Mountain Driving Guide for Truckers, RV and Motorhome Drivers Review

Last modified on May 17, 2021

Mountain Driving Guide for Truckers, RV and Motorhome Drivers Review

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Description Of Mountain Driving Guide for Truckers, RV and Motorhome Drivers

When prospects discover out that I'm from Kansas, they typically say, "Kansas?  What are you able to inform me about mountain passes for those who're from Kansas?"  But after they hear my story, they reduce me just a little slack.  (By the best way, do you know that there was as soon as a researcher with an excessive amount of authorities grant cash who decided that Kansas truly is flatter than a pancake?)

When I used to be a child within the early 60's my mother and father owned a 16 foot Mobil Scout journey trailer.  We pulled that trailer everywhere in the western United States and Canada with a 1962 Chevy with a 283 cubic inch engine and a 3 pace on the column.  So I discovered to love mountains and I discovered to like touring the extensive open areas of our nice land.  With that small trailer and the dependable Chevy, we by no means had any issues climbing or descending grades.


In an try to make mountain driving just a little safer for truckers
and RV'ers, R&R Publishing Inc. has been amassing and publishing
details about mountain passes and steep grades since 1993. The Mountain Directory Ebooks give the areas
and descriptions of over 700 mountain passes and steep grades in
22 states. The Mountain Directory ebooks inform you the place the
steep grades are, how lengthy they're, how steep (%) they're, whether or not
the highway is 2 lane, three lane, or 4 lane, if there are escape
ramps, switchbacks, sharp curves, pace limits, and so on. With this
data, one can know forward of time what a cross is like and
make an knowledgeable choice about whether or not to go over or round. If
you determine to go over, maybe the cool morning hours would ease
the pressure on the engine and transmission in the course of the climb. Unhooking
the towed car would make the climb and the descent simpler. Knowing
what lies forward is half the battle.

The printed variations of the Mountain Directory books had virtually 240 pages of textual content and colour reduction maps. All 240 pages are within the downloadable variations of the Mountain Directory ebooks. Nothing is lacking. In the printed variations, mountain cross areas have been marked with a yellow triangle on the colour reduction maps.  In the e book variations, you possibly can click on on the yellow triangles and the textual content seems that describes that location.

4. US 33
(between Harrisonburg, VA and Judy Gap, WV.)

There are three summits alongside this stretch of US 33. The jap summit is between Rawley Springs, VA and Brandywine, WV.  The east facet is Four miles of Eight to 9% grade. The west facet is 4½ miles of 9% grade and each side have steady sharp curves and hairpin turns.  The freeway is 2 lane on each sides.

The center summit is between Oak Flat and Franklin, WV. The east facet of this hill is 2½ miles of 8% with 25 mph curves.  The west facet is about 3½ miles of a lot milder grade.  It is Four to five% over most of its size.  There are some sharp curves close to the underside.  The highway is 2 lane on each sides of the hill.

The western summit is between Franklin and Judy Gap, WV.  It is 5 miles of regular 9% grade on each side.  Both sides are two lane with sharp curves and hairpin turns.  Use warning on this highway.

There is an outdated saying amongst over-the-road truckers. "There are two sorts of drivers -- those that've been in hassle on a mountain grade, and those that will likely be." Unfortunately, this additionally applies to many RVers. Trucks and RVs have comparable issues concerning weight, engine energy, and braking in mountainous terrain.

Imagine your self descending a mountain grade in your RV. You did not know there was such a protracted, steep grade on this freeway. What a shock! And issues should not going properly. You have a white-knuckle grip on the steering wheel. The engine isn't holding again all of this weight, the brakes are smelling scorching and even smoking, you are pushing tougher on the brake pedal however your pace retains growing. All you possibly can see forward is extra mountain. Your thoughts is racing by way of the entire obtainable choices and none of them are good. "I've received to do one thing," you say "or I'm not going to make it." The choices embody: run into the rock wall, go over the facet, hit these timber, or see for those who can make the subsequent curve and trip it out. You select the final possibility and, if you're fortunate, you make it to the underside in a single piece. You pull over and if you are ready for your coronary heart to cease pounding, you wipe the sweat out of your face and you discover your shirt is soaked, your mouth is dry, and your arms are shaking. You are pondering, "If I had recognized it was going to be like that............."

Perhaps your rig has issue in the course of the steep climbs. The temperature is within the 90's and the grade is so steep which you can barely climb it in first gear. The engine and transmission temperatures are rising. How far to the highest of this hill? You do not know if it is one mile or ten. Something smells scorching. What to do? Pull over and cool off? But then all momentum is misplaced. Can you even get began once more? You want you had unhooked the automobile you are dragging up this hill behind the motorhome. If you might be fortunate, you are able to do that subsequent time. You are questioning what number of thousand {dollars} a brand new engine and transmission will likely be.

