Mountain Driving Guide for Truckers, RV and Motorhome Drivers


Product Title: Mountain Driving Information for Truckers, RV and Motorhome Drivers

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When clients discover out that I am from Kansas, they typically say, “Kansas?  What are you able to inform me about mountain passes if you happen to’re from Kansas?”  However after they hear my story, they lower me slightly slack.  (By the way in which, 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?)
Once I was a child within the early 60’s my mother and father owned a 16 foot Mobil Scout journey trailer.  We pulled that trailer all around 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 broad 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 slightly safer for truckers
and RV’ers, R&R Publishing Inc. has been gathering and publishing
details about mountain passes and steep grades since 1993. The Mountain Listing Ebooks give the areas
and descriptions of over 700 mountain passes and steep grades in
22 states. The Mountain Listing 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 forth. With this
data, one can know forward of time what a go is like and
make an knowledgeable determination 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 throughout the climb. Unhooking
the towed automobile would make the climb and the descent simpler. Figuring out
what lies forward is half the battle.

The printed variations of the Mountain Listing books had virtually 240 pages of textual content and colour reduction maps. All 240 pages are within the downloadable variations of the Mountain Listing ebooks. Nothing is lacking. Within the printed variations, mountain go areas had been marked with a yellow triangle on the colour reduction maps.  Within the e-book variations, you’ll be able to click on on the yellow triangles and the textual content seems that describes that location.

Four. US 33
(between Harrisonburg, VA and Judy Hole, WV.)

There are three summits alongside this stretch of US 33. The jap summit is between Rawley Springs, VA and Brandywine, WV.  The east aspect is Four miles of eight to 9% grade. The west aspect 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 aspect of this hill is 2½ miles of eight% with 25 mph curves.  The west aspect is about 3½ miles of a lot milder grade.  It’s 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 Hole, WV.  It’s 5 miles of regular 9% grade on each side.  Either side are two lane with sharp curves and hairpin turns.  Use warning on this highway.

There is an previous 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 can be.” Sadly, this additionally applies to many RVers. Vehicles and RVs have comparable issues concerning weight, engine energy, and braking in mountainous terrain.
Think about 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 nicely. You’ve a white-knuckle grip on the steering wheel. The engine will not be holding again all of this weight, the brakes are smelling sizzling and even smoking, you are pushing more durable on the brake pedal however your pace retains growing. All you’ll be able to see forward is extra mountain. Your thoughts is racing by way of the entire obtainable choices and none of them are good. “I’ve obtained to do one thing,” you say “or I am not going to make it.” The choices embody: run into the rock wall, go over the aspect, hit these bushes, or see if you happen to can make the following curve and journey it out. You select the final possibility and, in case you are fortunate, you make it to the underside in a single piece. You pull over and when you are ready on your coronary heart to cease pounding, you wipe the sweat out of your face and also you discover your shirt is soaked, your mouth is dry, and your palms are shaking. You’re considering, “If I had identified it was going to be like that………….”
Maybe your rig has issue throughout the steep climbs. The temperature is within the 90’s and the grade is so steep that you may 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. One thing smells sizzling. What to do? Pull over and funky off? However then all momentum is misplaced. Are you able to even get began once more? You want you had unhooked the automotive you are dragging up this hill behind the motorhome. In case you are fortunate, you are able to do that subsequent time. You are questioning what number of thousand a brand new engine and transmission can be.
Throughout the previous couple of years we’ve got heard many tales about very costly repairs to drive prepare elements. Typically rigs are misplaced completely. A freeway patrol officer in Oregon informed us that in the summertime a median of 1 motorhome per week burns to the bottom whereas attempting to climb Cabbage Hill on I-84 east of Pendleton. If a hearth begins, the closest hearth division is prone to be many miles away. By the point they arrive, there may be nothing left to do however dampen the ashes.
Many individuals are beneath the impression that the grades within the jap mountains should not as severe because the grades within the western mountains. Apparently it is because the elevations should not as excessive within the jap states. However elevation alone will not be the problem–it is the change in elevation that makes a grade doubtlessly 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. Both means you may have a 3000′ change in elevation unfold over 10 miles. (This instance would lead to 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 eight, 9, or 10% and typically much more. The jap grades are sometimes shorter however this isn’t at all times so. A fast look by way of the jap e book 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. Close to 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%. A lot 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 Listing West:

