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Old 05-13-2013, 07:00 PM   #1
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exhaust brake

Hi Folks,

I have a '03 American Eagle motor home. My first big trip will be traveling out west the month of June, from TN to Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone, etc.

What's your opinion on using the exhaust brake? I've heard all the time, just on open roads like interstates and just in the mountains.

Your opinions is appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:08 PM   #2
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I use mine all the time. Keep it exercised and operating properly. Enjoy the trip. We did it last year from Nashville up to Rushmore and Crazy Horse and out to Devil's Tower in Wyoming
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:23 PM   #3
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Mine is on almost all the time. Sometimes turn if off in rolling hills when I want to coast.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:23 PM   #4
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There have been many threads on this subject if you look it up... And just as many opinions... so I will give you mine... I don't want my motorhome exhaust brake to engage every time I let off the gas... Which is the way it works... Besides being an annoying way to drive, I believe it reduces your mpg. Some guys are going to say they "feather" the gas pedal to "fool" the brake... Doesn't make much sense to me.... I engage mine when i feel i need it... Now with that said, I'm sure I will attract a firestorm of critiscm.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:30 PM   #5
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Steve,

i'm with you. I only use mine when I feel I need it, and that is mostly in the mountains. However, on every trip, I'll engage it at about 40 mph coming off the interstate a couple of times to exercise it.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:53 PM   #6
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Tend to have mine off when cruise control is set; unless I forget; kind of annoying to have to get on the throttle, switch off the pac-brake and re-set the cruise, with every short down hill.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:12 PM   #7
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I leave it on and feather the throttle to keep it from activating when I don't want it to. I feel that having to look down for the switch to turn it on is a hazardous thing to do while exiting freeways, headed down hills, etc.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
Tend to have mine off when cruise control is set; unless I forget; kind of annoying to have to get on the throttle, switch off the pac-brake and re-set the cruise, with every short down hill.
On ours the ebrake doesn't turn off the cruise when it's on and activated.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:40 PM   #9
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Mine has been on since December of 2003 when I first purchased the coach. I never have to look or think about whether it is on or not.

I can use my Cruise Control also without having to turn off the PacBrake switch.

If on CC, I simply use the Cancel button on my Smart Wheel when approaching a downgrade to engage the PacBrake. (If you don't have a Smart Wheel simply touch the brake pedal once to cancel the CC) Once the grade has finished I touch the fuel treadle slightly to disengage the PacBrake and hit the Resume button to go back to my Set CC speed.

If I am not using the CC, and I want to coast, I simply remove all pressure from the fuel treadle but I DO NOT remove my foot entirely. If I want the PacBrake to activate I remove my foot completely form the fuel treadle.

Simple operation once you have developed your PacBrake, CC driving habits.

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Old 05-13-2013, 11:04 PM   #10
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Unfortunately, my cruise control won't work with the exhaust brake switch turned on. There is a fix for this ("Brake Switch"), but Monaco messed up somewhere on my wiring so I can't use the Brake Switch either.

Personlly, if I could, mine would be on all of the time, except in traffic. In a panic situation where you may be doing an emergency maneuver and braking, you want that exhaust brake to engage without having to think about turning on the switch.

Mine also came on the minute I turned it on. I recently paid to have Cummins connect mine to their computer program mine so that I have to step on the brake to engage and stepping on the throttle disengages it.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:04 AM   #11
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On our PU, I have exhaust brake on all the time. Unlike some/most of you, mine is not connected to the computer or CC. I have a stick shift with the Ebrake switch on the shift stick so when I put my hand on the nob the switch is at ny finger tips. I don't like the CC so that is not a problem. I won't criticize what others do, this is just what I do. I like the idea of having it on all the time then if it is needed it will be on before I can get my foot to the brake pedal. When I was in my 30s I had the opportunity to check time from gas to brake. The best I (or anyone I knew) could do was 3/4 sec. At 60, that is about 65'. Also I have about 90K on the Pu and still have about half of the brake lining left.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
On ours the ebrake doesn't turn off the cruise when it's on and activated.
F/L chassis ,at least those of my unit's vintage, activate the brake lights as a safety feature when the exhaust brake is active . So I have to resume or re-set every time I forget to turn the exhaust brake off while using cruise control in rolling hills.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:00 PM   #13
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engine brake

Well I can tell you what we were told in Spartan training this past week... that most people over use the engine brake. Using the engine brake all the time you are more likely to glaze the brake pads. This occurs from over using the engine brake and only braking (brakes) the last 100 ft or so. Also for automatic slack adjusters to work you need to apply significant brake pressure. We are programmed that the engine brakes will save on brake jobs...truth is you will probably get 250,000 or more miles on the pads. Mountains and hills it is a no brainer but turn it off occassionally and work the brakes. Just passing the word.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:36 PM   #14
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I have to agree with only using the PacBrake as needed. Personally I want the coach to coast every time I take my foot off of the throttle. I do use the exhaust brake often. I am familiar with it enough not to have to look for the button. I don't have to take my eyes off of the road to do it.
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