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Old 01-05-2019, 01:28 PM   #21
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Engine braking = maintaining a safe speed.
Service brakes = stopping the unit. or slowing down a bit to help maintain safe speed.

Also engine braking only has some much power to retard or slow you down, it is much less then the power to go, so you maintain traction.

My pickup has an exhaust brake, I can usually maintain or shave a few mph off my speed going down a hill - pass and never use the service brakes... If I didn't use engine braking I would be on my 5th+ set of brakes I'm sure
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Old 01-05-2019, 01:46 PM   #22
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re: Tow Brake

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When driving down a steep slope from Colorado peaks, I've always been advised to use engine brake, and not using the tow vehicle and RV brake to prevent burn out.

However, my thinking is, by not using the RV brake means that the weight of the trailer is pushes down the back of the vehicle at full force.



Coming down from leadville towards Denver, there are many steep down hill and sharp turns at the same time.



My concern is the weight of the RV will push the back of the towing vehicle hard enough causing the rear tire to loose the grip on the road surface.



What is the best practice ?
Just a week ago, was reading a post from a young couple that lost their engine, lost their (1980s?) MH Brakes and had to stop using the trailer brakes; they were LUCKY they lived thru the event. Use the engine/ TOW function as much as you can, so that should you need a short tap of pedal, it will not fail you. One mistake can be fatal. If you ride the pedal, it will not be long before they GLOW/ FAIL
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Old 01-05-2019, 01:52 PM   #23
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Most important is reduce your speed; go down the grade only as fast as you can go up the grade.
Downshift; with my 3500 Duramax dually I generally descend in 3rd gear at 40 - 55 mpg for steep descents, & slower for really steep grades.
If you have it, tow/haul mode with engine brake.
Use brakes when needed to control your descent. If you have to continuously use the brakes you are going too fast, & run the risk of brake failure.
Use your emergency flashers when going slow.

Jim
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:49 PM   #24
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I used to tow the below trailer with my 2008 CrewMax Tundra. It had a tow rating of 10,400 LBS with 1,385 LBS cargo capacity. The below trailer maxes out at 8,150 LBS, so I should just be fine, right? NOT! One trip through Salt River Canyon in Az and I quickly realized the limits of a heavy duty 1/2 ton truck.

Ended up getting a 2018 RAM 3/4 ton 4x4 with the 6.7 Cummins turbo diesel. The diesel breaking is awesome and the overall package handles my trailer much better. This June, Salt River Canyon will be a much better experience.

The Jayco 26’ you are towing with the Jeep maxes out at 7,000 LBS which is a lot for a Jeep in steep upgrades and downgrades, just my opinion.
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Old 01-05-2019, 10:59 PM   #25
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Ditch the Jeep. That's the first advice. Jeep is a great tent trailer, utility trailer, small boat. Jeeps are great vehicles, amazing off roaders. But not built for travel trailers. If you plan to tow 7000k # you need something at least half ton rated. I would highly recommend you rethink you tow vehicle. Now as for down hill driving. I have 13 years of truck driving experience in the west. I can tell you if you run down a hill with your brakes applied for 30 seconds you will burn you #rap up before you get to the bottom of the mountains. Rules a 8 seconds on at least 10 to 16 seconds off (for cooling) if you need the brakes more then that your are overloaded for your vehicle or your in the wrong gear. Also NEVER use just your trailer brakes alone. That is about the dumbest thing any "X trucker" will tell you. I have been an owner operator before and some of the old guys would use this tactic of just trailer brakes for no other reason then to save the truck brakes and use the companies trailer brakes instead. If your trailer tries to pass you there are only 2 ways out of that. Accelerate out of it. Or get off the brakes until you get traction then use controlled braking to slow gradually. (Then change your shorts at the bottom of the mountain) 80% of you will crash if you loose traction on a down hill decent. I have and pulled out of it on more then one occasion. In ice and dry conditions. Believe me it's not fun but fully avoidable. Pick the right gear at the top and if it slows others down too oh well they will get to live and so will you. The idea is to get there not necessarily fast but get there. Be safe and dont try things outside your vehicles abilities or your abilities.
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Old 01-05-2019, 11:56 PM   #26
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Your first advice is bad advice. Jeep GC is capable to tow more, much more than tent trailer, utility trailer, small boat. It has independent suspension, lower center of gravity, shorter rear overhang than any truck. I am driving German cars so I am not into all the specs, but I assume it has also better brakes than most of the trucks.