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

The descent on the westbound aspect of Vail Go 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–“Pace restrict 45 mph for autos over 30,000 lbs.” and “Steep grade subsequent eight miles–trucks keep in decrease gear.”  The following 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 appropriate.  Do not 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 Go continues virtually to the Frisco exit about 11 miles down the hill however the descent will not be regular.  There are brief steep sections adopted by brief sections of lesser grade.  The final half of the descent is Three-Four% grade.  There are not any escape ramps on the east aspect of the go.

Whereas each effort has been made to make sure the accuracy of the maps included on this e book, it’s almost unimaginable to incorporate all vital element on such small maps. We suggest that these maps be used along side bigger, extra detailed highway maps. Usually the passes and hills are described as descents. In different phrases, a go can be described from the summit down in a single path after which from the summit down within the different path. This listing doesn’t declare to incorporate each steep grade. The truth is, 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. Typically the odds quoted are estimates and plenty of occasions they’re based mostly on highway indicators or data supplied by freeway departments. This e book doesn’t try to price passes or grades in response to issue. There is a gigantic selection in autos and gear. A hill that may be very tough for one automobile could also be no drawback in any respect for the same automobile that’s outfitted in another way. Driver judgment is essential in deciding which hills must be prevented. The aim of this e book is to not discourage drivers from going the place they please. It’s only to tell them of the situations they might encounter and to encourage them to verify their gear is in good restore. Brakes have to be in good working order and correctly adjusted and the engine and transmission must be used to gradual the automobile every time attainable, thus saving the brakes and maintaining them cool sufficient to retain their stopping energy. The engine’s cooling system ought to be in good restore to forestall overheating throughout the climbs. Turning off the air conditioner throughout climbs might assist, and if vital, turning on the heater will assist dissipate warmth from the engine.

From the
North Carolina part of the Mountain Listing East:

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

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

There are lots of aftermarket gadgets that may assist heavy autos in the mountains. Some will assist by growing horsepower for the climbs. These embody turbos and exhaust programs. Different gadgets, similar to engine braking programs may help throughout the descents. Some merchandise, like gear splitters and auxiliary transmissions may help throughout 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 prepare.
The primary elements concerned in overheated brakes are the size of the grade, the steepness of the grade, and the pace and weight of the automobile. Decreasing 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. Decreasing pace might maintain you alive. Keep in mind the previous phrase, “You can go down a mountain a thousand occasions too slowly, however solely as soon as too quick.”

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Strive before you purchase! 
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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 autos and braking programs that will
not be designed to take care of the acute situations encountered throughout
mountain descents.’ Since most highway atlases don’t embody this particular
information, 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 is useful to be warned when a steep grade is coming
up, and that is simply what the 2 Mountain Directories do.” Coast to Coast
“Coloration reduction maps and greater than 150 new mountain go and grade areas
have been added to R&R Publishing’s 1999 editions of Mountain
Listing West and Mountain Listing
East. Collectively, the books present areas and descriptions
for greater than 700 mountain passes and steep grade areas in 22
states, in addition to different important data for anybody driving a big
or heavy automobile. In Mountain Listing East,
the introduction notes that elevation by itself doesn’t point out
a grade’s issue; the change in elevation, depicted within the e book
as percentages, is the essential issue.” Household Motor Teaching

12. TETON PASS elev. 8429′

(on Wyoming Freeway 22 west of Jackson, WY)

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

The westbound descent from the summit of Teton Go 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 Three-Four miles and eases close to the Idaho state line.

The eastbound descent from the summit of Teton Go begins with a truck warning sign–“Steep grade–10% subsequent 5 half 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 aspect.”  This warning is repeated a number of occasions as you strategy the ramp.  To make use of the ramp it’s essential to cross the oncoming lane of visitors.  The ramp slopes uphill.

