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Old 04-25-2020, 11:06 AM   #1
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Dallas to Angel Fire, NM - Enough Power?

Not sure if this is the right place to post this. I have a new Baystar Sport 2813 on the F-53 V10 chassis. I have maybe 3,000 miles on the rig and its my first rv of any kind. Was considering taking a drip from Dallas TX to Angel Fire, NM. My concern is whether I would have the power to get up the mountains and the control (tow haul mode) to get down without too much stress. I might would tow my Nissan Versa just to have to drive around in.

The question is, can this F53 comfortably handle the task?

My prior two trips were Dallas to South Bend, Indiana for football games. No issues on either trip related to rig performance.

Thanks
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Old 04-25-2020, 11:13 AM   #2
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My ole 1999 F53 with the 275hp V10, 4 speed tranny, and towing a toad makes the trip no problem..

I'm not running up and down at the speed limit. I manually force a downshift and hold lower gears and high RPMs for both climbing up and for the additional braking going down.

The best test for me is US-82 between Alamogordo and Cloudcroft. No problems going up or down.

My favorite warning sign they have these posted 60 miles away along US-82.
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:07 AM   #3
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Make the trip and see what you think. Everybody views slowing down up grades, loud downshifting or braking down grades, and the 4000 RPM sounds differently. Its time you find out whether you are happy with an F-53 chassis.
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Old 04-26-2020, 11:30 AM   #4
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I had a 2016 Baystar Sport 2813. Drove it 25,000 miles in 1 1/2 years.

Trips included a trip from So Cal throughout Alaska without toad.

We also went through Eisenhower Tunnel (11,066) towing a 4,000 lb GMC Terrain as part of a 10,000 mile trip around all of the Great Lakes.

The Baystar handled the Eisenhower Tunnel pass and many other passes as well as our 2018 Ventana DP. The gasser will just make a lot of noise climbing up and going down the grades, but it will perform quite well, especially in your coach. There are many 38 ft motorhomes out there with the same drive train that weigh thousands of pounds more.

Just don't worry about letting the RPM's get between 4,000 and 4,500. I was always a little nervous running it for long much higher than that.
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:50 PM   #5
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We came from Eagles Nest to Tyler last September without an issue towing a Honda CR-V. Going there was not an issue either. Beautiful place
We have a 2013 Georgetown 378XL.
Total weight of unit is 22,700 lbs plus the tow.
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Old 04-29-2020, 06:18 AM   #6
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I hesitate to get into these “how to drive in the mountains” threads, because it’s about confidence in your driving vs. your actual driving skill and understanding / trusting your drive train and vehicle dynamics, and I don’t want to put anyone into an unsafe situation. But, here it goes anyway, and it’s up to you to determine what you feel comfortable and safe doing, without getting in over your head.

You just have to take control and “actively” drive the coach yourself, no cruise control. In most cases going up steeper grades it’s easy enough to lock in at the 4250rpm range and then your speed is what it is; ocassionaly you'll end up in the next higher rpm bracket, but you’ll seldom have to run there for any length of time; it’s just up to you to control it with your right foot. You are not going to win any races, but you’ll get there.

At the extreme end of going down steep grades (something like the beginning of going down Wolf Creek Pass southbound or US89 into Garden City, UT) drop it / keep it in 1st gear which will hold until about 35mph, you’ll need to start down at about 15-20mph and you just have to realize it’s ok to be at 5000+ rpm and you are not damaging anything. You’ve got to let the tranny / engine control your decent speed, and keep your foot off the brakes except for short / hard stabs as necessary if / as your speed creeps up or you approach a corner.

I can’t express it enough, you’ve got to keep your foot off the brakes. And when you do have to use the brakes, it’s “hard” on the brakes to scrub speed quickly then off (this is no time to worry about spilling your coffee).

And, when you approach a curve / switchback, and need to slow even more, brake hard in a straight line before the corner to get to the slowest speed you’ll need for the corner, even “over slowing” so you can get off the brakes and let the weight settle before you have to begin your turn. It will greatly help managing dynamic weight transfer......

