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Old 03-17-2013, 07:11 PM   #1
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How important is an exhaust/jake brake?

Hope to upgrade to a Tiffin Alegro Breeze within the next year or two.
I see the 2013 has an exhaust brake but 2012 and earlier does not.
Has anyone had experience with and without.
Your thoughts please.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:17 PM   #2
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I would say quite important if you are riding in the hills...could not imagine not having one...
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:32 PM   #3
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Through a series of events I drove my MH for 3 trips (PA to FL) with the PAC brake not working. I finally located the problem on the last trip we made in February this year. I could not beleve the difference it made. There are several long grades that I had to draw brakes on numerous times to keep the speed down on the other trips. This past trip I had to turn the PAC brake off in 2 areas of the longest grade.

My father has told me stories of losing brakes on steep grades... not a position I ever want to be in with my family on board. I try to use the service brakes as little as possible. That way they are there when I really need them. IMHO a MH without some sort of engine brake would be a deal killer.

Good luck with the new coach, hope this was helpful.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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I would think, not having one is like not having a tolet. Not good.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:01 PM   #5
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I dont have one so I dont know what I'm missing. I'm sure it is nice.
I set the same gear going down as I did going up, and maybe do a 3 to 5 second brake stomp every 3 or 4 miles. So I guess it aint the end of the world.
I do see some DPs riding their brakes long and hard enough that I can smell them, sometimes see puffs of smoke. :BANGHEAD:
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:32 PM   #6
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Debry,

Now that you've heard from the other side I thought you might want to hear from the 1 dummy who doesn't have one.

I have a 93 Navigator, and back in those days most coaches didn't come with an exhaust brake. I think it might have been an option in 93.

Anyway, I purchased my old coach about 5 years ago. At the time I knew it didn't have an exhaust brake, and even asked the previous owner about it. He just said "I've always managed without it."

I wasn't crazy about the answer, but decided to purchase the coach anyway thinking I can always add it later.

Well, later never came. It is now almost 6 years later. I've driven through the Ozarks of Arkansas, the Davis Mountains of Texas, the southern Rockies of northern New Mexico, the canyons of Utah, and have crossed the Smokey Mountains. ... And, well. I've managed without it." As a consequence, I just keep putting off the purchase.

The few times I have looked into it I've received a lot votes for an exhaust brake, but every now and then someone will point out a few things.

1). Some believe that restricting exhaust will cause excess heat at the turbo leading to premature turbo failure.
2). Others point out, there are tens of thousands of school buses running up and down hilly, mountainous roads, and they don't have an exhaust brake.

I don't know if either statement is accurate or not, and some day I'm sure I'll bite the bullet and get one, but for now, I'll just continue to manage without it.

BTW... In my case one off the things that has caused me to hold off is I would have to change my exhaust springs to a 60psi springs. My old C8.3 has 35psi exhaust valve springs. I'm told PACBrake makes a brake for the 35psi springs, but it doesn't work as well. If I'm going, I might as well go all the way.

Ok fellow posters... Flame away!
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:33 PM   #7
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Looky there. I have company!
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:56 PM   #8
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My 34ft, 22000 lb gas Bounder didn't have an exhaust brake and I did plenty of mountains with a toad and never felt that I needed one (would having one been nice -yes but not a deal breaker). My 40ft, 32000 lb diesel Discovery does have one. Is it nice - absolutely. Necessary - probably. My point is the size and weight of your coach, and your expected travels, may decide if it is a deal breaker or not.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:06 PM   #9
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you can do probably 90% of what an exhaust brake does with your gearshift....

and SOME mfg's will void warranty if an exhaust brake is added if not designed to have one... as stated, too much back pressure on the turbo, etc...
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:14 PM   #10
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just learn to drive what you have and all will be fine. are they nice, sure. would i buy one on a new coach, absolutely, but if everything was what i wanted I wouldn't walk away or sell a coach just because it didn't have one.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:21 PM   #11
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I don't know if you absolutely NEED one or not but they sure are nice to have. I have had six coaches...three of them gassers and three of them DP's. I never had an exhaust brake on the gassers but there were many times that I was coming down a mountain and I could smell my brakes. Now that I drive diesels, I don't know if I could live without my exhaust brake. It's kind of like the question "Do I need a diesel...?" You don't NEED one, but once you've driven one, you'll never go back...!
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrgreen View Post
My 34ft, 22000 lb gas Bounder didn't have an exhaust brake and I did plenty of mountains with a toad and never felt that I needed one (would having one been nice -yes but not a deal breaker). My 40ft, 32000 lb diesel Discovery does have one. Is it nice - absolutely. Necessary - probably. My point is the size and weight of your coach, and your expected travels, may decide if it is a deal breaker or not.
Gas engines don't have them and don't need them as the compression does the work, on a diesel the compression is so high there is no braking when letting off the throttle. The exhaust brake takes care of that, the compression brake is even better and the transmission retarder is best, but expensive and used only by Foretravel as standard equipment.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:34 AM   #13
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The question I would ask those that "get by" without one, or the poster that "smelled brakes", how often have you replaced brakes?

Another question, why do you think they have the escape run offs on mountain downgrades? Those are for professional drivers driving 18 wheelers many tens of thousand miles each year that loose their brakes when going down hill. If you use brakes too much going down hill, they heat to such an extent that they become ineffective. These professional drivers do downshift, and yet they do loose their brakes on occasion.

If you have the choice, get a MH with an exhaust brake or jake brake or whichever. These are a definite plus when driving a heavy vehicle in mountains, especially if you do not do it all the time!
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
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you can do probably 90% of what an exhaust brake does with your gearshift....

and SOME mfg's will void warranty if an exhaust brake is added if not designed to have one... as stated, too much back pressure on the turbo, etc...
I've not heard of any engine manufactures voiding a warranty.
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