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Old 01-13-2007, 08:55 PM   #57
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If and when my '86 Sovereign needs new axles or entire brake replacement, I will definately go to disc brakes. My 4 electric drums can't compare to the 4 hydraulic/vacuum brakes on the 31' Excella I had.
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Old 01-13-2007, 09:33 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
You don't need a parachute unless your going to jump out of the plane.

You don't need disc brakes, until you do.

But when you need them, and don't have them, then what?

Safety, Safety, Safety, is the name of the game.

Do all you can do, and more if possible.

There are far to many inconsiderate unsafe drivers out there. Be equipped the best that you can.

Insurance is a "HUGE" waste, until you need it. Brakes are a waste too, until you need them.

Disc brakes are not a waste, but it's the best that can be done by todays standards.

Andy
Hi, I don't understand! Please explain to me how it is that Airstreams did quite well with drum brakes for 74 years and now all of a sudden in the 75th year drums are junk and your trailer manufactured by Airstream [with drum brakes] is not safe unless you convert a factory made trailer to disc brakes and even though you never towed with anything else, you are, or feel so much safer if you have a $3,000.00 hitch? And Prove to me and others the disc brakes stop 50% better than drums. I'm not from the Show Me state, but hear a lot of hot air! Please show me documented proof, or all said is hear-say.
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Old 01-13-2007, 10:05 PM   #59
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I think they are better, but as I said, I've had a few emerg braking situations and frankly with only 7k on my drums, I was able to avoid both without any issues. Would discs have done better in my case? Prob not and in John's case, I would bet that I'd have been able to do the same thing in avoiding that car with my drums in their current condition of new. Could I do it if my drums were well worn? Most likely not....but that's not a drum vs. disc issue, it's an overall maint issue. My unit sits for 5 months a year straight. Then can sit for a month before next use. Never have I had an issue with my drums as a result of storage....and it does get humid in Chicago.

I don't disagree discs would be better than drums, heck even GM when you get the premium cars, they use to be all 4 wheel disc as a selling point. I'm not interested in putting $2k into brakes right now, when mine work very well. Could they be better? Sure, but so could the QC of the trailers and some of the components (besides brakes). Airstream did offer brakes in it's 75 year history, and not just recently on the Classics.

Bottom line, if you got the $$, why not? Can't take the $$ with you. For me personally, when the time comes to replace or maint the drums, we'll see what the prices are at that point, vs a rebuild of the drums....but with so little use on my current drums, I'm not about to pitch/replace perfectly good/new drums while they are new and in great working condition. If money was no object, I'd trade in the Safari and get a Classic that has them.
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Old 01-13-2007, 11:31 PM   #60
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Its pretty clear that discs are exceptional in there stopping ability .I don't
think a mad rush to junk drum brakes are in order (not talking vehicals) only
trailers .The guys who have converted to them are pleased ,no surprise there, Ive not found a situation where I felt a need to go and add discs
except to my travelall (for good reason)so while Im in agreement that the discs are definately good ,Im not going to advocate all to ditch there drum
brakes .Im not going to agree that the drums are suddenly so inferior that
they are deemed unsafe ,thats really reaching there.You know ,you still can
overheat and warp rotors and burn pads with disc brakes too ,all depends
on the terraine ,driving style and conditions your in on the road .My previouse
posted thoughts remain the same ,but drums still work well .

Scott
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:53 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Please explain to me ....
hi bob i live next to the 'showmestate'...we don't think of the term as 'prove it' but...

i'm lost and confused so 'show me' how to do it, where to go and so on...

so...... first a/s hasn't used drums for 75 years....

they did use discs before the current crop, check a little...

and improved stopping by 50% or more isn't a new idea. there are many published works supporting this.

we no longer need to prove the earth isn't flat...
and for those that still believe it is.......there is not enough proof 2 convice them.


trailer life did a ford/trailer stopping test with discs 2-3 years ago...

go find it bob. there are many studies of discs that 'prove' modulation, fade and stopping distances improve.

otoh, no one is suggesting drums are junk or obsolete...so why go there?

and it is always very hard to 'justify' the incremental cost increases for lighter, faster, stronger, safer bits on most things mechanical...

going from good to better may double price and better to excellent 10x price...

while excellent to state of the art will cost even more....

but for anyone who has needed the added safety, during a panic event, of discs, abs, airbags, seatbelts, helmets, hitches or other modern safety features...

price is not an issue...

in the real world of upgrade considerations price does matter, and when one has to balance their needs vs wants or funds vs fun...

all folks are trying to do here is offer observations about the experience with a better technology...

and balance the issues for their personal needs...

