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Old 08-06-2011, 09:06 AM   #1
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Disc Brake status on new AS Classics?

I have searched the site and also read quite a bit about the Actibrake disc problem. It seems this has settled down with the recall and it appears that the Classics no longer come with disc brakes?

Question...first is it true the Classics no longer come with disc brakes...and second...are disc brakes an option now?...Classic only?

Any reports on how the "new" non-Actibrake disc brake set-ups are working?

Sure seem like they sb able to get disc brake set-up to work correctly?...not exactly "new" technology

Thanks...Tom R
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:31 AM   #2
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I have searched the site and also read quite a bit about the Actibrake disc problem. It seems this has settled down with the recall and it appears that the Classics no longer come with disc brakes?

Question...first is it true the Classics no longer come with disc brakes...and second...are disc brakes an option now?...Classic only?

Any reports on how the "new" non-Actibrake disc brake set-ups are working?

Sure seem like they sb able to get disc brake set-up to work correctly?...not exactly "new" technology

Thanks...Tom R
Actibrake, is history. They are out of business.

The best current disc brake actuator, that is reasonably priced, is made by Carlisle.

Disc brakes can easily be added to most any Airstream.

Airstream was using Dexter disc brakes, but there seemed to be many owners that had problems with the Dexters.

Andy
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:39 AM   #3
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Thanks Andy...my understanding is that NO current Airstream TTs come with disc brakes?

Does AS offer as an OPTION on the new classics? of so...what about new non-Classic models?

Thanks...Tom R

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Actibrake, is history. They are out of business.

The best current disc brake actuator, that is reasonably priced, is made by Carlisle.

Disc brakes can easily be added to most any Airstream.

Airstream was using Dexter disc brakes, but there seemed to be many owners that had problems with the Dexters.

Andy
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:18 AM   #4
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My experiences with disc brakes are:
If they are used regularily, they are great. If stored in wet climates or in salt enviroment, they will sieze up and are a PITA.
They hang up and drag, if not in new condition.
If you are not using you unit on the road every week, don't wish for disc brakes.
Dave
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:55 AM   #5
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Thanks Andy...my understanding is that NO current Airstream TTs come with disc brakes?

Does AS offer as an OPTION on the new classics? of so...what about new non-Classic models?

Thanks...Tom R
Tom.

My thoughts are that Airstream has had their fill with disc brake problems, and since they are sort of stuck with Dexter products, they then decided to at least eliminate the issue, from their shoulders.

Yes, disc brakes can be difficult, unless used periodically, so as to keep the rotors reasonably clean.

But the same problem also happens to cars and trucks, when not used often enough.

Then of course, we can look at electric brake drums. They too can just as easily rust or become corroded.

All brake drums and rotors, can be kept pretty much in OK condition, as long as sprinklers don't spray them every few days, or snow is allowed to pack them in.

If disc brakes proved to be more troublesome than electric or hyraulic brakes, then our auto industry would be in a world of hurts.

Andy
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:06 PM   #6
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No discs on any new models. If you want them after you buy the trailer it is an after delivery expense at a dealership or the AS repair facility can put them on in Jackson Center.
They way they explained it in 2010 is they can pull it out of the factory (brand new), take it to their repair shop, take off the new electric shoe brakes and install a disc system.
They will charge you to do all this.
Is it worth it? No way, not to me. The electric shoe type work fine.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:13 PM   #7
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Thanks Bluto,,,wonder if they still won't install as a factory "option" off of an order sheet? Doesn't make much sense to put on the regular brakes and then take them off

I wonder if there is a different "liability" issue for the factory if they are installed as OEM?

