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Old 09-29-2007, 07:43 AM   #43
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lol, you remind me of the first omni's and horizons. if you lived on a hill, the first stop really took quite a lot of time/distance, and prayers!
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Old 09-29-2007, 11:09 AM   #44
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We have all considered this topic on our own. It comes down to this.

Is the expense offset by the advantages in performance and safty.

Most people won't spend $2,800.00 (dealer install) for a %2 gain.

Now the claimed gain is touted at %50. I really don't know how accurate that is. But in conversations with a friend who replaced his drums with discs and used the same tow vehicle in both applications he described the diffference as amazing. This without the risk of fade.

Any major improvement in braking is something that I want. The question becomes how to do it as affordably as possible. So I've been looking into DIY prices. Here's what I have so far if you are intersted.

These are the Airstream factory kits. I'll be looking into other makes too.

Airstream dealers in Ca. price for the kit is $1,600.00 and I have to drive 140 miles round trip to get it.

Inland R.V. is $1,650.00 delivered to my door. Andy pays for the shipping. The picture of the kit he supplies seems to include a can of bearing grease.

Since it is the Airstream kit and is the same wherever you get it. Free shipping is an important cost factor.

I'm not trying to convince anyone that they must go do this. I'm just telling you how and why I came to this decision.
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:05 PM   #45
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I would consider adding an exhaust brake on your diesel TV which significantly reduces the frequency of using the brakes on the TV and the AS.
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:49 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ostream
I would consider adding an exhaust brake on your diesel TV which significantly reduces the frequency of using the brakes on the TV and the AS.
Exhaust brakes don't help you in Calif. where the main worries are drivers who take yield signs and stop lights as mere suggestions and our low skill level run of the mill morons with drivers licenses.
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Old 10-01-2007, 05:29 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobkelly
Andy----In post #21, the suggestion was made that disc brake marketing would be neat at the next international and asked for a show of hands.

I like the idea also. As one who will be at the next international in Boseman, I'd be very interested in seeing them demo'd as well as test drives. A test drive of a new truck and airstream is not as convincing in selling disc brake options on new orders or retrofits to older models at the AS factory, without a comparison drive that isolates the disc brake influence.
Otherwise, unless I happen to already drive the combination being offered for test drives, I wouldn't know what to attribute the differences between my combination and the one from AS.

Airstream fronts the costs associated with their marketing efforts. The international will have the largest audience of any single AS gathering and the physical plant to support it, so it's the best place to do this, if it's in the cards from Airstream's business plan perspective.
Airstream, today, advised me that they did have disc brakes setups for people to test drive, at Bradenton and a few other rallies.

However, they never had those rigs available at the July 4th International rally.

Kodiak, had a hand in making those test vehicles available. To what degree, I don't know, yet, but I will.

I will post back with more information on when and where disc brake rigs might be available for test driving.

Towing a rig, even 1/2 mile or less and making a few stops, is all the experience someone may need to see how superior disc's are to electric brakes.

Andy
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:18 PM   #48
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I know i posted quite awhile back on this subject ,but what the heck .
I installed front disc brakes on my 68 IH travelall 4x4 ,it had 12" drums in front .The drums worked good ,not great ,not exceptional ,but good . The disc brakes are also 12 " with a matched booster and master cylinder .
The results are outstanding and it stops really exceptional now ,like a newer
vehical would stop . My 60 trdwnd has the original style 12" drum brakes
with original drums ,they are in excellent condition .I have replaced the
backing plates assemblies ,which by the way were very well made ,with
new dexter units ,the old plates had the large cones to prevent grease from
getting on the brakes should the seals fail ,a great idea . They work very
well ,no problems ,but my TV is heavy duty and the trailer doesn't have to
do a huge amount of work ,more likely its balanced well between truck and trailer .If you have a smaller TV like many have ,the brakes are smaller also .
Ive got 12" in front and 11 3/4 drum in the rear and 12" on the trailer so
alot of braking potential there .Smaller vehicals can benefit from disc brakes on the trailer ,like the one memeber here that was or still may be towing his Bambi (late model ) with a highlander hybrid .You would be shocked at the tiny brakes on that highlander ,but it worked great on his because he had
a marginal TV to start (no offense intended ) structurally a little vehical
that truely benefitted from disc brakes on the trailer .so then it depends on your situation and your TV and trailer weight ,length etc.Im staying strong
with the drums on the trailer ,but if I had a 32 excella ,those 12" drums
may be in need of a disc conversion .I would however be looking at a brake system with larger more robust brakes and calipars than the standard Kodiaks
have .


