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Old 01-05-2007, 12:23 PM   #57
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I didn't even think to look at Leo's TV because I figured if he was so concerned with disc brakes he naturally would be doing the right thing with a TV. If Leo is towing with what has been said, add passengers, cargo and fuel, he's most likely over the rated tow capacity anyway. Given this new info, I'd be FAR less concerned about increasing the axles, because the TV will, if the trailer is loaded to capacity exceed the tow rating even further by a fairly comfortable margin. The disc barke part, though useful, won't really matter much. Always amazes me how folks can get so zoned on an issue and totally miss the other stuff (myself included). Hey, but hindsight is always 20/20, right?
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Old 01-05-2007, 03:29 PM   #58
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Wow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
This is all part of what has amazed me - how much of what is taken for granted in the world of RVing is different. And yes, it is a world of which I was completely ignorant and am slowly becoming less so.
Leo,

We all had to start our RV knowledge base somewhere - I bet you will learn much more - in the near future.

I, for one, respect your willingness to upgrade a brand new unit. Airstreams are great - but - the owners can certainly make them better, just as you are doing.

Trailers, in general, are not governed near as much as passenger vehicles.

Best Regards,
Henry
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Old 01-05-2007, 04:15 PM   #59
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Leo, I am not surprised at the use of drum brakes and wet type deep cycle batteries. As others have said, both work well and are very cost effective.

Yes, there are some situations where more brakes would be handy but many Airstream owners never take their rigs into the mountains. I have found that the drums on our 25' and our previous 22' work well in Cailfornia and the Rockies provided we stayed at the posted speed limit and didn't ride the brakes on long down hill grades. They certainly worked well in emergency stops which don't typically happen back to back on long grades. I don't associate the braking perfromance with a large tow vehicle (don't like acronyms, such as TV to tow the Airstream, it's attached to the wall in the galley). We towed our 22' CCD with a 6 cylinder Jeep Cherokee (not a Grand). Yes, it was at its towing capacity but with the hitch properly setup, brakes and controller adjusted we never felt unsafe, under braked or a lack of control. We did drop down to 3rd or second gear to help control down hill speed but always drove at the speed limit. I still do that with our current 3/4 ton Dodge Ram tow vehicle, it helps reduce unnecessary wear and tear on the brakes.

Regarding the batteries, properly cared for the deep cycle wet cell batteries can have a long service life and one can monitor and top off the level in the cells. Checking and topping them off frequently is necesary if you leave the Airstream plugged in to shore power very much without shutting off the battery relay since the converter will maintain them at a constant 13.8 volts with no float cycle causing them to gas off. Forgetting to turn off the relay on gell or AGM batteries will likely ruin a very expensive battery very quickly. From what I read about Airstream owners on the web, the Blue Beret, the various unit web sites and rallies. Airstream owners typically go where they can connect to shore power, water and a dump station or well equiped rest room nearby so the extra cost of the higher tech batteries would be somewhat wasted.

Those of us that find we use the Airstream to more extremes can upgrade brakes or better yet solar and gel or AGM batteries for our boondocking (where I put my money) when our wet type deep cycle batteries give out.
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:38 PM   #60
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Some of you people like wet cell batteries? Do you hand crank start your car too? If you want them I have two you can have. I got Ultimas first thing.

ljmii, When you picked up your trailer from the dealership you got a blank canvas to modernize and modify to anything you want it be.

Axles are easy to change so do what you want to make yourself comfortable.
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:45 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goin camping
Some of you people like wet cell batteries? Do you hand crank start your car too? If you want them I have two you can have. I got Ultimas first thing.

ljmii, When you picked up your trailer from the dealership you got a blank canvas to modernize and modify to anything you want it be.

Axles are easy to change so do what you want to make yourself comfortable.
Cars, hand cranks, or wet cells?

Jim
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:32 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
I didn't even think to look at Leo's TV because I figured if he was so concerned with disc brakes he naturally would be doing the right thing with a TV. If Leo is towing with what has been said, add passengers, cargo and fuel, he's most likely over the rated tow capacity anyway.
Not over. But yes, just on the right side of the published rating. (The issues surrounding Toyota's decision to give the Highlander Hybrid - with an extra 343 ftlbs of torque - the same tow rating as the normal Highlander has been discussed elsewhere).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Given this new info, I'd be FAR less concerned about increasing the axles, because the TV will, if the trailer is loaded to capacity exceed the tow rating even further by a fairly comfortable margin.
My HiHy, much as I like it, will probably be traded in about 3 more years. It is just a vehicle and therefore mortal. My Bambi, on the other hand, I hope to keep forever. It is after all an Airstream.

