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Old 03-26-2016, 05:00 PM   #1
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Towing a TT through the Rockies

How worried/concerned should I be towing a 28' TT ( 5204lb UVW- 2422lb CCC) through the Rockies with my 2004 Nissan Titan (5.6L V8 w/ tow pkg, 14,600lb GCW)? I'm new at camping and just want to know what I might expect. I have just replaced the tires, brakes, flushed transmission, and the other little preventative maintenance to my Titan. Am I biting off more than I can chew?

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Old 03-26-2016, 05:09 PM   #2
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Saw a Titan a couple of years ago pulling up to Eisenhower Tunnel in Colorado.

I forget what the TT it was pulling but it seemed to be doing fine.

Just take your time going down and you will be fine, just remember there is no reward for the first one to make the top.

Drop a gear and slow down before you start to drop off.

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Old 03-26-2016, 05:16 PM   #3
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Pulling it up either side of Eisenhower won't be an issue. Your setup should be fine. The only caution would be your brakes going down the western side toward Silverthorne. There are only the runaway truck ramps but it is 3 lanes wide all the way down. As another mentioned, just stay right and take your time.
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Old 03-26-2016, 05:31 PM   #4
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I've towed the Rockies and Cascades on the west coast several times with my Tundra 5.7. I have pulled I70 from Denver to Utah without issue tho construction and rock slides can be an issue. My 5er GVWR is 9300lbs, have weighed it as heavy as 8960lbs trip ready. No trouble climbing and maintaining speed and no trouble descending. I use the gears downshifting into 2nd at times with occasional brake tapping to keep the RPM,s <3500. I don't think you would have any problems with the Titan.
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Old 03-26-2016, 07:06 PM   #5
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Everytime I drive down Pikes Peak, I pass the hot brake inspection point and get to go thru while everyone else has to wait 30 minutes for their rotors to cool down.

My secret(s) are also followed when I tow in the Rockies:

Downshift 2-3 gears to maximize engine braking

If you have 4x4, engage it (full time only) Extra drag from 2 additional wheels and another differential spinning is good

Air Conditioning ON regardless of how cool it is outside. The a/c compressor puts about 10 HP of drag on the engine when operating and helps prevent the vehicle from speeding up.

All electrical on: Lights, heated seats, rear defrosters, fans, etc... Electrical load adds drag to engine.

Doing this, I don't have any problem towing down steep hills. DO NOT ride your brakes or you can overheat them. Let the vehicle creep up to a max speed you are comfortable with then engage brakes to about 10 mph slower, let go of brakes and repeat. This gives brakes a chance to cool while vehicle picks up speed again. My tips above will reduce how much and how fast the vehicle/trailer combo picks up speed.
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Old 03-27-2016, 11:16 AM   #6
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Personally I wouldn't want to do that with less than a heavy duty powered by diesel but I'd bet you could make it. I suspect that when it's over you'll want that 800 pound-foot of torque too.
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Old 03-27-2016, 01:16 PM   #7
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Just pulled our 35 5th wheel though the andriondacks with our f250 ... slow, easy constant pressure on the breaks ... off and on will heat up brakes faster ... constant light pressure -> learned that through a friend who is a long haul "oversized" load truck driver
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Old 03-27-2016, 02:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by myezlife View Post
How worried/concerned should I be towing a 28' TT ( 5204lb UVW- 2422lb CCC) through the Rockies with my 2004 Nissan Titan (5.6L V8 w/ tow pkg, 14,600lb GCW)? I'm new at camping and just want to know what I might expect. I have just replaced the tires, brakes, flushed transmission, and the other little preventative maintenance to my Titan. Am I biting off more than I can chew?
I have towed 4 different TT's all over the Rockies including up and down I-70/ Eisenhower. Latest truck WAS 2005 Chev. Silverado with the 6.0 ltr. I am a big fan of bigger is better. However, the newer trucks seem to do fine. As mentioned easy does it coming down any mountain. Make sure your trailer brakes are functioning properly. Stay right as much as possible, use that center lane on I-70. One thing you will notice is the lanes have grooves from all the 18 wheelers. So you can get in those ruts and it can feel kind of creepy.
Interesting side story: One day Mrs. Ornery and I were headed down the West side of Eisenhower. An SUV ahead of us lost a suit case off the roof and they didn't notice! I had to make a QUICK lane change to avoid hitting it! I caught up with said SUV and managed to get the passenger to roll down her window. And was able to yell at her they lost a suit case! Try doing that at 60 MPH while towing a 24ft TT. .
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Old 03-27-2016, 02:32 PM   #9
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This is a topic i have spent considerable research on basically due to anxiety (fear). I have a Tundra 5.7 4x4 with the Tow / Haul package and i pull a Rockwood TT 2608ws which is about 30 ft / 7000#. I have traveled through the Rockies 2x and learned a lot particularly from this forum which i appreciate. I have the Prodigy brake controlled installed in the Tundra which i think is essential if you're traversing serious mountains. One tip is to pick up a copy of the Mountain Directory for Truckers, RV, and Motor homes. There's a West and East coast editions, 16.95 on Amazon. I have found these invaluable for planning and choosing routes as well as knowing what's ahead. Sometimes i'll only do 1 or 2 long steep grades in a day. Going up is never a problem, its always going down is where you can get into trouble. As said before just go slow, up and down. As i said i have a Tow / Haul mode but i manually use my gears, usually 2nd or 3rd and sometimes 1st with long runs down. Like someone said, never ride your brakes or they might become "glazed" and then you'll have no brakes at all. Occasionally tap the brakes and pull over for them to cool if you have to tap them a lot. i have a cheap Harbor Freight heat gun to measure the heat off each wheel if there is a concern. One thing i've heard since my last trip is i could use the brake controller override lever to engage to trailer brakes to slow down on long grades instead of using the truck brakes. I'll try this this summer when i'm out in Colorado. If anyone has any experience here i would like to hear how that works. Certainly the way to go is a diesel exhaust / engine brake which will be mandatory when i purchase a GMC DuraMax / Allison before my 2017 trip to Alaska. I think you're Titan will be fine if you do the research, prepare and use your head. Take your time, have short days when in the mountains, and be safe.
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Old 03-27-2016, 02:39 PM   #10
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When going through the rockies I always drop in behind the big rigs and follow them up. I have the power to pass but why put the extra strain on the TV. Have seen my speed down to 25 mph at top. Then I just let the big boys go down at the speed they want while I keep mine at 45 to 50 mph going back up to 60 at the bottom.

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