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Old 11-29-2014, 06:02 PM   #1
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Tow Bar/Brake set-up

When I bought my new to me 2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40 it came with an Air Force 1 Brake hook up on the coach. I bought a 2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. I need to get the Jeep set up to tow. Base plate, tow bar, and brakes, any suggestions?
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Old 11-29-2014, 06:29 PM   #2
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You can choose any tow bar and base plate you would like and that fits your Jeep. Same for the lights, but you have a winner already with the AF1 brake. I have used the SAME AF1 brake on three different Class A's and 2 different toads. Just moved it from one to the next. When I first got it it was because the Blue Ox equivalent to the Brake Buddy had failed for the 4th time on my way to Alaska. I installed the AF1 in a campground in Valdez. Get familiar with how the AF1 is installed in your Phaeton and call the manufacturer. They can furnish the specific parts you need to install the system on your Jeep and are a great source of general information.

A few years ago SMI changed the AF1 setup and the old system is not compatible with the new, so you need to find just exactly what system you have. Either setup is the best out there. I have over 200,000 tow miles on the system and have only had one problem since I used it. I broke the pull cable between the cylinder and the firewall on a trip down from Alaska. When I got home I called them and sent them the cylinder. I had it repaired and returned in 10 days for a total cost of less than $35, including shipping. A great system and good people to deal with. If and when my system finally dies of old age I'll have a new one ordered in less than a day.
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:10 PM   #3
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If you already have the coach half of the AF1 brake system I'd stick with that and get the toad half to complete the brake system. Only fault I've ever heard about the AF1 is cost compared to some other systems.
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:01 PM   #4
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The toad part of the AF1 is fairly easy to mount. The biggest thing is finding space to mount the box. The biggest expense is not the AF1 for the toad, it is buying a base plate and tow bar. You can use any tow bar you want as it doesn't affect the AF1. We have a Demco tow bar with a Blue Ox base plate. I love the AF1. It is so easy to hook up and is proportional braking. Great system!
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Old 11-30-2014, 05:30 PM   #5
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I love the AF1 system. Only had the system for 3 months and about 1k miles but it has performed flawlessly. I have the Blue Ox tow/baseplate but you can use any system with it. It really is awesome.


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Old 12-01-2014, 01:11 PM   #6
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the best braking system, imo, is m&g, which stays in engine bay and no in-car connections, simple set up. see m-gengineering.com. the next is probably the air force 1, but you'd need to pierce through the engine firewall to get inside and install the parts in front of brake pedal. m&g is about $600 while air force 1 is about $900.
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:16 PM   #7
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If you plan on DIY base plate and tow bar I found Trailer Hitches & Vehicle Accessories (800)298-8924 videos to be excellent.
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:51 PM   #8
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Thanks to all for your input. I went to Riverside RV where I bought the MH and they were so proud of the fact that I was getting a MH with the AF 1 System on the coach. I started looking to get the jeep side of the system installed, first to a body shop, $1,700 for AF 1 Car side of hook up, known as a second vehicle kit, When I questioned the cost he said AFI charged about 1,200 for the entire brake system and over 1,000 for the jeep side only. I said never mind, and called Riverside, they said $1,500 for the car side brake set-up. So I am going to a local service provider that I have used in the past, if there is that kind of money involved, he might as well get it as anyone. He'll order the AF 1 second vehicle kit, a blue ox base plate and a tow bar and install it for me. A lot more money than I anticipated, oh well I sold my old car carrier trailer for $2,500 and gave the money to the DW she'll just have to give it back to me.
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:23 PM   #9
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Wow! Pricy. I think I'd do some shopping around on the 2nd car kit, but I do all my own work.

Good luck with it whichever way you go.
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:42 PM   #10
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That pricing is terrible. The car side is very simple. Mount cylinder on pedal. Drill hole to mount cable anchor block. There is likely a hole in the firewall for a clutch, so run the 1/4" air hose thru the hole.
Cut the brake vacuum hose and reconnect with a TEE.

All that is left is connect three hoses to AF1 box, connect 3 wires to AF1 BOX, and mount the box. I used tie wraps. Then mount break away switch. 3 - hrs work if you are slow.

Can't believe they charg e that much.

Dan
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:01 AM   #11
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Once again, thanks for the input, I failed to mention that I also contacted AF 1 and they confirmed the $1,000 plus cost for the car side hook up, so maybe prices aren't so outrageous from the retailers.
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Old 12-03-2014, 03:37 PM   #12
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google pricing from 3rd party online, sometimes you will be surprised how much lower it could be. the manufacturer will give you the listing price while 3rd party vendors offer you discounted ones. big deal.
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:26 AM   #13
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Once again, thanks for the input, I failed to mention that I also contacted AF 1 and they confirmed the $1,000 plus cost for the car side hook up, so maybe prices aren't so outrageous from the retailers.

Wow. I only paid $950 for the whole AF1 system.
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasA View Post
Once again, thanks for the input, I failed to mention that I also contacted AF 1 and they confirmed the $1,000 plus cost for the car side hook up, so maybe prices aren't so outrageous from the retailers.

Wow. I only paid $950 for the whole AF1 system.
I Googled the system and found numerous prices for a whole system in the $925-$975 area, shipping included. Buy the whole system and throw away what you don't want or need.
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