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Old 05-27-2007, 02:28 PM   #1
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Trailer Brakes - Drum to disk upgrade

My wife and I are considering upgrading our 04 Safari's brakes from drum to disk next year, so we would like to hear from anyone that has already upgraded, or thinking of upgrading.

Thanks.

Terry
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Old 05-27-2007, 02:56 PM   #2
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brakes...

Terry, it is worth the effort to convert to disc. I only know of 2 places to have it performed correctly, the factory and Roger Williams Airstream. Call and talk to Robert Haberzettle or David Tidmore at Roger Williams Airstream and they can tell you more about cost. Their number is 817-569-0050.
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Old 05-27-2007, 06:09 PM   #3
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Hey I didnt know....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwight
Terry, it is worth the effort to convert to disc. I only know of 2 places to have it performed correctly, the factory and Roger Williams Airstream. Call and talk to Robert Haberzettle or David Tidmore at Roger Williams Airstream and they can tell you more about cost. Their number is 817-569-0050.

They make Electric Disk brakes....?
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Old 05-27-2007, 06:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrcrowley
They make Electric Disk brakes....?
The signal is sent thru the umbilical electrically. A hydraulic actuator is put into the Airstream as part of the conversion. A number of the available systems are incompatible with brake controllers. The Kodiak system that Airstream uses is about the only one to use. Search the forums for a number of good discussions. Terry would use the factory of course. I fully concur with what I've heard about David Tidmore!
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:47 PM   #5
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Disk Versus Drums

Airstream Life's Summer 2006 issue has an article on page 66 titled "Disk Versus Drums". This article is the motivation behind our decision to convert. We know people have been towing much larger trailers then our 25' safari without incident for years, but the idea of going through the mountains with the possibility of loosing the trailer breaks due to overheating is un-nerving, and we are planning trips to the coast that will require us to be prepared.

The plan is to drop the Safari off at the factory next year before the camping season starts. Since the Kodiak hydraulic actuator needs to be mounted inside the trailer we decided to give up the compartment next to the water heater. This would give us curb side access to keep an eye on it.

My question to the forums is how much different are the disk from the drums when stopping? Has anyone already had the conversion done?

Thanks everyone for the feedback.

Terry
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:24 PM   #6
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Terry: Send a PM to Bilouie as he just had his done at the factory on a 93 excella and likes the results.
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:33 PM   #7
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Mind if I jump in here?

I'm having new axles put on with disc brakes. However, I will have to install the hydrolic pump and brake lines.

I've not done any reasearch yet on this part. Any pointers?

Can you get pre-made brake lines to keep me from having to cut and flair them?
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safarinight
My question to the forums is how much different are the disk from the drums when stopping? Has anyone already had the conversion done?

Thanks everyone for the feedback.

Terry
Terry,

The difference is quite staggering. Both systems will stop a trailer, but the discs are much smoother, and substantially more powerful. The trailer can stop the entire rig, repeatedly, on steep down grades. I tried...
Having had a 25ft TradewWind, and having nearly lost it's brakes while descending Wolf Creek pass in CO, I vowed to find a better system than the electic trailer brakes. My research showed that the most capable system to fit my 1963 Overlander's new torsion axles was the Dexter disc brake setup with Dexter's own actuator. Some prefer the Kodiak, because Airstream uses it oem. I just liked the Dexter equipment better due to it's fixed 4-piston caliper design, over the Kodiac's single piston floating caliper design. I prefer the Dexter actuator for it's lightning fast response time, and it works with most common brake controllers. The brake performance is nothing short of spectacular.
A positive side effect of the disc brake setup is the fact that inherently, the discs have a much better rotational balance then trailer brake drums, making the trailer ride smoother at highway speeds.
A disadvantage is the fact that hydraulic systems need maintenance, the brake fluid should be flushed every two years at a minimum.
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari Tim
Mind if I jump in here?

I'm having new axles put on with disc brakes. However, I will have to install the hydrolic pump and brake lines.

I've not done any reasearch yet on this part. Any pointers?

Can you get pre-made brake lines to keep me from having to cut and flair them?
Tim,

Well stocked auto parts stores will have brake lines in varying lengths. If you need elp, let me know, I have a double flaring tool. It is easy to do once you remember to put the compression nut on before making the flare.
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Old 05-28-2007, 12:04 AM   #10
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Stopping Power

Uwe,
All that stopping power is exactly why I like mine. I have about 16,000lbs of stopping power in the trailer and about 11,000lbs in the truck. a total of 27,000 lbs. Currently My truck and trailer weight about 16,000lbs combined.
Lots of reserve. It will stop fast. I have suprised a few following me.
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Old 05-28-2007, 12:11 AM   #11
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for those that have had the discs installed, what was the cost to convert from drums?
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Old 05-28-2007, 09:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
Terry,

The difference is quite staggering. Both systems will stop a trailer, but the discs are much smoother, and substantially more powerful. The trailer can stop the entire rig, repeatedly, on steep down grades. I tried...
Having had a 25ft TradewWind, and having nearly lost it's brakes while descending Wolf Creek pass in CO, I vowed to find a better system than the electic trailer brakes. My research showed that the most capable system to fit my 1963 Overlander's new torsion axles was the Dexter disc brake setup with Dexter's own actuator. Some prefer the Kodiak, because Airstream uses it oem. I just liked the Dexter equipment better due to it's fixed 4-piston caliper design, over the Kodiac's single piston floating caliper design. I prefer the Dexter actuator for it's lightning fast response time, and it works with most common brake controllers. The brake performance is nothing short of spectacular.
A positive side effect of the disc brake setup is the fact that inherently, the discs have a much better rotational balance then trailer brake drums, making the trailer ride smoother at highway speeds.
A disadvantage is the fact that hydraulic systems need maintenance, the brake fluid should be flushed every two years at a minimum.
Uwe - Your Wolf Creek pass experience is exactly what I'm trying to avoid. The ability to stop the TV with trailer brakes is something I had not considered so thanks for the pointer.

I like the Airstream installed system because it uses GM automotive calipers. Using off the shelf GM parts solves the parts availability issue, and ensures a multitude of choices and prices when replacement pads are needed.

Terry
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Old 05-29-2007, 03:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the ponz
for those that have had the discs installed, what was the cost to convert from drums?
The cost depends on who will do the job.

If you do it, that's one thing. If you have a dealer do it, the door is wide open depending on their experience.

Andy
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Old 05-29-2007, 03:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari Tim
Mind if I jump in here?

I'm having new axles put on with disc brakes. However, I will have to install the hydrolic pump and brake lines.

I've not done any reasearch yet on this part. Any pointers?

Can you get pre-made brake lines to keep me from having to cut and flair them?
We sell "complete kits," that are all inclusive including complete instructions.

http://www.inlandrv.com/parts/86200-...-brake-kit.jpg

Most suppliers sell just the disc brakes. You have to chase the rest of the parts.


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