On a class MH it is in tow mode all of the time.
2001 35 ft avalon alpenlite RK
2005 3500 2wd duramax CC dually
trailair center point suspension
JT Strong Arm Stabilizers
KSH 55 inbed fuel tank
Induction Overhaul Kit
TST tire monitors
I use to have a Fleetwood Southwind 32Von a Workhorse Chasis and drove the Grapevine several times. You won't have any trouble.........except it is one rough road in the right hand lanes. If traffic allows, you might want to stay as far to the left as possible, the lanes are smoother. Don't worry about down shifting going up, let the transmission do the work. You'll probably slow down to about 40-45 mph. Their will be trucks going slower in the far right truck lane. You're transmission fans will come on and it will be noisey for awhile too. On the steep decent.....turn off your overdrive......and you might want to select a lower gear. Remember, don't ride the brakes.......it's best to let the speed build a little then brake somewhat hard for a few seconds and then release the brakes to allow them to cool. If I remember right, I would come down around 40-45mph, I think in 3rd and would only have to touch the brakes a couple of times. You have good power for going up......the only bad thing about the Grapevine in a Workhorse Chasis is, you are going to feel the bumps, and theire are lots of them...........but you'll do fine. Enjoy your trip. Are you going down 99 or I-5? Personally, I go 99 anymore, there's more to see and most of it is good road, other then thru Modesto and Atwater. Again, enjoy the trip.
Since you said you are going to Anaheim, I will guess you are going South on the I-5. As was said before, you can expect to climb the Grapevine at about 40 to 45. Since you are not towing, you may be able to go faster, but i think it best if you let the engine work less hard and keep it at the 40 tp 50 range. As far as going North, you will now encounter the steep downhill part. If you have a 2005, or newer, you may have a Grade Brake on the Allison Transmission. If so, take it our of overdrive, turn on the Grade Brake and let it do the work for you. If your speed climbs and you feel uncomfortable, use the regular brakes to slow to a safer speed, and then let up on the pedal. DO NOT KEEP YOUR FOOT ON THE BRAKES! That is what causes them to overheat and fail.
I have gone up and down both the Conejo Grade (7% grade) and the Simi Grade (118) and had no problem maintaining a safe speed.
If your coach is older than 2004, you may not have the grade brake, so on the downside, just use the brakes to slow down, then ease off and let the speed build a little (55 to 65mph) then braje again. Alow the brakes to cool even if your speed does climb a little. That is why everyone asked for as much detail on you year, model, engine and tranny. My old 1998 Dolphin with the Ford 460 V-8 would climb the Grapevine at 45, and I needed to allow it to reach 60, or so, on the downslope, then brake to 50 and do it again.
Have the brakes checked by a respected mechanic to make sure they are in good shape before taking off.
Darryl, Carole & Buddy the Wonder Dog
2005 Sea Breeze LX 8375 37' w/3 slides
"The Grand Hotel West"
2008 Saturn VUE, Towed
GS-25512187 FMCA-355241 Dolphin-1901
I forget the name at the top of the Grapevine......Fort something, just before it gets steep going north. Slow down to 45 or so and downshift one gear below "D" (drive) I believe it's 3rd on the Workhorse and you'll only use your brakes 3 or 4 times going down that steep part. Just dont' ride the brakes, which I'm sure you know anyway. I believe the recommenation is something like 7 seconds of soldid braking which will slow you down 10-15 mph and then off to let them cool down. The transmission will hold you back for quite sometime on that steep grade, but speed will increase as will will your rpm's. Again, it's been awhile, and maybe someone else can jump in here, but I think I use to let the rpms go to 4,000 before braking. If you go to IRV2.com and click on forums. Scroll down to the Workhose Chasis forum and post a question there. There's a guy named Driver and he knows the workhorse chasis inside and out, and can tell you exactly the rpms etc. Enjoy and tell Mickey hi. LOL
Yes, as said above, when you pass Ft Tejon, drop it down to 3rd gear and come on down the last five miles of the steepest portion of the grade. You should have moved it out of overdrive range when you come over the summit. Remember, it is better err on the lower gear side. You can always shift up if you find yourself in too low a gear, but you could have a few pucker moments if you are in too high of a gear and need to get slowed to get inot a lower gear. I have been over it many times. You will be fine.
BigRabbitMan & DiamondGal Diatomaceous Earth for health
76 FMC #1046, Gas Pusher W/Chrysler 440-I
Edelbrock MPI fuel injection, Allison 545
Toad: Red '87 4x4 Subaru Brat, '95 Honda Accord
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Yes, as said above, when you pass Ft Tejon, drop it down to 3rd gear and come on down the last five miles of the steepest portion of the grade.
Or just hit the switch on the dash to activate the Grade Brake in the Allison tranny. With the Grade Brake turned on a tap on the brake automatically selects the right gear for the road grade, road speed, engine speed, etc. Ain't computers great!
Alan & Sandy Hepburn driving a 2007 Fleetwood Bounder 35E on a Workhorse chassis - Proud to be a Blue Star Family!
If you have an gas coach, do NOT use your brakes to slow down. You will end up overheating the shoes and boil the brake fluid. Then you loose the brake pedal and can not stop. That is exactly what they make those runaway truck lanes for.
Use your transmission. Make sure your OverDrive is off, that will start the transmission braking. Shift into 2nd gear and that should do it. If you have to, go into 1st on a steep decline.
Do not worry about people behind you. Your protecting people in front of you!
I don't like others newbies being mislead on the proper braking technique on a gas MH weighing 15-20k lbs. Applying the brakes as another poster suggests will will get you into an overheated condition about the 4th or 5th time you hit them. Then when you go to stop, there is nothing there.
Use the tranny and change the fluid every other year. I have 120k on my MH and the brakes are 11 years old but still new. I did slap new rotors and calipers on just because(sticky caliper). All new Brake Fluid also.
I was towed off of the pass just east of BullHead City NV on our maiden voyage. I boiled the brake fluid, so I know what I'm talking about. You just can't stop these rigs without using the tranny.
* This post was
edited 08/06/11 12:49am by ConnieAndMike *
Rv.net just gets worse all the time. Why dont those with pull trailers stay in their forum. I would not post advice in the trailer forum as my knowledge would be very limited as compared to members who know much more. One poster in this thread mentiond a standard transmission. Does anyone know of a motorhome with a Workhorse chassis and a manualtranny!! Another suggests changing the tranny fluid in an Allison every other year. Bad idea. Just use Transynd as recommended by Allison. That unit might even have Transynd as a factory fill.
Since you have the 8.1, you may also have the Allison transmission with Grade Retard. Check the chassis manual for how to use that going down, in combination with engine braking (RPMs up to 5000) it should keep your speed in control going down.
Going up, the transmission will figure out what gear is needed for whatever speed you are trying to maintain with the go pedal.