During the previous few years we've got heard many tales about very costly repairs to drive practice elements. Sometimes rigs are misplaced fully. A freeway patrol officer in Oregon instructed us that in the summertime a median of 1 motorhome per week burns to the bottom whereas making an attempt to climb Cabbage Hill on I-84 east of Pendleton. If a hearth begins, the closest fireplace division is more likely to be many miles away. By the time they arrive, there may be nothing left to do however dampen the ashes.

Many persons are underneath the impression that the grades within the jap mountains should not as critical because the grades within the western mountains. Apparently it's because the elevations should not as excessive within the jap states. But elevation alone isn't the problem--it is the change in elevation that makes a grade probably hazardous. If all different elements are equal, a grade that descends from 4000' to 1000' over 10 miles isn't any completely different than a grade that descends from 10000' to 7000' over 10 miles. Either method you will have a 3000' change in elevation unfold over 10 miles. (This instance would end in a median grade of virtually 6% for 10 miles.)

A big share of the grades within the western states are within the 6% vary. A big share of the grades within the jap states are 8, 9, or 10% and generally much more. The jap grades are sometimes shorter however this isn't at all times so. A fast look by way of the jap ebook will reveal over 50 grades which are between 7 and 10% and from Four to 7 miles lengthy. There are others which are much more difficult. The highway to the highest of Whiteface Mountain in New York is Eight to 10% for Eight miles. There can be no want for truckers to make use of this highway however RVs are allowed. Near Cumberland, Maryland there's a hill on I-68 that's posted as 6% for 13 miles. In North Carolina freeway 181 crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway and the southbound descent is 11 miles of grade that varies from 6 to 10%. Much of it's Eight to 9%. These grades are simply as hazardous because the grades within the western states.

From the
Colorado part of the Mountain Directory West:

VAIL PASS elev. 10603' (on I-70 east of Vail, CO)

The descent on the westbound facet of Vail Pass is about 10 miles in size and begins at milepost 189 on I-70. One half mile west of the summit there are warning indicators for westbound traffic--"Speed restrict 45 mph for automobiles over 30,000 lbs." and "Steep grade subsequent Eight miles--trucks keep in decrease gear."  The subsequent mile is rolling hills.  Then there's a sign--"7% grade subsequent 7 miles."

The descent is regular at 7% and there are Three advisory indicators for the primary runaway truck ramp which is about milepost 185 or Four miles down from the summit.  The escape ramp is upsloping on the proper.  The second runaway truck ramp is about milepost 182, which is 3¼ miles after the primary escape ramp, or about 7¼ miles down from the summit.   There are a number of advisory indicators earlier than reaching it and it's an upsloping ramp on the precise.  Don't be fooled when the grade eases after the second escape ramp.  It quickly goes again to 7% and would not backside out till 2½ miles after the second escape ramp or about milepost 179.

The eastbound descent from the summit of Vail Pass continues virtually to the Frisco exit about 11 miles down the hill however the descent isn't regular.  There are brief steep sections adopted by brief sections of lesser grade.  The final half of the descent is 3-4% grade.  There aren't any escape ramps on the east facet of the cross.

While each effort has been made to make sure the accuracy of the maps included on this ebook, it's practically inconceivable to incorporate all needed element on such small maps. We suggest that these maps be used along with bigger, extra detailed highway maps.

In most instances the passes and hills are described as descents. In different phrases, a cross will likely be described from the summit down in a single course and then from the summit down within the different course. This listing doesn't declare to incorporate each steep grade. In reality, as a result of of the big space we've got tried to cowl, we will assure that we've got in all probability missed some. Sometimes the odds quoted are estimates and many instances they're primarily based on highway indicators or data offered by freeway departments. This ebook doesn't try to charge passes or grades in response to issue. There is a gigantic selection in automobiles and tools. A hill that could be very tough for one car could also be no downside in any respect for the same car that's outfitted in a different way. Driver judgment is important in deciding which hills ought to be averted.

The objective of this ebook is to not discourage drivers from going the place they please. It is just to tell them of the situations they might encounter and to encourage them to ensure their tools is in good restore. Brakes have to be in good working order and correctly adjusted and the engine and transmission ought to be used to gradual the car every time doable, thus saving the brakes and retaining them cool sufficient to retain their stopping energy. The engine's cooling system ought to be in good restore to stop overheating in the course of the climbs. Turning off the air conditioner throughout climbs could assist, and if needed, turning on the heater will assist dissipate warmth from the engine.

