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Old 08-20-2010, 03:04 PM   #15
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I have an older (1991) F53 and I try to drive it like I don't have any brakes. While I haven't done the 11% grades, I've done lots of 6 and 7 percent grades like I-80 across the Donner Pass, and I-5 from Redding up into Oregon, and US 50 between Fernley and Ely.

Low speed can definitely be your friend. Your engine provides a given amount of braking power, and the faster you are going, the less effective that power will be.

I try and hold speed at 55mph in drive (o/d off) for most 6% grades (and that works in my coach requiring very little brake and it roughly 2800rpm, so not too taxing on the engine) and if it looks really ugly, I start at 30-35mph and use 2nd, which is the same 2800rpm.

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Old 08-21-2010, 06:28 AM   #16
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Thoughts about steep hills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ding-a-ling View Post
I didn't have too much trouble going down into Skagway last year with our 24K pound coach plus toad. 2nd gear at about 4,200 rpm put me at 25 to 30 mph with occasional push on the brakes.

Don't be afraid of engine revs in lower gears. The Workhorse engine and Allison trans. are almost bullet proof. They will get you there and back.

FJF
The biggest problem I had with Skagway was fear of the unknown. When I saw the distance sign and the grade sign I had no idea of what to expect. So I stayed cautious. Your imagination can go wild with the smell of burning brake and lots of hill left to descend. So it's a good idea to ask others first about what it's like. I didn't ask about that hill ,therefore, the apprehension set in.

Caution will almost never get you into trouble. I'm sure there are some who just go for broke but that's the way to get hurt plus you're responsible for others most times. That's no time to mess around.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:09 AM   #17
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Thanks everone for the input, I've been over most of the steep mountains in the west and quite a few in the east, but only in either a semi or expedite truck all with diesels engines, some with and some without engine breaks. But never in a gas powered engine, all of the info that you have given me will help in deciding which engine I will want in my motorhome. Once more, thanks very much.
phrrent
You got some good advice. Go by your experience as a truck driver and you will be OK. I suggest that you practice on short hills that are steep and find out what it takes hold your rig back without the brakes. If I'm not sure what gear to use, I will go lower than I think I need and adjust accordingly.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:22 AM   #18
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I think the 8.1L/Allison combo will keep your engine from over revving if I remember correctly, the tranny will downshift if you have transmission braking engaged when you tap the brakes and will automatically upshift if the engine starts to rev up too high, and then will downshift again if you use the brakes and get your speed down to an acceptable level for the the transmission to downshift again.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:09 AM   #19
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The 6 speed Allison transmission on our Adventurer has a Grade Brake that does a very good job limiting the speed on steep descents.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:16 AM   #20
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If in cruise control on the downhill the Ford F53 will downshift on its own similar to the Allison Grade Brake. If you set it at 30 mph it will attempt to stay there. Biggest difference is the grade brake is always active.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:59 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phrrent View Post
Thanks everone for the input, I've been over most of the steep mountains in the west and quite a few in the east, but only in either a semi or expedite truck all with diesels engines, some with and some without engine breaks. But never in a gas powered engine, all of the info that you have given me will help in deciding which engine I will want in my motorhome. Once more, thanks very much.
phrrent
Yea, can't beat a jake brake
I was a professional steering wheel holder for a little over 10 yrs, ran the Northwest and California mostly.. come from a family of drivers (I am only female driver in family) and their advice to me was , Stay in Control of your vehicle. Your decision, you are behind the wheel. So with all the information given, it will help not only phrrent make a decision, but maybe someone else also.
It is too bad the same aspect given to a Semi-tractor/trailer couldn't be implemented into our MH in regards to engine breaking. Maybe an 'after market' design for gas MH.
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:29 PM   #22
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It is too bad the same aspect given to a Semi-tractor/trailer couldn't be implemented into our MH in regards to engine breaking. Maybe an 'after market' design for gas MH.
I imagine a transmission retarder would work on a gasser, but that's a very expensive item found only on way way top end coaches, foretravel, bluebird, prevost and the like.
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Old 08-28-2010, 08:58 AM   #23
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Off Topic but:

Shelties are like potato chips........
You can't have just one.

Three in our family. Nikki (5) Taffy (10) Quill (4)
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:12 AM   #24
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Off Topic reply
I saw that remark on a 'poodle' website for many years, same words but with the 'poodle' instead of the 'sheltie' but then it can relate to a lot of things in these threads..
Camping, MH, TT, 5R's etc.
Have a blessed day !
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