WHY A TOW BRAKE, & WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE?
Let us help you decide
Okay. Here's the deal. You finally own the motorhome you've dreamed of for years. You've reached a point in your life when you can slow down and travel to places you've only read about in books. Of course you'll chart a course with numerous destinations, where you can explore all the interesting places around each stop. This means you're going to need to tow your street vehicle in order to get around. With the added weight of the towed vehicle to your motorhome and all the road hazards that you will encounter, you recognize the need for some sort of tow brake. After all, the safety of you as a driver, your passengers, your motorhome and your street vehicle are at stake.
WE KNOW YOU HAVE A CHOICE, SO WE'LL GIVE YOU THE FACTS
AND LET YOU MAKE THE LOGICAL CHOICE.
FIRST OF ALL, WE UTILIZE YOUR TOWED VEHICLE'S OWN POWER BRAKES
No other product on the market today utilizes the towed vehicle's own power brakes. That's why it's called Unified: It utilizes the power brakes of both vehicles. This exclusive, patented feature sets us leagues apart from other available tow brakes. Just think about this since it has happened at least once to all of us; Your engine suddenly dies, you push on the brakes and get nothing. That's because with the engine not running the power brake booster is no longer able to get vacuum. Now consider this; If you install ANY other tow brake, that's the kind of braking you'll achieve in your towed vehicle because the engine is not running and they make no provisions for supplying vacuum to the power brake booster. No matter how hard the other guys push on a DEAD brake pedal they can't get much braking.
Here's how we achieve braking power. We supply a 12 volt vacuum pump that mounts in the engine compartment of the towed vehicle. Each time the Unified Tow Brake is activated, a signal is sent to the Power Module located in the towed vehicle. The Power Module computer engages the vacuum pump to replenish vacuum to the towed vehicle's power brake booster. The Power Module also sends a modulated signal to the supplied Electronic Solenoid which is hidden under the driver seat of the towed vehicle. The Solenoid is connected to the brake pedal lever with a push/pull cable that is hidden underneath the carpet. By modulating the current to the solenoid, we can vary the amount of pull on the pedal to slow the towed vehicle to whatever degree is needed. This allows the towed vehicle to deliver the same powerful braking performance while towing, that you would get while driving the vehicle.
Other tow brake units on the market today cut into the brake lines or master cylinder of either the motorhome or the towed vehicle. At U.S. Gear, we feel this approach is not only frightening, but causes some real safety concerns. We therefore designed our unit to steer clear of tampering with either vehicle's brakes. Any time the brake lines are cut, the potential is there for air to get in the line, and cause the brakes to fail. In addition, we did not want the installation to void the manufacturers warranty. So, after months of talking with hundreds of motorhome owners and listening to their feedback, U.S. Gear has incorporated all of the features they've been demanding. The Unified Tow Brake monitors and adjusts for both road conditions and terrain ALL BY ITSELF from the motorhome's cockpit. The computer software is the key, and here's how it works...
WE UTILIZE STATE-OF-THE ART TECHNOLOGY
As with the utilization of power brakes, no other tow brake offers a remote control unit in the cockpit of the motorhome. The Patented Remote Control unit, which mounts to the transmission gear shift/selector lever, or any other convenient location houses the computer "brain", and is wired to the Power Module installed in the towed vehicle. Under normal operation, the Remote Controller progressively modulates the braking effort of the towed vehicle to mirror the braking effort applied to the motorhome's brakes through the use of multiple accelerometers and computer software package. The use of multi-accelerometers allows the controller to sense gravity, eliminating the need for the controller to be perfectly level when installed, never having to adjust level on the fly. The computer constantly checks for inertia change by sensing the vehicle's deceleration and constantly sends a signal, telling the towed vehicle how much braking force to apply. And what's more, if the brakes on the motorhome fail there is a manual feature that can help slow the vehicle down. The driver can simply depress the override thumbswitch lever and apply brakes to the towed vehicle for brake assistance.
WE OFFER PROPORTIONAL AND PROGRESSIVE BRAKING
Once again, due to the use of our controller, no other product on the market offers BOTH proportional and progressive braking. Everybody's talking about their importance, but what do they really mean?
Proportional Braking: When towing, there are 2 vehicles which have a combined weight of x amount. So the question becomes, how much braking should be accomplished by the motorhome, and how much should be accomplished by the towed vehicle? You want it to be in direct proportion to each vehicles' own weight. Our unit provides proportional braking via a signal adjustment (or gain) to the towed vehicle's brakes from the Remote Control unit.
