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Old 04-23-2014, 06:55 PM   #1
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Frozen parking brake

Heading up the AK Highway with our new to us Winnebago Journey DP. Woke up at Milepost 74 in BC to a blizzard. We drove north for a while and pulled off at Pink Mountain where they said the road ahead was closed, so we parked for a while and i applied the air Parking brake. A couple hours later, traffic was moving in both directions, so we got ready to go, and coach didn't want to move. I gave it a lot a accelerator pedal in forward and reverse before it finally popped loose and we managed to make it as far as Fort Nelson where we're waiting out the rest of the storm in comfort. ABS light came on shortly after we got moving. I'm assuming this is from the rear brakes having been frozen. Do I need to get this looked at right now, or can I continue on up to AK, another 1200 miles? Brakes seem to work OK. I know what the manual says, but mechanics who work on the 45 foot MCI and Van Hool buses I drive tell us ABS light is not an "Out of Service" item and can be dealt with a little later if need be. Comments?

'04 Journey 36 with 330 Cat towing a '14 Sonic hatchback 1.4 liter turbo 6 spd. '16 Subaru Outback at home in Vancouver WA, plus a few other toys up at our remote cabin in Alaska's Talkeetna Mountains.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:52 PM   #2
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If it was my motorhome I would wait.

Harry & Becky
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:52 PM   #3
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Sounds like water in your air system. I'd suggest getting an Alaska tech to service your brakes when you can. This should fix all your problems.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:58 PM   #4
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You most likely damaged the sensor or pulled a wire loose while trying to break the brakes loose. As an otr driver we used to take a hammer and hit the rear drums until we could move the wheels.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:19 PM   #5
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Have you drained the air tanks to see if there is any water. Did you change the air dryer, some coaches say to change every 2 or 3 years.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:41 PM   #6
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Nothing to do with water in system. When driving in snow and in the process of stopping the brake drums warm up and when you apply them and sit in freezing temps the shoes will sometimes freeze to the drums and post # 4 is right in hitting drums with hammer with the brakes released----But make sure wheels are properly blocked as when shoes release M/H will be free to roll if on an incline.
As for the ABS I'd not worry to much about it because as you stated it is not and out of service situation.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:20 PM   #7
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I second gknott's post. I've had rear brakes in buses, trucks, and autos freeze in winter after driving in wet snow or freezing rain, apply parking brake and the nighttime temp. drops. A hammer or backing up helps break the shoes loose. The fact that the ABS light came on might be a chunk of snow or ice knocked a sensor or wire loose but it's not a trip stopper. Good luck in your travels.


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