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Old 03-05-2013, 09:48 PM   #1
Hillbilly Hagrid
 
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1973 29' Ambassador
Stanford , Kentucky
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Brake size?

I just purchased a new P3 Brake Controller and it confirmed what I already knew...Brakes shorted...I haven't had proper(or any) brakes for the last 10 -15k miles and I leave Friday for Edisto Beach/Charleston and Savannah...when I get back and before Springsteam I'm going to replace everything under it brake wise...I replaced bearings last year and adjusted brakes but its been a long haul since then...my question is what size are my brakes? do I just pull a wheel and measure the backing plate? I plan on purchasing new loaded self-adjusting backing plates probably from Inland RV...but I also want to replace the drums as I had to "retap" a few holes last time I repacked bearings..but I only see 10 inch drums on their page... I have a 1973 29ft Ambassador and any info on purchasing right parts first time would be awesome.....Thanks
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:13 PM   #2
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1979 23' Safari
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Unless someone replaced the axles and the brakes with 10" you have 12" electric drums.

Bill

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Originally Posted by KyMoonshine View Post
I just purchased a new P3 Brake Controller and it confirmed what I already knew...Brakes shorted...I haven't had proper(or any) brakes for the last 10 -15k miles and I leave Friday for Edisto Beach/Charleston and Savannah...when I get back and before Springsteam I'm going to replace everything under it brake wise...I replaced bearings last year and adjusted brakes but its been a long haul since then...my question is what size are my brakes? do I just pull a wheel and measure the backing plate? I plan on purchasing new loaded self-adjusting backing plates probably from Inland RV...but I also want to replace the drums as I had to "retap" a few holes last time I repacked bearings..but I only see 10 inch drums on their page... I have a 1973 29ft Ambassador and any info on purchasing right parts first time would be awesome.....Thanks
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:15 PM   #3
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You probably have 12" x 2" sized brakes, but Andy @ Inland Rv will confirm that for you, or guide you where to look, etc...
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:40 PM   #4
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Crawl under the trailer and count the bolts that hold the back plate to the axle. If there are 4 bolts, you have 10" brakes. If there are 5 bolts, you have 12" brakes.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by KyMoonshine View Post
I just purchased a new P3 Brake Controller and it confirmed what I already knew...Brakes shorted...I haven't had proper(or any) brakes for the last 10 -15k miles and I leave Friday for Edisto Beach/Charleston and Savannah...when I get back and before Springsteam I'm going to replace everything under it brake wise...I replaced bearings last year and adjusted brakes but its been a long haul since then...my question is what size are my brakes? do I just pull a wheel and measure the backing plate? I plan on purchasing new loaded self-adjusting backing plates probably from Inland RV...but I also want to replace the drums as I had to "retap" a few holes last time I repacked bearings..but I only see 10 inch drums on their page... I have a 1973 29ft Ambassador and any info on purchasing right parts first time would be awesome.....Thanks
Your Airstream was built using 3200 pound axles equipped with 12 inch electric brakes.

It's very easy to confirm what size brakes are on any travel trailer.

Look at the backside of the brake assembly. It is mounted on a plate that is welded to the axle spindle.

If the plate is square, with 4 bolts, then the brakes are 10 inch. If that plate is round, it will have 5 bolts, which are then 12 inch brakes.

Andy
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:10 AM   #6
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The 10" brakes on our Caravel use 5 lug wheels.

The 12" brakes on our 27' Excella use 6 lug wheels.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:16 AM   #7
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I have a 29ft sovereign, 1987. I have 10" brakes. I have been told that Airstream changed to 12" on the larger trailers in mid 1987.

You should be able to find a trailer manuf close to you that is a Dexter dealer.

There is no comparison size wise when you look at a 10" vs. 12". Take one of your drums off and take a couple measurements. 12" are hugh compared to 10".
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:33 AM   #8
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The 10" brakes on our Caravel use 5 lug wheels.

The 12" brakes on our 27' Excella use 6 lug wheels.
Jim.

The size of the brakes has nothing to do with the number of studs or nuts that are on the drum.

The 4 lug wheels were used many many years ago on the very smallest Airstreams, but not for long.

Andy
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:00 AM   #9
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I have 12" brakes on my 1979 23' Safari.

Bill

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I have a 29ft sovereign, 1987. I have 10" brakes. I have been told that Airstream changed to 12" on the larger trailers in mid 1987.

You should be able to find a trailer manuf close to you that is a Dexter dealer.

There is no comparison size wise when you look at a 10" vs. 12". Take one of your drums off and take a couple measurements. 12" are hugh compared to 10".
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:02 PM   #10
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Before you buy the brakes check your axles, if they need to be replaced to it would be cheaper and easier to replace all at once.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:57 AM   #11
Hillbilly Hagrid
 
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1973 29' Ambassador
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Thanks everyone....It's sitting in snow right now but I am pulling it to the beach and warmer weather tomorrow.... I'll crawl under it and count the backing plate bolts....pretty sure they are 12 inch....where do I purchase New drums?.....and about the axles....what do I look for to determine if they need replaced?
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:21 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by KyMoonshine View Post
Thanks everyone....It's sitting in snow right now but I am pulling it to the beach and warmer weather tomorrow.... I'll crawl under it and count the backing plate bolts....pretty sure they are 12 inch....where do I purchase New drums?.....and about the axles....what do I look for to determine if they need replaced?
Torsion axles, do not have a forever life.

Typically, they last ball park 25 years.

Torsion axles have rubber rods in them, that must be exercised. If not, the rubber can solidify or even get gummy. Typically, if a torsion axle has weight imposed on it, but not used for a couple of years or so, the lack of use destroys the rubber rods.

The following article will help you to check them out.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Andy
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:03 PM   #13
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1979 31' Sovereign
Northeastern , Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post

Torsion axles have rubber rods in them, that must be exercised. If not, the rubber can solidify or even get gummy. Typically, if a torsion axle has weight imposed on it, but not used for a couple of years or so, the lack of use destroys the rubber rods.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Andy
If a trailer is going to sit for awhile, would simply jacking each side of the trailer up and spinning the wheels help to prevent solidification or gumminess of the rubber rods?
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:46 PM   #14
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If a trailer is going to sit for awhile, would simply jacking each side of the trailer up and spinning the wheels help to prevent solidification or gumminess of the rubber rods?
Yes indeed.

If a torsion axle equipped trailer is placed on jack stands so that the vast majority of weight or stress has been removed from the rubber rods, the rubber rods will stay alivefor a long long time.

Andy
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