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Rmcgrath53
04-09-2009, 10:29 AM
Well here we are in the Smokiees of Nc and what a ride in here. We came in 441 up a mountain and down. The trip up was scarry! , It just started snowing up the mountain and we went through a couple of tunnels when I felt the rear of my truck starting to slde sideways. Then on the way down I put it in low gear and she still wanted to go fast. I kept bringing in the reigns every so often. By the time I got down the mountain it felt as tho my rotors are warped now. I t scared the !@#$ out of me. I got to the campground in Cherokee and took my whell off and checked the brakes. Ther is still alot of pad left. I am going around that mountain on the way home. It will cost me 1 and a half hours, but man did that snow up there put some fear in me.On the way down ,we past road blocks, for they closed the road off that is how bad it was.

dewwood
04-09-2009, 11:35 AM
I see you are from Michigan so at least you had some experience with driving in the snow. That still does nothing to ease that feeling of "I'm not quite sure who is in control here but I don't think it is me". Hope you have a great stay and no more snow.

SmokeyBare
04-09-2009, 01:04 PM
... The Smokey Mountains are around 5,000 foot Elevation.... Just imagine more than twice that height... as you travel through the Rocky Mountains with 54 peaks reaching altitudes of over 14,000 feet...

Towing an RV up hills or mountains doesn't seem to be a problem these days with the power offered by GM... Ford... or Dodge. !! BUT !! Stopping or slowing down a truck towing 14,000 to 16,000 pounds of weight... with gravity working hard against the brakes... Sure does make RV travel interesting... :)

Jimmyt5
04-09-2009, 01:11 PM
If you travel that raod in the summer the air is full of burning brakes smell....

Zonian
04-09-2009, 04:12 PM
I've travel both the "Smokies" )perhaps named after all of the brake smoke?:)) and the Rocky Mtns. I'll take the Rocks any day. that 441 can be real scary esp. with a long rig/wet weather and......tourist!!None
Les

driver311
04-09-2009, 04:29 PM
get a dodge with an exhaust brake and save all that brake smell

driver311NoneNone

flamingknitter
04-09-2009, 04:31 PM
Or a Chevy Duramax with an Allison Transmission.

Jimmyt5
04-09-2009, 05:33 PM
I believe that my Dodge has a exhaust break AND a Allison knock off.:p

RVCamper
04-11-2009, 06:10 PM
Yes, when we did the Smoky's trip last summer, I had memories of when I was much younger and bolder when I took these aggressively (in a car). This last summer with a 33'5" trailer, and pulling it with a SUV, things were quite different.

When we came in it was at night rainy and very foggy. We were heading to Smokemont from Gatlinburg, right up and over 441, though the park. Was cautious, used gearing, and engine to keep down hill speed under control. Trailer brakes adjusted for the slippery roads (turned down the boost). I used the turn outs several times to let others pass. All in all did not use the brakes too much at all, mostly engine braking. This will be different this year as we too have a F350 Diesel with tow haul, and will be more dependent on brakes, since the engine braking is reduced on a diesel, with out a exhaust brake.

The most challenging part of the trip was actually doing a alternate route due to a total shut down of 40 going east. We ended up South west of the park, doing a bunch a tight switch backs. But, if you really want some fun try the Cherohala skyway is part of the Tail of the Dragon, and switchbacks it way up to 5300', similar to the park road.

At least it wasn't snow for us! :eek:

jmgratz
04-11-2009, 09:07 PM
Pulling an RV in mountains without an exhaust brake is foolhardy in my mind. If you are going to drive mountainous road then you either need to invest in a prepaid funeral or an exhaust brake. The exhaust brake is cheaper. BD, Banks and Pacbrake all make good ones. Personally I have a Banks exhaust brake and it sure saves you.

klindgren
04-12-2009, 05:09 AM
Been up and over the Smokies on 411 several times. Also been on the Cherohala Skyway couple of times. It was bunches of fun. Of course I was on two wheels, trying to scrap my footpegs and cussing those dang rv'ers who were going slow and spoiling my fun.:)

Knowing that road as I do, I sure wouldn't want to try it without an engine brake. I'd be afraid of not having enough brake pads left to get all the way off the mountain. I think I'd rather stay on 76 around the mountain than try to go over it. Then again, I'm a big chicken when it come to pulling 16,000+ pounds behind me.

MurrayN.
04-12-2009, 05:07 PM
I too put in a big thumbs up for an exhaust brake. As you can see from my signature I have a PacBrake and absolutely love it as we frequently go through the Rocky Mountains here in Canada. Yes you do have some engine breaking with the Allison trans, tow/haul mode and the diesel motor, but it is nothing compared to a good exhaust brake. With mine I actually slow down going down an 8% grade pulling 10000 lbs of trailer. No stress. Now if you are on a slippery road then you have a whole new battle on your hands. Your back tires can actually break loose as they try to slow down the unit. But all in all I think the exhaust brake is one thing that I would not be without now that I have had one.

Rmcgrath53
04-13-2009, 10:17 PM
Well we are back home safe and sound. I learned that an exhaust brake is in my future for sure.I am going to have to put new rotors and pads on the truck soon. I came home around the mountain .
Ron

Nabo
04-14-2009, 08:05 PM
"The most challenging part of the trip was actually doing a alternate route due to a total shut down of 40 going east."

