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  1. #1
    Fireside Member Skilletface's Avatar
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    Drum vs Disk Brakes

    First Iím not down playing the increased braking power of a disk brake upgrade. Riddle me this; I attended a seminar explaining how a disk brake upgrade works and is installed. In this seminar it was demonstrated that once the hydraulic actuator receives the electric signal to apply, there is a delay of 2 to 4 seconds.
    In my mind I am thinking if I have an electric signal going to a electric drum brake system there would be a mili second of delay in brake application.
    So should the delay cancel out the increased braking gain and who adjusts there brake gain to off set the delay?
    The last thing I would want is my TT not working evenly, or at least close together with the TV!
    Thoughts!
    Retired Tanker Yanker
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skilletface View Post
    First Iím not down playing the increased braking power of a disk brake upgrade. Riddle me this; I attended a seminar explaining how a disk brake upgrade works and is installed. In this seminar it was demonstrated that once the hydraulic actuator receives the electric signal to apply, there is a delay of 2 to 4 seconds.
    In my mind I am thinking if I have an electric signal going to a electric drum brake system there would be a mili second of delay in brake application.
    So should the delay cancel out the increased braking gain and who adjusts there brake gain to off set the delay?
    The last thing I would want is my TT not working evenly, or at least close together with the TV!
    Thoughts!
    The delay is a perception, it takes less than a couple of milliseconds for the electric signal to travel to the hydraulic system, then it takes about .2 seconds for the hydraulic actuators to engage and begin the breaking process.

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    Mark & Mary. Currently hailing from New Mexico. Hopefully full timing in late 2022.
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  3. #3
    Seasoned Camper jjbbrewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skilletface View Post
    In this seminar it was demonstrated that once the hydraulic actuator receives the electric signal to apply, there is a delay of 2 to 4 seconds.
    I have a Kodiak electric/hydraulic system on my older toy hauler and the delay is definitely there and definitely perceptible. When I first got them and went about adjusting the gain, I thought I'd forgotten to plug the trailer into the truck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skilletface View Post
    So should the delay cancel out the increased braking gain and who adjusts there brake gain to off set the delay?
    There really isn't a way to offset the delay. If you change the gain, all that happens is the trailer brakes come on harder after the delay.

    All that said, I got used to the delay in a couple of weeks. The increased braking power was WELL worth putting up with the delay. I'm just waiting for my factory installed drum brakes to either go out of warrantee or to just wear out so I can justify getting another set of discs.
    Last edited by jjbbrewer; 05-03-2021 at 07:45 PM.
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  4. #4
    Big Traveler geotex1's Avatar
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    A SUPERIOR way to demonstrate would be for one of the disc brake system guys to mock up a drum set up and disc setup that are spun up and the clutched off while actuated with an identical controller and braking force measured and rotations counted... Why you ask? Because even with a delay, the superior clamping force over contact patch of a disc brake setup with outperform a drum every time. It's just not easy for folks to visualize. Show and tell would be huge. That aside, the algorithms in factory trailer brakes controllers are making this delay imperceptible too.
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  5. #5
    Seasoned Camper Chewwi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geotex1 View Post
    A SUPERIOR way to demonstrate would be for one of the disc brake system guys to mock up a drum set up and disc setup that are spun up and the clutched off while actuated with an identical controller and braking force measured and rotations counted... Why you ask? Because even with a delay, the superior clamping force over contact patch of a disc brake setup with outperform a drum every time. It's just not easy for folks to visualize. Show and tell would be huge. That aside, the algorithms in factory trailer brakes controllers are making this delay imperceptible too.
    The SUPERIOR way would actually involve an INDEPENDENT TESTING LAB do the testing, not a disk brake system guy. Testing by those with a self interest may not be unbiased.


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  6. #6
    Site Sponsor Jerryr's Avatar
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    After owning 2 trailers with drum brakes and converting my 5th wheel to Disc Brakes I will never have anything with drum brakes again. The difference is amazing, short delay or not.
    Last edited by Jerryr; 05-04-2021 at 02:12 PM.
    Jerry & Linda
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  7. #7
    Site Team D2Reid's Avatar
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    I am no engineer and cannot "Prove" this. But I think disk brakes work a lot better than drum brakes, I have owned many trailers with both. PS surge brakes suck.
    Dallas
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  8. #8
    Site Team traveldawg's Avatar
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    I've got a small dent in my front fender that demonstrates the "slight" delay experienced with disk brakes. It's real. You'll want to allow an extra second behind someone, especially in slow traffic.

    Other than that, and I knew about the delay, I really appreciate them. In a few panic stops on the freeway they proved their worth over and over again.

    They work so well that sometimes I "fool" the truck into slowing down a bit on grades by just applying the trailer brakes with the brake controller rather than tap the truck's brakes causing a downshift I really don't need.
    Larry
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  9. #9
    Seasoned Camper jjbbrewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D2Reid View Post
    I am no engineer and cannot "Prove" this. But I think disk brakes work a lot better than drum brakes, ...
    I think all motorcycle, car, and truck design engineers, as well as NASCAR, F1, MotoGP, Boeing, Airbus, McDonnell Douglas, Rockwell, and Lockheed-Martin vehicle designers would agree with your thought.
    Last edited by jjbbrewer; 05-03-2021 at 11:00 PM.
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  10. #10
    Site Sponsor bertschb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjbbrewer View Post
    I think all motorcycle, car, and truck design engineers, as well as NASCAR, F1, MotoGP, Boeing, Airbus, McDonnell Douglas, Rockwell, and Lockheed-Martin vehicle designers would agree with your thought.
    I've had disc brakes on my mountain bikes for 20 years. I think RV's are the only vehicle left on the planet that still use drum brakes.
    Brian & Kellie
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