Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-18-2015, 11:06 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
jstdreamin's Avatar


 
National RV Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 151
Descending Monteagle Mountain: I-24 east.

I'm planning a trip this summer that will take me from Nashville to Atlanta on I-24. Which means descending Monteagle mountain. According to Mountain Directory East, there are two separate grades. 3.5 miles of 5% with a 45mph curve at the bottom and another 4 miles at 6%.

I'm real comfortable driving my rig but haven't driven this kind of descent as yet and the DW gets a bit anxious. I've driven this route before many times in a car or SUV towing a boat but am wondering about what gear to start in when leaving the summit.

I have a 40' DP, Freightliner, 6 sp Allison, 360hp Cummjngs, with an exhaust brake. Coach will weigh about 30,000 and will be flat towing a 4,400lb small SUV with a Patriot brake system. Coach is rated 32k GVWR, 42k GCWR.

Do I leave it in "Drive" and turn on the exhaust brake? Or put it into 5th? 4th?
__________________

__________________
2008 Pacifica PC40E
Caddy SRX toad w/Blue Ox/Patriot tow setup
360 hp Cummings/Freightliner
FMCA-GOOD SAM
jstdreamin is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-18-2015, 11:45 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
National RV Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Virginia Beach Va.
Posts: 110
Send a message via Skype™ to Vaflatlander
Last May we headed west from VA.spent 22 weeks and 10,000 coach miles in that time I went by the maxim that you desend a mountain in the same gear that you climb it. Your rig is similar to mine and I have found that the exhaust brake should be used and it will keep you safe.
__________________

__________________
Ed & Sharon Ward ,Virginia Beach, Va.
2000 National RV, 37' Tradewinds
3126 Cat 300hp Allison 6spd Fl xc chassis
Vaflatlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2015, 04:32 AM   #3
Community Moderator
 
RV Wizard's Avatar


 
Country Coach Owners Club
Appalachian Campers
Gulf Streamers Club
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Chattanooga, Tn.
Posts: 12,062
Turn on exhaust brake and have speed down to about 50-55 and put the trans in 4th at the truck inspection station at the top.
__________________
Mike, RVIA & RVSA Certified Master RV Technician
Amy, Dr. Assistant - Roxie & Mei Ling, four legs each
2000 Gulf Stream Scenic Cruiser 450 hp & 1330# torque
06 Saturn Vue, 06 Chevy Z71 4x4 & 2014 Corvette Z51 M7
RV Wizard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2015, 06:38 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Coma's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Emerald Coast
Posts: 1,757
Your exhaust brake equipped ISC will make about ~240BHP in decent with EB on. You can climb in a higher gear than you should descend. I suggest you select one gear lower than the gear used to climb. The goal is to not use your service brakes for descent. You want to save them for an emergency stop.

The ECM may allow RPM's to go as high as ~2400 using the exhaust brake. You get your highest BHP at the upper end of the allowable RPM range.
__________________
Jim and Jennie, Cats=Bittles and Potter, 2000 Dynasty 350 ISC
2013 Silverado 4x4 Towed with R1200GS in bed.
PROV23:4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.
Coma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2015, 07:02 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Spk64's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Floyds Knobs, In.
Posts: 1,762
Descending Monteagle Mountain: I-24 east.

I think you should be fine. Made my first trip down the same hill this past spring. 40' DP with engine brake pulling a suburban. I tried to keep my speed around 45 going down. Tapped the brakes occasionally. Just be sure to be slowed down before going down the hill. I left my tranny in normal driving and just switched on the engine brake it handled the downshifting. Only problem was when I came upon a trucker that decided 10-20mph was his speed and I had no room to get over so had to stand on the brakes more than I liked.
On the return trip I set the cruise at 55 and maintained that all the way up the hill.
__________________
Steve
2002 Newmar Mountain Aire 4095
Spk64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2015, 07:42 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
MisterT's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: western NC mountains!
Posts: 2,736
exhaust brake works fine, dont sweat it - our first trip
was from Atlanta thru the Smokies to Gatlinburg, a little
hairy, as my first trip in a DP, but it is designed to handle
these situations - you CAN manual downshift, but I never
did... : )
[also traversed mountain passes from Montana thru Idaho to Washington state, and even better, the Big1 California CLIFFS coast!]
__________________
The Turners 2014 Thor Palazzo DP 33.3 35'