Progressive Braking: (Often referred to as modulated braking). In essence, this means that when the motorhome brakes are applied, whether hard or soft, a mirror effect occurs in the braking of the towed vehicle. In other words, the more braking force applied to the front vehicle, the more force applied to the rear vehicle. The light bar on the Controller labeled Braking Effort indicates your current level of progressive braking. Other units only have one pre-determined "average" push on the pedal for brake assistance. So what happens if you're in a panic situation, and need ALL the braking you can get? Is one pre-determined "average" push on your towed vehicle's brake pedal going to be enough help? We think that if you're in an emergency and have to stand on the brakes, you'd probably prefer the full force of both vehicles' power brakes to slow you down. With our unit in a panic situation, you will in fact stop faster by using both vehicles' power brakes full force than if you were driving the motorhome by itself.
WE END THE NEED FOR ASSEMBLY, THEN DISASSEMBLY
Now that you recognize the vital importance of installing a tow brake, would you want to go to the hassle of re-installing and re-adjusting EVERY TIME you connect or disconnect your vehicle from the motorhome? This is just a time consuming and frustrating nuisance. Plus, all elements of the other tow brake units have cylinders, plates and wires attached to the brake pedal, and littering the drivers side floor.
Let us greatly simplify matters for you! Install the cable, pulley and solenoid one time, with all elements hidden underneath the carpet and seat. Install the Remote Controller one time on the gear shift/selector lever, or the face of the dash. When you're ready to drive your street vehicle, disconnect the umbilical cord. When you're ready to tow again, reconnect the umbilical cord. The only time you might want to disassemble is if you upgrade to a new motorhome or towed vehicle. No big deal! It can be transferred to any vehicle at any time. Enough said?
OUR BREAK AWAY FEATURE COMES STANDARD!
We've mentioned the road hazards you're likely to encounter as you enjoy the freedom of the road. There is always a chance that for whatever reason, your towed vehicle could separate from your motorhome. Other manufacturers recognize this hazard as well, and offer a break away feature as an add-on option at an additional cost. At U.S. Gear, we always put safety first, and so we built into the unit a break away feature that is standard with each kit. It immediately brings the vehicle to a stop should separation occur. There's even an audible warning if the umbilical cord disconnects. And guess what? Our unit, with the break away feature included, sells for the same price as other units WITHOUT this feature. Still the logical choice!
Unified Tow Brake ONLY from U.S. GEAR
The Unified Tow Brake by U.S. Gear represents a major advancement in towing technology. This technology was available for decades to travel trailer and fifth wheel customers, and now, thanks to U.S. Gear is available for all class "A & C" motorhomes.
UNIFIED TOW BRAKE - Safety That's Really Within Reach
"The Best of Both Worlds"
Air Force One is the only air brake system that energizes the towed vehicle's power brakes through a patent-pending process that does not require an electronic vacuum pump. In fact, Air Force One has no moving parts to wear out at all. Air Force One is also the industry's first and only supplemental brake system that protects the coach with a patent-pending breakaway system that seals the coach's air supply in the event of a separation of the coach and the towed vehicle.
"Effective yet Invisible"
Air Force One uses a small amount of air from the coach's air brake system to create the vacuum necessary to activate the power brakes of the towed and then applies the towed vehicle's brakes in a truly proportionate manner. As you apply the brakes in the coach, a proportionate amount of air is supplied to the Air Force One system to activate the towed vehicle's brakes. Because Air Force One uses the same air that brakes the coach, truly mirrored and proportionate braking is achieved in the towed vehicle. The Air Force One operating unit mounts under the hood of the towed vehicle, completely out of sight. The brake actuator is also very small and mounts on the brake arm of the towed vehicle. Once installed, the entire system is invisible and always ready for towing with no set up or take down.
"Total Coach Protection"
Total Coach Protection exclusively with Air Force One is a process that protects the air supply on the coach. To meet federal regulations (FMVSS 121) when using air brakes, the supplemental brake system must protect the towing vehicle air supply. SMI includes the components necessary to meet these important safety regulations. If the towed vehicle separates or the towing system fails, the coach air is protected. Air Force One is the safest air brake system available. No other air-operated system offers this level of safety and control.
Coach Notification is a vital part of all supplemental braking systems. A signal from the towed vehicle's brake light switch is used to alert you in the coach that the towed vehicle's brakes are applied. Coach Notification, combined with power-assisted brakes, a small operating unit, and 100% proportionate braking combine to make Air Force One the best choice for all diesel motor homes with air brakes.
"Fits ALL Towed Vehicles!"
No need to ask if Air Force One is compatible with your towed vehicle. Air Force One fits all makes and models – from the largest F-350 to the Hummer H2 and H3 and all hybrids -- Air Force One fits them all. When you purchase a new towed vehicle, the Air Force One system is simply transferred to the new car without purchasing any new parts. This convenience comes only from SMI and Air Force One
Completely out of sight, The Air Force One operating unit is installed under the hood of the towed vehicle. A small actuator is mounted on the brake arm of the towed vehicle above the foot pedal so it is always out of the way and completely out sight.
