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Old 08-22-2010, 09:19 AM   #71
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Not sure about Airstream "creating a lot of good will" and being "pro active" I think if you consider the lawsuit should someone get seriously injured or killed because of these faulty acuators, Airstream is just doing what I'm sure their attorneys advised them would be the least expensive in the long run. Just good business and a mininum of o " good will".

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Old 08-22-2010, 12:09 PM   #72
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Oh, and as far as pro active, this problem isn't new. My first actuator went up the day I drove my unit home from the dealer. That was four years ago and when I contacted Actibrake, they were aware that there were problems then.

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Old 08-24-2010, 06:08 AM   #73
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2007 25' Classic
marco island , Florida
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spoke to "dave" at airstream yesterday:
732 units recalled
they will inspect and if no're on your way.
they will ONLY replace if they find a leak.
when i questioned him about "what if it starts leaking 6 months from now...his reply was it would be my expense to fix...they are only doing this initiasl recall check because that's all the nhtsa requires them to do "check the unit 1 x"
i explained that i found this unacceptable and that i wanted the controller replaced with the dexter unit...he said i would have to pay for that. it was not airstream fault that actibrake built a bad unit...they were out of business and airstream is merely trying to help their customers out because the controllers were out of warranty anyway....and besides the dexter could fail too.
i am now on my LAST Airstream...i'll get the controller replaced at my cost.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:02 PM   #74
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Decision made not to trust the its not leaking now so its OK concept.

I ordered and rec'd a new Carslile from Andy, pretty good looking unit, actually looks like it is servicable at the factory, aluminum case, screws etc. One not very publicized feature is a bleed screw on the unit to minimize the air injected into the system during install, that doesn't make it work better it just shows they were thinking about servicing, final bleeding should be less bubbles, more DOT 3 purging.

I'm not real concerned about bleeding the system, confident in fact.
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L 6 Speed
16" Michelins, Hi Spec Wheels, Max Brake, Carslile Actuator, Equal-i-zer, Dill TPMS. Campfire cook.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:05 PM   #75
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2006 25' Classic
Floyds Knobs , Indiana
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I installed the Dexter today and I have the prodigy P3 brake controller.

I have a question for those of you who have installed the Dexter.

The Dexter manual says that when the brake pedal is depressed the brake controller should supply 3 volts to activate the pump. If I set the brake controller to 11.4 volts to get that 3 volts when stopped then I will be skidding the tires during the manual 15 mph check. If I adjust the brake controller voltage to 9.3 volts which is just prior to skidding then when stopped I will only get 2.4 volts. It seems to stop just fine with the setting at 9.3 volts but I am worried about long sweeping mountain turns and the Hensley giving me the bump. Plus wouldn't it be a bad thing for the pump to run constantly at stop lights?

Any thoughts from those who have this combination?

Thanks Pappy
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:53 PM   #76
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I installed my new new Carslile this weekend it is not very mechanically or electrically difficult, if you can use a soldering gun, that is a plus. I crimped, soldered and heat shrinked each connection. The only challange is bleeding and knowing when you are seeing correct results. I got the better 1/2 to work the controller in the cab, bled, added, changed position, bled, added change repeat repeat repeat. So far so good, I feel that I have a syncronized application, but a long trip will tell the tale.

New Carslile, new Dill TPMS, 4 new MAXXIS, it's time to relax my back and c-card.

The TPMS is looking very interesting so far.
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L 6 Speed
16" Michelins, Hi Spec Wheels, Max Brake, Carslile Actuator, Equal-i-zer, Dill TPMS. Campfire cook.
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:11 AM   #77
2009 30' FB Classic
New Boston , New Hampshire
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I have a defective type 2 on my 2008 30FB being replaced with a dexter unit, this is the first unit this dealer has found defective, so they had no experience.
the dexter unit has a much smaller footprint so it will leave a large opening in the bottom of the chamber where road grime will be allowed to enter the compartment and cause corrosion of the connections and create other issues.
When I picked up the trailer, I decided to take a look at the installation.
First of all, the original unit had a multi pin connector for the terminals to connect to the actibrake unit, this has to be cut off and each wire to the dexter unit needs to be individually connected/spliced. When I inspected the installation, the dealer had used residential type wire nuts, in fact one of them came disconnected when i pulled the rats nest of wiring created out for inspection.

Secondly the dexter manual calls for a minimum wire size of 12 ga capable of 5 amps power. Our rig has a 16 gage, the dealer was going to overlook this and not rewire the proper wire size because there was not enough time allocated for the fix.

Here are suggested items:
1) be sure wiring is replaces back to the terminal block with 12 ga
2) all connectors use a but type connector, and all wires connectors have a heat shrink tubing
3) the bundle of wires after item 2 is complete should have an outer armor protective shield.
4) the compartment needs to be cleaned and undercoated, brake fluid a extremely corrosive and will destroy any finish it comes in contact with.
5) the penetration hole for the wire bundle into the controller compartment must have a grommet to protect the bundle from abrasion
6) the compartment should have a modified sheet metal work to close the large hole created by the smaller unit.

