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Old 07-16-2013, 07:49 PM   #1
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Best way to charge up a hill

I pull my 23 ft international with a 2013 Avalanche. What is the best way to take on a hill? Should I try to maintain a constant speed and allow the truck to down shift and the revs to climb? Or is it better to maintain constant rpm?
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:25 PM   #2
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For the best gas mileage, I would start at the legal speed limit and keep the throttle the same while allowing the truck to slow down and downshift when necessary. I use the tow haul mode when in the mountains. I also use tow haul on the downhill runs to allow the engine to do some of the braking.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:16 PM   #3
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Each engine has it's own sweet spot on the power curve. Your best choice would be to select that engine speed that maintainss that rpm while climbing the hill.

Lugging the engine by holding a higher gear will result in higher heat build up of the coolant and exhaust temperature.

Over reving in a lower gear has no advantage.

Trial and error you will eventually find that spot if you can not find someone that can tell you it for your engine.

As important as climbing a hill is descending it. ALWAYS use the same gear going down as you used going up. Sound funny but your will accept this if you live through a runaway and lose your brakes.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:36 PM   #4
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Hi, this depends on a lot of things, but for me, I hold the speed limit, take it out of overdrive just before the climb, and manually drop it into second gear [4 speed] holding it at about 4,000 RPM at about 60 MPH.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:04 PM   #5
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You have a modern TV with state of the art (close anyway) computer controlled transmission - why not use it? Stick it in "drive" and go the speed you want. If you want to save gas then slow down. Manually shifting a modern transmission is gratifying only if you think you're better at shifting than the computer system in your TV -"(you're not). You don't own a manual transmission, you own an automatic.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:06 PM   #6
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:13 PM   #7
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You're TV has a modern high tech state of the art ( well, sort of ) automatic transmission - why would you think that you are smarter about transmission/engine/weight/fuel/traction management than it is? Put it in drive and go the speed you are comfortable with!
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:15 PM   #8
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Sorry for the double post, I'm out of town using my iPhone, and it's smarter than I am
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:29 PM   #9
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Thanks Dryfly
The advice is so good I enjoyed it both times!
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:19 AM   #10
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I try to keep my TV transmission in torque converter "lock-up", i.e. in direct mechanical drive as this is more fuel efficient and generates less transmission fluid heat.

In "manual" mode it will stay in "lock-up" as long as my indicated speed doesn't drop below 60 mph, so to maintain at least 60 mph, as I see a grade approaching I will override the cruise control and throttle up 5 to 10 mph so that the TV will not drop below 60 mph before cresting the grade.

If the grade degree and duration are such that a lower gear is required I will manually down shift so as to stay in "lock-up" in the lower gear.

I generally set the cruise control at ~64 mph which is about 2,200 rpm in 5th gear with "lock-up". The gas engine is 4.4 liters and makes ~300 hp and ~350 #/' of torque; the Airstream is 31' with a GVWR of 8,300#.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:45 PM   #11
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Uh - some interesting posts here....

I would throw my hat into the ring - if your TV has been made within the last 8 years and comes with its "brand" of tow package, put it into Tow Mode (assuming it has one) and drive it up the hill at a speed you are comfortable at an RPM level that keeps you within your powerband (you can tell when you accelerate
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:04 PM   #12
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Dad used to drive big rigs when I was a kid. He always said to pick up some speed before you hit the bottom of the hill. So if it's a steep one, I try to pick up 10-15mph additional if it's clear and no gendarmes around. Of course, if it's a really long hill, that doesn't help you that much (like that one on 77 going from NC back into VA that is about 7 miles long and very steep).

I do have a tow/haul mode so I just switch into that. I'm running a diesel though, so your experience may vary...

Like the others said: Don't lug it, and don't spin the wee out of it. Just get it to a comfortable speed/rpm and cruise on up.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:04 PM   #13
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:23 PM   #14
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Sometimes you are smarter than the automatic transmission deciding when to shift. You have eyes and can see what is coming. When coming up the hill to my driveway...which is dirt I start manually shifting and put it is 4 wheel drive. Before I turn into my driveway I am in first gear. Leading up to the driveway and going up the driveway the hood of the truck is higher than the roof of the back end of the airstream. I have tried tow/haul mode....the transmission prefers me shifting. Having said that on the open roads I do use tow/haul mode when areas with hills. Maybe a bit of speed increase coming to a hill and definitely don't try to make it up on the downhill. Lot's more accidents going downhill than up.

Bill
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