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Old 10-30-2007, 12:58 PM   #57
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Cost arguement

For me, I went with the Disc brake setup because the difference in cost was not that great. I needed compltetly new axles anyway and the cost difference between electric and disc was only $318 total for both axles. The biggest cost was the $600 actuator. So I figured that for $900, it was worth the one time that I needed to stop quickly. If I have an accident in the future, I can never say to myself, "If I only was able to stop 10ft shorter." It is worth the piece of mind.
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Old 10-30-2007, 09:17 PM   #58
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Me Too!

I too am a fan of the Kodiak/Actibrake Disc Brake System.

Testing at our facility, when I was in the axle business, showed a 47% gain over drum brakes.

Do some shopping as there are multiple sources for the Kodiak system - example: Kodiak Disc Brake Conversion Kit, 3,500 lbs. 5 on 4-1/2" HRCM-10KIT : Trailer hitch bike rack and trailer hitches - etrailer.com

I would however, use the Actibrake actuator, as opposed to the one shown in the link.

Dexter also has a solid "Disc System" - but the folks a Kodiak have been doing it for much longer than Dexter!

Additionally, being an Ex-Axleman, I would go the Stainless Steel route!

Regards,
Henry
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Old 12-24-2007, 10:50 AM   #59
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I had a BrakeSmart installed when we bought a new truck in May of '06 as I knew eventually I'd have disc brakes put on our anticipated new (er) Airstream. Because it advertised it worked on both electric and hydraulic. But now Airstream is saying the only controller approved is the Prodigy?
Hensley is telling me their TruContol works with the Airstream disc brakes but Airstream says no.......I'm told the Brake smart will work, but at reduced braking. We have a 2004 34ft with slideout.
opinions?
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Old 12-24-2007, 11:42 AM   #60
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Disc\Brakesmart

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFDureiko
I had a BrakeSmart installed when we bought a new truck in May of '06 as I knew eventually I'd have disc brakes put on our anticipated new (er) Airstream. Because it advertised it worked on both electric and hydraulic. But now Airstream is saying the only controller approved is the Prodigy?
Hensley is telling me their TruContol works with the Airstream disc brakes but Airstream says no.......I'm told the Brake smart will work, but at reduced braking. We have a 2004 34ft with slideout.
opinions?
We purchased a Brakesmart controller and it has worked great.
We were an early Disc-Brake convertee, about 4 years ago. Airstream was not advocating the conversion then. Actibrake we did not have any information on Actibrake. We started out with another manufacturer (later went out-of-business) Now we have Actibrake. The Brakesmart works great, when we replace our tow vehicle, we may look at TruControl, (I think it may have a colaboration with the old Brakesmart group but I may be mis-informed)

FYI, A friend purchased a new Ford with the built-brake controller, I was designed to communicate with electric hardware, he had alot of major problems with this system working with his disc/Actibrake. The dealer/manufacuter was no help to him so he purchased another brand of controller. That been a year ago so perhaps Ford has address this issue since then.
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Old 12-24-2007, 04:29 PM   #61
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I should have also noted......I had my fathers '77 31ft unti 1 year ago, and up until a year before that, it had the ExcellaVac Disc brakes. The system finally gave way, and at the time, it did not seem cost effective to put the new discs on a trailer I knew I'd be replacing.
I really miss the discs, and plan to have the new system installed this spring on our 2004 Classic Limited slideout lounge.
Again, Airstream insists only the Prodigy will work........I wonder if that's simply because that's all they've "certified" for the system? ie tested?
Dan
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Old 12-24-2007, 05:53 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFDureiko
...But now Airstream is saying the only controller approved is the Prodigy?...opinions?
approved by airstream?

they don't make any brake components, lines, controllers or actuators...

so decide which brakes and actuator ya want, then contact the folks that DO make these bits.

the factory uses dexter brakes on the line, and the service center uses kodiak for upgrades/retro fits...

actibrake makes the brains/reservoir/actuator that they use.

my unit has kodiak/actibrake and they work PERFECTLY with the ford integrated brake controller.

actibrake has had 2 revisions in the actuator and ford has tweaked the software a time or 2...

so there have been some compatibility issues and tweaks needed by others, and that's all well documented here, in other threads.

the 'tru-controller' also works with the kodiak/actibrake combo...

while the a/s service shop is good, they still don't understand how i've managed 2get 50,000 miles of trouble free braking with my combo...

which btw they 'approved', whatever that means.

so check the compatibility issues with the specific vendors.

