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Old 07-15-2016, 09:04 PM   #1
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Uphill struggle

Hi,
We have a winnebago 2002 32v with the ford Triton v10 6.8l engine and we are towing a Toyota Rav 4 2.2l on a dolly.

Last year we were towing in the southern states and did not have to pull any large hills.
This year we have done a few mountain passes through Colorado and the Winnebago dropping to 20 mph, and have had to resort to un-mounting the Rav4 and the wife driving the car behind up the passes.
This is only our second 6 month period of Rv'ing so we are new to this.

Is this normal?

Terry & Gill
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:09 PM   #2
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:33 PM   #3
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As altitude increases, horsepower decreases. If you are heavily loaded and heading toward Eisenhower tunnel ... Sounds normal. Plan accordingly.
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:36 PM   #4
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I have not driven the hills in Colorado but I have in Tennessee Kentucky and Virginia West Virginia and no big issues. I do have the 5 star tune on mine and yes it drops down in speed but that's what the right lane is for. Everything is in the green and the engine is not working to bad. I think I drop down to 35-40 mph and towing my toad. And like I said I didn't want to push it hard.
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:36 PM   #5
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I've been coast to coast on I40, I80, I70, you name it. Nothing more than 6% grades and I've never been slower than 45mph towing a car. And I'm lots heavier than you, I hope. I also had no problems in my 35' 1998 Chieftain. So, the question is, what grades were you pulling and are you seriously overloaded?
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Indy54 View Post
I've been coast to coast on I40, I80, I70, you name it. Nothing more than 6% grades and I've never been slower than 45mph towing a car. And I'm lots heavier than you, I hope. I also had no problems in my 35' 1998 Chieftain. So, the question is, what grades were you pulling and are you seriously overloaded?

Monarch pass was one of them 11,312 ft (3,448 m) and 7%

never got the whole rig weight checked so no idea where i sit with regards to weight.
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Johndale View Post
I have not driven the hills in Colorado but I have in Tennessee Kentucky and Virginia West Virginia and no big issues. I do have the 5 star tune on mine and yes it drops down in speed but that's what the right lane is for. Everything is in the green and the engine is not working to bad. I think I drop down to 35-40 mph and towing my toad. And like I said I didn't want to push it hard.

Whats the 5 star tune?
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Old 07-16-2016, 06:31 AM   #8
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Whats the 5 star tune?

5 star tune is reprogramming the transmission shift points on f53. There is a lot of write ups here about it and I love it.
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Old 07-16-2016, 06:42 AM   #9
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I feel your pain. My 2013 vista with the v10 completely stopped as we were climbing a hill in west va. I guess the engine went into limp mode.I have to say that u lost faith in that engine. Good luck.
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Old 07-16-2016, 07:35 AM   #10
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Normal - Yes...

I also have the early 310hp V10. V10s after 2006 have 360 hp. We were dolly towing a 2006 Camry on our last AZ trip. So you configuration is very close to mine.

When I run large, long steep grades, I force the transmission in a lower gear and hold the RPMs high (3500 - 4000)

I've had no problems on the eastbound I-70 climb through the Eisenhower tunnel, the US-60 climb east of Globe AZ, or the AZ-89 climb north of Flagstaff.

RPMs is power, at 4000 RPM, the engine is producing twice the power than turning 2000 RPM. (not exactly, but close enough for the discussion) Don't allow the transmission to downshift, when you do, you just lost a significant proportion of your power.

Below is a photo taken last month as we neared the Eisenhower tunnel, eastbound I-70 (11,200 ft elevation) . We made the last couple miles of the climb in 1st gear, with the flashers turned on, in line with the trucks. I still had plenty of gas pedal under my foot if I need it.

HINT - On longer less steep grades where I have the cruise control set. If the trans drops out of OD, and I m pretty sure it'll be doing a couple upshift / downshifts before the top of the hill, I'll drop it out of OD to prevent it from doing the upshift /downshift (OD shiffting in and out) This is the button on the end of shift lever. ( Newer V10s use this button as a TOW / HAUL button that controls how the transmission shifts)

The shifting probably bothers me more than the tranny.

..
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:46 AM   #11
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Have you ever changed the fuel filter? There should be one similar this inside the drivers side frame rail:


https://www.google.com/search?q=ford...SxHU_erEffM%3A


We had the same problem with our 2001 Adventurer when the fuel filter plugged up. We had to disconnect the Jeep to get up the incline to the Eisenhower Tunnel. At our next stop I reviewed the maintenance records and realized the fuel filter was long past the change interval. We picked one up at a local parts store and installed it the next day.


The old filter was so plugged with dirt that it weighed about 10 lbs. I couldn't even blow air through it. After the new filter was installed the thing ran like a scared rabbit (comparatively).
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Old 07-16-2016, 10:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Waiter21 View Post
Normal - Yes...

