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Old 08-11-2011, 08:56 PM   #1
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Note to Self.

Note to self, if you go to Cherokee NC do not get on the Blue Ridge Parkway, do not believe the Garmin or Mapquest, this is the one time it is ok to argue with GPS Jane. We were on it for a short stretch and destroyed the brakes on the truck. We have an F250 and $1300 later we have lovely new brakes, rotors, calipers, shoes and all new brake fluid (Happy Anniversary Darling). How exciting! Needless to say the last 30 minutes of that trip were pretty intense! We stayed at the KOA Cherokee (lovely campground) for 3 nights while Andy Shaw Ford in Sylva NC worked on the brakes, great job by the way. Highly recommend this dealership for their service and the campground was fantastic to be "stranded" at, super amenities and lovely staff and shuttle buses in to town and local attractions. Moving on now to Gettysburg PA.
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:54 PM   #2
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We hope to drive the Natchez Trace and Blue Ridge Parkways some day. We almost went this past spring. Maybe next year. We'll have a talk with our brakes and iterate to them that they will behave. If not, we now know a great place to camp
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:13 AM   #3
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First thing I did when I got my truck was upgrade the brakes. Drilled and slotted rotors all around and more aggressive pads.

Remember your transmission can, and should, be used to slow you down. Down shift it.. and let engine braking slow you... YES I tow in the mountains every year...
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:55 AM   #4
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We have the 'tow haul' on our 1/2 ton that works great on 7% grades, so I'm pretty confident our brakes will perform when needed also
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by tstark View Post
Note to self, if you go to Cherokee NC do not get on the Blue Ridge Parkway, do not believe the Garmin or Mapquest, this is the one time it is ok to argue with GPS Jane. We were on it for a short stretch and destroyed the brakes on the truck. We have an F250 and $1300 later we have lovely new brakes, rotors, calipers, shoes and all new brake fluid (Happy Anniversary Darling). How exciting! Needless to say the last 30 minutes of that trip were pretty intense! We stayed at the KOA Cherokee (lovely campground) for 3 nights while Andy Shaw Ford in Sylva NC worked on the brakes, great job by the way. Highly recommend this dealership for their service and the campground was fantastic to be "stranded" at, super amenities and lovely staff and shuttle buses in to town and local attractions. Moving on now to Gettysburg PA.
What happened? Was the grade too steep for the brakes in that particular location? I ask because I may want to try the Parkway sometime with my TT. Been there without one a long time ago.
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Old 08-14-2011, 03:26 PM   #6
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We thought ours were good to go too! We also have the tow haul package, but it was the increased trailer brakes and the parking brake that got us around those last few curves. It's all good now, Gettysburg is fabulous, nice KOA campground, definitely off the beaten path, lovely wooded sites all gravel and mostly level, yippee!
Crabman, we're not really sure, GPS Jane had us come in on 19 which is a little bit of the Blue Ridge Parkway and although it is a beautiful drive it is very curvy and there were 7% grades in there. By the time we got to an intersection that brought us to where we ought to have come in the brakes were literally smoking and dripping brake fluid. When we got to the campground we heard "Oh my! You came in THAT way? You should have come in on 74!" Needless to say when we left there we went out on 74 to 81 and on up to Natural Bridge VA and we are now in Gettysburg PA and finally relaxing a bit.
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:10 PM   #7
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Yeah those GPS cannot always be trusted! Learned that myself the hard way.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:05 AM   #8
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I am sorry I dont want to be disrespectful here but what ever happened to common sense? I use my gps all the time but the night before I check the route on a map... and not always use the gps recommended routing.
When you do find your brakes overheating why did you not stop and let them cool off? No arrival time is worth your families life.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:26 PM   #9
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I can't speak for the non Duramax/Allison trucks, but when I'm descending grades (or even when approaching a red light, stop sign, etc.) I downshift the Allison manually because I find that when I let the transmission do the downshifting on its own, it occurs much too late to suit my likings.

'Ya gotta be "pro active" in these situations. Last weekend I descended Chestnut Ridge- an elevation of around 2,500 feet with a 3+ mile descent that has up to a 10% grade on US-40 near Uniontown, PA. All trucks over 10,000 pounds are are required to stop at the top and then descend at 10 mph. (although, most trucks go faster). There is a runaway truck ramp about half way down for any vehicle that loses its brakes.

Although individually, my truck and trailer are under the 10,000 pound limit, combined, I'm over- somewhere between 13,000 and 14,000 pounds. Therefore, I followed the truck weight limit and obeyed the truck signage while descending this grade with my trailer.

I made the descent in second gear. I probably would have had to apply my brakes half as often if I didn't have a slower descending truck in front of me. I didn't notice any smoke or smell anything burning when I got to the bottom.

For those who would like to see the descent from Chestnut Ridge (in a car), here's a link to a You Tube video of it. Notice the slow moving trucks with their four-way flashers on and the runaway truck ramp.

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Old 03-16-2012, 08:03 AM   #10
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We hope to drive the Natchez Trace and Blue Ridge Parkways some day. We almost went this past spring. Maybe next year. We'll have a talk with our brakes and iterate to them that they will behave. If not, we now know a great place to camp
The Natchez Trace is great. It's perfect for cruising along at 50 mph and it feels like you have the whole place to yourself. I believe it's like 444 miles from Natchez to Nashville. There are a lot of cool things to stop and see along the way and when I was there last, free camping too. We were in tents so I don't know about hook-ups.

http://www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm
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