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Old 08-20-2017, 05:36 AM   #1
MOS
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2016 28' Flying Cloud
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Can the drum brakes be changed to disc brakes?

It would seem that disc brakes on the AS trailer would be much better than the drum style .
Can this be done?
Who makes the parts ?
Anyone here done the upgrade ?
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Old 08-20-2017, 06:04 AM   #2
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Around 2010 Classics had disc brakes. I would assume these parts are still available and should be relatively easy to retrofit. Airstream discontinued disc brakes, not sure why but recall there were problems. Disc brakes need to be used frequently or the rotor rust and will warp.
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Old 08-20-2017, 06:04 AM   #3
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Might take a look here http://www.dexteraxle.com/products/b...sc-brakes/3-5k to start your research.

My rig has disc brakes.
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Old 08-20-2017, 06:06 AM   #4
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You can get disc brake assemblies from Kodiak, and an actuator of your choice. You will also need hoses and brake lines.
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Old 08-20-2017, 06:33 AM   #5
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1991 34' Excella
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I have converted mine
Kodiak calipers and hubs, Carlisle actuator.
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Old 08-20-2017, 07:56 AM   #6
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Had Disc Brakes

When we bought our 2007 Classic in about 2010, there is evidence that it once had disc brakes. The actuator and brake lines were still in place, but the brakes had been converted to drum with magnetic actuators.
Early on there were problems with the disc actuators, leaking actuators, delayed braking action, etc. I assume the previous owner of ours had the change made.
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:20 PM   #7
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I think ours was one of the first to be equipped with OEM disc brakes as it was ordered by the dealer in Sept 2004 and on the lot when we purchased it. It was the aforementioned Kodiak conversion with 5,000# axles, and it was listed on the Airstream MSRP paperwork.

We have NEVER had any issues with these brakes which have performed flawlessly over the years. I believe that Airstream went to Dexter for axles and disc brakes after 2005.
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:29 PM   #8
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Once you go disc you'll never go back!
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrolls View Post
I think ours was one of the first to be equipped with OEM disc brakes as it was ordered by the dealer in Sept 2004 and on the lot when we purchased it. It was the aforementioned Kodiak conversion with 5,000# axles, and it was listed on the Airstream MSRP paperwork.

We have NEVER had any issues with these brakes which have performed flawlessly over the years. I believe that Airstream went to Dexter for axles and disc brakes after 2005.
So mine is a 2007. Things must have changed at the factory. Mine is a Dexter supplied caliper/disc with Actibrake actuator (still all original and works flawlessly) . Only issues are brake hoses too short....replaced. Discs perform so much better that drum on my prior trailer. Very predictable and instill confidence. Major part of a "sure foot" .
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:20 PM   #10
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Recall Info

Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
So mine is a 2007. Things must have changed at the factory. Mine is a Dexter supplied caliper/disc with Actibrake actuator (still all original and works flawlessly) . Only issues are brake hoses too short....replaced. Discs perform so much better that drum on my prior trailer. Very predictable and instill confidence. Major part of a "sure foot" .
Just sharing there's a been a recall on the Actibrake Controller for 2005-2009 Classics. I found the recall doc's in my archives...

Tom - S/OS #025
Attached Files
File Type: pdf RCDNN-10V344-7903.pdf (263.7 KB, 45 views)
File Type: pdf RCMN-10V344-9496.pdf (27.7 KB, 27 views)
File Type: pdf RCONL-10V344-3988.pdf (32.4 KB, 20 views)
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:53 PM   #11
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Orig disk breaks

My first 77 had them and there was a vacuum booster unit on the toungue and you hooked the tow vehicle vacuum to it via hose coupler on rear bumper.
Lot o money to rebuild but worked great when in tip top shape .
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:55 PM   #12
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Yes, several ways to get there. Spend some time researching as there are differing opinions. Do not get side tracked by the discussion on difficulty with bleeding calipers. That is a problem with older disk brake systems used on ASs. Be aware of the issue as it can apply to new components, but focus on the experience of those that are using later generation offerings.

We are still looking. The 10in drums actually work quite well. Better than I would have expected. Replacement of the backing plate assembly does cost more than a set of pads. The 12in drums would be a very good improvement, but the concept of disk brakes is a difficult advantage to discount. Did not find a high performance multi-piston caliper solution, but am convinced the auto single piston calipers make a better braking system than drums.

Convinced that disks are in our future. Probably part of an upgrade to an electronic sway control system that integrates with the tow vehicle sway and stability control. But other upgrades seem more appropriate for our purposes. We use brakes, but slower travel, more space between vehicles, and conservative driving is an alternative to the upgrade, at least for now.

