Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-22-2014, 08:37 PM   #15
Senior Member
Ray,IN's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: North America somewhere
Posts: 13,897
Originally Posted by 450Donn View Post
Another lesson, leave the EB on ALL the time!
That is inconsiderate to following vehicles. Every time the exhaust brake activates the brake lights activate, even if you just let off the go-pedal a bit too much. Very aggravating to others following, who must respect your brake lights and hit their brakes too.
On another note, a Cummins repair center, when asked, told me they believed the main reason for cracked exhaust manifolds on the ISC engine was due to excess heat from constantly using the exhaust brake.
We just finished a 4,000 mile caravan. A few constantly ran with their exhaust brake on. It was difficult to follow those drivers.

2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member,FMCA."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
Ray,IN is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-22-2014, 08:55 PM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 168
Big Picture


1. RV's are frequently overloaded beyond their design specs. Then when a problem arises, there is no margin left. Please have your rigs weighed and be certain your safe! Just for the case mentioned above.

2. Modern exhaust brakes do not add much engine noise. Turning off the engine brake greatly increases stopping distances. Take your choice between an accident and the risk of a ticket!


2014 ShowHauler 45'
2014 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie
brunsje is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2014, 09:08 PM   #17
Senior Member
Jupiter's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 561
Yet a differing opinion... I never leave the exhaust brake constantly activated because to me it doesn't seem like a very efficient mode of operation. Meaning that when slowing down slightly the brake often activates causing a loss of speed beyond my intended speed reduction. Then, it often takes more throttle to regain the lost speed. May seem insignificant to many, but it's how I choose to... umm roll.

Again, it seems so easy to simply flip a switch when needed without as much as a glance. And, ditto on the brake lights.

Jupiter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2014, 09:53 PM   #18
Senior Member
1ciderdog's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 4,366
I added this to my exhaust brake system. http://www.brakeswitch.com/ I think you can do similar with an Allison program modification. My exhaust brake switch is always in the on position but the exhaust brake does not activate unless I push the brake pedal and then the exhaust brake stays on until I push the fuel pedal or the RV gets under 15 mph. So when driving when I left off the fuel pedal it coasts (so to speak) but the exhaust brake does not engage until I push the brake pedal. Works for me.
Bob, Sandi & Marmaduke the Big Pug
SW OREGON 2004 Journey 39K, 330 Cat
If towing: a 2006 Mini Cooper or 2015 RAM Limited 4X4
1ciderdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2014, 10:38 PM   #19
Registered User
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Varies Depending on The Weather
Posts: 8,517
For those drivers not interested in following my vehicle with the brake lights on when I am using my Exhaust Brake to slowdown while descending a grade or for that matter anywhere, you have every right to go around me if you choose to drive faster than me. Hell, since I am slowing down and in the right-hand lane anyway you are welcome to pass me on the left and go as fast as you heart desires.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
Dr4Film is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 06:12 AM   #20
Senior Member
ImagineIF's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,045
It seems all not brake pad systems are being grouped together. There are at least 3 exhaust related braking systems. Two are Jakes, one incorporated in the head and one in the exhaust pipe. In newer engines you will find turbos that create drag by changing the pitch of vanes. This one is often coupled with an automatic down shift to 4th. Finally, newer coached may have transmission retarders. All of these systems increase heat. That's not too suggest excessive heat, but they may. I leave my in head Jake on low when ever I'm out of town and use it in high only in hilly areas.

I have disconnected my Jake activation of the brake lights, as many have. I'm not braking, but rather slowing down. Sometimes, like when I have the cruise control set I'm not even slowing down but rather maintaining a set speed.
99 Country Coach
Prevost XL 45 Conversion
ImagineIF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 06:26 AM   #21
Senior Member
Ray,IN's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: North America somewhere
Posts: 13,897
Climbon69, I apologize for hijacking your thread. Apparently I angered some members and jumped your thread off the track.
I have been guilty of doing the same as you, bypassing the safety brake check pullout for HD vehicles. I've learned from your experience. Thanks for posting.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member,FMCA."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
Ray,IN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 07:42 AM   #22
Senior Member/RVM #90
MSHappyCampers's Avatar

Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 29,539
Glad you're OK Al!
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
MSHappyCampers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 08:25 AM   #23
Senior Member
slemnah's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 855
I never leave mine on, I have the switch next to me and as I am going down a steep hill I modulate between low and hi depending on how much speed I am gaining or losing. I use the brakes very little just using them to quickly drop a few mph and then off the brakes again. I can go down the steepest part of the grapevine at 35mph using this method on a 47k lbs motorhome with toad. I also turn it on if I have to come to a quick stop in town such as a traffic light changing to red. I use it when coming to a slow stop until I hit around 10mph and it shuts off then I hit the brake. I have a Jake brake on my C-13 CAT but I did the same thing with my exhaust brake on my 8.3l cummins in my 97 Imperial.
slemnah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 08:56 AM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 134
Wow, that was an interesting discussion

No problem on "thread jumping" Ray. The discussion was interesting. It's obvious that there are a variety of EB/transmission/air brake combinations. My EB is not linked mechanically or electronically to any other component. It is either on or off. Leaving it on for long distances does increase engine and transmission temps on my coach. I don't have a pyrometers in the exhaust manifold yet, but I suspect temps go up dramatically in the manifold when my EB is on.

