1957 30' Sovereign of the Road
1959 28' Ambassador
1949 24' Limited
, New York
Join Date: Sep 2004
Originally Posted by TouringDan
I agree that disc brakes need to be reliable. They should be. The technology is here. It is a sad situation that the only premium trailer manufacturer, Airstream, does not even offer disc brakes as an option; They offer it as an after market conversion. What seems to be lacking is the consumer demand for disc brakes.
I guess that what also is lacking is competition for Airstream. What incentive do they have to offer disc brakes? None. Especially since reliability issues have cost them money in the past.
I am ready to order new axles for my Tradewind. I really do not want to install new axles with new electric drum brakes. If I do this then I am admitting that disc brakes are still not a viable reliable option. I don't think I can do this. We shall see.
We have supplied a lot of axles with hydraulic disc brakes & electric drum brakes. Airstream's problems with disc brakes was not the disc brake assembly itself. The "electric over hydraulic" actuator was the problem. Most of these actuators have the ECM built into the actuator housing, so if there is an internal fluid leak, the ECM goes haywire, which is what happened to the "Actibrake" actuators that Airstream used. Actibrake ended up going bankrupt as a result of the issues & Airstream made good on the recalls. The sad thing about the recall was that they didn't just replace all of these actuators, instead they drilled a small hole in a certain part of the housing to see if there was internal leaking going on. If there was fluid in this area, they replaced the actuator with another brand, if there wasn't, they just plugged the hole & sent you on your way. When these actuators fail, they can leave you with no brakes at all & sometimes stuck on. Either way, not very safe. We have used the Heavy Duty "Brake-Rite" actuators on our custom installations & repairs. The nice thing about these actuators is that they have an external ECM, so fluid will never get anywhere near the ECM, during a failure. As the ECM is the normal thing to fail in any actuator, having it mounted externally makes it really easy for the novice to switch it out in the event of a failure. Some of my clients carry spare ECM's "just in case", but none have needed them, so I guess this brand & model is the way to go for reliability & simplicity.
Good luck with it,
Hi, Colin H; I'm glad that you found a great actuator for disc brakes. Early reports of failure included: caliper bolts loosening, caliper bolts breaking, flex lines kinking, flex lines being rubbed through by tires, flex lines were too short, locking up and not releasing, not working at all, delayed actions, fluid leaks, air in lines that were extremely difficult to remove, and only working at times. Most of this was caused by poor design and poor installation.
It seems that now that the actual disc brakes are good and you have found a good actuator, the only thing left is everything in between the two.
1. Back up camera pre-wire, enabling installation of standard camera systems or even an option for one. Trying to do this after the fact is expensive, and backup cameras are now pretty cheap.
2. WiFi improvements, including hookups and external antenna to enable better reception.
3. AV hub near Blue ray player, and ability to upgrade to surround sound.
4. Tankless hot water heater.
If I can complement the point #2
2a. CAT6e (or CAT5e) network cable and receptacle from outside (along the external cable connector plug) to main area where DC voltage hardness connections are. On the 23FB it is located under the bed. With this non-expensive prewiring, we will have the flexibility to install a Nano Station WiFi amplifier (NanoStation | Ubiquiti Networks, Inc.). I do so in my FC FB23 last summer with a router. Huge improvement on WiFi connectivity. On this setup. The CAT5e cable was run to outside from the upper vent trap of the refrigerator. See pictures attached.
In an another topic:
5. Airstream should consider providing “Inverter technology Heat Pump” instead to the existing noisy actual device. These thermal pump are available for VR since few years. This technology is available for homes since more than 15 years now. See PDF file attached
Good one on the AC. I cannot understand why someone does not do a rating review on the different brands and compare them for noise and performance. If such is not available or suitable then perhaps AS should consider a ducted under floor design. After all they are known as the Cadillac of travel trailers right?
2015 Ford F-150 3.5 Ecobeast 3.55 Lariat
On the brakes, that is a controversial issue. For handling and performance disc is better but in most heavy weight applications and unclean environments drum brakes are used as they have greater frictional area.
2015 Ford F-150 3.5 Ecobeast 3.55 Lariat