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Old 07-02-2015, 05:43 PM   #1
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Have a friend with a 2008 Thor 30 foot motorhome who tows an older Jeep Wrangler that just had a frightening experience. While he was coming down a long 7% grade his brakes failed him (that spongy feel)!and he barely managed to get it stopped and over to the side of the road where he uncoupled and let his brakes cool before moving on. He said since it was a gradual grade he didn't think of putting it in low and was only doing 55-57 mph without thinking the jeep was an additional 3300 lbs pushing behind him. I am just curious if anyone has had a similar experience with an FR3. Seems to me as long as we take it in low gear down hill not over 40 while towing we should be fine. Haven't done that yet. Any comments?

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Old 07-02-2015, 05:51 PM   #2
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I only tow a small car, but I always use the "tow haul" mode and find it absolutely invaluable on downgrades. I use it in conjunction with the speed control at 55 and have never had a brake overheat/loss issue.

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Old 07-02-2015, 08:53 PM   #3
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Does your friend have a supplemental brake system on the Jeep? If not, he should.

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Old 07-02-2015, 09:09 PM   #4
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I use the 'tow haul' on down grades with ot without a tow vehicle....much better to use the engine transmission to hold the vehicle than the breaks.

For those that dont know you press relese and press release the break pedal when ypu press the tow haul button. The engine transmission will lower the gears and hold thr vehicles speed...most moutains i can just not press anything once i tap breaks.

Been over the Rockies and all over the Smokies.....rv, rv+trailer with suv on it and now rv+dolley+mini (which is pretty much the same as RV). Works wonders.
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:53 PM   #5
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From my trucking rules, Never go down a hill any faster that you went up.

Yes, With all that weight, the MH and TOAD will pick up speed. On the steep downhills, I drop the tranny down a gear or two and try and let the engine do the braking.
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:59 PM   #6
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Forgot to mention, I use an "Invisibrake" on the toad which does an awesome job.
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Old 07-03-2015, 01:39 AM   #7
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Don't ride your brakes while going down hill. I see that a lot, people's brake lights come on and stay on because they are riding the brakes to control down hill speeds.
Use a lower gear, and don't let your speed get above 50mph (this depends on the road conditions) but once you hit that speed of say 50, jump on your brakes hard and slow your rig at least 15mph as fast as you can (again depending on road conditions) then get off your brakes. Ok so you have just slowed from 50 down to 35. The time it takes your rig to get back up to 50, using lower gears, gives your brakes time to cool off. Let your nose tell you the story when it comes to brakes. You can smell others brakes that are around you on the road. Never use your brakes for long periods of time, control your brake temperatures and you will make it down any grade safely.

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Old 07-03-2015, 03:17 AM   #8
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With time, brake fluid absorbs water. That lowers the boiling point of the fluid/water mix. For HD towing, a full fluid change every two or three years is good insurance.

Link to info:
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Old 07-05-2015, 06:50 PM   #9
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Again..just press the Tow Haul button.
The cpu running the transmission will help you greatly.

Press and release the brake twice with this setting on and the transmission will hold your speed down the hill. Press and release it again it will slow the vehicle down the hill.

Most mountains i dont even touch my brakes other then to engage the speed hold by the transmission. And this is while towing.

It is not a simple OD disengage or change to the shift will take care of almost all need to touch the breaks goimg down almost any mountsin matter the length. Good stuff....never had to drop a gear or ride brakes.

The owners manual for the F53 explains it.

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