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Old 06-27-2010, 09:18 PM   #1
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Question Driving

I will be taking my 1st trip this Thursday. I haven't even set the gauges yet-the date and mileage, etc. I have been reviewing the manuals and I just need verification re: the transmission. When I am driving it automatically changes gear based on the pressure of the gas pedal. Going to North Carolina on rt. 81 and 77 there is a alot on downhill through the mountains-can I push the down arrow to help slow the rig down and also use the foot break? Not sure what the up and down arrows are for.

The 2 times I drove the rig I had the windows open w/ a nice breeze. If it gets really hot do I just push the generator bottom to turn it on and then run the acs?
If I choose not to use the generator can I use the fantastic fan. I do not have vent covers on them. I plan to eventually get the covers.

Anything else I should know or do before I hit the road?
Thanks, Debbie
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:33 PM   #2
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It would be helpful to know what you are driving. I assume motor home, but is it gas, diesel, which model? Also what chassis, Ford, Chevy, etc.?

Coming down 81 there aren't too many long downhills, but when you get to the North Carolina line, you will come down "Fancy Gap". There will be warning signs, wind advisories if in effect, runaway truck ramps, etc. Get your speed down on that one, before you get too far down. Also set a max speed limit for yourself, when 5 over, use foot brake to get 10 below, then let off foot brake until you reach 5 over again. This will allow your brakes a chance to cool. DO NOT PUT YOUR FOOT ON THE BRAKE AND KEEP IT THERE!!!!!

You can run the generator and AC units if the dash air won't keep things cool enough for you. You can also run the Refer on propane, in my opinion.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:03 PM   #3
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I have a 2011 Berkshire 390bh dp. This is my 1st motorhome. I have towed tt but driving a rig is all new to me. Freightliner chassis.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:07 PM   #4
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Ok, that helps a lot. I don't have one, but someone that does will chime in I'm sure. I know the road, and was on Fancy Gap yesterday. Lot of nice, knowledgeable folks on here. Just curious, where you heading North Carolina, we're in Winston-Salem. I plan on towing ours toward Mt. Mitchell on Thursday, will be going under I 77 at I 40, in Statesville.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:15 PM   #5
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Going to Charlotte for family reunion. Does Statesville has a camping world? I saw on the other post you had some wiring problems-I hope everything turned out ok.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:59 PM   #6
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Debbie,

We are running into a lot of up and down here in the Ozarks particularly coming in from Springfield. We are using the "engine brake" coming down the hills and doing exactly what was suggested earlier, set up a desired down hill speed and then braking down at least 10 below that speed then allowing the rig to climb to up to 5 over the target. DON'T ride the brakes. I'm finding out that driving a diesel is a whole different ballgame than a gasser.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:00 PM   #7
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Yes Statesville has a camping World. Can't remember the exit number, but it will only be a couple of miles after you cross over Interstate 40. There is a a billboard somewhere near there. Also close to Tilly Harley Davidson, same exit, and a couple of turns after you exit, they are on the same road.
No, I didn't have any wiring problems, was trying to help someone that did. Thanks for your thoughtfulness, and hope you have a safe trip. It has been and will be hot down here. Charlotte is a little farther south from me. We hit 102 today, not officially, but it has been hot. Will be in the 90's later this week, if you believe the forecast. And the humidity will get to you. May want to think about that generator and the roof air conditioner. Test it before you leave, and make sure it all works.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:36 AM   #8
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Debbie,
I would use the gen/AC combo before using the Fantastic fan. You would need to drive with the cover raised and I don't know how it will hold up to the buffeting it will get from the wind while driving. Also, if I remember correctly, the up and down arrows only limit the gear that the trans will shift to. If you use the down arrow and set the trans to 5, the max it will shift up to is 5th gear. Use your engine brake for the down hills and as WNYTAXMAN said, don't ride the brakes.
Have a great trip and let us know how your new coach fares.
Regards,
Tom
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:58 AM   #9
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ditto on the brakes....dont ride them. let the engine brake do the work. I have yet to do a manual shift on my transmission. i havent had the need. I let the folks at Allison make the decisions when to shift :-).

as for cooling, you can set your thermostat to your desired temp, fan speed etc prior to leaving on you trip, then when you get hot, you can turn on the generator. Everything will come on and cool things down.

I have added MaxAir roof vent covers so i can leave roof vents open when driving or if it is raining. I usually do not drive with these open but I have the option.

