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Old 06-14-2018, 04:25 AM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
1978 Argosy 30
1985 31' Excella
Sacramento , California
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How come no one has come up with a parking brake for the AS

This might sound like a dumb question.. but here goes


After all these years and thousands of RV's... how come the Airstream trailer has never come up with a parking brake...

We watched a box trailer... get un-hitched... at the campground... they had put simple 2x4 , 4x4 blocks behind the wheels... on both sides... and then proceeded to un-hitch the TV.

Once the trailer hitch cleared the ball... zing.. the trailer jumped the blocks behind the wheels and proceeded to roll down the pad... and into the lake...

This then got me thinking.. how come my AS doesn't have a drum parking brake like the TV does...

Sure you can get X blocks.. but I have seen people forget them too and start off after hooking up... they didn't even slide the wheel... etc.. just added a little drag.. enough that the drive then got out and checked.. removed 'em and with a red lobster look of a deer caught in the headlights.. threw them in the TV bed and speed off...

Hmmm... so how hard could it be that someone hasn't come up with a way to set the trailer drum brake so it becomes a parking brake affair...

In todays mechanical gurus... I would think if someone came up with a good solution.. they would get extreamly rich selling the idea/product to ALL trailer RV's manufactures...

Just think.. no more need for blocks.. x blocks and other expensive wheel locking devices... why you just pull the handle and it sets all 4 wheels brakes... simple and effecent... go figure..
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:16 AM   #2
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I’m so glad you posted this. Where’s the parking brake? Was one of my first “newbie” questions. It seems like a great idea to me. I considered pulling the pin on the brake controller “emergency brake” but was concerned I would do some kind of weird damage to the brakes, the controller or the batteries. I will be following along to see what others have to say.
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:01 AM   #3
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I’m so glad you posted this. Where’s the parking brake? Was one of my first “newbie” questions. It seems like a great idea to me. I considered pulling the pin on the brake controller “emergency brake” but was concerned I would do some kind of weird damage to the brakes, the controller or the batteries. I will be following along to see what others have to say.

Good choice! With that pin pulled, the electric brakes stay energized and soon overheat. They are designed for intermittent operation only.

I use a really big set of trucker's wheel chocks from Northern Tool. No tiny plastic chocks for my rig. Single-axle, so X chocks won't work anyway.
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:24 AM   #4
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Extra weight

Extra cost

Would probably cause more problems than they solve.

I'm sure somebody tried it at one point and decided it wasn't worth the effort. Most places you'll camp are fairly flat and towing a trailer requires a certain amount of technical ability. It's also more important to have your trailer brakes working when you're underway, something that would go away the first time you left the campground with your parking brake engaged....


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Old 06-14-2018, 06:42 AM   #5
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Two of these...👍

Parking brake...

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Old 06-14-2018, 07:03 AM   #6
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So my son just bought an Opus Offroad "overlander" camper, and what is on the tongue? A parking brake lever like cars have had between the seats for years. Pulls a cable to each hub and locks the trailer in place.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:04 AM   #7
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How many people would hook up and drive away without releasing the brake... how many wouldn't notice they had done that for hours? Yanking the emergency brake cable is a good way to stop the trailer from rolling down a hill. Then chock and reinsert, but hefty chocks and X chocks are harder to forget.

There was a picture quite a while back of a moho which had dragged a toad until the back tires AND rims were worn down to the axle.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
How many people would hook up and drive away without releasing the brake... how many wouldn't notice they had done that for hours? Yanking the emergency brake cable is a good way to stop the trailer from rolling down a hill. Then chock and reinsert, but hefty chocks and X chocks are harder to forget.

There was a picture quite a while back of a moho which had dragged a toad until the back tires AND rims were worn down to the axle.
Not so sure about that, Paula. Had this wheel chock since 1993, and last week I broke it by driving off. Click image for larger version

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Old 06-14-2018, 07:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
So my son just bought an Opus Offroad "overlander" camper, and what is on the tongue? A parking brake lever like cars have had between the seats for years. Pulls a cable to each hub and locks the trailer in place.

Pretty cool, would be nice to have as a redundant device, but no way I am going to trust a parking brake alone if I'm on any incline that would cause the trailer to roll.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:25 AM   #10
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cleared the ball... zing.. the trailer jumped the blocks behind the wheels and proceeded to roll down the pad... and into the lake...

I picked up a good tip here on AirForums ... keep the safety chains engaged until the trailer is unhooked and safely at rest.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:28 AM   #11
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I was just thinking, with most Airstream's being double axle trailers, could you just lock the wheels by threading a cable or chain through two wheels on one side? Would also serve as an anti-theft device besides the hitch socket lock.
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:08 PM   #12
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The first thing I do when getting ready to unhitch is lock both sets of wheels with the wheel locks between the wheels. Last thing I do when leaving is to walk around to make sure antennas, vents, etc are in place and all lights are working. Sometimes more than once. Should be your check list.
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:09 PM   #13
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It does seem that the existing brakes could work as parking brakes too.

This just came up on Pelican, my favorite Porsche forum.
Might be applicable

There are pure mechanical line locks, but maybe one with a solenoid might be better.

https://goo.gl/images/QxS7cK

https://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/63002/10002/-1

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Old 06-14-2018, 12:39 PM   #14
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Auto's have mechanical parking brakes, why not trailers. Good question.
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:48 PM   #15
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I have dual axles, so a plastic wedge type chock between the wheels works for me. It has a knob to tighten it up, and once seated, the tires will skid if I try to drive off without removing the chocks. Don't ask how I determined this...

Have no idea what brand, but the wedges are yellow plastic. It's number one on the arrival checklist after setting the emergency brake and putting the TV in park, and shutting engine down.

The hitch does NOT get disconnected until the AS is solidly chocked and I've double-checked to verify that condition...
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:00 PM   #16
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I have and used the wheel locks that are the X design. I also have the chocks and use those as well. I have not yet needed to park on an incline but I still think a manual hand brake would be a good idea. I swear I had a brake of some kind that I had on a horse trailer many, many decades ago. As I recall it was red and when engaged, that trailer would not move, not an inch even with 4 horses loaded but don’t remember anything else about it. Don’t know if it was something my dad bought or if he made it. I know there might be a few that forget to release the brake, just like they do in cars.
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:16 PM   #17
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its a good idea..if..you NEVER forget to release the brake when you break camp. i'll take chocks and x-chocks everytime cuz i'm a bonehead. i'd forget and burn up the trailer when the brakes caught fire..
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:47 PM   #18
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Disconnecting on anything more than a mild slope is never a good idea in my book.
Here's my 1952 Military M100 trailer hand brake..
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:16 PM   #19
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parking brake?

I don't think AS will ever put an emergency brake on future models. Just doesn't sound like it's a money maker. But we all find out afterwards that we need something. Wheel Chocks, (good ones), even if you just put it on one side. Way better than skimpy blocks that 7,000lbs. can run over like they're not even there. That trailer in the lake story sounds horrifying.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:56 PM   #20
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Cars and trucks have mechanical/hydraulic brake systems and are suitable for a parking brake.
Trailers have electric brakes and are not.
It's not that something couldn't be devised, but the powers that decide didn't think it added enough to justify the cost.

Bigger wheel chocks are always an option.
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