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Old 01-04-2007, 07:02 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by ljmiii
As I said in my original post, I recognize that the choice to move to disc brakes is probably not rational. Disc brakes do stop better, fail less often, and require less maintainence. But I wouldn't be doing it if I wasn't having them upgrade my axles at the same time. And the axle upgrade does increases my GVWR up to 4300lbs so better brakes are probably a good idea.
Gotcha....guess I must have missed that part that the axles will be off already....but let me ask you another question....where are you gonna put the extra gear that would require an additional 800lbs of axle rating? I've been in a few 16' units and there isn't a lot of space for the "extras" per se.

You must really like that 16' I might have gone to a 19' myself, but hey, we all like what we like!
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:04 PM   #30
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silvertwinkie I have a 32 foot excella 16 inch rims upgrade not a 16 foot wannabe trailer, ha
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:07 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by doorgunner
silvertwinkie I have a 32 foot excella 16 inch rims upgrade not a 16 foot wannabe trailer, ha
Yea, I figured that part.
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:08 PM   #32
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I would think that a single axle, roughly 4000lb max trailer would especially need the discs, as opposed to a 22 or 23 footer with dual axles and 4 brakes.
Airstream does supply them on their premium dual axle trailers, which some of them don't weigh twice as much as the 16.
And, don't forget the added value of having a better balanced running gear.
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:11 PM   #33
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I would think that a single axle, roughly 4000lb max trailer would especially need the discs, as opposed to a 22 or 23 footer with dual axles and 4 brakes.
Airstream does supply them on their premium dual axle trailers, which some of them don't weigh twice as much as the 16.
And, don't forget the added value of having a better balanced running gear.
I suppose you're right. Just seems like a good expense to go through.....

BTW, looking at the Airstream site, every Classic has discs, and even the smallest Classic is more than 2x the weight of a 3500 16 footer (GVWR is what I'm going by).
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:15 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
BTW, looking at the Airstream site, every Classic has discs, and even the smallest Classic is more than 2x the weight of a 3500 16 footer (GVWR is what I'm going by).
It recently became apparent that Airstream's published weights don't always reflect the facts. However, if the 16's are understated in their actual weight, then perhaps the larger trailers are as well, making this a moot point.
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:38 PM   #35
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Now about the Cub!! I gave my daughter her first small plane ride with me in a Cub. A perfect day, speaking of perfect days hey J.Rick tell me you were a Marine pilot. Semper Fi Tim
Hey Doorgunner- Sorry, NAVY! I had a marine cabin boy though, does that count? As just mentioned above, yes, if you have the correct tow vehicle for what you are towing, brakes become secondary to a small point. The absolute correct match of TV to TT is that the TT brakes are for stability purposes only and not for stopping. We have come to the belief that the TT must also contribute 50% of the stop which actually is incorrect. Yes, the new disk brakes are very cool, but who, or what is supposed to be stopping what? First flight for any kid is a wonderful thing and the cub is perfect. I was very lucky growing up to start flying a Mooney at age 7. And the worst case of a controlled crash is night landing on a carrier during combat when all is dark and all you see is a ball. I would never RIO on a F-14, especially with me on the stick.
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:49 PM   #36
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Hey Doorgunner- Sorry, NAVY! I had a marine cabin boy though, does that count? As just mentioned above, yes, if you have the correct tow vehicle for what you are towing, brakes become secondary to a small point. The absolute correct match of TV to TT is that the TT brakes are for stability purposes only and not for stopping. We have come to the belief that the TT must also contribute 50% of the stop which actually is incorrect. Yes, the new disk brakes are very cool, but who, or what is supposed to be stopping what? First flight for any kid is a wonderful thing and the cub is perfect. I was very lucky growing up to start flying a Mooney at age 7. And the worst case of a controlled crash is night landing on a carrier during combat when all is dark and all you see is a ball. I would never RIO on a F-14, especially with me on the stick.
I always liked you flyboys, always got me combat pay during Vietnam. I was riding the Plane Guard DE.

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Old 01-04-2007, 07:56 PM   #37
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Hey Jim- Seeins as you are from New Orlans
I was attached to HMM-263 69-70 one of my squadron mates -Mike Clausen- was from N.O. Did you know him?? He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. A day of flying I will always remember.
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Old 01-04-2007, 08:19 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by doorgunner
Here's my opinion; seems as I've read a lot of posts on this forum about folks having not enough TV to deal with their trailer.So if you do not have what it takes to pull it what makes you think you can stop it? get my drift.
I started this thread to see if anyone else had experieced the same 'technology shock' when they started to get into RVing. And it seems the thread has to a certain extent refocused into a discussion of braking systems. So let's see if I can bring these ideas back together...

