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Old 09-18-2009, 04:59 AM   #1
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New in NC

We became members just yesterday. Looking forward to reading and sharing info, ideas, and experiences.

I do have an issue: We purchased our first MH a week ago today. Had the dealer set up our vehicle for tow. Installed Blue Ox tow bar and base plate. Also installed Unified Tow Brake (vacuum) system. Now the toad brakes (when the vehicle is not being towed) require two feet on the pedal to stop...as if the power brakes are no longer working. Tech at dealership said it was because of the additional vacuum demand. Is there anything that I can do to restore the brake pedal feel (and stopping power) that I had before the install??
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:27 AM   #2
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Welcome to IRV2.
I am sure you will find lots of info here. You may want to add the make/mod of coach, toad, and any other info to your sig line so people that read your post can have more info to help.
What coach do you have and what is your toad? Who did the install? Did you buy your coach there? We live in Salisbury,NC

Richard
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Old 09-18-2009, 07:41 AM   #3
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Hello ChuckandBarb,


Welcome to iRV2, as a fellow North Carolinian, we’re really glad to have you here as a new member and are looking forward to reading your posts about your RVing experiences and adventures. You’ll find a great bunch of folks on this site who are very knowledgeable of RVing, the rigs we use, and the places we go in them.

As you’ll see, they’re eager to help and share their knowledge and experiences with others. I'm looking forward to meeting you at some of the Southeast Region's Appalachian Campers' rallies.


Again, welcome to iRV2, we’re glad you joined.
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Old 09-18-2009, 07:44 AM   #4
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ChuckandBarb;

Welcome to iRV2. We are glad you joined us. While I can't help with your question I would suggest you repost your question in the MH Towing Issues & Toads Forum. You will receive more response there I believe.

Post often and don't be afraid to ask questions.

Don
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:02 AM   #5
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ChuckandBarb, Welcome to iRV2!

My first thought is that the tech put the check valve in backwards. The brakes definitely should not take two feet to actuate them, IMHO the tech is completely wrong. In a properly installed system that is not leaking, there is no additional vacuum demand.

I have an SMI Stay-In-Play which uses a vacuum similar setup as your braking system and there is absolutely no difference between pre and post-install pedal pressure.

There also could be a restriction in the manifold vacuum line, it could be collapsing, or there could be a leak in the new piping. I'd go back to the installing dealer and insist they fix it.

BTW, we are in NC also, there are a couple of RV dealers and repair places which I would recommend, depending on where you live (of course it would be real interesting if you're already using them).

Stewart
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Old 09-18-2009, 07:54 PM   #6
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Thanks for response. I'll be under the hood tomorrow morning with DW at the brake pedal. If there's a leak in the vac line, I think that I'll be able to find it. And, where is the check valve that you mentioned. Is it near (or a part of) the new pump or at the tee end of the new line?

Purchased unit and had the install at a large RV dealership in Concord. Everyone there did a great job of addressing the questions and check list items that we had. Spent some time with the tech who installed the brake system. He was willing to explain how he installed the unit and how it works. Maybe we have an oversight on this one. If I can't find the problem, I'll definitely address the issue with him when we are back at the shop in Oct. (Two parts have been ordered and we'll combine the service with the next Panthers home game. Poor Jake.)

2004 Newmar Kounty Star 3904, 2006 Honda Odyssey toad, stay-at-home cat.
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:34 PM   #7
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ChuckandBarb,
My last 2 coaches came from Tom Johnson. The Concord store just opened back up the service center, it had been moved up to Marion at the main store when the sales market went south. I do not think they have top techs there in Concord at this time. As was stated by another poster there may be something not attached correctly.

Richard
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:41 PM   #8
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ChuckandBarb:

I found the service manual on the usgear website:

Unified Tow Brake (UTB-1000) Operating and Installation Instructions

The check valve is mentioned step 2 of the UNDER THE HOOD OF THE TOWED VEHICLE section, it goes between the tee and the engine. It also mentions to verify the arrow points to towards the engine. If this valve was defective (blocked), it would stop the brakes from working normally (engine vacuum would never reach the brake booster), but they would work with the tow brake (the tow brake uses an electric pump that is teed in after the check valve).

The SYSTEM CHECK section on the last page has some pretty good info, if all that checks out I'd suspect a bad check valve. These checks will all be OK even if the check valve is blocked, this is what may have confused the tech.

I'd try replacing the check valve or bypassing it temporarily to see if you get your boost back during normal operation. Your tow brake may not work with it bypassed but at least you'll know what part to replace.

I've also heard that Tom Johnson is one of the better service people in the area, though I have not done any business with them. They should be very willing to work with you to find the problem.
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Old 09-20-2009, 04:00 PM   #9
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Luv2go:
Thanks for link to service manual for the UTB system. With that and views of automobile vacuum assist power brakes, I started pulling vac hoses from their connections. First, at the tee where the new UTB vac line was connected. There was no vacuum. Next, at the UTB check valve opposite the engine. There was vacuum there. Then I removed the short section (about four inches) of vac tube that ran between the installed check valve and the new tee. When I looked into it, I saw a small check valve inside the tube. As I looked closely at the outside of the tube section, I saw that it was stamped with a direction arrow and the word "engine." The short section had been reinstalled backward.

With the short section of vac tube now installed allowing vacuum to be drawn toward the engine manifold, the vehicle brakes work like they are supposed to work--good as new.

My conclusion is that Honda used an in-line check valve rather than one mounted to the booster housing. That resulted in an oversight by the tech--easy to do since that seems to be an odd place for the manufacturer to put the car's check valve. I will share this info with the tech at Tom Johnson when we're back in Concord.

Thanks to everyone who responded to my post.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:06 AM   #10
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Wow, a new place to hide a check valve! I'm glad you found it, and I'm sure the tech at Tom Johnson would like to know about it.

Stewart
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