'14 FordFocus, KingTailgater2 DishHD, 200w/10a mobile SOLAR, 75,000+ miles
all continental US states, Alaska, and yes, most of Canada!
MisterT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2015, 08:34 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
fountain42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Sioux Falls
Posts: 210
Don't sweat it turn on the exhaust brake and tap the brakes if your speeding up to fast. no need to shift gears the exhaust brake will take over. We just passed over the Rockies and the exhaust brake made it very easy.
__________________
Gary and Karen plus our furry kids Sable, Jetta, & Winston. 2014 Newmar DutchStar 4369 & 2013 Chevy Equinox.
Home is where we park it
fountain42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2015, 08:39 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
alpha99's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,035
Descending Monteagle Mountain: I-24 east.

I've driven that and much, much steeper and longer grades in the west with my DP towing a Chevy Avalanche. I just use the exhaust brake, rarely use pedal brake, no problems whatsoever. I leave the transmission alone and let it downshift as needed with the exhaust brake. I have invisibrake on the truck.


BTW, that's not a mountain, that's a hill. There are mountains out west.

Cheers!
__________________
alpha99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2015, 10:08 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Papa_Jim's Avatar
 
Outdoors RV Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Manitoba,Canada
Posts: 2,638
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstdreamin View Post
I'm planning a trip this summer that will take me from Nashville to Atlanta on I-24. Which means descending Monteagle mountain. According to Mountain Directory East, there are two separate grades. 3.5 miles of 5% with a 45mph curve at the bottom and another 4 miles at 6%.

I'm real comfortable driving my rig but haven't driven this kind of descent as yet and the DW gets a bit anxious. I've driven this route before many times in a car or SUV towing a boat but am wondering about what gear to start in when leaving the summit.

I have a 40' DP, Freightliner, 6 sp Allison, 360hp Cummjngs, with an exhaust brake. Coach will weigh about 30,000 and will be flat towing a 4,400lb small SUV with a Patriot brake system. Coach is rated 32k GVWR, 42k GCWR.

Do I leave it in "Drive" and turn on the exhaust brake? Or put it into 5th? 4th?
Our rig is much like yours, in that we have the Cummins diesel engine, 6 speed Allison, exhaust brake, and probably weigh in about the same with a toad.

I regard any down grade with extreme caution.

I firmly believe in an old trucker's quote," You can go down a grade a thousand times too slow. You'll go down that grade too fast only once."

6% grade for 4 miles. At the top of that grade, I slow down to 45 MPH, shift the transmission to 4th and activate the exhaust brake. To further control the speed, when needed I will firmly push on the brake pedal for only a few seconds. I do not ride the brakes for fear of heating them. I find this is the most stress free way of floating down the grade.

You will learn with experience if you can go down a 6% grade in a higher gear and faster. That's fine as long as you know you have good control of your rig. Just remember, if the speed gets away on you, you might not be able to get things under control.

The other thing I often think about, if I'm going down grade too fast, and something happens that requires me to stop suddenly, how would I ever do that?

Just approach those down grades with caution, and you'll live to enjoy many happy trails.

