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Old 07-19-2016, 03:48 PM   #15
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That used to be my 27' Airstream...
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:08 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by dalecamp` View Post
If you have 4WD. Stop at the top and shift to 4WD low range. I do that in Colorado. It'll take me to the bottom going about 30-35 with very little use of the brakes. Then I pull over and go back to 2WD in tow haul. Good luck. Be safe.
NO, NO, NO...you never want to use 4WD low on pavement unless you want to replace your drive train. 4WD low is only to be used on dirt, sand, snow or rock crawling on loose material.
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:27 PM   #17
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There are some really scary posts here with what I consider BAD advice. I've lived in Colorado all my life and drive and tow in the mountains regularly. One of my best friends is a former aircraft and diesel mechanic. That gives you a little background on my recommendations.

- As previous poster mentioned, do not tow in 4WD. The torque on turns can really mess up your truck.
- DO use the tow/haul mode, and manually shift into the Triptonic mode. Downshift when necessary, I try to keep the RPM's at 4,000 or less. In my Tundra, that's usually 2nd or 3rd gear.

Keeping the transmission in Drive and braking down 10 mph once you roll up the speed is a recipe for brake burnout! Your transmission is made to be used downhill, you aren't going to burn it up. Try to keep at a level speed, not yo yo up and down. I manually apply my trailer brake through my Prodigy P2 controller when necessary to help. I've got it set on 7.0

Slow and easy is best. An extra 5 minutes on a long downhill doesn't make much difference at the end of a trip. And my blood pressure is much better!
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalecamp` View Post
If you have 4WD. Stop at the top and shift to 4WD low range. I do that in Colorado. It'll take me to the bottom going about 30-35 with very little use of the brakes. Then I pull over and go back to 2WD in tow haul. Good luck. Be safe.
I agree with MOJO and MFREZ, DO NOT use the 4WD. Just use the Select modes in the transmission as suggested.

Note that I drive a Tundra, live in Colorado and Arizona mountains and this is the technique I suggest.
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:08 PM   #19
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snip>>>>

Keeping the transmission in Drive and braking down 10 mph once you roll up the speed is a recipe for brake burnout! Your transmission is made to be used downhill, you aren't going to burn it up. Try to keep at a level speed, not yo yo up and down. I manually apply my trailer brake through my Prodigy P2 controller when necessary to help. I've got it set on 7.0

Slow and easy is best.
<<<<< snip
A little about me. I've been towing camping trailers 40+ years. I also drive in the mountains on a regular basis. Many grades at 8% losing 3,000 or more feet in elevation in one downhill run.

I have a couple questions/comments. (Not starting an argument, just wanting to learn and understand):

(1) I agree there is some scary advice. I think LOW gear and SLOW is the best advice that we can give and we all seem to agree on.

(2) You seem disagreed with me about usage of brakes. I advised to use brakes while in second gear to slow down intermittently when the vehicle speeds up (meaning to NOT use the brakes constantly so that they become overheated). You seemed to say to maintain a constant speed using the brakes to main that speed. (I take that as use the brakes constantly if necessary since you said to not do it the other way) I think using the brakes continuously on a long downhill will contribute to overheating and possibly brake failure. Maybe we agree but expressed ourselves differently. Your thoughts please.

(3) You said to use the trailer brakes manually instead of using both truck and trailer brakes. It seems to me that using only one vehicle's brakes to slow two vehicles would over stress them. Why would you not use both truck and trailer brakes?

(4) I'm wondering about your statement about brake controller setting at 7.0. Do you leave at 7.0 all the time, or turn it to a higher setting on the downhill? I keep mine the same once they are adjusted properly.

Again, not arguing, just wanting to understand.
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:24 PM   #20
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Do the same as a big truck, start down slow, like you did going going up, and keep it geared down, you get the brakes hot , they quit working and you are in trouble, with the exhaust brake on my dodge, you very seldom touch the brake pedal.....
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:26 PM   #21
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Where did this happen? What was the tow vehicle?. Looks like maybe Cresta Grade?...
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:27 PM   #22
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I camp in the Adirondacks. And all of this advice is sound. Just take it slow used both your trailer and truck brakes. When I am towing I leave the tranny in tow mode. Don't let anyone push you, let the go around. Be polite ( stay right) and just slow down. 45 or 50 is plenty fast.


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Old 07-19-2016, 08:25 PM   #23
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Or 20 or 30 mph. Start slow. You can always speed up but may be difficult to slow at some point if your brakes are getting g hot. Experience will help you get a feel for your rig. And as many have said...don't you worry about people behind you. If they are late...they should have left sooner!
Dave...with over 40 years of campers and 18 wheelers in northern WV 10% mountains. Once you know your rig, there will be no worry..just respect.
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Old 07-19-2016, 08:47 PM   #24
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I have towed our 23 up and down grades in Arkansas and Tenn that are probably similar to Adirondacks. I have a 2011 Tundra double can

I used tow haul on most grades and found it necessary to touch brakes only a couple times and only briefly. One a couple of steeper downhills I flipped to sport and dropped down to second and I didn't feel like it was putting strain on the truck. I also flipped on my four ways because there is always some idiot who thinks downhill speeds of 60 are great fun.

Dana



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Old 07-19-2016, 10:10 PM   #25
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Tow haul is the way to go, if you do not have real engine braking. The truck will be resisting being pushed down the hill by the trailer. There is some instability there. A touch of the trailer brakes manually on the controller or applying the brakes will help. Intermittent braking will allow the brakes to cool down. Do not forget to change your brake fluid before taking mountain trips. Old brake fluid absorbs water from the air and its boiling temperature is reduced, resulting in complete loss of braking.
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Old 07-19-2016, 11:04 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cazual6 View Post
Personal experience from my previous post:

Down shift, use lower gear to help you go down slow. If you have a brake controller, set it to max, so you trailer will brake more than your TV.

Just go nice and slow.
I leave my controller set where it normally is because mine will lock up the trailer tires if set on max. My normal setting will not lock the tires but I can feel the trailer pulling against the back of the truck.

I have a 2013 Tundra and use tow/haul and manually shift down as necessary to control speed. I can usually maintain the speed I want with the engine between 3,000 and 4,000 rpm with the gear dependent on the speed desired. The Tundra has very large disk brakes, but, even with those, do not ride the brakes because the trailer brakes are drums and will overheat. I use the engine primarily to maintain reduced speed and apply the brakes for a few seconds as required to maintain that speed and control, then I stay off the brakes as long as possible so they cool down. i.e. intermittent use. Going downhill, the trailer will be pushing the back of the tow vehicle, so, if the trailer starts to push the tail of the truck sideways or starts to sway, use the brake controller lever to apply the trailer brakes only, to straighten everything out.
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:33 AM   #27
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I have always found it interesting that the truck run away ramps always have tire tracks in them. I always watch for trucks coming up behind me too quickly.
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:54 AM   #28
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Typically they have tracks in them due to road equipment smoothing them. If a professional driver has to use an escape track, he looses his job and his company will pay a large fine.


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