Generally, motorhomes are relatively heavy vehicles which therefore require adequate braking systems to keep the vehicle in control and avert any disaster. In this regard, it is always advisable to perform regular brake system maintenance either on your own if you are mechanically adept or alternatively have your motorhome inspected at a service center.
Unfortunately, brake failure is a common problem when routine service and maintenance is ignored by those concerned. Damage from corrosion, rust as well as normal wear and tear can cause your motorhome braking system to fail unexpectedly, leading to a serious accident with catastrophic consequences. Unbeknown to many motorhome owners, brake repair and maintenance is relatively easy and straightforward. The rule of thumb is normally to have the parts known to wear down over time replaced after a given time.
One of the key things you need to do is to check out how warm the brakes of your vehicle are after a long drive. You can do this by doing a quick walk-around inspection immediately after the drive. All you need to do is to simply hold your hand near the center of each wheel, making sure you don’t touch the surface so as to avoid getting burnt. If you find one side noticeably colder or hotter than the other side then that’s a tell-tale sign that there is a problem and you should have it checked by a technician.
Brake fluid should also be drained at least once a year. The fluid absorbs moisture from the atmosphere via the vent in the master cylinder cap. This has the effect of lowering the boiling point of the fluid which can then lead to corrosion of some of the critical brake components or in extreme cases cause brake failure. The best time to flush your brake fluid is normally before spring time, just before you put the motorhome into service after its long storage. Have the system completely flushed and properly bled of air and ensure you only replace the fluid with a premium, fresh, high-temperature brand that’s been factory approved.
It is also worth mentioning that even though some motorhomes have an automatic air tank drain that gets rid of water condensation, not all units have this facility. This is especially true for the older versions. In such a case, it is highly recommended that you manually, drain the tanks at least once a month so as to avoid instances of overflow.
Irrespective of the braking system that your motorhome has, you are expected to have damaged brake shoes, drums and shoe-return springs and associated hardware. Make sure drums and shoes that have worn thin are replaced immediately. it is also important to have the adjusters evaluated so as to see how easily and fast they turn and have them replaced if and when necessary.
You should also have the rotors inspected. Pay close attention to the run-out, quality and thickness of each rotor. Be on the lookout for any signs of thinness, warping or surface damage and ensure that any deformity is noted and necessary action taken to have the anomaly reversed.
Once any changes or replacements have been effected, make sure you take the vehicle for a test drive. In the event that you feel that the vehicle is not braking smoothly, have the drums adjusted and also reduce the shoe clearance and then go on a drive again to test the smoothness of the brakes. Do this until you can get a smooth glide.
Here are some of the popular motorhome brakes readily available in the market. They include but are not limited to the following:
Product Details: this is a direct proportional barking system that’s been designed for motorhomes and comes with a breakaway unit as well. The unit does quickly connect and disconnect from the towed vehicle without any adjustments, tools or settings. All you do is to attach the brake pedal clamp, secure the seat or floor adapter, connect the air hose and you are ready to move.
Product Details: this is an easy to install proportional braking system. It is generally an electric system with no air hoses, tank or pump. In addition, the brake does come fitted with a built-in battery that ensures there is always some power available for the brake when needed.
Product Details: this is one of the most popular braking systems which can provide perfectly weighted proportional braking. The system though is only available for those users who have air brakes on their coach and is without any doubt one of the best units in its category.
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