Ron -Living in East Tennessee, I just wont to let everyone know that I-40 has been routed around Knoxville as I-640, a nice 3 lane bypass which is actually better than going thru downtown Knoxville on I-40. Traveling hasn't changed by the so called shutdown of I-40.

RVCamper
04-14-2009, 09:21 PM
Nabo,

I'm aware of the bypass, but in our case, there was a large chemical spill (that's what the vistor center said it was anyway) that shut down the highway in both directions for 50 plus miles. We happened to be heading east from Kentucky Lakes to the Smoky's during the temporary shut down. :(

lance114
07-23-2009, 09:26 PM
The Smokey Mountains are around 5,000 foot Elevation. Just imagine more than twice that height as you travel through the Rocky Mountains with 54 peaks reaching altitudes of over 14,000 feet. Towing an RV up hills or mountains doesn't seem to be a problem these days with the power offered by GM Ford or Dodge!! But stopping or slowing down a truck towing 14,000 to 16,000 pounds of weight with gravity working hard against the brakes. Sure does make RV travel interesting..

Nabo
07-24-2009, 03:49 PM
FYI - interstate 40 is now open through downtown Knoxville, TN. No more bypass - unless you like going that way. It finished ahead of schedule. Thanks TDOT.

glow4004
07-31-2009, 11:38 PM
We accidently went up the mountain in Tennessee and came out just west of Pigeon Forge. What a ride that is! It seems like the mountain never stops. I know it had to be 15 to 20 miles. Heading down the mountain with a 39 foot 5th wheel is scary! Best part is I only had 500 miles on a rebuilt engine of a 2003 chevy 3500. They have a park patrol that drives back and forth just to check out vehicle conditions. Try it.. see for yourself. WILD!

porthole
08-01-2009, 12:00 AM
Your back tires can actually break loose as they try to slow down the unit.


Put the truck into 4wd drive, that will lock the front and rear axles and help prevent your rear wheels from locking up




around the mountain than try to go over it.



Problem with going "around the mountain" is if you go to the west end you can have a bigger problem going through 28 and 129 :eek:

If you take 129 north because it looks good on the map :D oh my .......

dieselengineer
08-01-2009, 05:13 AM
porthole, how are the new brakes?

porthole
08-01-2009, 10:00 AM
suu-weet.

Granted, I only drove a few miles with the old setup and not on the highway at all - but - what a difference.

Our previous trailer was a TT, about 7000+ and it was that trailer that gave me the idea for doing an exhaust brake (while on a trip in upstate NY)

This trailer, at near twice the weight stops better.

So far - very pleased.

iforget
08-01-2009, 02:48 PM
Put the truck into 4wd drive, that will lock the front and rear axles and help prevent your rear wheels from locking up




Problem with going "around the mountain" is if you go to the west end you can have a bigger problem going through 28 and 129 :eek:

If you take 129 north because it looks good on the map :D oh my .......



Even more fun on the Harley Huh Duane?

kakampers
08-01-2009, 03:53 PM
This type of anxiety towing is exactly why we have the truck in our sig!

Chevy 6.6 Duramax, Allison transmission and built in exhaust brake...this truck can hold 55 on a 7 percent grade without ever touching the service brakes with trailer in tow...AND it will stop entire rig without trailer brakes during normal towing situations...gotta love the Beast!! :)

palebluedot
12-29-2009, 04:21 PM
Of all the accessories on the truck the two I absolutely cannot do without is the Prodigy controller and PacBrake exhaust brake. The PacBrake is BY FAR the best money I have spent. I would never even consider towing through the mountains without it. On our 12 state/9K mile trip this past spring it made towing a pleasure. Descending those high mountain passes and actually loosing speed without ever touching the brake pedal is a wonderful thing. I always use it even when not towing, the brake pads should last the life of the truck. If you tow in the high country, install an exhaust brake. I guarantee you will never regret it.

jgilbert
01-06-2010, 07:50 PM
Of all the accessories on the truck the two I absolutely cannot do without is the Prodigy controller and PacBrake exhaust brake. The PacBrake is BY FAR the best money I have spent. I would never even consider towing through the mountains without it. On our 12 state/9K mile trip this past spring it made towing a pleasure. Descending those high mountain passes and actually loosing speed without ever touching the brake pedal is a wonderful thing. I always use it even when not towing, the brake pads should last the life of the truck. If you tow in the high country, install an exhaust brake. I guarantee you will never regret it.

That is the main reason I bought a new truck......so I could get the built in exhaust brake. My new 08 Dodge 5500 with CM hauler bed and an EZ Floater air ride hitch is a great combo for towing my 39 ft fifth wheel. I'm ready to test the mountains, but not until late spring or summer though.

Joe

caissiel
01-06-2010, 10:22 PM
We did the same route with our truck and the previous 12000 Lbs trailer, the wife drove the Miata behind me. I shifted the truck on 3 rd and place the cruise to 35MPH as the Speed Limit and made it up the 15 mile long climb without the truck water temperature go beyound 206F. On the way down I realy scared the wife that was following me, I put the Truck on 3 rd gear and cruise at 35MPH. I heardly used any fuel and the engine keeped the speed withing the Speed Limit with hardly any braking. At every curve she never saw the brake lights and she tought at times I was dreaming. I have the Standard 6 speed. I just love it in the hills. The engine never heats up and the fuel flow is 0 down hills. I figured that my E-Con programer shuts of the turbo vanes and it creates some exhaust restrictions for the downhill.