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Old 07-10-2018, 07:26 AM   #1
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Disc brake retrofit

For those who have installed hydraulic disc brakes on your travel trailer or fifth wheel, are you still happy with that decision? How much difference in braking performance did you experience? Iím in my second year now after installing hydraulic disc brakes on my fiver, and it was absolutely the best mod Iíve made. I was just wondering how others liked them.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:36 AM   #2
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X2 on that statement. Itís the best $2,750.00 that I think I ever spent. If I ever buy another camper Iíll leave the dealership and have them installed before I camp in the new camper. Disk brakes makes a world of difference in stopping. DW loves the Travíler that I installed and since I do all the driving the disk brakes was what I wanted. I can stop the camper now and quickly. Disk brakes and a TPMS should be installed on all campers, just my opinion
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:03 AM   #3
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X2 on that statement. Itís the best $2,750.00 that I think I ever spent. If I ever buy another camper Iíll leave the dealership and have them installed before I camp in the new camper. Disk brakes makes a world of difference in stopping. DW loves the Travíler that I installed and since I do all the driving the disk brakes was what I wanted. I can stop the camper now and quickly. Disk brakes and a TPMS should be installed on all campers, just my opinion
Which brand and is that labor included
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:53 PM   #4
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I used Performance Trailer Braking, I think that was the name. Anyway they came to my driveway and installed the brakes. There is a another man on this forum, 5er Tom that was telling me about them. There were installing them at the rally in Goshen this year. Disk brakes are awesome, I can stop before the commercial trucks can
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:06 PM   #5
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We love our disk brakes! We had ours done in March of this year. We did also have independent suspension installed at the same time.

We can stop on a dime! We actually avoided a car that was stopped dead on the freeway in front of us. A truck went around it and there it was. I slammed on the brakes and that bad boy stopped right now!

