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Old 05-18-2012, 06:16 PM   #15
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There is a book called The Mountain Book. It has an East and Western edition. It list ever grade for every major highway in the US and we use it for planning purposes. My wife hates steep grades and this is a good way to avoid them. Camping World has them for about $12 or so.
I just bought the West book for this trip. I'm in NM and headed for Utah , Az and Colorado and it is priceless. Don't leave home without it.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:19 PM   #16
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I just bought the West book for this trip. I'm in NM and headed for Utah , Az and Colorado and it is priceless. Don't leave home without it.
This is the first I've heard of this book and I'm curious. Do you primarily use it to plan trips to go around steep grades that you don't want to drive?

Rick
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:23 PM   #17
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Pessman, first of all welcome to the forum. I can tell that you are a safe driver or you would not be asking for advice. I agree with everything that has been given to you as advice. Only thing I can add is never pull over at a runaway truck ramp to let others go on. I have seen this many times and it scares the daylights out of me! You will be fine and several campfires you will set back and tell others stories of "remember when"? Be safe and enjoy!
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:25 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by RickO

This is the first I've heard of this book and I'm curious. Do you primarily use it to plan trips to go around steep grades that you don't want to drive?

Rick
Both. I plan my trips to avoid steep grades if I can. If not I at least know what I'm getting into before hand. Works for me.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:30 PM   #19
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Thanks Cliff. Makes sense to me.

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Old 05-18-2012, 07:05 PM   #20
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Pessman, first of all welcome to the forum. I can tell that you are a safe driver or you would not be asking for advice. I agree with everything that has been given to you as advice. Only thing I can add is never pull over at a runaway truck ramp to let others go on. I have seen this many times and it scares the daylights out of me! You will be fine and several campfires you will set back and tell others stories of "remember when"? Be safe and enjoy!
Run away truck ramps are NOT for "...pull(ing) over at a runaway truck ramp to let others go on." They are for when you LOSE CONTROL and have NO BRAKES and need to stop before you go over a cliff.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:14 PM   #21
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Thanks Cliff. Makes sense to me.

Rick
Here's an example.

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Look at the road you want to use and if it has a yellow triangle on it , see the details by #. Look at # 3 Cloudcroft Hill
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:23 PM   #22
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They might have it on Amazon.com cheaper.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:31 PM   #23
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Run away truck ramps are NOT for "...pull(ing) over at a runaway truck ramp to let others go on." They are for when you LOSE CONTROL and have NO BRAKES and need to stop before you go over a cliff.
That's what I said.
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:01 PM   #24
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That's what I said.
Naahhh...you said "...never pull over at a runaway truck ramp to let others go on. I have seen this many times and it scares the daylights out of me!".

You do NOT pull over and let others "...go on" - you use the runaway truck ramp to stop your vehicle before you hit something or go over a cliff. Seems you've not actually seen/used a runaway truck ramp in mountain passes.

Runaway-Truck Ramps Explained - Feature - Car and Driver

This is what the runaway truck ramp looks like on Wolf Creek Pass.

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Old 05-19-2012, 09:09 AM   #25
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I own the famous Workhorse W22 with break issues. And yes, I have overheated them twice now. Very expensive to repair. In one of those campfire conversations, I was informed by a guy with truck driving experience to NOT pump ABS brakes. He said with ABS attempt to judge the force of braking needed, and keep as steady and constant pressure as possible. Totally opposite of what had been standard practice in mountain driving for conventional brakes for years.
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:36 AM   #26
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DGBPokes, the advice on not pumping ABS brakes should be reviewed as to the situation. What is said is a 100% correct on not pumping ABS brakes in an EMERGENCY stop. The whole point of ABS brakes in an emergency stop is that they are modulating the amount of braking force to be maximum without locking up the tires and losing braking force. This is why you feel the pulsating or chattering brake pedal in an emergency stop. This would not apply to slowing a vehicle down while going down a steep grade because you are not trying to do an emergency stop but just controlling the vehicle speed. The term pump the brakes in this sense is not a rapid pumping but a slow on and off application to keep the brakes cool. If I find myself having to slowly pump the brakes while decending a grade then I will downshift the transmission so that I have engine braking. Then if there is a curve coming up that I need to slow down even more for the I will do the slow on and off application of the brakes. If you stay continously on the brake pedal while decending a steep grade you are going to overheat the brakes. I have the luxury of having an engine Jake brake BUT one still has to be careful. If I am not paying attention it is possible for my mh to freewheel going down a steep hill and to get going too fast without me realizing it. At speeds in excess of around 66 mph the Allision will not downshift with the application of the Jake brake so I do not get a whole lot of braking for that amount of mass speeding down a hill. In this situation of near panic I will apply a slow on and off application of the brakes to get the speed down enough for it to downshift and then it slows down real fast.

You never want to ride the brakes to control your descent speed.
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:09 AM   #27
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DGBPokes, the advice on not pumping ABS brakes should be reviewed as to the situation. What is said is a 100% correct on not pumping ABS brakes in an EMERGENCY stop. The whole point of ABS brakes in an emergency stop is that they are modulating the amount of braking force to be maximum without locking up the tires and losing braking force. This is why you feel the pulsating or chattering brake pedal in an emergency stop. This would not apply to slowing a vehicle down while going down a steep grade because you are not trying to do an emergency stop but just controlling the vehicle speed. The term pump the brakes in this sense is not a rapid pumping but a slow on and off application to keep the brakes cool. If I find myself having to slowly pump the brakes while decending a grade then I will downshift the transmission so that I have engine braking. Then if there is a curve coming up that I need to slow down even more for the I will do the slow on and off application of the brakes. If you stay continously on the brake pedal while decending a steep grade you are going to overheat the brakes. I have the luxury of having an engine Jake brake BUT one still has to be careful. If I am not paying attention it is possible for my mh to freewheel going down a steep hill and to get going too fast without me realizing it. At speeds in excess of around 66 mph the Allision will not downshift with the application of the Jake brake so I do not get a whole lot of braking for that amount of mass speeding down a hill. In this situation of near panic I will apply a slow on and off application of the brakes to get the speed down enough for it to downshift and then it slows down real fast.
Excellent advice!
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:28 AM   #28
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My personal experience:

The only time I have ever overheated my brakes (meaning I could smell burning brakes) in ten years of MH driving including the Syskiyous and Shastas, Cuesta grade, the Grapevine and a 10% grade outside Carmel and a host of others has been when I followed the "keep as steady and constant pressure as possible" routine suggested by a brake expert. He gave me really bad advice.

Gearing is the key, anticipate and pay attention then brake as gently and only as frequently as needed to maintain speed and control. If you need to brake more often then do it, if you need to brake harder then do it but get off them as soon as you as long as you can so they will cool as much as they can.

It is natural now, I just know how the approach a 6% a 7% and other grades. As to a 10% well my Dolphin had all the same properties as a anvil being hurled from a cliff.

Toad brakes make life easier as well.
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