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Old 01-11-2005, 07:55 PM   #1
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HI ALL,
I have often wondered how you would stop or slow your rigs if your brakes on the motorhome went out going downhill on a mountain road. I think about this every time I go over a mountain pass, some up to 10,000 Feet.
I have been in RV's since 1979 starting out with a custom built 40 foot fifth wheel and now several motorhomes since then. I have never lost my brakes yet but it doesn't stop me from worrying about what could you do to stop.
What do you all think you could do to get safely stopped without going over a cliff or into the ocean? I don't think the brakes in the Toad would even slow down 26,000 pounds going down the mountain?
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Old 01-11-2005, 07:55 PM   #2
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HI ALL,
I have often wondered how you would stop or slow your rigs if your brakes on the motorhome went out going downhill on a mountain road. I think about this every time I go over a mountain pass, some up to 10,000 Feet.
I have been in RV's since 1979 starting out with a custom built 40 foot fifth wheel and now several motorhomes since then. I have never lost my brakes yet but it doesn't stop me from worrying about what could you do to stop.
What do you all think you could do to get safely stopped without going over a cliff or into the ocean? I don't think the brakes in the Toad would even slow down 26,000 pounds going down the mountain?
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Old 01-12-2005, 12:47 AM   #3
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I know what you mean,its happened to me but not in the mtg's out west. I was on the Maine Turnpike when the hose for the brake power assist developed a hole from rubbing on a frame support. The fluid escaped an I got a brake warning light on dash. I was doing about 62mph going down a small grade. I tried not to "PANIC" alarming the wife or kids when I pushed on brake peddle an found nothing there. I look for a escape route and I was lucky there was a rest area just ahead of me. I tried the emergency brake but that didn't seem to help. Mean while I'am pressing on brake peddle for all its worth. It didn't seem to be slowing down the coach but it must have because after 3 to 4 hundred yrd's I came to a stop in back of the service center. By than the wife realized what had happened and we just sat there a bit. We were very lucky traffic on exit ramp didn't impede us on the way into rest area. This was my first MH back in the 80's I'am now on my 6th everyone since I have checked all brake lines an brake assist hoses an tying them away from any frame parts. We have traveled in your area out west an have not thought about what you have posted until now. We have the emergency brake but not sure if that could slow you down enough to shift down in gears but I sure would try with the grades you have out there. Your other escape would be the escapes the highway dept. build on the down grades for lost of brakes, worth it to save your lives, but not so much for the MH.----'007'
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Old 01-12-2005, 03:59 PM   #4
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You know a good trick is to never get going that fast. Use either the transmission grade braking, (automatic) or manually downshift the transmission to 4th, 3rd or even 2nd if you need it. Remember go down the mountain in the same gear that you came up the mountain with.

If you drive your motorhome well, you should not need a lot of brakes to come down any grade.

You know then there's always the Flintstone brakes!
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Old 01-12-2005, 06:31 PM   #5
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If all else fails, pick the cheapest thing in sight.

First heard that statement about 60 years ago when my 34 ford had mechanical brakes.
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Old 01-12-2005, 07:15 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by DriVer:
You know a good trick is to never get going that fast. Use either the transmission grade braking, (automatic) or manually downshift the transmission to 4th, 3rd or even 2nd if you need it. Remember go down the mountain in the same gear that you came up the mountain with.

If you drive your motorhome well, you should not need a lot of brakes to come down any grade.

You know then there's always the Flintstone brakes! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
WHOA THERE? What are the Fintstone brakes??
I agree with you reply but the problem I have with that is something I read in my manual. The transmission will not allow the engine to overspeed but will shift up when the Engine Rpm's climb above that speed. That is scary! What Then??
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Old 01-13-2005, 12:49 AM   #7
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Thankfully we were only on a small down hill grade, but it was all down hill til the stop. Just wanted to point out that a fairly level highway can be in that kind of situation. I can agree with Driver about Mtg. driving.---"007"
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:18 AM   #8
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[QUOTE WHOA THERE? What are the Fintstone brakes??[/QUOTE]

Surely you've heard of Fred Flintstone!?

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Old 01-13-2005, 03:27 AM   #9
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This is another reason I paid extra to have the US Gear Unified tow brake system on my MH and toad. The Unified tow brake on my toad uses the power brakes on my Jeep so that I can apply some serious braking using the toad brakes. If we only ran around the flats of Florida I may not have spent the extra money, but we spend a good chunk of time in the Rockies, so it was a no brainer for us to get the the Unified tow brake.

But just in case, I cut 4 holes in the MH floorboards for the Flinstone brakes!
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Old 01-13-2005, 10:15 AM   #10
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This is actualy a bit of "Old Aviators'" advice, but applicable here as well.. That is "Keep Flyin' It, Till All The Pieces Stop"... saying that don't give up on it.. Keep trying to bring it under control,you might be surprised to find you can still help the situation after control "seems" lost, and if you DO hit something, Keep trying...rgr....
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Old 01-13-2005, 04:58 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BEBOP:
The transmission will not allow the engine to over-speed but will shift up when the Engine Rpm's climb above that speed? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>True the computer won't allow the engine to start ingesting valves. Like I said, don't get going that fast. Nobody can offer a solution for every possible scenario. But I really got to go with "rgrstndgby" "Keep flying it until all the pieces stop!"
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Old 01-13-2005, 05:10 PM   #12
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After you clamp on the FLintstone brakes and throw out the anchor, here are some "last resorts" to use if you must...

1) Try to find some soft terrain, e.g along the shoulder, to plough through (slows down the tires). Even a grass median is soft enough to slow you a lot.
2) Side swipe "soft" things like, dirt banks, ditches, brush and small trees to "scrub" speed off
3) Side swipe hard things (semi trailers and big trees
4) Look for water to run through or into (but not so deep you could drown if it rolls)

And as rgr says, "Keep on flying it". All is not lost until you give up.
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Old 01-13-2005, 09:22 PM   #13
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....My tow vehicle stops automatically with the loss of air brakes-another reason I went to a class 8 Volvo tractor to pull a trailer...geof kaye
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Old 01-14-2005, 01:48 AM   #14
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I too like the way the exhaust or engine brake, transmission and air brakes work. Maintenance is the first step to help in this senerio. When it happens; don't panic. Like others have said keep flying it.
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