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Old 03-19-2014, 03:29 PM   #15
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14500 miles. No problems. Very easy. Just love my 05 MADP and Air Force One And Blue Ox Combination .
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:03 PM   #16
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14500 miles. No problems. Very easy. Just love my 05 MADP and Air Force One And Blue Ox Combination .
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:04 PM   #17
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I have used several brake systems and have found the SMI AFO to be the best of all. No unit to move in and out of the vehicle. No battery discharge. No calibration procedure. Just hook up the air and go!
Spartan endorses the system from what they told me.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:26 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by CJBROWN View Post

IMO you really only need a braking unit for emergency stops or hard braking. the rest of the time the bigger coaches don't have any trouble handling a sub-5K lb tow. If you were towing a big car, like my sis has a Silverado 4dr 4x4 then I'd want something more. With the Brakebuddy you just set it up so it only comes on when you really step on it.
Probably true in MOST cases. Some states REQUIRE auxiliary braking for toads over certain weights. and a brake-away device. I have a bro-in-law who had a hitch failure, the brake-away braking system brought his toad to safe stop, undamaged.

Other side of the coin is that I don't like the idea of putting additional stress on coach brakes and needing brake job. I can easily do a brake job on our toad (Mazda3, but darned if I want to try to wrestle with the tires/wheels on the motor coach!
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:30 PM   #19
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Probably true in MOST cases. Some states REQUIRE auxiliary braking for toads over certain weights. and a brake-away device. I have a bro-in-law who had a hitch failure, the brake-away braking system brought his toad to safe stop, undamaged.

Other side of the coin is that I don't like the idea of putting additional stress on coach brakes and needing brake job. I can easily do a brake job on our toad (Mazda3, but darned if I want to try to wrestle with the tires/wheels on the motor coach!
I suppose it depends on the coach and the toad. I like a lightweight car to tow, cuz I have a smaller motorhome. So 3K lbs isn't going to make any difference. Plus I have a chassis for a 36-38' coach so my total combined weight isn't even to the GVW.

As I mentioned in my post that I think towing a big vehicle behind a big DP is a different deal.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:49 PM   #20
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As I mentioned in my post that I think towing a big vehicle behind a big DP is a different deal.
Yeah. I pretty much agree. MY bro-in-law's toad that broke away was a full-size Cadillac. My first MH I pulled a Geo Metro - under 2000lbs - and never had auxiliary braking (was still under GVWR) But not much out there now except Smart Car, which is a little TOO small for me!

And of course SWMBO has figured out a way to load our coach to near GVWR every time we go out
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:25 PM   #21
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We are using Unified Tow Brake - U.S. Gear we have had 0 problems with this system have used on three different toads over the last 6 years
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:49 PM   #22
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We are using Unified Tow Brake - U.S. Gear we have had 0 problems with this system have used on three different toads over the last 6 years

X2... but for 7 years.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:59 PM   #23
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The SMI Air Force One has obtained DOT certification as an auxiliary supplemental air braking device. As far as I know SMI is the only manufacturer to do so.

SMI was looking to integrate a air tap device on a Spartan Chassis however I'm not sure as to the status of that arrangement.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:14 AM   #24
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The SMI Air Force One has obtained DOT certification as an auxiliary supplemental air braking device. As far as I know SMI is the only manufacturer to do so.

SMI was looking to integrate a air tap device on a Spartan Chassis however I'm not sure as to the status of that arrangement.
The simple solution (and one of which FCCC approves and suggests) is to tap into the air manifold located in the front generator compartment - no cuts in airlines needed. This is the same manifold into which you can plug a quick connect to use in airing up your tires.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:47 PM   #25
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I have a 40' 2006 Newmar Ventana, and have been using the SMI Air Force One for the last 2 yrs. I stopped by the SMI Factory/Offices in IN, and had them install the tap into my brake line along with the reserve air safety cylinder which comes with the kit. The only connection you need to make to your "toad" for travel is an air hose between the coach and toad which I much prefer to installing or removing the Brake Buddy I used previously. The SMI system is truly proportional, and only applies the toad brakes in direct proportion to the coach brakes. Most other systems do not perform in this manner. You can also monitor the operation of the system by observing an auxiliary brake light attached to the rear view mirror by using your backup camera. No electrical connection is required between vehicles for the SMI system to operate. The system also incorporates a break away switch, should the vehicles become disconnected. This is a superb system in this old engineers opinion.
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:26 AM   #26
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I have to put a little plug in for the Roadmaster brakemaster 9306 I've used the same one over two coaches and 5 toads. Works great and simple to install. Not as easy as SMI or the MG systems it easily goes between cars depending on the one I take on a trip.
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:25 PM   #27
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Thanks to everybody for your input. I am convinced that the air system is probably the smoothest there is. However, to be in the safe side I called Freightliner and after a bunch of "I am not sure" I finally got somebody that professed full knowledge of the subject and he simply told me "It is in the owner manual", and he elaborated further by saying that they do not recommend, nor approve tapping into the coach air system. He did not go as far as saying the warranty would be voided. Therefore to simplify things I selected a Demco baseplate and the Ready Brute Elite Aluminum towbar with integrated brakes. Since my son with a 43 footer and a grand Cherokee is happy with it I thought it was the best course of action. Thanks again for all the opinions.
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:34 PM   #28
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Here is my installation of the Ready Brute Tow bar w/Ready Brake on a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport.



































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