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Old 06-07-2018, 07:02 AM   #1
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'Jake' / brake lights

Here's the scenario...

You are driving down the highway in your coach. The cruise control is on and set. Your Jake brake is on also. A 6% downgrade is coming up in the distance. You tap and release your service brake to disengage your cruise. Your Jake brake activates.

My question is...

Do your brake lamps turn on if only the Jake is functioning and not your service brakes?

Thanks for the input!
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:07 AM   #2
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In most cases, yes.
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:08 AM   #3
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I have used a Jake Brake for over 40 years driving big rigs and Never has the brake lights activated without the brake pedal being depressed using the Jake Brake.
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:07 AM   #4
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Depends on the RV, some have brake lights on with service brakes only, some with exhaust or Jake also. Trouble comes on long down grade when the trailer or towed brakes are activated by those lights and over heating happens.

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Old 06-07-2018, 08:41 AM   #5
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It depends on how yours is programmed. Some stay on any time the compression brake is activated (mine do) and others only when the brake pedal is pressed. The chassis manufacturer can reprogram it either way in most cases.
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1doodadd View Post
I have used a Jake Brake for over 40 years driving big rigs and Never has the brake lights activated without the brake pedal being depressed using the Jake Brake.
Me also. But then again I was rear-ended once when I just eased off the go peddle going up a hill. Know the speed limit drops right at the crest I didn't climb at full throttle to save fuel...
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:23 AM   #7
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My last MH the lights came on with the engine brake and my current one they do not which is the way I prefer.

As for the brake lights effecting a trailer brakes, if the trailer brakes are applied with the tow vehicle brake lights then they are wired wrong. They should only be applied when the tow vehicle service brake is applied.
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:25 AM   #8
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On Freightliner chassis, the lights do come on. This is due to a diode that is installed. However the Towed vehicle lights only come on when you press the brake pedal. This is how it works with an air brake system for your tow. For more information, you need to call your chassis maker and request a diagram.
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Old 06-07-2018, 11:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatsixV2 View Post
Here's the scenario...

You are driving down the highway in your coach. The cruise control is on and set. Your Jake brake is on also. A 6% downgrade is coming up in the distance. You tap and release your service brake to disengage your cruise. Your Jake brake activates.

My question is...

Do your brake lamps turn on if only the Jake is functioning and not your service brakes?

Thanks for the input!
FlatsixV2,
The very first thing to consider here is, just EXACTLY what does your Jake do for you? It SLOWS YOU DOWN, correct? If it's doing that, then why in the world would you NOT want the brake light to show you're slowing down, to other drivers behind you? If I had to guess, I'd say that 99.9999% of the coaches equipped with either a Jake or an Exhaust brake, DO ACTIVATE the brake lights. This is a safety issue for sure. If I'm slowing down, either on a grade, or a regular street in town or any other time, I'd want folks behind me to know, I'm SLOWING DOWN or stopping.

If my brake lights are on for 5 miles, due to my exhaust brake being on going down a long grade, well, no big deal. Those lights tell ANYONE that may be traveling at a much higher rate of speed than I am, that I'm slowing or at the very least, holding a speed that is slower than they are traveling.

So, to answer your question, yep, some brake lights are energized with the Jake or Exhaust brake and some (very little) aren't.
Scott
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Old 06-10-2018, 05:20 PM   #10
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Do the brake lights come on in a gas rig when you take your foot off the gas pedal or geared down going downhill??? This is much the same as an exhaust brake being used... what’s the difference??? Pretty sure at 12’8” high and 100” wide they can see me.

I removed a fuse (after ruining my toad brakes) on my 9L Dynasty so the brake lights did NOT come on using the Jake. I may not remove it on my 15L Navigator so the brake lights come on when using the Jake as on hi it really slows you down. I’ve since gone with a toad air brake system that I tapped into the MH air brakes.
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Old 06-10-2018, 05:52 PM   #11
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The problem i had with the brake lights on with ex brake was i was almost rear ended two different times by semi’s that didnt see the car cut in front of me and i had to get on the brakes pretty hard. If the brake lights would have only came on with the brakes i dont beleive that would have happened. I see no reason for the brakes lights to be on when the mh is maintaing a constant speed down a hill.
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Old 06-10-2018, 06:39 PM   #12
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Yes, mine come on, and when the TOAD is attached and the umbilical cord connected the TOAD brake lights come on.
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Old 06-10-2018, 08:42 PM   #13
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Well one can argue this 'till he.. freezes over and, a gas engine with gearing down isn't slowing down anywhere NEAR what a diesel does with an exhaust brake or a Jake brake. I've owned gas coaches and with the kind of weight that gets going down hill on a long grade, gearing down didn't do much at all unless I entered the grade at a phenomenally slow speed. But if you hit a grade at 60-65 or more and then drop down and try to depend on just gearing down, ain't happening. All you'll mostly get is high engine revving.

As for the one that was almost rear ended by the semi's, 'cause someone pulled in front of you and you had to stand on the brakes, that's not an argument either. That can happen, and does happen daily through the U.S. Most semi drivers don't follow that close anyways. They're smart enough to keep their distance because THEY KNOW what it takes to slow their kind of weight down.

This is actually quite simple. If you don't want folks BEHIND you to know you're slowing down, then disconnect the darn thing. It's not rocket science. I don't have any problem with my brake lights coming on with our coach when the E/brake is activated. It's been on for as long as a few miles on certain grades and, no one's come close to rear ending me. I keep a close eye on all driving conditions when descending grades and I'm going at either a sustained speed or, slowing.

If I'm descending a grade with the E/brake and some yahoo runs into the back of my toad AND THE BRAKE LIGHTS WERE ON, that's their problem, BIG TIME! Pretty sure the local Highway Patrol will know who's at fault.
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Old 06-10-2018, 09:38 PM   #14
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On my Dutch Star if the engine brake engages the brake lights come on and stays on until it disengages. It's why I don't drive with it on.
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