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Old 07-07-2020, 02:48 PM   #1
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Tips for driving in mountains?

Hello all, I will be taking my brand new Bounder to the Smokies (Pigeon Forge) next week and I will be pulling my jeep behind me. I am a little nervous about driving in the mountains and was wondering if there are any tips you guys could offer? I know it isn't as steep as the Rockies but still going to quite steep near Knoxville. I will try not to lay on the breaks so much, that I do know. Thank you guys
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Old 07-07-2020, 03:27 PM   #2
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Take it slow and stay off the brakes as much as possible. Let your engine do some of the breaking. Stay in the slow truck lane and take your time. That is pretty good road through there. The long grade coming south out of knoxville is long but not extremely steep or curvy. Take your time and follow the big Rigs. Enjoy the ride.
Hopefully you have auxiliary brakes set up in your jeep. If not consider having a family member drive it behind you through that pass.
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Old 07-07-2020, 03:40 PM   #3
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Thank you for the response. I have the Ready Brute tow bar which will help use the jeeps brakes. As far as going downhill, do you tend to downshift or do you not find the need to?
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Old 07-07-2020, 03:47 PM   #4
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Actually the east side of the Smokies on I40 is where the road really gets to be fun.

Start out at the top of the decent already going the speed you want to go down and already in a lower transmission gear, usually third, for the really big drops. If you have to brake then brake hard and get the speed down fast and then get off the brakes and let them cool. No light braking or riding the brakes which will cook everything very quickly. Stay in the right lane with the long haul trucks and the speed they are maintaining. Take your time and enjoy the drive rather than white knuckling the steering wheel and glazing your brake pads.

Going up is a little easier. Down shift, again probably into third on the big ones, and keep your RPMs up over 3000 or so. The faster the engine and transmission spin the faster the coolant is flowing thru both to keep the hate load in check. Again stay with the truckers in the right lane and enjoy the view.
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Old 07-07-2020, 03:48 PM   #5
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Use the tow/haul setting on the transmission and it will do a good job. Tap it once and it should downshift automatically. Don’t ride the brakes and overheat them and don’t be in a rush going uphill.
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Old 07-07-2020, 03:52 PM   #6
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Yep, been there done that. Don't even think of going south out of Gatlinburg into the National Forest. I did that with a TOAD and would never do it again. Go back up to Knoxville both ways!
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:00 PM   #7
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For long passes you need to go slow and allow your engine to do most of the breaking.

Many recommend putting it in tow haul mode. You want to keep the rpm under 4500. What many do is say start at a speed and once you get 10 mph faster you apply the brakes and get back down to your target speed and repeat. In my mind the problem is you may get an upshift which reduces the engine braking plus you may end up doing enough braking on a long pass where your brakes can burn and eventually fail.

What I like to do is manually select my gear. If I can't easily keep the rpm under 4500 in that gear then I go to a lower gear which Implies a lower speed. Since most of the steep passes are not super long I don't care if this caused me to go say 20 mph. I wouldn't rather be safe and keep my brakes from over heating.
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:19 PM   #8
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Are you driving up from FL thru GA on I75?

Don't take the shortcut to Pigeon Forge thru Wears Valley unless you are really experienced. I've driven it a couple of times - twice in a MH with Toad in and out and once with a 40' TT. DW almost had a heart attack everytime. The switch backs are tight but the view is gorgeous.

Recommend going up to I40 E through Knoxville and to exit 407 South to TN-66 S/Winfield Dunn Pkwy; Follow TN-66 S/Winfield Dunn Pkwy to PF

Not as scenic but safer.

Enjoy your trip and don't get in a hurry. We love it there.
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrtribble View Post
Miamicamper

Are you driving up from FL thru GA on I75?

Don't take the shortcut to Pigeon Forge thru Wears Valley unless you are really experienced. I've driven it a couple of times - twice in a MH with Toad in and out and once with a 40' TT. DW almost had a heart attack everytime. The switch backs are tight but the view is gorgeous.

Recommend going up to I40 E through Knoxville and to exit 407 South to TN-66 S/Winfield Dunn Pkwy; Follow TN-66 S/Winfield Dunn Pkwy to PF

Not as scenic but safer.

Enjoy your trip and don't get in a hurry. We love it there.
Thank you for that. Yes I looked on the GPS the other day and it recommended I go up to 75 to Chattanooga and then up across to Knoxville so that was my planned route
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:35 PM   #10
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The Ford V 10 can safely rev up to 5200 RPMs on the down hill side.
4500 RPMs is a made up number.

Switch on Tow/Haul and let the computer help you control the speed
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:56 PM   #11
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You will hardly know you left FL. I75 to I 40 down to the Parkway to Pigeon Forge is relatively flat and few curves. Welcome to Godís country, enjoy your visit.
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Old 07-07-2020, 05:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miamicamper View Post
Hello all, I will be taking my brand new Bounder to the Smokies (Pigeon Forge) next week and I will be pulling my jeep behind me. I am a little nervous about driving in the mountains and was wondering if there are any tips you guys could offer? I know it isn't as steep as the Rockies but still going to quite steep near Knoxville. I will try not to lay on the breaks so much, that I do know. Thank you guys


Iíve crossed the smokies several times, when I had a gasser with a V10 I would unhook toad and let wife drive across to much for it. When crossing the mountains there are a couple of turns where rocks stick out from the walls and you need to make wide turns.
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Old 07-07-2020, 08:11 PM   #13
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Whatever gear you climb with use that same gear going down.
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Old 07-07-2020, 08:22 PM   #14
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Plan your arrival to the mountains early in the afternoon, donít risk getting delayed and arriving at night. It sucks if itís your first time navigating that at night.
I75 to I40 on the west side is a piece of cake, going up I95 to I26 then I40 on the east side is a lot more difficult.
I made my first Rv trip this past Christmas up there, it was awesome.
Enjoy
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