The most common car in America is the Camry. A base level Camry is about $18,000 and 3300 lbs. It has 16" wheels, 4 disc brakes, ABS, and a limited braking stability system called Brake Assist. More expensive Camrys come with larger wheels and brakes and full on Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control. My Airstream was about $45,000 and an unladen weight of about 3200 lbs. It has 14" wheels, 2 drum brakes, and no electronic braking assistance. And this is considered normal.

As I've thought about this (admittedly for all of an hour or so) it occurs to me that most trailers are probably ridiculously underbraked. To compensate for the lack of braking ability we've been trained to put large vehicles in front. And to compensate for the lack of braking electronics we've been trained to introduce quirky anti-sway systems* and yet bigger vehicles in front.

Even the $18,000 Camry stops on a dime and is very difficult to put into a spin. It amazes me...;-)...that there is no one in the RV world working with Ford (or Toyota or GM) to create a trailer chassis with serious brakes that integrate into the tow vehicle's ABS and VSC systems.

enjoy,
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*Excepting that most elegant yet simple piece of engineering - the Hensley Arrow.
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Old 01-04-2007, 08:31 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Where are you gonna put the extra gear that would require an additional 800lbs of axle rating? I've been in a few 16' units and there isn't a lot of space for the "extras" per se.

You must really like that 16'! I might have gone to a 19' myself, but hey, we all like what we like!
I do love the 16'er....we liked the look of the 19' 75th anniversary edition but perversely enough it didn't have enough space for the four of us. The thing about the 16' Bambi is that it has an enormous amount of storage and bed space for its size - it just doesn't have any floor space. The 16'er is great as a bed and breakfast - you just don't want to try to live in it.

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Old 01-04-2007, 08:37 PM   #40
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Leo. To answer your question no, I was not shocked by the fact that I had drum brakes. I knew that going into it. My 5300lb Caprice/Impala SS Clone has front disc, rear drum and it too brakes fine as the a 3000lb Camry in relation to the size and weight differences. My real SS has 4 wheel disc and to be honest, it's all in the proportioning of the brakes that makes the 4 wheel disc much better, at least on that car.

I place a big tow vehicle in front of my coach not so much because I worry on how to stop, I know, even in an emerg, it stops great. I put a big tow vehicle in front because of wheelbase, and power to move 6300lbs of RV, 6000+lbs of SUV and about 800lbs of passengers, cargo, fuel, etc. When I test the brakes on the Safari as I am leaving, I can get the truck to stop with the trailer brakes alone at low speed. I also am not sure I agree folks put sway control on due to lack of brakes. As I said earlier, the drum brakes might not be as good as disc brakes, but they are not by any measure "ridiculously underbraked". I have 4 drums on the Safari and have seen 2 hard braking manuver situations happen. At no time did the brakes on the Safari (drum brakes) fall short. Now I do have 4 drum brakes cause I have 2 axles, compared to your single axle.

As for loving the 16', it's easy to understand way. It is a great unit to own an if you are happy with it, pulling the axles already, why not if $$ isn't an issue and it gives you piece of mind.

I have to believe though that the Airstream engineers knew what they were doing when they designed, built and sold RVs.
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Old 01-04-2007, 08:53 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
As I said earlier, the drum brakes might not be as good as disc brakes, but they are not by any measure "ridiculously underbraked". I have 4 drums on the Safari and have seen 2 hard braking manuver situations happen. At no time did the brakes on the Safari (drum brakes) fall short. Now I do have 4 drum brakes cause I have 2 axles, compared to your single axle.
I did find the drum brakes on my Tradewind ( brand new and well adjusted, btw) adequate at best for normal use on flat terrain, when towing with my Suburban 1500. Yes, they would almost lock up during emergency stops.
I found them downright dangerous, however, while attempting to descent Wolf Creek Pass a few years ago on the east side of the big hill. It took a lot of pauses to let the brakes cool, and a few times I felt like there were no more trailer brakes. To me, that was bad enough.
I experienced similar, although not as severe, situations when descending hills around California. To me, that does not prove that Airstream engineers really go deep into safety, nor does it instill great trust into electric drum brakes. I suppose that with an oversized tow vehicle, this might not be such an issue, but the closer the match of tow vehicle and trailer, the more one must rely on trailer brakes to stop everything in a safe and reliable manner.
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:18 PM   #42
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. . It amazes me...;-)...that there is no one in the RV world working with Ford (or Toyota or GM) to create a trailer chassis with serious brakes that integrate into the tow vehicle's ABS and VSC systems.
What about Honda? The Acura MDX has Trailer Stabilty Assist algorithms.
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