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Old 05-30-2016, 11:43 PM   #15
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And one last thing, DON'T SPEED in Pecos county Texas. Notorious speed zone.
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Old 05-31-2016, 09:44 AM   #16
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And .....if you decide on a more "northern" route ..DFW>Abilene>Midland> points west.....
Go to Glen Rose TX and visit the Dinosaur Valley State Park.........a couple miles West of Glen Rose on the Paluxy River (connects to the Brazos in G.R.)

Dinosaurs man! Big footprints in the river bottom! Way cool. Your kiddoh (and likely adults) will love it. Great park also.
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Old 05-31-2016, 02:02 PM   #17
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Oh... one more thought.... If you take I-10 through Kerrville, consider a side trip to Fredericksburg, TX. 26 miles NE on Rt 16.

F'burg has the Museum of the Pacific War (takes a day to see it all... it is great!) and the Nimitz Museum. About 12 farther on 16 is President Johnson's Ranch and Western White House. National Park. Self guided tour. It's nice.... get to see his Amphicar, Lincolns, home, the "white house" and briefing room. Also his Mini-AF-1, a Lockheed Jetstar. And then there's his cattle herd (still going!!!)

Near F'burg, which has great shopping for the wife, BTW.... is Luckenbach. Where everyone is somebody. Nice place to have a lunch, walk around and move on.

F'burg and Kerrville also has some nice RV parks.
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:05 PM   #18
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We found I-10 in Texas between San Antonio to Balmorrhea to be very rough in places in March. Then took art 17 up to Pecos, which was a good road, then picked up 285 towards Carlsbad. As others have stated, 285 between the NM state line to Carlsbad is rough, but I found it to be no worse than some stretches of I-10. Once north of Carlsbad, it gets much better.

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Old 06-01-2016, 09:00 AM   #19
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Y'all be sure and check the weather we are having rain and flooding in several parts of Texas.

Be sure your route planning includes this.
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Old 06-01-2016, 06:32 PM   #20
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Dang it, SpyderRV, I just retired as a Texas Peace Officer last week! No more professional courtesy!
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Old 06-01-2016, 06:50 PM   #21
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Old Crows, we live in Ingram, which is six miles west of Kerrville, so we know F'burg and Luckenbach fairly well, although we've never been to the Nimitz Museum. I get pretty close to it sometimes (The Fredericksburg Brewery), but haven't crossed the street to visit it. My wife and I are both retired Army, so it would certainly fascinate us, but we just haven't made time for it yet.

We want to save the more northern route you suggest for when we are ready to head due north to North Dakota and Canada. Palo Duro will be a definite stop on that trip. I've visited 39 states so far, but have missed North and South Dakota, and my wife hasn't been further north than Oklahoma, so we plan to shoot straight north, and then loop back south through Minnesota and back.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:10 PM   #22
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Thanks, everyone, for your input. Based upon what we've heard, we are going to go ahead and take the I-10, to 285 route. We are meeting a friend in Ruidoso, so we are constrained for time on the way up. We can't leave until June 13th because we have a wedding to attend, and our friend will arrive in Ruidoso on the 12th, and will only be there for five days. On the way back we can meander and take our time, so we may explore the San Angelo route. BTipton, I'm surprised and sorry to hear that 1H-10 is rough, too. Balmorrhea is a fun place to visit, and we are planning to go there soon, too. I like to scuba dive in "The Cement Pond".

We will take it easy, since this is our first road trip. We figure on traveling at 60 mph tops, with an over night in Ft. Stockton. Tomorrow I'm having new high pressure aluminum wheels, a Tire Minder TPMS, and Goodyear G614 tires installed at the Discount Tire in Kerrville, so hopefully exploding tires won't be an issue!
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:16 PM   #23
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Hey, Old Crows, I see from your profile that you are a Kerrville-ite! I checked that AFTER I described where Ingram is in my previous post. I'm guessing you knew that already!

So, whaddaya mean when you talk about the long, long climb to Ruidoso? You're scaring me just a little! We will be towing our 12K trailer with a Ram 2500 4X4 with a 6.4 Hemi and 3.73 LSD gearing. I bought the truck in November when we were planning to buy a 9K tow-behind. Then at the last moment, I fell in love with the Chaparral 336 fifth wheel, so we find ourselves maxed out on towing ability-- 12,500 lbs.

