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Old 02-27-2020, 09:30 PM   #43
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You guys who think the Alpine will be a runaway train are missing the parking brake.
It is spring actavated like rear air brakes on trucks.

If the driver discovers that there are NO foot brakes ( Rare, with dual master cylinders ), he can pull the parking brake knob, the air escapes from the spring chamber and the RV comes to a quick stop.

Setting a parking brake is more in line with what you would do with a car and most drivers should be able to figure it out.

If you have no air pressure in the Alpine or lose the air pressure, the parking brake will apply.
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Old 02-27-2020, 11:45 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by FL420 View Post
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.
Why are you arguing with Alpine owners, on the Alpine forum, with those who (like use) have thousands and thousands of mile traversing the Rockies and Cascades, with no problems with our brakes? Do you really think that the engineering design of the Alpines was flawed? Really?
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:25 AM   #45
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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.
EXACTLY how the emergency Brakes (Rear Wheels) works on the Alpine.

Can I humbly recommend that you stay on forums where you actually understand how particular RVs systems actually function

See Yah
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Old 02-28-2020, 10:08 AM   #46
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I'm guessing that their low pressure warning indicator will sound until proper air pressure has been maintained.
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Old 02-28-2020, 11:17 AM   #47
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I'm guessing that their low pressure warning indicator will sound until proper air pressure has been maintained.
Yes it will as well as lights for both front and rear air bags
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:08 PM   #48
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Safari Motor Coaches used the Bendix Hydro Boost hydraulic systems with four wheel disks on their coaches. My 40’ Sahara at 27K# stops well. System is powered off the power steering engine driven hydraulic with a built in electric power source. Those of us with hydraulic brakes should watch our brake fluid color and change/flush our fluid as soon as it is no longer clear to keep major components from corroding internally (and seals pliable).

The people with air brakes should drain their condensate traps unless they have functioning automatic drains. Every so often you should pump your brakes (at a standstill) and very the low pressure alarm comes on followed by full brake application without releasing upon letting pedal up. This test should be difficult to perform with an idling engine, but occurs quickly with the engine off.
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Old 02-28-2020, 08:54 PM   #49
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So how about those wheelbases?

36' Alpine 252"
36' xxxxxx 216"


40' Alpine 278"
40' xxxxx 256"



We all know wheelbase rules.
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:11 PM   #50
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Why are you arguing with Alpine owners, on the Alpine forum, with those who (like use) have thousands and thousands of mile traversing the Rockies and Cascades, with no problems with our brakes? Do you really think that the engineering design of the Alpines was flawed? Really?
Well, there was one of you who think Alpines are special because you have ABS.

Maybe you could fill him in that us with air brakes have had ABS for years !!
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Old 02-29-2020, 11:06 AM   #51
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Well, there was one of you who think Alpines are special because you have ABS.

Maybe you could fill him in that us with air brakes have had ABS for years !!
Yup....standard equipment an all Alpines ever built starting in 1998
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Old 02-29-2020, 11:59 AM   #52
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Well, there was one of you who think Alpines are special because you have ABS.

Maybe you could fill him in that us with air brakes have had ABS for years !!
That was probably me. I still believe that too. I'm not saying it makes them unique, but it does make them 'special'. ALL Alpine Coaches had ABS on their hydraulic disc brake systems.

I looked at a lot of motorhomes before buying my Alpine Coach. ABS did not seem to be a 'standard' feature when I was looking.

I'm curious how well the ABS works on an air brake system. Given my experience with air brakes, I'm struggling to see how an ABS on air brakes could be nearly as effective. In a hydraulic ABS, the pedal can cycle hundreds of times a minute. I'm skeptical an air driven system could respond as quickly as a fluid based system. Fluids need no time to build pressure. As I understand it, an air system needs some time to change pressure.

I've driven plenty of heavy equipment with air brakes. They do not drive as nice. Sure, they added ABS to air brakes. Why? I suspect the market demanded it, so they came up with something. Until I gain information to make me believe otherwise, I cannot believe an air based ABS would perform anywhere near as well as a hydraulic ABS.


Let's try to put one issue to rest once and for all...
The air brakes camp seems to think it's better that the vehicle get stuck where it is in the case of a brake failure. So I go camp out in the boonies. While I'm there, the air brakes develop a leak (maybe a squirrel eats a hose who knows). Now I'm stuck. If I had my hydraulic brakes, the likelihood of both circuits failing is nearly zero, so at least I could limp out slowly to get to a repair facility. Would you rather be stuck on the interstate wherever your brakes decided to stop you, or would you rather have the option to slowly move to a safer location to wait for help? The air brake folks love to point to this as a feature and never even consider the potential downsides to this type of system.

