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descent motorhome driving advice please

Adelaide, Australia
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59 posts
8 reviews
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descent motorhome driving advice please

hi. ive booked a motorhome rental for a couple of weeks in early december this year. im pretty confident about driving the family safely around south island. but i'd like advice on driving it safely down longer stretches of road which are downhill/steep. from what i have seen, Arthurs Pass is going to be the main spot where i will have to be on my toes with this.

a lot of forums say to be careful not to overheat/stress the brakes too much, by using gearing to slow your descent and speed- which makes sense. however the posts ive read are talking about vehicles with manual gearing.

the motorhome ive hired is a britz renegade, (volkswagon) deisel, automatic transmission.

how do i safely control speed and descent coming out of a place like arthurs pass-in an automatic without using the brakes too much?

Dunedin, New Zealand
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for Dunedin
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1. Re: descent motorhome driving advice please

Most automatics will still have gears - mine for example has 1,2,3 and then Drive (which is where I hand all gear changing over to magic). By dropping into one of the fixed gears, it has the same effect as driving a manual. But if you don't let the speed get up in the first place, then the brakes on a modern vehicle should be fine - the basic rule of thumb is to go down a steep incline at the same speed you could go up it.

Adelaide, Australia
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59 posts
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2. Re: descent motorhome driving advice please

thanks barry, you've put my mind at ease :) cheers for the info!

Christchurch, New...
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3. Re: descent motorhome driving advice please

I regularly travel these mountain roads in the Alps for work, as well as the steep hills on Banks Peninsula. We also have a hut in Arthurs Pass. It's a very common sight (and smell!) to see burning brakes and white faced drivers.

My advice is ALWAYS go down a big hill in approximately the gear you would have used going up. Brakes covert the momentum of the vehicle into heat and there is a limit to the amount of heat they will handle,

Cheers

Nigel

Warrnambool...
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4. Re: descent motorhome driving advice please

Hi we are going in may 2014, trying to decide motorhome or car hire.....where did you park motorhome at night...free camp or camp ground...if camp ground how much is the cost...thanks

New Zealand
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for South Island
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5. Re: descent motorhome driving advice please

Hi Anna - best begin your own thread for your own questions :)

Adelaide, Australia
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59 posts
8 reviews
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6. Re: descent motorhome driving advice please

hi anna, we just completed our 3 week south island tour in a 6 berth britz renegade motorhome. we stayed in top ten holiday parks on powered sites most of the time. the power, security, amenities were the reason we decided to do it this way. it was much cheaper than motels too!

7. Re: descent motorhome driving advice please

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