Several of my local friends tell me that I'll be OK on that final climb to Ruidoso from Roswell, but I'm still a mite concerned. I guess I have the ace-in-the-hole of low four wheel drive, if necessary. So what do you think, am I going to be "That guy" winding up the road to Ruidoso at 20 mph while everyone behind us is plotting my demise?

FYI, one of the main reasons we picked Ruidoso for our first trip was to help us decide whether or not to swap gears to 4.10 LSD gears to bump us up to 15,500 capacity.
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Old 06-02-2016, 10:28 PM   #24
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I think you should be OK, just pull over and allow any stacked up traffic to pass in a safe place. I also think you would like the 4.10 gear upgrade.
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Old 06-03-2016, 05:10 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randalf View Post
Hey, Old Crows, I see from your profile that you are a Kerrville-ite! I checked that AFTER I described where Ingram is in my previous post. I'm guessing you knew that already!

So, whaddaya mean when you talk about the long, long climb to Ruidoso? You're scaring me just a little! We will be towing our 12K trailer with a Ram 2500 4X4 with a 6.4 Hemi and 3.73 LSD gearing. I bought the truck in November when we were planning to buy a 9K tow-behind. Then at the last moment, I fell in love with the Chaparral 336 fifth wheel, so we find ourselves maxed out on towing ability-- 12,500 lbs.

Several of my local friends tell me that I'll be OK on that final climb to Ruidoso from Roswell, but I'm still a mite concerned. I guess I have the ace-in-the-hole of low four wheel drive, if necessary. So what do you think, am I going to be "That guy" winding up the road to Ruidoso at 20 mph while everyone behind us is plotting my demise?

FYI, one of the main reasons we picked Ruidoso for our first trip was to help us decide whether or not to swap gears to 4.10 LSD gears to bump us up to 15,500 capacity.
I didn't know you were in Ingram. Well, a Kerr-villian, I am. Not a native.
South of the 'ville near Comanche Trace.

Sorry Dude.... didn't mean to alarm you. Just stating an experience of traveling over those roads several times. While the main roads are pretty nice, it is a climb of several thousand feet up to the top from the flat lands. It should not stress out your rig and I don't think you will ever need 4WD Low range.

RVs & especially travel trailers are different than any other vehicle due to their high center of gravity.... compared to cars, vans, trucks, work trucks.... etc. They often have a rearward center of balance (all the 'stuff' is behind the middle of the RV). So they handle differently....

The point I was trying to make is that driving in mountains is a whole lot different than in the flats. As said before.... keep an eye on the rear view mirror/camera and when safe to do so let folks around if there's a back up.

Some of the twists and turns are a little tight so you have to plan ahead to make sure you don't have oncoming taking their slice out of the middle (which they will due as they race up and down the mountain cutting the corners).

Its not an up hill race.... just find a comfortable groove and stay with it. With our old Sprinter "B" and our Sprinter View (pushing over 10K), we can easily make the grades in 3rd, 4th & 5th with little down shifting but speeds are slower.... maybe 40-50ish.

If you've not driven RVs/trailers in the mountains, down hill will also be a learning curve. You will be amazed at how fast speed will build up in a heavy RV. It's important not to let the speed get out of control. Diesels do not have significant compression braking & gearing down really doesn't do a whole hell of a lot. Trailers are not noted for their braking efficiency or effectiveness even on a good day. So you rely on the tow vehicle brakes totally. Especially the front brakes. The plan is not to overheat them. (It is why you will see several run outs made of gravel arcing off the side of a downhill!!! A stopping place for big rigs.)

Keep your speed down by putting on the binders when it gets up to your 'comfort' level or speed limit. Work them hard and haul down about 10-15 mph and let off to cool them. Don't "ride" them. On.... slow down.... off..... let the speed build back up..... ON. Works best when you can do all your braking in a straight line......

(As a passing thought.... When they (Ford, Chebby, Dodge, Benz) build out a chassis and rate it for xxxxxx lbs GVWR and yyyyyy CombinedGVWR. Everything.... tires, springs, axles, chassis, shocks, brakes, wheels, tires, gears, final drive, cooling system, engine (power and torque) are engineered as a package. It is all matched to give you the GVWR & CGVWR.

Tinkering with the final drive ratio doesn't really give you more capacity. It may give you more acceleration and more pulling power due to lower final drive. But it may not, depending on how much that changes the rpm and throws it off the 'sweet spot.' Diesels have a flat torque curve.... as a general rule... so it might not make a big difference performance wise. BUT...

