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Old 07-22-2013, 09:31 PM   #1
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Towing Escape on Long Steep Grade

Just pulled into our camp site at Okanagan Lake South Prov Park in BC. Got here by taking the Coquihala Highway from Chilliwack to Merritt and then Hwy 97C to Peachland. I had been on the Coquihala several times recently and was aware of the long steep grades on that road but had never driven 97C before. Hands down 97C beats the Coquihala for long steep grades. Based on the altimeter on my gps, the Coquihala rises to an altitude of about 1450 m at its highest point. After an endless steep uphill section, Hwy 97C reached an elevation of about 1710 m before heading into a long downhill stretch to Peachland. My FJ managed ok towing our 19 the entire way, but she was working pretty hard and you could see the gas gauge needle dropping like a rock on the long uphill sections. Good news was that the final downhill took about 15 min at 110 km/hr without once touching the gas pedal. Anyone else have any similar experiences on this or other steep sections of road?
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:36 PM   #2
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Have done Coquihalla to Merritt and 97C to Osoyoos numerous times. RAV4 towing a 17B. Only time I had an issue was when I disregarded the RAV instruction manual, dropped down to third and climbed the grade through the snow shed to the top at 90 kph. Transmission warning light came on nearing the top. You're supposed to leave it in 4.
That said, you can watch the fuel needle drop.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:54 PM   #3
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Just did the connector (97c) two weeks ago. My 2010 Ford Ranger 4L can pull at 80k but the gas does burn. Heading up or down 97 or 97c I turn off my OD and use 4th gear usually at about 27 to 29 grand RPM in the steep spots. That's loaded to about 3000 lbs.
About 45 ltrs every 300k. Oh well !?! W T Heck!
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:56 PM   #4
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Just did the connector (97c) two weeks ago. My 2010 Ford Ranger 4L can pull at 80k but the gas does burn. Heading up or down 97 or 97c I turn off my OD and use 4th gear usually at about 27 to 29 grand RPM in the steep spots. That's loaded to about 3000 lbs.
About 45 ltrs every 300k. Oh well !?! W T Heck!
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:01 PM   #5
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WiFi on Jasper is a bear! Sorry for the double message
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:18 PM   #6
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Last month we went into the Chilcotin (nice area!). Anyway, leaving Williams Lake, you go down to the Fraser River, then up Sheep Creek hill, a long, steep climb, about 1400', & 7 Miles. We just took it slow, in 3rd & it went fine. Coming back, downhill, i had it in 2nd at times, 'cause i didn't want the brakes smoking! Hey, when you're on holidays, you just gotta take it easy!8) oh yeah, it was in an FJ also.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:30 AM   #7
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One climbs like the 97C, the Pilot definitely does work. That is one of the slowest climbs I have done, taking it out of overdrive and keeping the speed down to 80. A bit of labouring at times still, but made it with no problems. Slow and steady wins the race on climbs like that. Most others I can keep near the speed limit.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:46 AM   #8
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Dave,
Have you noticed the FJ "engine braking" going down hills? Mine does when towing, I tap the brake slightly and the FJ downshifts a gear to help slow down on down grades. Smart transmission...
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:08 PM   #9
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My favorite "hill" is going into Ricketts Glen State Park in PA from Red Rock. Not too long at 2 miles or so, but 18% grade. The RAV4 got a workout pulling the 17B up the hill! Another favorite was the Teton Pass Highway (WY 22) coming out of Jackson. I drove it in the summer - I'd hate to tow a trailer over it in the winter...
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:58 PM   #10
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I stand corrected!

I think I meant to say 2700 to 3200 rpm and 15L per 100K.
It could have been the beer and not the WiFi in Jasper!
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Have you noticed the FJ "engine braking" going down hills? Mine does when towing, I tap the brake slightly and the FJ downshifts a gear to help slow down on down grades. Smart transmission...
I would expect the FJ to have that feature; my Sienna does, too. In the Sienna, it's called "Grade Logic". Very convenient in the mountains, especially when towing.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:39 PM   #12
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I agree that 97C has at least comparable and possibly worse grades than the Coquihalla. I don't remember speeds, but hauling our Boler 1700 (length of an Escape 17 but width and weight closer to an Escape 19) was slower uphill than I would choose on the level.

97 (the Okanagan valley highway) has much easier grades, but is a much slower road due to traffic and intersections... and if you use it to get to Peachland from Chilliwack you also need to use a substantial chunk of the slow (but scenic) Highway 3 (Hope to Osoyoos). Personally, I like Highway 3, in any vehicle... but then I like to drive.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:55 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=Brian B-P;29093

Personally, I like Highway 3, in any vehicle... but then I like to drive.[/QUOTE]

If time is not a consideration I too would much rather drive Hwy 3.
I find the Coquhalia gets a bit boring being basically a freeway.

Have never towed through the Coquihalia or 97C but driven it lots of times.

The route that is probably my favorite is the Fraser Canyon, Hwy 1. Now that is a road to drive. Incredible scenery as well. Even better now that most of the traffic takes the Coquihalia. No great hills to climb with the exception of Jackass Mountain hill.
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Dave,
Have you noticed the FJ "engine braking" going down hills? Mine does when towing, I tap the brake slightly and the FJ downshifts a gear to help slow down on down grades. Smart transmission...
Jim, i have not noticed this feature but will pay closer attention on the next leg of our journey and will get back to you.
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