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Old 11-08-2021, 05:15 PM   #1
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Brakes overheating with red sparks flying

Hi folks,
We were driving from Death Valley to Palm Springs. There are some long low-grade downhill and uphill grades. A truck following us flagged us down and told us he saw red sparks coming from the brakes (or that's what he said). My husband said the dashboard brake seemed to be working fine, and he didn't detect any problem with our brakes. Is this normal? I think not. We have a Redwood 41' fifth wheel, and we pull it with a GMC Duramax 3500 diesel truck. It's a weekend so we haven't been able to have anyone look at it yet,. We'll be in Palm Springs for a week and wonder if we should have someone look at the brakes. Suggestions?
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Old 11-08-2021, 08:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddleddd View Post
Hi folks,
We were driving from Death Valley to Palm Springs. There are some long low-grade downhill and uphill grades. A truck following us flagged us down and told us he saw red sparks coming from the brakes (or that's what he said). My husband said the dashboard brake seemed to be working fine, and he didn't detect any problem with our brakes. Is this normal? I think not. We have a Redwood 41' fifth wheel, and we pull it with a GMC Duramax 3500 diesel truck. It's a weekend so we haven't been able to have anyone look at it yet,. We'll be in Palm Springs for a week and wonder if we should have someone look at the brakes. Suggestions?
How old are the brake Pads/shoes ? It does NOT sound good and I would hesitate before travelling any further until they are looked at by a professional.

Not so sure you would normally see red sparks when brakes are bad, but I guess anything is possible???

Perhaps a piece of debris bounced up and is being "GROUND" by the spinning rotor/drum?
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Old 11-08-2021, 09:12 PM   #3
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I would check or have them checked ASAP!
If the shoes are completely worn metal to metal then they very could be throwing sparks, which this time of year in the SW is a good way to start a brush &/or a RV fire, either could get very costly.
If needed replace with the preassembled brake backing plates rather than just the shoes, the price is very little more but everything is new. Also it may be required to have both surfaces on the drums turned or replaced.
This is one item don't cheap out on!
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Old 11-08-2021, 09:59 PM   #4
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It's also possible you have a Brake mech that has come apart and rubbing metal on metal inside the drum. There have been a few Montanas that have brakes come apart,
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Old 11-09-2021, 05:23 PM   #5
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Ford truck guy

We had the brakes checked and wheel bearings packed before we left home mid-October, and we haven't done much mountain driving since then. I suppose something weird like you suggest 'could' have happened, but we won't really know until we can get someone to check it out. We're having trouble finding someone. RV places are booked out until the end of Nov., so I guess we'll have to try a tire place. Thanks!
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Old 11-09-2021, 05:26 PM   #6
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travelin' texans

Thanks for the suggestions and excellent advice! Now we just need to find someone who can service us. Having a little trouble there. :-)
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Old 11-09-2021, 05:28 PM   #7
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We do have disk brakes, but I guess it's possible something came loose. So frustrating that we can't find anyone to service us in the Palm Springs area. Hopefully soon. Thanks!
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Old 11-14-2021, 03:22 AM   #8
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If they are too busy at an RV shop, a good brake shop should be able to take care of it.
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Old 11-15-2021, 07:07 AM   #9
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Yes, that's where we ended up. But it was worrisome because here in Palm Springs, CA everyone we called would recommend someone. Most never called us back, and others were 'my friend Julio can help you out'.....ha! No way to check out the reviews of these people. But I think we got a guy who knows what he's doing. My husband saw the damage, and it was a brake pad that shredded apart and got caught in the rotor (or my non-technical mind could have that a bit wrong). At any rate, they are 'supposed' to have it fixed by tomorrow. The parts had to be ordered from LA. Here's hoping! Thanks!
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