IF you have any issues once the system is installed, it's the component makers that will sort things out.

cheers
2air'
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Old 12-24-2007, 06:26 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbaker
FYI, A friend purchased a new Ford with the built-brake controller, I was designed to communicate with electric hardware, he had alot of major problems with this system working with his disc/Actibrake. The dealer/manufacuter was no help to him so he purchased another brand of controller. That been a year ago so perhaps Ford has address this issue since then.
Did they sync it? I had no problems with mine once it was figured out that the batteries were disconected and the thing needed to be resynced. I was not aware it was done the frst time. Otherwise I would have caught it when the problem happened. I have an 06 with the tow command and it works better than my prodigy did.
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Old 12-24-2007, 07:17 PM   #64
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I concur with 2Air. I contacted the elect/hydraulic pump manufacturer and they provided a list of compatible controllers.
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Old 12-25-2007, 07:50 AM   #65
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combo...

We have a 34' and use the BrakeSmart unit without any problems, maybe that is because we have a triple axle and have more than enough brakes! I have heard that folks with single and tandem axles and the BrakeSmart unit combo had some problems.

I also know that Kodiak and Actibrake are introducing a new controller, "Direct Link" - I believe is the name. It was introduced at the RV industry trade show earlier in the month. Everything I hae heard about it is great.
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:18 AM   #66
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I was at the Airstream factory in May and in July 2008 in route to and from PA. In May I had an issue with super grabby brakes on the trailer. I mean by barely touching the brake pedal I could nearly smoke the trailer tires. I played around with the Brakesmart controller settings and it didn't do much. However, by the time I got to the factory, brakes were working fine. Factory test drove it and didn't see anything wrong. After we left the factory, brakes worked fine for awhile but I did lose the trailer brakes once. I disconnected the coach batteries as well as the 7 pin cord and the Actibrake computer reset itself. This set seems key if you have a brake issue. The rest of the trip to PA and 2 months later back to the mothership then back to WI resulted is no problems. The factory suggested changing the brake controller to one on their list if the problem occurs again as Brakesmart is not on their list they provided me of approved controllers for with with Active Technologies ActBrake. This surprised me because I had researched it early and concluded Brakesmart was on the list. Here's the list of approved controllers from the factory as of 6-14-07: Tekonsha Prodigy/Drawtite Intella-Stop Ultra; Hayes Genesis; Tekonsha P3; Tekonsha Primus/Drawtite Intella-Stop Digital; 2006 & 2007 Ford/ does not work properly with all 2005 models; Hayes Energize XPC; Hayes Endeavor, Hayes Energize III, Hensley Tru-Control. Comment is made on the sheet that it does not work with Tekonsha Voyage, Drawtite Intella-stop, or Jordan Ultima. They say call Active Technology at 515-285-0195 if your brake controller is not listed before using with Actibrake electric/hydraulic brake system.

I saw a couple posts of Brakesmart owners that may have changed to TruControl controllers with Hydr brakes. If so, please post your results. Thanks.
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:04 PM   #67
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HOOKEDONCLASSICS,


As I understand, TruControl purchase the patients of the Brakesmart, the engineerining and it was redeveloped/engineered into the Tru-Control unit with new/their own specfications.

My 03 Excursion had the Brakesmart installed about 2004, it's tapped to o the master cylinder to get the pressure reading. I never once had any problem with the Brakesmart. I really like it since you never adjust the gain, the trailer brakes are applied at the pressure reading of the tow vehicle.

I did have a problem with the new (then 2004) Actibrake. After several cycles and short periods of non use, the Actibrake would go to sleep and render me with no brakes. Actibrake sent out to my Airstream dealer, the revision included a circuit board, this recall fixed the problem. No other failures were had.

Airstream in 2004 had early failures of the Actibrake too (unit going to sleep) and these units were outfitted with the same revision as mine.

I you should contact Actibrake with your serial number and see if your Actibrake could have an issue that you should be aware.

Yes, Brakesmart is not on Jacson Center's list but it's not made anymore. I never had any issue with it Brakesmart on my Excursion and still use it!


I hope you find the answer to your issue, post the resoultion.

John Baker
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:46 PM   #68
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Thanks John. I'll call as you suggested.
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:50 PM   #69
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Good luck, JB
Quote:
Originally Posted by hookedonclassic View Post
Thanks John. I'll call as you suggested.
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Old 07-20-2008, 04:35 PM   #70
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Drums vs. Discs?

Are you serious? There is no contest. Why do race cars use all discs? Why are they more expensive? Ask your insurance co. if it makes a diff.
I have Discs on my rig and a controller and it is as good as it gets. People that want to save money are only taking risk with their rigs. Maybe it will work out but you put alot into the AS that you bot so why do you risk it without the simple upgrade of discs? Kinda like going around on retreads eh? Don't put yourself or your property at risk, you need every advantage you can get, think of it as another form of insurance, except this is paying for the real deal, Your life and property!
Biz
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