The second runaway truck ramp is about 1 mile after the primary.  It, too, is on the left aspect 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 is the vacancy within the very pit of the abdomen,
the utter hopelessness of the scenario. Anybody 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 way in which. Miller’s
directories are full of fine stuff that’ll assist drivers make sensible
routing choices and put together them for harmful grades – like size
and severity of grades, sharpness of curves and site of escape
ramps. It is invaluable data for rookie drivers or previous palms touring
right into a mountainous space for the primary time.” Andrew Ryder, Editor, Heavy Responsibility Trucking
“Many truckers have had the horrifying expertise of cresting a mountain
grade too quick and questioning if they’re going to be capable of cease on the backside.
Richard Miller is one in every of them. After an exciting descent into Camp
Verde Valley, AZ in 1993, he determined to do one thing concerning the lack
of data on many mountain grades. The outcomes of his efforts
are two wonderful assets: Mountain
Listing West and Mountain Listing
Every comprises maps exhibiting the placement 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 Information

From the
Southern California part of the Mountain Listing West:

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

There’s little or no descent on the north aspect of Cajon Go.  The southbound descent begins with warning signs–“Downgrade subsequent 12 miles–trucks test 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 after which goes again to six% till reaching the truck scales.  After the scales the grade eases to about 2-Three% for Three miles, then goes to about 5% for one more 4½ miles.

This highway has 4 lanes downhill and a substantial amount of visitors.  Use warning on this hill.

“Rvers touring to new areas typically meet unexpected and presumably
harmful challenges in mountainous terrain as a result of they may not
know what sort of highway lay forward. Atlases might 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
Listing West and Mountain Listing
East give areas and detailed descriptions of virtually 700
mountain passes and steep grades in 22 states. This permits drivers
to plan safer and simpler routes, or to be ready to face the grade.” Highways
“A helpful e book for these planning to journey within the Western states
is Mountain Listing…. It tells you
the share of grade, alignment, width and size of serious
mountain passes in 11 Western states. (The truth is, there may be now Mountain Listing East as nicely, which covers virtually 300 mountain passes
and steep grades in 11 Jap states.)” Joe and Vickie Kieva Collins, Highways
“As RVers and vacationers within the west, we suggest this e book as
reference and we plan to maintain it within the cab of our truck. In fact,
if we get a chance to journey within the east, we’re ready with
that e book as nicely.”Chronicle
“On occasion, 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 fairly than miles per hour. Nevertheless,
the fact of brake failure within the mountains, as those that have skilled
it’s going to attest, will not be in the slightest degree humorous. For the RVer tackling
the Rockies and different western ranges, this listing can be a useful
reference.” RV Instances
“Mountain Listing is nicely put collectively,
simple to make use of, and prepares the person for driving within the mountains. When
it comes to private security and defending the investments made in
RVs and motorhomes, drivers can be nicely served to maintain this e book
useful.” Nationwide Motorists Affiliation Information
“Mountain Listing for Truckers, RV, and Motorhome
Drivers… Wow! With a reputation that lengthy, this e book higher present
a service to RVers—and it does.” Jim Brightly, Managing Editor, Motorhome
“It is sure to supply the traveler with information and peace of thoughts…..
Here is a e book that must be situated subsequent to each rig’s navigator…
Hold this e book useful throughout your travels.” Bob Carter, RV At present

“…. ought to positively be included in your RV library… chock full
of data… our touring columnists have already made wonderful
use of this listing.” Tenting Canada
“Mountain Listing …. was particularly
written for drivers of RVs and different heavy autos. 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 e book applies to you.” Invoice Farlow, Woodall’s Southern RV
“Worry Heights No Extra” “Whereas the publishers are the fist to confess
that it could be almost unimaginable to checklist each steep hill within the
western United States, Mountain Listing covers most grades which are lengthy sufficient and steep sufficient to pose a
drawback to RVs.” Coast to Coast
“Motorhome drivers and truckers have very comparable issues involving
steep grades, weight, brakes, and so forth., and a part of the answer is information
concerning the hills earlier than you get there.”Household Motor Teaching

From the
Pennsylvania East part of the Mountain Listing East:

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

Giant autos might wish 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 plenty of extra 20 and 25 mph curves. No matter your path of journey you’ll have to climb and descend some very steep hills.  A lot 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 haven’t got sufficient time to chill a lot between descents.

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