GaryEJones

Wheel Chocks - Needed And If Yes, Most Preferred

32 posts in this topic

I am new to motorhoming, but recently bought a 2001 Monaco Dynasty Tag Diesel Pusher. I assume that a good set of stackable or "collapsible" wheel chocks is probably a good idea to have on board. However, I don't really know for sure. I would appreciate knowing the issues from some of you more experienced owners. Is this a good idea, mandatory, or irrelevant, and if you think they are needed, do you have a recommendation on types that are good, take the least apace in the basement, etc.

I appreciate your views in advance.

Gary

2001 Dynasty Tag / Honda CR-V

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By wheel chocks, do mean the kind that you put in front and behind the wheels to keep it from rolling? These are used heavily in the trucking industry but I have never seen them used on a coach, only on travel trailers and fifth wheels. Or are you attempting to get your tires off the ground while parked or stored. Ohh, and welcome Gary. There are a lot of good people here with lots of great info. And congrats on your purchase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always used them back in the day when I towed a 35 foot fifth wheel but never use them on the motorhome unless the lot is pretty far our of level then I will put them out for extra insurance. BeBop

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, my question applies to wheel chocks that would go in front or behind wheels to keep the motorhome from rolling back or forward. I am new to air brakes and thought that if you were parked on a steep incline, that the chocks would be an appropriate safety feature. I did drive a semi 35 years ago and I used them on tractors and trailers on steep grades, and was not sure if they were wise or needed on my RV. I appreciate your comments and experience...... always eager to learn from someone who has more experience than I.....

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I carry a wheel chock only because it was in the coach when I bought it. I have never had to use it. Air brakes need air to release the park brake. You can't move until you have enough air pressure to release the park brake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gary, I personally would not worry about it. A coach with air brakes is not going anywhere until it has enough air to release. But that being said, if chocking your wheels lets you sleep easier, by all means do it. It certainly could'nt hurt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I always used them back in the day when I towed a 35 foot fifth wheel but never use them on the motorhome unless the lot is pretty far our of level then I will put them out for extra insurance. BeBop

Ditto.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a set and use them to mark where I have cables laid on the ground to remind me to not trip on them :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think with the leveling jacks down and the air brakes applied the chances of rolling away is slim. Use them if you want extra insurance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 2004 Itasca Meridian Coach and use chocks. I made my own from a piece of 4x4. Cut in half at a 45 degree angle. Drill the end oposite the 45 angle for a 1/8 rope handle. Cheap and work well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a pair all the time. They are the last thing to be put away, after the antenna's are down, sewer hose put away, water hoses stowed and the power cord stashed. Once around the site for forgotten items and a look see that everything is as it should be and only then are the chocks put away and I am good to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Rocky, I chock my coach as soon as I hook up the electric. When I unhook the electric I store the chocks in the compartment where the electric cable reel is located. I continue to do it as a reminder to make sure that everything is unhooked and put away before driving away. I've never driven off with the electric cord attached! I think it is just a good basic safety tool. I use the heavy duty chocks sold at Camping World. They can be crushed by a diesel motor home, don't ask how I know, doing so takes some effort and isn't an event you would not notice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing to think about with air brakes:

If you have semi-metallic brake shoes and drive in the rain, and stop with cold drums; then you apply your brakes and wait a few days you go to release the brakes and find out the shoes have rusted to the drums and won't release.

W/O chocks you can't safely release the shoes with a hammer, because if you have the air up, so springs are not holding the shoes against the drum and the brakes suddenly release the coach can roll away.

So carrying chocks with me :

I then can put two chocks in front and behind tires and can safely use a hammer to "break the shoes loose" w/o the bus running me over just something to keep in back of your mind.

Also I have a habit of releasing all air from system; just in case the brake release is hit or whatever...the brakes will not come off since the springs are holding it tight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very valuable advice Doug. Never new that could happen and if it does I will wish I had wheel chocks. Looks like I will be shopping for them before the cover comes off the new coach! Thank you!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thought, if you have a fear of loosing your brakes due to low air, don't worry. When your air goes down to 60 psi (I believe) your park brake will set and not release until the pressure comes back up.

Herman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a diesel with air brakes, The park brake is on the driveshaft and I don't trust them. Even park on the trans.is not fail proof. I don't use them when we are parked level and jacks down but I do if on an incline or underneath doing services. I spent 40 years working on and around trucks and heavy equipment. It is a false sense of security if you think it is impossible to happen. The DOT requires wheel chocks in commerical vehicles and most companies require drivers to chock wheels air brakes or no. I fit mine on either side of jenny.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just took the time to read this thread regarding Wheel chocks. 

