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 3/24/2009 11:57 AM
 

I am not really new to RV'ing, but I haven't done a lot of traveling with heavier TT's. I'm pulling aproximately 7000 lb. total trailer weight with at 1500 Suburban. I have had no trouble with this since right now I am staying close to home. I hope, in the near future to get a larger TV and will eventually want to go to the mountains. I don't think I would try it with the Suburban, but even if I have a 3/4 or one ton truck, it seems that you have a lot of weight pushing you down a mountain pass. I know you would descend in a lower gear, but still you would have to use those brakes a lot.

The question is, how well do TT brakes hold up when your coming down a long mountain pass?

Bill

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 3/24/2009 12:11 PM
 
 Modified By dutch  on 3/24/2009 12:02:25 PM

I'll jump in until someone who is currently towing something similar can reply.  I towed a trailer and a 5th wheel over quite a few roads, including mountain roads, before getting into motorhome travel.  Gearing down, taking it easy, and relaxing (avoid white-knuckle roads until you get confidence) worked for me.  It still does.  My current rig weighs about 25,500#.  I have brakes on my towed car but I have no exhaust brake on my present Ford chassis-motorhome.  Shift down before you start down.  Stab the brakes, then release--don't ride them.  The usual advice about "going down the hill in the gear in which you came up the hill" still works, although modern engines are often more efficient in climbing (more horsepower and torque) than in descending, as gravity/physics still pertains to descent no matter what engine you have.  Once you get the hang of it, you'll discover that mountain travel is not a huge problem for the proper rig.  Two other words of advice:

1) make sure that you are not overloaded--both tow vehicle and trailer.  Weigh your rig (truck scale) and know what the manufacturer's towing capacity is.  Do not exceed that.

2) get a Mountain Directory and read it for the areas where you plan to travel.  They are available in many camping stores such as Camping World, or via the Internet www.mountaindirectory.com/.  There are East Coast and West Coast editions and both are valuable companions for mountain travel.  

Hope this helps.


Dutch '07 Allegro Bay 34' '09 Honda Fit Sport Whatever hits the fan will not be distributed evenly
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 3/24/2009 4:10 PM
 

I go down the mountain in a gear that will slow me to a safe speed. If the speed gets higher than you deem safe, then sharply brake to a speed about 10mph lower than your maximum safe speed. Never ride or feather the brakes.

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 3/24/2009 8:57 PM
 

Right now, with that 1/2 ton Surburban, you don't have enough truck for the 7,000lbs you are towing. So, stay in the flat lands.

When you decide to go across country, and you tow your present trailer, you will need at least a 3/4 ton truck. If you up the size of the trailer you need to think 1 ton.

If it's mountains you will travel, you should consider getting an exhaust brake regardless of the size of the truck or trailer. I drove mountains out west for 3 yrs before adding an exhaust brake and still wish to god I had gotten it right away.

Approaching a mountain grade I always dropped my speed to 35-45mph as I approached the downgrade. I do not let the speed exceed 50mph on the way down.  This is for grades from 5 to 7% in decent. When the speed reaches 50-55mph, I hit the brakes hard until it drops back to 40-45 and then let it climb again and repeat as you descend. If you ride the brake, you will smoke em and crystalize the brake pad which renders them useless and will need to be changed asap.

 


Every Day is Saturday funner travelin, Ebs,Donna & Beezer the Beast & Buffy the Bitch
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 3/25/2009 9:13 AM
 

I agree with the above posts. I had a 3/4 ton suburban and towed a 7,000 pound pull trailer. It did well in the mountains, including the Rockies. Generally gas tow vehicles do not have exhaust brakes - those are for the diesel powered rigs. My two cents worth is to plan on matching the speed the trucks are driving. You will go up the hill fairly slowly with this load and you must go down the hill just as slowly. Some highway passes have signs that say trucks need to maintain some certain slow speed on the downhill. You should follow this too. You do not want the speed to get the best of you so that you cannot get slowed down. Use your gears - generally second gear and occasionally first gear to allow for the maximum engine braking and then stab the brakes as mentioned in an earlier post if the gearing will not hold the speed. Your brakes will be lighter duty on a quarter ton Suburban than on a 3/4 ton model so you may need to be especially careful. The trailer brakes will help slow you down but will not stop the combined rig on a downhill. You might want to check the owner's manual for your Suburban and see how much weight it is rated to tow. You might be over the limit at 7,000 pounds.


