Jump to content

Air brakes on rv trailers?


Recommended Posts

I come across this response from a commercial carrier posted on a commercial trucking forum to a question about HDT's / brakes and RV trailers ...


"I have pulled a few RVs for the Ringling Bros Circus that had air brakes... "


Is it even possible to live the rv towing life without damnphool electric brakes :o ?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

My brakes are electrically activated hydraulic disc brakes. I think that once you reach a certain weight that most of your heavier trailers probably get away from electric brakes and go to hydraulic, although you still have an electric brake controller to activate the brakes.There are also several people on this forum that have air actuated, hydraulic brakes like the BluDot system.

Many custom RV and/or converted commercial-to-RV trailers very likely have genuine air brakes.


I wouldn't buy a trailer with "electric" brakes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As others have said, it is fairly common to use the air system on our trucks to actuate the hydraulic brakes in the trailer. The BluDot system is an air/hydraulic system that takes advantage of the existing truck brake system. It is an actuator - NOT air brakes. The trailer has conventional RV hydraulic brakes. The BluDot system converts the air signals from the truck to hydraulic pressure in the trailer.


The presentation I used to do at the HDT Rally is HERE.


The "air brakes" that are on many of the "Carnival trailers" are actually air brakes, since many of those trailers are actually converted semi-trailers. Companies such as Spacecraft commonly build semi-trailer RVs that have all of the same systems on them as a conventional semi-trailer. That is a different system than the Bludot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill B, been looking for a 10k# air brake axle, maybe the MATS show will have some info in that area.

The show is too big to get into everything but a list of 5 or 6 things may be doable, this subject is one of mine.

Am sure we will post what we find.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jack, it is built on what they call a Low Boy frame. it only has one step inside between the rear living area and the front bedroom area. I think it is still a frame they custom build rather than something they repurpose. For more detail it is on their website and Jay Troyer at Forks can probably explain it far better than I can. From conversation with the owner I believe the brakes are S-cam air drum brakes like on commercial trailers. The owner says he lost some storage in the basement area because of the Low Boy frame but gains storage inside the rig. I think his rig is about the same height as ours looking at it.(13-6). Best Wishes, Jay

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Further googling turned up a 10000 lbs Dexter air brake axle. I'm going to contact Dexter when I get time and report back.

It should be doable with 17.5in wheels...


edit: This Dexter Catalogue shows 10K air brakes available on this series of axles - page 23.


Also available with spring brake chambers - (these would be required when doing any retrofit where we live, I would also add ABS module) - & bonus! proper parking brakes woo hoo...



Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

This topic is now closed to further replies.
RVers Online University


Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Dish For My RV.

RV Cable Grip

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo

  • Create New...