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Old 12-20-2011, 10:15 PM   #1
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Thumbs down mountain roads

We just bought a georgetown 350 and we never own a motorhome before and was wondering if the motorhome is a 5 speed automatic transmission how to descend a mountain road. I have read all kinds of infofmation but most of it is on a diesel motorhome. Also what is the tow/haul mode. Never knew one existed before. Any help would be very helpful. Thank you.
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:19 PM   #2
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Remember, go down no faster than you went up.
What chassis do you have? Ford, GM? It makes a difference as to what engine/transmission package you have as to how you go up/down mountains. Also, what do you consider mountains? Appalachia or Rockies?
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:45 PM   #3
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Truckers rule of thumb, whatever fear it takes to go up, use the same gear coming down.

As for me, while towing, or heavy load, I watch the speed limit. I want to be 10 under, let it climb to the limit, then get the brakes, and get to 10 under. Let off the brakes and let it climb, then on the brakes. As long as you off the brakes as long as you on them, you will be fine. If you are on the brakes longer, then drop a gear. Also on some engines, have to watch the revs. Works for me, your mileage may vary.

Let me clarify. Some mountain roads I tow in are unmarked, so speed limit 55 mph. I ride a motorcycle that won't do 55 on some of them. Find a target MAX speed, and when you get there, get the brakes and drop 10 or more mph, then let off the brakes until target speed reaches again, the brake, then off, and so on. The idea is to give the brakes a chance to cool some. Hope this makes sense, getting late.
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:59 PM   #4
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We did a trip through the Canadian Rockies in our 350 last summer. At first I depended on the engine braking available when using the Tow/Haul mode along with regular braking to check my speed. It works reasonably well on moderate grades. Then one time after descending a 6% grade 2 miles long using this method we pulled into our destination. The 22.5" diameter aluminum wheels were almost too hot to touch. Wow, I could hardly believe it. At that rate I would need a new set of brakes before we finished the trip.

Then I started experimenting with downshifting. There is a long steep grade on the Icefields Parkway that was so steep that I descended the last part in 1st gear and I hardly used the brakes at all. This grade was probably over 5 miles long and parts of the grade are over 8%. After that experience I downshift on all hills and I hardly touch my brakes on even the worst grades.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:45 AM   #5
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I think takes some self control

Quote:
Originally Posted by donn View Post
Remember, go down no faster than you went up.
yes and as already stated
down in the same gear we went up in
this sounds so very easy
but
we all know that it is not
and I think takes some self control

when coming down hill
it is very easy to go a gear higher
and just float down the mountain
and yes that also saves on gas
but
we can get going pretty fast before we realize it
possibly even out of control
so let's stay geared down and slow

Mountainman
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:15 AM   #6
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Use the speed limit signs for truckers if they are present. Typically Ill downshift the tranny well ahead of when tow haul would just to keep speed in check. I use 3rd for grades less than 6% and 2nd for more than 6%. Stab the breaks occasionally if speed builds to much and don't ride them. Go slow and enjoy the scenery.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:53 PM   #7
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We have a v10 and a ford transmission on our 350. The mountains I was talking about now are the Appalacians, from pa to Florida. Thanks for all the respones will try it when we take our trip. Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronhanson View Post
Use the speed limit signs for truckers if they are present. Typically Ill downshift the tranny well ahead of when tow haul would just to keep speed in check. I use 3rd for grades less than 6% and 2nd for more than 6%. Stab the breaks occasionally if speed builds to much and don't ride them. Go slow and enjoy the scenery.
Same here!
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