Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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Yikes! Would your RV survive driving down (or up) this 25% grade?

Readers Brian and Bobbi Cook sent us an email with this note and photo, and all we have to say is WOW! They wrote:

“Famous last words: ‘Do you think we can make it with our 40 foot 5th wheel?’
‘Sure, piece of cake! Besides, we haven’t tested the brakes in a while!’

“We will not reveal the location for fear of disrespecting the neighbors on this quiet, residential San Diego street. “We were exploring house architecture in our Silverado 3500 HD when we found this intersection. Yes, we did go down and back up the hill – twice! We’re from Colorado and are used to mountain driving with 6-10% grades. A 25% grade has a whole different feel to it! Think roller coaster climbing to the very top then dropping down.

“Do not even attempt it in a longer RV or while towing anything. We would likely bottom out or even hang-up our 5th wheel at the foot of the hill and probably hurt the hitch or the tailgate (at minimum) at the top.”

We’re sure you would! Wowie! As they say, “Kids, don’t try this at home!”

##RVT1027

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Wolfe
17 days ago

Pretty sure I’ve driven that road without the trailer, and I’ve definitely taken my last two 36′ bumper-pulls on 20% grades.

Most recently, I was diverted onto a detour around Lake Placid NY that my truck alone would have been uncomfortable with (I repeatedly stopped cold to make sure I COULD swing the trailer around hairpins without hitting), and the detour ended with a 1/4 mile of about 20some%. Full stop at the top, locked into first gear, and screaming the whole way down to, you guessed it, a flashing stoplight (guaranteed to be red). It’s not like LP is a tourist area where people are likely to tow trailers or anything… :-S Coming back, I charted my own route through logging roads that were BETTER than the official detour. Then there was the one-lane bridge on the only through-road for 50 miles… with 1/2 of a lane closed for their workcrew… someone can’t do math. When your running boards are rocking their cones, you’re a little tight… :-S

Tom Macfarlane
18 days ago

It’s been a few years, but as I recall, going north on Hwy 49 in California into Placerville, you go down a windy 2 lane road at an either 11 or 12% grade, and yes, there is a stoplight at the bottom! And Hwy 49 is a busy road.

Eric
18 days ago
Reply to  Tom Macfarlane

Old Priest Grade? It’s a shortcut on highway 120 near the Don Pedro reservoir and highway 49 in California.

travilenman
18 days ago

In Black Diamond Washington. There is IN TOWN. An 11% grade with a STOP LIGHT at the bottom.. Really scary going down & hoping the light is green at the bottom…

Thumper simpson
18 days ago

My driveway is 25% grade, 1000′ and twisty. I back my CC Inspire 360 down and onto its pad. But I have to warm up the engine before coming up.

Steve
18 days ago

That’s why you have a diesel truck with an exhaust brake when towing in Colorado!

Thomas D
18 days ago

One more sign! Down hill traffic CAN’T STOP

Serenity
18 days ago

Yes, there are some hair raising places out there!

Isn’t the I40, just west of Flagstaff, a 6% grade for 7 miles or so… that comes with runaway truck ramps. That was uncomfortable with a 28’ bumper pull… downhill and up.

Then there’s the scale from Phoenix to Payson that’s even worse. I was going uphill with a 16’ trailer and got down to about 10mph (and a brief pit stop to let the engine cool as soon as I could find one); I thought for sure I was going to be rolling backwards any minute!

Drew
18 days ago

There are certain things you don’t have to try.

Impavid
18 days ago

Hold my beer and watch this!!!

littleleftie
18 days ago

Sure would have liked to have seen a video!!

Juls
18 days ago

My first thought would be what kind of mess will be waiting when I open the door to the trailer after that? Refrigerator, cabinets, closet, not to mention tanks….fluids, toilet, etc.

Nope. Not gonna do it!