How to Change Brakes on a Class C Motorhome

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Class C motorhomes are manufactured with hydraulically operated braking systems. The calipers, rotors, drums and shoes of these systems require routine maintenance to perform well. An average backyard mechanic can change the brakes on a motorhome in about two hours.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket set
  • Screwdrivers
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stand
  • Raise the motorhome at the brake to be replaced by jacking it up with the floor jack and settling the frame rail onto a jack stand.

  • Remove the wheel by turning the lug nuts in a counterclockwise direction. Some models may have covers on the lug nuts that look like the actual nut, so remove them if applicable. If working on a rear brake, the wheels could be stacked in a "dual" style, which requires that the outside wheel be removed first. Set the wheel(s) aside.

  • Remove the caliper by turning the rear mount bolts in a counterclockwise direction, then sliding the caliper off the rotor. If the brake is a drum style, remove the off-center keeper bolt by turning it counterclockwise and slide the drum from the brake assembly. Disk pads can be popped out of the caliper pistons without much effort, although some models will have clips holding the pads in that can be removed with a screwdriver. Set the drum aside, or secure the caliper to the control arm with a zip tie or string.

  • Remove the rotor by pulling it from the hub or turning the hub nut counterclockwise. The shoes on a drum brake can be removed by levering the long springs from the shoe hooks, then turning the primary spring bolt counterclockwise. The shoes will slide away from the brake assembly.

  • Replace the rotor with a resurfaced or new unit by sliding it over the hub and turning the hub nut clockwise, if applicable. The shoes on a drum brake will slide into the assembly and then be secured by turning the primary spring bolt clockwise. Reattach the long springs to the shoe hooks and check the bottom adjustment bolt for play between the shoes.

  • Replace the pads in the caliper with fresh pads, then slide the caliper back onto the rotor. Tighten the rear caliper mount bolts in a clockwise direction. If the brakes are drum style, slide the drum over the shoes until it meets the back of the brake assembly. Tighten the keeper bolt on the front of the drum in a clockwise direction.

  • Replace the wheel by turning the lug nuts in a clockwise direction, in an alternating pattern.

  • Lower the motorhome from the jack stand with the floor jack.

  • Bleed the brake by turning the purge nipple on the rear in a counterclockwise direction, then continually pouring fresh brake fluid into the master cylinder while pressing on the brake pedal. This could take more than one person to accomplish. When the fluid coming out is clean and bubble-free, turn the purge nipple clockwise to close it.

  • Repeat the entire procedure on the remaining brakes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use DOT-4 brake fluid instead of DOT-3 for added heat protection.
  • Use caution when working underneath a lifted motorhome.

References

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