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Old 01-28-2006, 07:31 PM   #29
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Here's what I needed for the install and Alpine and Chrysler both gave me the information. What color the BRAKE LIGHT Wire is at the brake light switch. Same with the coach. The coach only had two wires at the brake light switch and the PT had about 12 . Other than running a positive and ground wire, and splicing into the vacuum line to the brake booster (the hardest and knuckle busting part...no room with the turbo for my hands), it was an easy install for me. But I was very careful and triple checked everything. One thing, make sure your brake pedal goes all the way to the floor, and the cylinder doesn't interfer with the full travel. I had to make some adjustments to get full travel of the pedal. SMI was very good about tech support!!!!
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Old 02-22-2006, 12:03 PM   #30
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Sounds like the SMI is a PITA to install...

We have a Brake Buddy...Can be installed and removed in less than a few minutes....Has remote sensor in the cab of the MH that you can see when the brakes of the toad are actuated....Also, you can remove it and put it in another toad without all the un-installing hassles like the SMI.

I highly recommend it.

I got mine on Ebay for less than $750 new....
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Old 02-22-2006, 04:51 PM   #31
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Depending on which model SMI is used, once the wiring and vacuum line is set up, you just plug it in, as the commercial goes
I'm using the 4 wire unit, which actually pulls the toad brake pedal off when no braking action is required. I can adjust my inertial sensitivity while driving, and also tap on the toad brakes, if desired. The brake applied light in the coach is controlled by the brake light switch in the toad, so it's a positive indication of brakes applied.
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Old 02-22-2006, 06:06 PM   #32
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SMI Silent Partner....flip a switch,hook up the toad and go....No box to store,no bracket to hook on the brake pedal.
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Old 02-22-2006, 09:03 PM   #33
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The SMI is hardly a PITA to install. It's the room in the engine compartment of the PT GT. Put it on my Silverado and I could climb in there with it to splice the brake booster line.

The BB presses against a dead pedal same as Brake Pro. SMI needs the brake light of the coach activated, and can be activated from the coach w/o the coach brakes applied, AND, the big one, in heavy traffic the toad brakes can be locked to the coach brakes. Touch the coach brakes and the toad brakes are applied . Very good in heavy traffic IMHO.

I'm with Bob again, bend over flip the switch .
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Old 02-23-2006, 04:37 AM   #34
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After having called SMI with some questions on the day of the install,what was amazing was the next morning when SMI called back to make sure everything went well,as they hadn't heard back...
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Old 02-23-2006, 10:34 AM   #35
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Apparently, the SMI is the same as the Unified Tow Brake, except there is no switch. As soon as you plug it in (between the MH and Toad), it's activated...if you need to adjust the system, you can do that from the driver's seat. The main thing is the extra safety. Instead of using dead brakes as with BB and the like, the Unified uses the power brakes which means you stop in half the space and time.

My DW said we should have stuck to the BB because of installation time. Once installed, no problem and it works fantastic. I prefer the extra safety.
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:57 PM   #36
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One I haven't seen mentioned (which surprises me) is the Mountain Master tow brake. Youc an see what it is at www.towbrake.com/towbrakes.htm

I have a brake buddy now and everythign that's said about having to stand out in the elements while kneeling in mud to clip that thing onto the brake pedal is true. And heaven help you if that little spring comes off and goes flying! With a difficulty kneeling and then getting back up, I have decided for someting I can just pull two pins and unplug, and it's just a cylander instead of a big bulky thing. Not only that, the break away is included, not a separate thing, and the control panel for inside the rig allows you to manually apply brake if you need it, also release them, both from the driver's chair.

Surprised it wasn't mentioned here. Also it's all electric so if you have a gas rig...and it's non-invasive.

PatT
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Old 03-10-2006, 02:29 PM   #37
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I will put in a good word for Unified Tow Brake by US Gear. We have had this system about 4 years and are very happy.
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Old 03-11-2006, 05:34 AM   #38
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tO; all re; supplemental toad braking systems;

I have used the brake buddy for 3 moho, 1 toad since 2000.