Thanks...Tom R

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No discs on any new models. If you want them after you buy the trailer it is an after delivery expense at a dealership or the AS repair facility can put them on in Jackson Center.
They way they explained it in 2010 is they can pull it out of the factory (brand new), take it to their repair shop, take off the new electric shoe brakes and install a disc system.
They will charge you to do all this.
Is it worth it? No way, not to me. The electric shoe type work fine.
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:36 AM   #8
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Tom R,
They wouldn't do it as an option when I ordered mine, and as far as I know, still don't.
My issue back then was trying to get larger wheels and tires and a set of flag boxes installed on the factory line as it was being built. I couldn't do either and would have had to have repair shop do the install. Ended up I didn't do either. I believe now at least the larger wheels and tires are a factory option, but I'm really not sure if that is for all models.
There are change ups that they will do to the trailer as a factory change. I had a eyebrow light put in above my main door and all one type of flooring, they will do that for you. You can also delete skylights, or add certain windows.
Things change from year to year so it's best to check directly and to get ideas of what changes other people were able to get them to do from other forum members.
Enjoy!
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:13 PM   #9
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Mine came with electric brakes. They work extremely well and have been trouble-free.

I like the idea of disc brakes. 2air, who is not currently active, was probably the biggest fan of them on the boards here. But in practice, many forum members have had many problems with them. In addition to the actibrake failures, there are compatibility problems with some brake controllers, inexplicable problems with lag, and problems with hoses wearing through or breaking due to bad routing.

I'm unconvinced that disc brakes on an Airstream, in practice, offer any overall safety or usability benefit over drums.

In theory they should require less maintenance over the long run but experience on the forum does not seem to have borne this out.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:21 PM   #10
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But you do stop some 30 percent shorter. I miss them now that I do not have them.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:58 PM   #11
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I think you can really tell the disk brakes with a marginal tow vehicle. I tow with a 3/4 ton suburban now and with properly set up and adjusted drum brakes work great. Low maintenance, cheap to replace anywhere, and not much to go wrong.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:08 AM   #12
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May as well argue in favor of bias ply tires over radials. Carburetors over fuel injection.
Etc.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:42 AM   #13
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Folks, I am going to go out on a limb here....and probably jinx myself, but I have had ZERO problems with my disc brake setup.
Still have the original actuator (AS VIN was on recall list, but the unit was not one of the affected units), Have no caliper issues and rotors are wearing evenly and without any grooving. Genesis Controller works well, with just a slight lag in apply timing.

There is some brake pad rattle over bumps, but Dexter is working on some anti-rattle clips and has sent me 2 sets of prototypes to try out. They aren't quite ready for prime time yet, but they are REALLY listening and working on it.

I do agree with the above....gotta use them to keep them in good shape, Same with discs on cars. If you keep it in extended storage, at least look them over for corrosion buildup and any seasonal lubrication/cleaning of slide pins, etc.

BTW, I always did this with my SOB drums too. They would sound like sandpaper on metal after storage, due to corrosion on the shoe surface and magnet surface.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:01 AM   #14
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Well, there are places where bias ply tires do better than radials and places where carburetion is still king. Not many, granted, but in specialized applications, ya' need to go with what works. And given the failure rate of disc brakes experienced by Forum members, this may be one of those applications. Also, the known incompatibilities with some OEM integrated brake controllers pose big issues with some disc brake brands that are not a problem with drum units.

I don't think there is any reasonable doubt that discs - when operating properly - give better fade resistance and can top drums in braking effort. And in a lot of applications they are MUCH better with ABS technology. But they're not perfect ... last week I was reading a road test (maybe by Motor Trend?) of the new Mustang ... they had a total brake failure with the disc brakes on this brand new high performance car. First in the magazine's history, the article said ... but I'm not gonna' put drum brakes on my tow vehicle, that's for sure!

In the case of camper trailers, many Airstreams (though not mine and probably not most Forum members) sit for months on end, often outdoors, exposed to sun, rain, snow, salt, blowing sand and dust, etc. That's not a good environment for disc calipers and the rotors. Not good for drums either, but drums are much less precise (that and poorer heat dissipation go a long way toward explaining why they don't work as well as discs when both are in tip-top shape) and are more tolerant of that sort of "abuse."
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