BluDot Air/Hydraulic Trailer Brake System
The articles on brake contollers dealt with how to get the best braking action with standard RV trailer brakes, either electric drum or electric over hydraulic disk brakes, are found in HDT Electric Brake Controllers. Many believe an alternative is to change the trailer brake system to use the standard trailer air brake lines of an HDT.
While it is possible to find air brakes for an trailer, the installation is an RV trailer is problematic because of the axle styles.
A better solution is to start with hydraulic disk brakes and use an air over hydraulix servo instead of the typical electic over hydraulic servo unit. BluDot Inc. has come out with a line of products to perform this installation.
BluDot Trailer Brake Systems:
For more details about the BluDot braking systems check out Adding BluDot brake Actuator, Upgrading to BluDot and disc brakes, that includes some installation details along with a couple links to BluDot installation pictures on forum members 5er's.
|From hjsdds (Henry):
the pendulum based systems (Prodigy, etc.) worked OK with lightweight applications (read pickups). As the weights go up (HDTs) and the puller weight is equal or sometimes more than the fifth-wheel, the "thing gets all confused" because the pendulum doesn't get enough "action".
The air over hydraulic system is a superior system over electrics and electric over hydraulic, but you must have a truck with air brakes and an intact emergency valve (for the trailer) in the back of your truck. That's the valve from which the coiled air hoses hang behind the cab. Also once you convert you cannot sell your trailer to a "pickup guy" without reconverting.
Here are few points to consider.
1. You need hydraulic brakes on your fifth.
2. If you have them, cool. You probably have an electric over hydraulic unit. Disconnect this unit from the brake line and remove. Don't dump it in the trash, you might want to keep it and put it back in to sell the trailer to a "pickup guy" in the future.
3. If you don't have them, you can easily convert electric brakes with hydraulic units. Depending in the axles and number of axles, I would guess from $500 to under $1000 for everything (Dexter axles). No need to go to MORryde and pee away $3 grand.
4. If you have or once you have hydraulic brakes, the air over hydraulic kit from BluDot is around $380 plus shipping. Depending on how much space you have in the front compartment and how to get to it, about half to a day to install it. I installed two systems, one on mine and one on Maggie and the Chef's truck. Mine was difficult took a day. Here's a link to it. (?)
5. You also need to bring the glad hands with the two air lines to the back of the truck. Here's how we did it on Chef's truck.
Chef reported that with his three axle BluDot, he could actually slow down his trailer and the 770. Life is good.
Did you know, that in any trailer shipped to Europe it is illegal (meaning against the law, na-da, ah-ah, the perpetrator pays a fine or goes to jail) to sell trailers with electrically actuated brakes.
Thank you RVIA for your lobbying efforts and keeping this information away from Congress!