GOOD SYSTEM, with a helper, it takes about 7 minutes to get set up. Have used my BB in another toad on 2 occasions, running break-away wires outside, I have extra set just for this purpose.
With the installed systems, you don't have this option.

But I guess what's important is they all do what they're supposed to do.

Thanks==== AJBJRVERS
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Old 07-05-2006, 05:32 AM   #39
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We have just upgraded to a diesel pusher, a 36G Meridian. We used the USGEAR braking system on our gas Adventurer. Do we need anything special to install the same hardware on the DP? Any suggestions or tips would be appreciated.

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Old 11-23-2006, 02:56 AM   #40
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Well, we just got finished with a visit to Camp Monaco, Wildwood Division, and it sure was an expensive one this time ...

Since we were there over a weekend, we decided to check out the local economy and go new-car shopping (uh-oh!). The trusty ol' Jeep Wrangler was starting to get cramped now that we're full-timing, and for some reason the AC quit as soon as we got over the border into Florida this time (not that we needed it this week ... brrr). Anyways, I'd been looking at minivans for awhile now, and we found a Dodge Grand Caravan at the right price and drove it back to Camp (love the car but CANNOT recommend the dealer, Bill Bryan in Fruitland).

Now, I've got to get everything hooked-up. Bought the BlueOx baseplate from RVUpgrades, and I can't say enough good things about them or BlueOx products in general. Also have a Remco Xmission pump on its way (hope they're as good too). But my dilemma is with the braking system. I didn't bother with it on the Jeep since it was very light and the coach never knew it was back there, stopping or going. But the minivan is quite a bit heavier and I want to get a good system. Here's my wish-list:
1) It must be permanently-installed, either under the seat or behind the dash.
2) I'd like to have an in-coach indication of when the toad brakes are being applied. An indication of what amount of force being applied would also be nice.
3) I'd like to be able to ˜adjust' the brake-pressure from the coach.
4) I like to think myself mechanically-inclined enough that I can do an install without problem (ok, so maybe with the tech-support guys on the phone, if needed).
5) I am not too concerned if installation requires cutting a wire, vacuum line, etc.

My one hard requirement is for it to be permanent - I understand Brake-Buddy is a good system, but I'd prefer something permanent. The other features are desirables, but not mandatory – meaning I'm pretty much looking at either Unified TowBrake (US Gear) or one of SMI's offerings (SilentPartner, AF1, etc).


I looked at all everything I could find here on the irv2 forum and the manufacturers' sites and am left with the following questions/concerns for you good folks (and yes, being able to support RVUpgrades does factor into the equation a bit) ...
1) With a 40' DP and a minivan, which would you prefer, and why?
2) I've seen a lot of positives about the SMI systems here on the forums, but I am confused between the advantages of the new AirForce 1 system and the others, any comments?
3) How would one of these systems work in conjunction with the BrakeSwitch product? (After a braking-application, BrakeSwitch keeps the brake-lites on until the accelerator is again applied. Would that affect the toad-brake system sensing of brake-use?)

TIA and have a Happy and Safe ThanksGiving Holiday,
Ron
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Old 11-23-2006, 04:55 AM   #41
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ronboc:
2) I've seen a lot of positives about the SMI systems here on the forums, but I am confused between the advantages of the new AirForce 1 system and the others, any comments? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Ron, Call Pete directly at SMI on Friday if they are open and talk to him about the Air Force One. He's the engineer and the best resource for you pursue.

SMI will be traveling in Florida in the early 2007 season so if you want them to do the install, I'm sure they can make arrangements to meet up with you. They also do numerous other rallies and shows across the country during the year.
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Old 11-23-2006, 03:53 PM   #42
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Many thanks, and especially for the contact-name.

I'll give him a call tomorrow (or Monday if they're not open tomorrow). I was just getting restless with all the possibilities and no way to get started immediately.

Ron
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