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Old 04-03-2016, 11:53 AM   #1
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First TOAD. A little advice

Hi All:

We're in the middle of purchasing 2016 jeep wrangler to tow behind our challenger 37 TB. I've just started researching towbars, plates and braking systems. It looks like blue ox Is the way I'm going to go for tow bars and plate. But brakes are confusing me. Does anyone have any recommendations for braking systems. I looked at SMI but they look so involved to install.

Bill
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Old 04-03-2016, 02:25 PM   #2
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SMI is great. I had it installed in my 2006 PT Cruiser ragtop, and it is a small actuator at the brake pedal, unseen, and a control box under the seat. It stays in place, does not require hooking up and unhooking, and is, so far, dependable. I am sure it is no picnic to install, but, the system is much better than the brake actuators that sit on the floor or seat. Just plug in and drive away.
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Old 04-03-2016, 03:11 PM   #3
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I live close to SMI and am having them install the unit in a few weeks. You might want to call them as they have been very helpful over the phone. I am sure they would give advice on your installation.
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Old 04-03-2016, 05:25 PM   #4
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THOR #3785
Does SMI have any competition as far as a permanently installed system?
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Old 04-03-2016, 06:42 PM   #5
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I tow a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited using a Blue Ox tow bar, base plate and wiring kit. I just added a RVi Brake2. Everything is easy set up and take down.
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:06 PM   #6
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I was using the AF1 on my wrangler with my DP with air brakes but not with the Axis I purchased a Patriot - used a a number of times now and seems to work and I can move it to the next vehicle if we change. Last trip in DP with SMI AF1 a truck driver from Texas was texting and moving into my lane and I had no place to go so I slammed the brakes and Jeep stopped fine. Really don't want to test the Patriot that way
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Baddad53 View Post
I was using the AF1 on my wrangler with my DP with air brakes but not with the Axis I purchased a Patriot - used a a number of times now and seems to work and I can move it to the next vehicle if we change. Last trip in DP with SMI AF1 a truck driver from Texas was texting and moving into my lane and I had no place to go so I slammed the brakes and Jeep stopped fine. Really don't want to test the Patriot that way
Could you help me with the acronyms? DP, AF1 ?
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:37 PM   #8
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THOR #1944
DP is Diesel Pusher
AF1 is Air Force One a model name for a braking system by SMI
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:46 PM   #9
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I tow my 2010 Wranger with Roadmaster equipment...
Falcon All-Terrain Towbar, Base Plates, Invisibrake Braking System.

The main differences to decide on braking systems:
(no right/wrong answers... just preferences)
  • Permanent vs Portable
  • Brakes activated by? (RV brake lights, inertia changes, etc)
  • Proportional, Progressive, or static braking force
  • Power assist or 'dead pedal' (does unit use toad's power brakes?)
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:09 PM   #10
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We use a Blue Ox baseplate and tow bars, and Unified Tow Brake by US Gear, behind our Vegas. The braking system is permanently mounted and a snap to hook and unhook. Has worked great for us since we intend to drive that little car for a long time yet. Simple to move from our last coach to this one, had the dealer do it. I installed it in our previous coach and the car myself.

If you aren't sure you'll keep that Jeep for awhile, you might be smarter to go with a portable unit.
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:44 PM   #11
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I use a NSA Readybrute Elite tow bar for my '07 JK. It's a proportional mechanical surge brake system that directly attaches to the brake pedal with a cable. While the towbar is somewhat expensive (although cheaper than buying a towbar and braking system), it is the only component required. NSA also has baseplates to match your vehicle.

I installed it myself, taking about 1 1/2 hours. Once set up it is extremely easy to connect and disconnect. I've been using it over a year and really like it. It's been over the Rocky Mountains and up and down the East Cost and not had any issues.

For the electrical hookup to the RV I installed the Cooltech JK harness - another easy install. The battery is disconnected in the JK when towing under this system.
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Old 04-10-2016, 11:51 AM   #12
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THOR #3785
Awesome advice everyone! Thanks so much for your time.

I'll let you know what I went with.

Bill
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Old 04-12-2016, 05:00 PM   #13
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THOR #3916
I use a Roadmaster baseplate & a Sterling towbar for the scion '06 xB. The xB is light enough (2400 lbs) that Oregon does not require a braking system. VERY easy hook up and disconnect even in less than level/perfect conditions
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:34 PM   #14
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We use the Blue Ox tow and baseplate with the SMI on our 2015 Jeep Wrangler. Never had an issue. It takes me 9 minutes hook up, or disconnect that includes getting the stuff from the bin and putting it away. I used a truck & trailer repair business for installation and they took less than a day for the install.
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillT View Post
Hi All:

We're in the middle of purchasing 2016 jeep wrangler to tow behind our challenger 37 TB. I've just started researching towbars, plates and braking systems. It looks like blue ox Is the way I'm going to go for tow bars and plate. But brakes are confusing me. Does anyone have any recommendations for braking systems. I looked at SMI but they look so involved to install.

Bill
You can start here: Downloadable Dinghy Guides | MotorHome Magazine

Best Regards,
Nick
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by critter210 View Post
You can start here: Downloadable Dinghy Guides | MotorHome Magazine

Best Regards,
Nick
Just got this in the mail. Nice info.
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TyCreek View Post
DP is Diesel Pusher
AF1 is Air Force One a model name for a braking system by SMI
Sorry
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baddad53 View Post
Sorry
Chuckle ... I just chimed in on this thread to answer that acronym question since I happened to be reading it at the time ... nothing to be sorry about.

Now that I did ... here I sit waiting anxiously to find out what components BillT picks to drag that shiny new toad down the road

The what and why of choices does intrigue me ...
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