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Old 04-18-2012, 09:26 AM   #1
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Rapid City SD to Yellowstone

Hi all,

This is our first time out west. Yesterday's trip was fairly stressful and I'm writing to get feedback on others' experiences.

We are pulling a 35 ft. Carriage 5th wheel with a 2001 Ford F350 SRW. Randy has added a tuner to the engine, and upgraded intake. We started yesterday morning in Sioux Falls, SD headed west. The truck pulled fine but when we got into the larger hills the engine fan came on. Alot. Another observation that is something we've never experienced is we had to accelerate going *downhill* because of the wind resistance.

In another post, Skigramp said the wind would be a bigger factor than the hills, and you were exactly right sir! I'm thinking the engine fan came on so often because of the wind resistance more than the climbs?

Questions before we head to Yellowstone;

Should we be concerned about the engine fan engaging so often, or is this normal... do all of you experience this too when traveling out west?

We'd like to go to Yellowstone, but not sure after yesterday's experience. Main concerns (only concerns) are wind combined with uphill climbs.

Thanks for any advice to us newbies,


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Old 04-18-2012, 09:57 AM   #2
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I'd imagine the fan came on a lot because the engine and transmission were working hard. You've got long grades and higher elevations, both make the engine use more energy creating heat. I'd be more worried if the fan didn't come on, allowing overheating. Sounds like everything worked as they should.

RE: Wind, Welcome to Wyoming! On the Edge of Common Sense 5-3-10 | TheFencePost.com

Do stop in Cody and check out the Buffalo Bill Museum(s) they are worth the time!


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Old 04-18-2012, 10:01 AM   #3
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That headwind has a big effect on an outfit that has a frontal area like a ships sail. The fan is cycling to keep the heat down from the hard pull. The wind only blows in Wyoming MOST days, not all the time. Drop out of overdrive and you should be fine. Keep on going. Wonderful place to visit.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:21 AM   #4
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Beflinn181 is right. The fan is doing it's job. How fast were you going? Remember going from 40 to 60 mph is only a 50% increase in speed, but takes a 200% increase in power. Slow down to 55 and see if that doesn't help. don't worry about the fan,(it is just doing what it is supposed to do) just turn up the volume on the radio and enjoy the tunes. Turn off I90 at Buffalo and go thru ten sleep canyon to Cody. It is fantastic. Also stay at Ponderosa campground at Cody.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:19 AM   #5
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A big DO NOT MISS in Cody, WY is the Cody Museum ... it is actually four museums in one: guns, art, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Native American ... it is at least a half day and probably more like a full day ... as I recall a day ticket lets you in for two consectutive days ...

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Old 04-18-2012, 11:29 AM   #6
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not sure how far you've gotten, but that run over the mountains whose name I can't remember is tough for any vehicle. As long as the temp gauge stays in the green you're fine.

Once over those mountains (big horn mountains, that's it!) it's pretty flat to cody. Cody is fabulous. There are several good campgrounds, and if you have the time, cody is a cool place to spend it.

Have the buffet at Erma's.

See the "shootout" before dinner.

Go to the rodeo.

The road is fairly flat (tho sometimes twisty) from cody to yellowstone. It's very scenic tho.

Once in Yellowstone, the road is a lil tougher, but I've done it in a car, an suv, a gasser, and a DP, and there are certainly tougher doable roads.

Yellowstone is unreal. Everyone should go there, and once you have been, the only thing you will want is to go back.

So just do it.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:30 AM   #7
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Do not be alarmed by the fan coming on .. it is supposed to do that ... what you need to be focused on is the temperature gauge on the engine and the transmission ... the fan comes on to reduce the temperature of the engine coolant and the transmission fluid.

Generally manually shifting down will keep the temperature gauge in the safe to operate range. I do not know the RPM data for your truck ... my motorhome has a CAT engine ... I have learned that when I am pulling (sustained difficult pulls for several minutes) I know that it is important to manually shift down so that the RPM's stay at or above 2000 ...

So this means that I have to shift down to 4th or 3rd when I am on some sustained steep pulls ...
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:06 PM   #8
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Same Trip

We are leaving June 30th on the same trip. Cody into East Yellowstone. Thinking of renting a car to do Yellowstone (we are not towing). Good or bad idea?
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:25 PM   #9
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Thanks for the great info, we're about a month behind you! Please give tips of your trip! Have a great time!
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by tcopeland View Post
We are leaving June 30th on the same trip. Cody into East Yellowstone. Thinking of renting a car to do Yellowstone (we are not towing). Good or bad idea?
You can rent a car at the airport in Cody. If you come in through Ten Sleep you'll go by it.

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