Best money we ever spent!Click image for larger version

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Old 11-07-2018, 10:19 PM   #6
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Electric drum brakes might not have been the same outcome. I have contacted Performance Trailer Brakes. They want my axle sticker info. My camper is tucked away for the winter. I changed out my axles last year from 6k to 7k. But they still want sticker info. Guess I will have to wait but definitely will convert to disc. Plan on doing it myself
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:23 PM   #7
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Electric drum brakes might not have been the same outcome. I have contacted Performance Trailer Brakes. They want my axle sticker info. My camper is tucked away for the winter. I changed out my axles last year from 6k to 7k. But they still want sticker info. Guess I will have to wait but definitely will convert to disc. Plan on doing it myself
Good decision. Hint...when running the hydraulic lines start at the very back and work forward.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:27 PM   #8
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Good decision. Hint...when running the hydraulic lines start at the very back and work forward.
How come? Easier to coil up extra length?
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:43 PM   #9
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I also had Performance Trailer braking install my disk breaks in my drive way this spring. So I have had them all summer to use. The difference is almost unbelievable they stop so much shorter and smoother than with the electric drum breaks. They were installed on a 5th wheel and the installer installed the break line from the front to the back. I was going to install them myself but my wife talked me out of it. I was happy that I had them installed the end result was better since he knew tricks I did not know.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:46 PM   #10
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I also had Performance Trailer braking install my disk breaks in my drive way this spring. So I have had them all summer to use. The difference is almost unbelievable they stop so much shorter and smoother than with the electric drum breaks. They were installed on a 5th wheel and the installer installed the break line from the front to the back. I was going to install them myself but my wife talked me out of it. I was happy that I had them installed the end result was better since he knew tricks I did not know.
Do they travel to all states or have installers in every state?
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:55 PM   #11
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Yes they have traveling installers that will go any were in the continental USA.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:01 PM   #12
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Installed my own last year on the Silverback for around $1600 total ... would have been closer to $1800 for 7K axles and 8 lug wheels. Like said ... best mod I've ever done in 20 plus years of towing TT's and fivers. I went with Kodiac brakes, Hydrastar actuator, and a nickel/copper line kit all sourced from 3 different vendors. I'm a mechanic by trade, so I ran my own lines and double flared the ends for a custom install. Using the one size fits all line and fitting kits rolling up the extra lengths just wasn't my thing. I started at the front where the actuator was installed with a vibration loop and worked my way back along the frame with 1/4" line, I used 3/16" line from where I split off to go to the far side terminating above each caliper. I used 18" rubber brake line whips from the frame down to each caliper to allow for suspension travel. Swapping brake drums for calipers was very simple as was mounting the actuator. Wiring consisted of only 4 wires. Running the brake lines themselves was what soaked up time.
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:32 AM   #13
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I put Kodiaks and the Titan BrakeRite on my boat trailer. I used the original steel lines and later replaced them with rubber lines when the steel ones were nearly rusted out. One of the best things I ever did to that trailer.
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Old 11-16-2018, 12:24 PM   #14
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Just sent an email to Performance Trailer for a quote...
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:31 PM   #15
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Just sent an email to Performance Trailer for a quote...
I had sent one. They wanted the information on the axle tag. Camper is in winter storage inside a building with about 40 other campers. I will have to wait until April. They did say ballpark number would be about $2025 and if I wanted them to install + another $1000
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:37 PM   #16
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Yep that is actually exactly what they wanted from me also. This is due to them wanting to make sure that the correct parts for your trailer are ordered. I had the axle serial number on the paper work for my unit, so this was not a problem. I would think that you could always call Forest River with your VIN number and they would be able to give you the axle serial numbers, if you do not want to crawl underneath and look, they are stamped on the axle.
Good luck you will LOVE the difference this will make.
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Old 11-16-2018, 06:57 PM   #17
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Yep that is actually exactly what they wanted from me also. This is due to them wanting to make sure that the correct parts for your trailer are ordered. I had the axle serial number on the paper work for my unit, so this was not a problem. I would think that you could always call Forest River with your VIN number and they would be able to give you the axle serial numbers, if you do not want to crawl underneath and look, they are stamped on the axle.
Good luck you will LOVE the difference this will make.
I had new axles built for my 5th wheel. Upgraded to 7k from 6k. Bend axle in Oregon made them. I will try to get build info from them. It's a must do for me. I don't feel like electric drum brakes will do the job if I slammed on the brakes in an emergency
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Old 11-17-2018, 08:36 PM   #18
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For me, my problem is my Al-Ko axles are discontinued (bought out by Dexter). Therefore, parts such as brake shoes are very hard to come by. The improved braking performance is icing on the cake. And I am due for wheel bearing service anyway.
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Old 11-17-2018, 09:30 PM   #19
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Disk brakes is night and day different, the best mod that has ever been done to my Cedar Creek. Should I ever trade campers again that will be the second mod disk brakes.
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Old 11-28-2018, 08:56 PM   #20
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For reference: GVW on our trailer is 18,500lbs, scales at 18,000 most of the time and I tow with a Ram 3500 dually (short bed at that!) so our GCVW when travelling is a little over 28,000lbs. When we had drum brakes I had the gain set to 10, and could have used more. Most of the time I just plan ahead and use the exhaust brake for 90% of my braking, but there was always that ďwhat if??Ē

Today we got our disk brakes installed, through Performance Trailer Braking. It turns out I was only 30 miles away from their regional installer for Arizona. That, coupled with our current RV parks disapproval of onsite repairs, led us to pin up and go visit Dennis Hageman. He has 40 acres in the desert with 30 amp and water hookups. Great guy, very friendly and knowledgeable. Got our brakes upgraded, and put heavy duty suspension shackles on as ours were getting excessive wear. We were very fortunate to stay with them and enjoy such a beautiful little slice of Arizona. When we were getting ready to leave I did my standard tug test before moving. On brakes that were not bedded in, I immediately knew this mod was worth the money. We got out on the road and followed the procedure to break them in, and even my wife is impressed. We have the gain turned down between 4.5-5.0 (half of previous setting) and the braking is phenomenal. We are very happy that we decided to do this, on many levels. If you are considering this, you should go ahead and do it. This is how a trailer should tow.
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