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Old 10-27-2007, 08:40 PM   #49
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I have great luck with the drums on my 04 28 safari and prodigy and find this information interesting on discs. Have any of you been following the tour of america with rich? He has 30 safari and blogging almost daily about the trip. His disc brake actuators went out in the boonies of oregon and real a real challenge finding mechanics and parts who can fix his problem. I would imagine most rv mechanics would find it, well, a learning experience.
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:33 PM   #50
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I just finished a 3.5 month road trip with my 25' safari. The mountains of West Virginia changed my mind about electric brakes. We stopped in Jackson Center and had disc brakes installed. There is a world of difference in the stopping ability of disc brakes over electric brakes. I now know that when I press on the brake pedal, the tow vehicle and the trailer are going stop in a safe manner. I can't quantify that the disc brakes are x percent better than the electric brakes were but for the safety of my family the $2650 was worth the expenditure.
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:49 PM   #51
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having really no trailer towing experience other than driving the 500 miles roundtrip to pick up my FC, i'm having disc brakes installed on my FC along with a new axle.

i've read a ton of info on the forums about disc vs. drum and in my mind there is no real comparison. discs are far superior in every sense. yes drums are still safe, but discs are safer.

yes, the cost of the discs are more expensive but since i was having to put a new axle and brakes on anyway, spending a few dollars more was a no brainer. plus the peace of mind and safety factor is priceless.
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Old 10-30-2007, 04:00 AM   #52
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Hydraulic Disc Brake Actuator Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by safari 28
Have any of you been following the tour of america with rich? He has 30 safari and blogging almost daily about the trip. His disc brake actuators went out in the boonies of oregon and real a real challenge finding mechanics and parts who can fix his problem. I would imagine most rv mechanics would find it, well, a learning experience.
Thanks, safari 28, for alerting readers of this thread, who may be contemplating hydraulic disc brakes, about an issue that has not been discussed here so far. When a part does fail on the trailer disc brake system, it may be hard to replace the part or to find someone who knows how to do it.

Rich Luhr’s hydraulic disc brake actuator failed on October 24 and he finally got a refurbished replacement on October 29. Behind-the-scene consultations with David Tidmore of Roger Williams Airstream helped Skipanon RV & Marine install the part, but even then, they didn’t know how to bleed the line. See:
http://tour.airstreamlife.com/wordpress/?p=877
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:33 AM   #53
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We have put 25,000 miles on Lucy in 16 months. We have been satisfied with the OEM electric drum brakes, but better braking is always good.

Our plan is to convert to disc brakes at the point that Lucy needs a major brake job. We understand that a major brake job on the drums would cost $750.00. We are planning to put that money toward a disc conversion at $2,800.00.

At roughly how many miles will Lucy need major brake work on the drums? We have service the hubs and brakes at 10,000 mile intervals.

Are my cost estimates in the ball park?

We do have some concerns regarding disc component failure. Are these concerns real?

Brian
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:52 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverGate
Thanks, safari 28, for alerting readers of this thread, who may be contemplating hydraulic disc brakes, about an issue that has not been discussed here so far. When a part does fail on the trailer disc brake system, it may be hard to replace the part or to find someone who knows how to do it.

Rich Luhr’s hydraulic disc brake actuator failed on October 24 and he finally got a refurbished replacement on October 29. Behind-the-scene consultations with David Tidmore of Roger Williams Airstream helped Skipanon RV & Marine install the part, but even then, they didn’t know how to bleed the line. See:
http://tour.airstreamlife.com/wordpress/?p=877
Anyone unable to understand something as simple as a disc brake electro-hydraulic aactuator should not be allowed to work on any vehicle in the first place. All these units come with simple, easy to understand instructions. It is beyond me how a professional could not understand this simple system and how to bleed it.
Of course that does nto change thefact that indeed it is a part that can potentially fail and disable the trailer.
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:58 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags
We have put 25,000 miles on Lucy in 16 months. We have been satisfied with the OEM electric drum brakes, but better braking is always good.

Our plan is to convert to disc brakes at the point that Lucy needs a major brake job. We understand that a major brake job on the drums would cost $750.00. We are planning to put that money toward a disc conversion at $2,800.00.

At roughly how many miles will Lucy need major brake work on the drums? We have service the hubs and brakes at 10,000 mile intervals.

Are my cost estimates in the ball park?

We do have some concerns regarding disc component failure. Are these concerns real?

Brian
Brian,
I think your estimate is about right. Your concerns for potantial failure are probably correct, although drums can fail as well. Personally, I have had zero problems with my disc brake system and actuator in over 2 years and about 10000mls. Even if I had a failure, I wouldn't go back to drums.
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:18 AM   #56
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i'm with uwe on this one...

ANY part can fail, but these disc brakes systems are really LESS complicated and have FEWER parts than the drum set ups...

while most rv service shops haven't worked on discs yet, that is a learning curve issue.

and actibrake/kodiac sell these things directly to owners that do installs...

yes it can take days to get parts but that's a universal issue...

i spent 3+ days stranded (ok camping) at a FORD service center waiting for a diesel oil pump replacement...

and there are zillions of these engines in service and 1000s of ford dealers.

moosetags...

it is hard to predict exactly how long your current brakes may last or how long discs will either...

many report getting less than 10k on the oem disc pads while i'm at 50,000 miles on the same oem pads with very little pad wear...

besides the o.p. is about performance/improvement, and NO ONE can dispute that disc stop better, fade less and perform better in virtually every application.

cheers
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