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Old 02-03-2020, 06:36 AM   #1
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Smile Winnebago Outlook 350 Rockies travel?

Just a question for those with a 350. Have you had any problems traveling out west? I am particularly thinking about travel in the mountains. We are towing a Jeep Wrangler. We’re thinking of a trip out west and I just don’t want to run into unexpected problems. Thanks for your input! Happy travels!
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Old 03-06-2020, 10:43 PM   #2
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Not a problem at all.

But just a hint for driving up on higher altitudes like Mount Evans or Pikes Peak. Be aware of the lower air pressure and less oxigen up there. The car lose power and the human body may feel uncomfortable and dizzy. So stay at least two nights on altitudes like 5000ft-7000ft above sea level before driving up there. This allows your body to produce more red blood cells and you will adapt the lower oxigen rate much better.

Concerning the vehicles: they will lose power. So driving up to Pikes Peak: Take the car. If you want to tow your Jeep over the Tioga Pass (about 9000ft above sea level; Sierra Nevada, California; Yosemite National Park), especially the ramp from Lee Vining, this is possible. But you will be quite slow and the fuel consumption will be very high (like the price for gas in the Park... $6 per gallon something like that).

Guess that you don't have a lpg driven fridge anymore in your Outlook, so this point is not to worry anymore. If still lpg driven you have to care about the flame if you stay on higher altitudes (>7000ft) without a hoockup.

And: You can save a lot of money if you drive uphill with empty black/grey tanks and the fresh water tank on 1/3 (depends where you want to spend the night...).

Well, like you said: Happy travels!
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Old 03-07-2020, 08:45 AM   #3
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The going up is often not the real problem as we find we just have to go slow and learn to enjoy creeping uphill. What many do not know and therefore lets it get them in trouble is that coming down is the hard part as nature makes things go much faster and faster is not good when towing and suddenly facing a 15 MPH curve. If one has not learned the lessons of how to avoid using the brakes, they can suddenly find they don't have brakes!

If you have not overheated brakes and lost them, do some study first before going. Those runaway truck ramps are there because they are needed, not just to make folks wonder!

If you are planning generator use at high altitude, do some study on how to reset the carb on the genset for different altitude. Not hard to do but it may be required to get good operation. I have mine set for about 3500 as a mid-point as I often use it down low like 800-1000 feet, but do make trips and find 3500 will do okay up to 5000+ and rarely do I stay higher due to the headaches and cold.

How the engine will pull it will take some experience as we all have different feelings about what is "okay". So trip planning is one way to help get that experience without adding too much drama. Look at the passes you might have on a leg of the trip and plan some lower ones to see what it feels like to you. First trip, it might be helpful to use interstate for a while, even though it may limit you a bit at first. Then as you see if it is okay for your feelings, you can then look at things off the interstate. Hedge the bets, perhaps? For a first time West trip, you will find way too many things to see/do, so taking it slow and getting the feel if things will help. I recommend I25 for North/ South Colorado driving and a stay at the top of Raton pass as there is a great RV campground, with views to set your heart on fire---without killing it! (7800ft !)
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Old 03-07-2020, 09:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morich View Post
If you are planning generator use at high altitude, do some study on how to reset the carb on the genset for different altitude.
I know some folks say to do this, but in my 20-years of RVing all over the west including a lot of time over 9,000', I've never "reset the carb" or done anything to my genset to accommodate the altitude. And, I've never had any issues.

That doesn't mean it's not something to be aware of, but it sure isn't a big worry on my list. It's not even on my list.
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Old 03-07-2020, 10:06 AM   #5
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The going up is often not the real problem as we find we just have to go slow and learn to enjoy creeping uphill. What many do not know and therefore lets it get them in trouble is that coming down is the hard part as nature makes things go much faster and faster is not good when towing and suddenly facing a 15 MPH curve. If one has not learned the lessons of how to avoid using the brakes, they can suddenly find they don't have brakes!
Very important point Morich, thank you! For adding:

Use always the tow-mode on the gear lever (push the button). This will affect that the gearbox is shifting down automatically so you don't need to break always. This works quite well on interstates. But f it's very steep and a long way down (e.g. Sierra Nevada Passes; Beartooth Pass MT & WY, or from Bighorn National Forest to Lovell WY; US 14 Alt) it's better when you shift manually down. You do it this way: First slow down to the right speed and then shift manually down to the right gear, that you feel the vehicle is "hold" by the gearbox and you don't need to break.

It's also very important that you slow down and get the right speed for the bend before(!) it begins. Applying the brakes in the curve, like you can do with a car easily if you are too fast, might be very critical and is normally "too late!". But you will certainly know it from the interstates exits.

Certainly modern hydraulic breaking systems like the Outlook has do not overhead so fast. But anyway, it's better when the vehicle is "hold by the gearbox" and you don't need to break always. So you have enough breaking power before the next hairpin or for an emergency stop.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 03-07-2020, 01:59 PM   #6
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Resetting the genset to run better is such a simple thing on those I've changed that it is just normal for me to want to know how to do it. If it seems to struggle or sound odd, how to change it may be as simple as turning the knob for the adjustment. Not hard to do and if we are prepared, we can do much better without the worry of last minute decisions whether to do it.
The point I like to make is things go so much smoother if we ask the questions before we need the answers. Last time my genset was coughing and not acting quite right, it was dark and raining and we really needed/wanted the generator, so since I had looked at the adjustment, it was simple to go out and flip it over a bit to smooth out the run.
We may never need it and that is fine but when we do,it's still nice to know that we could change it if needed.
Some people do not want to know how to jump start a car because they have never done it but I feel better knowing I can when needed.
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