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Old 03-13-2011, 09:55 PM   #41
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My AS is a 69'. When it was built it was most likely pulled by a station wagon, likely with manual (non power) drum brakes. I'm sure 12" brakes where considered a must when it was designed. I dont believe that is the case in 2011. I'm sure we could fight about it for days, but the fact is no trailer of that weight comes with 12" brakes today. The brake controls are not comparable either. The reason 3500# axles come standard with 10" brakes is because thats all they need. I know the theory of bigger is better, but it is also a waste of money!
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:02 PM   #42
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My AS is a 69'. When it was built it was most likely pulled by a station wagon, likely with manual (non power) drum brakes. I'm sure 12" brakes where considered a must when it was designed. I dont believe that is the case in 2011. I'm sure we could fight about it for days, but the fact is no trailer of that weight comes with 12" brakes today. The brake controls are not comparable either. The reason 3500# axles come standard with 10" brakes is because thats all they need. I know the theory of bigger is better, but it is also a waste of money!
Bingo! Even new Airstream's come with 10" brakes on the 3500 lb axles. I've seen it myself.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:17 PM   #43
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... The reason 3500# axles come standard with 10" brakes is because thats all they need. I know the theory of bigger is better, but it is also a waste of money!
It's not just a case of wasting money...12,000 lbs of braking on a 4,500 lb trailer will tend to lock up way to early. The brake controller will need to be turned down so far that it will only be using 35% of it's resolution...

That's also why Dexter refuses to put big-o-brakes on a #10 axle (max weight of 3,500 lbs)
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:27 PM   #44
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I had not thought of that.The brakes on stock (cattle) trailers have to nearly be turned off when empty for that very reason. They will lock up every time you touch the brakes. I've even seen them flat spots on the tires from it. Good point!
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:46 PM   #45
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It's not just a case of wasting money...12,000 lbs of braking on a 4,500 lb trailer will tend to lock up way to early. The brake controller will need to be turned down so far that it will only be using 35% of it's resolution...

That's also why Dexter refuses to put big-o-brakes on a #10 axle (max weight of 3,500 lbs)
Although larger brakes will need a lighter setting on the brake controller, they are a benefit if you're doing a lot of mountainous travel. It'll take longer for large brakes to fade than smaller brakes. Race cars have huge brakes for that reason.
Axis has specially built torsion arms that allow them to put the larger arm/spindle/12" brake assembly on the smaller 3500 lb axle tube. Dexter does not have this option.
These are some of the questions I ask every potential axle client as everyone has different intended use for their trailer & price threshhold. The next step up in braking is disc brakes, which are wonderful, however they require an "electric over hydraulic actuator" that costs significantly more.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:55 PM   #46
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I would say race cars have large brakes because they are pushed to the maximum. The number one thing is to drive considering conditions and topography. You should not be pushing your TV or trailer to the limits like a race car
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:01 PM   #47
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I would say race cars have large brakes because they are pushed to the maximum. The number one thing is to drive considering conditions and topography. You should not be pushing your TV or trailer to the limits like a race car
Correct, but if you're fully loaded & you're heading down a mountain with a 10 mile slope, heat is generated which must dissipate in order to maintain braking ability.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:01 PM   #48
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Colin did you just argue both sides?
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:06 PM   #49
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10" brakes vs 12" brakes being equal??

NEVER.

How many owners keep their brakes properly adjusted?

Next to none, is my experience.

The amount of braking power diminishes, as the brakes wear, as much we are told, as 50 percent.

That being the case, a tandem properly adjusted 10" brakes are good for 7000 pounds, but then, without upkeep (proper adjstment) they drop to half, or 3500 pounds.

I wonder how the feeling would be, stopping a loaded 27 to 31 foot Airstream, with a total of 3500 pound brakes?

Same situation for the 12" brakes, except that half of the braking power is now 6000 pounds.

Not much to think about.

However, if the owner decided to install self adjusting brakes, that becomes a different matter.

And then, since we all know that applied electric brakes get hot, and then fade, the 10" brakes fade, considerably faster than the 12" brakes.

Don't be mislead into thinking saving a couple of dollars on 10" brakes, that they will still give you maximum stopping power, because they WON'T..

Safety is safety, PERIOD.

And,more importantly, Physics doesn't change by an "OPINION".

But, as always, the choice is always the owners.

In the almost 10 years that we have sold many torsion axles for Airstreams, with 12" brakes, we have "YET" to have a single person complain that we provided "TOO MUCH" brakes.

Safety is not something that should never be kicked to the curb.

Excessive braking power can easily be adjusted downward with the brake controller, but inadequate braking can never be adjusted upward from the controller.

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Old 03-13-2011, 11:12 PM   #50
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Colin did you just argue both sides?
Yes & No
I come from a racing background & race cars try to stop as quickly as they can in the shortest distance possible, which generates a tremendous amount of heat............a brake killer. Trailers tend to be very heavy & typically need to stop slowly..............again developping a tremendous amount of heat. If the trailer is going to be used in normal conditions, standard braking is all that is necessary, just like street cars. Race cars push the limits, just like big trailers going down long mountain roads.
The kids today with the "tuner" cars probably don't require big brakes but they like & want to pay for the "look". Some trailer owners need the extra braking capacity & most don't. It's like horsepower....................you can never have too much, it just depends how you use it.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:18 PM   #51
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I would say race cars have large brakes because they are pushed to the maximum. The number one thing is to drive considering conditions and topography. You should not be pushing your TV or trailer to the limits like a race car
Airstream owners pushing their trailer to the maximum????

That's why they buy them, because they can and do push them harder and harder, at least until they get old enough and then they loose the desire.

And so it is, what it is.

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Old 03-14-2011, 11:13 PM   #52
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I guess the only way I can really be "safe" is to buy a TV with air brakes and have some semi trailer brakes fitted to my 3500# axles. Then I could go to the mountains and feel safe pulling my huge trailer. I'm not sure how I've lived this long pulling 20000# loaded stock trailers with a farm pickup, It only has 12" brakes. The driver is the most important equipment on board. Drive considering load, conditions, the traffic around you, and maintain your equipment.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:56 PM   #53
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Some how, I think ya'll are talking about being road safe in you're own way, but from different back grounds. One comes from racing A/S's at 100 mph more years ago than some here have been alive, another comes from racing autos, another comes from racing firetrucks and stock. So how do you put all this experience together for a common good.
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:45 AM   #54
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I'm really just poking for fun, I dont care which one anybody puts on. Your not wrong with either
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:52 AM   #55
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I also admit to being a bit on edge. I want to go camping in my AS! Winter is way to long! I need time off and to go camp!
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