From the
North Carolina part of the Mountain Directory East:

I-40 (between Black Mountain and Old Fort, NC)

By regulation, all vehicles besides pickups and vans are required to cease on the high of this hill and learn the data posted concerning the eastbound descent forward.  The high of the hill is close to milepost 67 simply east of Black Mountain.  The grade is posted as 5 miles of 6%.  It is a robust 6%.  There are three runaway truck ramps, all of that are brief sand beds with sand piles at the top.  There is a couple of mile of grade left after the final escape ramp.   The westbound descent is about 1¼ mile of 6%.

There are many aftermarket gadgets that may assist heavy automobiles in the mountains. Some will assist by growing horsepower for the climbs. These embody turbos and exhaust techniques. Other gadgets, resembling engine braking techniques will help in the course of the descents. Some merchandise, like gear splitters and auxiliary transmissions will help in the course of the climbs and the descents. Many of those merchandise additionally enhance gasoline financial system (whereas delivering extra horsepower) and scale back put on and tear on the drive practice.

The predominant components concerned in overheated brakes are the size of the grade, the steepness of the grade, and the pace and weight of the car. Reducing any of those will enhance the possibilities of getting down the mountain with out overheating the brakes. Most of the time, the one one the motive force can change is pace. Reducing pace could preserve you alive. Remember the outdated phrase, "You can go down a mountain a thousand instances too slowly, however solely as soon as too quick."

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"Miller designed his two directories for RV in addition to truck drivers
as a result of, he says, 'RV drivers would face the identical issues as truckers
due to the load of their automobiles and braking techniques which will
not be designed to cope with the intense situations encountered throughout
mountain descents.' Since most highway atlases don't embody this particular
knowledge, many motorhomers will discover one or each of those books helpful
in taking the surprises out of driving within the mountains." Sherry McBride,
Senior Managing Editor, Motorhome

"RVers typically have issues with mountain grades--both going up and
coming down. It's useful to be warned when a steep grade is coming
up, and that is simply what the 2 Mountain Directories do." Coast to Coast

"Color reduction maps and greater than 150 new mountain cross and grade areas
have been added to R&R Publishing's 1999 editions of Mountain
Directory West and Mountain Directory
East. Together, the books present areas and descriptions
for greater than 700 mountain passes and steep grade areas in 22
states, in addition to different very important data for anybody driving a big
or heavy car. In Mountain Directory East,
the introduction notes that elevation by itself doesn't point out
a grade's issue; the change in elevation, depicted within the ebook
as percentages, is the important issue."
Family Motor Coaching

12. TETON PASS elev. 8429'

(on Wyoming Highway 22 west of Jackson, WY)

Teton Pass has sustained 10% grades on each side of the summit.  An uncommon function is that each runaway truck ramps on the east facet of the cross can be utilized provided that the runaway truck crosses the oncoming lane of site visitors.  There is a posted weight restrict of 60,000 lbs. on this cross.

The westbound descent from the summit of Teton Pass begins with a 25 mph pace restrict and a truck warning sign--"Steep grade--10% subsequent Three miles--use decrease gear." This grade warning is repeated a mile later.  About 2½ miles down from the summit the grade eases to 6-7% and the pace restrict will increase.  This grade continues for about 3-Four miles and eases close to the Idaho state line.

The eastbound descent from the summit of Teton Pass begins with a truck warning sign--"Steep grade--10% subsequent 5 1/2 miles--use decrease gear."  There are 20 mph curves close to the highest.  About 1/Three mile down from the summit is a sign--"Runaway truck ramp--2½ miles LEFT facet."  This warning is repeated a number of instances as you strategy the ramp.  To use the ramp it's essential to cross the oncoming lane of site visitors.  The ramp slopes uphill.

The second runaway truck ramp is about 1 mile after the primary.  It, too, is on the left facet and is an upsloping ramp.  At this level the grade begins to ease to about 6-7% and the pace restrict will increase.  The hill continues to the city of Wilson, which is about 5½ miles from the summit.

"The worst half is not the white knuckles, the chilly sweat, the unbelievable
adrenaline rush. It's the vacancy within the very pit of the abdomen,
the utter hopelessness of the scenario. Anyone who has ever lived
by way of a runaway can relate.... a rig uncontrolled on a protracted downgrade
has a thoughts of its personal. And it would not care what will get in the best way. Miller's
directories are full of excellent stuff that'll assist drivers make sensible
routing selections and put together them for harmful grades - like size
and severity of grades, sharpness of curves and location of escape
ramps. It's invaluable data for rookie drivers or outdated arms touring
right into a mountainous space for the primary time." Andrew Ryder, Editor, Heavy Duty Trucking