Jim
__________________
Jim & Kate
2016 Creekside 23RKS
2014 Ram 1500 4X4 Eco Diesel
Canada, eh?
Papa_Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2015, 10:13 PM   #10
Senior Member


 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Satsop WA
Posts: 1,212
We have descended 6%, just use the exhaust brake and left the tray in 6th.
Tapped brakes a few times, but was very comfortable.
Hope that helps.
__________________
TMan59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 08:01 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
ChasA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Apex, NC
Posts: 1,857
We went down Monteagle last year. Transmission in D, exhaust brake on. Let the computers handle it.
__________________
2010 Winnebago Journey Express 34Y
2010 Freightliner XCS (mfd 9/'09)
'07 Saturn Vue V6
ChasA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 08:22 AM   #12
Member
 
Fatfendr38's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 55
As an ex truck driving instructor in non exhaust brake trucks, we taught students to use what ever their final gear was going up hill is the gear to select at the top of the grade before going down hill. We also taught "stab braking". Push firmly on the brake, slow the vehicle down and then release. Let the tranny take over again. This allows the brakes to cool off. With an automatic and exhaust brake I would use the exhaust brake and at least the gear you went up the hill. If you are unsure go 1 gear lower. There is no rush going down a grade. Beware that semis may be slower than you if the are running heavy. Its far better to ease it down the grade than run someone over.
__________________
1998 Winnebago Adventurer 35WP
F53 chassis-460 engine
Racine, Wisconsin
Fatfendr38 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 08:40 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Steve Ownby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cosby, Tn
Posts: 6,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstdreamin View Post
I'm planning a trip this summer that will take me from Nashville to Atlanta on I-24. Which means descending Monteagle mountain. According to Mountain Directory East, there are two separate grades. 3.5 miles of 5% with a 45mph curve at the bottom and another 4 miles at 6%.

I'm real comfortable driving my rig but haven't driven this kind of descent as yet and the DW gets a bit anxious. I've driven this route before many times in a car or SUV towing a boat but am wondering about what gear to start in when leaving the summit.

I have a 40' DP, Freightliner, 6 sp Allison, 360hp Cummjngs, with an exhaust brake. Coach will weigh about 30,000 and will be flat towing a 4,400lb small SUV with a Patriot brake system. Coach is rated 32k GVWR, 42k GCWR.

Do I leave it in "Drive" and turn on the exhaust brake? Or put it into 5th? 4th?

You are smart to be prudent and I predict that you will have no problem whatsoever with this grade.

I assume that with the exhaust brake switch on, when you lift your foot off the throttle, the Allison displays 2 or 3 and downshifts to whatever gear your current speed/rpm allows. The key to a safe descent is the speed/rpm that you are at when the brake activates. Since this is your first experience with a moderate grade of several miles the thing to do is to start conservatively. If you know the speed at which the Allison will downs shift to 4th, then be at that speed when the brake activates. If you don't know then set you speed at 45 mph since that is the posted speed for the mid descent curve. I'm guessing that with that target speed, you will not increase speed as you descend. If you do start picking up speed, let it build to about 50 and apply the service brake aggressively for about 5 seconds and release. This is known as "snub braking". That should get you down below 45 again. If you slow as you descend, before you get a downshift to 3rd, apply a little throttle which will deactivate the exhaust brake. When your speed builds back to your target speed then close the throttle & the brake will activate again.

Since this is your first experience with a down grade like this, use it as a learning experience and experiment a little. You will learn some about the capability of your coach and you will become a better driver.


Steve Ownby
Full time since '07
__________________
Steve Ownby
Full time since 2007
2003 Monaco Signature
Steve Ownby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 11:29 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
ernest917's Avatar
 
Forest River Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Woodville, TX
Posts: 557
We took or Berk down numerous 6% grades on our 2013 trip and never had a single issue
__________________

__________________
ernest917 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking at a high mileage 2011 Mountain Aire miknkat Class A Motorhome Discussions 42 02-12-2015 12:12 PM
Driving too slow down the mountain. C&SL iRV2.com General Discussion 62 10-01-2014 11:55 AM
Mountain Aire OR DutchStar diesel Bmaintz8 Newmar Owner's Forum 9 09-09-2014 03:17 PM
Wanted: info on east bound US4 in New England area. lbaldwin Northeast Region 1 05-13-2014 09:10 PM
Kings Mountain State Park,Blacksburg, South Carolina invitation bud121156 Carolina Campers 1 04-07-2014 07:44 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.