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Old 08-10-2010, 02:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
then i looked around at the people who already had mastered driving mohos...

they were ALL old, weak, slow, shaky, tri-focal'd, hearing aid'd, pacemaker'd, cane'd and MEDICATED old women...

if these old ladies can handle a moho surely a young stud can, right?

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Old 08-10-2010, 02:31 PM   #16
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Thanks, next adventure is driving the moho in London. ;-)

I will definitely remember the same gear rule. Passing through Sedona and the woman at the park warned me about taking I-17, windy and no shoulder, huge elevation drop in a short period.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
i looked around at the people who already had mastered driving mohos...

they were ALL old, weak, slow, shaky, tri-focal'd, hearing aid'd, pacemaker'd, cane'd and MEDICATED old women...
Watch out for those old ladies—they'll whack you with their canes if they don't trip over their oxygen lines.

Gene
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:44 PM   #18
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I am assuming that your brakes are air over hydraulic (as are mine in my '94 LY). As such, many jurisdictions require either an "endorsement" or a special class of license to drive a vehicle with air brakes. For example, I live in Ontario and the license plate (the tag) is the same as for a passenger car, but I have to have a "Z" endorsement on my driver's license (for airbrakes).

My LY being an older one has a separate pedal for the Jake brake. My brake pedal is a treadle.

Part of the air brake license is to make you understand the safely aspects of the air brake system and how it works. Take the course ASAP - you'll be amazed at what you didn't know.

When I first got my LY, it felt really huge, and maneuvering it was a nailbiter. Now I feel as comfortable driving it as I do with a car.

I tow a small car 4-down. When I am settled in a campground, I prefer to have a small car to run errands with. As well, I have had breakdowns, and the car was a godsend. Because the car is small, and the weight of the motorhome is around 16,000 lbs (it has a GVWR of 20,000 lbs), I don't use a braking system. It is not because I want to avoid doing that, but because the one I have won't work in the VW Cabrio - it installed OK in an old Mazda 323, but could not be installed in the Cabrio. Mine is the Readibrake system, a mechanical surge brake system built into the tow bars. I did contact the Ontario Motor Vehicle Department to clarify that this was OK.

I second the rule on going downhill - use the same gear that you would going up that same hill. The Allison transmission has a lot of smarts to it, and it won't allow the engine to over-rev. I use the Jake brake a lot - it saves on brake linings (actually brake pads, as the brakes are disk on all 4 wheels). Allison has a video on the use of their transmissions targetted to motorhome drivers. Call them and get a copy - it is very informative.

Always make sure that you have plenty of safe room in front of you. Panic stopping a motor home can be scary, not to mention all the stuff that slides forward. I had one close call last year when I was heading south on I81 last December. It had been raining, I was tired, and the car in front of me stopped. I hit the binders and the whole rig slid in a straight line on the wet road like it was on ice - stopped 6 feet from the back of a small Toyota Carolla. There was a rest stop 5 miles down the road, so I pulled in and overnighted there. The lesson is - when you feel yourself getting tired, get off the road.
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Old 08-13-2010, 04:29 PM   #19
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Great info, thanks. I don't think I need any special license for a vehicle under 40ft in California. You canucks, I'd trade some "free" health care for an extra license any day.

It does have Air brakes, didn't know they could also have hydraulic combo's. PO will go over the brakes, found out the PPO also installed an engine brake. I did some googling on this and now just need to see it for reals.

This is great training for my next career as a long haul trucker...
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:41 AM   #20
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It does have Air brakes, didn't know they could also have hydraulic combo's. PO will go over the brakes, found out the PPO also installed an engine brake. I did some googling on this and now just need to see it for reals.
Air over hydraulics means that the master cylinders are activated by air pressure, which means that you don't have to stand on a brake pedal to stop, just feather the treadle.

As for the Jake brake (or extarder, also called an exhaust brake), you'll need to know whether it is automatically activated by the Allison transmission (as in the newer models) or it has a separate control (mine is a small pedal to the left of the steering column. Mine being an older model means that I have to manually punch down the transmission to the selected lower gear (it has a pushbutton pad on the dashboard to my right). The ECM (electric control model, AKA computer) will ensure that the engine will not over rev - so I can foresee a stop, punch the down arrow until it says "2" and as the rig slows down, it will down shift one gear at a time. The newer model Allisons do this automatically when you remove your foot from the accelerator and tap the brakes.

The jake brake will definitely reduce brake pad wear and prolong their life. When going down a long incline, it sure makes a difference. Just take it easy, don't try to keep up with the cars, as they are much more maneuverable and can slow down or stop much easier. For your own safety and peace of mind, keep several car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you.

Another thing I found was that the relatively light front end needed some kind of sway control. The one that was on my rig when I bought it (remember I'm at least the third owner) looked like a long shock absorber across the steering mechanism in the front. It packed out (the seals gave way and the oil leaked out), so I replaced it with one made by Steer Safe - see Steer Safe - out of Deming NM. They supply their product through Camping World, but I chose to go to their factory when I was on my way to Arizona and I had them install it there. It comes with a lifetime warranty, and the guys at the factory asked me to pass by every year or so so that they could inspect the system and and replace any of the springs that may have diminished resiliency. I can't recommend them highly enough - their system works really well.
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Old 08-16-2010, 05:49 PM   #21
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As for the Jake brake (or extarder, also called an exhaust brake)
Probably a typo, but the word is "retarder".

