Air Force One Towed Vehicle Braking System
The Best of Both Worlds
Air Force One is the only air brake system that energizes the towed vehicle's power brakes through a patented 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 patented breakaway system that seals the coach's air supply in the event of a separation of the coach and the towed vehicle. Chassis Manufactures agree that the Air Force One is the safest and most secure way of using coach air for supplemental braking.
Mike Oneal, Technical Trainer for Spartan Chassis, frequently tells customers that "there is only one safe way to take and use air from a diesel coach. This is the only system that does it right." Air Force One is the only system that "does it right" meaning chassis manufacturers will not void any part of your chassis brake warranty.* Air Force One includes components to not only protect the coach brakes in the event of a breakaway, but also to segregate the towed vehicle brake system. This makes our Air Force One the only choice for all chassis manufactures.
Air Force One meets all chassis warranty requirements.
*Magnuson — Moss Warranty Act
- Product Info
- The AFO Difference
Effective yet Invisible
Air Force One uses a pilot signal from the coach's air brake system to deliver 100%, direct proportional braking. No inertia (adjustable) system can match this braking profile, period. Just as you don't adjust the individual braking effort of each wheel on the coach, you don't adjust the braking effort of Air Force One. The towed vehicle experiences the same perfect braking symmetry as each individual brake on the coach. As such, the exhaust brake and transmission retarder have no effect on the Air Force One. The system is composed of three main components: the Operating Unit, the Actuator and the Coach Air Assembly. The Air Force One Operating Unit mounts under the hood of the towed vehicle, completely out of sight. It houses the vacuum generator for the towed's power assist and also the reserve air supply for the breakaway circuit. The brake actuator is compact, mounting on the brake arm of the towed vehicle and securing to the firewall with just one self-drilling screw. 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, am exclusive Air Force One attribute, is a process that separates and protects the air supply on the coach. To meet federal regulations (FMVSS 121) and chassis warranty requirements when using air brakes, the supplemental brake system must protect the towing vehicle air supply. Only 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. The Coach Air Assembly is pre-assembled and pre-tested for function and leaks. It's compact size (approximately 12" x 10" x 6") and flexible mounting options make securing to the coach with two 3/8" bolts a snap. All fittings are included and are push-to-connect style DOT rated.
For nearly a decade others have tried to copy it, but no one can match the ease of installation, durability and functionality of SMI's patented actuator. The proprietary design makes binding and cable hang-ups impossible as all the force is completely linear– No Pulleys! Just one self-drilling screw to secure the cable anchor to firewall. Other pulley systems have 6 plus screws and require large, flat surfaces directly behind the brake arm to work reliably– a commodity not afforded by many late model vehicles.
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 smallest Smart and Fiat to the largest diesel pickup and Hummer H2 and everything in between including hybrids– Air Force One fits them all. Each Air Force One system comes complete with everything necessary for the installation on every towed vehicle. 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.
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 adjustment. 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.
Fits EVERY tow vehicle
Air Force One fits every tow vehicle, including the newest "live" pedal cars. In addition, the Air Force One is easy to transfer to a new towed vehicle – Many of the semi-permanent systems today will not work on ALL towed vehicles or they need special parts for certain towed vehicles. Not Air Force One, it is a universal fit for every towed vehicle.
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% directly proportionate braking effort. Whether you are on a bumpy road or using your exhaust brake down a hill, Air Force One 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 can deliver a level of proportional braking, but using the action of your foot on the brake pedal and the associated amount of air is directly proportionate.
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– meeting all chassis warranty guidelines including Spartan (per Mike O'Neil) and Freightliner (per Tony Sipple). 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 not only takes the coach out of DOT specification, but can impact your warranty. 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, innovative LED light that mounts in the towed vehicle. The light turns on when the brakes are applied in the tow car and is viewable through the backup camera. 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. This time and cost saving method is often preferred, but if more direct feedback is desired the LED can be mounted in the coach by using a single wire to the dash of the coach. Or, as an additional option, you may purchase the SMI Wireless Coachlink kit.
Our dealers and self-installers have been instrumental in helping us design and refine the easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions. Each Air Force One comes complete so you do not need to purchase anything for the installation. We also offer 24/7 technical support from real live technicians, not just an answering service.
The install on an SMI system is neither difficult nor time consuming. Each system comes with
detailed instructions and a full training CD of an actual installation. If you still have a question,
our techs are not just desk jockeys, they are actual installers that can help you. Many calls you
place to a "factory rep" simply go to a person that recites the directions. This is generally more
frustrating than helpful. Our techs are all field trained and more than capable of answering your
specific question. In addition, we offer a 24 hour help line for those that are working on an install
after normal hours.
The AFO Difference
Things that are different are not the same.
Air Force One offers the latest in supplemental braking technology. Air Force One uses the coach's air to create vacuum for the towed vehicle’s power-brake feature, and also uses the same air supply to proportionately apply the brakes in the towed vehicle. Since it uses the coach’s air supply, Air Force One does not need an electric pump. In fact, the Air Force One operating unit has no moving parts at all. The Air Force One operating unit is very small and fits under the hood of your towed vehicle (see one). The brake actuator mounts on the brake arm just like the Stay-IN-Play cylinder.
In addition, Air Force One is the only air brake that offers and includes coach protection for the air supply in event of a separation. With “Total Coach Protection,” the coach’s air supply is sealed off to allow the coach to stop normally. At the same time the coach is protected, the breakaway system on the car activates the towed-vehicle’s brakes.
