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Old 02-28-2021, 10:18 AM   #1
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Air brakes on Class A RV's

My 2002 Revolution 40C has air brakes, my question, are air brakes on Class A RV's owner adjustable?

Up to now I have let the service tech deal with them. I have a Freightliner frame.

Do all Class A RV's have the same type of air brakes?

Thanks

Larry
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Old 02-28-2021, 10:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CND Viking View Post
My 2002 Revolution 40C has air brakes, my question, are air brakes on Class A RV's owner adjustable?

Up to now I have let the service tech deal with them. I have a Freightliner frame.

Do all Class A RV's have the same type of air brakes?

Thanks

Larry
Your coach will likely have automatic slack adjusters. If operating properly, a few hard applications of the brakes, when fully aired up and stationary, will set the adjustment. You may even hear a "clunking" sound when following that procedure.

If your brakes seem out of adjustment, the slack adjusters may have stopped working and a truck shop probably should have a look.

No, not all Class A coaches have air brakes, my Alpine is an example. Also, I believe some/most gassers do not have air brakes either, but I don't know.
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Old 02-28-2021, 10:33 AM   #3
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There are several different manufacturers of air brake parts , but the basics of operation are the same .

The air brakes on your Freightliner chassis , have ; auto-slack adjusters ; so the actual adjustment of the brakes is ongoing with use , BUT , the adjusters do need lubrication and inspection to insure proper operation .

This PDF is a little technical , but understanding of your air brake system is important , for the continued safe operation of your coach; and the reason more and more states and provinces , require training for owners of units equipped with air brakes.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Air brake testing.pdf (439.4 KB, 26 views)
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Old 02-28-2021, 10:35 AM   #4
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Just to expand the discussion, the local motor vehicle rules (BC Canada) state the I have to demonstrate that I know how to adjust the air brakes, when I told them that they were self adjusting they informed me that I will need to take training and get a certificate. Do Class A RV's with air brakes have self adjusting or the same type as semi's?
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Old 02-28-2021, 11:18 AM   #5
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Thanks, good info, glad I leave it to the mechanic.
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Old 02-28-2021, 11:22 AM   #6
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It's not hard to adjust. My slack adjuster seem to work okay. But it's a good thing to check then once in awhile. A lot of soft braking and the slack will not adjust. Go to far out of adjustment and I belive the slack adjusters can not adjust until it's with adjustable range.

There are several YouTube on air brake adjustment. Both how to do the self adjusting and how to manually adjust them.
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Old 02-28-2021, 02:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CND Viking View Post
Just to expand the discussion, the local motor vehicle rules (BC Canada) state the I have to demonstrate that I know how to adjust the air brakes, when I told them that they were self adjusting they informed me that I will need to take training and get a certificate. Do Class A RV's with air brakes have self adjusting or the same type as semi's?
Air brakes are air brakes, RVs or semi's. Based on your statement above, I'm guessing you do not currently have a code 5 air brake endorsement on your British Columbia drivers license?

I'd suggest you find a local driving school and do the 16 hour course where they will instruct and test you on the workings of the air brake system. Once successfully completed, all you need to do at the DMV is take the knowledge test and score 80% to pass...... I think the test is 25 questions.
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Old 02-28-2021, 03:14 PM   #8
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Yep, after 15 yrs driving all over Canada and the USA in a class A RV, including the mountains, after moving to BC I am told I need to take a $300 course to prove I can adjust self adjusting brakes. Its a bit annoying!! Try and find a course during a lock down. Anyways, back to school next month. I would think they would be more interested in knowing if I can drive a Class A, no!!, just need an air brake tag!!!
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Old 02-28-2021, 05:30 PM   #9
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If an RV owner cannot sketch out a basic air brake system on a white board or paper, then he/she (they?) could not pass any air brake course that is attached to their driver's license qualifications.
It's a good thing, safe thing and maybe a life saving thing to know your stopping system from A-Z.

JMO opinion and worth every penny of it at 2 cents per paragraph.
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Old 02-28-2021, 05:34 PM   #10
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I took the air brake , BC required course , in advance of purchase of my class A , 11 years ago , knowing it was necessary to keep insurance in place.
Unless they have changed the course , it's the first stage of the requirement for a commercial drivers license , and most of the training isn't required in the case of a motorhome .
But the part of the course on checking auto slack adjuster operation is what's required , along with understanding all the parts of the air supply system, and what all the bells and whistles mean ; including what you need to see before you move.
18 hours of training , including crawling around under a tractor trailer ( take your coveralls ) with the tools to do adjustments as required and a quick trip around the block with trailer in tow , they did make allowances for those who didn't drive standard transmission.
The "school " that I attended gave a 3 try guarantee , if you failed the ICBC test , your second and third attendance at school was free . If you didn't pass on your third try ; then you paid again or completely washed out.
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Old 02-28-2021, 05:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CND Viking View Post
Just to expand the discussion, the local motor vehicle rules (BC Canada) state the I have to demonstrate that I know how to adjust the air brakes, when I told them that they were self adjusting they informed me that I will need to take training and get a certificate. Do Class A RV's with air brakes have self adjusting or the same type as semi's?
I have all wheel disk brakes on my rig. They are also self adjusting.
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Old 02-28-2021, 05:38 PM   #12
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If an RV owner cannot sketch out a basic air brake system on a white board or paper, then he/she (they?) could not pass any air brake course that is attached to their driver's license qualifications.
It's a good thing, safe thing and maybe a life saving thing to know your stopping system from A-Z.

JMO opinion and worth every penny of it at 2 cents per paragraph.
WA state doesn't require anything but a normal class c drivers license even with air brakes.
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Old 02-28-2021, 06:03 PM   #13
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I'd suggest you find a local driving school and do the 16 hour course where they will instruct and test you on the workings of the air brake system. Once successfully completed, all you need to do at the DMV is take the knowledge test and score 80% to pass...... I think the test is 25 questions.

Yes , 25 questions , computer selected; at random; from a list of 100+ , and the computer gives you a pass as soon as you have 20 correct , would allow me to go for 100%.

Then there's the BC requirement to test for towing any trailer over 10,000 lbs GVWR. they wouldn't allow me to test with a trailer of 9,990 lbs GVWR, and to go to the testing site , you couldn't tow your own trailer there , someone with the license had to take your truck and trailer to the test site.
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Old 02-28-2021, 06:37 PM   #14
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This pdf was issued by NIOSH for air brakes: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/pdfs/sa10202009.pdf
Manual air brake adjustment vs automatic slack adjusters for air brakes:https://www.ccmpool.com/UploadedDocu...at%20FMCSA.pdf



Tips from the USDOT for motorcoaches with air brakes: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/carrier-sa...y-technologies
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