The rest of the truck is not matched to your proposed new CGVWR and that's the problem.... brakes, suspension, cooling system, etc., etc., etc., are not up to the job.

You always want to stay at - or below - the axle ratings, GVWR and CGVWR. Always. Preferably.... under.

When you get loaded out & 'mission' ready (fuel, water, rations, all the gear and warm bodies) .... roll over to the Republic Services land fill off the 534 Loop and weigh your 'rig.' It will cost a buck or three. Compare your ticket to the CGVWR shown on your door sill. If you are over the sticker.... you need to 'lay out' everything and start putting stuff back in the house.... )

I hope this helps.....
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:51 AM   #26
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Old Crows, I've been an Ingramite for about 40 years, although I was away 20 years of that time in the Army. I am also retired from the Kerrville Police Dept, and the Kerr Co. Sheriff's Dept. My wife was born in K'ville, but she too is retired Army, so she spent a lot of time elsewhere. We've always had our 16 acres here as "home base" since 1978.

Thanks for all of your advice. We are readying the trailer for our trip 13-21 June. We are still at the mercy of a road construction company that promises it can lay down several yards of base so that we can get the trailer out of our badly rutted driveway. If they don't come through, we are going anyway, and will stay in hotels instead.

I've been striving to keep everything "legal" as far as weight goes. We will be pushing our limits in several ways, but hopefully will not go over. Our truck has a GVWR of 10k, and a rear axle max of 6400. The rear has been bagged, with onboard compressor and wireless remote. Our trailer will be under 12K so our pin weight should be 2k, and with a toolbox in the bed and two adults and a toddler, we should still be OK. Our tow capacity is 12500 with 3.73 gears. According to the Dodge truck builder, the optional 4.10 gears would bring us up to 15,500, which sounds like a likely upgrade to make later. I would like the truck to be quicker off the line when not towing, and would appreciate the extra towing capacity in hills.

The X factor now is: how much difference will the heavier Goodyear G614s make in stopping power? Since I couldn't get the trailer to Discount, I had them order me four high-pressure aluminum wheels, and mount and balance the G614s, then I brought them home and installed them myself. I weighed the factory-issue Constancy tires and low pressure rims and found they weigh 55 pounds. The new rims and G614s weigh 89 pounds, a gain of 29 lbs X 4 = 116 lbs. Some quick Googling indicates that every one pound of rotational mass you add the equivalent of 10 pounds of dead weight in the trunk. If so, then I've added the equivalent of 1600 pounds of weight to try to stop in a timely fashion! I'm definitely going to upgrade to hydraulic/electric disc brakes as soon as possible.

I will heed your advise on stopping when I'm coming down from Ruidoso. A friend told me today to use whatever gear to come off the mountain that I used to go up the mountain. Sounds like a good idea!
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:27 PM   #27
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I've been driving in New Mexico and Colorado mountains my entire adult life. I like to use the same gear or one lower than I'd use going up the same grade. The key is to never let the speed get beyond your comfort zone in the first place. If you fell you're going too fast for up coming curve slow down in the straight before entering the curve and allow the rig to speed up "some" in the curve. You have much better control under acceleration than in braking mode. Try not to do much braking while in the curve IF you can avoid it. Use your foot brakes as little as possible. If you think your brakes are getting hot, pull over in a safe place and let them cool down. So what if it takes you another 10 minutes to get down that slope. Don't worry about them honkers behind you. Safety is always first and enjoyment second.

You'll be very pleased with the EoH brake upgrade you plan.
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Old 06-11-2016, 02:18 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randalf View Post


Our truck has a GVWR of 10k, and a rear axle max of 6400. The rear has been bagged, with onboard compressor and wireless remote. Our trailer will be under 12K so our pin weight should be 2k, and with a toolbox in the bed and two adults and a toddler, we should still be OK. Our tow capacity is 12500 with 3.73 gears. According to the Dodge truck builder, the optional 4.10 gears would bring us up to 15,500, which sounds like a likely upgrade to make later. I would like the truck to be quicker off the line when not towing, and would appreciate the extra towing capacity in hills.

