Why you need to change Brake Fluid in Your Motor Home and Tow Vehicles

I changed the brake fluid in my motor home today. My Motor Home is a 1997 Georgie Boy Persuit with the Ford F-53 Chassis. Ford recommends doing this every 2 years. I know many have never done it or had it done. It is a pretty easy procedure and can be done by one person. Let me explain why it needs to be done on all heavy vehicles including tow vehicles. All brake fluid absorbs water Over time and when the brake fluid absorbs enough water your brakes will fade or quit working altogether. Picture this scenario, Your going down a steep grade and using the breaks because you are going to fast and need to slow down. You put pressure on the brake pedal and the brakes feel spongy. This means the brake fluid and the water in it is starting to boil from the pressure. The brakes are fading and pretty soon the pedal goes clear to the floor and you have no brakes left to stop. on a long grade the brakes could catch on fire. You are almost to the bottom of the hill where there is a stop light and it is red. Well you get the Idea. In Brigham city Utah the other day, a Tanker truck loaded with 5000 gal of sweet cream was coming down a hill and his brakes failed and were on fire. He was coming up on main street, and the light was red. He made a sharp left turn at the intersection to avoid hitting cars and turned over. Lucky no one was killed. It would have been a real disaster if one of the cars going through the intersection would have been hit. You can do a google and read more on why you should change Brake fluid in your RV and any older vehicle. Here is how I changed mine.

I went down to Auto zone and purchased 4 ea Speed Bleeders screws. 2 ea quarts of Synthetic dot 4 brake fluid and 3 ft of clear plastic 3/8th inch 1/4 ID tubing. Speed Bleeders are a good solution for bleeding the brakes. and can be done by one person.
Here is what they look like. They come 2 to a package and can be purchased at Auto Zone or O’Reillys auto parts.

 I replaced the 4 bleeder screws on the motor home with the 4 new Speed Bleeders. Speed Bleeders have a check valve in them, So that air won’t get into the system when changing Brake Fluid or Bleeding Brakes. I Removed as much brake fluid as I could from the master cylinder using a turkey baster. I topped off the Master Cylinder with New Dot 4 Brake fluid.

Starting with the right rear wheel I attached the clear tubing to the Bleeder Screw and put the other end in a Pop Bottle. Then I opened the Bleeder valve 1/2 turn got in the motor home and depressed the brake pedal, all of the way to the floor and let it up and depressed it again. When you let the pedal  up no air is sucked into the line because of the check valve in the speed bleeder. I depressed and let up the pedal 5 times. I then topped off the master cylinder with DOT 4 brake fluid, and did the same thing again. I did this 3 times and made sure that the fluid was now clear and no bubbles in the tubing. I then closed the Speed Bleeder and proceeded to do the other 3 wheel cylinders the same way following the proper method of doing the bleeders furthest away from the master cylinder first. RR, LR, RF, LF. I used about 1 3/4th quarts of brake fluid. Good brake fluid should have a light or pale yellow color, like the color of a good light beer.

When doing this keep in mind that you must keep the master cylinder topped up. Do not let it run dry or get to low before topping it off. Use rubber gloves and lots of rags. Do not let brake fluid get on any paint or it will be gone. Below is a picture of the fluid I took out and it would be darker except some of the new fluid is intermingled. Better to be safe than sorry.

Good Fluid should be a Pale yellow or light amber color.


Author: Mel

I am a Retired PC Tech. My Wife and I love to travel in our Keystone Cougar 5th Wheel Trailer. I am a avid RVer and like to camp and travel. I am a commercial Pilot. I like to read and like country and western Music.

2 thoughts on “Why you need to change Brake Fluid in Your Motor Home and Tow Vehicles”

  1. Thanks for the clear details on house to change the brake fluid.
    Were the bleeder screws easy to remove and change?

    1. Yes they were I used a end wrench and a socket on ones that were in to tight. You may want to put a little Liquid wrench or oil on them to help loosen the bleeders if they are rusted or stuck tight.

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