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Old 11-07-2013, 06:11 PM   #1
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Mountain driving?



I once in a world far far away in my younger days, I was an over the road driver. I had some experience with stick shift trucks and mountains. Now I have an old gas motor home with an automatic transmission and no tachometer. I understand not riding the break and I hear threads that talk about going down the hill in the same gear you go up in!

My question is I assume I want to go up the hill with the automatic transmission doing what ever it does. Maybe if hill is really steep and long drop it out of over drive and maybe put it in second and keep the engine up to speed and watch the heat gage. If my assumption is correct do I leave it in second on the way down and only break to slow the engine speed? I would assume on the way down the heat would not be an issue. But keeping the rpms down would be the issue and breaks is all I would really have available to me..

Would like some incite
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:01 PM   #2
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I personally manually downshift going up-hill then I shift one gear lower plus use the engine brake going down-hill... Went up/down those 9%+ grades throughout the month of July in SD, MT, WY, and CO and NEVER had a single brake or transmission over-heating issue or for that matter no engine over-heating either.....

Just take it slow and remember - it's no big deal if folks line up behind you.... Your job is to do what's best for your rig... You can pull over and let folks pass - when you have an opportunity....
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:05 PM   #3
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Your 90 Pace is going to need to be geared down on the steep hills as you have describe in your post.
I do not feel the heat issue would be a problem going down a hill going up it may.
I have a gas coach and its taken out of overdrive and I gear down to third and the coach will slow with the engine compression.
If its a real long grade may even put it down another gear and just touch brakes to keep it slowed.
If you do heat up engine the fan clutch will engage to cool down the radiator.
Here is a post on mountain driving fo DP's that will have some info that you can apply in your gas coach.
Here is another threads on RV Driving and a Driving Course.
We were in Branson and could nor believe the hills in that area they sure didn't level them out.
Enjoy your RV and safe travels.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:34 PM   #4
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With the coach that you have it has an E4OD transmission. They came with a small transmission cooler. I would heavily recommend installing a second one that is much bigger. That transmission is not fond of excessive heat and Ford did not help it much with that small cooler. I have also heard of many good experiences with changing the exhaust from headers back. The stock exhaust is restrictive and hold a lot of heat. If you can extract as much engine/exhaust heat, your engine will be much happier.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homeless View Post


I once in a world far far away in my younger days, I was an over the road driver. I had some experience with stick shift trucks and mountains. Now I have an old gas motor home with an automatic transmission and no tachometer. I understand not riding the break and I hear threads that talk about going down the hill in the same gear you go up in!

My question is I assume I want to go up the hill with the automatic transmission doing what ever it does. Maybe if hill is really steep and long drop it out of over drive and maybe put it in second and keep the engine up to speed and watch the heat gage. If my assumption is correct do I leave it in second on the way down and only break to slow the engine speed? I would assume on the way down the heat would not be an issue. But keeping the rpms down would be the issue and breaks is all I would really have available to me..

Would like some incite
When I ran my gasser years ago going up was always a problem as far as power. Second gear, third gear, whatever put the engine in a range of not lugging but not over reving either. You have to go by ear and feel on that one. Coming down I just put it in overdrive and left my foot of the throttle and used the brake if I got going a little fast. I was never going fast enough at the top of the mountain to gain a huge amount of speed quickly enough to warrant running a lower gear but if need be I don't think it would hurt.

As far as engine heat that would be another one. Keep an eye on it going up and going down should bring it back to an open close thermostat state as it will over cool.

Looking forward to hearing others thoughts on this one.

joe
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