Air Force One also includes a coach notification light. This light is activated directly by the towed’s brake-light switch. Any time the brakes are applied in the towed vehicle, the light is on.
Air Force One is a revolutionary product that will apply truly proportionate brake effort in your towed vehicle. The simple install combined with vacuum-assisted power brakes and truly proportionate braking makes the Air Force One system second to none for a motor home with air brakes.
Combine the power brakes of the car being active with all the other great features, including no set up for towing, and you too will agree with RV’ers all over the country; Air Force One is the greatest new innovation for this industry.
Things that are different are not the same. Air Force One is truly better.
AFO Installation Video Transcript
We have a 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee. We're going to be installing the Air Force One system on this vehicle. The Air Force One system includes the Air Force One operating unit, the towed vehicle installation kits, coach notification kit, the coiled air jumper, coach air connection assembly, coach installation kit, the actuator kit, seven foot length of vacuum hose, 40-foot roll of quarter-inch DOT airline, installation instructions and the warranty information. Before installing the system read over the packing stuff to familiarize yourself with all the parts.
We'll start by finding a good location for the Air Force One operating unit. We'll need to keep the operating it away from any significant heat sources such as exhaust manifold on our 2016 jeep grand cherokee we have plenty of room right on top of the fuse box we're going to hear the unit into place with some velcro. Next piece of hardware we'll mount the air actuator. The actuator secures over the brake arm just over the brake pedal and secures to the firewall with an anchor. We'll start by setting the actuator up against the brake arm above the pedal and checking where the anchor will be installed on the firewall. Finding a straight line shot or an angle that's going to work and the cable still be able to pull straight before drilling through the firewall be sure to check the backside of the firewall to make sure there's not any instructions or anything that you'll hit. Setting the cable tension is very important; you will want to first set the cable tension at the anchor then you can fine-tune the setting by moving the actuator front-to-back for tightening it down on the brake arm. Once everything's tightened up we're going to move the brake pedal through its range of motion and make sure that the cylinder moves freely along the actuator.
The Air Force One system including LED indicator that notifies when the brakes are activated. Connecting the factory wire to the extended wire in the kit is a good idea to go ahead and reinforce that connection with some electrical tape. We'll mount this in a location that is visible on the coaches backup camera. This LED indicator can also be located on the coach dash by running a wire the length of the motorhome. On this jeep grand cherokee we'll locate the LED on the rearview mirror; we'll route the wire across the top of the headliner and down the A-pillar. We will connect the black wire from the LED indicator to the blue wire on the reed switch we will connect the red wire from the LED indicator to the black wire on the reed switch and also run up another wire off this connection to a frame ground. We'll extend the brown wire from the reed switch and route it through the firewall with the airline. If you cannot find a factory grommet with enough space, you may need to drill an additional hole through the firewall. Be sure to seal any new holes with silicone.
Now that we're through the firewall we'll go ahead and route the airline to the operating unit and the brown wire to our battery connection. Locate the brake booster so we can find the vacuum line running between the booster and the engine. Route the three-eighths inch vacuum line from the operating unit over to the vacuum line on the break booster using the tee and supplied fittings. Follow the instructions and orientate to clear or green side of the check valve towards the tee and the black side of the check valve towards the engine. Install the second check valve with the black side facing the operating unit and the clear green side facing the tee. When the base plate was installed we went ahead and installed the breakaway switch and the airline connection we routed our airline and breakaway wires behind the bumper up towards operating unit. There are two black wires coming from the air force one operating unit. One of these wires will connect to the blue wire from the breakaway switch and the other will run to a frame ground. The orange with black stripe wire from the breakaway switch will connect to one side of the three-way crimp terminal. The brown wire that we ran through the firewall from the reed switch which will connect to the one side of the threeway crimp terminal and the fuse holder will connect to the other side of the threeway crimp terminal. The other end of the fuse holder will connect to a battery connection which we found in the fuse box. The procedure for properly setting the reed switch is outlined in the instruction manual.
With the towed vehicle side of the air force one installed we'll move on to the coach installation. We'll start by locating the supply connection and a metered airline connection. The valve assemblies will be looking for are right in front of the rear axle. Once the appropriate airlines are located go ahead and make your connection with the supplied fittings, if the tanks have not been drained the supply line will be pressurized. With the tee connections in place we'll go ahead and find a good location for the co-chair assembly. Assembly can be installed in virtually any location under the coach, just be sure to keep it as close to the airline connections as possible. Also make sure that it is not mounted next to any excessive heat source. Last piece of hardware to mount is the coach L bracket. Mount this on the rear bumper area with all the hardware mounted, we'll go ahead and route the quarter inch DOT airline and connect everything together. The line from the L bracket goes to the delivery port on the coach assembly. The line for the metered connection goes to the elbow between the tank in the relay valve. Supply air connection goes to the pressure detection valve on the end of the tank. To test system for leaks, start by running coach they are supplied the backup will use a spray bottle with a mixture of soap and water. Hook the towed vehicle up the RV and apply the brakes and already the brakes in the tow vehicle should be applied proportionately. Using the supplied LED indicator should see the LED light up on the rear camera the motorhome. If using the wireless coach link, you should be able to see the brakes applied indicator light up on the receiver. The receiver is equipped with a buzzer that will activate after seven seconds of continuous breaking. This buzzer can be toggled on. Depress the brake pedal on the motor on three to four times to fully test the system and then double check to make sure that the cable tension is still proper.