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Old 02-28-2013, 10:08 AM   #1
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
lisburn , northern ireland
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 10
Airstream Excella 28 - braking issues!

HI - I've got a '79 Excella 28 MH with single piston calipers up front and drums at the rear, braking is not great! To try to improve this i've replaced the front discs, calipers and pads, I've also put new shoes in the rears. My concern is that i can't pull up the MH quickly enough and was lucky on one occasion where traffic stopped in front of me- i had to swerve into the next lane or I would have probably crashed in to the car in front. Also lucky that there was no vehicle in the next lane.
I do understand that braking power of these vehicles is not up to todays servo assisted brakes found on modern cars and trucks.

Is there anything that can be done to improve braking efficiency - anyone no this forum any clever ideas - can any form of servo be fitted?

thx in advance

Robin
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:55 AM   #2
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
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Our '84 has a "Hydroboost" unit that we had replaced with the master cylinder. Don't know the symptoms if it isn't working right, but might be worth looking into.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:47 AM   #3
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1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
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You must also realize there is no way to make a 28' MH stop anywhere near as quick as the average car (well not counting running into something or the car on ice and MH on dry pavement) the laws of physics just wont allow it.

The average tractor trailer takes (depending on load) 3-10 times the distance to stop as the average car. That is if the tractor trailer isn't overloaded and if the brakes are working properly and adjusted properly.

Note; This is why (for a while anyway) many states said 1 vehicle length for every 10 mph for the safe following distance, so larger vehicles would have to follow farther back.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:02 PM   #4
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1992 36' Land Yacht
Grayson , Georgia
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Same situation with my 92 36' LY. Just seems like I have to really step on the brakes to get her to slow down. Almost like I have little to no power brakes in comparison to my 2001 GMC Savanna 3500 15 passenger van. Something I'll be looking to improve on this spring. Mine has disc brakes all around and hydroboost.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:39 PM   #5
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
lisburn , northern ireland
Join Date: Feb 2013
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I understand that it wont stop as quickly as a car and i do tend to drive with plenty of distance between me and the car in front. But the pedal pressure required is huge - same as 92landyacht says with his LY. Should my MH have a hydroboost fitted? Bear in mind i've drums at the rear - anyne know?
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:36 PM   #6
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redrobin911 View Post
I understand that it wont stop as quickly as a car and i do tend to drive with plenty of distance between me and the car in front. But the pedal pressure required is huge - same as 92landyacht says with his LY. Should my MH have a hydroboost fitted? Bear in mind i've drums at the rear - anyne know?
You probably do have a hydroboost. Look under the left front over the frame rail. you will see the master cylinder and bolted to the front of it is a part maybe 6" long with pipes and tubing that go to the power steering pump, that is the hydroboost. Go to figure 6-9 here

http://www.bdub.net/manuals/P30/P30.pdf

and you will see the set up. The P-30 is notorious for spongy feel to the brake pedal and a lot of pedal travel. My coach has 4 wheel disc brakes and it still takes quite a bit to stop it.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:11 PM   #7
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
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Our other recent brake repair was replacement of rubber lines. Different symptoms from yours (unscheduled lane change every time I hit the brakes), but since you have already replaced most everything else...
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:48 PM   #8
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1988 34.5' Airstream 345
The eastern swamps , North Carolina
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 99
air and moisture in brake lines ?

Unfortunately on top of the weight and length problems our motorhomes present. They seem to be very prevalent to moisture and air in the brake lines. Apparently brake fluid should be changed completely at least every 24 months. My '88 345 has sat now for at least six months ,and I know the brakes will be terrible. Even though everything was new 24 months ago and there is no discernible wear.

If your brake discs and drums are not glazed, if you have sufficient thickness of front pad and rear shoe material, and no obvious leaks. Suspect air or moisture. Drain and refill the brake system with brand new fluid, and be prepared to bleed every part of the system 2 or 3 times! Or Until you get a consistent brake pedal everytime. If that does not work you may have a bad booster, or an internal leak in the Master Cylinder. Internal leaks are usually cause by wear , hence they show up in older units like ours, and they are usually gradual.
Also, did you miss one old rubber brake hose? An expanding, or internally damaged, brake hose can use up a lot of hydraulic power.
Check it all methodically, use a strong flashlight for visual inspections.
Lots of luck with it !
All the best.Rich.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:00 PM   #9
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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Silicone brake fluid solves alot of ills. It is silicone based and does not absorb water and it is non-corrosive. The military uses it for this very reason. There are a lot of negative articles about it on the net but they are written by those that profit by your brake system rotting out every few years. I have put the stuff in my car in 91 and I still have that car. I have never had to replace any wet brake component. It sits for a month or two at a time.

Perry
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:39 AM   #10
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2000 31' Land Yacht
Central , Florida
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Realizing stopping distance years ago, developed keeping greater following distance, biggest pia is drivers that don't like being behind a MH passing and then filling my assured distance space. Another is lane changers on multilane super highways especially through Atlanta. When they designed MH they use the upper limit of load, vs empty vehicle with only driver as load.
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