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Old 07-17-2007, 07:51 PM   #1
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Towing up/down a steep grade

A while back, I asked "how steep is too steep" on this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...eep-30055.html

Last week, we finally took our trailer up the road, and then a week later we took it back down.

I'm glad to report that everything went fine (more or less). We had a real scare going up because the bulldozers had just finished laying the top layer the day before. One of the turns was still pretty loosly packed, and the 4WD couldn't keep traction. Without the help of our neighbor and his 4WD, we would have had to chock the wheels and find someplace else to sleep until we could have gotten help from somewhere.

But by the time we came down a week later, all the traffic (construction trucks, our truck, etc) had packed everything really well.

The truck went down fine. No slipping, no problems - just wet palms!

Oh, I should mention that on the way up, all tanks were empty. On the way down we had a nearly empty fresh water tank, an empty gray tank (hey its my land, I can dump on it if I want) BUT a 3/4 full black tank. We worried about 'overflow' on the 18%-20% grade, but no problem.

So, the summary is:
the Ford F250 Turbodiesel and 4WD had NO PROBLEM pulling the rig up the incline (literally felt effortless) until we hit the soft dirt. On the way down, the 4WD, WD hitch (Hensley Arrow), and eight good brakes held us fine.

Here's some pics. The road is made from 'pit-run', which is common in the mountains. It about 12-16 inches thick, with lots of big rock and crushed stone, all placed on top of dirt/road fabric. When all the construction is done and there are no more trucks going up and down, it will get topped with a finer grade of crushed stone.

Hope the pics come thru:
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:03 PM   #2
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Tin diesel, Glad everything went good on your trip. I see you have a canoe, we do too and take it every place we go when traveling, something we really enjoy.
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:09 PM   #3
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Just noticed where you are from, I lived in Huston mid 70s to mid 80s. Worked at Sam White Olds. on southwest fwy. Marvin
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:10 PM   #4
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all right tin d'!

good truck...

the only issue i've had on really steep inclines

if stuff in the fridge tipping over.

where are the pics of the actual boondocking site?

we could have a rally up there...

that hill is perfect for the blue tote races...

cheers
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:37 PM   #5
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yea you can go most anywhere with a small trailer.
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:55 PM   #6
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boondocking site

Hey 2Air... if the link above worked, there's a pic of the boondocking site on that thread. Its about 2 miles south of Steamboat Lake State Park in Colorado. That park is SUPER nice! When we're not boondocking on our land, we stay there.
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:13 PM   #7
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Tin Diesel:
My kind of road, but we are 7 feet shorter that your trailer...

When the Forest Service is out grading the road, it is MORE difficult of a drive. Your tires on the Tow Vehicle and trailer get buried and you can bury yourself. I found a few roads this year in NM and UT that were being regraded, exposing more road hazards than probably were there previously. We occasionally are out tossing some boulders to the side of the road in order to avoid snaking our way around.

There is a nice forest road to the north of Mimbres, New Mexico that was graded this Spring. It should be packed down now, but half way from there to Reserve (FR150) is a spot where the dry wash crosses the road. For a 23 foot trailer, it was a tight traverse. For a 30 footer, you would be camping for some time as your axles would be air borne. On the north to south part of the road a sign says "not recommended for over 20 foot trailers". No such sign on the south to north direction...
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:46 PM   #8
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just a tip that i learned when i got my CDL, always go down a hill in the same gear you would climb in. this applies to automatics too!

much less chance of a runaway.

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Old 09-03-2007, 03:22 PM   #9
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Link in post one repaired.
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Old 09-03-2007, 04:41 PM   #10
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We've towed our Airstream up some pretty insane inclines in the Rocky Mountains (especially Montana, Alberta, and British Columbia). Our F250 has handled everything we've thrown its way without complaint.

Our scariest experience was actually going downhill on an unpaved mountain road in British Columbia.
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