The X factor now is: how much difference will the heavier Goodyear G614s make in stopping power? Since I couldn't get the trailer to Discount, I had them order me four high-pressure aluminum wheels, and mount and balance the G614s, then I brought them home and installed them myself. I weighed the factory-issue Constancy tires and low pressure rims and found they weigh 55 pounds. The new rims and G614s weigh 89 pounds, a gain of 29 lbs X 4 = 116 lbs. Some quick Googling indicates that every one pound of rotational mass you add the equivalent of 10 pounds of dead weight in the trunk. If so, then I've added the equivalent of 1600 pounds of weight to try to stop in a timely fashion! I'm definitely going to upgrade to hydraulic/electric disc brakes as soon as possible.

I will heed your advise on stopping when I'm coming down from Ruidoso. A friend told me today to use whatever gear to come off the mountain that I used to go up the mountain. Sounds like a good idea!
Neighbor, Sorry for delay. Life gets in the way.....

Well.... lets talk about the trailer tires and wheels. First. They are 'unsprung' weight, like the axle, a drive shaft, half shafts, suspension bits. They add to the over all weight of the vehicle. And they add to the weight of the suspension. Usually, you want as little unsprung weight as you can because you need to control that momentum/energy once it gets to bouncing around. More weight. More kinetic energy. More effort (bigger springs/shocks/anti-roll bars to quickly control and dampen the forces.

What makes the difference in stopping power is the coefficient of friction between the tire's tread and the road surface. That's governed by the contact patch and rubber compound. We'll assume the size of the trailer's brakes have been determined by the weight it needs to stop. So.... big fat gummy tires (like 'super softs' on a Formula 1 car) will have greater footprint and 'stickiness.' Tires on a Tour de France racing bike.... hard, skinny jobs... with a foot print about the size of nickel ... don't. Then we get to coefficient of friction.. Sticky tires on a reasonably course surface will have more stopping power than the same tire on ice or a rain slick surface. No.... I don't think that the new tires will contribute to a significantly shorter stopping distance.

When towing .... (we had horses and a horse trailer & a travel trailer & learned a lot from the In Laws who had fivers).... the braking power is in the tow vehicle. Just like a bike. You got more stopping power with the front wheel than the rear. Usually due to the fact that they put bigger disks up front and the weight shift from rear to front when you put on the binders. With a trailer, you have more 'push' from the rear so it's important to have the trailer brakes come on before the tow vehicle to drag it slightly from behind and keep things in a straight line. With a 'fiver' you have more weight over the tows rear axle and that helps in braking efficiency. But you still have that push from the rear that wants to send the rear of the tow vehicle sideways. So it is important to have good braking power on the trailer. Also important to not over braking the trailer (especially in wet weather). If the trailer locks wheels you have no braking...... NADA! And that is a very big problem. (It's why the brake controllers have an 'fine' adjustment for initial application (to drag from the rear like a drogue 'chute) as well as power (so you don't lock things up))

Yes. Old school advice was to descend in the same gear you climbed. Probably still valid.... with a few caveats. That's based on old school manual transmissions and engines. They had great compression braking and the 'direct' hook up in the manual box effectively locked stuff together. Today, with small, emission controlled engines we don't have much compression braking due to the need to lower emissions during closed throttle operations. Then we have the automagic transmissions. They have torque multiplication and for low speed pulling it's good stuff. They are great for towing and maneuvering. Efficient. Smooth. Reliable. But, they don't have that 'direct connection' to the engine when slowing down like a manual transmission.

So what we are down to is... once again... the brakes. You will have a huge amount of braking power and modest retardation from the drive train. Very important to remember not to let things get out of control. Use them firmly. Don't 'ride' them. Brake in straight lines and not in a corner.

Old school advice also said to let the brakes cool off at the bottom of a run... or mid way. Well yeah! Back in the day with undersized drum brakes and 'organic' (asbestos) brake shoes maybe so. Disks are big, big heat sinks. Almost always vented on the fronts. Composite pads. When 'working' you could grill steaks on them..... They will actually shed heat faster if you keep rolling at a reasonable speed. It's what they do best.

Still having trouble getting my head around how a just changing a to a lower rear axle ratio would increase your towing capability. The GVWR & GTW and all that stuff is governed by the complex engineering and design of all the components. Only one of which is the rear axle ratio. A 3.73 is/has been the gold standard for towing capacity, performance and economy. It's a great compromise.

I don't know the transmission..... 4 speed? 5 speed? If it's a 5 speed, its very likely that 4th is 1:1 direct drive and 5 is over drive. Just drop down a gear. Doesn't change the final drive ratio but does move the RPM up a few hundred.
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