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Old 04-11-2018, 02:37 PM   #29
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I don't disagree with you Dan, but look at the appliances. All the same as the other brands. They have only recently gone to a good converter and tank level reporting system. Competitive pressure is a major force in the market. I have seen several posts on sites for well-reputed 5th wheels where owners were converting to disc brakes, so it may be an industry-wide thing. I don't think most owners think the cost is worth the benefit, mainly because most of them have never driven trailers with disc brakes. I was fine with the drums on my 25. I think discs only become advantageous for stopping power in the heavier trailers, i.e. above 7000#, but they also hold an advantage in the area of reliability and maintenance which is applicable to all trailers.

When I consider the substantially improved braking and compare the cost of the discs to the cost of my trailer and TV, it just seemed like the right thing to do.

Al
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:12 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
I think discs only become advantageous for stopping power in the heavier trailers, i.e. above 7000#, but they also hold an advantage in the area of reliability and maintenance which is applicable to all trailers.

When I consider the substantially improved braking and compare the cost of the discs to the cost of my trailer and TV, it just seemed like the right thing to do.

Al

Al

I dont agree. I want disc brakes in any size travel trailer I am towing because I want the additional stopping power, and like you say the superior control, predictability and feel that disc brakes provide along with the reduced maintenance. Disc brakes improve the safety of not just the trailer but the TV and the trailer. Disc brakes may be the difference between avoiding an accident and having an accident.

Regardless of the size of the trailer I agree with you that they are worth the additional cost.

Dan
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:16 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post

Competitive pressure is a major force in the market.

Al
In my opinion this single thing drives a lot at Jackson Center. Sure the trailer is premium. However they spend a lot on the coach or the body. Not so much on the rest of the trailer.

Like nearly every RV trailer manufacturer, it is the shiny things that sell. The running gear not so much.
Tires that are round black and cheap used to be the norm. That is changing slightly. Same for brakes. AS offered disc brakes and they didn't get more sales. Look for disc brakes to be an option again before they become standard.

And they will only become standard when the industry as a whole moves into that direction. If the industry stays with the majority drum brakes, AS isn't spending the money to go there.

>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:24 PM   #32
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Yup. Exactly the issue. The system adds cost, but eats profit and not everyone is aware of the advantages.

I have first hand experience at panic stops during rush hour in downtown Phoenix. Not my idea of fun, with both feet on the TV service brake, and the left hand on the AS brake controller trying to bend it past full power to the brakes.

Rocked to a stop, with all 8 tires smoking just inches behind the clown that decided the 'safe' space in front of me would fit his beat-up old Cadillac.

I suspect disc brakes on the Airstream would have helped my blood pressure stay lower. I avoid that area as much as possible now...I'm still amazed that the guy behind me managed to stop in time.
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:35 PM   #33
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I'm still amazed that the guy behind me managed to stop in time.

rmkrum

Ha, if you had disc brakes he may not have been able to stop in time.

Dan
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:29 PM   #34
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True, but it would have been HIS fault
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Old 04-13-2018, 07:33 AM   #35
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The arguments about disc brake price may as well be applied to torsion suspension. Or aerodynamic design. They won’t hold water . . the performance difference is huge. (TT size is an irrelevance.)
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:33 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
Yup. Exactly the issue. The system adds cost, but eats profit and not everyone is aware of the advantages.

I have first hand experience at panic stops during rush hour in downtown Phoenix. Not my idea of fun, with both feet on the TV service brake, and the left hand on the AS brake controller trying to bend it past full power to the brakes.

Rocked to a stop, with all 8 tires smoking just inches behind the clown that decided the 'safe' space in front of me would fit his beat-up old Cadillac.

I suspect disc brakes on the Airstream would have helped my blood pressure stay lower. I avoid that area as much as possible now...I'm still amazed that the guy behind me managed to stop in time.
“Too fast for conditions” can be an expensive lesson. (Comments here are general; above quote is example). While disc brake superiority is unassailable, panic stops have the rig pitched forward. WD really matters as both vehicles are pitched forward, and the rear axles doing less braking.

Let’s see: pickup without sufficient WD on both axles, TT nose-down at rest due to bad hitch geometry. And trailer drums. Maybe the second rate Prodigy controller . . .

. . could have been better on every count. And it’s what I see on the highway more often than anything else.

“But it was an accident!”

Yeah. “Driver fault”, on successively deeper levels. The difference between now and fifty years ago is that it’s far easier to have far better equipment (needing less maintenance) today than then.

We take radial tires for granted. That change was nearly miraculous in trailer towing.

The COMBINATION of radial tires and anti-lock disc brakes (with a sophisticated controller) really IS miraculous.

Want to see a mass exodus from pickups and related SUVs? Put them back on bias-belted 78-series tires.

And any other more sensible TV. No contest.

All the excuses and rationalizations go flying out the window on the first day of less than perfect weather or roads.

