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Old 05-24-2016, 09:59 AM   #11
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I was in the same situation in my 2014 F150 EB. Going up was fine, coming down my first time towing was a bit scary. I thought tow/haul and just engine breaking would be enough to get me down, but I had to use my brakes and trailer brakes a whole lot more. Now I know the capabilities of my engine and use a combination of tv brakes, tt brakes and engine breaking. You'll get there, you now know what your rig can do and that's half of it.
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:10 AM   #12
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Going uphill is the easy part seeing the truck determines how fast it can go up the hill. Now going down hill is another story. Start down slow using the engine and transmission to control the speed and don't depend on the brakes. Use the brakes to adjust your speed in short bursts.
I drove I-70 across Vail and barely touched the brakes. Just let the truck do it's job. I never let it go past 50-60 so I can stop if needed. I once came down I-17 out of Flagstaff and let it crepe up to 75mph. Not a good feeling!!!!
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:49 AM   #13
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Yep, agree with lbrjet, no steep grades in that area. Lived in Farmington for a short stint. Your trip sounds like a blast, have a great time!
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Old 05-24-2016, 11:07 AM   #14
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With Duramax Diesel and Allison transmission is this what the "M" option is for? Put it into M Mode and that allows you to manually shift? My first Durmax with Allison transmission and haven't had to really use this option much. Iowa is fairly flat but in August heading to Gatlinburg area.
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:05 PM   #15
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With Duramax Diesel and Allison transmission is this what the "M" option is for? Put it into M Mode and that allows you to manually shift? My first Durmax with Allison transmission and haven't had to really use this option much. Iowa is fairly flat but in August heading to Gatlinburg area.
That is just what M is for!! Just shift into any gear in M. Also enable the Exhaust Brake when going down the hills. It uses the engine to brake when the Allison down shifts in tow mode. You can slowdown without touching the brakes on a 6% grade.
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:13 PM   #16
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When we come off of Petit Jean Mt. we use second gear. Follow the above advice from fellow members and you will have no problem.


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Old 05-24-2016, 10:43 PM   #17
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When we come off of Petit Jean Mt. we use second gear. Follow the above advice from fellow members and you will have no problem.


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This was my problem. I didn't know to downshift and just used the brakes. Now I know better. Good excuse to go back to Petit Jean and practice

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Old 05-24-2016, 11:08 PM   #18
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In my opinion, and driving experience, your drivetrain, whatever the combination, should be able regulate your decent speed. Meaning manual downshifting an automatic/manual trans. using your engine, exhaust brake if you have one to maintain your speed. You should not have to continually use your brakes, if you are, YOU ARE GOING TOO FAST! Too much heat in the brakes, boiling the fluid, WILL result in a loss of brakes, what happens if you MUST stop, chances are are you wont be able to. 5 extra minutes coming down will be well worth it. Not towed out west, just these little hills here in NC, but across I40 and all the mountain switch backs we drive on we don't use our brakes as a way to maintain our speed, we keep them for any surprise stops that may be needed.
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Old 05-24-2016, 11:21 PM   #19
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We've made reservations at Pettit Jean the first week of July. So far, our trips have only been about 30 miles so this trip will be our longest at about 113 miles. I planned to exit I-40 at Morrilton and come in to Pettit Jean from the East side. The lady I made the reservation with said that road is sort of steep but no one seems to have any trouble. Maybe I should have asked how is the descent. What kind of grade do you think it is and how long is the climb? I have the "M" gear but never knew what it was. I'll have to get my truck manual out on how to use it.
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Old 05-24-2016, 11:32 PM   #20
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Thing is, DW has plans up north of I40. We're going I 40 to Santa Rosa, NM, and then heading north on US84/I25 to Santa Fe, then taking US550 from Albuquerque to Farmington, then it looks like US 160 up to Mesa Verde NP, then over to Monument Valley, UT, and on to Page/Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon. So we should be crossing the Mts and Divide somewhere in there.

Coming back shouldn't be too bad because we'll be turning south through Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso and San Antonio. It's really the northern leg that looks like it will be hairy.

I definitely plan to weigh the rig before leaving to verify our weights.

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I would recommend you study your proposed route. From Santa Rosa, you will cross Glorieta Pass east of Santa Fe. This is a very gentle ride but there are a couple of short, steep downhill grades. Going south out of Santa Fe is La Bajada Hill, a long, moderately steep grade with a lot of uphill and downhill afterward until you get to Bernalillo and US 550. You cross the Continental Divide west of Cuba NM. Watch the drive between Flagstaff and Phoenix. It is steep. But then, any road off of the Mogollon Rim is steep.
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