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Old 05-20-2016, 11:08 AM   #29
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The 8.1 workhorse may have a " grade brake" but definitely not an exhaust brake or engine brake. The grade brake is a transmission mode that causes downshifting. Just to clarify...
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Old 05-20-2016, 11:13 AM   #30
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WOW! I learn something new here every day! I didn't know that the MH brake lights come on when the exhaust brake activates! I had never really thought about it!
The brake lights on with exhaust/engine brake , is chassis manufacturer dependent , my Freightliner does , but many others have stated their MH doesn't have the lights on with the exhaust/engine brake active.
There is an old post , just re-activated, about this feature. Pro/con and legalities.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f26/exhau...ts-266712.html
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Old 05-20-2016, 11:17 AM   #31
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At recent Camp Frieghtliner is was discussed that the brake lights would be activated with engine brake. Something I had not thought of or been aware. But makes sense to do so.
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Old 05-20-2016, 11:32 AM   #32
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On my Spartan chassis the brake lights come on if the engine brake is active. Not if it is just switched on.
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:31 AM   #33
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I would monitor the trailer brake temps, I needed to turn mine all but off on long grades as they did get hot. I am talking 7% grades or more for several miles with no flattening for cool down. Then back to normal braking on the flat, you WILL need the full trailer braking when a stop light suddenly goes red and you have no place to run.

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Thanks for the input Len, I would have never guessed that the exhaust brake being activated would turn on the trailer brakes. I will have to test this out on my next travel date.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:00 AM   #34
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So, would it be good to use cruise control and exhaust brake when in descent mode? I am making my first mountain trip next week, and am a little nervous about the trip on I-40 from Asheville west...
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:57 AM   #35
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Yes the brake light comes on when the exhaust brake engages on my OLDER 2003 Freightliner DP motor home chassis. As far as I can remember back to my old RV sales days some Allison transmission equipped gas motor homes did have retarders but it wasn't a exhaust type it was transmission related. I think you tapped the brake and it engaged. Somebody out there has to have one of those things.
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:39 PM   #36
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Since 2007 break lights are activated on Freightliner chassis when exhaust break is on.

Unless modified, the Freightliner toad umbilical does not activate the toad's break lights when the exhaust break is activated. Of course the umbilical activates the toad break lights when the coach's service break is activated.

Toads set up with surge type and some inertial type supplemental breaking systems will activate the toad's break lights when the exhaust break is activated.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:07 PM   #37
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So, would it be good to use cruise control and exhaust brake when in descent mode? I am making my first mountain trip next week, and am a little nervous about the trip on I-40 from Asheville west...

If you are new to the vehicle, you probably want as much manual control as possible and not have things happening automatically to throw you off. Start by using the regular foot service brake, just like in the car. Never ride the brake, thereby overheating the linings and reducing their ability to stop the vehicle. Instead, brake firmly to reduce (not maintain) speed from time to time. Turn on the exhaust brake to assist on a long downgrade. Remember that it is only an assist and your foot occasionally on the brake pedal is what limits your speed.
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:15 PM   #38
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Thanks.
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:41 PM   #39
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Amusing anecdote:

I pulled into a Pilot station after a long downhill decent and a car that had been following us pulled in behind me. He was very nice and wanted to warn me that if I kept riding my brakes downhill like that I'd burn them up and crash. As he explained it, he'd been driving motorhomes for many, many years, and it was clear to him from my driving style that I was a newbie and he didn't want anything bad to happen to us.

I confirmed for him that (at the time) I was a indeed a newbie, but I also explained to him that the first time I'd hit the brake pedal in the last 100 miles or so was when I exited the highway... what he'd been seeing was my jake brake activating the lights, not my foot on the pedal.

I don't think he believed me, but it was very sweet of him to be so concerned. RV'ers are great people
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:25 PM   #40
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I know for sure that the Jake triggers my brake lights but now I think my toad brake lights don't come on cos as far as I know, they're only activated when the air pressure cylinder pushes on the brake peddle. So, someone following me would see the coach's brake lights lit but not the toad's. Hmmm...
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:05 PM   #41
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Hopefully they'll be quick to figure out that if the MH is slowing, the toad will be as well.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:19 PM   #42
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I know for sure that the Jake triggers my brake lights but now I think my toad brake lights don't come on cos as far as I know, they're only activated when the air pressure cylinder pushes on the brake peddle. So, someone following me would see the coach's brake lights lit but not the toad's. Hmmm...

Are your toad brake lights not electrically connected to the towing vehicle like most? I would think they would have to be, otherwise it becomes a confusing light show if the two are lighting up independently.
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