Some of the roads with significant grades we have taken in our gasser, always pulling the toad, include:

I40 over the Smokies in both directions
I77 over Fancy Gap in in VA both directions
I90 westbound in WA, Snoqualmie Pass (the road surface on the downgrade / west side was horrendous summer ‘19)

And then there are the “real” mountain roads, grades, passes:
I70 eastbound in eastern UT
I70, Vail Pass eastbound
CO9 southbound from Breckinridge
Up US36 and down US24 to / from Estes Park, CO
UT12 Bryce to Torrey
US160 / Wolf Creek Pass CO southbound
CO149 / Slumgullion Pass southbound
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slumgullion_Pass‬
Slumgullion Pass, elevation 11,530 ft (3,510 m), is a mountain pass in Colorado traversed by State Highway 149 east of Lake City. The north side has the steepest grade of any continuously paved road in Colorado (9%)
US89 eastbound into Garden City, UT
US191 southbound from I80 to Vernal, UT
US50 eastbound, Monarch Pass, CO

As well as some some fun grades in Quebec along the St. Lawrence, and across New Brunswick.
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Old 04-30-2020, 05:50 AM   #7
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As I said in the above post, I’m hesitant to get involved in these discussions, because without a real dialog, and having an idea of how much someone understands, I’m concerned I’ll overlook something.....

In any case, a few follow up thoughts, focusing on driving downgrade since that’s where safety comes into play. One other point, you can’t be worrying about your coffee, coffee pot on the counter, or dog, etc. driving in the mountains; make sure everything in your coach is secure, and set expectations with your passengers as to how this driving may be a bit different than they are used to.

Tow Haul, imperative that you use it, and understand how it functions. At a given speed, if you apply the brakes at some point the tranny with downshift. You need to get a feel for that..... how much brake to get it to downshift, and how much downshifting you need for a given target speed. Again, this is a time to be more aggressive with your actions.

You also need to understand that TH will not let the engine over rev, so while that is a good thing, it’s also a bad thing. Because, the revs rise as you pick up speed, and if you get the shift point, it will shift, revs will quick drop and you’ll immediately start picking up speed, likely at the point you don’t want to go faster. So you need to get a feel for that, and stay ahead of the shift point as you go down grade by applying the brakes hard, and quickly slow down back to your target speed and then get off the brakes ASAP, all before the tranny shifts. If you manually put it in a gear, it will not automatically upshift.

And directly related to the previous paragraph, as you start your decent, you need to start slow, in a low enough gear and high enough revs so that you are really feeling the engine is already holding back your speed. And starting the downgrade slow, is of course relative.

If there is a downgrade speed limit posted (often for trucks), that is your limit, not where you start, which is where you can get in trouble getting behind and having to overuse your brakes. Given the grade and curves, you probably want to start out 5-10mph, even as much as 15 mph, under that posted speed so you can safely gain some speed and stay off the brakes as much as possible.

And to better control your downgrade speed, you need high(er) rpms. You get very little engine braking below 3500 rpm, and a lot of drivers seem to start freaking out at that point (thanks to mindlessly driving automatic transmission vehicles tuned for gas miles and low rpms in daily driving; get a Porsche, and you’ll find the fun starts at 4000 rpm, and the noise become glorious ).

So as you start down a grade, get the tyranny in a gear that your beginning speed is at 3500 rpm or a bit more, so that you really feel the engine / tranny holding you back, and see how that goes. On really steep grades, you may find that you need to gear down even further and start out at 4000 rpm to get any real hold back.

Again, none of this is hard and fast, you need to get a feel for it all. Your objective is to maintain a safe speed at all times given the grade, curves, and general road conditions, and stay off the brakes. Sometimes that sweet spot is slower than what you want to go, and often slower than other traffic, but you need to live with it if you want to safely descend grades.

And yes, you need to be observant of the traffic around / behind you, and look for pull offs as appropriate. Locals and truckers will usually understand your situation and while they may be impatient, they at least usually appreciate you driving safely; other tourists are probably clueless and will try to zoom around you and flip you off .

In any case, that’s what comes to mind this morning.

Hope it makes sense......

Regards
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Old 04-30-2020, 06:08 AM   #8
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Betr2TYrvl has good info there... I will add, even if the copilot complains "you're holding up traffic" , ignore it and, if anything, start slower than needed downhill, you can always go faster whereas the converse is true

When we did Teton Pass out of Jackson Hole last year (10% grade), even with 1250 lbft of torque, the start of the hill surprised me after a tight turn and I never could get above 25 mph in my pusher (but we were over 35k total) I just turned on my flashers and did the best we could... given the grade, I really didn't feel safe pulling off and trying to get going again against traffic.

then on the downhill, even with engine brake on just STABBED the brakes HARD to scrub 20-25 mph off our speed and took a potty break after the bottom
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:11 PM   #9
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Take the Dumas-Dalhart-Clayton-Springer-Cimarron-Cimarron Canyon route. No mountains, just a slow but steady uphill. Biggest hill is the climb out of Cimarron Canyon into Eagles Nest. Very steep grade, but only about 1/4 mile.

We take our 39' Canyon Star towing a GMC Canyon on that route coming from OKC without any trouble.