It's 30+ years since I drove anything with air brakes, but what I remember is do not dump all your air! That means not to keep hitting the brake pedal over and over.

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Old 08-21-2010, 12:42 AM   #22
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Actually, the metal plate on the dash which has the switch for the Jake says "Extarder".

You still have to keep an eye on the air pressure, and watch that it doesn't drop below 90 psi - max, as you know, is 128 psi. Properly using the Jake when going downhill will definitely prevent your dumping your air.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:10 AM   #23
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Got it and drove for a day now around highway and surface streets. Got the hang of it pretty quickly. The steering does seem wobbly so the steersafe is something i may look into.

It's got a Pacbrake, which is the exhaust brake. It's automatic. No separate pedal or switch. I suppose the only way to tell its working is to release the gas pedal and the speed drops? PO says it doesn't activate until going at least 30mph.

Took it for an alignment and the tech said I had hydraulic brakes. So what's with the knob I use to set the brake and the swoosh that goes along with it?

Lots to learn, found out today about different sewer hose fittings sizes...after i bought a kit. Back to Camping World.

Thanks for the replies, it's been great preparation.

Gary
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:26 PM   #24
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Actually, the metal plate on the dash which has the switch for the Jake says "Extarder".
Sounds like Extarder is a name used by the manufacturer for an exhaust brake. Retarder is more inclusive name for a variety of braking systems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retarde...al_engineering)

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Old 08-21-2010, 09:43 PM   #25
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Wow, all good advice!
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:47 AM   #26
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It's got a Pacbrake, which is the exhaust brake. It's automatic. No separate pedal or switch. I suppose the only way to tell its working is to release the gas pedal and the speed drops? PO says it doesn't activate until going at least 30mph.

Took it for an alignment and the tech said I had hydraulic brakes. So what's with the knob I use to set the brake and the swoosh that goes along with it?
Gary
Your brakes are air over hydraulic - the actual brake mechanism is hydraulic (master cylinders and wheel cylinders, but instead of having the brakes mechanically activated by a brake pedal with vacuum assist as in most cars, your master cylinders are activated by air pressure. So your brake pedal is an air valve (mine is a treadle that looks just like the accelerator) that allows air to activate the master brake cylinders. Your parking brake is spring activated and is inboard either on the drive shaft or the axles. The parking brake is released by air pressure, and cannot be released unless there is a minimum of 50 psi of air. One way to test this is to stop on a level place, place the transmission in neutral and turn off the ignition. Then, without pulling out the parking brake (the yellow square-shaped valve on your dash) pump your brakes to dump the air. Watch the air pressure gauges, and you should see that about 50 psi, the yellow parking valve will pop out. So the whoosh you hear when you pull out the parking brake knob is the air used to release the parking brake being let out so that the spring can set that brake.

There is an air compressor attached to your engine which supplies air pressure to both the brakes and the turbo charger. The air for the brakes is pumped into a 3-chamber tank - the first is the input tank, followed by a primary and secondary tanks. There are one way valves that allow the air to flow from the input to the primary and then to the secondary. The primary tank is the place where any moisture in the air is precipitated. The spitter valve of that tank is the one you hear when 128 psi of air pressure has been attained - it spits out any precipitated moisture.

The primary tank and the secondary tank activate the front and rear brakes - the secondary one (I believe) also provides air to release the parking brake.

The PAC brake (AKA Jake brake) is an air activated valve that partially blocks the engine exhaust where it leaves the manifold to provide back pressure to use as an engine brake. When the PAC brake is engaged, the accelerator is disabled (in my rig) - in your rig, the PAC brake will disable when the accelerator is enabled.

I know that this sounds a bit complicated - it did to me when I first got my LY, but having taken the air brake course for my drivers license, I now understand how it all works. One mechanic told me that the Pac brake was a "use it or lose it" issue - if it is not used at all, the mechanism will seize. I use it whenever I am slowing down or coming to a stop. In your case, having the newer Allison transmission that is automatic.

Enjoy your LY - they're well built to last a long time with proper maintenance.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:50 PM   #27
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Thanks for the info. Now i know what the front and rear air pressure guages are for! I thought it was for air bags or?

So we are nearing the completion of our trip back, nearly 2,000 miles. Wife and I have split the driving and man does that help. She loves driving it and is learning fast on the manuevering. Aside from the fact that we damaged the steps when they deployed while driving, bentsome lower panels while getting into a tight camp space, had an aux fan on the radiator bust a flimsy plastic mount and punture it, lost a starter due to massive oil collecting in the flywheel housing, needing to replace the rear main seal which cuased the oil biildup it, it's been a great anf uneventful first shakedown cruise.

After the repairs the rig handled crossing the mojave nicely and the trip up and down the grapevine outside of LA went smoothly. Engine temp kept in the 180 (mostly) to 200 range. Oil pressure right about 58 psi
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:30 AM   #28
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Uh, the auxiliary fan you're talking about is to cool the condenser for the air conditioner - the radiator is in the back. A word of warning, if the fan to cool the condenser doesn't function, your dash a/c will stop working.

Sounds like quite the shakedown. Reminds me of my first trip from Ontario to Arizona 2 years ago - mega bucks because proper maintenance had not been done. "Proper" is the operative word - until I found competent techs to do the work.

I, too, had the rear engine seal replaced a couple of months ago. However, the only hassle I had was that Cummins initially didn't supply the correct gasket between the exhaust manifold and the jake brake.
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