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Old 02-21-2020, 09:50 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom and Patty View Post
Alpines have a redundancy. The coach has an electric boost if the hydraulic system goes out...engine failure. It is tested by stepping on the brake pedal before starting it. However, unlike air, the brakes engage work if a line breaks.
The 35K pound coach stops very well with hydraulic brakes. And response time is instantaneous. My 2000 has disc all around.
BTW an Alpine could get spec’ed with air brakes at a discount.
I do hope they know what they are doing and thank you for helping them. Kinda scary

A little misunderstanding here^^.


Yes, our Alpines have an electric motor which boosts the brake pedal should the hydraulic booster fail or have a leak. The coach has a redundancy for the boost system, not the hydraulic braking itself. Should a leak occur in the hydraulic lines to the calipers, there would be a loss of braking power. A dual chamber master cylinder will retain fluid for one brake circuit, but the other will be lost.
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Old 02-21-2020, 10:10 AM   #30
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I am enjoying this thread and the differing points of view regarding "Air vs Hydraulic" brakes. The arguments for both systems are generalized, but when a specific context is considered, one or the other appears to be "better." Being this is an RV forum, I think the context of the braking system, in the context of a heavy, class A motorhome is important.

That being said, one of the main arguments against hydraulic brakes on heavy vehicles is the stress the components endure during continuous duty cycles, such as stop-and-go driving. This could explain why the school buses mentioned have air systems--they operate under a heavy duty cycle. Yes, 747s have hydraulic brakes, but they, in no way, have a continuous duty cycle. Outside of cartoons, you don't see 747s driving through city streets.

Motorhomes are in the same category, IMO, in that they do not operate under a continuous or heavy duty cycle as that is not their intended use. They are not intended to be driven, daily, in urban stop-and-go traffic. This is the context in which the discussion should be placed. Put in that context, the discussion should revolve around the maintenance/reliability of each system, not their adequacy in a 30000+ lb vehicle, per se. If that becomes the basis for discussion, then it is a "Ford vs Chevy" situation and it is a matter of personal preference. Both systems are fine and get the job done.
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:53 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Hayduke View Post
Interesting that when I search for "hydraulic vs air brakes", I see the link you provided. Second. You conveniently skipped the first link.

This one. https://www.constructionequipmentgui...mparison/12756

Please read the article I linked, ie the FIRST search result.

I get it. You like air brakes.
Interesting that when I copied and pasted your search terms("hydraulic vs air brakes") into Google search your link from the(probably) biased MICO employee came up SIXTH in order on the page. The link I posted wasn't even on the page as I probably didn't use the exact same search terms you did. I don't appreciate your accusing me of having "conveniently skipped the first link"
If I'm framing a house I use a framing hammer and not a tack hammer. When I'm driving a vehicle weighing less than 26,000# GVWR I'm very comfortable using hydraulic brakes. When I'm driving a vehicle weighing more than 33,000# GVWR I'm more comfortable using air brakes as recommended(or possibly required) by experts, not opinions from Jack Sprat and Joe Blow on the internet. When I'm driving a vehicle weighing more than 26,000# GVWR and less than 33,000# GVWR I will evaluate which type of braking system to choose based on factors like the availability of disc braking pads and calipers, ABS and ESC.
Basically, I would choose the best tool for the job at hand.
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Old 02-21-2020, 02:01 PM   #32
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Will it ever end?
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Old 02-21-2020, 02:22 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by RVPioneer View Post
Will it ever end?
When it comes to safety issues, I hope not.
If you have hydraulic disc brakes and a Jake brake on an Alpine you probably have a pretty good setup. When you're coming down the mountain I hope you have kept up with a scheduled PMI program on the Jake and the brakes.
That goes for all of us regardless of equipment.
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:35 PM   #34
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Sounds like "the horse has left the barn" on this one but first thing is, Alpines [except a few customs builds and the limited production Avalanche] have hydraulic service brakes with hydraulic engine boost, so none of the "normal" air brake conversation applies...the parking brake [yellow handle] is air pressure released and spring activated....so only the parking brake and the suspension use compressed air...so no air pressure gauges on an Alpine [I think?], except for those mentioned above....though you will get a [rear/front] low pressure warning light [maybe a buzzer???] until air bags have inflated....
Dean,

You neglected to mention one more important air actuated system on the Apex. The sewer hose uses air to extend and retract the hose from it's stowed position.
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:39 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by FL420 View Post
Interesting that when I copied and pasted your search terms("hydraulic vs air brakes") into Google search your link from the(probably) biased MICO employee came up SIXTH in order on the page. The link I posted wasn't even on the page as I probably didn't use the exact same search terms you did. I don't appreciate your accusing me of having "conveniently skipped the first link"
If I'm framing a house I use a framing hammer and not a tack hammer. When I'm driving a vehicle weighing less than 26,000# GVWR I'm very comfortable using hydraulic brakes. When I'm driving a vehicle weighing more than 33,000# GVWR I'm more comfortable using air brakes as recommended(or possibly required) by experts, not opinions from Jack Sprat and Joe Blow on the internet. When I'm driving a vehicle weighing more than 26,000# GVWR and less than 33,000# GVWR I will evaluate which type of braking system to choose based on factors like the availability of disc braking pads and calipers, ABS and ESC.
Basically, I would choose the best tool for the job at hand.
I apologize. I don't use Google search.
My point is still valid. It's easy to find an article to support your side of the argument. I still think the article you linked was weak on specifics. It seems they mostly base their opinion on costs for someone managing a fleet.

