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Old 01-07-2007, 03:33 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
-yes, they are 'safer' but the difference is hard to measure.
-I was amazed to find out that drum brakes still exist - never mind that I had just bought two.
-I was amazed that they still had batteries that needed water.
-I guess I had assumed that Airstreams were like cars.
the difference with disc brakes is NOT hard to measure at all...

stopping distance, heat related fade and modulation are are easy to measure

and so apparent that even the butt-meter is useful...

as to the need for disc, it depends greatly on the tv brakes...as in how well do they 'match up' with the trailer....

i've met folks towing bambi with a cayenne and the drums could not keep up with porsche...

so they NEEDED and added discs to the trailer...

to regain control of the single axle...

single axle trailers may for that matter benefit MORE by the upgrade to discs...even at 3500lbs....

so, your issue is how well the highlander brakes work with a trailer and
how does the regenerative braking of the hihy interact with disc OR drum...

the 'amazement' that drums and lead acid water batteries still exist...
is more a reflection of a segment of society that thinks the 'next software upgrade' eliminates all previous versions...

this may apply to some software but clearly not mechanical or electrical or most other durable goods...

a/s used disc brakes on trailers waaaaaaaaay back and way before other trailer makers.....

they also tried composite glues and went back to rivets...

so there is no right/wrong answer to the tech-time warp sophomore question....
without understanding a/s history.

airstreams are somewhat like cars..
and unfortunately many car buyers care more about the ipod/phone/gps systems than brakes or batteries....

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-07-2007, 03:40 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by axleman
The best thing to do with anything mechanical is USE IT!


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Henry, I am going to follow that advice!
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:41 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
the difference with disc brakes is NOT hard to measure at all...
All true...I should have said that the difference is hard to measure without my having bought them first.

I know swapping drums for discs usually decreases braking distance 25-50%.
I know I don't want to depend on the tow vehicle to brake my trailer.
I KNOW I don't want to slam on my brakes in a curve and have my Bambi jackknife.
But I just have to guess that discs are the right choice for my situation.

enjoy,
leo

PS And I know that once I have the upgrades done I will share my experiences on these forums - hopefully helping the five or so active members caught in the same 16' Bambi GVWR vise who are considering the axle upgrade.
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:31 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
the 'amazement' that drums and lead acid water batteries still exist...
is more a reflection of a segment of society that thinks the 'next software upgrade' eliminates all previous versions...
Assuming that meant me, I'm more a segment of society that saw amazing changes in automobiles and knew nothing of RVs until recently. I can remember my grandfather cursing about his persnickety car battery...along with everything else in his car that had a mind to break. I also remember that he carried around enough tools and parts in his trunk to repair almost anything but a cracked engine block.

I can remember my father started out that way but that by the late 70s he became (quite happily) used to cars that just worked. It was our beloved Ryan PT 22 that required constant care.

enjoy,
leo

PS Old software never dies - the hardware or the user always goes first...;-)
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:26 PM   #75
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My company truck was a Ram 2500 4x4. I had to replace the rear disc brakes, rotors and pads (~$1500cdn) after only 20,000km. After one trip down a muddy logging road, the brakes were shot.

My new company truck is a Tundra with rear drums. No problems whatsoever. I've had mechanics tell me how rear discs in pickups put their kids through college.

The new 07 Tundra will have rear discs, which is a bad sign.


OTOH, my late 50's dodge has horrible drums all around. I will refit the front with discs, but keep the rear drums.
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:44 PM   #76
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Its all good

Leo, Hold your ground.....there will many opposing opinions.....as well as complimentary ones...but it is your friggin Airstream....do want you think is right and be proud of it....then tell us how it worked out for you. Thanks for your attitude for sharing.

John
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:18 PM   #77
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Gee, drum brakes and wet batteries. Interesting topic, Leo. I'm curious - were either offered as an upgrade option on the trailer? If they had added, say $2000 - $3000 to the price of the trailer, would you still have purchased it?

