How to feel in control going down hill? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-15-2019, 10:37 AM   #1
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How to feel in control going down hill?

Many would think this is someone that is really unskilled at pulling a trailer or even driving an RV, but I find going downhill, I start picking up speed and I canít really figure out how to manage that.It actually can be quite frightening for me. Any tips would be appreciated .
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:44 AM   #2
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Shift to a lower gear before starting downhill. DO NOT RIDE BRAKES!
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:50 AM   #3
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Whatís your tow vehicle?
Automatic transmission or standard?

Does it have a tow haul mode?
Does it have a tachometer?
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:55 AM   #4
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Toyota 4runner. 6. 2000. Automatic but I do have 2nd, 3rd and overdrive.
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:59 AM   #5
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What is your trailer (profile says "looking"). Does it have brakes?
Generally downshift (if the auto tranny allows it) and go slow.
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:00 AM   #6
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Quick answer is gear down.
Any chance your Toyota still has the manual that came with the vehicle? Toyota is very thorough in describing driving the vehicle. If you don't have it, search for it online.
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:03 AM   #7
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I will look at it. Thx!
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:04 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone! I think I probably just need to practice down shifting and learning when. Even when I am just in the Toyota going down a steep hill, I just pick up speed and it feels on safe. Thanks again
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:19 AM   #9
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Still dont know if your "Looking" trailer has brakes. If it does not, adding brakes is the first thing to do get better downhill control. Dont keep on them as that can cause overheating and fade, but slow down enough to downshift.
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:50 AM   #10
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When going downhill you should brake firmly in short bursts to take off several MPH with time in between applications to allow the brakes to stay cool.. Of course engine braking to help keep the speed down.
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Old 06-15-2019, 12:46 PM   #11
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Toyota 4runner. 6. 2000. Automatic but I do have 2nd, 3rd and overdrive.
If it has a tachometer, try to keep the rpm of the engine no higher than 4,000 when choosing a gear to use. Less stress on the transmission and less heating of all the engine fluids.
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:08 PM   #12
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A Scan Gauge is a useful tool to monitor critical temperatures like transmission, coolant, and such. These numbers become more important when towing in the mountains.

https://www.scangauge.com
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:25 PM   #13
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+100 What trailer and does it have brakes? Brakes on a trailer are a huge help downhill. Many vehicles you should not be in overdrive, check your manual.
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Old 06-16-2019, 12:35 PM   #14
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Another "trick" is to use the same gear going downhill as it takes to go uphill
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Old 06-16-2019, 04:37 PM   #15
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Assuming your trailer does have brakes you might try dialing them up some, especially if there's any feeling of being pushed.

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Old 06-16-2019, 05:05 PM   #16
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Another "trick" is to use the same gear going downhill as it takes to go uphill
Test your trailer brakes in your driveway or on a side street, at slow speed.
If you don't feel any drag turn up the gain on the controller.
But not enough to lock the wheels. You want them to drag enough to keep the rig straight but not skid the tires.
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:51 PM   #17
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Engine braking is the safe way to go downhill. Take it from a former school bus driver; if I can get to the bottom of the mountain without touching the brakes at all, that is success. Using your brakes heats them up so they don't work as well, and they can even get hot enough to fail entirely. You need cool brakes to make an emergency stop or even to make a turn at the bottom of the hill.


If your TV has disc brakes they will work better than the drum brakes on the trailer while getting overheated on a downgrade or repeated traffic stops. Drum brakes can fail entirely when too hot; then if you are going so fast you need trailer brakes to straighten out the rig, you won't have that option.


Slow down, use engine braking only, and save your brakes for an emergency. The only penalty for using a low gear is a slightly longer trip.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:21 AM   #18
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How to feel in control going down hill?

Advice given is good. Go downhill in the same gear and at the same speed you would go up the same hill. Allow the engine to rev up and do the lionís share of the braking, with short, firm bursts on the friction brakes as needed. Never, never, ever ride the brakes continuously. Make sure your trailer brakes are properly adjusted with the correct settings on the controller.

For those used to driving an automatic, you may not even be aware of what gear youíre in when going uphill, especially with never automatics having 6-10 forward gear ratios. Time to start noticing the downshifts. Also, newer transmissions vary in how they allow you to select gears manually. Spend some time reading your ownerís manual and practice without the trailer until you are comfortable with how your transmission works. Get help from a dealer or mechanic if needed.

If you misjudge the right gear at the top of the hill, and it starts to run away on you, brake firmly and downshift 1-2 gears. Repeat until only occasional braking is needed to hold a steady speed.

As a basic rule, if you donít ďfeel in control,Ē you are going too fast in too high a gear.
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