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Old 02-26-2019, 11:18 PM   #1
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Exhaust Brake Experiences?

So Iím thinking and that usually gets me in trouble.

So letís say, (1) for instance, you are going down a mountain and loaded up. Say you are coming down from the Eisenhower Tunnel.

And (2) it comes up a big rain storm. So, Iíve been thinking you wouldnít want the exhaust brake engaged in that case, is that true?

What about putting it in 4 wheel drive and using the exhaust brake? Would that prevent like the rear wheel from locking up?

In other words whatís the best way to tow down a mountain in a rain storm?

Thanks for any replyís!
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:55 PM   #2
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I would use 4 Hi and exhaust brake but it is possible for the trailer to keep pushing so service braking would have to be used as well. Depending on speed and how fast you are going. I would manually downshift to a maximum gear to hold speed as well. I went down a 15 percent grade that was wet last summer and use hill descent as well. Covered the trailer brakes with my right hand too.

I used 4 by 4 and exhaust brake and tow/haul on ice. Works like a charm when not towing too.
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:22 AM   #3
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I have come down from the Eisenhower tunnel in a rain storm several times. The big key is to slow down, have good tires, and do not brake hard if possible. The exhaust brake is great, and make sure your at the speed you want before going downhill. Also make sure the trailer brakes are set right.

I see no reason to be in 4 wheel drive, unless you have all wheel drive. You can cause unnecessary wear, and possible damage, with minimal, if any gain (disregarding snow...etc).
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:24 AM   #4
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With the 2013.5 Ram, 6.7L Cummins engine they have a two stage exhaust brake. When set in the first stage ( if I remember correctly) and in T/H mode with cruise control set the truck will maintain the set speed down hill. Now when the second stage is more aggressive and will definitely stop you.

I have traveled I70 up and through the Eisenhower Tunnel with my truck in 5 gear and in T/H mode with my exhaust brake on. This did very will in maintain the speed limit for me going down hill. I have a 2008, 6.7L Cummins and this has the original exhaust braking system. I use this combination all of the time in mountains would not pull a trailer without an exhaust brake system.
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Old 02-27-2019, 11:10 AM   #5
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Just remember that the EB is a supplement to the braking system, not a replacement. I cant fathom needing 4x4 on wet roads when using the exhaust brake, just use common sense. I typically disengage on snowy/icy roads however. Otherwise mine is on all times the truck is moving.
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:04 PM   #6
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With the 2013.5 Ram, 6.7L Cummins engine they have a two stage exhaust brake. When set in the first stage ( if I remember correctly) and in T/H mode with cruise control set the truck will maintain the set speed down hill. Now when the second stage is more aggressive and will definitely stop you.
Correct, but opposite. Full exhaust brake with the first push.

As for the OP's concern, it's valid but I would not personally be concerned with using the exhaust brake in the rain. Hard packed snow and ice I probably wouldn't use it on the highway but I do use it sometimes in town in the winter, mostly just to keep the VGT moving.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:33 PM   #7
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Hey everyone appreciate the responses. I was worried in rain that the exhaust brake could lock the rear tire since traction is reduced. Iíll try it without 4WD and see if I notice anything. Iíve been told over my life that one can use 4wd on wet roads in rain and not hurt the system. I get you never want it activated on dry pavement. I had a 2500 Suburban damaged by a precious owener and I had to replace front diff on that truck. $$$$.

The first Ram I had was a 2008 MegaCab. Freakin miss that truck. It seemed like that truck had a stronger exhaust brake when not towing.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:36 PM   #8
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Hey everyone appreciate the responses. I was worried in rain that the exhaust brake could lock the rear tire since traction is reduced. Iíll try it without 4WD and see if I notice anything. Iíve been told over my life that one can use 4wd on wet roads in rain and not hurt the system. I get you never want it activated on dry pavement. I had a 2500 Suburban damaged by a precious owener and I had to replace front diff on that truck. $$$$.

