How & when to check brakes

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Tom

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How often should the brakes be checked on a motorhome (DP in my case)? Is that something best done by a shop? What is the life expectancy of the brakes? (I realize this is a function of driving style and how flat or hilly the roads are, but I was looking for some kind of average or range).

TIA
 

blueblood

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Tom said:
How often should the brakes be checked on a motorhome (DP in my case)? Is that something best done by a shop? What is the life expectancy of the brakes? (I realize this is a function of driving style and how flat or hilly the roads are, but I was looking for some kind of average or range).

TIA

I decided after 5 yrs and 50,000+ miles it was time to have the brake linings checked. I was driving a lot in mountains over those years. I went to FCCC factory and when I asked the guys to perform that service they looked at me like I was an odd ball and asked why I wanted it done. I told them and they shrugged their shoulders and added it to the check  list. The brakes turned out to be fine even as my pocket book was a little thinner.  ;D
 

Terry A. Brewer

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Tom

>>How often should the brakes be checked on a motorhome (DP in my case)?<<


I had mine checked at 5 yr, 60,000 mi & there was virtually no wear...maybe from using the Jake brake all the time?


Terry
At Clark Fork, ID
 

BernieD

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We had our annual service last month at 47,541 miles. Our shop normally inspects the brake shoes as part of it's PM service. Our front shoes were at 75% of new and rear shoes at 80%.
 

Tom

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Thanks all for the info. Somehow I was thinking I'd need to check them, with the potential for replacement, a lot sooner.
 

Ron

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We had our brakes checked a couple years ago at around 50K - 60K and the shop indicated they showed very little wear.  We will  have them checked again next week since we have 90K+ miles on the coach now.  Better safe than sorry.

 

Pat

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What about the brakes on the tow car?  I sometimes wonder if the remote braking system puts more wear and tear on them than manually operated brakes.  I did have them checked at 44,000 miles, and they were fine, but I had barely started towing it.

--pat
 

Smoky

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Fascinating question Tom.

Makes me wonder if they really beef up the brakes on the pushers.

On my trailer, the brakes were shot after three years and I am really glad I had them checked.  The Dodge 2500 tower needed some brake work also.

I guess the combination of air brakes and engine braking is a big plus for diesels.
 

Karl

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Another thing to consider: My Bounder has a tag axle with vacuum assisted drum brakes. Pulled out the Dexter axle manual and realized that they are not self-adjusting like disc brakes are.You really need to back up the coach several times and fully apply the brakes for the adjusters to work. While the manual didn't say how often this should be done, I'll make a habit of doing it every 3-5k miles; maybe more if there was heavy brake usage during a long trip.
 

quapaw

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Trailer brakes still 90+% after 12k and Dodge 2500 80% (front and rear) after 45K.  Last tow vehicle, 88 GMC 1500, towed 80K and replaced front pads twice, last time at 105K, and the rear shoes once at 70K.  I used the GMC a bit more empty than the Dodge but I expect similar results with it.  Much brake wear depends on how and where you drive. 
 

Tom

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Thanks y'all for that info. All data is gratefully received.

quapaw said:
Much brake wear depends on how and where you drive.

That's why I qualified my question with:

I realize this is a function of driving style and how flat or hilly the roads are, but I was looking for some kind of average or range
 

Ron

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As I write this message we are setting at the Spartan Service center in Charlotte, Mich for our 07:00 appointment to get the Brakes checked for wear.  They were last checked between 40 and 50 K miles so at 90K + we decided to have them looked at again.  We have no indication of any problem it just a preventative maintenance action.  Since I have no clue how long brakes will last on this rig I would rather be safe than sorry.  Will provide a report on the findings after the service is completed.

 

Karl

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Ron,
No one would ever fault you for erring  on the side of safety. Many people, myself included, would like to think everything is o.k. until it doesn't work anymore. It's the old saw about "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".  While that may work for some things, anything related to safety should be foremost in our minds! A good preventive maintenatnce schedule should be part of our routine maintenance. After all, some of us live in our motorhomes full time and deserve an deserve the same diliginse we apply to our permanent residences.   
 

Betty Brewer

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Karl said:
After all, some of us live in our motorhomes full time and deserve an deserve the same diliginse we apply to our permanent residences.? ?

Karl,
I can honestly say I have NEVER had the brakes checked on my house!  ;D
Betty
 

Jeff

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Betty:

And I have never waxed and buffed any one of the five houses we have owned. ;D
 

Ron

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With 90,000 miles on the coach the brake inspection by Spartan Service Center was performed today.  They determined that approximately  50%  of the front and rear brakes remain.  The tech advised me there is probably more than 50% remaining.  This is good news.  In response to my question as to how long can one expect the brakes to last they responded nearly a lifetime.  They also mentioned they highly doubted if the brakes were worn more than 50%.

Keep in mind this is a Spartan chassis and other make chassis could differ but I suspect the wear would be similar.
 

BernieD

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Ron said:
Keep in mind this is a Spartan chassis and other make chassis could differ but I suspect the wear would be similar.

Ron

I would doubt that the chassis builder would be a significant variable in the brake wear. I would say driving technique and geography would have a much greater impact on brake wear. Someone driving down a lot of hills without using the compression or exhaust brake very much would wear down the brakes a lot faster than someone driving mostly in the plains states and who never steps hard on his/her brake pedal.
 

Tom

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Thanks for the feedback Ron. I guess I don't need to be as paranoid about the longevity of the brakes.
 

Ron

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Bernie,

Driver, driving environment, and weight all affect brake wear.  The other thing that could affect brake life would be the material the brakes are made from. The only reason I can see that the make of the chassis could affect brake life is which material they use.  Like I mentioned earlier I suspect the make of chassis would have little affect.

Tom,

Hope this helps.  I had the same question as you and have had the brakes inspected twice to get a feel for how long they might last.
 

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