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Old 08-10-2015, 08:48 PM   #41
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Location: Jeromesville, Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Chevy has had that with their bigger pickups and the Allison transmission for many years now. My Ford has it now too, though my 2002 didn't. It certainly is nice that it does that, letting you keep your foot off the brakes more.
My half ton 2014 Silverado has it. Worked really great in the mountains. Its a LTZ with a tow package and brake controller with 5.3 V8. Work great in the mountains.
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Old 08-10-2015, 08:52 PM   #42
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Don't feel bad, that's kind of how we ended up on the Teton pass. After our experience, we purchased the book TechFan noted ... "Mountain Pass Driving Guide for Truckers, RVs and Motorhome Drivers" as we swore ... never again!
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:24 PM   #43
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Location: Tracy, California
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Originally Posted by Daubsy View Post
I admit, I handled the situation like a real novice. I was going very slow and mashing the brakes. The 26% grade was at the very end of the pass so my brakes were already very hot.

The main problem was that my brake controller was not adjusted properly. My truck was doing nearly all of the work. In hindsight, I should have been applying the manual override on the brake controller or perhaps some of the emergency brake, but I was panicking. Lessons learned the hard way.
We have a family mountain home which my father built, which is 25 minutes before Sonora Pass on the California side. We cross that area frequently and I can't imagine doing the same once we have a trailer. Kudos to you for doing so--it is beautiful and amazing country, and I always imagine the Donner Party ghosts crossing that terrain.
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Old 08-10-2015, 11:07 PM   #44
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I'm wondering if the moderators could consider dividing the Thread into a new thread about decending steep grades - perhaps at something around comment 23. There are a lot of good comments that those of us new to towing over mountain ranges would find very useful.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:43 AM   #45
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daubsy View Post
All vehicles I have ever owned prior to this one have been standards so I am familiar with downshifting and engine braking. My Colorado is automatic with a manual mode but it does not indicate what gear I am in. I was going very slow because at the end of the grade was a hairpin turn. The tachometer was nearly redlining. So, according to your comment I guess there was not much more I could do...
Right - if the engine is spinning that fast, it's doing all it can.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:53 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
General rule: use the same gear going down that you had to use going up.
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Originally Posted by BCnomad View Post
... usually whatever you came up at is a good thumb rule.
These are common recommendations, but they don't make much sense to me. Climbing speed is limited by control around the curves and power reliably available. Descending speed is limited by control around the curves and braking. Power and braking (even engine braking) are not necessarily related.

Some vehicles - especially with high-power turbocharged engines - may be able to climb faster than they should descend. There's no reason to use more engine speed than you need, in either direction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
There's nothing wrong with 1st or 2nd gear on a steep grade when you're keeping 4000 lbs. of tow and 4000 lbs. of trailer under control. Never hurry it.
I agree.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I am amazed with the braking performed by the "Tow mode" in certain trucks with the factory brake controller install. Mine will start to downshift as soon as I hit the brakes and continues to brake until gas is reapplied.
Tow mode is not restricted to trucks with factory-installed brake controllers - this engine braking behaviour is normal with tow mode, and tow mode is normal for trucks.

It's not even limited to vehicles with a "tow mode". Toyota calls it "Grade Logic", and it works well in our Sienna, which does not have any kind of towing/hauling mode.

This is a good thing to understand, and something that is likely in the owner's manual.
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