Mountain Driving - Dutchmen Owners

Go Back   Dutchmen Owners > Dutchmen Technical | Towing, Maintenance and Repairs > Towing Talk
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-21-2015, 03:05 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
skarlin1976's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Scottsdale
Posts: 53
Arizona
Mountain Driving

Two years ago my family and I moved from Chicago to Phoenix. We have recently done some local camping through out metro Phoenix and Tucson. Never drove the trailer in the mountains except one small pass just north of Phoenix. In a couple of weeks, we are going to Lake Powell on the Arizona / Utah border. Any tips on towing through the mountains. I am towing a 2013 Kodiak Express 255BHSL with a 2005 Cadillac Escalade ESV. I do have a weight distribution hitch and sway bar in addition to the electronic brake controller. Trailer weight (according to the factory ) is about 4800 lbs. Cadi has a max towing capacity of 7800 lbs. We don't have too much heavy items in the trailer and the tanks are empty. I am expecting to get horrible gas millage, one gas station to the block.
__________________

__________________

The Epic RV Adventures of the Karlin Family
www.campfireshenanigans.com
skarlin1976 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 04:00 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
arlan in arizona's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Quartzsite
Posts: 682
Arizona
That drive should not be to bad for you. There are a few grades to pull on 17 heading north. Also a few decents. After you get to Sunset Crater just north of Flagstaff if is pretty flat until the junction of 89 and 89 alt.

You got lucky on your trip as 89 has been closed for a couple years due to a landslide. It just reopen a couple months ago.

It sounds like your rig should do just fine. Just let the Caddy dictate your speed and don't expect to pass everything is the slow lane.

Just before you get to the junction of 89 and 89 alt. you will cross Navajo Bridge. Be ready to check it out and IF you can find a place to stop, do so. The visitor station is just after you cross the bridge. You can drive in an maybe find a spot to park. There is a decent turn around loop for rigs that are not huge. At least be prepare to slow down and check out the views of the canyon as you cross the bridge.


Lake Powell is beautiful. I hope you are going out on the water.

After leaving the junction of 17 and 89 you can get fuel a few miles north of Flagstaff. After that the last fuel before Page (Lake Powell) is at The Gap about 80 miles north of Flagstaff.
__________________

__________________
2013 Voltage 3905
2013 F350 4x4 DRW
2013 RZR XP 900
arlan in arizona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 04:48 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
skarlin1976's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Scottsdale
Posts: 53
Arizona
appreciate the feedback. Thank you.
__________________

The Epic RV Adventures of the Karlin Family
www.campfireshenanigans.com
skarlin1976 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 01:55 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Ridgway
Posts: 312
Colorado
Sounds like you have a similar set up to us. We have a 2014 Kodiak 240BHSL (4800LBS dry factory weight) and we tow with a 08 Land Rover LR3 (7700 Lbs Tow capacity). We live in Colorado and regularly tow over 10-11K Ft passes here.
Two things I suggest. First when going up make sure you turn off your AC.This will help keep the engine temp in the normal range.
Second, use your gears to descend. I usually shift down to 3rd or second and brake hard then let it run for a bit against the gear, then brake hard again.
You should have no trouble, enjoy!
rcharrette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 02:12 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Tulsa
Posts: 183
Oklahoma
I am going to assume are not that familiar with towing a trailer, so I apologize if you already know this info, and I mean no offense at all.

Towing in the mountains puts extra strain on your entire vehicle, from transmission to brakes to cooling system to electrical system, so be aware of how hard your Caddy is working.
Check the owners manual for information on towing with regards to 'overdrive gear'. Some manufacturers recommend that you don't tow in overdrive.

