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Old 09-14-2018, 03:14 PM   #57
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I turn the eb on and off as required without looking....I know the feel of that button without looking. It is on my left side and as long as I don't have to look at it, the location is very handy for my left hand.
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Old 09-14-2018, 05:59 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by ascdds View Post
The instructions for the engine brake states not to use it when raining or slippery roads.

"Using the retarder on wet or slippery roads may cause loss of traction on the drive wheels—your vehicle may slide out of control. To help avoid injury or property damage, turn the retarder enable to OFF when driving on wet or slippery roads."


Several people have told me that's BS and it's just lawyers being overly cautious to cover their butts. It seems to me that it would be more dangerous to go down a steep grade without the engine brake than it would be to use it if it's raining. This will be my first time in the mountains so I would love expert opinions on this.
Well......we're on our maiden voyage in summer 16 and the first time ever driving a DP.
Had the exhaust brake on at all times and still do.
Traveling through Appalachia for part of the trip and having a lot of rain, but having no problems during descents.
Hard to see in some areas and then on the flats, it's a real whoa there with brake lights coming on, big time. Thought sure I was going to cream this truck ahead of me, so instinctively climbed the brakes and held them down for all they were worth. Coach stayed straight and true, as it came to a smooth stop. Just a good thing I always lag way behind, whatever is in front of me.
Never gave it much thought, after that.
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Old 09-14-2018, 11:52 PM   #59
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After 40 years on the road the only time I shut of the engine brake ( full 3 stage) is when it was icy or snowing. My current coach has an exhaust brake and if I were driving on icy roads I would shut it off. Just a rain soaked road should not cause a problem with an exhaust brake unless there is something that was spilled on the road like fuel etc.
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Old 09-15-2018, 08:24 AM   #60
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The exhaust brake in itself would not trigger a loss of traction under rainy or wet road conditions. As with the case that I lost traction and temporarily control was due to the downshift that accompanied it. I don't think a downshift from 6th to 5th would be a concern, however, engaging it @ the low side of 4th gear could cause a downshift to 2nd for a dramatic braking of the drive wheels and loss of traction as it did for me. I find that with the two stage engine brake in the low position is a very smooth transition dropping down between gears, especially when loaded heavy and towing a heavy trailer. In the mountains, I can control the descending speed by switching between the high and low setting. That said, the memory of losing control on a rain slick road 12 years ago is still fresh in our minds and the EB goes off on wet roads in the mountains.
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:15 AM   #61
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The exhaust brake in itself would not trigger a loss of traction under rainy or wet road conditions. As with the case that I lost traction and temporarily control was due to the downshift that accompanied it. I don't think a downshift from 6th to 5th would be a concern, however, engaging it @ the low side of 4th gear could cause a downshift to 2nd for a dramatic braking of the drive wheels and loss of traction as it did for me. I find that with the two stage engine brake in the low position is a very smooth transition dropping down between gears, especially when loaded heavy and towing a heavy trailer. In the mountains, I can control the descending speed by switching between the high and low setting. That said, the memory of losing control on a rain slick road 12 years ago is still fresh in our minds and the EB goes off on wet roads in the mountains.


I have been wondering how much of the differing perspectives on this thread are due to SPEED. Bad conditions (in my book including even slightly wet roads) imply reduced traction and increased risk of skids). My order of concern is: slightly wet (ie not bone dry), clearly wet, heavy rain/some standing water, flooding rain, snow, ice. I increasingly reduce speed concurrent with these conditions. Would it not be the case that if you reduce speed according to conditions that the risks from the engine brake are correspondingly reduced?
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Old 09-15-2018, 01:19 PM   #62
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Would it not be the case that if you reduce speed according to conditions that the risks from the engine brake are correspondingly reduced?
Yes and no. I found that the effect of the downshift becomes greater as the speed reduces. A downshift from 6th to 5th @ 60 mph is pretty uneventful, however, traveling at the lower end of the 4th gear range when the EB is triggered can cause a downshift to 2nd gear skipping 3rd. To me, that is a more aggressive change in drive wheel braking. That condition, although slower, is more critical than the one @60 mph. Until you get to experience what can happen if all the dice line up just right, you can't appreciate it.
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:02 PM   #63
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Agree, when in doubt, sit it out.
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:11 AM   #64
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We had a gasser V10 with "Tow/Haul" and used all the time. That being said we were fair weather travelers, being FT and retired we rarely had any time constraints to meet. Of course, spot rain showers etc. did pop up, if real heavy we just looked for a safe place to pull over and take a break. Never ever drove in ice or snow as my goal was to follow weather around the country and be in shorts and flip/flops as much as possible. This plan worked for us and kept us safe and sane with little stress for over 18K miles during our 18 month epic RV Adventure. We covered 42 of the lower 48 states (missed 6 states, but most were in the tornado belt) along with Vancouver and Victoria. BTW taking the MH with Toad (over 50') on the WA State and BC Ferry systems was a unique experience. So my attitude is make great memories and avoid stress and disasters!
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