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:28 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Hi, I don't understand! Please explain to me how it is that Airstreams did quite well with drum brakes for 74 years and now all of a sudden in the 75th year drums are junk and your trailer manufactured by Airstream [with drum brakes] is not safe unless you convert a factory made trailer to disc brakes and even though you never towed with anything else, you are, or feel so much safer if you have a $3,000.00 hitch? And Prove to me and others the disc brakes stop 50% better than drums. I'm not from the Show Me state, but hear a lot of hot air! Please show me documented proof, or all said is hear-say.
Hear - say?
I am one of those that did tow with both type of braking systems. I promise that the statements are true.
You won't know until you try it. If you're happy with your drums and don't feel the need for the improved performance of the discs, then so be it. But there is no "proof" available, other than testimonials from those that have tried both, undere similar circumstances.
Perhaps Airstream has finally realized that trailer brake drums and their associated flaws ( such as inherent imbalance and tendency to fade) really have no place in what should be a world class vehicle.
Definitely no hot air, just cool brakes!
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:45 AM   #63
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Our trailer was fitted with disc brakes as an option back in 1982. I think I've seen a 1973 Excella fitted with factory discs, so the idea that discs are only a recent option for Airstream is a myth.

I agree that it is not the mountain driving where discs are needed, it is the emergency situation and in spite of what anyone says, discs do indeed stop an average of at least 40% faster, smoother and better than drum brakes. I pull some sort of trailer most every day as a rancher. Though they are different trailers with different loads, the discs are far superior to the drums in stopping ability. I can't give you the sites, but I've truthfully read various studies over the last 20 years that all indicated that in the tests cited by these studies, disc brakes stopped the trailer from 40% to almost 50% in some cases better than did the drum braking systems. If you choose to not believe those figures so be it.

Having said all that, I don't think it could have been said any better than Andy of Inland RV Center put it. Once in a while he can really put his words together. 2air's comments were also right on the money and then there are Pahaska's comments. For those of you who do not know John, he is one of the most knowledgable and unpretensious men I know. He's an engineer. He understands things from an engineering point of view as only a handful of people on this forum can. Whenever John offers advice, he's someone we all should listen to. We don't have to follow his or anyone else's advice, but we ought to recognize that here is a person with no dog in the hunt who speaks the truth and is not trying to use the information that he brings as any sort of bragging or selling point. He's only telling it like it is. For some folks, there will be nothing that anyone can ever say on this or most any other issue that will change the way they think. I'm not necessarily trying to flame anyone, it is just the way it is.
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:07 PM   #64
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Ok,guys

This thread has now started to take the death turn .I think we all can make
up our minds ,and yet benefit from all here on the debate .Im in favor of disc
brakes as Ive posted ,yet others don't need to feel that there rig is inferior
by reading this thread if they don't all run out tommorrow and refit their
brakes to discs .,further ,most of us have probably thought in the past that
our drum brakes were good .Andys post takes the tone that if your not doing disc ,its not safe enough ,however IM sure hes installed hundreds of drums
and loaded backing plates on airstreams for years ,don't you think ?So ,im
thinking that now the tone is going the way alot of these threads like this one ends up, us versus them .It was a good thread for awhile.

Scott
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:19 PM   #65
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Now hold on!

Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
Hear - say?
I am one of those that did tow with both type of braking systems. I promise that the statements are true.
You won't know until you try it. If you're happy with your drums and don't feel the need for the improved performance of the discs, then so be it. But there is no "proof" available, other than testimonials from those that have tried both, undere similar circumstances.
Perhaps Airstream has finally realized that trailer brake drums and their associated flaws ( such as inherent imbalance and tendency to fade) really have no place in what should be a world class vehicle.
Definitely no hot air, just cool brakes!
Actually there is proof. At Axis we did brake testing (frequently) as does Dexter and the others likely do also.

Additionally I know that Kodiak (the manufacturers of the Airstreams Disc's) have as well. The actual published number that I have seen is a 47% increase in stopping distance, with the disks outdoing the drums.

Several magazines (as mentioned by 2Air) have also done similar testing. With a little digging - or - one test drive - there will no longer be a debate.

Just two cents from a retired Axleman.

Facts are proof!

Regards,
Henry

Best Regards
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