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 > Tioga Pass in a 26' C

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Honeybee8888

Central NJ

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Posted: 04/24/07 05:00am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am suddenly getting very nervous about taking this road in our RV. I've been over the pass two or three times, but always in a car. This past weekend I drove the camper for the first time in some hilly, narrow places in central Pennsylvania. Nothing particularly scary or precipitous (especially by western mountain standards), but I felt as if I ought to be riding the brakes most of the time on the way down, which didn't make me too happy. (Downshifting into first gear to get UP didn't make me happy, either!) Then I thought about Tioga Pass (not to mention all the other places on our route for September, but Tioga is, I think, the highest, and I know what I'm getting into there!)

Do people really go OVER this route with an RV? Any tips in general for this kind of driving? We aren't towing anything, it's just us, in our comfy old ....well, our comfy old Tioga, LOL! If we can't get over our namesake road, what IS life coming to? And I should mention, our route calls for going in AND out of Yosemite via the same route. So I'll have to do it twice, in each direction.

Any encouragement or tips would be greatly appreciated!

Debbie (feeling like a wuss for even ASKING this question)


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Samantha, a 2002 28' Jayco Eagle Class C


Doug and Cassi Glass

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Posted: 04/24/07 05:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You do have to gear down to pull grades. That's why there is a series of gears (transmission) in vehicles, to ease the workload on the engine. You must also gear down to go down the grade. An old saying is you use the same gear going down that you used going up.

If you don't gear down going down the hill you will run out of brakes making the last portion of the trip much quicker and more exciting than you would probably like!

Yes, RVs of all sizes and shapes go over Tioga Pass all the time.

Tioga probably won't be open for another month because of snow on the road. It usually opens around Memorial Day.

Enjoy the east side of the Sierras (US395), one of the prettiest spots in the USA.

BobJoh

Whitestown, IN 46075

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Posted: 04/24/07 06:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tioga eastbound MUSt be in low gears and NOT on brakes only. I followed a Caddy sedan and his brake lights we on all the time and I could smell his hot brakes.. he had to pull over and stop to let them cool.. but then they were smoking. Use the lowest gear instead of stopping as air flow will assist in cooling better than a stop and waiting. Use the gears to control the speed and then only occasional brakes as an assist when approaching the turns. Keep it extra slow and be happy.


BobJoh

Marv Hoag

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Posted: 04/24/07 08:16am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The only part of Tioga pass that gets my attention, is the eastbound drop to hwy 395. I usually pull over a couple of times and let the cars go by.


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msmith1199

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Posted: 04/24/07 11:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've taken a 30 foot class C over the Sonora pass, but I wouldn't do that again. Tioga pass is a piece of cake if you do it right. You have to use low gears going down or you may find yourself without brakes half way down.


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Honeybee8888

Central NJ

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Posted: 04/24/07 01:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

msmith1199 wrote:

Tioga pass is a piece of cake if you do it right. You have to use low gears going down or you may find yourself without brakes half way down.


So the concensus seems to be that my husband's comment that "brakes are cheaper than a transmission" should be ignored?

Thank you for the tips... I'll find something else to worry about for a while (it's still 4 months away, that gives me LOTS of time to come up with ideas to worry over, LOL!)

Debbie

Doug and Cassi Glass

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Posted: 04/24/07 03:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Brakes are cheaper but you'll run out of them on Tioga Pass. I spent 33 years on the CHP some in the eastern sierra and a bunch of years in other mountains.

You have to use the gears. I've seen many trucks, rvs, cars, etc catch fire due to riding the brakes. When you use the brakes get on them hard then get all the way off. They will cool some between applications, but if you keep playing with them (light taps) they will go out, no question about it.

The worst people for wearing out brakes are people who brake with their left foot. You've followed them; the ones wirh their brake lights on or flickering all the time. And they can't figure out why they only get 5,000 miles out of a set of brake pads.

time2roll

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Posted: 04/24/07 03:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ebbetts & Sonora are killers, Tioga pass is moderate. Go slow in low or second and you will be fine. Might be a good time to service the trans fluid before you go and of course make sure your brakes are in good shape. It is a beatiful drive, don't miss it. Current snow clearing update


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msmith1199

Reno, NV

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Posted: 04/24/07 06:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Honeybee8888 wrote:

msmith1199 wrote:

Tioga pass is a piece of cake if you do it right. You have to use low gears going down or you may find yourself without brakes half way down.


So the concensus seems to be that my husband's comment that "brakes are cheaper than a transmission" should be ignored?

Thank you for the tips... I'll find something else to worry about for a while (it's still 4 months away, that gives me LOTS of time to come up with ideas to worry over, LOL!)

Debbie


Brakes are cheaper, but there is a reason you have low gears on the tranny. It's for when you need more power or when you need braking. I put my vehicles in low gears all the time when going down hills. When you get to the West side of Tioga Pass you'll come to Priest Grade. I go up and down it all the time and do it in low gears. Never had a tranny problem.

Honeybee8888

Central NJ

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Posted: 04/24/07 09:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

smkettner wrote:

Ebbetts & Sonora are killers


Just wondering, where are Ebbetts and Sonora? I am wondering if I am going over any other tricky places and not realizing it. It's really difficult to tell from my maps which roads are hard to drive--I only asked about Tioga because I've been there, so I know it could be scary. I did pick up from another thread that I should take the more southern road (Route 16) through the Bighorns in Wyoming rather than Route 14... but I wouldn't have known to ask about that. How can I tell in advance if I am heading for a problem?

Thank you all for your advice about how to handle the passes... my rig is older, and as RV drivers we are newbies. We'd really prefer NOT to have to use those "runaway truck" places on the sides of the road!

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