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Well, it is safe, am I the only one here that gets turned on by this kind of high end running gear? I do hate drum brakes, they are the spawn of Satan. The hardware, lug nuts and even the backing plates for the pads are stainless.

 

6lugkodiakkit-sbo.jpg

 

 

 

6boltbracketSS.jpg

 

http://www.sturdybuiltonline.com/Kodiak-Trailer-Slip-on-6-Lug-Disc-Brake-Kit-ALL-STAINLESS-w-SS-Hubs_p_968.html

 

I plan to keep my drums for a while, but when they are too tired they are going straight into the trash.

 

I really think that disc brakes should be a factory option, stainless would be nice but it's not needed unless you tow in winter on deiced roads. Disc brakes give significantly better towing mpgs, that alone would help mitigate the cost over many miles. Then there is the low maintenance and the cool factor ....

 

...which is undeniably important to me.....

 

Comments?

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Disc brakes return better fuel mileage? Please elaborate on this.

 

 

 

I have been thinking about it, since Steve posted all his info and parts, I believe he said that the factory would install them if all was procured beforehand (although I could be wrong on this point)

Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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Disc brakes return better fuel mileage? Please elaborate on this. I have been thinking about it, since Steve posted all his info and parts, I believe he said that the factory would install them if all was procured beforehand (although I could be wrong on this point)

Drum brakes drag, costing you fuel, the more braked axles you have, the worse it drags. To test this, spin your wheels with the trailer jacked up.

 

Properly working disc brake calipers retract the pads away from the rotors, so there is practically no drag. Some boat trailer owners have noticed significant mpg improvements.

 

Also, you can inspect the pad and rotor wear easily, change rotors and pads without disturbing the hubs, and if a rear seal should leak, the grease does not get on the pads. A drum brake with leaking seal results in contaminated shoes ;( That's what happened to mine.

 

Other than the high cost and the need to use an electric over hydraulic actuator and change the brake fluid every three years, there are no downsides.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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The stainless kits are mainly intended for boat trailers that get dipped in salt water regularly. Not that they wouldn't be nice to have, but they'd probably be over the top compared to what you have on your tow vehicle.  They do look pretty. Not a difficult mod to do after the fact - though if more people requested them, I'm certain they'd become standard, or at least an upgrade.

 

At the Oliver rally I mentioned to the Dexter rep that I was thinking about it and he told me hands down it was the best thing I could do. He should know. After delivery I'll post some pics.  Ours will be the Dexter kit so it will be interesting to compare them to the HydraStar.  The Dexter actuator is much larger, which I don't like, but there may be advantages - I'll have to wait and see

 

To add to what John said, disc brakes will also run cooler and are lighter, though that might be offset if you opt for heavier axles which are required for larger discs.  They'll shed water better and if you happen to own a Ford they reportedly work better with the built in brake controller.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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he told me hands down it was the best thing I could do. He should know.

If you read the threads on boat and RV forums, every single owner who has switched to discs had no regrets whatsoever and usually say that they wished they had done it years ago.

 

They are that good.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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After delivery I’ll post some pics. Ours will be the dexter kit so it will be interesting to compare them to the HydraStar. The Dexter actuator is much larger, which I don’t like, but there may be advantages – I’ll have to wait and see

 

Is this something the factory is installing for you then or ordered direct with them, if so what was the option cost? If not, do you have a list of all the parts needed for the Dexter kit? I have the 5000 lbs axles already.

Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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They're doing it as sort of an experiment - I think mine and one other trailer.  The price they gave me was very close to what I would have paid for the parts (Hydrastar actuator and Kodiak brakes), but it took them much longer to install than they thought so if they decide to offer it as a regular upgrade I suspect the price will rise.  I don't have a parts list, but if I were doing it myself I'd have gone with the HydraStar/Kodiak setup since it's proven and the actuator can be tucked nicely into a corner of the nosecone.  The Dexter actuator is too large for that and Oliver had to fabricate a mount for it to sit within the frame.  It would be difficult, I think, for an owner to replicate what they did, so unless you could find another spot for the actuator, I'd go with the HydraStar.   I think Oliver created a lot of work for themselves with the Dexter but they really wanted to stick with them.  But like I said, there may be advantages to that system that I'm unaware of so I'll wait until I have the trailer in hand before making a final judgement.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I think Oliver created a lot of work for themselves with the Dexter but they really wanted to stick with them.

There are many reasons Oliver wants to stick with one supplier for the running gear. I think Dexter makes an adequate product, but there are better sources for aftermarket stuff for brakes and suspension. But they cost big money and most buyers will never accept a premium suspension and brake package because, unlike in Oz, they do not see any value in it for cruising down a flat Interstate.  So those that want it have to pay twice....

 

The fact that Dexter jumped onto the disc brake bandwagon a few years ago says that they know there is a solid market for them, at least for boat trailers where you end up replacing drums and all the innards every three or four years due to salt corrosion. I have been there and never want to deal with that hassle again. It is extremely frustrationg to know that you will have to spend so much routinely, and you constantly worry that the brakes will fail and kill you.

 

Off topic slightly, Jason was "working with" Dexter to figure out a spring over axle swap for my trailer, for months, and then it all just faded into silence snd I gave up. This is really strange since Dexter offers the parts as a simple kit (new perches and ubolts). I think the project was killed off quietly behind the scenes.

