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Air Brake Test

Video: How To Perform An Air Brake Test On A Motorhome or RV

The last thing any motorhome or RV operator wants to experience is the panic of pressing the brake pedal (service brake) and not having any stopping power. Because motorhomes and RVs use an air system to activate the brakes, an air brake test should be conducted every time you get behind the wheel. The good news is checking this system is a fairly simple process and it only takes a few minutes.

In this video, you’ll see Allen Gingrich of walking me through the necessary steps of conducting a pre-trip brake check. Multiple cameras were synchronized to display the various gauges and pedal presses and how one affects the other. While this test was performed on my 1957 Flxible Starliner, per Gingrich, this same procedure should apply to modern motorhomes and RVs with air brake systems. Keep scrolling beyond the video as I’ve included the 13-step checklist provided by Gingrich:

Gingrich also provided a printed checklist of this procedure and while it appears to require quite a few steps, the actual procedure can be conducted in just a few minutes.

Air Brake Test

  1. Set Parking Brake
  2. Chock wheels
  3. Build air up until the governor cut out works, about 120 psi (the pish outside)
  4. Place vehicle in Neutral than shut vehicle off
  5. Turn off the ignition, once the engine is shut off, turn key one notch to the right without starting the vehicle (so that the gauges turn back on)
  6. Release the parking brake (push the yellow knob in)
  7. Time for one minute to make sure that you do not lose more than 2 psi of air pressure (Static Test)
  8. Apply pressure to the brake pedal and hold the pedal for 1 minute making sure that you lose no more than 3 psi of air pressure in that minute (Applied Test)
  9. Fan the brakes until the warning light and buzzer come on, they need to come on before 60 psi (Bleed Down Test)
  10. Continue fanning the brakes until the parking brakes apply (the yellow knob pops back out) must happen between 20 and 40 psi
  11. Make sure vehicle is in neutral and start your vehicle
  12. Build air pressure back up to 85 psi, then time how long it takes till the pressure builds to 100 psi, pressure must be build from 85 to 100 within 45 seconds
  13. Continue to build pressure until the governor cut off works, (pish outside)

This completes your Air Brake Test

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