PO must have thought he was doing right thing by leaving it on all the time as I ended up replacing the exhaust manifold. The original EB butterfly leaf inside the manifold was completely gone. Presumably, cooked.

I had this same discussion with a friend who has a much newer coach. His operation manual recommends the EB be turned on for city driving and mountain driving, but his EB is electronically linked to his transmission and air brakes. The EB butterfly leaf activates only when his air brakes are applied or when his "smart" transmission thinks it needs to engage. That would be cool, but it ain't happening on my old coach.

The input on the proper application of air brakes was also excellent. My son is a truck driver and works for CAT. He also drove a platoon of Marines into Bagdad. Both the Marine Corps and CAT taught him that method of using your air brakes and he beat it into me when I got my RV. He also rants that I should have a CDL to drive this heavy bus!!
Al & Sue w/T-Bone & Rosco
Go Devils Bus, 1994 8.3 Cummins, Spartan Chassis
Climbon69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 09:24 AM   #25
Senior Member
spritz's Avatar

Vintage RV Owners Club
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: c above
Posts: 5,146
I only have a pedal break in my MH, Soooo slow, still start in first. When I drove OTR in a 83 Peterbuilt towing a 45 foot trailer and weight ins around 80,000 lbs and with the 4 way's flashing, I never came off the top of a pass but in first gear Never, I shifted and braked and used the Jake break. I have seen the guy that went flying by me only too see him in the Run Away Lane while I was still going 35-40 MPG. and under control going by him or the guy that's trailer breaks are Just smoking. I'm sure you have seen it.
Whats the Hurry I just will never get it, SLOW DOWN The CG will still be there.
I wish I still had that 83 Pete, What a life, but now I can stop as those places I wanted too.
The RV Life
1982 Pace Arrow 30ft.
KarKaddy SS, Toad: 1999 Deville Concours
Lilly and Rubie Our 4 legged Kids & Tim & Joe
spritz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 09:31 AM   #26
Registered User
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Varies Depending on The Weather
Posts: 8,517
Exhaust manifold temps will only go up significantly when you have your foot fully into the fuel treadle. That happens when you are ascending a grade.

If they go up significantly when descending a grade then you have something drastically wrong with your engine. There is very little fuel entering the cylinders when your foot is off the treadle and your Exhaust Brake is activated. To produce heat you need to have lots of fuel entering the cylinders.

If climbing a grade using your turbo and your foot all the way into the treadle then yes your exhaust manifold temps will increase. Keep the temp under 1200F -1300F and you will be OK. The engine will de-rate at 1300F to protect itself if it's one of the electronic engines. If it's an older mechanical engine then you need to get off of the treadle before it reaches 1300F or you will damage the engine.

EGT gauges are very useful devices.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
Dr4Film is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 01:04 PM   #27
Senior Member
TexasSprinter's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Kerrville, Texas
Posts: 304
This is an interesting thread with all this information. Our coach is newer and it has an engine break associated with the turbo and connected into the transmission. I do leave it on most of the time, but with a light on the dash showing me when it is engaged, I've discovered that it is surprisingly easy to modulate. The slightest pressure on the fuel pedal and it goes off, and it doesn't work at all with the cruise control on. On downhills, I've found that if you start downhill slow enough and press the downshift button on the tranny control a couple of times, it pretty much handles the grades w/o ever pressing the brake treadle, even pulling over 4K of car. And the car brake almost never comes on.

When I do need the brakes, I do as suggested here and pull it down to 5-10MPH below the max speed I want, then let it go. If it gets much over 5MPH above what I want, I repeat. But that doesn't happen all that often.

I sure don't want hot brakes coming down hill and so far, despite driving a fair amount around Colorado, I've not had any.
Niel & Carol Powers
Tiffin Allegro RED 33aa
TexasSprinter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 02:17 PM   #28
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Posts: 139
Send a message via Skype™ to GraciesDaddy
They can BIT

Originally Posted by ImagineIF View Post
Just remember you can get an expensive ticket in a lot of cities that don't allow exhaust brakes.
There is a sign on I-459, which skirts the eastern side of Birmingham, at the top of a long hill in Hoover/Vestavia Hills which says "No Jake Brakes". At the bottom of that hill is a sharp right curve. MY stance is this: If the good people of Hoover/Vestavia Hills want to buy me a new rig because they wouldn't let me use the Jake, they're welcome to do that. But until then, I'm using the Jake!

I'll tell a cop and a judge the same thing!

John E. Baker, III and Sally Baker... The Traveling Siblings! Watch your tail swing... Keep the greasy side down and keep it 'tweeeeeeeeen the ditches, Y'all!
GraciesDaddy is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Steep grade Rogersslt Ford Motorhome Chassis Forum 7 07-22-2014 05:31 AM
Lesson I learned on fuel filter change.. blkcloud Class A Motorhome Discussions 5 06-25-2014 12:17 PM
How to level on steep grade? JACKAL0PE MH-General Discussions & Problems 22 04-07-2014 05:17 AM
Lesson Learned .... I Think scubastevee Class B Motorhome Discussions 9 08-04-2013 04:08 PM
Lesson Learned - Check Low Clearances pacwest Entegra Owner's Forum 21 07-29-2013 08:36 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:13 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.