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Old 04-14-2016, 08:59 PM   #1
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Mountain Driving 4 New Owner

As a new to us owner of a Winnebago 2004 35U on a WH 22 that has a Allison 1000 trans. When leaving Phoenix heading towards Flagstaff on our way to MI.
My RPMs one time reached 4500 so I backed off. I think I need to get a handle on mountain driving, any advice is welcomed. Thank You
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:09 PM   #2
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Pretty high for that GM engine. But shouldn't have created a problem.
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by More-Gas View Post
As a new to us owner of a Winnebago 2004 35U on a WH 22 that has a Allison 1000 trans. When leaving Phoenix heading towards Flagstaff on our way to MI.
My RPMs one time reached 4500 so I backed off. I think I need to get a handle on mountain driving, any advice is welcomed. Thank You
Here is the torque value for the 8.1

455 ft-lb torque @ 3200 RPM at the flywheel

when going up a steep grade, I try to find the right gear that the engine will be close to the torque value

it will take practice, its just not pedal to the metal, you might have to go up a steep grade going 35 mph, you can also manually shift to a lower gear so that it will keep the trans from shifting back and forth

hopefully I made some sense and someone else will help explain it.


Here is a link to some more helpful tips


http://backroadtravelers.com/drivingtips.html
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:32 PM   #4
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That is great info Thanks, Looking forward to make that trip again going west again this winter, I will keep a better eye on the RPMs and will try to down shift to maintain a good RPM level. Thanks
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:39 PM   #5
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No two coaches are going to go up a steep grade the same way. You need to stay near your max torque RPMs. If I'm bogging down on a real steep grade the tranny will find the correct gear. I just watch RPMs and avoid upshifts as that just means there will be another downshift soon.
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:07 AM   #6
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Basic info,,, don't try to drive a heavy RV as a car... If it wants to slow down on a hill, let it. You AND the rv will be much happier... As said before, every engine/trans has its sweet spot... Don't push it. I've seen many beside the road overheated or blown transmission. (although your Allison is a good trans)... Be safe, have fun ! Monkey

PS, been on that road several times in our previous 95 MH with a 350 Chevy. I let it slow down, never floored it,, but we did ok. No probs... Thats why they make 4 lane highways... Going down is the same... Don't get those brakes hot !!!!
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Old 04-16-2016, 02:55 PM   #7
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Use the gears in your transmission, especially downshifting for steep downhills. Use a lower gear than you think you will need. Much easier and safer to speed up than slow down. Smoking brakes are due to poor driving.
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Old 04-16-2016, 06:54 PM   #8
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Folks,

I think the OP is referring to going down hills, not up. There are a couple of mean ones on the Phoenix to Flagstaff I-17 route. I think he is referring to over revving his engine on a hill descent.

The best thing to do is to slow down before you hit the crest of the hill, and drop a gear in the transmission. If you're referring to the long, steep descent down into Verde Valley, then I would downshift 2 gears before starting down. Even if that means you're descending that grade at 40 mph. That descent into Verde Valley is a killer. Literally. Lots of fatal wrecks on that descent. The truckers used to call that one "Dead Man's Curve" because of the one nasty curve at about the midpoint down. It's a little better now, as at least now there's runaway truck ramps. But back in the 60's-70's, if one "got away" from you, you had no hope of surviving.
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:11 PM   #9
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Folks,

I think the OP is referring to going down hills, not up. There are a couple of mean ones on the Phoenix to Flagstaff I-17 route. I think he is referring to over revving his engine on a hill descent.

The best thing to do is to slow down before you hit the crest of the hill, and drop a gear in the transmission. If you're referring to the long, steep descent down into Verde Valley, then I would downshift 2 gears before starting down. Even if that means you're descending that grade at 40 mph. That descent into Verde Valley is a killer. Literally. Lots of fatal wrecks on that descent. The truckers used to call that one "Dead Man's Curve" because of the one nasty curve at about the midpoint down. It's a little better now, as at least now there's runaway truck ramps. But back in the 60's-70's, if one "got away" from you, you had no hope of surviving.
Very good info... Thats why I mentioned Don't Get Your Brakes Hot !!! You've never experienced a feeling like stepping on the brake pedal and picking up speed..... Take Your Time !!!!!!
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:11 PM   #10
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I have the same engine/transmission. I climb mountains at 3600 RPM in the whatever gear that I use. I never exceed 4000 rpm.

Going down mountains I start at 45 to 50 and manually drop my gears. When I hit 4,000 RPM's I mash on the brakes hard for 5 seconds which will usually drop me to 3,000 RPM and knock off at 10 miles per hour. I keep the flashers on to warn I'm under 40 mph.

I'll stay at whatever slow speed necessary to NOT ride my brakes. I'm on 4 lane 99% of the time and people can pass me. If it's two lane...too bad. We're all gonna go slow down the mountain.

Lost my brakes many years ago in a pickup truck with a cabover camper due to riding my brakes. That will never happen again.
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowpokeSlim View Post
Folks,

I think the OP is referring to going down hills, not up. There are a couple of mean ones on the Phoenix to Flagstaff I-17 route. I think he is referring to over revving his engine on a hill descent.

The best thing to do is to slow down before you hit the crest of the hill, and drop a gear in the transmission. If you're referring to the long, steep descent down into Verde Valley, then I would downshift 2 gears before starting down. Even if that means you're descending that grade at 40 mph. That descent into Verde Valley is a killer. Literally. Lots of fatal wrecks on that descent. The truckers used to call that one "Dead Man's Curve" because of the one nasty curve at about the midpoint down. It's a little better now, as at least now there's runaway truck ramps. But back in the 60's-70's, if one "got away" from you, you had no hope of surviving.
Thanks for all the good info on this subject. I was referring to going uphill in my post but all info is very helpful. Thanks
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Old 04-17-2016, 07:32 AM   #12
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Going down mountains I start at 45 to 50 and manually drop my gears. When I hit 4,000 RPM's I mash on the brakes hard for 5 seconds which will usually drop me to 3,000 RPM and knock off at 10 miles per hour.
The guy behind you will think you are as crazy as I do. Why on earth would anyone think that mashing hard on the brakes is a good idea except in a panic stop?
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:01 AM   #13
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The guy behind you will think you are as crazy as I do. Why on earth would anyone think that mashing hard on the brakes is a good idea except in a panic stop?

Because if you ride the brakes you overheat them and then lose them. A short, hard application does heat them rapidly but the longer time between applications allows them to cool a bit.

I've had more than one motorhome pass me, riding their brakes and at the bottom of the mountain there brakes are smoking.

Of course it helps that I am crazy too.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:50 AM   #14
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Because if you ride the brakes you overheat them and then lose them. A short, hard application does heat them rapidly but the longer time between applications allows them to cool a bit.

I've had more than one motorhome pass me, riding their brakes and at the bottom of the mountain there brakes are smoking.

Of course it helps that I am crazy too.
Obviously, the brake smoking folks are going too fast or in the wrong gear, probably both. That is the point that I was getting at in a crude way. Excessive use of the brakes is to be avoided and intermittent hard braking or lighter use over longer time periods makes no difference. You need to burn off the same amount of kinetic energy no matter how you play with the pedal. The idea of stab braking comes from the early days of air assisted drum brakes on heavy trucks.
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