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Towing steep inclines, brake fade, proper braking

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techntrek View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote techntrek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Towing steep inclines, brake fade, proper braking
    Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 12:06pm
This link has a lot of info including:
- Descriptions of some of the steepest passes
- How brake fade occurs
- Proper gear selection
- Proper braking method

This is geared towards big rigs, but many of the same principles apply.

http://www.crashforensics.com/mountaingradecrashes.cfm

Doug ~ '10 171 (2009-2015) ~ 2008 Salem ~ Pod instruction manual
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Leo B View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Leo B Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 7:30pm
Really good info!
Leo & Melissa Bachand
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Post Options Post Options   Quote techntrek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 8:56pm
Some other interesting reads in the links on the left side of that page.  This is one on tires:

"Long existing standards warn of the hazards of using old tires and indicate that a tire that is six years old or more needs to be inspected. More recent standards require that tires six years old or more not be installed on a vehicle and that tires ten years old should be taken out of service."


Doug ~ '10 171 (2009-2015) ~ 2008 Salem ~ Pod instruction manual
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Rustler View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rustler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2016 at 3:43am
This was an interesting (but quite lengthy) read. Heavily loaded trucks descending steep grades too fast are a definite hazard. I've noted at times trucks coming down with brakes smoking on the steeper (northern) side of the Siskiyou Summit grade on Interstate-5 between Oregon and California. While there are at least two runaway truck ramps, I've never seen a truck having to use one. This grade is relatively short (6.25 miles) with average grade of 5.3% (maximum 6.6%).

Someone on this forum shared a very interesting feature of the Google Earth program that is of great use for Rpod towing:
  • Select "Get Directions" (From - to - Destination)
  • The route will be shown in a different color (blue)
  • Point at the route and right-click
  • Select "Show Elevation Profile"
This will display a profile of the route with grades and distances along the route. You can highlight portions of any steep grades to show length, average and maximum grade. This can be quite useful for trip planning.

I've noticed something interesting when towing my Rpod 171 with a Toyota RAV4. While the RAV4 without trailer requires braking or lower gears to hold speed descending steep grades, when towing the Rpod no braking or lower gears is necessary. I believe the extra air resistance of the Rpod is sufficient to hold speed constant. Perhaps some additional retarding will be necessary for steeper grades.
Russ
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Leo B Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2016 at 6:19am
Interesting points!
Leo & Melissa Bachand
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2016 at 10:08am
On our most recent trip, we had some pretty steep up and down grades. We tow our RP-179 with a Ford Escape. On the downhill slopes, the transmission will downshift automatically to help keep us from speeding up too much. Even so, on some of the down slopes, I had to use the brakes also. I'm really glad that the R-Pod's electric brakes work so well.
StephenH
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Post Options Post Options   Quote techntrek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2016 at 3:36pm
Rustler, I actually remember the left-side emergency truck ramp on that pass because it is so unusual to have one on the left.  We went through there this summer.  One of the links at the top, I don't remember which pass, has video of a truck taking a left-side ramp (wrecking his truck in the process).

I wish Google Maps had that same feature.

With our pod I rarely needed brakes on downhills except on the steepest hills, auto-downshifting and advanced engine braking (fuel cut, valves closed) did most of the work.  With our current rig I need to apply brakes on most hills.
Doug ~ '10 171 (2009-2015) ~ 2008 Salem ~ Pod instruction manual
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Post Options Post Options   Quote CharlieM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2016 at 4:36pm
Originally posted by Rustler

Someone on this forum shared a very interesting feature of the Google Earth program that is of great use for Rpod towing:
  • Select "Get Directions" (From - to - Destination)
  • The route will be shown in a different color (blue)
  • Point at the route and right-click
  • Select "Show Elevation Profile"
This will display a profile of the route with grades and distances along the route. You can highlight portions of any steep grades to show length, average and maximum grade. This can be quite useful for trip planning.

I must be doing something wrong. I tried Google Earth going from Denver to Vail, CO. The elevation profile showed grades of +34% to -50% along the route. No way!
Charlie
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OLD: 2013 RP-172, 2010 Honda Pilot 3.5L 4WD
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Post Options Post Options   Quote techntrek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2016 at 8:25pm
You can only take that route with a helipod.
Doug ~ '10 171 (2009-2015) ~ 2008 Salem ~ Pod instruction manual
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rustler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2016 at 10:00pm
Originally posted by CharlieM

Originally posted by Rustler

Someone on this forum shared a very interesting feature of the Google Earth program that is of great use for Rpod towing:
  • Select "Get Directions" (From - to - Destination)
  • The route will be shown in a different color (blue)
  • Point at the route and right-click
  • Select "Show Elevation Profile"
This will display a profile of the route with grades and distances along the route. You can highlight portions of any steep grades to show length, average and maximum grade. This can be quite useful for trip planning.

I must be doing something wrong. I tried Google Earth going from Denver to Vail, CO. The elevation profile showed grades of +34% to -50% along the route. No way!
I tried the same route and also noticed some very strange (steep) grades. But when I zoomed in on the area with these anomalies, it is in the location of the Eisenhower Tunnel. Evidently Google Earth is using ground elevation (the mountain above the tunnel) to calculate the road profile. So I would just ignore the results for the portion of the route in the tunnel. Using Google Earth you can easily determine ground elevation and geographic coordinates - just point the cursor at the location of interest. There isn't a tremendous elevation difference between both ends of the tunnel. The ends are at 11,186 feet and 11,075 feet, just a 100 feet difference. Using the "Tools - Ruler" utility the straight-line distance between tunnel entrances is 1.72  miles. So the average grade in the tunnel is not severe.

So you didn't do anything wrong, Charlie. Google Earth doesn't deal with tunnels correctly. Maybe they will get the problem fixed in the future. In the meantime we'll just ignore grades shown in tunnels.  



Russ
2009 Toyota RAV4
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