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Diminished Braking

I am going to relate something that I am experiencing and what I have done. One, to gather input from others. Two, to check my sanity. 

I replaced all the brake shoes and pads in 2020, I was very happy with the braking power. As we started our summer journey, I almost tagged a car when they pulled in front of me, and braked sharply. I had previously noted that my braking did not seem to be as it once was when the pads were new. 

I went through a system check, including checking the diaphragms for leaks, ensuring slack adjusters were set correctly, and even disconnected brake hoses and checked the air pressure at the hose during a full on brake application. Nothing seemed amiss. 

I have plenty of windshield time, so even a slowly clocked CPU like mine eventually grinds to a conclusion. I recalled a thread on another forum some 15 yrs ago where a guy said not to run with your jakes on all the time. He said, the pads glaze from the light application. Well, I do run with the jakes all the time. Things that make you go hmmmmm. 

I wasn’t about to turn the jakes off while cruising the interstate with questionable stopping distance, but I started turning them off at every off ramp. And I made some aggressive stops on purpose, informing the passenger side alarm system first of course. After about 10 of these aggressive stops without the jakes, my brakes are back to what I knew them to be. 

I am going to keep an eye on this and report back results over a longer time period. I still will run the jakes while cruising the concrete because I want all the stopping I can possibly get. I will also turn the jakes off and aggressively stop exiting the ramps to see if they continue to improve. 

Don’t take this as gospel, because it is a data set of one. I am curious if you have had the same experience OR you have ever heard of such a thing.

Richard and Rhonda Entrekin
99 Newell, 512
Subaru Outback Toad
Inverness, FL (when we're home Cool )

Yes, I have heard the same thing on the Foretravel Forum. Most Foretravels have transmission retarders for their braking and they really pull the coach down in a hurry, especially in town. One comment was that the disc brakes do not get exercised enough when using the retarder thus causing braking issues because the calipers and pins are not getting exercised thoroughly. Also, not using the retarder as often allows the pads to actually heat up and work better, like you have noticed.

1987 Newell Detroit series 60
Former 1986 Newell -92-

I put a LOT of highway miles on my Grand Cherokee. I have seen benefit by occasionally doing a couple very hard stops both forward and backwards.

1993 Newell (316) 45' 8V92,towing an Imperial open trailer or RnR custom built enclosed trailer. FMCA#232958 '67 Airstream Overlander 27' '67GTO,'76TransAm,'52Chevy panel, 2000 Corvette "Lingenfelter"modified, '17 Grand Cherokee.

Same experience as Johnny with our Foretravel. While the transmission retarder works extremely well, better than a Jake IMO, if you become too dependent on it (which is easy to do) Ft's have the same problem. So as a matter of practice I would do as you do. Apply the brakes when possible to "clean the pads". I never did think it through as you did but among the FT community it's common practice.
You'll have plenty of time to do this once you get in frost heave country!

Forest & Cindy Olivier
1987 log cabin
2011 Roadtrek C210P
PO 1999 Foretravel 36'
1998 Newell 45' #486 

1993 Newell 39' #337 

your critical thinking is working

1998 Coach 484
1997 Suzuki Sidekick toad. 

What an excellent post. I'm guilty as charged on Jake use as well. I never turn it off and depending on when and where I'm stopping may even downshift to aid in coming to a stop without a ton of braking. Sounds like I need to change my style of braking 180 degrees and think more about keeping things clean and working properly than saving pad wear.

Brad Aden
2003 Newell #653 Quad Slide Cat C-12 engine
St. Louis, MO

I use the Jake at all times.  Also, I have always thought my braking was not as responsive as it should be.  My reasoning was that this Newell outweighs my previous motorhome by 20,000 lbs and I just need to get used to it.  I now will be trying your exit ramp procedures.

2016 Newell #1536


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