We keep looking. Please share your experience. Pat
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Old 08-20-2017, 03:14 PM   #13
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We had ours converted back in '07. Had the Actibrake replaced by a Dexter with the recall. Airstream had a kit at the time. Highly recommended if you do any type of mountain driving.
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:37 PM   #14
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I wished I had disk brakes on out 2017 Classic. The Dexter band brake apparently fell apart and caused the lug bolts to craze from heat and all broke off and lost the tire and mag wheel. Put a 36 inch tear in the side.

Don't believe a disk would have done that.

Just saying. Soon as it is possible the bands are going. If jets can use them my AS can. I have never warped a disk brake and have trailers twice the weight of an AS.
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Old 08-21-2017, 12:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrolls View Post
I think ours was one of the first to be equipped with OEM disc brakes as it was ordered by the dealer in Sept 2004 and on the lot when we purchased it. It was the aforementioned Kodiak conversion with 5,000# axles, and it was listed on the Airstream MSRP paperwork.

We have NEVER had any issues with these brakes which have performed flawlessly over the years. I believe that Airstream went to Dexter for axles and disc brakes after 2005.
Naw, my '78 has original disc brakes. I put an Actibrake actuator on it since my Dodge diesel didn't have much of a vacuum. A few years ago Andy at Inland RV asked for one of the original disc pads so he could get some made, I sent him one of mine. I suspect a phone call to Andy would get most of the answers you need about Disc. Wouldn't be without mine, I have it pulling down the speed on my rig in the mountains frequently.

It just doesn't make sense to me why all trailers don't have disc brakes; trucks and cars have them and depend on disc brakes.

Oh. The trick to bleeding the disc brakes on a trailer is easy, YOU HAVE A BRAKEAWAY SWITCH, use it, pull the brakeaway plug to apply the brakes, open, bleed, shut the bleeder. And you'll have confidence your brakeaway switch works. Or even make a switch with 20 foot wires so you can flip the switch and open the bleeder.
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Old 08-21-2017, 05:10 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKI View Post
Yes, several ways to get there. Spend some time researching as there are differing opinions. Do not get side tracked by the discussion on difficulty with bleeding calipers. That is a problem with older disk brake systems used on ASs. Be aware of the issue as it can apply to new components, but focus on the experience of those that are using later generation offerings.

We are still looking. The 10in drums actually work quite well. Better than I would have expected. Replacement of the backing plate assembly does cost more than a set of pads. The 12in drums would be a very good improvement, but the concept of disk brakes is a difficult advantage to discount. Did not find a high performance multi-piston caliper solution, but am convinced the auto single piston calipers make a better braking system than drums.

Convinced that disks are in our future. Probably part of an upgrade to an electronic sway control system that integrates with the tow vehicle sway and stability control. But other upgrades seem more appropriate for our purposes. We use brakes, but slower travel, more space between vehicles, and conservative driving is an alternative to the upgrade, at least for now.

We keep looking. Please share your experience. Pat
The catalog at a TUSON. Antilock, and their antisway (now marketed under other names also).

Extensive reviews linked there from MR TRUCK (Kent Sunderling)

Review of antisway by Andrew Thomson on this forum (and at his dealer website; Can Am RV)

Some other threads this forum.

Drums are worthless. Unbalanced, low on power, and not there when one needs them. No redeeming features.

Airstream itself held up development of discs back in the golden age of these trailers. Kept patents locked up in 1970s.

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Old 08-21-2017, 07:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STREMN View Post
Just sharing there's a been a recall on the Actibrake Controller for 2005-2009 Classics. I found the recall doc's in my archives...

Tom - S/OS #025
There were two models. Mine was not a recalled model.
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Old 08-21-2017, 08:25 AM   #18
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I began researching the change to disc brakes.
Apparently for other brand trailers and axles the disc brake conversion is about $1,800, but fir my Airstream with Dexter Nev-r-lube axles it is more like $2,800.
Sounded like a good idea for $1,800, but not so much at $2,800.
Just as I'm not sure about $2,300 for a ProPride hitch.
If I had a million dollars...
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Old 08-21-2017, 09:08 AM   #19
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Met a fellow at the International that had converted his 27 to disc. He was less than pleased with the results and put the original drums back on.
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Old 08-21-2017, 10:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
.......

Drums are worthless. Unbalanced, low on power, and not there when one needs them. No redeeming features.

.....

.

Hi

Don't hold back, let us know how you really feel

Disks certainly are the better way to go. Like any conversion / upgrade, it has to be done properly. Having Bubba do it out of a catalog, first time ever .... not a good idea. You can mess things up. Giant super-calipers that lock up everything instantly are not the best choice. Find a competent outfit to do the work. Plan on there being a bit of tuning of your brake controller as part of the process.

Bob
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