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Old 07-19-2016, 06:26 PM   #21
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2013 31' Classic
billings , Montana
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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, 06:27 PM   #22
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1972 27' Overlander
Denver , North Carolina
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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, 07:25 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, 07:47 PM   #24
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Holly Lake Ranch , Texas
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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.


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Old 07-19-2016, 09:10 PM   #25
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1977 31' Sovereign
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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, 10:04 PM   #26
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Euless , Texas
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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, 04:33 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.
Ray B.
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:54 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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Old 07-20-2016, 09:26 AM   #29
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2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Parker , Colorado
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(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.

AW Warn, I think we are on the same page, so just a little clarification. On steeper hills I will still end up increasing speed and will need to use the brakes to back down. I agree that holding the speed exactly with the brakes even when in lower gear is not the way to go. Intermittent is best.

As far as when using the trailer brakes manually, I use both my truck and the brake controller at the same time. I'm just boosting the trailer a bit. Agree with leaving the brake controller setting the same, mine is at 7.0 all the time. I just think it needs a manual boost from time to time on grades 6% or more.
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:35 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by mojo View Post
NO, NO, 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.
AirForums Group
I recently made a statement about towing the high mountain passes of Colorado. MOJO advised against my advice.

I questioned my advice after making the statement and did some research. I also contacted my mechanic who is the head mechanic at a Chev dealership where I live.

My conclusion is, my advice was wrong.
It is best to be in 2WD in the "tow-haul" mode( if you have it) and manually down shift to control your speed. Start out slow at the top and control your speed in 2WD.
Thank you MOJO for bringing this to light.
My apologies for giving incorrect information.
Be safe.
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:00 PM   #31
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2014 27' FB Classic
Cambridge , New York
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Ayup - there's a couple of good hills between Minerva and Pottersville! Downshift, take 'er slow (I like 40-45 on most grades, 30 when it gets steep). Unlike some of the western grades the above posters are talking about, Rts 28N and 28 are two laners, so bide your time, and hold your lane. Better that some flatland tourist gets their knickers in a knot than you dropping your right wheels off a steep shoulder on a hard downgrade. Pump and release brakes (use both TV and TT together, not separately), and DO NOT use 4x4 on a dry, paved road or you will be minus an axle and transfer case. You didn't notice any turned turtle Airstreams along the side of the road on your way up, did you? Don't leave any on the way down. You'll be fine. Treat yourself to a good lunch with pie and coffee at the Black Bear Cafe in Pottersville!
"Hot meals, cold beer, dry bed & flush toilet - everything I look for in a wilderness experience..."
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:05 PM   #32
Vintage Kin
Fort Worth , Texas
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Started my day with a 6% 13-mile descent in western Maryland.

Never want to lose brakes. Trans will be fine if used as manufacturer directs.

Slower than you first think is best.
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