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Old 12-15-2017, 07:52 AM   #1
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working under coach: brakes and chocks

i will soon be doing my first oil change (cummins) and chassis / drivetrain grease on our Ď95 dynasty - likely using ramps - and need to know if setting the parking brake locks the front wheels. if so, do i just ramp / stand the rear wheels and chock the wheels? if the front brakes donít engage, can i just ramp a single rear wheel at a time without causing frame / other damage?

iíd also appreciate knowing how you folks chock your wheels - homemade or commercial ... and pics are always appreciated ;-)

thx in advance (yet again) for helping me get through the initial learning curve :-)
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:01 AM   #2
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Parking brakes, on air brake vehicles, only set the rear brakes.

Best to ramp one end then the other, if you don't have 4 ramps. Make sure the ramp has a flat top for the tire. On a steep ramp, it could roll down.
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Parking brakes, on air brake vehicles, only set the rear brakes.

Best to ramp one end then the other, if you don't have 4 ramps. Make sure the ramp has a flat top for the tire. On a steep ramp, it could roll down.
thx for the feedback, much appreciated. just yesterday i became aware of some air brake vehicles not locking front brakes and was betting monaco's - or all air brake vehicles - were the same. thx for the confirmation.

likewise, thx for the feedback on ramps.
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:32 AM   #4
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Also put wood blocks, firewood, anything handy to chock any tires left on the ground. Had a co worker get a call one day that his brother was killed when his car rolled off the ramps while changing oil.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Also put wood blocks, firewood, anything handy to chock any tires left on the ground. Had a co worker get a call one day that his brother was killed when his car rolled off the ramps while changing oil.
thx very much ... the coach has a couple of large blocks of wood that i can use for chocking, but i've been checking out bus / industrial vehicle chocks and weighing the +/-'s of each method.

thx for the reminder, very much appreciated.
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:53 PM   #6
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For years I did my own oil changes but have found it is not that much more expensive to take it to truck oil change center or Cummings service garage, they get rid of the old oil and filters, grease rig and do a visual safety check of running gear.
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Old 12-15-2017, 01:18 PM   #7
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Good afternoon Radacracitz; Have been doing the oil and filter, grease the chassis, fuel filters etc. since the beginning of 2016. So far the only thing I have not tackled myself is the coolant change. My question is, why do you need ramps? I do all the work under my 2001 Windsor with the wheels chocked, their always chocked because the coach sits on a very slightly sloped driveway, and have the coach at ride height all aired up. I can't say for others, but seems to me to be plenty of room underneath. I personally don't see the need for ramps and don't want to put something that heavy up on them. I do agree with Outbound, I used to have that work done at a shop until I would find that certain fazes of the work was not done and IMHO, the cost where I live has gotten to be outrageous. And yes as others have mentioned, the air parking brakes work only on the rear wheels. My chocks are bought, not made. Have fun learning about all the stuff under there and be safe.
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Old 12-15-2017, 01:28 PM   #8
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If you have air suspension bags and they suddenly deflate you may get deflated as well.

You need to protect the "house" from coming down on you.

If you get it up on ramps and then drain the air tanks you brakes will be locked and the coach can't come down on you. Of course chock the vehicle in any case.

I can tell you these things can drop faster than you can crawl out from under if they go into an emergency jack retraction.

Do NOT rely on the onboard jacks to hold it up.
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Old 12-15-2017, 01:44 PM   #9
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Completely air down the air bags and look under the coach. This is where it will sit if something dramatic happens while you are underneath. It scared me enough to buy 2x12 lumber and build 4 ramps to run the coach rear duals (one on each tire) up on to no matter what I am doing under there.
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Old 12-16-2017, 06:32 AM   #10
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I would not recommend working under your MH without the use of jack stands.
I purchased the following jack stands from Summit Racing. They are 22 tons per jack stand.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sxt-1522/overview/

I run my MH up on ramps (one end at a time) as previously described, clock the wheels, and the put the jack stands in place.
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Old 12-16-2017, 07:00 AM   #11
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Also be sure to ramp both of the rear duals...not just one.
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Old 12-16-2017, 07:46 AM   #12
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thx for all the feedback, my comments follow:

@outbound, I've always done routine maintenance on all of our vehicles - our gas bounder, family cars and motorcycles - except my nsx's ... waaay to low for me and an Acura dealership is nearby so I had them take care of it. i enjoy getting my hands dirty and familiarization with the bits helps me feel more confident in using it.

@8.3oil,
hiya ;-)

(back in the day) I did the same with our air bagged bounder: inflated the bags, crawled under and had tons of room. the bounder's bags were independent and manually inflated (and new, frankly) so if one failed when I was under it, no big shake ... I had 3 others maintaining clearance. but this coach is different and, however unlikely, if the pneumatic system experiences a rapid loss while I'm under it, I could well be roadkill. thx for the feedback on the other issues, too.

@yc1, @brianglenn, @veraken & @winemaker2, thx very much for your comments and suggestions, very much appreciated.

thx again to you folks for your comments and guidance ... coming up to speed on the many issues of dp ownership has been a **very** steep learning curve for me, but I'm making progress in part due to feedback such as this.

thx again :-)
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:10 AM   #13
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I also like doing my own work on the vehicle because it keeps me familiar with it. I can check and inspect the motor and know for myself what is going on or needs to be monitored. Recently a neighbor RV'r said his engine was leaking oil after a recent oil change at a dealership. I checked under his motor for him and found the oil drain plug was finger tight and dripping.
Two years ago during a Texas vehicle inspection, the mechanic informed me I needed a brake job. I showed him the receipts for rotors and pads I had installed 2 months prior. If you know your vehicle well, you can avoid scams like that.
My mother called last week and said she had taken her car to a garage for a check engine light issue. Among other things, they talked her into a coolant flush and wheel alignment. The coolant and alignment had been done a year earlier by the previous owner per notes they told me when we bought the car. The list goes on as to why I do my own work.
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