This brake unit is at the top of the list for safety, is a connection fails, its not like a water pump failure, I suggest you watch your dealer, there are some extremely good mechanics out there and then there are some that have no experience.
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:47 PM   #78
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2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Lenoir City , Tennessee
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Inspected - now what?

A local RV service shop did the inspection of our actuator, following the guidelines from AS with the promise that any replacement could be obtained from AS. Inspection showed the unit to be fine.

Now that the initial inspection has been done is there something that we can inspect ourselves periodically to see if a problem does develop? I don't want to rush into purchasing a new one just to purchase one (after all, no guarantees that a replacement won't have problems). But, I would like to keep on top of this.
Kelly & Matt
WBCCI - #4335
2005 Diesel Excursion
2008 31' Custom Classic "Moonshine"
2016 Interstate "BugOut"
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Old 09-05-2010, 02:47 PM   #79
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1992 29' Excella
Van By The River , Georgia
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Questions... Questions...

Originally Posted by kfrere View Post
Now that the initial inspection has been done is there something that we can inspect ourselves periodically to see if a problem does develop?
Ours has not been insected yet as we just learned of the recall through the Blue Beret. Ours is definitely a version 2 and it was installed at the AS factory as an aftermarket unit. Based on posts I've read here I think it will be included in the recall. I'll check on Tuesday when the factory opens after the Labor Day holiday.

I'm surmising the inspection hole can be used to periodically monitor the unit. If fluid ever appears at the hole you know the unit has been compromised. It may stand to reason that the hole will allow fluid to escape and may therefore avoid the failure mechanism mentioned in the recall. I'm not suggesting this is a fix but maybe it gives a little peace of mind to those whose units are found to be "good."

Of course you should always check your fluid level. If the level is found to be unusually low you should check for a leak or other problems.

Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:07 PM   #80
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Does anyone have an estimate of the cost to replace the brakes? We are at the AS Factory this week for the recall.
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:26 PM   #81
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1978 25' Tradewind
NEW LENOX , Illinois
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Actibrake inspection hole location

For those of you planning to do the ActiBrake inspection yourself, here is a better picture of the inspection hole location - the red arrow is pointing to the 'hole' located roughly under the drill chuck.
The white spot that the drill bit is pointing to is not the hole location (I am glad I asked before I drilled...)

Jim at Airstream customer service sent this pictureover to me.

John H
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:49 AM   #82
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Georgetown , Texas
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Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
this is by NO MEANS an experience opinion, so don't bank it....

but, i don't think there is ONE narrow set of clues to the failure...

short of smoke or hydraulic fluid dripping.

and apparently the actuator can display failure in one of 2 ways...

1. no brakes (when the tv brakes are in use) or...

2. FULL ON brakes without using the tv brakes...

#1 is less of an IMMEDIATE split second danger since MOST tv that are adequately equipped can slow the trailer down.

an experienced driver will quickly realize the trailer brakes are NOT working (with the longer/heavier streams)...

and slow down, then drive accordingly and directly somewhere for help.

#2 is more of a concern (in my view) because FULL sudden braking by the trailer when not expected, could lead to tires skidding...

and other sphincter activating surprises.

clearly anyone with INTERMITTENT brake function should pay attention to the signals.

((see questions and answers posted in blue in my earlier posts and #20,21,27,28 ))

and if PULLING the breakaway pin doesn't activate the pump 'normally' that's a sign to be aware of during hookups.

i am guessing the failure rate is SMALL but the potential is real.

and they've now identified WHY this MIGHT happen.

a reasonably mechanical owner could LOOK at the online schematics for the BOX and figure out HOW to look for leaks...

but that's not a substitute for a careful inspection.

of course is THAT (a careful inspection) possible at CW?...

i personally would NOT got there, but instead head to AoA in searcy, or st louie, or j/c.


I have a copy of a NHTSA recall notice dated Jan 3, 2008 regards to Actibrake and potential for failure due to wiring issues.

Is this the recall generating the very real concerns and that the folks in JC have recalled AS's??

The reason I ask is that I have the grey, type 2 system. It was installed in May of 2008, and over some 17,000 miles has never been a problem (If I had a piece of wood nearby I would nock on it.)

Having asked this question I have an scheduled service in a week and will have the unit inspected.

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Old 11-05-2010, 10:56 AM   #83
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the recall that is the seed for this thread is linked in post #1...

owners were notified around august/2010.

please post an image of the notice/recall/document u have in hand.

or a link or some reference we can all view.


all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:26 PM   #84
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Georgetown , Texas
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The NHTSA recall notice I read has to do with how ActiBrake system are installed in Doubletree RV's and does not apply to Airstreams. It discusses a wiring problem between the RV and the ActiBrake:

"Recall Date
January 25th, 2008
Units Effected
NHTSA Campaign Number
Defect Summary:

I contacted Jackson Center about my model A-1-14 ActiBrake system installed in May of 2008 on my 2008 International and was advised that it was not the model they were concerned with - the model they are concerned with is the A-1-16."

My system was installed in May/2008 by Roger Williams in Weatherford, TX and they have since stopped selling or servicing Airstreams. JC did say if I had had the A-1-16 installed they would cover the cost of replacement if necessary.

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