"Many truckers have had the scary expertise of cresting a mountain
grade too quick and questioning if they will be capable of cease on the backside.
Richard Miller is considered one of them. After an exciting descent into Camp
Verde Valley, AZ in 1993, he determined to do one thing concerning the lack
of knowledge on many mountain grades. The outcomes of his efforts
are two wonderful sources: Mountain
Directory West and Mountain Directory
Each accommodates maps displaying the situation of grades and detailed data
about them, together with the peak of the summit, size and steepness
of grades, severity of curves, location of escape ramps, and signage." Truckers News

From the
Southern California part of the Mountain Directory West:

CAJON PASS elev. 4190'
(on I-15 south of Victorville, CA)

There is little or no descent on the north facet of Cajon Pass.  The southbound descent begins with warning signs--"Downgrade subsequent 12 miles--trucks examine brakes" and "Truck pace restrict 45 mph" and "Truck scales 5 miles" and "6% grade subsequent Four miles" and "Runaway truck ramp 2½ miles."

The grade could also be a bit greater than 6% right down to the escape ramp the place it eases for a very brief distance and then goes again to six% till reaching the truck scales.  After the scales the grade eases to about 2-3% for Three miles, then goes to about 5% for one other 4½ miles.

This highway has 4 lanes downhill and quite a lot of site visitors.  Use warning on this hill.

"Rvers touring to new areas typically meet unexpected and probably
harmful challenges in mountainous terrain as a result of they might not
know what sort of highway lay forward. Atlases could mark elevation, however
not how steep and what number of miles a grade is, whether or not or not there
are turnouts, and the situation of the highway. Mountain
Directory West and Mountain Directory
East give areas and detailed descriptions of virtually 700
mountain passes and steep grades in 22 states. This allows drivers
to plan safer and simpler routes, or to be ready to face the grade." Highways

"A helpful ebook for these planning to journey within the Western states
is Mountain Directory.... It tells you
the proportion of grade, alignment, width and size of serious
mountain passes in 11 Western states. (In reality, there may be now Mountain Directory East as properly, which covers virtually 300 mountain passes
and steep grades in 11 Eastern states.)" Joe and Vickie Kieva Collins, Highways

"As RVers and vacationers within the west, we suggest this ebook as a great
reference and we plan to maintain it within the cab of our truck. Of course,
if we get a possibility to journey within the east, we're ready with
that ebook as properly."Chronicle

"From time to time, humorists writing in RV literature will gleefully
make hay out of the idea of an RV hurtling down a mountainside
utilizing G forces to explain the pace reasonably than miles per hour. However,
the truth of brake failure within the mountains, as those that have skilled
it's going to attest, isn't in the slightest degree humorous. For the RVer tackling
the Rockies and different western ranges, this listing can be a useful
reference." RV Times

"Mountain Directory is properly put collectively,
simple to make use of, and prepares the consumer for driving within the mountains. When
it comes to private security and defending the investments made in
RVs and motorhomes, drivers can be properly served to maintain this ebook
helpful." National Motorists Association News

"Mountain Directory for Truckers, RV, and Motorhome
Drivers... Wow! With a reputation that lengthy, this ebook higher present
a service to RVers---and it does." Jim Brightly, Managing Editor, Motorhome

"It's sure to supply the traveler with data and peace of thoughts.....
Here's a ebook that ought to be situated subsequent to each rig's navigator...
Keep this ebook helpful throughout your travels." Bob Carter, RV Today

".... ought to undoubtedly be included in your RV library... chock full
of knowledge... our touring columnists have already made wonderful
use of this listing." Camping Canada

"Mountain Directory .... was particularly
written for drivers of RVs and different heavy automobiles. The textual content, accompanied
by maps pinpointing areas, describes how steep and lengthy every grade
is, plus different pertinent particulars." Trailer Life

"... let me inform you straight: this ebook applies to you." Bill Farlow, Woodall's Southern RV

"Fear Heights No More" "While the publishers are the fist to confess
that it will be practically inconceivable to listing each steep hill within the
western United States, Mountain Directory covers most grades which are lengthy sufficient and steep sufficient to pose a
downside to RVs." Coast to Coast

"Motorhome drivers and truckers have very comparable issues involving
steep grades, weight, brakes, and so on., and a part of the answer is data
concerning the hills earlier than you get there."Family Motor Coaching

From the
Pennsylvania East part of the Mountain Directory East:

Pennsylvania freeway 125
(between Shamokin and Good Spring, PA.)

Large automobiles could need to keep away from this 18 mile part of highway. It crosses 4 mountains and consists of quite a few 15 mph hairpin turns and many extra 20 and 25 mph curves. Regardless of your course of journey you'll have to climb and descend some very steep hills.  Much of the grade is 7 to 9% however there are quite a few sections that have to be 12% or extra, some lasting virtually a mile.  Brake footwear do not have sufficient time to chill a lot between descents.

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