Drum brakes were “okay” when speeds were better understood in dynamic terms by the driver. One didn’t travel very fast — or, at all — given the heightened risk. Sliding was a phenomenon better understood, as it was a regular occurrence to get sideways to the direction of travel. How to mitigate that was at the heart of driver training.

Sliding in the rain is not the same as sliding on ice. With a trailer in tow, it was about trying not to jack-knife before coming to a stop. Intermittent traction, one could screw it up with not knowing how to use the brakes. Interval braking on the TV, and in a different way with the TT.

I had “an argument” with 2Airishuman some years back and it was on where to place the brake controller. Left hand, for me, just as braking is with the left foot. Right hand for steering and gear changes. Right foot for throttle. “All hands (feet) on deck”. All with particular responsibilities.

I’ve said before that I grew up in this. 3-4 week vacations. And that my Dad was pretty well the best driver I’ve seen. I’ve watched him slide the 14,000-lb car and trailer diagonally off the road with the trailer not coming out of alignment. More than once. IOW, where we stopped was determined in advance. HOW we got there was eye-hand-foot coordination. (And with a rifle in a snap shot. Birds on the wing).

Radial tires took much of that skill level away as necessity. Anti-lock TV brakes, still more.

The missing piece is still anti-lock trailer disc brakes. Stopping in a straight line is ALWAYS preferable.

Accepting less (too top-heavy a TV, bad WD, poor trailer brakes) is putting too much reliance on tires and electronic gizmos. There’s only so much they can do.

I can go through this with big trucks in the same fashion, but experience there is requisite to understanding an example. Suffice it to say that this late day appearance of disc brakes on them is almost as dramatic. “Almost” as the habits one acquires preclude much of the “too fast for conditions” bad habits of car drivers.

How to practice? Easy. Don’t need trailer. Take TV to scale and note variance between the TARE weight and what fully loaded would be. Then load it to that point. And drive it that way for a calendar year. Four full seasons. The secondary expectation is for higher in-city fuel economy plus tire & brake life.

Won’t do it, you say? Too aggravating? Too hard on the TV?

Those are both laughable. Problems existing ONLY between the drivers ears. An immaturity to be cut out. Refusal to break bad habits.

Boys, it’s public nose-picking. It’s how your driving appears to others. Brake and tire life should always exceed 70,000-miles. Empty or loaded. I’d feel ashamed if mine dropped below 100,000.

Disc brakes on the trailer give the better drivers a cloak of invisibility. A whole lot may have happened dynamically, but without undue outward appearance. First step is traffic flow. And only experience can teach it. Work & school commute miles don’t count. So, what’s left . . . ?

Smooth operation under all conditions is the hallmark. Anti-lock trailer disc brakes on the TT are the last socket in the set.

In big trucks, antilock was added to trailers FIRST.

Think it through.

.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:09 PM   #37
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The second photo in post #12 shows about a 4 distance between the flexible brake line and the frame. I am concerned that the line is hanging too low and that I just dont need the 4 clearance. I rotated the fitting and reduced the distance to 2. This can be seen in the photo below. I also covered the line with some plastic 3/8 wire conduit. I will tow the Airstream some and then check the brake lines to see if there has been any contact with the frame and make adjustments as needed. This is all trial and error. I dont know how else to do it.

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Old 04-15-2018, 05:33 AM   #38
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Dan,

Maybe get some Styrofoam and fab a block under the frame an inch or so below the frame. Drive over rough roads. Look at Styrofoam for witness marks from hose contact.

I'd have to look but AS ran the line down the center, then T'd L R and brought the line outside the frame and then the trailer T fitting. All of the axle line routing is outside the frame, not inside the frame.

And here you are 7:30 on a Sunday AM and I see two visitors are looking at this thread too.

Gary
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:38 AM   #39
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Dan,

Maybe get some Styrofoam and fab a block under the frame an inch or so below the frame. Drive over rough roads. Look at Styrofoam for witness marks from hose contact.

I'd have to look but AS ran the line down the center, then T'd L R and brought the line outside the frame and then the trailer T fitting. All of the axle line routing is outside the frame, not inside the frame.

And here you are 7:30 on a Sunday AM and I see two visitors are looking at this thread too.

Gary


Gary

Thanks for the styrofoam block idea. Ill try it.

I was originally going to run the lines on the outside of the frame but too much stuff in the way.

Dan
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:18 PM   #40
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Gary

I put some plastic/rubber electrical conduit on the bottom of the frame. This way if the flexible brake line impacts the frame there should be no damage. I secured it with good old Gorilla duct tape. I put white wheel bearing grease on it. If there is contact with the hose I should see grease on the brake line hose. Here is a photo.

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Old 04-15-2018, 02:52 PM   #41
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Good, a method to show range of operation and possible contact.
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Old 05-13-2018, 11:48 AM   #42
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Are the hood range panels English wheeled or straight cuts
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