I agree. You should always use the best tool for the job. You have not explained how or why air brakes are better then hydraulic brakes on heavy vehicles. I've heard some reference to availability of parts. So when the old established tech is replaced by something better, we shouldn't change because the old parts are cheaper, right?

When I frame a house, and I have, I use a nail gun.
I guess I should have used a regular hammer because they are readily available and cheaper? Does the size of the nails or lumber make a difference?

I'm open minded. Please help me understand why air brakes are better for all heavy equipment. I think the school bus example has more to do with tradition and what the school bus service industry is familiar with.

I have driven heavy trucks with air brakes. They suck compared to the brakes on my coach. I like to come to a nice gentle stop that doesn't send all my belonging flying around in the cabinets. Being able to modulate brake force is NOT a strength of air brakes. Like you said, use the best tool for the job. For an RV, perhaps air brakes are not the best choice.

I love the way my Alpine Coach drives, AND stops. I have had to stop suddenly, and the ABS worked wonderfully.

In reference to the part I made red. Please find a law or regulation that requires vehicles above a certain weight are required to have air brakes. Heck find a recommendation from some sort of government agency.

We have already established semis use air brakes because they need to attach trailers. Why do all other heavy vehicles use them? Simple, because all the semis do. It's a financial decision, not one based on choosing the best tool. Unless the best tool means the cheapest. In that case, I guess your hammer IS always the right choice over my nail gun.


Edit for addition:
Looking into where your article came from, I found this article on the same site.
https://www.worktruckonline.com/1574...es-up-to-snuff
Particularly interesting is the section about Air Disc Brakes being on the rise.
Sounds like discs are better, but the trucking industry still needs the air.

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Will it ever end?
Apparently not.
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:42 PM   #36
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Good catch Todd--admittedly, I am not very well versed on all things APEX [smile]..
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Old 02-21-2020, 08:03 PM   #37
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When it comes to safety issues, I hope not.
If you have hydraulic disc brakes and a Jake brake on an Alpine you probably have a pretty good setup. When you're coming down the mountain I hope you have kept up with a scheduled PMI program on the Jake and the brakes.
That goes for all of us regardless of equipment.
As concerned as you may be, Iím not in the market for a Personal Safety Officer.

With an estimated 60% of RVís being overweight, who knows how many running on poorly maintained or improperly inflated tires and most states requiring no special endorsement or training to operate 20 tons of inertia on public roads, Iíll put human error or stupidity at least one notch above a hydraulic brake failure when it comes to safety matters.

Thanks again for your concern.
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Old 02-21-2020, 08:17 PM   #38
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Quick, where's the air pressure gauge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljwt330 View Post
A little misunderstanding here^^.


Yes, our Alpines have an electric motor which boosts the brake pedal should the hydraulic booster fail or have a leak. The coach has a redundancy for the boost system, not the hydraulic braking itself. Should a leak occur in the hydraulic lines to the calipers, there would be a loss of braking power. A dual chamber master cylinder will retain fluid for one brake circuit, but the other will be lost.


You are correct. I never mentioned a hydraulic leak. But did say air would still work if there was a failure. So no confusion. The Alpine would have reduced braking in the event of a hose failure.
I own two coaches. One with air and then the Alpine. Hydraulic is still faster reacting by far.
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Old 02-27-2020, 06:38 PM   #39
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Anyone have a air gauge ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom and Patty View Post
Alpines have a redundancy. The coach has an electric boost if the hydraulic system goes out...engine failure. It is tested by stepping on the brake pedal before starting it. However, unlike air, the brakes engage work if a line breaks.
The 35K pound coach stops very well with hydraulic brakes. And response time is instantaneous. My 2000 has disc all around.
BTW an Alpine could get specíed with air brakes at a discount.
I do hope they know what they are doing and thank you for helping them. Kinda scary
"Kinda scary" is an understatement, in my opinion. Why anyone would think it okay to drive a passenger-laden coach onto a public road with no clue on operating it is bordering on criminal behavior. I hope the "car crusher" got safely parked before harming anyone, and is sold to someone with more consideration for fellow travelers than displayed in this case.
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Old 02-27-2020, 06:50 PM   #40
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The gauge is usually in the instrumentation on the dash. Look for a gauge that has a number 125 on it. The air usually builds up to 125 and shuts off. If the air drops below (usually) 65 an audible alarm will start sounding.
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Old 02-27-2020, 07:14 PM   #41
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Alpine Coach Brakes

Want to interject a small fact! The Alpine chassis "Peak" was designed by Gary Jones who now has designed the Allegro "Powerglide" chassis. For the NASCAR fans in our midst, he is also is the chassis designer for Jack Roush Racing, a VERY successful team. In braking performance testing the Alpine stops about one third shorter than any similar motorhome! BIG hydraulic brakes and BIG tires.
To look to the future, rumor has it that Gary is working on a Hybrid motorhome chassis, just dream.
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Old 02-27-2020, 09:14 PM   #42
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Air brakes for large vehicles are basically fail safe brakes since once you burst a hose and lose air pressure the brakes are automatically activated by large springs since there is no longer any air pressure to counteract them. This started on trains which had a problem with runaways when a car broke loose however with the air brakes that used air pressure to release the brakes instead of apply them, when a car comes lose the air pressure gets vented and the brakes automatically apply stopping the train car.


In heavy vehicles which is better, a brake system the automatically stops the vehicle in the event of pressure loss and won't even let you drive off if it can't build sufficient pressure for proper brake operation or one that even if it has already failed still allows you to drive off and can't be stopped in the event of a catastrophic pressure loss? Yes the dual hydraulic master cylinder and split hydraulic system is supposed to limit this providing half capacity braking however the air brake is a much more positive system providing full brake hold in the event of pressure failure.
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