Always ready to tow
With Air Force One, attach your AFO jumper and you are ready to tow. There is no set up in the towed vehicle and, because AFO uses the power brakes there is no need for adjustments. AFO will brake the car just as you would if you were driving it: gently, efficiently, and truly 100% proportionate. Best of all it is all automatic.
Power brakes active in the towed vehicle
Air Force One uses a patented process to create vacuum in the towed vehicle's power brake system. This process energizes the power brakes for the towed vehicle without the engine running. Air Force One does not require an electronic pump, so battery drain cannot be an issue. In fact, there are no moving parts to wear out and no circuit boards to go bad. Air Force One will be the last supplemental brake you will ever buy.
Truly proportionate braking
Progressive is good, proportionate is better. Using the coach air is the only way to create true 100% proportionate braking effort. Whether you are on a bumpy road or using your exhaust brake down a hill, Air Force will only apply the brakes in the towed vehicle when you apply the brake in the coach. The braking in the towed vehicle mirrors the coach WITHOUT any complicated adjustments. Inertia-based systems simply cannot offer this level of simplicity and consistency. Using deceleration to determine braking is progressive, using the action of your foot on the brake pedal and the associated amount of air is proportionate. Chassis Approved Air Tap In
Chassis Approved Air Tap In
Air Force One uses an approved air tap in method so you will not affect the warranty on your air brakes. DOT and FMVSS (Federal Vehicle Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) #121 require supplemental brake systems to have a separate air tank (ping tank) and a separate valve to control the supplemental system. All other air brake systems take air off of the rear wheels to apply the supplemental brake which can impact your warranty. Spartan requires a separate valve and ping tank to maintain your warranty which you must purchase separately with any other air brake. Only Air Force One meets the regulations and only Air Force One includes everything you need.
Many systems have no signal at all and others generate the signal from activation. The best signal for you to know when the brakes are on in the towed vehicle is from the brake light switch. Air Force One includes a simple LED light that mounts on your tow bar. The light turns on when the brakes are applied in the tow car. If the light is on, the brakes are on. You want to know if the brakes are on, not simply if the system is cycling. The Super Bright LED's will let you know when the brakes are on. Radio signals are not as dependable as a wire especially in the newer diesel rigs. Air Force One lets you know what you need to know, when you need to know it! Item#5877
Call 760-949-1222 for pricing
No more boxes! That is the cry of our customers. The Stay-IN-Play DUO answers the cry. Duo's small operating unit is installed under the hood so you never know it is there. No messy components scattered in the towed vehicle to complicate things; just a small operating module to control the towed vehicle brakes with no physical connection to the motorhome.
DUO combines the power of air pressure and the gentleness of vacuum to give you the fastest most powerful self contained supplemental brake ever. Duo uses the power and speed of air pressure to activate your towed vehicle brake pedal while creating vacuum for the power brake system. These two features combine to create the only progressive and proportionate vacuum assisted system with total control. Duo requires BOTH deceleration AND coach brake lights to apply the towed vehicle brakes. By combining two separate signals the need for complicated electronics is eliminated, which provides you a more reliable long lasting system. In addition, DUO is the pioneer in user friendly operation; "Just Turn it on...and Tow." This simple technology was first introduced in 2003. Tried and true, DUO does not have to be taken in and out for normal operation of the towed vehicle. Unhook the car and drive off, thats all. No box, no wires, in fact, no physical connection to the motorhome at all.
The Stay-IN-Play DUO system energizes the towed vehicle’s power brakes without the engine running, so you have a soft brake pedal. Once engaged, DUO replenishes the vacuum in the car's power brake system. By replenishing vacuum, gentle smooth pressure is applied to the towed vehicle’s brakes. With the power brakes active, only 10 - 12 pounds of pressure is required to provide a gentle smooth stop.
Activation of the towed vehicle's brakes require BOTH deceleration and the brake lights from the motorhome. Once BOTH signals are present, DUO gently applies the brakes. There is no complicated gain or sensitivity to achieve the proportionate balance of brake effort, it is all automatic. Automatically, once engaged, DUO will apply progressive brake effort in the towed vehicle. Because DUO uses both brake lights from the coach and deceleration, there is absolutely no delay. This becomes critical in a panic stop. Systems that use only deceleration must "think" first, is this a steep grade, is this a large bump, or is this stopping? Time translates to feet while towing and in a panic stop, inches are important. No self contained system applies brakes faster than the DUO.
is another important aspect of any supplemental brake system. Some claim to have it, but really do not; while others do not really tell you about the position of the brake pedal in the towed vehicle. Without question, the most improtant information while towing is the status of the braking system in the towed vehicle. "Are the brakes applied?" That is the question. When researching brake systems, ask the question, "Do you have coach notification FROM THE TOWED VEHICLES BRAKE PEDAL SWITCH?" Many will claim to have a signal but do not, and others will have a signal from some other source. The only reliable and complete signal must originate from the towed-vehicle's brake switch. If the light is on, the brakes are on, period. What you do not want is a problem while you are towing. Knowing the position of the brake pedal gives you that peace of mind.
