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Old 09-07-2014, 08:09 AM   #1
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Steep Grade Towing

I am looking at a trip that will take me up a 6% 3 mile long grade and back down on my return. I have no experience with this type of towing. Any advice is appriciated.

2001 F350 western hauler, 42 foot Coachman Adrenaline toy hauler.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:33 AM   #2
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I'm going to assume your F350 is diesel. If you have trans and exhaust temp gauges, keep an eye on them. If you don't, they are a good idea to have in any towing situation. For the downhill, might have to manually downshift a gear to keep from having to ride brakes to much. I have an exhaust brake on mine, and believe all the newer diesels have them. Makes a HUGE difference.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:38 AM   #3
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I was up and over the hills out of Denver, Co. in June going to The Grand Canyon.

Slow down before you start down and let the engine hold as much as it will, downshift if you run a manual in tow/haul if equipped.

A light pressure on the brakes is better than a hard brake now and then, try and hold a speed you are comfortable with.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:52 AM   #4
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A light pressure on the brakes is better than a hard brake now and then, try and hold a speed you are comfortable with.
I wonder about that. Constant light pressure would generate a huge amount of heat in the brakes. Intermittent applicant of brakes would allow some heat to dissipate.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:58 AM   #5
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I wonder about that. Constant light pressure would generate a huge amount of heat in the brakes. Intermittent applicant of brakes would allow some heat to dissipate.
I agree
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:08 AM   #6
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I wonder about that. Constant light pressure would generate a huge amount of heat in the brakes. Intermittent applicant of brakes would allow some heat to dissipate.
Some say that "Jab" braking is better and safer but one problem is that in between brake applications is you pick up some of the speed you just slowed down from.

Heat requires oxygen if the pads or shoes are in contact with the drum or rotors there is minimal O2 between them.

Try both methods for yourself and then decide which you prefer.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:25 AM   #7
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we could debate this all day. Everyone has their own methods. I'm just thankful I have an exhaust brake. I'll never be without one after having one
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:33 AM   #8
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I wonder about that. Constant light pressure would generate a huge amount of heat in the brakes. Intermittent applicant of brakes would allow some heat to dissipate.
Intermittent braking is what the experts recommend to allow heat to dissipate.

Heat is generated regardless of whether O2 is present. Constant pressure will generate tremendous heat in the whole brake system which is something you definitely don't want. Air is needed to cool the brake rotors & pads.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:45 AM   #9
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I wonder about that. Constant light pressure would generate a huge amount of heat in the brakes. Intermittent applicant of brakes would allow some heat to dissipate.
In the C-130 the technique for taxi down a slope is the opposite.

Let the speed build up to a "run"; then use "reverse thrust and moderate brake" to slow to a crawl and then let the speed build up again.

This allows engine and brake cooling between braking applications.

I use exactly the same techniques when going down long grades; (In Tow/Haul mode) speed no faster than I can get rid of with a smooth firm brake application while in a lower gear.

Going up I use the Tow/Haul mode and maintain towing speed as long as I can keep trans temp below 225 degrees. I slow to maintain that temp in the climb.

Pull over and STOP while idling engine on side of road if trans temp exceeds 250 degrees (Allison Transmission) or engine temp gets too high.

Do NOT shut engine off! The hot turbo/engine will cook your oil fed bearings.

"Heat requires oxygen if the pads or shoes are in contact with the drum or rotors there is minimal O2 between them."

Never heard this; seems to fly in the face of high school physics. Now FIRE requires O2 but heat energy exists in outer space without an atmosphere.

To remove "heat" from a system, a medium with a lower temperature (heat sink or environment) is required to be in contact for the energy to dissipate to. The only available medium in a brake system is air and you need to get it between the pads to cool them rapidly (increased medium to surface contact).
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:47 AM   #10
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Heat requires oxygen if the pads or shoes are in contact with the drum or rotors there is minimal O2 between them.
Fire requires oxygen. Heat does not.
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