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Old 06-29-2013, 02:52 PM   #1
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Help with hwy selection Trans Canada or Coquihalla?

Hey Gang,

I'm headed up past Kamloops B.C. from Vancouver and looking for some advice on the hwys. I've looked at both Trans Canada and Coquihalla maps to see the elevations, distance and estimated times. I have driven both before without a trailer...mostly the Coq. My concern is travelling the Coq between Hope and the old toll booths. Here is what I have. 2005 Durango 4.7 L Magnum AWD oil cooler, tranny cooler. 2008 Jayco 197 with surge brakes...WDH but no sway control. Until I get rid of the surge brakes ( my plan ) or I pick up a WDH with sway control that works with surge brakes I'm SOL for the moment for sway. I've already been on quite a few trips with the trailer and have had no sway issues. I'm well under weight with the trailer, and I'm going to fill up my propane and water when I get to my destination. I have completely empty tanks ( except for a gallon in each black and grey tanks ), and empty hot water tank. I'm trying to make the trailer as light as possible before the trip. I'm hoping some of you have had experience on both routes with a TT, 5th wheel, or PU. Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-29-2013, 04:07 PM   #2
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Hey, we did the Coquihalla last summer pulling just a big tent trailer, and found it to be a tough pull. It's the constant climb without level parts to cool down that is the killer. We ended up cracking an exhaust manifold on that trip, my guess is due to it being nearly full revs for hours at a time!! We are heading east again this summer, now with a full-on TT, so we will not be taking the Coq this time...
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:06 AM   #3
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Its a tough pull taking the Coq. But that hasn't stopped me from pulling our 30 ft. trailer up to Vernon on several occasions.
We bought our trailer in Winfield so taking the Coq was the easiest route. The tranny sat at about 220 degrees during the climb coming from Kamloops going south and once again coming out of Merritt going south as well. It didn't stay long at these temps but that is what you could be looking at coming home again. I have a large tranny cooler and oil cooler as well.
If your tow vehicle can take these kind of temps give it a go. Otherwise take the No. 1. There is not as much traffic on these roads as there use to be since they built the Coq. As you probably know, there are no toll charges at the toll booth anymore. If you stop after a hard pull don't shut off your motor. I'm sure your aware of this. Safe travels
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:20 PM   #4
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That's asking a lot from a 4.7. I have a 2002 Dodge 1500 with a 360 cu. in. and, although the truck has lots of poop, it still knows the trailer is behind. I had a 2008 197 and now have a 2012 197. I pull the trailer mostly with a 1997 GMC 1500 4x4 Suburban. It is definitely not overpowered!

It probably doesn't need to be said, but here goes anyway. Make sure your rads are squeaky clean, throw those aftermarket grill covers in the garbage. I lost a perfectly good transmission in the Sub, replaced it, then promptly lost the second one. Crap from the transmission failing the first time got bunged up in the rad trans cooler and caused overheating. So I had to put a new rad in as well. The fellow who installed the second trans (on warranty from another outfit) told me that the trans oil goes through the rad trans cooler first, then the external one, then on back to the tranny. He said that, over the years, the rad cooler will get bunged up and restrict the flow of oil and cause overheating under hard pull situations. A $3500 lesson learned! He's the one who said, in rather clear terms, to throw the grille covers in the garbage.

Good luck, whichever route you decide. I have driven both many times, but not pulling anything. I like the old TransCanada, as there are more things to see.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input everyone. You all helped me make the decision. I'm headed hwy 1. Leaving in morning.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3firetrucks View Post
Thanks for the input everyone. You all helped me make the decision. I'm headed hwy 1. Leaving in morning.
I plan on using the TCH on my way to/from Oregon in a couple weeks myself. The Coq is just too much a climb for me.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:23 AM   #7
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Been up the Coq many times with my old Grand Cherokee 4.0 and old TT. It's a long climb to the former toll booths but the only part that's really brutal is by the snow shed just before the summit. Check out all the burned pavement patches from trucks that have overheated and burned up.

The number one lacks the big grades but is longer and has a lot of truck traffic. If you can do the Coq it's better.

IMHO the worst Coq climb is out of Kelowna heading to Merritt. Very steep and it never seems to end.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:57 AM   #8
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Paulx213, I agree with you that is one long and hard pull from Kelowna to Merritt. The Connector is notorious for being thick with fog. You can also climb out of weather into sunshine on the same road. I know people who refuse to travel it.
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:41 PM   #9
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Just got back...hwy 1 was a breeze! Took hwy 1 North and came back the coq ( Yellow Head 5 ). Hard climbs out of Kamloops and Merrit, but I just took it easy keeping the rpms low. The most stressful part was the wind coming south. The wind was so hard all the way from 5km north of Merrit all the way to Hope...even past hope to almost Chiliwack. That wind was relentless. It was driving me crazy! Had a buddy behind me towing his Jayco exp with a 6 cylinder trail blazer. He made the trip with no problems, but it was more of a struggle for him. The best part was the camping! Had a great time at Shuswap Prov park!
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:00 AM   #10
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New vehicle for coq

I haven't bothered traveling east with
My TT since my last post here. Last year I started having overheating issues with my Durango. Overheated on Coquihalla a couple of times without a trailer. TurNed on the interior heat to cool the engine just to get to my destination. Garage couldn't find any issues and it had no overheating problems just driving around the lower mainland. So I just caved and purchased a new ride. I will be coming up the Coquihalla in August. I can't wait to tow with ease!
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