Simple on/off towing, the gentleness of vacuum, the speed and power of air pressure, dual signal activation, and reliable coach notification all combine to provide the most powerful easy to use system available today.
Features and Benefits
• Hidden installation under the hood of the tow car.
• Patent-pending air cylinder applies your towed vehicle’s power-assisted brakes AND automatically applies proportionate and progressive brake effort. Only 10 pounds of force on your brake pedal in normal braking.
• "Panic Stop Braking" - only SMI brings you additional stopping effort in a panic... up to three times the normal effort.
• Coach notification of brakes applied with every unit.
• The Stay-IN-Play DUO creates vacuum to provide totally reliable and consistent brake application.
• Two signals are required to activate the Stay-IN-Play DUO system. The coach brake must be applied, AND there must be sufficient G-force. No unwanted or unnecessary brake activations on grades or over bumps. And best of all, it is all automatic.
• "Zero" set up for towing - the Stay-IN-Play DUO is always ready to tow.
• Simple installation mounts the small operating unit under the hood of the towed vehicle so you never know it is even installed.
-The air cylinder is so small it fits in the palm of your hand. No other system offers this much control and this much power all combined with a simple install.
-On/off operation means you are tow ready in less time.
The DUO Difference
DUO is the next generation supplemental brake system.
Introduced in 2003, the Stay-IN-Play experiences great reviews from customers and dealers alike. Dealers rave because of the ease of installation and the lack of returns from dissatisfied customers. Customers love it because it performs day in and day out. DUO takes the Stay-IN-Play to a new level.
We call it DUO because two is better than one. First and foremost, DUO uses both air pressure and vacuum. Vacuum is created to energize the towed vehicle’s power brakes and the air pressure to apply them. Secondly, DUO requires two separate signals to activate the towed vehicle brakes. Using two activation signals is the best method for eliminating complicated electronics and control unwanted or unnecessary activation of the towed vehicle brakes. By combining the brake’s of the coach with deceleration, you have better control of the system rather than the system controlling you. We also believe that simplified electronics and fewer mechanical parts will provide you a better foundation and last longer.
Another key difference in the DUO is the Coach Notification System. There is only one way to obtain reliable information about the towed vehicle’s brakes and we believe this to be through the towed-vehicle’s brake light switch. Many will argue that there is another way; that there is a better way, but if you think it through, you will agree, the brake light switch eliminates the question.
One has to wonder, how many systems today are really easy to use? Many claims are made in advertising literature but is brand X really easy to use or do they just want you to think it is. DUO is REALLY easy to use, just turn it on. We make no inflated claims. This is the DUO difference, install once and always ready. That is easy. Item# 5876
Call 760-949-1222 for Pricing
The Patriot® Brake System from Blue Ox gives you the comfort needed when you are braking your tow vehicle. Not only is it convenient and easy to store, but it also proportionally applies the brakes smoothly while you’re slowing down to a stop, instead of suddenly jolting your tow vehicle causing costly damage to your brakes. The Patriot even works with Hybrids! All Blue Ox braking systems come with a one year warranty.
No more wires
Monitor all brake functions or manually apply brakes from the comfort of the driver’s seat through a wireless remote control that continuously communicates with the braking system.
No more power concerns
Built in battery ensures power is always available to the brake.
No more mess
By using an electric cylinder there are no air pumps, storage tanks or hoses; therefore there is no chance for leaking and greatly reduces power required.
On the brake itself, there is an easy-to-read LED display, complete with one set up button, a break away plugin, manual adjustment for sensitivity, on/off switch and an auxillary 12-volt connection.
Compatible with Hybrids!
In-coach controller complete with a manual brake lever, easy-to-read LED display and gain adjustment.
All electric! No pump, tank, or air hoses to leak
No slamming of the brake, moves smoothly and proportionally
Adjust the amount of braking from coach
Manually apply brakes from coach with wireless remote
Break away comes standard
Electric actuator instead of air cylinder
15 lbs! Half the weight of similar braking systems
LED display on both the brake and remote control
Convenient carrying handle
Comes standard with on/off switch
Easy self-calibration with the push of one button
Unique, easy to use brake pedal clamp
Larger surface push pad on back of unit to seat
Wrap around cleat on side for safe storage of plug wiring