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Old 06-28-2010, 11:11 AM   #10
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Debbie,

It has been close to 100 here in Branson and it was very hot on the way out. We just turned on the generator and hit both A/C's and it kept it cool enough. Also we put the chassis A/C on max and put the defroster fans on. That also helped to cool things off.

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Old 06-28-2010, 02:18 PM   #11
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Everybody thanks so much for the info. I will remember to cover the brakes and go slow down the hills.
Debbie
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:12 PM   #12
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Question?
When do you press the engine brake ? While driving-before a hill or turn it on and leave it on? I wasn't sure so I did not use it. If I go to camp freightliner it will be the same route but just 1 hour further.
Thanks-Debbie
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:24 PM   #13
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Debbie,
I turn on the engine brake when approaching or in traffic. I would also turn it on when descending hills. Other times, I keep it off. If you use it during straight highway driving, it will kick in every time you take your foot off the accelerator and slow you down and increase fuel usage (rpm's will rise and you will use more fuel).
So, how did your coach behave on the trip? Any problems? Any likes/dislikes?
Hope this helps,
Tom
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:40 PM   #14
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Debbie,
Let us know how Branson is. We'll be heading there the last week of July. Specifically, let us know how tight the roads are. My family is from that area and they love it - nothing better than the Oaks in the Ozarks. If you get a chance, check out Table Rock lake and the flag ship store of Bass Pro Shop (home office is in Springfield, MO). Also, Shepard in the Hills (outdoor venue) is a show not to miss even if it's 90+ degrees... Have fun and safe travels!
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:09 PM   #15
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I love the coach, the driving the living space. It is truly my home away from home.
Tom-It drove easier than I thought. I'll try the engine brake on the next trip. My only dislike is that the overhead cabinets are a little small but the basement makes up for that.
After our last fill up when we closed the door the step went crazy with this loud motor noise. I called Albany RV service this morning and left a message and I am still waiting for a call back. I called Coach-net who contacted Campers Barn (1hr away instead of 2) and I will call and make an appointment and get it fixed. It is all a learning process because I know nothing about MH but it is fun.Because of all the heat-1 more long trip and I'll be ready for my 1st generator check of 50 hrs. For any basic service there is a Transalantic RV is Peekskill for my service.
Otherwise, I have no complaints. 5 of us travelled down and 7 including a newborn travelled home very comfortably. This is the way the go.
Debbie
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:54 PM   #16
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Just checking my CW catalog & you get off I-77 @ Exit 49A on to US-70. Turn south on to Morland Dr.
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:52 PM   #17
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One of the best features on my 2008 Berkshire is the horn. LOL Coming down the mountains can be a unhappy experience when some jerk putts along in the left lane and rides side by side with the person in the right lane. rrrrrr
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:31 PM   #18
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Angry

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Originally Posted by RVNDC View Post
One of the best features on my 2008 Berkshire is the horn. LOL Coming down the mountains can be a unhappy experience when some jerk putts along in the left lane and rides side by side with the person in the right lane. rrrrrr
I see that as a regular occurrence east of Oshawa on Hwy 2. Two cars will be driving along not quite side by side doing the speed limit as set using their GPS . You can't get past them.

Also, we were driving up the mtn south of Fancy Gap on I-77 back in '01. Really slow semis in the slow lane, Slow semis in the middle lane & a slow M van (Astro or Safari) in the passing (fast lane). Somewhere near Fancy Gap, the M van pulled over into the middle lane. As we passed the van I looked over & it was 2 middle aged women yammering away oblivious to the line of vehicles that were passing them.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:09 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by mstevens107 View Post
Debbie,
Let us know how Branson is. We'll be heading there the last week of July. Specifically, let us know how tight the roads are. My family is from that area and they love it - nothing better than the Oaks in the Ozarks. If you get a chance, check out Table Rock lake and the flag ship store of Bass Pro Shop (home office is in Springfield, MO). Also, Shepard in the Hills (outdoor venue) is a show not to miss even if it's 90+ degrees... Have fun and safe travels!
The drive to and from Branson was a piece of cake. Four lanes into town and a pretty easy, although hilly drive. The campgrounds are a bit of a trip because they seem to be all built into the sides of mountains. Other than that it was an easy drive on I-70 and I-44 for us.
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Old 07-20-2010, 03:00 PM   #20
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Wnytaxman,
How are you and how is the mh?
I am waiting for FR approval to get my step fix and hopefully get on the road before the end of July. If not the 1st of August. Camp Freightliner was full and the next available classes are in Sept. Not sure if I will make it this year or wait til next summer.
For everyone on the road-travel safely and have fun!
Debbie
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