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Old 09-13-2014, 03:45 PM   #1
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Disk brakes?

Is this first year Airstream used disc brakes on this model.... or even entire lineup?
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Old 09-13-2014, 04:29 PM   #2
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Don't know what model you are referring to, but Airstream has had disc brakes on some models since about 2000.
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Old 09-13-2014, 04:41 PM   #3
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Hmmm, that's interesting. I wonder what my 2002 31' Classic has for brakes.

Actually, it was built in late 2001, but the owner's manual says it is a 2002 model.
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Old 09-13-2014, 04:52 PM   #4
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Hmmm, that's interesting. I wonder what my 2002 31' Classic has for brakes.

Actually, it was built in late 2001, but the owner's manual says it is a 2002 model.
I would bet they are electric drums. The discs have mostly been on 34', and optional on the smaller trailers. We had a '10 31' that had electric brakes, and our '08 34' has hydraulic discs. We have a friend in our unit that has I believe a '00 34' with hydraulic discs, and he says it is one of the first.

Given my choice, I would have electric drums. Much more simple and reliable, IMHO. I've already had to replace the actuator on ours.
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Old 09-13-2014, 06:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dmccoach View Post
Is this first year Airstream used disc brakes on this model.... or even entire lineup?
Disk brakes were first offered in the mid 1970's.
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Old 09-13-2014, 06:37 PM   #6
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Disc Brakes on 2006 30 Ft. Classic

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Originally Posted by dmccoach View Post
Is this first year Airstream used disc brakes on this model.... or even entire lineup?
Our 2006 model year 30' Classic (built in late 2005) came with hydraulic disc brakes. Since we are not the original owners, I do not know if the disc brakes were standard or an optional upgrade.

Hydraulic disc brakes are superior to electric drum brakes in stopping capability and reliability in today's world.
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Old 09-13-2014, 08:45 PM   #7
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I believe they were standard on the classics in the mid 2000s. My 06 has them and they are listed as standard on the paperwork I got from PO.
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:53 PM   #8
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We had an '04 28' Classic, and a '10 31' Classic, and neither had hydraulic discs. I've yet to get the disc brakes working to my satisfaction on this '08 34'. The original Actibrake actuator failed, and I replaced it with a Dexter. Both have had what I consider excessive delay.
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Old 09-14-2014, 06:22 AM   #9
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I've yet to get the disc brakes working to my satisfaction on this '08 34'. The original Actibrake actuator failed, and I replaced it with a Dexter. Both have had what I consider excessive delay.

SteveH,

3 axles, 6 calipers each with a built in air trap on the inboard caliper half if your rig is in as issued configuration. Any chance you might want to do a stationary PSI vs time test? I can walk you thru it.

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Old 09-14-2014, 06:33 AM   #10
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Gary,

I've bled these things four different times, and even compressed the outer chamber and bled each caliper back out the tubing fitting on the inboard half of the caliper, but still the delay. I even talked with Dexter about it, and they told me that about one second delay is what they expect.

I do believe there is still air in the system because when we start out on a trip the delay is greater than after we've used the brakes for a while, but with the design of the calipers, I don't see how to get it any better. The calipers are like the ones on a Corvette, except the Corvette calipers have two bleed valves, one for each half of the caliper.

If a PSI vs time test involves opening the system again, I really don't care to do it.
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:40 PM   #11
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To clarify my "mystical" post regarding disc brakes, I'm a newbie here looking to purchase a Classic, around 2005+. I read recently somewhere that 2005 was the first year AS started using disk brakes on those models. Don't know how reliable the post was, or if it was true, were the new discs across entire model line-up or just on Classics??
Any help appreciated as I've spent an entire year researching box trailers, then two months ago became very interested in the AS's. My tow vehicle is '11 shortbed reg cab GMC with HD suspension and a 5.3L modded to produce much higher torque than even late 6.2L's.
Thanks, David
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:05 PM   #12
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Airstream first used vacuum disk brakes in the 70's. Mostly a failure and most units were converted to electric ones. Parts are unavailable and so are the controllers from what I understand.

Then in the 2000's they tried it again. From what I have read, with not much more success.

I have never owned either type but have never been unhappy with conventional electric drum brakes on a trailer.

Just some history, and my opinions.
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:11 PM   #13
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Well, I'll speak up that I like them. They do have a bit of apply lag, but they are as consistently better as early sixties cars were improved with front discs. I know that my actuator will probably go bad, as the supplier was not top tier, IMO. But the performance is definitively better than my last two electric drum trailers.
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:06 PM   #14
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Thanks for the input fellows. Seems like most are quite pleased the way their drum brakes have been performing.
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