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Old 03-08-2012, 08:16 AM   #1
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Air brakes on a gasser?

Spoke with some friends that have ordered their first A Class, trading from years with a 35 foot 5th wheel.

With the large number of gas A Class motorhomes out there, their brand is not the issue, it's more related to the Ford F53 chassis.

Because he's new to driving an A Class, he thinks he may be interested in having air brakes installed. We didn't even discuss what the cost may be, or if it's really even possible.

Anyone know anything about this idea?
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:29 AM   #2
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I guess with enough money anything is possible If he wants air brakes he needs to buy a diesel pusher
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:22 AM   #3
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Cheaper to buy a pusher than convert a gasser to air brakes.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:29 AM   #4
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I guess I didn't know that was even possible. I guess if you have enough $$$$$ though anything can be engineered. Keep us up to date on what he decides but I would re-think his purchase and just look at a DP.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:58 AM   #5
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It was probably sometime around the era of this tractor that the last gas jobs with air brakes were built.

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Old 03-08-2012, 10:01 AM   #6
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Hey I'm going to go look for a 5er so I can pull it with that thing.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:35 AM   #7
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It would be cheaper to just throw out an anchor.
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:32 PM   #8
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Why does he think air brakes would be an improvement? It's just an alternate means of power assist. If he wants better breaking, he needs larger drums (or rotors, if disc), not air vs hydraulic. Larger brake disc/drums means a larger wheel and a suitable sized hydraulic system to operate them. Still not a cheap upgrade, but easier than changing to an air system.

He should drive the new coach awhile before deciding the brakes are inadequate. Now that most large gas chassis have 22.5" wheels, the lamentable brake performance of the previous years is largely history. Even the 19" wheels are pretty decent, with brakes large enough for serious work.

But if he bought an older coach that has 16" wheels, yes he will probably be unhappy with the brakes.
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:30 PM   #9
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Does anyone know if the Ford and Workhorse chassis use different diameters between the 19.5 and 21.5 inch rims. If so this would be an argument to prefer the 21.5" rims.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:23 PM   #10
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Rim size

I think you mean 22.5 instead of 21.5. I have never heard of 21.5, but I have been wrong before and will be wrong again ,but I can take it. I like the 22.5 for better stability and they usually come on a heavier suspension, that makes handling better, JMHO.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvjimmy View Post
I think you mean 22.5 instead of 21.5. I have never heard of 21.5, but I have been wrong before and will be wrong again ,but I can take it. I like the 22.5 for better stability and they usually come on a heavier suspension, that makes handling better, JMHO.
You are absolutely right, the correct number is 22.5, thanks
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:33 PM   #12
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I think he will be surprised how well the brakes work on a class A. Probably better then with his pickup 5er combo.

If we wants air brakes then get a DP.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:02 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the replies. Your responses echo what I was trying to tell him. The brakes on my gasser (2010 on the Ford Chassis) do the job just fine for me.............if you drive accordingly!
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:18 AM   #14
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There's a big difference between my `97 Dodge Ram diesel and my `04 F53 class A brakes. Much better.
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