Gas mileage out sucks, but you make up part of it coming home
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Old 05-01-2020, 06:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by osuallen View Post
Take the Dumas-Dalhart-Clayton-Springer-Cimarron-Cimarron Canyon route. No mountains, just a slow but steady uphill. Biggest hill is the climb out of Cimarron Canyon into Eagles Nest. Very steep grade, but only about 1/4 mile.

We take our 39' Canyon Star towing a GMC Canyon on that route coming from OKC without any trouble.

Gas mileage out sucks, but you make up part of it coming home
This is the route we take. Very easy. Just take note of road signs and drive accordingly. W are planning that trip, again, in June. We love in Tyler.
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Old 05-01-2020, 01:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrapperman View Post
This is the route we take. Very easy. Just take note of road signs and drive accordingly. W are planning that trip, again, in June. We love in Tyler.
Yes, especially in Springer. The love those tourist contributions to their operating budget.
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Old 05-01-2020, 01:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beckeda View Post
Not sure if this is the right place to post this. I have a new Baystar Sport 2813 on the F-53 V10 chassis. I have maybe 3,000 miles on the rig and its my first rv of any kind. Was considering taking a drip from Dallas TX to Angel Fire, NM. My concern is whether I would have the power to get up the mountains and the control (tow haul mode) to get down without too much stress. I might would tow my Nissan Versa just to have to drive around in.

The question is, can this F53 comfortably handle the task?

My prior two trips were Dallas to South Bend, Indiana for football games. No issues on either trip related to rig performance.

Thanks

Never ever a Problem for me on any interstate roads in America.
Would not want to travel the roads in Mexico but America no problem.
Our MH has more then enough power to safely travel around our great outdoors.
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Old 05-01-2020, 01:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Betr2Trvl View Post
As I said in the above post, Iím hesitant to get involved in these discussions, because without a real dialog, and having an idea of how much someone understands, Iím concerned Iíll overlook something.....

In any case, a few follow up thoughts, focusing on driving downgrade since thatís where safety comes into play. One other point, you canít be worrying about your coffee, coffee pot on the counter, or dog, etc. driving in the mountains; make sure everything in your coach is secure, and set expectations with your passengers as to how this driving may be a bit different than they are used to.

Tow Haul, imperative that you use it, and understand how it functions. At a given speed, if you apply the brakes at some point the tranny with downshift. You need to get a feel for that..... how much brake to get it to downshift, and how much downshifting you need for a given target speed. Again, this is a time to be more aggressive with your actions.

You also need to understand that TH will not let the engine over rev, so while that is a good thing, itís also a bad thing. Because, the revs rise as you pick up speed, and if you get the shift point, it will shift, revs will quick drop and youíll immediately start picking up speed, likely at the point you donít want to go faster. So you need to get a feel for that, and stay ahead of the shift point as you go down grade by applying the brakes hard, and quickly slow down back to your target speed and then get off the brakes ASAP, all before the tranny shifts. If you manually put it in a gear, it will not automatically upshift.

And directly related to the previous paragraph, as you start your decent, you need to start slow, in a low enough gear and high enough revs so that you are really feeling the engine is already holding back your speed. And starting the downgrade slow, is of course relative.

If there is a downgrade speed limit posted (often for trucks), that is your limit, not where you start, which is where you can get in trouble getting behind and having to overuse your brakes. Given the grade and curves, you probably want to start out 5-10mph, even as much as 15 mph, under that posted speed so you can safely gain some speed and stay off the brakes as much as possible.

And to better control your downgrade speed, you need high(er) rpms. You get very little engine braking below 3500 rpm, and a lot of drivers seem to start freaking out at that point (thanks to mindlessly driving automatic transmission vehicles tuned for gas miles and low rpms in daily driving; get a Porsche, and youíll find the fun starts at 4000 rpm, and the noise become glorious ).

So as you start down a grade, get the tyranny in a gear that your beginning speed is at 3500 rpm or a bit more, so that you really feel the engine / tranny holding you back, and see how that goes. On really steep grades, you may find that you need to gear down even further and start out at 4000 rpm to get any real hold back.

Again, none of this is hard and fast, you need to get a feel for it all. Your objective is to maintain a safe speed at all times given the grade, curves, and general road conditions, and stay off the brakes. Sometimes that sweet spot is slower than what you want to go, and often slower than other traffic, but you need to live with it if you want to safely descend grades.

And yes, you need to be observant of the traffic around / behind you, and look for pull offs as appropriate. Locals and truckers will usually understand your situation and while they may be impatient, they at least usually appreciate you driving safely; other tourists are probably clueless and will try to zoom around you and flip you off .

