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Old 09-21-2008, 04:10 PM   #1
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Lost Trailer Brakes This Weekend

We lost the trailer brakes on our '06 this weekend while en-route to Morris Meadows Recreation park in Freeland, MD. Luckily I was going slowly through a little town when I noticed something didn't feel quite right when braking. I had connection on the brake controller, so I reached down and manually activated the brake controller...NUTHIN'!!! So we limped the rest of the way to the campground, making sure to go slow and left lots of cushion between me and the next guy. We got set up and I looked in the curb side wheel well to find brake fluid everywhere. It was easy to find the culprit (see first picture). The brake hose on the front wheel had rubbed against the wheel well / frame and it sprang a "little" leak. So I called Airstream and left a message for them to call me Friday morning. I broke out the tools and removed the brake line.

Friday morning we went to two auto parts store and could not find a direct replacement. I called Airstream again and spoke with a Karen in the parts department and she gave me an Airstream part number and said she would call us back. She said that we could get the part from Airstream of Western Pennsylvania and gave us their number. We called and they could not get into their computer and said they would call us back. They called back to let us know they did not have the part in stock but they could get the part from Airstream and fix it if we could get the trailer to them. I then explained to them that I was in Maryland (without brakes) and they are north of Pittsburgh.

So back to the campground we went. Right as we were pulling into the site a Randy from Airstream returned my call from Thursday evening. I explained our dilemma and told him we had an Airstream part number, but could not find a part locally. I asked him if it was possible to overnight the part to the campground so I could fix it. I really didnít want to make the trip home on Sunday with no brakes. He said he would look into it and give me a call back. He called back in a little, and yes they would overnight it via U.S postal service. They did not charge me for the part, only $17.00 and change for the overnight shipping.

Saturday rolls around and we sit in our site waiting for the part to arrive because the office folks would not / could not sign for it. Luckily the office staff said they would call me on my cell phone when the mail arrived. So much for bike riding this weekend. A little before noon I got the call and rushed up to sign for my brake line. Luckily it was even the correct part (BIG sigh of relief) so back to the trailer for a quick lunch before donning my mechanicís hat. The new line went on without incident and my wife and I bled all four brakes in about 1.5 hours.

The ride home was uneventful and the brakes worked fine. I am going to re-bleed the lines tomorrow to make sure we got all the air out of the system.

The really interesting part of this was removing, reinstalling the brake line, and bleeding the brakes without removing the wheels. Thank God my wife has small hands and could get her hands through the wheel and the tubing over the bleeding fixture.
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:06 PM   #2
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Loss of Brakes

Carl: See my post #25 on this thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f293...tml#post285296

When we lost our brakes on our new 2006, we were told a few 2006's got out of the factory with the brake lines not properly attached between the wheels. The result was a line that rubbed through in our case by the tires. Our dealer had a replacement line made locally to fix problem. The Actibrake will shut down when a leak in the line is detected so you don't loose all the brake fluid. I'm glad you had a good outcome.
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:19 PM   #3
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is that nostril threaded?

that was a good save. east coast folks....... when it's after five and you need a part, don't forget that the west coast is still working and has time to overnight stuff east.
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hookedonclassic View Post
Carl: See my post #25 on this thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f293...tml#post285296

When we lost our brakes on our new 2006, we were told a few 2006's got out of the factory with the brake lines not properly attached between the wheels. The result was a line that rubbed through in our case by the tires. Our dealer had a replacement line made locally to fix problem. The Actibrake will shut down when a leak in the line is detected so you don't loose all the brake fluid. I'm glad you had a good outcome.
Rich,
Our line was attached correctly, but was twisted so that it rubbed where the wheel well meets the frame.

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is that nostril threaded?
Nope, it just looks that way.
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:56 PM   #5
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Carl, glad you had a positive outcome to losing your brakes. I had a problem with my brake controller going up into the mountains of NC - not a great time or place! Anyway, stopped at an RV dealer (not an AS dealer) and they wouldn't help (all service techs in meeting), yeah right! The service manager wouldn't even come out to see what the problem could be. So, long story short, I had turned the braking range all the way down to 0 by mistake - turned it up and breaks were there! Glad to know that the breaks were working!

I had a problem with the power jack and Randy from AS was really great and overnighted a part to us also. Every time I have needed AS, they have come through. Sorry to say that the RV dealer in Hendersonville NC (Todds RV) couldn't have cared less.

