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Old 05-16-2016, 11:53 AM   #1
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Ascending and descending Mountains terrain w/E-450

Having never tackled a mountain road (up or down) in our motorhome, I'm kind of curious as to what procedure is used by those with the experience.

What do you do descending a serious grade in you coach with the E-450 ...???


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Old 05-16-2016, 12:23 PM   #2
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The driver's tips I've received over the years suggest downshifting when descending a steep grade to avoid overheating the brakes.


Modern automatic transmissions should be able to cope with the power needs of climbing steep hills. But sometimes you have to lock-out overdrive or move transmission a notch down from drive to keep it in a lower gear instead of constantly hunting between the engine lugging and screaming.


Unfortunately, I prefer manual transmissions. Especially when running near limits. Using all the engine-braking available or staying in the most useful gear become easy when you have full control.
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:24 PM   #3
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Push the tow/haul button on your shifter. It will change the drive pattern on your rig to hold gear longer going uphill (and scream at you but the V10 needs to spin to make its torque - don't worry about it) and downshift automatically every time you hit the brake going downhill (or really any time you hit the break - to a point).

Use the button - that's why you have it.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:38 PM   #4
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Concur, I went up and down some very steep grades this past weekend and the tow/haul mode works like a charm.
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:07 PM   #5
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Heading out west in a month, thanks for the info about the tow/haul button.
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:40 AM   #6
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Confirmed - Tow/haul button is the thing to do. Used it from FL to Alaska, no issues at all....
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:39 PM   #7
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Should have a Ford owners manual in glove box. It explains on how and when to use the tow haul and a bunch of other good information.
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:53 PM   #8
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On the 2016 with the 6 speed transmission, it's very easy! Just set the cruise control for the desired downhill speed, and the computer controlled transmission does all the rest. It's really great. It feels weird at first to let the cruise control handle the downhill speed, but it works as designed.

In the older units you had to use the tow/haul button, and even downshift manually, but not anymore.
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:40 PM   #9
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The general rule of thumb is that which ever gear it takes to get up the hill should be the same gear used to get down the hill.
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