Re: Austria, now brakes and all...

timsinc Sinclair

Interesting Derek. Had dashboard display warning me that engine oil
needed replacing. Found VW service centre here in Ireland who managed
to slot me in at day's notice.

What was interesting was that the service guy checked up with the VW
database that apparently keeps a record of all their vehicles and
service history. Told me that aircon refresh required and, yes, the
hydroscopic brake fluid needed replacing. Dashboard display hadn't
warned me of those!

Anyway, he managed to get those jobs done while the van was there, me
hanging around the waiting area for hours! But what he couldn't fit in
yesterday was the fitting of new cambelt. Yes that was due too. But it
was up to a five-hour job... and the related cost!

What's annoying when your van is your home is that all these jobs,
including other services, tyres, wiper blades etc etc, have different
schedules/intervals. It'd be great if they could all be done at once!
Instead, I seem to spend as much time at garages as I do on campsites.

At least I'm lucky that the expense of life on the road is covered by
not now having to pay rent, council tax and utility bills.


On 22/06/2019, Derek Sims <> wrote:
Hi all

Just come upon this in my Inbox and remember now why I saved it.

During our first continental motorhoming trip, in 2005, we met a lovely
Frenchman in an early Esterel in which he’d done about 150,000 miles. He
told us that because he did a lot of alpine driving he’d had an
electromagnetic braking system fitted to the rear of his ‘van - can’t
remember if he was front or rear wheel drive, as some of the earliest
Esterels were Fiat based.

He said the system worked beautifully to retard him on steep slopes and he
never suffered brake fade or overheated brakes or clutch wear. Would this be
like the regenerative braking systems fitted to some PSVs. I guess it could
be arranged for some of the generated electricity to top up the leisure

I once had the unnerving experience of brake in 1979 going down the long
hill into Combe Martin at the end of a hot journey back from Wokingham. This
was in the days when brake fluids were (more?) hygroscopic and could absorb
a great deal of water if not changed every 18 months. The water vaporised at
the wheel cylinders after the long descent and I lost all braking. Pumping
only worsens the problem, Fortunately, I understood what was going on and
managed to slow with the handbrake for the last turn before the longest
village Main Street in England. Luckily it was a quiet Sunday evening so I
wasn’t forced to play skittles. I cruised to a halt and sat trembling until
the brakes returned to normal. I haven’t missed a brake fluid change since.
The thought of that potentially happening with a fully laden MH on an alpine
road is almost enough to make me restrict touring to the Netherlands. Almost
....bu not quite🙂.

Best wishes

Derek (in sunny at last Jersey)
Sent using the GMX mail app

On 15/02/2019 at 10:13, Andy Clarke wrote:

On Thu, 14 Feb 2019 at 21:55, timsinc Sinclair <> wrote:

On 14/02/2019, Peter S via Groups.Io
<> wrote:

We did meet a chap on Lake Maggiore in a Rapido who had to keep
let his brakes cool. Also there was a Dutch chap there with a caravan
brakes on the van had locked on from overheating.
Cannot understand that. Keeping in low gear saves the brakes.


To a certain extent, yes. On both our previous motorhomes (Merc 7.5t) I
needed to use brakes on steep descents, even in low gear, to prevent the
engine over-reving. Cooked the brakes on the Vario in Morocco several
ago. the 814DA 4x4 was slightly better as it had an exhaust brake - still
needed to use the brakes as well on occasion though.

Andy Clarke


*It'll all be OK in the end. If it's not OK, it's not the end*

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