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Old 01-14-2012, 11:48 AM   #43
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2007 31' Classic
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brake line kinking

Could everyone please make sure that some of this brake lag or delayed release of trailer brakes isn't due to kinking of the flexible brake lines from the chassis to the calipers. You might not notice that the flexible line is being kinked by the chassis when the trailer is jacked up with the wheels off. You have to inspect the lines with the wheels loaded (ie climb under the trailer while it is on the ground and look to see if the lines are kinked or rubbing against the chassis anywhere). Remember, the wheel will travel upwards another few inches with bumps on the road, so you will be able to tell if kinking could occur.

I had to reroute the lines on my AS as this kinking (catastrophic design flaw by AS) ruptured a line with resultant complete loss of braking. Luckily it happened while driving around home (flat level country).

As far as brake lag is concerned, I had my local (auto) mechanic replace the 3/16" line from the actuator to the tee split going to the wheels with a 1/4" line. The theory was that some delay might be incurred thru the narrow line travelling the 10 feet or so. Perhaps there has been some slight improvement? Hard to tell for sure, as all of this has been quite unscientific.

Good luck solving your brake problems,

Paul
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:00 PM   #44
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What is the delay like when using the manual control? If there's no delay with the manual contro, then the delay could be with the tow vehicle controller. Does the pump come on instantly with pushing the brake pedal? It should be instant with pushing the brake pedal. Tow vehicle and trailer brakes work together as a unit, should be no delay between them.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:20 AM   #45
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There shouldn't be a delay when using manual control. I've found a slight delay is common...a split second for the actuator to come on and pressurize the line. I have a Ford ITBC and notice that even when I lift off the brake pedal, the brake controller keeps the trailer brakes engaged until I take my foot off the brake pedal completely. This especially occurs when I am on a downslope. I always tow with the fresh water tank at least half full, preferably full. The extra 400 pounds on the tongue eliminates sway, especially in cross winds and passing big rigs. I have seen newer Airstreams with kinked brake lines and as a result, uneven brake pad wear. Given all the problems with Actibrake, if I owned one, I would replace it immediately.
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:00 AM   #46
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What would you replace the "actibrake " with ? When I'm towing and apply the brakes I would perfer to have the trailer brakes be applied just a split second before the TV brakes but that never happends . I cannot always manually move the brake lever before applying the foot brake either . If I had my druthers I would perfer the older electric brakes until they get the bugs out of the hydraulic disc brakes . Disc brakes should be a big improvment over electric brakes but I think they introduced them before they worked all the bugs out of them . Has anyone ever used them with surge brake system ?
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:14 AM   #47
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It is very important to be sure the trailer brakes are bled and there is no air in the trailer system . Any air will cause a delay in the trailer brakes when applying the brakes . Unless there was an leak in the trailer brakes at one time and you ran out of fluid then replentished I don't know why there would be air in the system . It is a good idea to have them flushed out because of contaminants every couple of years anyway.
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:59 AM   #48
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I am using a Tekonsha P3 brake controller It is what the previous owner was using He had a 05 GMC I have an 09 Dodge
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:47 AM   #49
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Don.44,

Actuator replacement brand? I chose Carlisle. I have used their Tech Support and got help for one of my situations.

Air in hydraulic system cannot be over emphasized that this is a problem. If must be 100% fluid.

I'll admit to being a towing rookie by some standards, but I want integrated TV and AS braking with one action, my right foot. Yes, I know we have manual braking available. But reaching for the slider in a white knuckle traffic moment, what do the Sr. members feel about that?

I have talked to a shop recently that owns a brake pressure test gage set. The shop states they can remove a bleed screw insert the adaptor and gage and read actual PSI, check for PSI release delay and I'm not sure what else it can do, but very interesting service tool. I'd like to see a demonstration.

Don, what action has been taken and is in progress to get your problem resolved?

Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:16 AM   #50
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Don.44:

My trailer has the original Ausco disc brakes from the 70's. Due to the fact that the original vacuum over hydraulic actuators can no longer be serviced, at Inland RV's advice, I went with a Carlisle 1600 psi actuator and have been pleased. My tow vehicle is a 2010 and all the newer integrated brake controllers will work with an electric/hydraulic actuator. I run it at 6.5-7 as anything higher and I'll lay rubber. The disc brakes have been around for almost 40 years now. From what I saw of my fellow Airstreamer's Dexter disc brake system, they appear a bit more complicated mechanically than my Ausco system. When working properly, they really work well.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:55 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don.44 View Post
What would you replace the "actibrake " with ? When I'm towing and apply the brakes I would perfer to have the trailer brakes be applied just a split second before the TV brakes but that never happends . I cannot always manually move the brake lever before applying the foot brake either . If I had my druthers I would perfer the older electric brakes until they get the bugs out of the hydraulic disc brakes . Disc brakes should be a big improvment over electric brakes but I think they introduced them before they worked all the bugs out of them . Has anyone ever used them with surge brake system ?
Don.44
Don.44,

You're experience with disc brakes is exactly the opposite of mine and many others here on AirForums. I realize there is an age-old debate about electric vs. hydraulic/disc but your issue seems to be something else. I'm confident your problem can be fixed. It's certainly difficult to diagnose the issue via these posts. In the end you will have to go through the entire system yourself and rule out potential problems one by one or bring it to a shop for evaluation.

I know I'm beating the proverbial dead horse but your brake controller might be the place to start. Look at the manual in detail and understand all the settings. Perform some test drives with various settings so you understand (and feel) the changes while you're driving. I can easily set my controller so the trailer brakes start to engage before the TV brakes. You can also set the controller to fully engage the trailer brakes before the TV brakes are fully engaged. You should also be able to do the opposite. There are lots of possibilities.

For me, the disc brake installation is the single best upgrade we've made to our trailer. I hope you can solve your problem and feel comfortable with your installation.

Lucius
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