WHEN YOU PULL YOUR RV OUT OF STORAGE THIS SPRING, ONE OF THE FIRST ORDERS OF BUSINESS SHOULD BE A BRAKE INSPECTION. HERE’S WHY.
The brakes on your RV are often at one of two extremes: under incredible stress as you brake your way down a steep mountain, or they’re sitting, unused, while your vehicle is in storage or parked at your favourite RV playground.
Because of these stresses and seasons, not to mention the critical role the brake system plays in stopping your RV in time, spring is definitely the time to perform a brake inspection—starting with brake fluid.
Brake fluid is the lifeblood of your brake system. It keeps the system moving and components performing at their best. Over winter, there’s a chance this fluid can accumulate moisture, and that can end up causing serious damage, from corrosion and leakage to overheating.
Healthy brake fluid is clear and transparent, much like cooking oil. When it needs to be replaced, it’s darker, but a simple visual won’t tell you if contaminating moisture is present, so it’s always best to be sure with a professional brake inspection.
Another reason why having good
imnpdortant brake fluid is so is you don’t want to risk that fluid boiling and/or evaporating under extreme heat, which is much more likely in a large vehicle like a motorhome that’s generating more heat while braking.
Once you know your brake fluid is in good shape, it’s important to have the brake system inspected overall. When RV’s have been sitting all winter, the brake calipers haven’t been riding on the slides, so it’s important those—along with all friction points—are checked and lubricated.
Another brake element to have inspected is the emergency brake. After hundreds of kilometres of driving, RV emergency brakes are very susceptible to coming out of adjustment.
That’s because most motorhomes don’t engage their emergency brakes until they have traveled a significant distance. And many don’t reverse for even longer periods of time (just think of all those pull-through parking RV sites). Selfadjusting shoes on drum brakes found on motorhomes require the backing up motion to trigger the adjustment process. The problem is, you may have already traveled hundreds of kilometres without ever once having backed up, leaving your brake shoes out of proper reach of your brake drum. The result is your brakes and your emergency brake come out of adjustment.
You might be able to tell if the e-brake were out of adjustment if the hand lever or the foot pedal inches up a little more than usual.
Again, when you consider the very important work that your brakes do to keep you safe, it’s important they are properly maintained.
That all-important spring brake inspection is also a good time to have an oil service performed to help ensure your engine’s going to be performing at its best for road trip season. At that time, Kal Tire ensures you know if your whole Class C motorhome is road trip-ready by performing a True Service Inspection. Our report uses green, yellow and red columns to indicate the condition of important vehicle components and help you spot signs of issues early on. Happy brakes, happy systems, happy trails.