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Old 04-05-2020, 05:53 AM   #21
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THOR #16919
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Originally Posted by EA37TS View Post
On an RV when brakes are used excessively going downhill they get hot and hot brakes may fail over time. Engine braking can be your best friend. Unfortunately with the V10 high revs and engine roar are a side effect of engine braking, however, the V10 can handle the high revs.

The other thing to consider when descending hills is cruise control. Cruise will downshift as necessary to maintain speed. Tow haul will also downshift with a tap of the breaks.
Agreed on the value of engine braking over wheel braking to control downhill speeds. Especially with rigs that weigh as much as these Motorhomes. The kind of RPM's that occur on downhills in the proper gear with Tow/Haul on are not going to have an adverse affect on the Triton V10. The driver and passenger may not like the noise that 4000 - 4500 RPM will cause in the cab but that short term noise is way better than potentially loosing your braking ability. Our MH has the 6 speed auto which is great when cruising down the highway. However, when I drive down steep grades I will downshift into 4th gear and leave Tow/Haul engaged. At the top of the grade I will tap the brakes and then try to maintain a safe speed at around 55-60 MPH as we go downhill. To maintain that speed you might have to intermittently apply the brakes for short distances. We have a decent grade near our home and I drive down it in 4th gear at 55 mph and when we come home I drive up it in 4th gear at 55 mph. The rule of thumb with respect to gear selection on grades was taught to me when I was a young Firefighter driving Fire Equipment. Nowadays and for the past 20 years or so our fire equipment have been equipped with magnetic retarders on the driveshaft so that the brakes can be saved from overheating. Now that would be nice to have those retarders on our Motorhomes.
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Old 04-05-2020, 11:23 AM   #22
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Thanks for your knowledge and experience, I'll put it to good use after crossing the Georgia line this fall.
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Old 04-05-2020, 02:05 PM   #23
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Back in the old days with no power brakes, drums on all wheels, and heavy vehicles, we were taught to minimize braking for long periods of time and downshift. I lived just north of the Mt. Washington Auto Road in NH. The road has turn-off spots for stopping to cool brakes. I never had a problem on that road when riding a motorcycle or in a truck because of downshifting and minimal use of brakes.
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Old 04-05-2020, 02:16 PM   #24
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Faded out my drum brakes summer of 75 southbound from Tenn to Florida on the grapevine, had to let the engine an tranny slow me down >> whew ��
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Old 04-05-2020, 03:02 PM   #25
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I drive ours in Tow/Haul all the time. We donít tow but it helps conserve the brakes when going down grades. Donít let those higher rpmís concern you. The higher rpmís are better than frying your brakes. You should also consider choosing a lower gear to drive down steep grades and that will lead to higher rpmís. Good rule of thumb is drive downhill in the same gear that you would need to drive uphill. Stay safe
Very good idea. I am going to try it . Thanks
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Old 04-05-2020, 05:02 PM   #26
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Another very important factor with regards to braking is the distance that it takes to stop the vehicle. There are several factors that enter into this distance, reaction time, vehicle speed, vehicle weight, vehicle braking system, etc. I just always like to plan on being in the best position to be able to react to traffic slowing, accidents, disabled vehicles, or poor drivers on the road ahead. Being able to stop to avoid having an accident is important. If something is predictable, it's also preventable. I know that it's going to require extra distance to stop our Motorhome when going downhill especially. I drive like there is a traffic jam ahead and I'm going to have to slow down or stop to avoid piling up into it. When it comes to stopping a moving vehicle, I can't think of anything more important for your safety and the safety of others. Using the proper gear on a vehicle, especially a Motorhome, increases your ability to safely control or stop that vehicle.
I enjoy driving our Motorhome out on the flat open highway in 6th gear at 70+ mph when there is plenty of distance and time to stop if needed. But even on flat highways, if traffic gets congested, distance between vehicles gets shorter, drivers are changing lanes excessively, I'm going to shift our Motorhome transmission into 4th gear for better control of the speed. With our 6-speed transmission I find that in 4th gear with Tow/Haul engaged works well on congested highway driving and surface streets. That way you're not potentially coasting when you take your foot off the accelerator prior to braking. You will get near immediate slowing by just taking your foot off the accelerator if you drive in the lower gear with Tow/Haul engaged. Also, in 4th gear on the highway the rpm's and noise are tolerable up to 55 mph in my experience. Stay safe.
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Old 04-05-2020, 05:18 PM   #27
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Thanks to all who responded.
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Old 05-12-2020, 01:41 AM   #28
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We have a 2018 Axis with a 6.8 liter V10 Ford engine (e350 Chassis) and have the same issue with the RPM and downshifting. Thinking it was an issue, we spoke to Ford about this. They said the redline on that engine is 6000 RPMs and that is why there is no red line on the tachometer. If the engine revs to 4000 RPMs; no worries. It is designed that way. Drove us crazy going into Death Valley. We've learned to ignore the noise (and our white knuckles).
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