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Old 01-27-2020, 01:57 PM   #1
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Era on steep grades

Hello, everyone.

I have a 2013 Winnebago Era 170a on a Mercedes Benz chassis and I have a question about driving on steep grades.

I am interested in camping at the Amicalola Falls St Pk in northern Georgia. The road to the park has grades of 25 percent. I know that my engine automatically shifts down, and I have driven it in mountains in New Mexico & Arizona, but the grades were not that steep. Has anyone been to this park in Georgia in a Class B Sprinter van? Did you have any problems? Any suggestions would be appreciated. I travel by myself, so there is no one to share the fear with!

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Old 01-27-2020, 05:09 PM   #2
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Might want to double check that grade info. I think of steep as being 6-8% when in real mountains in the West. I did a quick look at the state park website and saw no mention of that sort of grade.
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Old 01-27-2020, 05:17 PM   #3
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Fire apparatus could never get in there to fight a fire if there was a 25 % grade. The worst grade that allows access for fire fighting is 10 %.

That said you will have to gear down and travel back down at a slow rate of speed where the engine can limit your speed so you don't burn up your brakes.
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Old 01-27-2020, 06:41 PM   #4
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Suspect that might be 2. 5 %?
Some info I cut and copied from the net:
An interstate is out of standard if it has a grade > 7%.
The National Road (built in 1806) had a maximum grade of 8.75%.
Local roads are much higher (12% or 15% are sometimes allowed)
Otter Tail MN County roads 6%, alleys 8%
Driveways can be as much as 30% for a short distance
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:53 PM   #5
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You will not have a problem. The MB Diesel engine is nothing but torque!
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Old 02-02-2020, 09:27 PM   #6
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This is from the web page: https://www.amicalolafallslodge.com/...ons/campsites/



Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge has one of the most unique RV campgrounds in GA. Each “pull in” or “back in” site offers power, water, picnic table, grill and fire ring. RV campers should note the road to access the campground is at a 25% grade and may not be suited to the largest RV Camper models. We recommend coming prepared to use a low gear for hauling, while still meeting the park speed limit of 15 mph. Know your vehicle’s towing capacity and state of repair before attempting the climb.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camper Fan View Post
Hello, everyone.

I have a 2013 Winnebago Era 170a on a Mercedes Benz chassis and I have a question about driving on steep grades.

I am interested in camping at the Amicalola Falls St Pk in northern Georgia. The road to the park has grades of 25 percent. I know that my engine automatically shifts down, and I have driven it in mountains in New Mexico & Arizona, but the grades were not that steep. Has anyone been to this park in Georgia in a Class B Sprinter van? Did you have any problems? Any suggestions would be appreciated. I travel by myself, so there is no one to share the fear with!

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Rule of thumb don't go down any faster than you came up, same gear up same gear down!
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Old 02-03-2020, 02:16 PM   #8
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Thanks to all who responded. Yes, LadyDog, that was the same info I found mentioning the 25% grade, when I first started looking at that park.
I can't shift down, as I have only P, R, N, and D, but I will depend on the Sprinter engine to do its job. Thanks, T00lman, for the encouraging post.
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:15 AM   #9
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On looking further at the RV park app I use, I see a number of reviews which mention as long as 40 foot and no mention of hills, so you should be good whether the grade is that steep or not! Possible the person writing the state info is not familiar with how grades are figured?
We live in an era where bad info is much easier to get than good info.
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:48 AM   #10
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Maybe they put in 25% when they meant on a 25 degree angle to level?
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Old 02-05-2020, 10:31 AM   #11
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Sounds like whatever the grade of the road it's just one of the park roads with a 15 mph limit. It doesn't say how long that stretch is, but I would think your diesel could handle that just fine going up and your brakes going down. If you have tow/haul mode that might help going down.

If you're concerned you could empty all your tanks beforehand to reduce weight somewhat.
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Old 02-05-2020, 11:08 AM   #12
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I've not looked at many reviews but I would expect at least one for a real 25 % grade, so I fall back to thinking it is not really a true problem more likely info that is somehow skewed by some factor. Perhaps as simple as the girl at the desk getting a fresh complaint about the "steep" hill while writing up the park info?
We occasionally find the folks at the front desk have never actually used an RV, so what seems scary to them may just be routine for the normal user.
Maybe we can get a report back from the OP after their visit. Maybe it really is scary and we should all know?
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Old 02-09-2020, 08:30 PM   #13
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Era Steep grade

Well, I am hoping to make this trip in May, so I will definitely report back about my experience. Possibly someone else who has already visited that park will also give a report.
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Old 10-18-2020, 07:19 PM   #14
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I'm wondering if you had made this trip or did the pandemic put it on hold?
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Old 10-23-2020, 05:15 PM   #15
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Era Steep grade

LadyDog, you guessed it. Fortunately, my reservation deposit was refunded in full, so I am hoping to try again next May.
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:06 PM   #16
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Why cant you down shift a Sprinter ----don't you just need to move the shift handle left or right to up shift or down shift.
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