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Old 06-12-2016, 02:38 PM   #29
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Wow, once again, thanks for the detailed info and advice, Old Crows!

My truck has a six speed tranny. I need to look up how many are overdrive. As I said, the Dodge truck builder tool gives you the bump from 12,500k to 15,500k just by switching to 4.10s. Everything else stays the same, of course. I'd still be capped at 10,000 for GVWR, which is the number I'm watching closest as we load out.

We are leaving tomorrow morning, and taking the K'town to Ft. Stockton to Roswell route. We are staying at the Ft. Stockton RV Park tomorrow night, and heading north Tuesday morning. A good friend of ours left this morning for Ruidoso following that same route, but in a car and no trailer. We will be getting a report on road conditions from him very soon. Wish us luck! I'll post a follow-up when we get there.
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:50 PM   #30
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Safe travels!
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:38 PM   #31
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If your tranny is the 6-speed auto, fourth is direct drive, fifth is a primary overdrive, and sixth is a secondary overdrive. We went that route at the end of March. Pecos to Carlsbad was rough, but no grades to speak of - just couldn't go much above 50 mph because of the roads. Once north of Carlsbad, road is really good.

When I'm towing, I usually use the paddle shifter on my Dodge to select fifth gear (have the 3.73 rear) and can run around 65 mph at around 2100 rpm. If I'm on the flats, I'll let it go into sixth and cruise at 70.

Safe travels!

Bob


Bob & Karen Tipton
2011 NuWa Hitchhiker 31.5 UKTG
2010 Dodge Ram 3500 DRW 6.7 CTD
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Old 06-15-2016, 07:47 AM   #32
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We made it to Ruidoso without issue.
Monday we drove the 240 miles from Kerrville to Ft. Stockton in four hours and fifteen minutes, running 67 mph in fifth gear. I-10 west of Junction was rough, but not enough that I felt the need to run in the inside fast lane to avoid the bumps.
Yesterday we took 285 to Ruidoso, and made that 300 mile stretch in five hours and twenty minutes, running the posted speed limits except in 70 zones where we locked it in at 65. Based on what Bob Tipton told me about my tranny, I locked out fifth and sixth. In fourth we tached 2400 rpms at 65, 3500 when it downshifted to third, 4400 on the rare occasions when it really screamed on hard accelerations.
The road from Pecos to Carlsbad was every bit as bad as everyone warned, especially when we crossed into New Mexico. The road from NM northward was brutally bad, and was only two lanes wide with very narrow shoulders with big drop-offs, so there was no room for a breakdown or a flat tire. The speed limit was 55 most of that stretch, and for better or worse, I maintained that speed. There was a lot of oilfield traffic running southbound, but not too much heading north.
Once we cleared Carlsbad things got much better, and turned to four lanes. The road from Roswell to Ruidoso (Hwy 70) is a four lane dream all the way! I kept waiting for the really hard climbing to start, but the trip just kept getting prettier and prettier, with no hard climbs or long, scary descents. After a while we came through a pass that said "Elevation 6000". I knew that Ruidoso is at 6400' so my hopes started to rise, and sure enough after a few more scenic turns we were there. No muss, no fuss.
We aren't looking forward to it, but we will probably return home next week via 285, as vicious as it is south of Carlsbad, but that may be because I am to dumb to know better. The folks parked next to us here at the Circle B RV Park vowed they would NEVER go back that way!
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Old 06-15-2016, 06:50 PM   #33
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Well.... good job!!!!!

Return.... suggest: Artesia>Hobbs>Lamesa>Big Spring>San Angelo>Eden>Menard>Junction>K'ville

Easier drive. Roads better than 285. A bit longer drive (2 days). Nice KOA in San Angelo.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:12 AM   #34
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Welcome to New Mexico! We're currently just south of Socorro and temps are supposed to be over 100 starting Saturday. We'll be leaving here in a couple of weeks, headed north to a hopefully cooler climate. Glad the trip was uneventful, and hope your return trip is uneventful as well. FWIW, we keep a running log of roads we will avoid in the future, even if it adds extra miles and time to our trip.

Be safe,

Bob


Bob & Karen Tipton
2011 NuWa Hitchhiker 31.5 UKTG
2010 Dodge Ram 3500 DRW 6.7 CTD
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Old 06-26-2016, 10:52 PM   #35
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We made it home to Kerrville safely yesterday afternoon. We had a great time in Ruidoso, and stayed four days longer than planned. We had no scary moments climbing or descending, and had a pleasant, trouble free trip both ways.

Hwy 285 really is a pain from Pecos to Carlsbad, but we chose to return that way so that we could rendezvous with friends at the Carlsbad KOA on Friday night. It was bumpy and unpleasant, but I drove it at 65 (speed limit permitting) and am not suffering from nightmares or flashbacks as a result.

My 6.4 hemi Dodge 2500 4X4 pulled the worst of the hills in second at 4500 rpms, but for the most part ran in 4th at 2500 or 3rd at 3500. Gas mileage averaged 7.4 mpg at 65 mph pulling a 12k trailer. Winds were 20-30 on our return trip, hitting us at about 90 degrees from the south, but the truck and trailer felt rock steady all the way. This trip was the confidence builder I hoped it would be, and we are already planning our next trip for August, possibly going north to North Dakota, then east to Michigan (where I was born), then back home to Texas.

Thanks everyone (especially Old Crows) for your advise and insights, you really did help calm my newbie jitters and get me prepared for the trip!
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