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Old 07-17-2004, 08:12 AM   #85
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The hydraulic brakes were tapped into the brake system of your car. My understanding was they worked very well. Many car manufacturers are not excited about tapping into the brake systems and electric brake controllers have improved dramatically so trailer hydraulic brakes have gone away. Parts are very hard to come by for those systems.

What I don't understand is why one axle was hydraulic and one electric, as I mentioned above, I thought the electric was an add-on - guess its original. Anyway, I'm going to replace it all - new axle, brakes, springs and anything that attaches to it. Thats the next project after I get finished with the floor.

Ken
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Old 07-17-2004, 08:24 AM   #86
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Greetings Ken!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
The hydraulic brakes were tapped into the brake system of your car. My understanding was they worked very well. Many car manufacturers are not excited about tapping into the brake systems and electric brake controllers have improved dramatically so trailer hydraulic brakes have gone away. Parts are very hard to come by for those systems.

What I don't understand is why one axle was hydraulic and one electric, as I mentioned above, I thought the electric was an add-on - guess its original. Anyway, I'm going to replace it all - new axle, brakes, springs and anything that attaches to it. Thats the next project after I get finished with the floor.

Ken
That may very well explain why my coach was converted when my coach's original owners purchased the new Mercury tow vehicle - - their previous Mercury would have had the single chamber brake master cylinder while the new car had the dual chamber brake master cylinder and may not have worked properly with the hydraulic setup.

Kevin
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Old 07-17-2004, 02:51 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64
Greetings Ken!



That may very well explain why my coach was converted when my coach's original owners purchased the new Mercury tow vehicle - - their previous Mercury would have had the single chamber brake master cylinder while the new car had the dual chamber brake master cylinder and may not have worked properly with the hydraulic setup.

Kevin
Kevin, that is correct about the mater cylinder. Dual chamber master cylinders were introduced en masse in 1966 on the 1967 model higher-end cars (like cadillac, lincoln, etc.) and the rest started in 1967, as 1968 model feature for almost all others.
Terry
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Old 07-17-2004, 06:43 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uwe
…How did the hydraulic end of it work? What was the idea behind it?
The hydraulic "thing" I removed from the tongue must have weighed 20lbs, at least, and it looked like a large part was missing…
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
The hydraulic brakes were tapped into the brake system of your car. My understanding was they worked very well. Many car manufacturers are not excited about tapping into the brake systems and electric brake controllers have improved dramatically so trailer hydraulic brakes have gone away….
I believe the hydraulic brakes were nothing more than surge brakes. This system works by a totally mechanical controller mounted on the coupler. I think this is what Uwe saw on his trailer. When the vehicle is decelerating, the trailer ball locking mechanism senses the force, and supplies hydraulic pressure to the brakes, This system is still in place on many class 2 loads & works very well. The only drawback is that the driver must flip a certain lever to allow the towed load to back up.

The early electric brake controllers, in particular the Kelsey-Hayes controller, were tapped into the vehicle’s brake hydraulic system. The brakes on the trailer however were electric. I do not believe hydraulic brakes on a trailer were ever directly hooked to the tow vehicle’s hydraulic brake system. Too much chance of air being introduced to the system.

The controller hooked into the hydraulic system worked very well. If nothing else, it was cool to watch the lever on the controller move anytime the brakes were applied. But modern day, Anti-lock Braking Systems cannot tolerate the fluid drained from the system.

Tom
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Old 07-17-2004, 11:05 PM   #89
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I'm curious.....

Not being familiar with today's "anti locks", why would pressure have anything to do with the tow vehicle's capability of handling a good hydro brake controler? My father has a '92 Dodge 2x with rear anti's and front standard disc. We tapped into the front (normal proceedure) at the master cylinder with a tee fitting, ran the line, hooked up the electrics and he AGAIN has the braking power of "yesteryear".

Is there somrthing at the master cylinder (and I mean AT) that prevents the use of the old hydro systems?

confussed and willing to listen and learn,

Oscar
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Old 07-18-2004, 04:22 AM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Bullet
...why would pressure have anything to do with the tow vehicle's capability of handling a good hydro brake controler? ...
The problem was that these controllers required displacement of brake fluid to actuate a variable resistor. In other words, the master cylinder saw the controller literally as another brake assembly. If the controller simply sensed the pressure, there probably would not be a problem.

While I do not know exactly why antilock braking systems do not get along with them, I imagine the computer would get confused if it saw more fluid leaving the master cylinder than is required for four brakes.

Tom
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Old 07-18-2004, 08:24 AM   #91
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Tom - I'm not sure that is correct, somewhere in my notes - if anybody really wants to know I can go look for it - but my understanding is the Airstream had a system that tied into the brake system of the car and was not a surge type system. It was a superior system when it worked - I do understand they had trouble with it and so it was dropped.

Not 100% sure, but better than 50% this was the case - I'm doing this from memory

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Old 07-18-2004, 12:15 PM   #92
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The hydraulic brake system that Airstream used, "was not surge."

