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Old 03-05-2015, 05:15 PM   #1
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Don't want to do Jellico Mountain

we are newbies going from Canton, Ohio to Ft Myers FL in Dec.
Does anyone know how to do that and navigate around the mountains with our 34 ft fifth wheel with electric brakes and one ton 2002 f350 7.3 power stroke truck.
I do not think i have the experience or confidence to go down the mountains yet.
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:26 PM   #2
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Really I-77 south is the only "straight shot" way to go. Going more towards the east coast I find going south has more traffic. The PA. turnpike can be very narrow especially in construction zones. Going south on I-77 avoid night / early morning travel thru West Virginia because of fog. There is only one "big" long hill in Virginia. No big deal, just pop it down a gear. The grade is not really that bad, just a long long hill...

If you encounter dense fog, just pull off at a rest stop and catch some shut eye.
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakers View Post
we are newbies going from Canton, Ohio to Ft Myers FL in Dec.
Does anyone know how to do that and navigate around the mountains with our 34 ft fifth wheel with electric brakes and one ton 2002 f350 7.3 power stroke truck.
I do not think i have the experience or confidence to go down the mountains yet.
And until you do it, you never will have the confidence. Just go ahead and do it. If you have an exhaust brake, make sure that it is engaged. If your truck has a "tow haul" mode, engage it also. On my Silverado, I set the cruise control to about 55, and never even have to touch the brake pedal on a grade like that.

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Old 03-05-2015, 06:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakers View Post
we are newbies going from Canton, Ohio to Ft Myers FL in Dec.
Does anyone know how to do that and navigate around the mountains with our 34 ft fifth wheel with electric brakes and one ton 2002 f350 7.3 power stroke truck.
I do not think i have the experience or confidence to go down the mountains yet.

It's not really feasible to dodge that mountain range. In reality, I75 south is the most benign route. It's not terribly steep or long either up or down. Just stay in the right lane and keep your speed and gear selection conservative. You'll be fine and a little more experienced.


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Old 03-05-2015, 06:28 PM   #5
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If you want a real driving test, try route 50 in eastern WV. eeeks

Also checked out two other state parks off route 50 for future visits. Having driven a RV trailer since 1999, never in my life was I more "white knuckled". It was so narrow and twisty I had to wonder when the travel trailer would be side-swiped.

I'm very comfortable towing, but was sure tested that day last June while returning from Blackwater Falls State Park in Eastern WV.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:50 PM   #6
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Superslif: but what a great park...
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:37 PM   #7
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When just beginning the descent on any mountain grade, shift into a lower gear and use tow/haul. When we had our 40' 5er, I pulled it with our Duramax dually. I would approach the downgrade at a lower speed, manually downshift to 3rd gear while closely watching my speed. If it began to climb I would stab(never ride) the brake pedal a few times to lower speed, then downshift another gear. Watch the semi's; those who use caution do this same procedure. I've followed a semi many times descending Jellico and other steep downgrades, while doing 40 MPH with flashers on.

The driving distance would be more for you than I, since I live near Indianapolis, but I now use I65 instead of I75, no mountains like Jellico to drive. For me, the driving difference from indy to Ft. Myers is about 60 miles further.
My route is, I65 to Montgomery, then around the North side of the city(I85 E?) to US 231 S., stay on US 231 to Dothan-staying on US 231 bypass, then South again on 231 to I10 E.
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:35 PM   #8
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Good luck with a suitable solution.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:09 AM   #9
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I-75 Jeilico, what mountain ?
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:53 PM   #10
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We travel south from the Detroit area each January. We go South To Cincinnati, Then over to Louisville and take I65 South. At Montgomery we take 231 to us 10 and then over to 75. 100 miles or so longer but no mountains or i75. We take i77 home but would not take it south.
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Old 03-07-2015, 04:45 PM   #11
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We travel south from the Detroit area each January. We go South To Cincinnati, Then over to Louisville and take I65 South. At Montgomery we take 231 to us 10 and then over to 75. 100 miles or so longer but no mountains or i75. We take i77 home but would not take it south.
We just stay on I-75 MI to FL, the "mountains" in TN only go to, what, 2300 feet? No big deal compared to going through (around) Atlanta. Or driving the Powder River Pass in WY at just under 10,000 feet towing the Jeep.
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:20 AM   #12
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CJ7ole, he is not addressing mountain height, he is unfamiliar with descending steep downgrades and requesting advice for same, thus the suggested option for driving I 65 to miss all steep downgrades.
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Old 03-08-2015, 05:56 PM   #13
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dakers
Jelico is not a hard Mountain to negotiate. You just need to not drive any faster than you are comfortable at. When you start off the top, have your tow haul on, 60 mph is not too fast and when it starts picking up speed, use your trailer brake gently and it will slow you back down without using your truck brakes until you need them, because using the truck brakes will make your trans down shift.
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Old 03-08-2015, 11:47 PM   #14
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dakers
Jelico is not a hard Mountain to negotiate. You just need to not drive any faster than you are comfortable at. When you start off the top, have your tow haul on, 60 mph is not too fast and when it starts picking up speed, use your trailer brake gently and it will slow you back down without using your truck brakes until you need them, because using the truck brakes will make your trans down shift.
Sure using the truck brakes will cause a transmission downshift, that is exactly the reason for tow/haul, to assist in holding back the load, somewhat like a transmission retarder in larger vehicles. Using tow/haul will lessen the need to use either truck or trailer brakes. That is why I would manually downshift to 3rd gear(5 sp Allison) and let tow/haul do its job. This way I only had to steer and stab the truck brakes a few times down the entire grade.
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