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February 12, 2023

Brakes - for the Toad

When we first bought Rufus, over a decade ago, we knew there would times we would want the Jeep to be towed.  Our 1997 Jeep TJ can be towed 4-down with both front and rear differentials placed in neutral.

We tried a Brake Buddy that sat on the floor and manually push the brake pedal when the RV brakes were applied.  But with the short wheelbase of the Jeep TJ and it’s stiff suspension, it would quickly become dislodged.  This made our first trip to the Cactus League Games a bit exciting ...

I then installed a unit from SMI called the Stay-In-Play.  It is permanently mounted and activated by simple toggle switch providing power to the vacuum unit and a deceleration sensor.

But alas it finally failed, as we discovered on our last trip to Borrego coming down from Ranchita!  SMI was purchased by Demco and makes a similar unit.

Certainly the new manual has added color to the graphics and the schematic.  A nice touch.

I started with the morning sun’s glare, even though I thought this might be an easy exchange if I could reuse the old tubing and wires.  

That was not so.  I broke the original SMI desecration sensor and switch while removing the seat.  Then I noticed the Demco unit is physically larger than the SMI unit.  But it still fits nicely under the seat.

The diode block on the left provides brake light indication to the unit and prevents feedback

When doing a test fit I discovered the vacuum tubing was a different diameter, ARG!

It finally all came together in the long shadows of the evening.

We will be hosting a birthday gathering tomorrow for Fran’s sister.  Fran will be making a Macadamia Nut cake from the last harvest of this season.


With the rain and a few storms have kept us inside, often at the puzzle table.

This is puzzle of our neighborhood.  The missing house shaped piece is centered around our home.
Fran likes to do the borders first, while I tend to work toward the border
Grandson is a big Mandalorian fan.  This is 'family' puzzle with large and small pieces.
Note the upper left corner is twice the size of the upper left.

Storm damage can be found all along the beaches.  Here’s a photo news article showing the beating the OB Pier experienced, the entire article is at NBC7.

OB Pier Jan 2023
The pier is closed ‘indefinitely’.  Which means WOW Cafe is closed ‘indefinitely’, along with my favorite fish tacos ….

Mission Beach also took a hit when the Sea Wall was breached.  A News8 YouTube video can be seen HERE.

Mission Beach Jan 2023
I am happy to report the Boardwalk was quickly restored and the Royal Rooster was undamaged … Fran’s favorite fish tacos.