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Under The Awning Here is where you can carry on a conversation, just like............well, like you were sitting under your awning at the campsite.

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  #1  
Old 03-22-2009
gcyeaw's Avatar
gcyeaw gcyeaw is offline
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Default Just call me 'Smokey'

We went on a trip this weekend and I trusted my GPS to take me the same way it did last time. The only problem is that (I use Co-Pilot loaded on a laptop) my laptop gave up and I bought a new (used) one. I loaded up the software and entered the destination. I guess the last time I had done more homework and modified the trip, but since none of that data was available from the trashed laptop, I didn’t notice.

Well, part of the route had very long, very steep up grades, followed by equally long and equally steep downgrades (like three miles). I knew I was in trouble because my wonderfully undependable retarder was in the non-working state. After an extended climb in first gear, 20 mph, tranny approaching 225 degrees, we went over the top and began the down side. Apply brakes firm to slow to 35, let it speed up a little bit, apply again, on and on. SNIFF, SNIFF, I smell something burning says the wife. I did too but there was nowhere to pull off. At last a little siding showed up, I laid on the brakes, which were fading fast, and managed to stop. I knew not to put on the spring brakes till things cooled, so I used reverse to hold the coach in place. Lots and lots of smoke rose up from the wheel wells. I tried and tried to get the dam# retarder to engage by working the ignition, main battery switch, and kicking the tires [ouch!], but no luck. (If it works when I start the coach, it works the whole trip, if not, it doesn’t work the whole trip)

After we got back to level ground, we stopped to ask the locals which route to our destination had the smallest hills. They said, neither. So I started up the coach and the dam# retarder started working!!! Arrrrgh. We finished the trip without incident.

The moral of the story is, pay attention to where your GPS takes you, it is not to be trusted.

Well, that was the first half of the trip, for the return voyage see the heading ‘black cat, bad luck?’
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2009
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Glad you kept the shiny side up. My personal favorite in the SE is Monteagle between Nashville and Chattanooga. There is something about that view about 3/4ths the way down going toward Chattanooga where the road curves off to the left and all you see in front of you is blue sky and a tach just about wound out and and I rising Transmission temp.
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2009
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GPS can be extremely helpful -- and they can be an invention of the devil himself.
I have a self-contained GPS and it's pretty good about 90% of the time. That other 10% --- watch out! (From San Antonio, it wanted me to go to El Paso to get to Denver! -- hundreds of miles out of the way.)

Anyway, I always check the GPS route against the road atlas and/or Google Maps. And, I check the Google Maps route against Mapquest, if Google doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.
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  #4  
Old 03-22-2009
Harry Harry is offline
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Gardner:
Wow - That was exciting - excitement I could do without! A few comments - 1) I have heard of overheated brakes sometimes causing cracking of the brake drums and often warping. I would check or have someone check them for cracking/warping in the very near future. 2) The rule of thumb (especially without a retarder) is to use the same gear to go down a grade as it took to go up. In your case that would have been 1st gear if I understood your post correctly. Sounds like you were in a higher gear. 3) Lastly, your right on about trusting a GPS, I use them all the time but sometimes they have tried to send me on some crazy routes, still got to use your brain!
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  #5  
Old 03-22-2009
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J. On the west side of Monteagle heading east is the real b----, going up that side is no fun. It seems everytime I'm there I get cut in that curve by some idiot not paying attention to what they are doing, they are either, smoking and talking on a cell phone, or doing other stupid things to distract them from their driving. On the east side going down as you mentioned I look for the fresh truck tracks in the pea gravel on the run away brake ramp. If it is smooth you know it was a good day, if you see tire tracks it was not a good day for someone.
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Old 03-22-2009
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i was going east on Mt Eagle one morning and it was so foggy you could not see the road.
the truckers were on the cb begging everyone to run 15MPH and no faster,so we would not run into each other on the way down.
I was running 15MPH,in the slow lane,scared to death,no way you could pull off and stop.
Cars would blow by at 50MPH,we could not see them coming or going,just for a split second and they were gone. we warned the trucks a fool was coming,but we could not see the mile post.
it was like driving with a blind fold on.
it was in november and it was cold,everyone was scared the road was going to ice up,man,that was a bad ride that day.
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2009
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Harry,
I agree with the old reasoning that you should use the same gear down as you used up. The problem is that the 3208 doesn't offer enough resistance, and the fear of overreving it and swallowing a valve doesn't help.

One other thing, I don't think the SMI braking system on the toad is working worth a darn. If it wasn't so expensive I would convert to the M&G system. Mabe on the next toad.
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  #8  
Old 03-23-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcyeaw View Post
One other thing, I don't think the SMI braking system on the toad is working worth a darn. If it wasn't so expensive I would convert to the M&G system. Mabe on the next toad.
Gardner,
M&G is the way to go, and more reasonably priced than most other brands, If I remember you have a Jeep Cherokee, M&G had rebuilt units at a lower price for these more popular toads. This is just another few days work added to your projected retirement date.
Maybe we can watch you take the wheels off at Maxton.............
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  #9  
Old 03-23-2009
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Bill,
The M&G alone is reasonable, but once you add on the breakaway feature it is right up there wiht the SMI.

One thing about the M&G I wondwr about is a breakaway condition. That would leave the air line open and compromise the rear brakes on the coach, wouldn't it?
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  #10  
Old 03-23-2009
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Gardner,

I do not have a good answer to this question. As I have not tried this break away feature . I would hope the break away would not happen on the down side of a mountain,, but I would guess the air line would be open when the rear brakes are applies, I do not know how much pressure would be lost or if the rear brakes would actuate to some degree.
The front brakes would still work.
http://www.m-gengineering.com/Breakaway.html

There is some info available in the description of a break away at this link.

http://www.m-gengineering.com/ProductReview.html
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