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Old 11-11-2018, 06:26 PM   #1
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Escaping the Malibu fire

New Sport 22 in the driveway and Highlander LTD AWD is tv. We are packed and will leave if fire gets closer but that does not look likely. If we do go it is downhill 3 min to Pacific Coast Highway. Two lanes but about 800 feet of it is 19% grade with hillside on right and deep canyon to left

Never have tried up or down this road and always come a long way around (usually this would be where fire is). My wife said she saw a pick up drive by heading down the steep road with AS. She said thought same as ours. I know the guy and they have F150

Planned getting a Grand Cherokee but now wondering about 150. Is it able to tow my AS down 800 feet of 19%?
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Old 11-11-2018, 06:42 PM   #2
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What a horrible, dreadful situation out there in that inferno.

Stay safe.

Maggie
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Old 11-11-2018, 07:06 PM   #3
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I wouldn't hesitate with my 150. But really, any vehicle should be able to handle 800 feet. Start and stay slow. Put your vehicle in a low gear before you start down.

Good luck and best wishes to avoid the fires.
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Old 11-11-2018, 07:25 PM   #4
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Yep start in low or first gear and manually use trailer brakes as much as needed
We were supposed to camp at pt mugu this weekend but it was inside the mandatory evac area.
Hope you fair well
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Old 11-11-2018, 07:27 PM   #5
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Garfish,
Hope all is well with you and your family and your home and the Sport.
Heard on the nightly news that the city of Malibu has been evacuated.
What a horrible fire.
Wish I could send a little rain your way.
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Old 11-11-2018, 07:28 PM   #6
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Who in the heck built a road with a 19% grade! Isn't that a 38 degree angle down (and up). It would be like towing the trailer down a black diamond ski run.
There are road designs with "switchbacks" to avoid steep grades.

I rode my ATV down what I estimate as a 45 degree angle from a mountain top last summer. No room here for switchbacks. The surface was loose gravel and dirt. I was skidding. If I skidded off the trail, well it would be a long tumble down the mountain. White knuckles.

Maybe your Highlander has a 4wd Low setting (if ). That would help the brakes some. Newer pickups sometimes have a "hill decent" control that helps on steep downhills also.

I would be no faster than 5 mph in the lowest gear possible with 4 way flashers on.

God I hate wildfires. Stay safe.

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Old 11-11-2018, 07:34 PM   #7
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The road was built over landslide that happened in 1984 that took out the access to PCH. Fire in 93 burned all the homes here, 250 or more because fireman would not come down through the fire to save our homes. So after 20 years we got ok to build this road (our cost, 5.5 million) so we could get out in emergencies. The only other way is up where the fires always come from. It is gated and only for homeowners and emergency vehicles. No choice but steep
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Old 11-11-2018, 07:52 PM   #8
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Good that you have an AS. Not sure where everyone else will go. Just put in 4 wheel low if you have it and go slow and steady. Horrible situation.
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Old 11-11-2018, 07:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Who in the heck built a road with a 19% grade! Isn't that a 38 degree angle down (and up).
It's a bit less than 11 degrees. Pretty steep but 800 ft. should be no problem. Hopefully you won't need to find out! Good luck.
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:03 PM   #10
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Escaping the Malibu fire

Watching all the fire coverage from Corona, CA area. Do take care. Itís looking really bad on TV news.

The grade, in dry weather should not be a problem. 4WD, low range, and crawl down as slow as possible.

Recovery from this much fire is going to take a very long time...
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfish View Post
The road was built over landslide that happened in 1984 that took out the access to PCH. Fire in 93 burned all the homes here, 250 or more because fireman would not come down through the fire to save our homes. So after 20 years we got ok to build this road (our cost, 5.5 million) so we could get out in emergencies. The only other way is up where the fires always come from. It is gated and only for homeowners and emergency vehicles. No choice but steep
I was a firefighter on the 1993 Malibu Fire, I was on the Bitterroot Hotshot Crew out of Darby, MT. It was on of the most horrific things Iíve ever seen. Every time I see the California fires on the news I remember those times. Will never forget. Good luck to you, stay safe.
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Old 11-11-2018, 09:03 PM   #12
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Low gear in your tow vehicle and use your brake controller. Pinch the brake controller and use your trailer brakes. UYou have four sets of brakes to stop you or ease you down the grade. 800 feet is not a mountain pass.

Low gear and use the trailer to stop you. It will keep you straight.
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Old 11-11-2018, 09:04 PM   #13
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The dry brush around here can burn faster than a person can run. Itís super dry (10% RH or less).

Ted, thank you for coming all that way to help.

So far the woolsey fire is at 83,000 acres and 10% contained. Going to be a long, hard fight.
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Old 11-11-2018, 09:04 PM   #14
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One more thing. Do you have a gopro? I gotta see this!
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