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Old 12-03-2008, 09:01 PM   #1
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I had planned on replacing the oil in the hydraulic brake booster system, had bought 10 gallons of Rykon premium 46 and had it with me on this trip. Needing the hydraulic pump and fan motor replaced, provided the opportunity to have it done. This work was done by Cummins Rocky Mountain in Phoenix, they took very good care of us. Having driven from there to Southern Calif in a lot of traffic, I can say there is a definite improvement in pedal pressure needed for braking. Before the change, VERY high pressure was needed to stop the coach, after the engine brake cut out on an off ramp or just to hold the coach still at idle in gear. Moving the pedals all the way back helped, but was sill not great and the pedals were too far back for my comfort. Now, the pedal feel with the pedals all the way forward, is better than it was with them all the way back before. The coach is now much more comfortable to drive.
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:44 PM   #2
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Interesting, I replaced the fluid with Rykon 46 about six months ago and found very little difference (maybe 10-15% better). Has anyone else done the switch and what were the results?
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:18 PM   #3
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Jerry,

Did you blow the old oil out of all of the lines? I would give the improvement about a 20-25% difference. I still think (the best I can remember) that my 2002 was easier to stop, but the new coach is, probably about 7,000 lbs heavier.
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:56 PM   #4
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Jerry,

I also meant to ask if you used Rykon 46 or Rykon premium 46?
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:21 PM   #5
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I did use premium and I did blow out all the excess oil. It is not that I'm dissatisfied with the results, it's that I was hoping for better....
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:37 PM   #6
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Jerry,

I am with you, I would have liked a bigger change. I am happy that I changed, it is less work to stop and keep stopped now. My guess is that our coach is probably 5,000 lbs or so heavier than yours and that might affect how we judge the improvement. I would be interested in how anyone else who changed, feels about the improvement. I did try a search on this a while back, hoping to find some good feed back, before I changed ours.
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:09 PM   #7
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Dale & All,
I weight my coach about every 6 months, to make sure we are still under max weight. The max is 33,000 lbs total, 20K to the rear and 13K to the front. We are around 11K up front, and 18K or so in the rear, so we push around 30K max or a tad under, this would be with full water and diesel tanks, gray and black empty. I don't know for sure if we have the Rykon in my system or not. But will change it in a year or so, as my brakes seem to work ok. Since I am familiar with big rigs and how they stop, the brakes donít seem that far out of line with the weight I am carrying.
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:00 PM   #8
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Dale:

Was your older coach easy to stop? Or just not as hard as your newer coach?

My 2003 is easy to stop and is never hard to hold at a stop. I weigh in at 31K (my limit) and haven't had a problem. I've never changed the fluid yet (2nd owner) but need to, next year. It's not marked or labeled as having anything other than the original fluid, and the old receipts don't mention changing brands. I wonder what would be best when I do change it out.

On the other hand, maybe my brake foot is just real heavy and I ought to upgrade to Rykon. The coach is only slightly harder to stop than my F-350 (and takes more room, of course). I'd say it's 10% harder to stop and equally easy to keep still.
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:01 AM   #9
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Dale,I believe I was the original guinea pig for the Rykon 46 oil. I had complained profusely to WRV that our coach was extremely hard to stop and hold. I indicated that I would never let my wife drive this coach with these brakes. WRV provided the oil to my truck shop and gave whatever instructions were neccasary (blowing out the lines,etc.)I keep telling myself that the coach stops better but I have often thought that it is wishful thinking. I still definitely would not let my wife drive the coach. I don't know what can be done but I truly must get something done before I get in a situation where I can't stop the coach in time. Prior to the Alpine we had a 96 Monaco Executive Signature 40' that was a lot heavier than this coach with air brakes and it stopped extremely better than the Alpine.
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:20 AM   #10
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Takepride,

I never had any issues with the way the 2002 stopped. In fact I thought is was quite good, and this was without any brake system in our 3500 lb toad. The best I can remember, that coach was at about 25,000 lbs loaded. I think that the 2003's don't have the adjustable pedals and ATF was used in the hydraulic power steering system. (PS, PB and fan.) If this is the case I would not change to Rykon. The pedal pressure issue, only seems to affect the coaches with the adjustable pedals and engine oil in the power booster system.

Ted,

Have you tried driving with the pedals moved all the way out. (closer to you.) This provides about a 10 to 15% improvement over when they are all the way in. (away from you.)
If you don't think that you saw any improvement after the change, I would be concerned about how well the old oil was removed from your system. Check the oil in your reservoir. The Rykon is clear and quite light weight, more like ATF than the engine oil that was in there. I have found that the oil in my reservoir is slightly brown, but thinner than it was. Since I did have a problem with some metal in the oil from the fan motor failure, I plan on changing the filters and the oil in the reservoir when I get home. This should help me get closer to pure Rykon in my system. Do remember to ask for the Premium oil.
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:36 AM   #11
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The frightening feeling that the coach was not going to stop in time is one of the reasons I was happy to get rid of my 2006 Apex.

We have had several motor homes with air brakes, and I will stay with air brakes from now on.

I have been told that studies were done, and Alpine stopped shorter than the others. I have never measured the distances but it sure does not feel like the Alpine stops any better.
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:02 AM   #12
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Jim,

Air brakes do require less pedal pressure than hydraulic brakes for stopping. I know of no problems in stopping any Alpine coach, just that some of the later coaches requiring more pedal pressure than some of us feel is OK. I know of many owners with coaches like yours and mine that have no problem with pedal pressure. One owner who felt he couldn't stop his coach safely was taken on a drive with a WRV rep and shown that if you just push on the pedal hard you could stop very fast. My issues were more just before coming to a dead stop and holding still at an idle. I have never felt that there was a safety problem. I did have to add a toad braking system, but was way over weight in this coach with the toad added.
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:51 PM   #13
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Dale:

A big THANKS! It's nice to have people with a history with multiple Alpine Coaches. Many of the topics discussed are not necessarily applicable to all years. Your comments have reassured me nothing is wrong with my brakes (or lying in wait). I guess it's another reason I lucked out getting an '03 instead of another year.

I've noticed a number of our fellow forum members get worked up over a potential problem only to find it's not related to their coach. I just don't want to be one of them. Of course it would help if everyone was required to add the year and model to their signature line.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:55 PM   #14
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Ted: I bought my 2007, 36 foot coach from Guaranty and complained the way it stopped and was told this was normal for an Alpine. I then drove home to Albuquerque
and then back to Oregon for the Redmond Show. By the time i arrived at the rally, the bottom of my right foot was bruised from the effort required to brake.

At the rally I persuaded a WRV representative to test drive my coach and compare it to a new demo. After driving it the issue of safety was raised and I was able to go to Yakima and go to the head of the line for correction.

The first thing that was done was for Mark Harrah to test drive and discern if a problem really existed. Next the brake booster was completely replaced which resulted in a terrific improvement in the amount of force required on the pedal. Secondly the oil was changed which resuted in a very marginal improvement but one the which could be tolerated.

Not being satisfied, I then obtained from Mark a new tubing ( this is the upright tube with ears that attach the pedal to the booster)which I modifed by relocating the attachment eyes. The result was that it now takes very little effort to brake. The brake pedal eye was moved forward .650 in. and to the right .600 in. and the housing was skewed 7 degrees to align rod.

Because of liability concerns this information is for educational purposes only and I am not promoting any change to the manufacturers original product.

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