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Old 02-03-2013, 04:36 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Charleston,SC
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Question High altitude driving

I am planning a journey in my 2002 Damon Intruder (gas) from Florida to Wyoming. Can anyone tell me if driving in higher altitudes is a problem and if so what should I do to prepare for it?

Linda and
"Blackberry". (The mini poo with attitude)
2002 Damon Intruder
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:13 AM   #2
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We have been at 10 or 12,000 feet going over the Rockies, and we never had a problem with our gas motorhome. There is some loss of power at high altitude, but just pull to the right land, slow down and take it easy. You also don't want to overheat the engine or transmission.

In addition, use the same gear descending the hill as you used going up to avoid overheating the brakes.

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Old 02-03-2013, 06:16 AM   #3
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A gas engine loses 3% power for each 1,000 feet above sea level. You should never lug the engine -- that is when the RPM won't increase when you depress the accelerator pedal.

Since you lose power at high elevations, you are more likely to lug the engine on grades that at lower elevations. The solution is to use a lower gear when lugging occurs.

Keep the RPM up and the water temperature under control and youíll do fine.

Use your gears when going down the grade. Going down the grade is more serious than going up grade. Iíve seen MHs have brake fires because of using the brakes too much going down a steep grade. Down shift before starting to go down the grade.

Using the same gear going down the grade as used going up the grade is just a place to start. Use the gear that will control the speed.

Youíll have a great trip with just a little caution.
Wil Andrews
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:43 AM   #4
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Our truck is diesel, so I don't know about driving a gas MH in the mountains.

But we've learned a few things over the years about driving a big rig in the mountains and I wrote some notes with some tips you might find useful here:

RV Mountain Driving: How to drive your RV safely on mountain roads - Roads Less Traveled
Emily & Mark Fagan, traveling full-time since 2007
2007 Hitchhiker II LS & 2007 Dodge RAM 3500 4x4
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:12 PM   #5
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Most diesel engines we have here in the States have turbo charges on them. No need to worry then about lose of Horse Power. Standard gas engines will lose 3% of their H.P. per 1000 feet elevastion above sea level. So at 10,000 elevation you've lost 30% of your horse power. Like other posters have said watch your gauges and try not to overheat your engine or brakes.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:32 PM   #6
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Your year engine has a computer that inputs all the information from the sensors. Back in the carburetor days, the engine ran rich and you could have problems at altitude. The new computer engines don't have that problem. They just get less air because of the altitude and the computer gives it less gas, thus the loss of power.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:44 PM   #7
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Just be aware that in high elevation western states the 'regular' gasoline is 85 octane. My '01 Ford calls for a minimum of 87 octane. Long ago I read that you can lower octane at higher elevation! Not in my case. I no longer buy the lower octane. It makes a big difference for me. Sometime I even go to 89.

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Old 02-03-2013, 06:28 PM   #8
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Remember also that there is a setting on your generator for higher altitudes. simple lever to set.

Don and Nancy
[2014 40QBH Phaeton, 2015 Buick Enclave, 2yr old sisters Sara n Kaycee, Havanese, Two Segways
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