That said, for the next three years while I keep my HiHy and thus my trailer weight under 3500 lbs I do want to tow safely. And what really started me along the upgrade path was being unhappy with my tires - 215/75R14s, load rated 'C' and 1870 lbs. I do check my tire pressure before every trip, but even so, this seemed a little too close for comfort. Particularly after all I've read about the Goodyear tires' quality issues and the potentially catastrophic failure mode of a blowout. Also, 215/75R14s are relatively rare - if I drove over something that took out both tires I'd have to wait awhile where ever it happened. Which lead me to the 225/75R15s - load rated 'D' and 2540lbs. Which lead me to the axle upgrade which lead me to the disc brakes.

enjoy,
leo
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Old 01-06-2007, 01:25 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickandsandi
Most people have no idea what it takes to stop a TV and TT running at 50 MPH to a complete avoidance circumstance.
I couldn't have put it better myself.

30 years ago, the average driver of an oldsmobile cutlass* when presented with an avoidance situation would do something stupid and wrap their car around a pole. Today, the average driver of a camry when presented with an avoidance sitution will still do something stupid. However, the car will say...uh, no...apply brakes and power to the appropriate wheels and send the driver merrily along his or her way.

Yes, it is true that with either car a driver with the reflexes of a fighter pilot and years of driving experience would be fine. But the automotive world has recognized that most drivers are average and has put a lot technology into their cars to help keep the average driver from killing themselves and others.

I'm not saying that having better drivers would be a bad thing. Or that we shouldn't require real driver education and training before letting a person behind the wheel. I'm just saying that there is a technological disconnect between the worlds of the automobile and the RV. And that either as cause or effect, the expectations that people have of their automobile and RV are vastly different.

enjoy,
leo

*a best selling automobile from 1977
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Old 01-06-2007, 02:45 AM   #64
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hello Leo , remember, the camry guy is not towing a 3500# travel trailer
when presented with a dangerouse situation ,you have referenced the camry
a few times ,and it is a good car ,but not a TV in any stretch of the imagination .your doing all the right things to ensure a good safe tow
with your current TV ,but when you get a more capable TV at some point
you will be amazed at the difference it will be ,given its not a camry ,but
a tundra or a titan or some other vehical designed for towing a trailer .
you need not have to be concerned as you are about the trailer brakes not
being enough ,or living on the edge of being marginal on the weight and all .
your experience should be fun ,not worrysome each time your out on the road
traveling .i would agree that some upgrades should be made to the trailers
as in tires that excell without troubles and disc brakes are also good .I'll
say that having the tow vehical be more than enough still is the most
important thing ,after all thats what is towing all the weight behind you
and stopping it .One good thing about electric drum brakes is that they can
sit for years and still work fine ,given the wiring is solid and such ,no hydraulic
hoses to rot ,or master cylinder leaking out ,or calipars freezing up /leaks etc
due to non use .The most common thing on cars or trucks that don't get used much are the hydraulic brake parts deteriorate over time ,same for
trailers with hydraulic cylinders and other parts .that said ,the superior
braking of discs is undisputed ,they just work great.

Scott
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:38 AM   #65
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Good point

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottanlily
.One good thing about electric drum brakes is that they can sit for years and still work fine ,given the wiring is solid and such ,no hydraulic hoses to rot ,or master cylinder leaking out ,or calipars freezing up /leaks etc due to non use. The most common thing on cars or trucks that don't get used much are the hydraulic brake parts deteriorate over time ,same for trailers with hydraulic cylinders and other parts .that said ,the superior braking of discs is undisputed ,they just work great.
Scott
Scott brought up an excellent point....right on target and especially true if you store outside.

John
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:52 AM   #66
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Not quite sure!

Iím not sure that I fully agree.

