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Old 07-31-2022, 03:34 PM   #1
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Trip from Fort Collins to Moab Utah I-70

We are planning a trip to Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore Tetons and then onto Moab Utah. I understand that the I-70 from the Fort Collins area to Moab has some pretty steep grades. I will be driving our 2022 Phaeton 38 foot towing a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Anybody on this forum taken this trip? Will the rig and towed be able to go up/down these grades. Much appreciated!!!

Tom
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Old 07-31-2022, 05:48 PM   #2
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We've traveled that route several times in our Bus towing a 12,000# enclosed trailer. It's a scenic route with some long grades but nothing real steep. It's 6-7% grade over Vail pass and all 4 lane. I was down to 38 mph there, but I also weighed 52,000#. You won't have any problem with your setup. It was only 2 lane through Glenwood Canyon the last time, but still a great trip. We'll be doing it again in Oct.
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Old 07-31-2022, 10:49 PM   #3
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One of my favorite features included in RV Live "RV Trip Wizard" is the ability to see the elevation and gradient along my chosen route... this app might be helpful for you, and it includes a boat load of other useful features as well... https://tripwizard.rvlife.com/
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Old 07-31-2022, 11:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LLTRLR View Post
We are planning a trip to Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore Tetons and then onto Moab Utah. I understand that the I-70 from the Fort Collins area to Moab has some pretty steep grades. I will be driving our 2022 Phaeton 38 foot towing a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Anybody on this forum taken this trip? Will the rig and towed be able to go up/down these grades. Much appreciated!!!

Tom
Hi Tom, I was at a stop light and a beautiful Phaeton towing a Jeep was going west on Hwy 287, probably headed to the KOA. Sure caught my eye, it is a beautiful coach. Was that you? In any case, have a great, safe trip!
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Old 08-01-2022, 06:02 AM   #5
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We were recently in Ft Collins and Moab along with some other major western stops. We didnít take the route you are planning but I can tell you your Phaeton will not have any issues at all. When climbing, keep your RPM up around 2K. When going down a grade, slow with the engine brake on early in the down grade and let the faster drivers pass you by. I primarily used third gear but on some of the smaller/steeper roads used 2nd to keep control. As the RPM approaches 2,500, use your brakes to bring it down by slowing quickly and then releasing the brakes to allow them to cool. You will quickly learn how to drive it in the hills. You will also see your engine temperature climb up to around 212 before the fan kicks in hard and brings it down. This will cycle continuously and is normal.

I am from the east and this was our first time with our Phaeton in the western hills. It did remarkably well and I was impressed and feel much more comfortable now driving in those circumstances.

My sister used to live in Ft Collins, very pretty area. It was our first time back in many years and it has really grown.
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Old 08-01-2022, 02:52 PM   #6
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Awesome

Quote:
Originally Posted by kandcbend View Post
One of my favorite features included in RV Live "RV Trip Wizard" is the ability to see the elevation and gradient along my chosen route... this app might be helpful for you, and it includes a boat load of other useful features as well... https://tripwizard.rvlife.com/
Thanks so much. I'll be sure to check the app out. Much appreciated.
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Old 08-01-2022, 02:54 PM   #7
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We've traveled that route several times in our Bus towing a 12,000# enclosed trailer. It's a scenic route with some long grades but nothing real steep. It's 6-7% grade over Vail pass and all 4 lane. I was down to 38 mph there, but I also weighed 52,000#. You won't have any problem with your setup. It was only 2 lane through Glenwood Canyon the last time, but still a great trip. We'll be doing it again in Oct.
Thanks Crasher. We were at the Tiffin rally in June. We took the 80 all the way and coming back into Salt Lake, the decent was fairly easy but similar I would think as coming down over the continental divide. Understand it's spectacular views.
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Old 08-01-2022, 02:55 PM   #8
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Hi Tom, I was at a stop light and a beautiful Phaeton towing a Jeep was going west on Hwy 287, probably headed to the KOA. Sure caught my eye, it is a beautiful coach. Was that you? In any case, have a great, safe trip!
No not me but thanks for your post. It is truly an awesome rig so thanks...
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Old 08-01-2022, 03:11 PM   #9
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We were recently in Ft Collins and Moab along with some other major western stops. We didnít take the route you are planning but I can tell you your Phaeton will not have any issues at all. When climbing, keep your RPM up around 2K. When going down a grade, slow with the engine brake on early in the down grade and let the faster drivers pass you by. I primarily used third gear but on some of the smaller/steeper roads used 2nd to keep control. As the RPM approaches 2,500, use your brakes to bring it down by slowing quickly and then releasing the brakes to allow them to cool. You will quickly learn how to drive it in the hills. You will also see your engine temperature climb up to around 212 before the fan kicks in hard and brings it down. This will cycle continuously and is normal.

I am from the east and this was our first time with our Phaeton in the western hills. It did remarkably well and I was impressed and feel much more comfortable now driving in those circumstances.

My sister used to live in Ft Collins, very pretty area. It was our first time back in many years and it has really grown.

Thanks for the tips much appreciated. Quick question for you, can you overuse the compression brake and overheat the engine?

Thanks Vettenuts
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Old 08-01-2022, 03:17 PM   #10
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You'll have no problem with I70 through the Eisenhower tunnel. I've been that way several times in both our Allegro RED and our 40' Phaeton. Keep the RPMs around 2000 going up and use lower gears coming down. Use your service brakes sparingly with "stab" braking. As your speed builds up, brake hard enough to slow down then get off the brakes. If I remember correctly, that stretch limits vehicles over 26,000lbs to 25mph anyway.
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Old 08-01-2022, 04:31 PM   #11
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I don't know how it is going West, but going the other way I-70 is *very* rutted from truck traffic. I mean 3" deep ruts in the tarmac that make it hard to stay where you want to be. I put the right wheels on the shoulder to get out of them, which worked OK, but any sort of emergency maneuver would have possibly been compromised. They're that bad. Unless, of course, they have repaved the route since May.

Other than that, it was really no problem for us. We kept up with the trucks we couldn't pass due to lane restrictions and speed control on the way down was no proble with a 2-stage Jake brake. I imagine that an exhaust brake and judicious applications of the service brake combined with appropriate speed would be just fine.
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Old 08-01-2022, 09:01 PM   #12
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Thanks for the tips much appreciated. Quick question for you, can you overuse the compression brake and overheat the engine?

Thanks Vettenuts
No. I've used it extensively when towing my heavy trailer and never a heating issue coming down.
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Old 08-02-2022, 06:12 AM   #13
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Thanks for the tips much appreciated. Quick question for you, can you overuse the compression brake and overheat the engine?

Thanks Vettenuts
The engine makes far less heat in compression brake mode than it does climbing when it's burning fuel, and it requires considerably less cooling.

Think about it. The charge (air and fuel) is compressed during the compression stroke when the engine makes power, and then it burns under pressure during the power stroke, and then the hot gases are expelled during the exhaust stroke. So three of the four strokes involve heating the engine up when the engine is under load, but only one of them makes heat when you use the compression brake.
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Old 08-02-2022, 06:53 AM   #14
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Thanks for the tips much appreciated. Quick question for you, can you overuse the compression brake and overheat the engine?

Thanks Vettenuts

As others have stated, it won't affect your engine temps. Actually, your temp will go down on the downhill runs. Note your speeds in each gear for 2,500 RPM (which is the limit where it will shift up a gear). When I saw mine approaching the limit I would stab the brakes and bring it down. It will be a learning experience but you will figure it out quickly. I also wouldn't worry about it too much, the coach will do amazingly well and once your sort how when to shift, brake, etc. it will come naturally.
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