Hills - Taking them safely

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Oct 22, 2005
Orlando, FL
Hello Gang,

I will be getting a 2006 Ford F-350 diesel to tow a 13,000 lb 5th wheel.

The truck will have Tow Command and Tow brakes.

Any tips on taking uphill and downhill grades without being on the 6:00 PM news ... he !

Thanks, Russell - Orlando, FL

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Feb 2, 2005
Looking to buy a new home
The old adage is "Go down the hill in the same gear you went up", and its a good one.  You may go up a steep hill slowly, but you will get up it. Going down the other side under control is another matter.  Brakes can easily overheat and fail, so keep the sped down by using a lower gear (downshifting).  Since you will have a diesel, you will want an exhaust brake installed to help slow you down.  They are worth every penny!

As for uphill, mostly it is a matter of using the appropriate gear to keep the engine RPMs in a reasonable range and keeping an eye on the temperature gauge just in case the heat climbs too much.  Don't worry about the noise from the engine - it's probably just the cooling fans going into high gear to cool the radiator.


Well-known member
Mar 12, 2005
Piece of cake with the Tow Command. Just slow your descent so as to keep your engine RPM down as the Tow Command will downshift to slow you. I keep my RPM below 3000, preferably not above 2500 on steep downgrades. Tow Command will do the work with only minor braking. Try to keep your RPM at about 2500 or less on steep ascents.  Use Tow Command but don't use cruise control on the hills. Between the brake controller and Tow Command, Ford has come up with a winner.
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