The drum brakes enemy is rust. Bare gray iron seems to attract it. The drums will rust in a very short period of time while sitting. The longer they sit - the more rust. I have witnessed drum brakes destroyed from sitting for periods outside unprotected as well. Additionally, the drum brakes have other items that the elements are hard on as well, specifically, springs and magnets. I have seen magnets rusted to drums from sitting and springs that snap once activated from sitting and weakening from rust.

Not trying to flame any one - just experience. The best thing to do with anything mechanical is USE IT!

Just two cents from a retired axle dude!

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Henry
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:57 AM   #67
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You are right

Henry..another good point...can I agree with both of you?

John
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Old 01-06-2007, 11:01 AM   #68
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Sure!

John,

Sure you can. I tried to sum it up with "USE IT". That really is the best advice I can give.

Best Regards,
Henry
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Old 01-06-2007, 12:55 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
I couldn't have put it better myself.

30 years ago, the average driver of an oldsmobile cutlass* when presented with an avoidance situation would do something stupid and wrap their car around a pole. Today, the average driver of a camry when presented with an avoidance sitution will still do something stupid. However, the car will say...uh, no...apply brakes and power to the appropriate wheels and send the driver merrily along his or her way.

Yes, it is true that with either car a driver with the reflexes of a fighter pilot and years of driving experience would be fine. But the automotive world has recognized that most drivers are average and has put a lot technology into their cars to help keep the average driver from killing themselves and others.

I'm not saying that having better drivers would be a bad thing. Or that we shouldn't require real driver education and training before letting a person behind the wheel. I'm just saying that there is a technological disconnect between the worlds of the automobile and the RV. And that either as cause or effect, the expectations that people have of their automobile and RV are vastly different.

enjoy,
leo

*a best selling automobile from 1977
Do you really think 30 years ago that drivers were so bad that the highways were littered with wrecks and anytime someone pulled out in front of you, you hit a pole?

Of course there is a technological disconnect between the world of the automobile and a RV it is 2 different worlds. You would be better to compare cars and motor homes. I can tell you that a real serious technological disconnect exits between my truck and my Sail Boat.

You want to stop faster get a truck for a TV you will be safer and carry all the fun things that take hours to unload and reload. Have fun with your trailer use it up, it will last longer than that technological wonder Toyota. Many advantages exist on the trailing edge of technology.

Jim
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:04 PM   #70
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Well Henry ,Why am i not surprised to hear you dissagree ? I do however
agree to your point about the rust ,sticking drums and rusted springs .
I will say that if you leave drums or any other metal thing lying outside in the weather they will suffer damage .point is that on the trailer if its not sitting in the mud or in wet grassy fields all the time ,your not likely to have
rusted brake parts or damage.It takes moisture to get the rusting process going .i frequent the local automotive wrecking yards for many parts .the brake drums left lying out are pretty ruined for sure ,the ones in place on the vehicals with the tires in place usually are not ruined or rusted ,except for the normal patina or surface rust .)My 60 trdwnd sat for some years idle ,prior to my purchase and I found no rusty drums (cobwebs),magnets were original round style ,no problems there .I did replace the brakes and backing plates as the shoes were worn .I still have the original drums on it
and they are within specs .but yes your point is a good one ,i won't
have to worry about any hydraulic leaks on my trailer with the brakes .I will
check them on a regular basis for sure .Rusted magnets to the drums and such really sounds like a good amount of water penetrated those brakes causing damage to them .Vehicals can sit idle for along time and not have
any brake drum problems ,but definately can have brake fluid and cylinder leaks.If the trailer has sat for many years unused and uncared for it can as well suffer brake problems ,Im not advocating to not inspect trailer brakes or any vehical brakes and assume they are fine .all things being equal however ,
much more can deteriorate with hydraulic brakes assuming all is in good working order and not all old ,rusted and worn out .I have refit many old
classic vehicals that have been restored that rarley get used ,and your
right (use it) that suffered brake hydraulic failures ,hoses and cylinders
master cylinders all leaking ,yet were newly installed yet left to sit .The drums and springs ,shoes all fine .I tell them ,you have to drive it ,cannot
allow it to sit ,as this all will,happen all over again .most of these cars and trucks are stored inside and outside ,same thing .So thats my point to my
post on the drum brakes .

Scott
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