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Old 04-25-2016, 05:40 PM   #1
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Frozen calipers -- again

We have a 2004 Winnebago Minnie Winnie, 29ft., Ford E450 chassis. For at least 3 springs in a row we have had trouble with our brakes being damaged by moisture that seems to accumulate over the winter. After the first time, believing that the problem was caused by the 5 or more months of sitting in cold damp weather (Western Washington), we tried a program of taking the rig out at least once a month and driving it for 20-30 miles. This has not been effective. Once again, this spring, we had the old familiar problem. This time we wound up having our mechanic replace the front brake calipers, which were partially frozen.

We have also tried, at the mechanic's suggestion, a complete flush and refill of the hydraulic system. This has not seemed to make any difference.

We park the MH next to our house and cover it with a commercial RV cover that allows for air & moisture to escape. The cover works well to keep the rig clean, and keeps the UV off its paint and plastic, but I have to wonder if it is perhaps a part of the brake problem.

The MH is sitting on a gravel surface, and is almost always in shade.

I have begun to suspect that this problem may be caused by the tire covers that I have been using ever since replacing the tires a few years ago. When I learned that RV tires seldom wear out, they simply rot from exposure to UV and oxygen, I started covering my $1600 tires whenever possible with a set of commercial tire covers.

The tire covers are relatively heavy vinyl with a sort of fleecy lining. I wonder if I am inadvertently trapping moisture in my brakes while protecting my expensive rubber? Has anyone else experienced this kind of problem -- did you ever come to a conclusion about what was causing it?

At this point I'm thinking about cutting the centers out of the tire covers so that they will cover the tires but not the wheels and brakes.
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:44 PM   #2
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Why do you cover the Tires? Do you cover the tires on your other vehicles? There has to be some kind of spray on moisture barrier you can use each year when you are done for the winter....
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:48 PM   #3
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Here you go...Maybe clean it off with some starting fluid when your ready to go...
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:51 PM   #4
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Tires are subject to deterioration from exposure to UV radiation, as well as plain old air. Covering them (of course, only when you're not moving) is reputed to make them last longer. Most people don't put enough miles on an RV to actually wear tires out, but the effect of sun & weather over time will cause the rubber to become less rubbery, and eventually things like sidewall cracks will develop, and my local tire store salesman gets very happy.

From what I have read, most of the spray-on products available are not effective in actually protecting tires from the elements. They are more cosmetic in nature, and in some cases can actually contribute to shorter tire life.

I was mostly interested in finding out if anyone else has had this type of problem, because it sure seems strange to me. And expensive...
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:52 PM   #5
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I see, you're suggesting spraying something on the brakes themselves. That's an interesting idea. I'll talk to the mechanic about that.
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Old 04-25-2016, 07:31 PM   #6
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If the 450 was used every day like a car, chances are the calipers wouldn't freeze up. I don't believe the tire covers have anything to do with the brake problem.
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Old 04-26-2016, 07:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eflester View Post
Tires are subject to deterioration from exposure to UV radiation, as well as plain old air. Covering them (of course, only when you're not moving) is reputed to make them last longer. Most people don't put enough miles on an RV to actually wear tires out, but the effect of sun & weather over time will cause the rubber to become less rubbery, and eventually things like sidewall cracks will develop, and my local tire store salesman gets very happy.

From what I have read, most of the spray-on products available are not effective in actually protecting tires from the elements. They are more cosmetic in nature, and in some cases can actually contribute to shorter tire life.

I was mostly interested in finding out if anyone else has had this type of problem, because it sure seems strange to me. And expensive...
Funny, you had mentioned the RV sits in the shade, UV exposure...?
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Old 04-26-2016, 07:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by eflester View Post
I see, you're suggesting spraying something on the brakes themselves. That's an interesting idea. I'll talk to the mechanic about that.
You asked...If your brakes are actually "Frozen" as in temperature frozen then some windshield deice (might come in a non spray form) but if they are froze from not being used, then you will have to put something anti corrosive on the area with the issue and a "spray" product would penetrate as needed.
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Old 04-28-2016, 01:38 PM   #9
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Might want to think about heat tracing on your calipers. setting a temps 50* of so. Then do this as a winterizing your coach. only need a 120 V outlet
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Old 04-28-2016, 11:02 PM   #10
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Can you explain a little more what is frozen please. Is it the piston sticking inside the caliper or is the caliper assembly sticking and not moving on the anchor? What do the rotors look like after sitting that long? Rusty or still clean and shinny.
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Old 04-29-2016, 08:29 AM   #11
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Piston not moving inside of its cylinder. could be bad cylinder liner or the O ring rolling in its groove. I've seen pistons freeze when the pad change out was neglected and the piston was out to a point it would not move in either direction.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:27 AM   #12
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Based on my experience with Ford brakes, the first possibility is the two sliding pins allowing the caliper to move in/out are frozen in place, followed by a frozen caliper piston. Some rotors will take on some surface rust during non-use. Not to worry, they will self-clean during use.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:53 AM   #13
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brakes

go a little forward and press on brakes hard all the way, then reverse and do the same thing again. Do this several times before you drive the coach and everything should be free again.
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Old 02-05-2017, 09:03 PM   #14
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I have Winnebago 29b 2005 E-450 same problem with rear brakes. It is the pins that brake caliper is suppose to slide in and out with pads.

Will always look at every time in storage.
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