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Old 10-25-2014, 07:09 PM   #1
Tinkerer and Putterer
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 309
Driving tricks for sustained inclines / mountains

I drive a class C with the Ford V10 and I've seen more than a few of my fellow gas hogs revving out their RVs in the slow lanes as I motor up a grade at 60 MPH. I thought I might share some insight I've learned driving grades and specifically, driving steep sustained grades in a V10 powered Class C brick.

The torque peak for a stock V10 hits at 3250 RPM and the horsepower peak hits at 4250 RPM. Normally, if you weren't driving an aerodynamic brick that's near its GVWR you would target the HP peak for passing and the torque peak for sustaining speed. It seems counter intuitive but exceeding 4250 RPM on the 2V V10 will actually cause you to lose speed even while you burn more fuel.

Because of the shape and weight of a C, I have found that attempting to accelerate is pointless. Instead, holding between 3000 and 3500 RPM is the best bet to hold your speed. I lose a few MPH on the steepest grades but I can generally hold 60 MPH if I can maintain 3500 RPM. If I lose speed due to a slower moving vehicle then it's gone. There just isn't enough power to accelerate the fully loaded brick up a mountain pass and even if there was it wouldn't be worth the cost in gas.

If you want to apply this to an A you will need to look for the dyno specs for the 3V V10 to find the torque and HP peaks.

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Old 10-25-2014, 09:22 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 415
I have seen similar performance from my 2006 Sunseeker.
I found that the engine is happiest between 2500 and that 3200/3500 RPM band. Just not worth beating the drive train to death and pouring fuel out of the tail pipe.

2006 Sunseeker 3100SS/LTD
2008 Smart Passion Cabriolet TOAD
1986 Honda Helix (Original owner)

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Old 10-26-2014, 06:58 AM   #3
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I found the dyno sheet for the 3V in the A. The torque peak is 3800 and the HP peak occurs at 4800.
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:11 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lindsay, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 75
I found similar results going up to Algonquin Prov Park last weekend. Also found it is better to drop out of cruise and maintain the 3200 to 3500 rpm as cruise will force you up over 4k
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Old 10-26-2014, 01:21 PM   #5
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Location: South Carolina
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I agree. We have a 3100 and tow a 4000 pound Pathfinder. The V-10 seems happy at 3500 on long grades. I've towed in 105 F heat with the A/C on going up a 7%+ grade for over 5 miles at 45 mph and 3500 rpm. The coolant gauge never moved. It had throttle left but more throttle would only increase the speed gradually. It may have held 50 mph or maybe more at full throttle but I had no reason to do it.
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:52 AM   #6
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Location: Hilliard, Florida
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I know a few fellow RVers who use cruise-control all the time. I can easily better the MPG by keeping it off. Especially in hilly terrain. I normally pull at 62 to 65 MPH, but will let the rig have its head and run up to 70 MPH (or a little more) going downhill at the bottom when facing an uphill grade. I only apply enough pedal at the start of the grade to produce 62 MPH at the top of the next hill. Obviously, sometimes I get it right and sometimes not. If I have to slow down for traffic, then the plan is shattered :-) My CTD makes max torque at 1600 RPM, but seems to love 2000/2200 RPM. It will maintain 65 MPH on any grade I have been on with it so far, but doing so could burn more fuel unnecessarily. The running start on the downhill works for me.

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