In any case, thatís what comes to mind this morning.

Hope it makes sense......

Regards

Love the Post, that is how I driver our MH on Steep Grades.
I Would not have been able to word it so clearly, well done.
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Old 05-02-2020, 09:52 AM   #14
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In my concern for clarity on this important subject, I finally found and old post of mine that included additional information that I think is helpful. I’ve edited it a bit to keep in context with this thread.


The intent is to save your brakes on a downgrade, maximizing the effects of engine braking, so that the brakes are most effective to slow you when you need them.

First, braking hard is not about how much speed you are trying to scrub off, but no matter how much you want to scrub off do it quickly so that your brakes build heat over the the shortest time possible while getting cool air over them as quickly and as long as possible to cool them down.

Starting down a downgrade in a low(er) gear for a given speed is going to put you into a higher rpm range, which is going to be more effective engine braking. That is the case if it’s 15mph, 35 mph, or even 55mph; you need to select the appropriate gear / rpm range to best control a safe decent speed range.

By starting at a slower speed, and in a lower gear, at higher rpms and not being afraid of rpm gain as you naturally accelerate (while maintaining a safe speed), you’ll spend less time on your brakes, saving them for when you really need them to slow down for a corner or simply get back down to a slower safe speed that will allow gain until you need to jab the brakes again.

As necessary / appropriate, braking between 5000-5500 rpm (assuming a safe speed) on the “modern” Ford engine in tow haul mode is so that it DOES NOT shift to the next higher gear which will immediately cause you to accelerate which is exactly what you don’t want to do. You also need to watch this top range if you manually select a gear since it won’t automatically up shift, and you don’t want to over rev the engine, so you’ll certainly need to use the brakes at this point as well. You won’t always have to run up to 5000+ rpm on every downgrade, but you’ll find on steeper grades it will come into play......

A couple things I found from another source that provides additional insight:

1)
Downgrades
There’s a limit to the amount of heat that brakes can absorb and dissipate. The highest brake temperatures occur when braking from highway speeds while on long downgrades, or from repeated use of the brakes without enough cooling time between applications. Almost all brake failures and downhill runaway crashes are caused by overdriving the ability of the brakes to deal with heat. In other words, poor speed control.

Whether in town or on a highway, you’ll usually need to descend a hill more slowly than other traffic in order to avoid overdriving your brakes. You should be in a lower gear to go down the hill than used to climb it. Never shift
to a higher gear on a downgrade unless the speed on the grade can be controlled with a retarding device or engine compression.

Select a safe speed that's not too fast for the weight of your vehicle, length, and steepness of the grade, weather, and road conditions. Use an appropriate low gear to hold that speed, and use the vehicle’s retarding device.

If this doesn’t control your speed, and speed is increasing above your chosen speed:
• apply the brakes hard enough to reduce speed by 10 to 15 km/h — the brakes are cold at this point
• downshift to a lower main gear

Continue down the grade, using engine compression, transmission gearing and your vehicle’s retarding device to control your speed. If the speed increases again, repeat this process. Be careful using this procedure on icy roads.
Keep your vehicle in gear all the way down the hill.

2)
Engine braking occurs when the retarding forces within an engine are used to slow down a motor vehicle, as opposed to using additional external braking mechanisms such as friction brakes or magnetic brakes.

The term "engine braking" refers to the braking effect that occurs in gasoline engines when the accelerator pedal is released. This results in the throttle valve that controls intake airflow closing and the air flow through the intake becoming greatly restricted (but not cut off completely). This causes a high manifold vacuum which the cylinders have to work against—sapping energy and producing the majority of the engine braking force.

While some of the braking force is produced due to friction in the drive train, this is negligible compared to the effect from the manifold vacuum caused by the air-flow restriction.

As soon as the accelerator is released enough to slow the engine, engine braking comes into effect as long as the wheels remain connected via the transmission to the engine. A slipping or disengaged clutch, or a torque converter, would disengage the wheels or absorb braking energy.

The braking force varies depending on the engine, and the gear the transmission is in. The lower the gear, the higher the braking effect due to higher rpm and the torque transferred through the transmission (higher torque is delivered from the engine in lower gears).

Engine braking avoids wear on brakes, and can help a driver maintain control of the vehicle. Active use of engine braking by shifting into a lower gear can help control speed while driving down very steep and long slopes, saving the brakes from overheating or excessive wear. If it is applied before the brakes have been used, it can leave the brakes available to make emergency stops or slow as necessary to maintain a safe speed (my edit)

Regards and drive safe.....
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