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Old 07-06-2004, 05:30 PM   #1
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hydraulic brakes

I am looking for info on the hydraulic brake systems on older airstreams. Specifically, I would like to know if anyone has installed a vacuum pump to the trailer so as to not rely on the vacuum of the tow vehicle? It would make it easier to tow with mulitpe tow vehicles. It seems possible but I do not know what amount of vacuum that system needs in order to work properly. Any thoughts?

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Old 07-06-2004, 05:48 PM   #2
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I saw something VERY interesting at the International Rally vendors section.

There is a Manufacturer called Kodiak that is making a disc brake system that will bolt on to a Henchen axle. It comes as a package but it uses the output from a standard brake controller. The power unit uses a hydraulic 6 piston pump and has been subject to an SAE test against other types of brakes. The sales dweeb could not tell me if the head unit was something that could bolt on to an existing Vac-U-Brake system or not. He did admit that the proportioning valves that are part of the old system will need to be removed.

Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato

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Old 07-06-2004, 06:47 PM   #3
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The company mentioned in the next paragraph may be out of business but it is worth a search. Comments in the next paragraph were originally posted by FrankR. Do a forum search on hydraulic disc brakes. Somewhere in the middle of the posting is a picture of the unit described below. I've also seen units for sale at RV shows. Contact Andy at and ask about the "braker". If all else fails, I have heard of one individual using a Delco vacuum pump out of Buick Grand Nations as a pump source for a diesel powered pickup. It maintaines a certain amount of pressure.

Disc brakes are BEST
The following contact information may prove helpful for folks with the vacuum powered disc brake trailers: Ausco Products, Inc.2245 Pipestone RoadBenton Harbor, MI 49022800 253-2860This is the manufacturer of the caliper. It is a style 2.Caliper # 28639. The part numbers in the Airstream manual are, by in large, still good. Ausco can send you an engineering drawing, too.Ausco doesn't sell direct. Berendsen Fluid Power14565 Valley View Ste. BSanta Fe Springs, CA 90670562 921-3335The hub rotor assembly was Kelsey-Hayes and is no longer made. I haven't tried to track down the bendix hydrovac unit yet, but it is used in industrial applications and it should be possible to get repair parts.

I have installed the Ausco power unit. It works great. The company sent out notices a while back that the units were going to be discontinued. A guy named Mark was a contact name.

The unit is a 12 volt electric motor that makes a piston operate the hydraulics for the discs. There are also units for drum brakes. With the Ausco unit, there is NO vacuum connections.. I have old vac unit for parts...... Frank
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Old 07-08-2004, 08:23 PM   #4
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Hello Wayne,

There is an electric vacuum pump available that can be mounted to the trailer for use with vacuum/hydraulic brakes. The part number for this pump is 9600 and can be found at Dallas Axle or Redneck Trailer Supply. This pump will allow for multiple tow vehicles without setting them up for a vacuum supply.

I am not certain of the vacuum requirements for these systems on Airstream trailers. However, I do have some archived information that may have that data. Most newer vacuum/hydraulic brake systems have a minimum operating requirement of 20 inches of mercury.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


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