I always keep a set in the coach. The main reason is to check the air break system on the current Diesel coach. 

         To do a proper test, one must park on a level surface.  

SET the air brakes.

Place the chocks in front and behind one set of duels. 

Release the parking break and make sure the coach does not move.

Then you can shut down the engine, start pumping the break peddle. When the air pressure drops to apx. 65 lbs. the low air alarm should sound. Continue to press and release the brake pedal. At around 40 psi the Yellow park brake button should pop out and apply the park brakes.

This is a test that needs to be performed in MHO twice a year for all coaches with air breaks.

Regarding chocks for the gas power coaches. I owned them also and always made use of them with chassis with drive shaft parking brakes and No transmission parking brake palls.

A coach is almost impossible to stop if it starts to move when you are not behind the steering wheel !!!!!!

Rich.

I use the large plastic ones as they are tough and light weight.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know about those plastic chocks.  With my last DP, when I first backed it up for storage...it climbed right over the 4''x4'' I had put in the back to stop it.  I've seen some of the plastic one smashed flat.:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess there are different scenarios.  Consider this regarding un-level sites.  Say the back wheels are down the slope from the front wheels. to level it will be necessary to bring the back wheels up, not to break the surface, but enough that the contact is not the full force of the MH sitting on them.   Well, I have been in that situation several times and as stated, the piece of mind by chocking the front wheels and the back is just a simple step.

Besides, the others in the park look at the chocks and think I'm really safety minded. (I am.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a set of heavy rubber ones I use. Our last coach only had a driveshaft parking Brake. That worried me if a U-joint failed it was gone. I always chocked that one and this one. Funny a Camping trailer has NO brakes when not connected to a tow vehicle!!!!!! Don't park down hill from one. Or really trust thy neighbor. Call me paranoid I always look around before I set up, I have no problem asking for a different spot if something doesn't look right.

Rich good post on a proper air brake pre-trip

just to add to it, chock you wheels at full air pressure (engine off) release the parking brake and watch your air pressure gauge, if it drops more than 3 psi in one minute you have a an air leak that needs to be addressed. Do the same with your foot on the brake pedal 2 psi in one minute it needs to be fixed ASAP. I do this prior to each trip, CDL habits. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, FIVE said:

I don't know about those plastic chocks.  With my last DP, when I first backed it up for storage...it climbed right over the 4''x4'' I had put in the back to stop it.  I've seen some of the plastic one smashed flat.:D

Five, Have to agree with you regarding the 4in.by 4in. chocks.

The ones I have are like 8in. by 8in. that I found and much heavier. Thing is that as long as the air system check goes well and the fact that with the rear parking brake engaged do not worry to much. Parking in some locations where the coach is on a grade, then adding the wheel chocks is always done.

Just got to remember not to jack the wheels off the ground Though !

Joe, thanks for your added points regarding the possibility of slow air leaks and how to spot them!

Rich.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a former over the road bus driver, wheel chocks are not needed along as your coach has air brakes. Understanding how the brakes work is key. While you are parked, the air in the tanks have the brakes applied. If you should loose air pressure below 60 lbs (which is normal) then the brakes are still applied as an emergency feature. So, you see, either way you always have brakes applied. If you fail to remove a wheel chock and drive over it, you could lodge it between the duals if it goes sideways and jam it between the drive duals and tag axle. Not a good situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, lindemannsr said:

 While you are parked, the air in the tanks have the brakes applied. If you should loose air pressure below 60 lbs (which is normal) then the brakes are still applied as an emergency feature. So, you see, either way you always have brakes applied.

Let me clarify-- with air brakes:

The parking brake/emergency brake is SPRING APPLIED, air pressure released generally on the two drive axle brakes.  So, yes, if you pull the emergency brake knob, it sets the brake (actually bleeds off air pressure that pushes against the spring.

Loss of air pressure-- same thing, the spring which applies the brake is not overcome by air pressure.

The only way air in the tank will apply the brakes is if you step on the service brakes. Yes, front and rear service brakes (brake pedal) are air applied. So, front brakes are ONLY air pressure applied. The drive axle brakes have two separate "cans" to apply brakes: one can applies brakes with air pressure (just as is done in front). The other can (for the parking brake) is spring applied, air released.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for clarifying that point Brett, and as stated, only the two drive axle brakes are spring loaded and are the only ones holding in the park position of an air system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now