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  1. Default Trailer Towing through mountainous area

    We will be leaving on a long road trip that includes driving from the Knoxville area to Asheville, NC. We are pulling a 26 foot trailer with our 2012 Tundra. Normal towing is not a problem but we are concerned about the grade levels on that mountain stretch. Any shared info would be appreciated in terms of gradual vs. steep grades that we may encounter.

    Tnx Linda

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    You shouldn't have any problems on I-40 with a 26 footer. Yes, there are some grades and some quite winding stretches, but fully loaded 18 wheelers use that road every day of the year. Your transmission has a tow/haul mode and "S" mode, leave it in tow/haul all the time and use "S" when going downhill to help with engine braking. Tow/haul raises the shift points for better pulling and "S" locks out the top 2 gears. Note that when you use "S" it kicks it out of tow/haul and you have to re-enable T/H when you take it out of "S". Make sure your trailer brake controller is properly adjusted, keep your speed down, and stay in the right lane wherever possible.

    That stretch of road is nothing like out West, THOSE are some mountains. You are just going to be going over some big hills!

  3. Default

    Thanks glc! I'll make sure the hubby reads your suggestions. We do use "S" when towing. We have driven the areas in and around the Texas hill country with it's varying inclines but were concerned if there was a lot of serious grade changes. We won't be overloaded - just what things are rated for so I think we will be okay.

  4. #4

    Default Old stretch of I-40


    That particular stretch of I-40, in particular from about Newport, TN through to Asheville, NC, is one of the older segments of Interstate highway. I will speculate some of the curves are tighter and a few of the grade are steeper than today's standards require. That doesn't in any way invalidate glc's comment that full-length tractor-trailers use I-40 24/7/365, so your trip towing a 26' camper trailer behind a Tundra truck shouldn't present out-of-the-ordinary challenges for such a rig.

    As to specifics, I recall a fairly steep but straight downhill grade on the eastbound side just west of the TN "Welcome Rest area". Eastbound there is another somewhat steeper grade approaching the Canton exit followed by another on the Asheville side of the gap you pass over before reaching the Clyde exit. Neither are in the "banzai" category.

    Westbound you have a long-ish climb coming out of Asheville past Clyde and a steep but straight downhill approaching Canton. Long-ish climb back up, and a final long-ish and curvy downgrade westbound of the last NC rest area, over the state line, and down to the first TN exit (Exit 451?).


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