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Old 10-28-2013, 05:31 AM   #1
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Bad Experience

We were traveling down I-81 to Knoxville, TN when we smelled coolant. We stopped at a rest area and saw coolant all over the towed car and the back of the RV and underneath. We saw where we thought the drip was coming from and I put some tape around it, hoping it would hold until we got to Knoxville, where we already had an appointment to deal with a problem with our inverter. A mile down the road we lost all our coolant. The temperature gauge spiked quickly and I stopped right away. When we got ready to be towed, the drive shaft was disconnected and I was told to release the parking brake. I pushed in the knob and the panel beeped at me because it apparently wasn't happy that the brake was on when the engine wasn't running. The towing went well, and just before the tow truck lowered the front of the RV, he told me to put the brake on. When I pulled it, I didn't get that "pssht" that one gets when you normally engage the parking brake, but I didn't tune into it because of the stress. When he dropped the towing arm, the coach rolled backwards and the front of the coach caught the towing arm and that stopped it... but it sounded scary. I went back into the RV and turned the key on, then pushed in and pulled back the parking brake and I got the "pssht" sound. We chocked the wheels, just in case the brake didn't really engage, so I don't know right now whether the brake is engaged or not. When the tow truck driver finally got the towing arm out from under the front, we assessed the damage. The exhaust pipe for the generator was ripped from its bracket, but was still in tact. However, the gen slide would not open, either with the switch, or manually when I removed the bolt underneath.

We are sitting at a diesel repair facility in Greeneville, TN, confident that the coolant problem will be fixed but very concerned about the gen slide not opening.

So far, neither the tow truck driver nor his boss can comprehend why the parking brake did not engage when we got to our destination. Is there and explanation of how the parking brake works and why it would not engage after we were towed? I guess we'll find out later today if it is engaged now.
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:01 AM   #2
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If your chassis model has 100% air brakes on rear/drive axles then it has 2 parts to them
(1) Service braking - which is used during normal driving and applies the pads/shoes with air pressure regulated from the treadle (brake pedal)

(2)Park/emergency braking - which are spring loaded to engage the brakes should the pressure fall below ~60psi. They always engage when the air is below ~60 psi

If you have this type of chassis braking, and you were towed from the front of the coach, the tow driver should have not only removed the driveshaft but also caged/pinned the emergency/park brake chambers in the released position. If he did not, then I suspect he has completely burnt up your pads/shoes by dragging it into the repair facility.
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:08 AM   #3
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The tow driver may have not removed the pins for the parking brakes. Pins would be used when towing to stop the parking brakes coming on when the air pressure drops below the 60 pounds.
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:41 AM   #4
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The regular brakes are hydraulic. I didn't think about the parking brake being an air brake.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:50 AM   #5
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On the Alpine the parking brake will be on when there is no air(engine off). With the driveshaft disconnected the parking brake is not connected to the rear wheels. That is why the coach rolled this should be on the tow truck driver. When he disconnected the drive shaft he could see the parking brake would be non functional.

There is no way to engage the hydraulic brakes without using the brake pedal.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne R View Post
On the Alpine the parking brake will be on when there is no air(engine off). With the driveshaft disconnected the parking brake is not connected to the rear wheels. That is why the coach rolled this should be on the tow truck driver. When he disconnected the drive shaft he could see the parking brake would be non functional.

There is no way to engage the hydraulic brakes without using the brake pedal.
Good point. I would think all pushers have the same type of parking brake setup.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:24 PM   #7
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I would have let the company do the towing. ALL of it. Now you are liable because you touched the brakes, not them, and they now have an out if they are not reputable and honest.
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:49 PM   #8
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Happy ending.

Crick Enterprises in Greeneville, TN was awesome. They are one of the most knowledgable, congenial, and thorough service establishments I have ever been at. Even though they had a heavy load, they finished up a unit Monday morning and took us in about noon. They found the coolant leak. Apparently a hose was put on and the clamp was over tightened and it cut into the hose. They also repositioned the exhaust pipe for the generator back to it's original position. They also found the reason the gen slide wouldn't come out... it was a bent bracket. And, they did some additonal lubricating and the gen slide is quieter than I can ever remember it being. And the price was extremely reasonable.
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:20 PM   #9
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Nothing like a happy ending!
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:54 PM   #10
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For my $0.02, the parking brake is on drive shaft. When you disconnect the drive shaft for towing that will make the parking brake ineffective. When they had you set the parking brake without reconnecting the drive shaft the parking brake will not hold anything.

If the air pressure dropped while being towed the lack of air pressure will automatically set the parking brake, so you not hear the hiss when setting the parking brake. No air pressure being released do to lack of air pressure when setting the parking brake. And if the drive shaft was not connected it would not hold the coach.

I think this is why the coach rolled when the tow truck released tension on the coach after it was towed.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:58 PM   #11
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Hit up the tow company for needed repairs. They will know their driver erred. Get your ERS involved if need be. I had a auto park brake damaged by incorrect handling of the coach. Tow company paid with no problem.
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