Brakes have the toughest duty in the mountains. Use them sparingly, and if you are on the brakes more than 60% of the time, stop every so often and let them cool. Experience is the best teacher here. Get used to shifting into a lower gear on the downhill run, and keep your speed 5to 10mph below the posted limit. This will give you a good safety margin, and when your speed gets to the posted limit, put a little more effort into slowing down. That way you will hopefully never let it get going too fast. Use the engine and transmission to keep your speed steady, and use the brakes when it starts to creep up. DON'T RIDE THE BRAKES FOR LONG PERIODS. I can't stress that enough. Brake failure in the mountains is a bad thing. If you stop, get out and walk around and touch the rims to get an idea how hot the brakes are. The will be VERY warm, but you should be able to touch them. If you can't touch them, let them cool down for 15 minutes or so. If you smell a strong burning smell, or see smoke coming from the wheels, you are going to sit for a while. Then proceed very carefully to a place where you can check them for overheat damage.

Make sure your engine coolant is full, your radiator is clean and unobstructed, hoses and such are in good shape. Watch your temp guage going uphill, that is where your engine is working the hardest.

Don't get in a hurry. Going uphill, put the transmission in a lower gear (to make it easier for the engine to pull the heavier load) and keep your speed down. Don't worry that everyone is passing you. Be courteous and pull over every so often and let the cars behind you pass. It gives both you and your rig a chance to relax for a few minutes. Going downhill, use the same gear that you did going up, and keep your speed the same as you did climbing the hill. If you get going too fast, bad things happen in a hurry. That trailer is trying to push you down the hill as fast as it can, don't let it.

Always try to err on the side of caution with regards to speed and distances. Less speed, more distance. Just keep in mind that you tow vehicle is working harder, and responds slower with the trailer, and you should do fine.

Again, I apologize if this is condescending, I don't know how often or how much experience you have pulling a trailer, and I wrote this for someone that has very little of each.
__________________
2010 F-450
2013 Voltage 3905
macman83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 03:14 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
skarlin1976's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Scottsdale
Posts: 53
Arizona
Thanks everybody. I really appreciate the tips you are offering.
__________________

The Epic RV Adventures of the Karlin Family
www.campfireshenanigans.com
skarlin1976 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 03:25 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
HornedToad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Midland
Posts: 606
Texas
There are not really a whole lot of mountains in Texas, more like hills.

My towing experience improve when I stopped driving the speedometer and drove by the tachometer. As I'm driving through the hill country I don't try to keep up to speed but try to just hold a steady RPM.
__________________

Mike & Helen
2014 Voltage 3895 EPIC III
2013 Ford F350 CC DRW FX4
HornedToad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2015, 04:28 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
skarlin1976's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Scottsdale
Posts: 53
Arizona
Well, we just returned home safely after our five day vacation. Lake Powell was beautiful. Only a minor hiccup at the campground. Broke both keys to the deadbolt and luckily we had Good Sam Roadside Assistance. They sent a locksmith to the campground and he had to drill the cylinder. Good thing I kept my old lock assembly (factory recall). Now lock and extra keys are being sent. Pulled off to get fuel just outside of Flagstaff at the Pilot Travel Center and apparently one of my weight distribution bars came loose and dragged in the parking lot. The mountain driving wasn't that bad, except lucky me I found the only truck driver both directions that navigated the incline at about 30 - 40 mph. Here is a view from our campsite. Enjoy and thanks for all the tips.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0668.jpg
Views:	86
Size:	59.3 KB
ID:	2271  
__________________

The Epic RV Adventures of the Karlin Family
www.campfireshenanigans.com
skarlin1976 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2015, 05:44 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
DC8Captain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Golden
Posts: 179
Colorado
I don't even need to turn my head sideways to tell it's a very scenic place. The composition is great too. What campsite were you at?
__________________
Dale & Deb
2009 Silverado Crew Cab 2500 HD
2014 Dutchmen 275BH TT
DC8Captain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2015, 09:02 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
skarlin1976's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Scottsdale
Posts: 53
Arizona
Sorry for the sideways picture. We stayed at the Wahweap Rv Park in Page, Arizona
__________________

__________________

The Epic RV Adventures of the Karlin Family
www.campfireshenanigans.com
skarlin1976 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Dutchmen RV or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT. The time now is 01:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.