Doug Sage 2007 Itasca Suncruiser 38J Fulltiming it and loving it!
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 3/27/2009 11:06 PM
 

 

A few things that haven’t been said here that I feel are very important.
1) Most trailers come with brakes on only one axle, and I always pay extra to get brakes added to all the other axles. This can be done by any good RV repair shop or if you want to tackle it yourself kits are available. Most standard brake controllers will handle 2 axles but you might have to upgrade wiring and controller if you go to 3 axles. The more stopping rubber on the road the better of you are.
2) Half of your problem could end up being road conditions. On a wet road going down a steep grade could increase your gradual stopping distance 6 times because say you run upon a wreck or traffic backup.
3) Keep you distance and if traffic conditions do not allow slow way down.
4) When the road is wet, what is over that steep hill or sharp blind curve?

 


2003 Fleetwood Providence
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 3/28/2009 6:28 PM
 
 Modified By Chuck  on 3/28/2009 5:30:14 PM

Doug,

 I think that you typo'ed and wrote in " exhaust" instead of "engine" brake in your response. Most of my gas burning friends have exhaust brakes. The engine brakes are for the larger diesels- I'm sure you know that.

p.s. I have a case of the "fumble fingers", too

Chuck

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 4/2/2009 2:18 PM
 
I just bought a 2008 Dodge Meg Cab 3500 with a 6.7 Cummings it comes with a exhaust brake standard.You can buy it with a single or duel rear wheels. It comes with a 6 speed auto trans. with a tow mode. It has more power than you need. I love this truck and i ownd fords all my life.

Mike A._ Natick, Mass . 08 Dodge 3500 6.7. 08 Bighorn 5th. wheel
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 6/25/2014 1:53 AM
 

Let's just say this .... the dot scale cops have the right to stop and inspect commercial vehicles... so if your private party using your rig for private use they must by law have a thing called pc (probable cause) to pull you over ..... This means they must have knowledge that a crime has been committed..... If your running over legal weight limits or under they do not have the right to stop you and scale you just to see if your legal.... They do not have the right to detain you in any way unless you have committed a crime or infraction...... They do not have the right to scale you just to see if your legal or not......

My advice in these times of corrupt politicians and corrupt public servants always carry a fully charged and ready tape recorder and user it I don't care if your state has laws against such use .... What is legal is what is proven in court... These days many cops are liars too.... If it is illegal to record then if you do the recording is still evidence to be used in court they can charge you for your crime but who is to prove that you made that recording.....

Personally I am sick of cops doing as they are told by corrupt officials to collect revenue.... use of speed traps and construction signs where no construction is going on amongst many other violations of the publics rights and trust

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 8/9/2014 8:36 AM
 
NorCalPoly wrote:

Let's just say this .... the dot scale cops have the right to stop and inspect commercial vehicles... so if your private party using your rig for private use they must by law have a thing called pc (probable cause) to pull you over ..... This means they must have knowledge that a crime has been committed..... If your running over legal weight limits or under they do not have the right to stop you and scale you just to see if your legal.... They do not have the right to detain you in any way unless you have committed a crime or infraction...... They do not have the right to scale you just to see if your legal or not......

My advice in these times of corrupt politicians and corrupt public servants always carry a fully charged and ready tape recorder and user it I don't care if your state has laws against such use .... What is legal is what is proven in court... These days many cops are liars too.... If it is illegal to record then if you do the recording is still evidence to be used in court they can charge you for your crime but who is to prove that you made that recording.....

Personally I am sick of cops doing as they are told by corrupt officials to collect revenue.... use of speed traps and construction signs where no construction is going on amongst many other violations of the publics rights and trust

Most of what you stated is untrue. Probable cause can be something as simple as not having a rear view mirror or excessively low tire pressure etc...It's also NOT illegal to record an officer while in the performance of his/her job. They are servants of the taxpayer and work under color of authority. They are not offered or extended the protection of not being recorded while on duty. I know this because I'am a retired cop.

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