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Old 01-03-2009, 08:02 AM   #1
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This a very general question. We have an older National RV Dolphin. 36 ft. w/ tag axle, P-30, 454 vortec. When applying the brake, there is a gradual or vague input of braking power, necesitating a pretty firm application of more peddle, which still doesn't give me the stopping power I would like to see. I am just up to Class A from 27ft. Class C, so I do understand that I won't get the same functionality or stoppping power as on the smaller unit. However, is this a pretty common "explanation" of braking ability on these units? Also, a consideration. While parked, engine just started, the brake peddle is pretty spongy, long travel. It gets better with vehicle motion, but has left me a couple of times, pumping on the brakes just backing out of my driveway. Is this just the vacuum booster building up? First thing I did when I bought this unit was have front brake pads, rotors and calipers replaced, have recently had rear brakes adjusted and the system bled, so that has all been done. Maybe I just need to understand that this is common amongst P-30 chassis.... or not?
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:02 AM   #2
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This a very general question. We have an older National RV Dolphin. 36 ft. w/ tag axle, P-30, 454 vortec. When applying the brake, there is a gradual or vague input of braking power, necesitating a pretty firm application of more peddle, which still doesn't give me the stopping power I would like to see. I am just up to Class A from 27ft. Class C, so I do understand that I won't get the same functionality or stoppping power as on the smaller unit. However, is this a pretty common "explanation" of braking ability on these units? Also, a consideration. While parked, engine just started, the brake peddle is pretty spongy, long travel. It gets better with vehicle motion, but has left me a couple of times, pumping on the brakes just backing out of my driveway. Is this just the vacuum booster building up? First thing I did when I bought this unit was have front brake pads, rotors and calipers replaced, have recently had rear brakes adjusted and the system bled, so that has all been done. Maybe I just need to understand that this is common amongst P-30 chassis.... or not?
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2003 Jeep Wrangler, 944 Porsche NASA-GTS/2,
Yamaha Roadstar Silverado/Yamaha CT175/Honda Spree, 24ft Vintage Trailer
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:09 PM   #3
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I never owned a P30 chassis, but it doesn't sound normal to me. Spongy brakes are never "normal".
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:34 AM   #4
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Have the master cylinder and vacuum booster checked. You should not have to pump the brakes. What year is the chassis?
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:37 AM   #5
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Older gas chassis' with a tag axle utilize a non-standard braking setup for the tag axle.

Follow the lines forward from the tag axle and look for some sort of auxiliary master cylinder or equalizer valve. You may have a leak here or a problem with the tag axle braking system.

-Tom
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:32 AM   #6
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I had an older P-30 and had the master cylinder replaced to help the brakes. After I went through a red light trying to stop and hoping that people saw me and stopped I had an epiphany. My fix for the problem was to buy a diesel pusher with air brakes and an exhaust brake. I have never looked back.
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