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Old 07-07-2020, 09:43 PM   #15
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Lots of good advice above about relaxing and taking your time, following a truck (you’ll learn a lot by watching truck drivers), scrubbing speed through short firm application of the brakes vs. riding them, watching your speed at the top. You’ll occasionally encounter impatient truckers riding your tail. Ignore them and focus on the task at hand.
Also, there are many YouTube videos that drivers have made from their dash cams of driving various roads around the country. I occasionally view these to preview a drive.
If you search YouTube for the name of the road and destination. Something like “Driving TN-66 to Pigeon Forge“ you may find one.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:35 PM   #16
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Agree with what others have said about letting the trans downshifts control most of your speed and bleed off excess speed when needed with short firm brake applications. Don’t be afraid to let the V-10 rev out, it is designed to rev and should not be expected to stay in low Rpm’s like a diesel that is not how it was designed. When it’s screaming going up steep grades or heavy trans braking coming down, it’s working as it should. I have traveled up and down the entire west coast in some very steep and winding terrain towing a toad and we have had zero issues. Ignore the impatient drivers you may encounter behind you and keep your speed on target, they will pass you soon enough and be gone. Have fun, relax, and you will be fine.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:09 PM   #17
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Not sure what your total weight is. But I have the V10/6 speed setup like I’m assuming you do. I’m lighter, but also have less gearing in the axle. Absolutely use tow/haul, as has been said by a few. Leave it in Drive on the selector. As you start descending, a quick stab and release on the brake pedal will downshift the transmission. For very steep downhills, you want to be in the lowest gear that will obtain your comfortable speed. So, you pick your (very patient) speed at the top, and do the quick brake stab and release thing a few times until the transmission is in a low enough gear that you’re in high revs. Then coast down. Foot over the brake, but only pressing the brake to downshift the transmission, or to scrub off speed for a short time. Do not ride the brake. For my 11k rv pulling a 5k trailer, I can do the worst of the Rockies with almost no normal braking—it’s all engine braking. You’re heavier, but I think you have significantly lower gearing, which will help.

Anyway, wanted to chime in. Twinboat and a few others have this 6 speed transmission. Listen to them. And let the engine rev, that’s it’s job.
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Old 07-13-2020, 12:24 AM   #18
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I’ve done many mountain passes. When you get to the top, BEGIN your descent NO faster than the speed you were going uphill. It will be much easier to manage your downhill speed if you start out at the speed you need going down hill. The same going up. Just because the limit is 65 if you went up at 35, you need to go down at 35. Then it will be easy to control your speed and not burn out your brakes. You’re not driving a car. Try and remember that. If you take this advise you will have no problems and will have a great drive thru wonderful county. Jeff
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Old 07-13-2020, 01:22 AM   #19
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Never driven in the Smokies yet. But I have spent 55 years driving the western mountains.

Largely same advise as many above with a few differences. Use the tow/haul if you have one, it will do a lots. Typically you're not going back down the same grade as you came up. So you don't really know what gear you might have used coming up. When I get to the top of grade just before it starts down, that's where I downshift. But I use one gear lower than I guess I would have used going up. Start out slow on the decent. It's very easy to add speed, but can be a problem to bleed it off once you start going too fast. If you have a diesel with an engine/exhaust brake turn it on at the top. Use the service brakes as little as you can. Reserve them for when they really required. When you do use them, tap them lightly to drop some speed. Do not ride them, common mistake. On some grades I may start out at the top in one gear and down/up shift multiple times in the trip down. My goal for any down grade is not to use the service brakes at all, all done by gears, tow/haul and exhaust brake in various combinations. Different vehicles have different braking options.

You should be going slow enough not to have white knuckles and be worried about controlling the rig. In my diesel with the our 5th I may be applying fuel instead of brakes.

Keep in mind your job is to get you,your rig and passengers down the other side safely. Do not worry about traffic that backup behind you. When you can pull over safely do so and let the traffic clear. On some grades the traffic is non-stop snake like and don't worry about it.

A few old timers here may recall a trucker's song "Wolf Creek Pass" by CW McCall. About an exciting ride down the south side of Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado. They end up crashing into the side of a feed store.
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Old 07-13-2020, 05:31 AM   #20
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speed going up the same as speed going down...........we have a dp, drove knoxville to asheville on 40 using throttle and engine brake, didn't have to touch service brake once......................let your tow/haul mode help you out.........and don't be afraid to have others whiz by you...................
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Old 07-13-2020, 06:45 AM   #21
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I'm always slower going down than up. Wolf creek pass into Pagosa Springs is 25mph for a solid 20 minutes @2800 rpm.
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Old 07-13-2020, 09:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldcoon View Post
Whatever gear you climb with use that same gear going down.
That is not an accurate recommendation just a worn maxim. The two sides of a hill are never the same.

You use the gear that you need to use at the time.
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:44 AM   #23
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Both of these recent threads are directly relevant to the OPs question
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f42/how-...nc-495925.html

This is referenced in my 3rd post in the above thread, and again, directly related to mountain driving.
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f84/dall...er-486027.html

You need to have confidence in your equipment, and confidence and knowledge of how to drive your rig in an appropriate manner for the road conditions, otherwise you are putting yourself and others at risk, in the mountains or otherwise.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:46 AM   #24
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i can tell you, south out of gatlinberg is an adventure. you will find fingerprints embedded in the steering wheel. it can be done, but dont.
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Old 07-15-2020, 02:44 PM   #25
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Another vote for (a) using your Tow/Haul feature and (b) taking the I-75 to I-40 past Knoxville route. More miles, FAR less headache. Also, if you come through Knoxville at the wrong time of day, 640 around the city is a nice highway and avoids the city congestion. Again, a couple more miles, but moving is WAY better than stop and go in a Class A hauling a toad.
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Old 07-15-2020, 03:03 PM   #26
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We drove through parts of the Smokies getting into our park, just south of Pigeon Forge last Fall. We were forced to take a winding tight two lane road for about 40 miles. I recommend going very slow. Some of the curves are very tight and there isn’t much of a shoulder. I had a long line of cars behind me until I found a spot to pull over and let them by.
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