed to the SMI Air Force One and so far it works great. I call it the invisible brake man. I had a brake buddy previously and the SMI is a very large improvement. Just one hose to plug in.

Thanks, Daryl
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:50 PM   #3
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I have the M&G system and love it. I've jumped out after a stop with my infrared gun several times to check just what you refer to and my brake rotors are a little hotter on the front than the rear. But that's expected because more of the braking force is applied to the front brakes, but it was totally acceptable to me.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:31 PM   #4
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I have two tow vehicles, a Honda and a Jeep, both with the SMI Air Force One system. No, I don't tow them both at the same time, I trade them off.

I know nothing of the other system, but I do know I very much like how the SMI works and recommend it to everybody.
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:20 PM   #5
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Capt. Bill,

I went with the AFO for my Jeep and installed it myself. I decided on the AFO for three main reasons.
1. It was well thought of by owners.
2. Its very comprehensive parts package (little else needed).
3. The extra mile SMI went to provide hardware to isolate the RV air brake system from a toad system air leak.

Once installed, and after an adjustment or two (position of actuator on the brake pedal shaft/lever), I often forget the Jeep is there, sometimes to the point of panic that the Jeep might NOT be there!

I'm not going to say that it performs better than the M&G. The M&G might even have an installation advantage. But to me, even in the best circumstances, air systems tend to grow leaks over time. The isolation the AFO provides between the RV and the toad eliminates a rather large potential air leak that might be the proverbial straw that affects braking effectiveness. Plus, the AFO does what SMI says it will do and they ARE there to help with any installation or operational issues. A+ in my book.

Steve
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:30 PM   #6
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Sounds like you need to talk to M&G again. I had the M&G system installed by M&G in Athens, TX and have not had a problem. On our toad (Toyota Tacoma) they did not need to recalibrate the pressure applied to the brakes. The SMI and M&G are very similar in terms of how they accomplish the job. The SMI adds an external valve and some other hardware that wont allow a leak to deplete the coach air supply. M&G says the 1/8" air line cannot deplete the air supply and the compressor can out supply the leak. I added a trailer protection valve on the coach rear manifold that shuts off the air supply to the toad in the event of a leak. Since I had M&G install the breakaway option it has a ping tank and check valve to protect the coach air. But I think you need to protect all the way from the tap as well to the toad brake system.
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Old 06-10-2009, 07:07 PM   #7
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Sixpack,

Why would I talk to M&G again when:

1. I didn't talk to them in the first place
2. Their product wouldn't transfer from 1 car to another without another purchase
3. They didn't offer what was, to me, an important piece of equipment
?

Please read my post again. What I said was "to me, even in the best circumstances, air systems tend to grow leaks over time. The isolation the AFO provides between the RV and the toad eliminates a rather large potential air leak that might be the proverbial straw that affects braking effectiveness".

So, over time, a small leak here and small leak there and another over there CAN (and I'm not saying every coach does it every time, but some do) can be exacerbated to the point braking effectiveness is affected.

This was an important issue for me, but obviously not for you. If that works for you--fine.

I do not, however, need to "talk to M&G again! An air line CAN break the "camel's back" if there is enough "leak load" in the system. Your position supposes there are NO system leaks and reality says this is not accurate. Rare, perhaps--but never say never.

I am in no way affiliated with SMI other than I am one of their customers. Are you somehow otherwise connected to M&G? The apparent vehemence of your reply to the post infers some connection other than a customer.

SSteve
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:15 PM   #8
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We just had an AFO installed our our Tundra. We have not had a chance to try it yet, but the install is nice and clean. I liked that it came stock with breakaway capability. I considered the M&G, but would have needed to relocate my main fuse box to install the air piston unit on the master cylinder.
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Old 08-13-2009, 06:47 AM   #9
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While on the topic of SMI braking systems is there any logic in choosing the Stay-In-Play duo over the AFO, even thou you have a MH with air brakes, so as not to have to tap into the air brake system?

Is the AFO air connection to the MH fool proof enough to not be a concern, or reason to seek other options?
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Old 08-13-2009, 08:15 AM   #10
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Monaco38,

I can't think of a reason you couldn't use the Stay-in-Play (SIP) instead of AFO.

From what I can see, it looks like the SIP will use the toad battery to run its compressor/vacuum pump(s). That MIGHT be a problem during a long drive if the toad battery isn't kept topped up. AFO only requires the battery to power the notification LEDs and activate AFO in the event of a break-away making its power needs negligible. The reason I went with AFO was to keep things simple. With the exception of the notification LEDs and break-away activation, AFO will function without electrical power.

It also appears the orientation of one or more components of the SIP may be critical since the SIP requires the coach brake lights AND toad deceleration to activate the system. AFO doesn't care.

While it took a little time, the coach portion of the installation wasn't a big deal. The "Ts" that come with the kit use the same quick connect fittings the air brake system uses plus the air "relay" and reservoir that make up the isolation system removed any doubts I had about cutting into the air brake system. Except for the reservoir, all of the isolation components are "off-the-shelf" air brake parts. The reservoir may have been made specifically for the application, but it is well constructed and plenty beefy.

Fool proof? IMO, it would be tough to do a better job of isolating the coach air brake system from an air leak in the toad.

SSteve
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