 

I believe that there is a lot more going on between Oliver and Dexter than we as customers will ever learn about, or need to. It can be frustrating but really, it is up to them and we should try to stay out of their business decisions.

 

But it is so hard when some of us see how truly superior the entire Oliver trailer package could be, with better suspension, brakes and appliances..

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Disk Brakes are sweet.  But it's not all good.  They are an expensive item and much more complicated.  The electric over hydraulic control system with all new hydraulic lines run to the wheels, for instance.   The installation of the hydraulic unit on the trailer somewhere.  And the difficulty in getting replacement parts quickly and easily if needed.

 

If you think you are going to recover the cost because you'll be getting better mileage, your only fooling yourself.  Drum brakes, set up properly don't drag and if they dragged enough to cost mileage they would quickly burn up.  Disk brakes do drag, but still not enough to cause a problem.  Slight looseness in the bearings will cause much more drag with disks than with drums, so bearing maintenance is more important.  In order to remove the hub to grease the bearings the caliper has to also be removed, which is an additional step, and it must be torqued properly when going back together.

 

My drum brakes work very well now that they are broken in and I'm happy with them.  Again, the simplicity, low cost, ease of getting parts and the ability for anyone to work on them are important factors for a travel trailer that could find itself anywhere.

 

One area of improvement though is the ability to have anti-lock.  If the new disk setup you choose has anti-lock, it would be a big safety improvement in bad weather, but again, even more complicated, with a computer to manage the system.  Also, disks work better in reverse than electric drum brakes do, but that's not  big factor in by world.

 

I'm gonna stick with my drums even though they are an old fashioned and imperfect design.

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Drum brakes, set up properly don’t drag and if they dragged enough to cost mileage they would quickly burn up.. .

Raspy, I am unsure how you came to the first conclusion since it is the exact opposite of my experience..... there always seems to be some shoe rubbing whenever the wheel is spun by hand. If you spin the wheel on an unbraked utility trailer it turns with much less effort.

 

Even Dexter has this to say about  drag, from their electric brake service manual: "Then rotate the star wheel in the opposite direction until the wheel turns freely with a slight lining drag."

 

Whether or not the drag is enough to actually reduce mpgs by a measureable amount is another matter entirely. I have zero prior experience with the new Dexter self adjusting brakes (like mine), which adjust while braking forward as well as the usual reverse direction, like a 30 year old car.... maybe this new system brings more issues into play.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Several have asked about costs and a parts list.  I installed disc brakes on The Outlaw Oliver this past March.  I posted about it in my thread "Mods of The Outlaw Oliver."

 

I chose to use the Hydrastar/Kodiak products and a list of all parts, their costs and where I got them is listed in the included pdf.

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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John,

 

I say that because if you can spin the wheel by hand and it is easily spun, even if you can hear the shoes touching the drum a bit, it is not offering enough drag to affect mileage.  Easily spun by hand is not enough drag to measure with gas mileage. If it is dragging enough to cost you mileage, it's the same as having the brakes on all the time and they will overheat in short order.  Enough drag to slow the TV is enough friction to overheat the brakes and it means they are set up too tight.

 

I wish we all had antilock disc brakes with stainless hubs and calipers, but the realities of switching over is not necessarily practical in a number of ways.  It's cool, no doubt, and I hope you post pics of the modification, but it's not arguable that it will be repaid with better gas mileage.

 

No matter which type of system we end up with, antilock, for me, would be the biggest improvement.    I really like disk brakes, but my drums work very well.  Plus they are cheap, work in a very simple way and are very easy to get parts for.  So simply switching to discs because of the cool factor is not in the cards.

 

Meanwhile, my camper is a means to an end.  I got it to go camping and not to simply work on.  I like tinkering, but I like camping too.  Plus I'm working on the electrical system, interior upgrades and still working a regular job.  So I have to weed out the low return/high expense modifications in favor of the quality trips.

 

Just got back from camping under the eclipse at 7,000 ft in totality, the Nevada Northern Railroad Museum and train ride, the Charcoal Kilns, the Earthquake Fault, exploring old mines, having dinner in a jail cell and several nights with warm rain in the desert while listening to the song dogs.  We stayed with friends on two different nights, went to the Snake River in Twin Falls, met some very nice fellow travelers and had a memorable trip.  It beats a few days doing more upgrades.

 

Those nice pix of the equipment at the wheels look very nice.  I think it's the electric over hydraulic adapter control system that I dislike.  Then plumbing hydraulic lines to the wheels, bleeding and the proprietary parts, that make me pause.   Like you, maybe when the rest of the stuff is worn out, but even then.........

 

 

John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Steve, great drum to disc brake conversion. Hats off to you!!!!!

 

Popular Mechanics article about drum brakes:

 

"Why do some vehicle manufacturers still use drum brakes instead of the superior disc brakes? Drums are lighter and have less friction when not applied--both important for mileage. And they're used on a lot of light trucks and smaller fwd cars on the rear axle, because these vehicles have a heavy forward weight bias and don't need rear brakes that are as effective as the front ones".

 

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a11696/1782947/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill

LE2 #75 Tundra

 

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