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Old 11-03-2009, 08:24 AM   #1
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Checking Brakes

I have a 2003 36 Foot Journey DL that I purchased 2 years ago. It has 45,000 miles on it. While having it serviced at different service centers, I requested that the service center check my brakes. None of them were able to do that. Purchasing it used, I don't know when or if the brakes were ever serviced.

My vehicle stops just fine. It does make noise when I first start up but once on the road it is quiet.

I have no idea how long brake shoes/pads should last for a Class A Motorhome. I know it is a function of how the driver uses the brakes but in general how often should I have the brakes checked and what type of repair center can actually perform the check.

Thanks,

Dan Bowman
03 Journey DL
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:28 AM   #2
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If you crawl under your coach, you should be able to see the brake shoes. Unless you encounter some unusual circumstances, you will probably never replace them as long as you own the coach.
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:23 PM   #3
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I would take them to a shop ASAP that will inspect your braking system. In addition, I'm not aware of too many RVs that never need new shoes, especially in the front. In addition, a seasoned mechanic will be able to look for other common problems like leaking axle seals or wheel bearing problems. Remember, preventative maintenance is always vastly cheaper (and much safer) than the alternative.

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Old 11-05-2009, 07:42 AM   #4
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Do you have air brakes? If so you will need hardware kits for the 4 wheels. Just did mine, coach 1997 Winnebago Vectra diesel,has about 90000 miles on it, the old springs lose tension, this lets the shoes touch the drum when parked, this causes the squeal when you first move, after sitting for a day or so. Brake lining and drums will last a long time . Cost about $20.00 per wheel for hardware kits. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackm View Post
I would take them to a shop ASAP that will inspect your braking system. In addition, I'm not aware of too many RVs that never need new shoes, especially in the front. In addition, a seasoned mechanic will be able to look for other common problems like leaking axle seals or wheel bearing problems. Remember, preventative maintenance is always vastly cheaper (and much safer) than the alternative.

Jack
Thanks Jack. I totally agree with you and that is really my problem. I have now checked with four different RV Repair facilities and none of them would work on, or check the brakes. I will continue to seek a repair service that has the ability to work on brakes.

Dan Bowman
03 Winnebago Journey DL
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:03 AM   #6
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Do you have air brakes? If so you will need hardware kits for the 4 wheels. Just did mine, coach 1997 Winnebago Vectra diesel,has about 90000 miles on it, the old springs lose tension, this lets the shoes touch the drum when parked, this causes the squeal when you first move, after sitting for a day or so. Brake lining and drums will last a long time . Cost about $20.00 per wheel for hardware kits. Hope this helps.
Rebel
Rebel, I do have air brakes. I appreciate the explanation as to why they squeal when I first start up. I don't feel qualified to install hardware kits on my unit but will keep that in mind when I find a repair facility to check the system.

Dan Bowman
03 Winnebago Journey DL
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:00 AM   #7
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Most any shop that works on big trucks can inspect/service/repair the brakes on your chassis. A Freightliner Oasis center will do motorhomes. Another option is any Cummins Coachcare Center.

If you ever travel thru SC, you can schedule an appointment at the Freightliner Custom Chassis Service Center in Gaffney. They are the real experts since they are affiliated with the factory in Gaffney and all they service is motorhomes.
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:47 AM   #8
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My home state requires a yearly motor vehicle inspection by a DMV licensed repair shop. It sure is a pain but at least it forces people to have their car, truck, motorcycle or whatever checked for safety. It is becoming increasingly difficult to cheat on it too.
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:51 AM   #9
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before starting out, each day, I do a 'bleed down check'(with engine running,air pressure up to normal pressure, emergency brake off, pump brakes down until emergency brake comes on, should be at/very close to 65 PSI on gauge), check your second hand on your watch as soon as emergency brake comes on, you can rev the engine to about 1100 RPM and determine when your air pressure rises to 90 PSI. Should be recovered within 30 to 40 seconds.
You now know that your air system is functioning properly and your brakes are working. As you begin to pull out keep your foot on your brake pedal to clean off the discs. They do rust in damp air and squeak badley till polished.
An aside about your brakes: Occasionally, stop. Put tranny in Reverse and apply your foot brake as you attempt to back up. Adjust your foot pressure just to allow coach to move backward slowly. Stop coach with full brake pressure. This helps to clean pads and drums or discs and allows adjusters to adjust the break system.

good luck
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