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Old 09-17-2015, 07:47 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Mons02035 View Post
The only time the air drained down enough to set the alarm was when I was stopped with the parking brake set and I was trying to figure out the issue. The alarm never went off while I was driving.

No offense taken but I hear truckers complain all the time about motorhome drivers and the lack of a CDL like a truck driver. The thing is, the CDL is based on weight, not size of the rig. My coach comes in at 26,000 and change when loaded and a 18 wheeler is around 80,000. Big difference there. Also as posted above by a fleet owner or manager, his own professional drivers ignore the air hiss as well, so , so much for testing and regs. I have seen truckers do some pretty stupid things and illegal things and they are "professional" drivers....... Should an RV driver also have to have a medical card too?
Yes sir, you probably do hear complaints. And you are correct, the trucking industry isn't what it used to be.
But, by your own account you drove an unsafe 26000lb bus for a "few" hours with only 5 seconds worth of usable air.

What were your plans when/if your parking brakes set up on the highway?

I don't think you had a plan because you didn't know what could happen.

Had you had any training with air brakes you would've known what would happen in the event of air loss, how to safety check your brake system and how to remove your brake locked bus from the traffic lanes.

No, I don't think RV drivers should have a medical card but it probably wouldn't hurt in some cases. Same with driving skills test including backing.

Anyway, glad you made it to safety and my use of you/your isn't specifically directed to you but to all in the air brake class.

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Old 09-17-2015, 08:52 PM   #22
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Parrish, FL
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Originally Posted by 4mula1fan View Post
RV drivers should not have to get a medical card. They should have to have air brake endorsements though if they have them. A class B licence wouldn't hurt either.
This is obviously getting way off topic here. I'm not sure what your logic is behind why you feel we should have air brake endorsement or a class b license. Is there an issue with motorhomes with air brakes crashing because of not having air brake instructions? I'm unaware of any safety problems or excessive accidents as a result of this. Same goes for backing up or anything else. As a matter of fact, motorhome drivers are statistically very safe drivers. I'm not entirely sure of the reason why you feel we should have the same schooling as a truck driver? What issues have you personally seen to bring you to that conclusion?

As for me driving my coach with possible air failure. Even with proper instruction I would have done the same thing. Who among us have not driven our cars in a questionable state because we couldn't afford to tow it home or get a roadside repair? I knew my risks, right or wrong (it was wrong) and I took the chance. I did drive the coach from the gas station to a rest stop about a mile or so down the road without knowing the brakes could lock. At the rest stop I did some research on my issue and did know from that point on. I drove slowly and kept big separation and relied on my jake brake. I was not leaking air if I did not push hard on the brake. I could stop at a red light for example and not lose air, but if I had to hard stop then I would. I also knew that my rear brakes are operated from tank 1 and that was not leaking.

I'm not saying I made a good decision and I acknowledge I was somewhat lucky but don't sit here and act like no professional driver has ever done the same thing by trying to save a buck.

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Old 09-24-2015, 08:48 PM   #23
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Well put!
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:53 PM   #24
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Location: West Michigan/Fort Myers
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Air Brake Issue

Great idea. Let's all be mandated to getting CDL's. Including all the 5 th wheel and bumper pull. I mean after all we need to make sure everyone knows what they are doing. It's all very complicated with the hitch and all. Wow I have a great idea. Let's make it so we all have to stop at the truck weigh stations. Great idea. Really a CDL? I dare say most of us understand the safety aspects of our air brake systems. I have been driving a truck with air brakes off and on since I was in the Marines. It's not that complicated. Some states mandate a special class license. All it really is another way to tax us. We do not need more taxes or regulations.
Why does everyone always pile on MH drivers.
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:21 AM   #25
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I copied this from a post on IRV2. Hopefully no one minds as this is great info on testing air brakes.
tomakat, Here are air brake tests that I posted on another forum. I believe this forum is the correct place.

Below are listed MH brake system tests that should be done periodically to ensure safe air brake operation.

Motorhome air brake system testing
| |
by Jerry Fitzgerald

This test identifies the upper and lower limits of the air pressures. Start the engine and allow the air pressure to build up until it reaches its maximum and the compressor turns off (this should be no more than 130 pounds of pressure). You may hear the spitter valve pop when the maximum pressure is reached. Then depress the service (foot) brake several times. Each time you depress the service brake pedal the air pressure will go down and you can see the pressure go down on the air gauge. Wait about 2 seconds between each time you depress the brake pedal in order to see if the compressor restarts and the air gauge needles start going up again. Watch the air gauge and keep doing this until the compressor restarts. The compressor should restart at or above 85 pounds of air pressure. Now you know the maximum air pressure in your system and the air pressure where the compressor restarts. NOTE: There are two needles in the air gauge. One is for the front air tank and one is for the rear air tank. They should be close together, no more than 2-4 pounds apart. If they diverge too much it may indicate a problem with one of the air tanks.

This test checks for leaks in the air tanks. Continuing from the AIR GOVERNOR TEST above, the air pressure should be at its maximum for this test. You should be stopped in a level position (block the wheels if it is not perfectly level). Place the automatic transmission in neutral (manual transmissions can be put in reverse gear), turn the engine off, keep your foot off the service brake, and release the parking brake. NOTE: Be sure the vehicle does not roll. Looking at the air pressure gauge, the air loss should not exceed 2 pounds in one minute.

This test checks for leaks in the air lines. Continuing from the STATIC BRAKE TEST above, depress the service brake pedal and keep it fully depressed for one minute. Watch the air gauge needles. After the air pressure has stabilized (the needles stop moving), the air loss should not exceed 3 pounds in one minute (tap the gauge occasionally). One caution, do not apply too much pressure on the service brake pedal.

This test checks to see that the low air warning system is working. Continuing from the APPLIED BRAKE TEST above, turn ignition switch fully on but do NOT start the engine. Look at the air pressure gauge and continuously pump the service brake until you can see the warning light come on and/or hear the warning buzzer. If your buzzer sounds because of the low oil pressure switch, just look for the low air warning light to come on. The low air light should come on at pressures below 60 pounds. NOTE: If the low air warning light or buzzer comes on while you are driving, immediately move off the highway because soon after the low air warning comes on the emergency brake will be applied automatically and you will stop where ever you are at that time.

This test checks to see whether the parking brake applies automatically if the air pressure gets too low. Continuing from the LOW AIR WARNING DEVICE TEST above, turn off the ignition and continue to pump the service brake pedal until the parking brake handle pops up of its own accord. This should happen at pressures below 45 pounds. After it pops up, start the engine but do NOT touch the parking brake (it is on at this point). Try to SLOWLY drive the vehicle with the low air pressure warning on. The emergency brake is still on so it should hold you back.

This test checks whether the emergency brake works manually. Continuing from the EMERGENCY BRAKE SYSTEM TEST, keep the engine running and allow the air pressure to build up until it is at full pressure (the spitter valve will pop). Put the coach in Drive and release the parking brake. Drive the coach at about 5 miles per hour and apply the parking brake (not the service brake pedal). It should stop you fairly quickly.

This test checks whether the service brakes are working and also whether they may need adjusting. Continuing from the EMERGENCY BRAKE TEST, drive the coach at about 5 miles per hour, loosely hold the steering wheel and apply the service brake pedal firmly to see whether the steering wheel pulls to the left or the right. If it pulls in either direction you may need to have your brakes adjusted. Furthermore, if you apply the service brake and the two needles on the air gauge move farther apart than their normal (small) divergence, this is an indicator that the brakes may need adjusting.

Safe travels and THE JOY IS IN THE RIDE

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