I am towing 28DSBH with BMW X5. I towed it through Rockies, probably 20 time through Sierras. There is absolutely no problem to tow a larger trailer with a SUV. Things to consider: good hitch and less crap hauled to camping due to limited payload.

Even on very steep hills I am not even close to overheat my brakes. I am using manual transmission mode to shift down.

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Originally Posted by Mad5581 View Post
Ditch the Jeep. That's the first advice. Jeep is a great tent trailer, utility trailer, small boat. Jeeps are great vehicles, amazing off roaders. But not built for travel trailers. If you plan to tow 7000k # you need something at least half ton rated. I would highly recommend you rethink you tow vehicle. Now as for down hill driving. I have 13 years of truck driving experience in the west. I can tell you if you run down a hill with your brakes applied for 30 seconds you will burn you #rap up before you get to the bottom of the mountains. Rules a 8 seconds on at least 10 to 16 seconds off (for cooling) if you need the brakes more then that your are overloaded for your vehicle or your in the wrong gear. Also NEVER use just your trailer brakes alone. That is about the dumbest thing any "X trucker" will tell you. I have been an owner operator before and some of the old guys would use this tactic of just trailer brakes for no other reason then to save the truck brakes and use the companies trailer brakes instead. If your trailer tries to pass you there are only 2 ways out of that. Accelerate out of it. Or get off the brakes until you get traction then use controlled braking to slow gradually. (Then change your shorts at the bottom of the mountain) 80% of you will crash if you loose traction on a down hill decent. I have and pulled out of it on more then one occasion. In ice and dry conditions. Believe me it's not fun but fully avoidable. Pick the right gear at the top and if it slows others down too oh well they will get to live and so will you. The idea is to get there not necessarily fast but get there. Be safe and dont try things outside your vehicles abilities or your abilities.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:04 AM   #27
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Also NEVER use just your trailer brakes alone. That is about the dumbest thing any "X trucker" will tell you. I have been an owner operator before and some of the old guys would use this tactic of just trailer brakes for no other reason then to save the truck brakes and use the companies trailer brakes instead. If your trailer tries to pass you there are only 2 ways out of that. Accelerate out of it. Or get off the brakes until you get traction then use controlled braking to slow gradually.

Side question, have you noticed that some of the new tractors don't have a trolley brake anymore? I drove a 2019 Cascadia in the fall and I couldn't believe that it didn't have one. I used it all the time to slide my tandems. Other than cost, I can't think of a reason why some companies are ordering trucks without one.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:26 AM   #28
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Decending Steep Grades

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawntan View Post
When driving down a steep slope from Colorado peaks, I've always been advised to use engine brake, and not using the tow vehicle and RV brake to prevent burn out.

However, my thinking is, by not using the RV brake means that the weight of the trailer is pushes down the back of the vehicle at full force.



Coming down from leadville towards Denver, there are many steep down hill and sharp turns at the same time.



My concern is the weight of the RV will push the back of the towing vehicle hard enough causing the rear tire to loose the grip on the road surface.



What is the best practice ?
I think that one of the keys to not having to rely too heavily on your tow vehicle's brakes is to keep the speed down to below 45 mph. When you are going slowly, gearing-down is more effective and heat buildup on break disks is mitigated.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:55 AM   #29
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Agree with jimp. Summer of 2017, we went across the Rockies in Colorado from east to west. My F150 FX4 with the tow package did a great job on the downhill slopes in Tow/Haul setting. A couple of times I needed to down shift to a lower gear, but was very confident in the braking of the truck and trailer on the downhill slopes. I'm pulling about 6200 lbs loaded and truck at 90% GVWR.
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:43 AM   #30
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We have a 09 Dodge Ram 3500 SRW and a 2018 Pinnacle 36FBTS. We have put over 11K miles on it. Traveled from north of Houston to Seattle and back and to New Mexico and back. Lots of mountains highways. Hwy 82 out of Cloudcroft to Alamogordo drops over 4000 feet in 16 miles. 6 plus percent downgrade for 16 miles with hairpin turns. Put Dodge in tow mode and with exhaust brake, truck never got over 45 miles and very seldom had to even touch the brake. Love my Dodge!!!!
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:24 PM   #31
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Yep drone shot!
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:53 PM   #32
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Now I am beginning to rethink maybe a trip to Colorado is not such a good idea after all. Was planning on staying on the main highway to Golden. Wish me luck. I did the ones in Montana. That was not fun and took forever to get thru. Ouch. Good luck and good nite.
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