Lamar
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:49 PM   #78
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[quote=rickandsandi]But then again, my 1936 Piper Cub has no brakes.
how did you stop>? the crash method?
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Old 01-24-2007, 03:23 PM   #79
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how did you stop>? the crash method?
tail-hook

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Old 01-24-2007, 03:35 PM   #80
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seriously...the "no-wind" landing speed is 38mph in an aircraft that is very similar to the cub...cub's is close to that. subtract a typical headwind, and you're going less than 30...doesn't take much space to roll to a stop from that speed, especially on a squish-soft grass field, which is what they were built for.
don't really "neeeed" 'em. I'd miss them most for making extremely sharp turns while taxiing on the ground. you can typically lock one wheel, which causes the tail-wheel to caster over to 90-degrees, and the plane will spin around with a "0-turn radius" like a shopping cart. lots of small airports have no runway access at the ends of the runways; you have to get on in the middle, taxi down the long, narrow strip to the end, and do a "180" to take off in the other direction. Its handy to be able to do an "about....FACE!" and wind up at the very end of the runway.
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:13 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SafeHarbor
Gee, drum brakes and wet batteries. Interesting topic, Leo. I'm curious - were either offered as an upgrade option on the trailer? If they had added, say $2000 - $3000 to the price of the trailer, would you still have purchased it?
My big complaint is the axle - Airstream shipped the US spec Quiksilvers with a NCC of less than 100 lbs (51 lbs in my case). I realize that this problem is common to other brands of trailers (and gas powered motor homes as well), but it really tweaks me that to save just a few bucks on a $45,000 trailer Airstream chose to make its US customers either ignore the GWVR or buy a new axle.

The wet batteries just seem silly to me. On a $4,500 popup the savings make a difference - but on a $45,000 trailer? That said, it doesn't really matter since little of my money went into the wet battery and the Lifeline is a relatively cheap upgrade.

The drum vs disc brake issue is harder. Disc breaks were not available as an option (at least as far as I know) and I don't know what the cost difference would be if they did it in volume. I doubt it is more than $1,000...but $1,000 is a bit of money. Particularly since a number of folk prefer to depend on their tow vehicle for most of their braking needs.

What I really want is an ABS system like the one from sens-a-brake that keeps the trailer wheels from locking and helps keep the trailer from jackknifing. For disc brakes + ABS/stability control I would happily pay $2000-$3000.
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Old 11-17-2007, 09:39 PM   #82
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I think you've found that A/S owners are loathe to criticize the manufacturer of their trailers. As the company no longer has competition, it is obviously easy for them to a] ignore reasonable advances (batteries); and, b] no longer feel compelled to lead the pack (as there is no pack any longer).

The arguments above -- about brakes -- apply just as easily to low ground clearance/independent suspension.

Then, we'd "make the case" for higher maintenance costs for Henschen axles (against being buggy sprung); and the "virtues" of greater ground clearance in many ordinary maneuvers on and off the main roadway since the trailer would sit higher. After all, it ain't a Porsche and I ain't running 80 mph.

I notice that no one mentioned how often drum brakes have to be adjusted to operate properly. Rear drums on heavy passenger vehicles rarely stay in adjustment more than a couple thousand miles; the auto adjusters are worthless.

You are correct that a $45,000 trailer, advertised as being the best, ought to be up to date. Not to mention getting a grip on having become so porking heavy the past two decades.

The flip side of the question is a little more important: How many trailers does A/S sell yearly? It is serving a small market, and most buyers of TT's are buying p.o.s. SOB's quite happily.

I believe that you are also correct in wanting an ABS-like system. A/S ought to be in the forefront of that, and also be equipping their trailers with Hensley Arrow hitches (and putting their dealers through a meat grinder of hitch installation training, IMO).

Converting my trailer to disc brakes and Mor-Ryde independent suspension is on the list (as is an LP generator, etc, etc, etc). Some systems are simply better.

(And anyone with knowledge of the subject of big truck brakes will point out that the Europeans converted their truck fleets to discs a good while back. The truck industry lobbyists in this country convinced Congress and the DOT that the number of deaths preventable wasn't worth the expense . . . and if you've ever tried to emergency stop a big truck with those drums, well, let's keep it clean and call them worthless hunks of iron better used as anchors).

I hope you'll address your concerns to the manufacturer directly.
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