In fact, it's is illegal to use a "surge" type brake system on a travel trailer. A few tent campers did have them.

It was a simple system (for then) of robbing some brake fluid from the rear axle brakes on the tow vehicle. It had a hydraulic hose that coupled to the front of the trailer above the jack, and connected to a piston.

When you applied brakes to the tow vehicle, that in turn applied pressure to the piston, which in turn, applied pressure to the hydraulic brake system on the trailer.

It's thought, back then, was admirable, in that one axle was electric and the other axle was hydraulic. WOW!! Can't lose.

However, as our brake systems changed on the newer tow vehicles, late 60's, the tying into the tow vehicle rear brake line was deemed hazardous, and therefore it was outlawed. Reason, was that it robbed so much brake fluid, that the rear brakes of the tow vehicle, barely worked.

Anyone that has the old hydraulic steup, must replace it with electric brakes.

Any Airstream tandem axle trailer that has brakes on just one axle, will eventually stop, but usually too late to avoid an accident.

Attached is a photo of the slave cylinder that was on the A-frame.

Andy
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Old 07-18-2004, 12:57 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
Tom - I'm not sure that is correct, ... but my understanding is the Airstream had a system that tied into the brake system of the car and was not a surge type system...
Ken,

Andy has posted what you remember. I stand corrected.

Tom
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Old 07-18-2004, 03:41 PM   #94
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Andy,

Why is a surge system illegal on a travel trailer? Surge systems are the norm for boat trailers. And for boat trailers that weigh greater than travel trailers. Surge systems on boat trailers are used because immersion in water (especially salt water) was not the best for electric systems. With technology changing electric brakes are making a presence on boat trailers.

However I do not believe surge brakes are illegal. They may be cheaper. Easier to install. Or more generally accepted than other systems. Illegal? I question that. I am sure the law would state allowable stopping distances not types of systems.

Tapping into an anti-lock system would confuse the controller of that system. The controller of an antilock system is releasing pressure to a brake or an axle when it senses wheel or axle movement that is slower (or stopped as in skidding) than the other wheels or axles or vehicle speed. Releasing brake pressure to the trailer brakes (in conjunction to the skidding wheel/axle) invites the trailer to push the towing vehicle. That push would create skidding of other wheels and/or a lack of control. It is control of the vehicle that the system was designed. ----- To back off brake pressure from wheels that no longer have a grip on the road, to a point that the tires will grip the road.

>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 07-18-2004, 03:59 PM   #95
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Action.

When towing a travel trailer, it can become necessary, and more often than not does, to apply trailer brakes only, so as to eliminate a "sway."

That is impossible to do with surge brakes.

Therefore it is the opinion of the states, that surge brakes are not legal on a travel trailer.

A boat trailer, while it can weigh equal to or greater than a travel trailer, does not have the mass of a trailer, and therefore cannot be made to go out of control by wind currents, such as those from passing trucks and buses.

Additionally, since they are much cheaper, if they were legal, every manufacturer of travel trailers would be using them.

No thanks, not for me.

Andy
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Old 07-18-2004, 04:03 PM   #96
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...A boat trailer, while it can weigh equal to or greater than a travel trailer, does not have the mass of a trailer, and therefore cannot be made to go out of control by wind currents, such as those from passing trucks and buses...
I believe Andy meant the Surface Area...

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Old 07-18-2004, 04:50 PM   #97
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Mass = weight. And mass is not the issue. Cause I have a boat and trailer that weighs 7500 #'s. I have seen regular production boat trailers to 10 or 12 thousand pounds. All with surge brakes. Too much or too little tongue weight can create sway on a boat trailer combo. And excessive speed could cause sway. The solution is to move the axle(s) forward or back to change tongue weight. Or slow down.

And may be Arizona is behind the times. Cause Arizona does not specify specific systems for braking, and rather performance issues for braking. Here is the link on AZ required braking equipment.....
http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/28/00952.htm.

I would suggest the market place, custom and added benefits are the reason for electric brakes on travel trailers. Not the law. And while I can see your opinion, (and it is the opinion of most other owners of travel trailers) it is your opinon and not law.

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Old 07-18-2004, 05:01 PM   #98
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There are many laws, besides the legal issues.

Safety is a great law.

Having respect for another persons safety is also a good.

Being a "protector" of ones family, is another.

Foolishness is not included in the "how to properly tow" formula.

What's to discuss??????

Surge brakes have absolutely no businees on any travel trailer, PERIOD!!!!!!!!

We can all discuss theorys and the like, but safety in towing has "Zero tolerance" for foolishness.

Surge brakes on a travel trailer are foolish, to say the least. But if your convinced it's OK, then please, for your sake, change your trailers brakes to surge.

Then take it on a couple hundred mile trip, and then, please, report back to all of us, in an honest way, of how many times you turned "white."

If your not sure, then instead of argueing about it, go do it. "YOU," obviously won't be convinced, until you do.

Andy
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