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Old 07-04-2016, 05:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Steve Ownby View Post
There are actually a couple of tanks. They provide the reserve air to run the air bags. Most Alpines don't have the air brakes. It doesn't tax the engine but I agree that cranking the engine just for the compressor is not convenient.

Steve, actually no Alpines have air brakes, we all have hydraulic brakes. Yes, there is a small reserve for the air bags, but not enough to air up a tire that is down more than a pound or 2. If you try, the compressor continually runs trying to keep up, particularly running around 110 psi.
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Old 07-04-2016, 08:05 PM   #16
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Interesting. When we were researching coaches anticipating purchasing a full timing coach, Alpine was high on our list. This was in the '04-'06 time frame. On a couple of occasions, I spent a significant amount of time with Ron Doyle at a couple of different FMCA conventions. Took one on a test drive and he rode along as a passenger. He was a very astute guy and I liked him a lot. I was a bit suspicious of the hydraulic brakes and he say they they would build a coach with air brakes if a customer requested. I just assumed that some had done so. Great coaches and I wish they were still in business.
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Old 07-05-2016, 05:38 AM   #17
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Steve,

Yes, Ron did build a few with air brakes.

Like most things, hydraulic brake systems are not "all created the same".

Those who say hydraulic brakes don't belong on heavy vehicles may not know that a Boeing 747 weighing in over 1 MILLION pounds has hydraulic brakes.

Air brakes were developed for the trucking industry-- easier to connect/disconnect an air line between tractor and trailer than a hydraulic line! Nothing to do with better/worse.

At least on our 2003, the Alpine system is top drawer, including the more expensive 4 piston fixed-calipers. With pistons on both sides, there is no "lazy side" to hang up. No caliper slides to clean and lube.

Only maintenance is changing brake fluid every couple of years (same as any other vehicle with hydraulic brakes). Cost under $20 and an hour's labor.

Brett
2003 Alpine 2003
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Old 07-05-2016, 06:08 AM   #18
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Steve,

Yes, Ron did build a few with air brakes.

Like most things, hydraulic brake systems are not "all created the same".

Those who say hydraulic brakes don't belong on heavy vehicles may not know that a Boeing 747 weighing in over 1 MILLION pounds has hydraulic brakes.

Air brakes were developed for the trucking industry-- easier to connect/disconnect an air line between tractor and trailer than a hydraulic line! Nothing to do with better/worse.

At least on our 2003, the Alpine system is top drawer, including the more expensive 4 piston fixed-calipers. With pistons on both sides, there is no "lazy side" to hang up. No caliper slides to clean and lube.

Only maintenance is changing brake fluid every couple of years (same as any other vehicle with hydraulic brakes). Cost under $20 and an hour's labor.

Brett
2003 Alpine 2003

I liked the Alpines very much but my final wish list for a full timing coach included AquaHot and a tag axle. In the years I was looking, Alpine didn't have either so they didn't make the final cut.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:28 AM   #19
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Couple of thoughts on "compressors"--1- agree that onboard compressor, at least on my 03 is pretty good at inflating my tires. Although I don't inflate to 120lbs, it can easily do that--others may not but the Cummins compressor is adjustable--I believe. However, its not always convenient to start up the engine, and then there is the matter of deflating the air bags again if you are parked.

2- "Inflators" don't use a reserve tank and are capable of inflating to their rated pressure with few issues--most models/brands are 12v vs 120v and are a bit slow and often quite loud.

3- "Compressors" come in all shapes and forms and use a tank to hold a modest reserve of air. Issue with many is that they are usually built for use with air-driven tools--target pressure is around 90lbs. Accordingly, this type of compressor may be rated to 150lbs before cut-off, but doesn't resume pumping until tank pressure drops to around 90lbs. Result--once your tire and the tank equalize at a point above 90, the pump will not restart unless you "cheat" the tank down below 90lbs--kind of a pain.

Bought a Husky brand "compressor" at HD a couple years ago that cut off at 150 and restarted at 125--perfect for our tires. Haven't seen this model at HD recently though.
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:33 PM   #20
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One more comment on the Cummins Engine air compressor is there is no dash gauge. There is only a low air buzzer that shuts off about 70psi. Probably the only thing you know for sure there is air pressure somewhere over 70 PSI. You could test with a gauge at the air chuck or I mounted a gauge on the dash that runs about 120-125 PSI. I teed off the reservoir tank. I needed it twice to see what is going on. Once going down I-5 my air pressure started going down, turned out to be an air line going to my sewer retract hose that came loose. The second time I was in RV park and started my engine and the compressor would not put out any air pressure. That is where my portable compressor saved the day.
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