HINT - On longer less steep grades where I have the cruise control set. If the trans drops out of OD, and I m pretty sure it'll be doing a couple upshift / downshifts before the top of the hill, I'll drop it out of OD to prevent it from doing the upshift /downshift (OD shiffting in and out) This is the button on the end of shift lever. ( Newer V10s use this button as a TOW / HAUL button that controls how the transmission shifts)

The shifting probably bothers me more than the tranny.

..
Thanks for the comprehensive answer, the button on the end of shift lever i have never used....when/how should it be used?
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Old 07-16-2016, 10:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Hikerdogs View Post
Have you ever changed the fuel filter? There should be one similar this inside the drivers side frame rail:


https://www.google.com/search?q=ford...SxHU_erEffM%3A


We had the same problem with our 2001 Adventurer when the fuel filter plugged up. We had to disconnect the Jeep to get up the incline to the Eisenhower Tunnel. At our next stop I reviewed the maintenance records and realized the fuel filter was long past the change interval. We picked one up at a local parts store and installed it the next day.


The old filter was so plugged with dirt that it weighed about 10 lbs. I couldn't even blow air through it. After the new filter was installed the thing ran like a scared rabbit (comparatively).
I have only owned the rv for 12 months, and will have a look at the fuel filter, if i can find it
Any specialist tools required?
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Old 07-16-2016, 10:33 PM   #14
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We have an '05 National RV on an '04 F53 chassis. We spend a lot of time in the "mountains" on the east coast - PA, NY and even on the drive up our street to our home.

We tow our VW on a flatbed trailer, and are typically at, or near, max capacity of 26,000lb -- and Yes, I do weight the RV at least 2 times a year at Cat Scales.

It's not uncommon for our RV to get up in the 4,000+ RPM range. After reading *many* posts on iRV2 and other forums, and reading about the V10 engine in our RV, I just keep the pedal to the ground and let the engine and transmission do their work. As I understand, the engine is designed to run at these high revs, and getting off the gas and lugging the engine up a steep hill is worse than letting it "rev out".

Do we like the way it sounds while we're going up that hilly terrain - absolutely not, but if that's where the engine wants to go and produces the best power to get us up that hill, then I'll continue to run this way.

Given that we do travel a lot in these conditions, I do change the oil and filter pretty regularly. Most times, I will change the oil/filter after we get back from one of our trips, even if it's only a couple thousand miles.

All that said, we've never fallen as low as 20MPH on the highway, although we will drop down to about 20MPH climbing the hill that leads to our home - when we are towing the car and trailer, and about 25MPH without the car and trailer. The uphilll section of road that leads to our home goes from 168' above sea level to 428' above sea level in about 6/10's of mile - that's the roughest part of the climb. After that we still have to climb another another 200' of elevation to get to our "parking spot"

The worst part about the "hard climb" section is that there is a hard right hand turn on the uphill. We unfortunatly cannot carry any speed going into this corner, and thus it makes the engine work a little harder to get back up to speed.



The red lines mark the "hard climb" section, blue dot - where we park it at home.
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Old 07-16-2016, 10:56 PM   #15
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I didn't have that long of an RV but was pulling a full size Chevy blazer. That V10 screams but I just put it to the floor and let it do its thing while watching the temps. Never that slow but down to 35 on some grades. My rv was 26 ft.

If warranted, no reason to not pull it into 1st gear and just keep the rpms in the sweet spot. You will learn it.
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:11 AM   #16
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I have only owned the rv for 12 months, and will have a look at the fuel filter, if i can find it
Any specialist tools required?
The fuel filter should be somewhere along the frame rail, behind the drivers front wheel.

When you buy the filter, open the box and see if it has threaded connectors. If not, show the parts guy and ask for the little tool that slips in and releases the spring clamps. Once you get the tool to work, you will be an expert.

I have a 1999 V10 30 ft class C, motorhome, so it has less power then most class A V10s. I also pull a toad.

I use the " O/D OFF " button while on hilly highways and most winding secondary roads. It keeps It from shifting in and out of overdrive and helps with stopping.

I have been down to 20 MPH climbing some steep hills. Once it gets to about 25, I move the shift lever to 1st gear and get the RPMs to about 4500 and slowly climb. If the speed picks up as the hill levels out, move the shift to 2nd.

It sounds like the engine is comming apart but it stays in there. If you don't have RPMs on your dash, get a Scan gauge II. It give you choices of RPM, temp, voltage, HP and a wishful thinking MPG reading.

Once up the hill, if its going down again, I leave it in 2nd and let the engine help keep my speed down, rather then taking the chance of overheating my brakes.

Speaking of brakes, Ford recommends changing the brake fluid ever year or two, ( I forget ) on Class A motorhomes. Its an obscure entery in the service guide.

If you've had it for a year and are driving mountain roads, it may be due.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:35 AM   #17
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20mph in those steep high altitude passes is normal. Experienced the same thing in a 2003 workhorse chasis, 34' pulling a 4500lb jeep. The high altitude of the Rockies is a huge factor compared to the steep grades in other parts of the country.
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Old 07-22-2016, 09:33 AM   #18
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Can i just say a big thankyou to everyone for your responses, it has been very informative and i shall be looking at some of your suggestions.

Terry
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