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Old 01-28-2010, 08:43 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
another more complicated but no less REAL issue is towing with drums BEHIND modern vehicles...that have BIG POWERFUL disc brakes (cayenne, armanda, x5, m/g class merc')...because the MISMATCH between the trailer brake performance/characteristics and the TV... can and does cause problems.

i've seen this firsthand and talked with several 'streamers... who had issues when the trailer wasn't UP TO the TV in terms of braking performance...

Yup. No matter what I do to modify drums they STILL won't be a good match for the TV. I want the trailer to react to my inputs predictably, NOT questionably.

The mantra I learned was that being lane-centered was what mattered. Alpha & Omega. (A point of departure for thinking through scenarios). And it was dependent on steering control . . I don't want the brakes to have an effect on moving my centerline (due to plenty of reasons we could cite); I want them to do one job spectacularly well, and that only. Any changes in direction relative to travel need to be driver-initiated . . and the most powerful trailer brakes to minimize input time/force by the driver is conducive to that goal.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:59 AM   #30
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Thumbs up Still a drummer...

My experience only...

When we got the haha we also started using the Tru-control, the improvement in brake operation was stunning.

Do not underestimate the importance of a quality brake controller properly set-up.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:41 AM   #31
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Brakes

Most everyone agrees that disc brakes that are working properly on the trailer, does indeed shorten the stopping distance of the tow vehicle, short of sliding the tires.

The positive cause of that improvement, is that the trailer brakes provide more stopping power than it needs for itself.

Even the old original Airstream Excella-Vac disc brakes easily performed the same task.

But, some still love electric brakes, feeling that they are satisfactory for their needs.

Some like satisfactory, many like outstanding.

Some still like stick shift instead of automatic.

As always, to each his own pleasures and expectations.

And so it is.

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Old 01-28-2010, 09:56 AM   #32
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Rite on Andy.... I do expect many pleasures...
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:57 PM   #33
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I have the Carlisle actuator, which has worked well for me for seven years now. I do notice some lag time (a rather significant two seconds or so) while the pump pressures up.
I hear this complaint from time to time. Two seconds is far too long to be waiting for brakes, and the cause should be investigated. People often blame the actuator, but in my experience it's usually NOT the cause of the problem.

Two things to check:

1. Check for proper fluid level in the actuator's reservoir.

2. Bleed the brake lines. Tiny air bubbles in the lines are very common, and easily rectified by bleeding the brakes. Unfortunately, I've discovered that even certain Airstream service centers are not 100% reliable at bleeding the brakes properly during installation. You can do it yourself with a few minutes of instruction, an assistant, and a brake bleeder wrench.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:30 PM   #34
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Very interesting post series, especially for this Newbie.

I had no idea that my Actibrake was NLA, I'll be watching for members recommendations for replacement actuator sytems as this pogresses. Yes, I have only towed it once so far but the braking seemed confident, controlled and consistant. I do have the option of shifting down to lower gears, one of the pluses of manuals. I watched the installation DVD for the system and one big advantage is the power bleeding that the Actibrake offers. I get involved in other bleeding challanges, this one looked really simple.

The only thing I wondered about with my Actibrake is the delay on de-energization. It lasted just a split second or so, but you can feel the trailer still applied after releasing the foot brake.

Any comments?

Andy, I do like your quartet, are you the drummer, singer or a picker?
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:10 PM   #35
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Very interesting post series, especially for this Newbie.

I had no idea that my Actibrake was NLA, I'll be watching for members recommendations for replacement actuator sytems as this pogresses.

Any comments?
The Carlisle actuator seems to be the best available at this time.

I would suggest that you double check your brake controller for proper operation.

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Andy, I do like your quartet, are you the drummer, singer or a picker?
None of the above.

Andy
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:49 PM   #36
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Carlisle actuator lag time...

Rluhr, last summer the hitch shop (actually a spring/axle shop) flushed the entire system, put in new brake fluid and bled it. The lag was still present as before. I've gotten used to applying the hand controller two seconds before I anticipate having to use the brakes. That's okay for traffic lights, but not much help if a moose were to trot out of the ditch, at night, in the rain, on a mountain road....
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:03 PM   #37
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Carlisle actuator lag time...

Rluhr, last summer the hitch shop (actually a spring/axle shop) flushed the entire system, put in new brake fluid and bled it. The lag was still present as before. I've gotten used to applying the hand controller two seconds before I anticipate having to use the brakes. That's okay for traffic lights, but not much help if a moose were to trot out of the ditch, at night, in the rain, on a mountain road....
If Actibrake was still in business, they would have offered some assistance to solve that delay problem.

In the meantime, your best bet would be to replace the actuating unit.

Better to be safe, than sorry.

Andy
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