Is there a retro repair to keep your brake line from rubbing and leaking again?
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Old 09-21-2008, 08:55 PM   #6
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Really great to hear the factory took care of you....that was not a good situation to be in...glad to hear they stepped up.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:26 PM   #7
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Is there a retro repair to keep your brake line from rubbing and leaking again?
NCBAMBI,
I was able to position the new brake line so that there is plenty of clearance so it will not rub through again. I will take some detailed pictures of all four brake line and post them on here. I am also thinking of replacing all four lines with braided steel lines so that it will never happen again.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:52 PM   #8
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Carl,
Just curious,who was the chief mechanic and who was the assistant?
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:47 PM   #9
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Carl,
Just curious,who was the chief mechanic and who was the assistant?
Dave,
I just did what Elaine told me to. Nothing more, nothing less.
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:05 PM   #10
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Very interesting. I was just towing my 2006 31' Classic Dinette to a local RV place this am (for a recall on the Dometic Fridge). On the way back, the curbside front wheel started leaking brake fluid. On inspection, all of the flexible hoses are crimped and worn by contact with the trailer frame. Suspension motion obviously causing this wear. This seems to me a very serious Airstream design flaw, which could lead to a serious life-threatening problem. I'm also wondering whether this could be a factor with those members posting threads about delayed brake release.

Does anyone know if Airstream has come up with a solution?

I would urge anyone with a late model Airstream to please examine the flex lines for possible frame impingement and wear.

Thanks,
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by trvler View Post
Very interesting. I was just towing my 2006 31' Classic Dinette to a local RV place this am (for a recall on the Dometic Fridge). On the way back, the curbside front wheel started leaking brake fluid. On inspection, all of the flexible hoses are crimped and worn by contact with the trailer frame. Suspension motion obviously causing this wear. This seems to me a very serious Airstream design flaw, which could lead to a serious life-threatening problem. I'm also wondering whether this could be a factor with those members posting threads about delayed brake release.

Does anyone know if Airstream has come up with a solution?

I would urge anyone with a late model Airstream to please examine the flex lines for possible frame impingement and wear.

Thanks,
Trvler
Trvler,
I have been trying to get in contact with someone from Airstream regarding these brake lines. I have left a few messages on their web site, but have had no response. It looks as if it's time to make a phone call to the 1-800 number. I really want to replace my brake lines before our season begins here so I don't have any surprises this year I guess I could also take the old line to a brake shop to see if they could get me a replacement. I still have it laying in the top tray of my tool box as a reminder.

These are some bad pictures of the other brake lines on our '06. Even though the pictures are bad you can get a sense of where the brake lines are wearing and how bad they are crimped where they enter the calipers.

I feel the lines need to be 2"-3" longer and / or braided steel.

When I installed the one line that Airstream overnighted to me in the campground last year, I was able to positiion it so that it should never rub on anything. I really do not know why they could not have done that when the trailer was built.

I too sometimes suffer from delayed brake release.
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:10 PM   #12
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A good hydraulic shop can make you up what you need in stainless braid. We do it al the time for our older TV's
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:31 PM   #13
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Good pictures, Deitz645. Looks just like my brake lines. I wonder how many other '06 trailers have the same problem, with a potential disaster waiting.

It irritates me that Airstream purportes to produce the premium trailer line, yet cannot be bothered to ensure that brake lines are protected. Probably the most critical component of the trailer?

Here's my idea - a 90 degree at the caliper, directed outwards to clear the frame, and then a SS braided flex hose to the welded connection on the frame. Not sure yet that the solid caliper connection would clear the frame, tho.

I sent an email to Airstream, and will phone them tomorrow.

I'll let you know what they say (if they respond).

I'm not convinced that stainless steel lines alone are the answer - might last a little longer, but if exposed to the same mechanical irritation, will also eventually fail (hopefully not on the long downslope of some mountain!!).

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Old 04-25-2009, 08:57 AM   #14
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This post got me to thinking as well, so I inspected mine this morning. The good news is I don't have any serious rub marks. The bad news is I will, as the lines are less than one half inch from the frame meaning, when I hit a bump the line hits the frame. I too think the answer is a 90 degree fitting off of the caliper. At some point, with the stress on the line due to the extreme angle from the caliper, I'll bet it will give up the ghost whether it rubs on the frame or not. Looks like its project time . AS could have done a little better on this.
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