So far, I've really not heard anything that suggests an air powered braking system is better for an RV. We know they are better for trucks that need to deal with trailers. The only other argument put forward is that an air brake system will stop the vehicle if there is an air leak.

My hydraulic brake equipped Alpine Coach also has an air parking brake, so actually that same argument in favor of air brakes still applies for us. If I lost air pressure, my parking brake would apply. My air bags would also deflate, and I'm not sure what else. I think I would notice there was a problem long before I was forced to stop.

Another issue I have with air brakes is controlled braking. How do you equalize the pressure being applied at each wheel with air brakes? In a hydraulic system, all the brakes are applied with the same amount of pressure based on how hard you push the pedal. In air brakes, it's controlled by metal springs at each wheel. Ever hear of manufacturing tolerances? How close in pressure do you think all these springs are? Could one be fatiguing more than another? Air brakes are very 'grabby' too because you're trying to use a pedal to control air pressure that is counteracting 6-10 different springs. Given how they work, I'm not surprised air brakes are harder to modulate. Doesn't drive-ability factor into the discussion at all? I've brought it up twice now, and it gets conveniently over looked.

Both systems have pros and cons. I suspect both sides of this argument, including myself, are trying to defend their purchase. I get that, but I'm trying to be completely objective here, and so far, have heard nothing to convince me that air brakes are better on an RV.

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Old 02-29-2020, 12:09 PM   #53
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I like your graphic!!! Probably not one opinion changed in this entire thread.
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Old 02-29-2020, 12:13 PM   #54
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I like your graphic!!! Probably not one opinion changed in this entire thread.
Thanks. If you hit the 'more' link near the smilies, it's way at the bottom.

I never hoped to change anyone's mind. I am hoping to dissuade folks from coming to the Alpine Owners Forum and telling us that their air brakes are better than our hydraulic brakes.

Especially since they are wrong!
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Old 03-01-2020, 07:29 AM   #55
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Let me interject one additional point regarding air brakes that is taught in the air brake chapter of CDL training. Should a single circuit of an air brake system fail to release (such as due to your rodent ravaged air line, a ruptured diaphragm in the break release activator, complete air compressor failure, etc) there is a way to release the air brake mechanism on a per wheel basis. Protruding out the backside of the pneumatic actuator that releases the spring power brake lines from the brake drum, is a threaded rod with a nut. By turning the nut in a tightening direction, the rod pulls the actuator mechanism in the brake “released” direction unlocking that wheel. If the problem affects only one wheel or circuit, the vehicle can be driven, with less braking functionality than normal. In the case of 18 wheel tractors and trailers, this can allow a yard tractor without trailer brake air functionality, to move a parked trailer in a lot. Crawling under a vehicle to do this would not be the highlight of your day. Our coaches being low to the ground, it may not be possible to get to the pneumatic brake release activators without raising them on their leveling jacks (not that I am advocating people work under their coaches when supported solely my leveling jacks).
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Old 03-01-2020, 07:49 AM   #56
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Let me interject one additional point regarding air brakes that is taught in the air brake chapter of CDL training. Should a single circuit of an air brake system fail to release (such as due to your rodent ravaged air line, a ruptured diaphragm in the break release activator, complete air compressor failure, etc) there is a way to release the air brake mechanism on a per wheel basis. Protruding out the backside of the pneumatic actuator that releases the spring power brake lines from the brake drum, is a threaded rod with a nut. By turning the nut in a tightening direction, the rod pulls the actuator mechanism in the brake “released” direction unlocking that wheel. If the problem affects only one wheel or circuit, the vehicle can be driven, with less braking functionality than normal. In the case of 18 wheel tractors and trailers, this can allow a yard tractor without trailer brake air functionality, to move a parked trailer in a lot. Crawling under a vehicle to do this would not be the highlight of your day. Our coaches being low to the ground, it may not be possible to get to the pneumatic brake release activators without raising them on their leveling jacks (not that I am advocating people work under their coaches when supported solely my leveling jacks).
Its called caging the spring brake chamber and the caging tool is in a storage sleave on the chamber.
It needs to be removed from storage and inserted into the back of the chamber and then the nut is run down, collapsing the spring.
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