The first Ram I had was a 2008 MegaCab. Freakin miss that truck. It seemed like that truck had a stronger exhaust brake when not towing.
I don't see anywhere what truck you drive. A few guys with 2018s have mentioned the exhaust brake/trans programming seems much improved.
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:56 PM   #9
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Yeah I have a new 2018 Ram CC SWB SB HO BigHorn with the B&W companion hitch and a new 2019.5 Cedar Creek 34IK. Looking at adding airlift 5000 and aux fuel tank.
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:02 PM   #10
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Technically I have been told and read (looking at big trucks AKA fire trucks) the EB is NOT recommended in wet weather or snow / ice. That being said, I have used the EB while towing in moderate to heavy rain without issues. But as said, you need to slow down.
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:15 PM   #11
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My Ď16 RAM 3500 manual:

WARNING!
Do not use the exhaust brake feature when driving in icy or slippery conditions as the increased engine braking can cause the rear wheels to slide and the vehicle to swing around with the possible loss of vehicle control, which may cause an accident possi- bly resulting in personal injury or death.
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:25 PM   #12
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Yes I believe youíd have to be in 4WD to make the truck more stable but I do appreciate all the responses. Itís good to think about this topic!
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:00 AM   #13
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My Ď16 RAM 3500 manual:

WARNING!
Do not use the exhaust brake feature when driving in icy or slippery conditions as the increased engine braking can cause the rear wheels to slide and the vehicle to swing around with the possible loss of vehicle control, which may cause an accident possi- bly resulting in personal injury or death.

Yes; my 2008 has the same lawyer speak in my Diesel Supplemental book too. I have never had any issue with rain when using the EH brake but I will not use the EH brake on ice covered roads. This turned off every time I encounter ice covered roads when driving.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:11 AM   #14
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If I'm towing my toy hauler, my exhaust brake is on. I would think you could get into a slide more easily trying to bring your rig to a stop with just the brakes, then easing down the hill with the exhaust brake on. That's just my simple way of thinking though.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:24 AM   #15
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Technically I have been told and read (looking at big trucks AKA fire trucks) the EB is NOT recommended in wet weather or snow / ice. That being said, I have used the EB while towing in moderate to heavy rain without issues. But as said, you need to slow down.
I think thats when running empty. Empty or hitched in the snow is definitely a no go.
Hitched up with 2000-3000 lb over the rear axles I would find it hard to believe that you could skid the rear tires with just the EB.
I towed for 6 season with a 12 Ram CTD in sunshine and pouring rain and never had any issues. Never had any issues in the rain when unhitched either.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:46 AM   #16
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Sometimes I've wished I had the exhaust brake...

But 20 years towing through the Rocky Mountains with gassers without exhaust brakes...

You can come down Wolf Creek Pass without them.


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Old 02-28-2019, 11:52 AM   #17
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Number 1 if itís snowing and me pulling the camper Iím looking for a place to pull off. When pulling the camper the headlights are on, the exhaust brake is on, the tow/haul is on, the cruise is on.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:58 AM   #18
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Interesting thread

I rarely use EB unless on a steep down grade and dry. Typically I stay in Tow Haul, and manually bump the trailer brakes if needed. The down shift is all I need, but it may depend on just how much you have pushing you.

The main thing is to start down the hill at a comfortable speed and not let it get out of control.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:38 PM   #19
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Number 1 if itís snowing and me pulling the camper Iím looking for a place to pull off. When pulling the camper the headlights are on, the exhaust brake is on, the tow/haul is on, the cruise is on.
surely your not using the cruise going down steep grades or in snow , or even heavy rain ?
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:43 PM   #20
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So I’m thinking and that usually gets me in trouble.

So let’s say, (1) for instance, you are going down a mountain and loaded up. Say you are coming down from the Eisenhower Tunnel.

And (2) it comes up a big rain storm. So, I’ve been thinking you wouldn’t want the exhaust brake engaged in that case, is that true?

What about putting it in 4 wheel drive and using the exhaust brake? Would that prevent like the rear wheel from locking up?

In other words what’s the best way to tow down a mountain in a rain storm?

Thanks for any reply’s!
I would not use 4 wheel drive . unless in snow or ice and then it won't help you coming down a grade are help you stop . 4 wheel drive works great at getting you going in bad conditions but stopping it really does nothing . use you exhaust break in the rain not an issue coming down grades . if it's a torrential down poor then just pull over till it passes . IN other words the best way to tow down a mountain in a rain storm is slowly
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