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Old 07-20-2009, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
1,657 posts, read 4,204,599 times
Reputation: 906

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Thinking about pulling a single axial small trailer from Chicago area to Pacific North West. Looking at maps and Interstate, trying to decide which is best (easiest to pull a trailer) route through Rocky Mountains: I-90, or I-80 (then I-84 from Salt Lake to Northern Oregon)

Small SUV, 6 cylinder, auto-transmission, NOT with OEM Trailer Package (transmission cooling, extra heavy duty suspension, etc.) Pulling about 2,000 lbs, maybe less.

Don't need, or want, scenic route, do need easy climbing grades and don't want to loose the breaks pads on way down either.

Is either Toll Road? And are there enough of rest stops?

TIA
Phil
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Old 07-20-2009, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Big Island- Hawaii, AK, WA where the whales are!
1,492 posts, read 3,895,681 times
Reputation: 788
Plenty of rest stops where are you going first...Or or WA? No toll roads geesh we just got the first one on the narrows bridge in Tacoma and that isnt' right!!!! Do you have trailer brakes that is fairly cheap to install (worked at a dealership but cost me $50) even if you are not pulling that much. Depending on where your going would depend on the path. Baker in Idaho I believe dont' speed on 84... 84 will take you more time if coming to Seattle area but you should be fine 90 if you go north.

Really no big deal pull horse trailers with trailer brakes... heavier than I should with 8 cycliner and down it without them too over passes. Just go in lower gears while down hill...sheez just read your post again take 84 it isn't really that big of a deal just when going down hill put into a lower gear vrs holding your breaks.. just go slower. Your gonna be fine dont' take 90 if yoru going to Or....

Last edited by nwcountrygal; 07-20-2009 at 07:46 AM..
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,076 posts, read 19,138,359 times
Reputation: 7757
On I-90, you'll have a couple of big hills: Homestake in Montana and Lookout Pass, on the Idaho line. Lookout is a real moutain!

On I-80/84, you'll also have two: Sherman (just before Laramie, Wy) and Cabbage, going down into Pendleton, OR. Of the two, Cabbage is the worst with 6 miles of 6% grade.

Take your pick. This time of year, the weather won't matter, but if you're not going until November or later, I-90 can be a booger.
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:25 PM
 
14,553 posts, read 21,201,263 times
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Only one thing you have to know about - get a dedicated transmission cooler (radiator) and good, sturdy, lines for the fluid. $40 or so at an auto parts shop and easy enought to install if you have rudimentary auto skills. The # failure when pulling a heavy load.
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
1,657 posts, read 4,204,599 times
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Thanks to all who replied.

I doubled checked, and no, the quotes I got for just a hitch did not include any added cooling. Factory approved OEM dealer install towing kit is way too expensive for me, but the OEM recommends a much larger transmission cooling than what is already there, plus engine oil cooling. Makes me wonder if this isn't for pulling a camping trailer which is way more than I am going to do. Not using Factory approved towing kit voids Drive Train warranty per user group Internet Forum.

I'm going to take NWcountrygal's advise and not take I-90 since I am going to Oregon. But I am concerned with Cabbage mountain as described by Stillkit. That sounds like a real transmission buster for my small / light SUV.

Thanks again.

Phil
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Old 07-20-2009, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,076 posts, read 19,138,359 times
Reputation: 7757
Quote:
Originally Posted by philwithbeard View Post
Thanks to all who replied.

I doubled checked, and no, the quotes I got for just a hitch did not include any added cooling. Factory approved OEM dealer install towing kit is way too expensive for me, but the OEM recommends a much larger transmission cooling than what is already there, plus engine oil cooling. Makes me wonder if this isn't for pulling a camping trailer which is way more than I am going to do. Not using Factory approved towing kit voids Drive Train warranty per user group Internet Forum.

I'm going to take NWcountrygal's advise and not take I-90 since I am going to Oregon. But I am concerned with Cabbage mountain as described by Stillkit. That sounds like a real transmission buster for my small / light SUV.

Thanks again.

Phil
No, Cabbage won't be a transmission buster because you'll be going west. There's no steep, long upgrade to the summit, just a series of smaller hills which eventually brings you to the top. From there, it's a 6% downgrade for 6 miles, so brakes will be your biggest concern.

However, just down shift and slow down and you'll be fine. While the grade is 6 miles long, the first two miles are fairly gentle. It's only after you pass the rest area that the steep part begins and it's nothing to worry about. If you get into REAL trouble, there's 2 runaway ramps you can use, but only use them if you're out of control.
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:55 PM
 
2 posts, read 24,257 times
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So that is a helpful answers to hwy 90 or 80. What if the question is which is easier to pull east to west, NC to Oregon--hwy 80 or hwy 70 then cutting north through Denver --to 80 then 84?
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Old 07-04-2010, 02:01 AM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 12,064,785 times
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I-80.
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:17 AM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,701 posts, read 12,475,887 times
Reputation: 4736
When you say 2000 lbs, what the heck are you pulling ?

But ...

First look at the specs of your car. What is the load rating *on its own* ?
Meaning, let's say, you have a bunch of big fat people in your car, every seat occupied ...
How much are you *pulling* already ?
If your car can not do that, you bought the wrong car ....

So in the end, you have to look at the *total* picture.

I drive a Honda Accord (4 cylinder).
I pull a small trailer (about 800 pounds, fully loaded).
I have no problems going anywhere.
But... I am the only one in the car ....
AND ... I drive about 60 mph ....

LBNL, make sure your hitch load does not exceed the Hitch Load Rating,
so load correctly !!!
You need some hitch load (down), else you will hear that trailer banging all the way down to where ever you're going. Too much hitch load down, your car will suffer.
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:00 PM
 
47,528 posts, read 65,199,913 times
Reputation: 22376
Quote:
Originally Posted by philwithbeard View Post
Thinking about pulling a single axial small trailer from Chicago area to Pacific North West. Looking at maps and Interstate, trying to decide which is best (easiest to pull a trailer) route through Rocky Mountains: I-90, or I-80 (then I-84 from Salt Lake to Northern Oregon)

Small SUV, 6 cylinder, auto-transmission, NOT with OEM Trailer Package (transmission cooling, extra heavy duty suspension, etc.) Pulling about 2,000 lbs, maybe less.

Don't need, or want, scenic route, do need easy climbing grades and don't want to loose the breaks pads on way down either.

Is either Toll Road? And are there enough of rest stops?

TIA
Phil
I used to use a 6 cylinder Aerostar Van with nothing extra but a tow hitch installed to pull a pop up trailer - fully loaded trailer and van and never had any problems in mountain areas.

That doesn't sound like too much weight to worry about.
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