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BobR

Descending Browns Mountain - too steep?

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We are planning on taking our 22ft XC3 down from Cooma to Merimbula this weekend. Tow vehicle is a diesel 200 series, and the van weighs close to 3.5t.

We have been told that Browns Mountain is very steep, and we are wondering if it is too steep. We have been down Barrengarry Mountain from Moss Vale to Kangaroo Valley without a problem, so if Browns Mountain is no steeper then no problems.

Has anyone towed a big Kedron down Browns Mountain, and is it too steep?

Bob and Janine

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Hi Bob and Janine

 

Firstly I should say that you will thoroughly enjoy the drive through the Kosciusko National Park.   It is stunning scenery.

 

We took our 18.5' (internal) Kedron ATV2 down Brown Mountain a couple of years ago. Prior to this descent, we had been down the Clyde Mountain several times and the Macquarie Pass to Kangaroo Valley without any problems. You just don't let the speed build up and lightly touch the brakes to keep it under control.....   I would say though that the descent down Brown Mountain was the most hair raising.  But let me explain.....

 

We have a Tekonsha Brake Controller that has 3 settings, B1 for soft around town braking, B2 for highway driving and B3 for aggresive downhill braking. Someone in their cleaning frenzy (and I shall not mention names in here) must have pushed the button and it was sitting on B1. Hence our trip down Brown Mountain had my knuckles white and my eyes wide like saucers. Half way down when the brakes started shuddering in the vehicle, I pulled over for a breather and to cross myself and ask God to safely get me the rest of the way to the bottom.  One quick check of the brake controller told me what the problem was and after changing it back to B3, the trip to the bottom was a breeze. 

 

We we still laugh about this experience and even just the mention of the name Brown Mountain gets my heart rate up.  It is several klms of constant downhill.  I think there is a sign at the top that tells you exactly how far.  But it is no different really than the Clyde. We have found a softer way from Goulburn to Nowra that involves just one, very short hill, and this is the way we cross to the coast now.  

 

I wouldnt hesitate to do the Brown Mountain drive again, as I mentioned the countryside is just spectacular (and you can be assured I would double check and triple check the brake controller settings next time).

 

Enjoy the drive !

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Hi Bob & Janine,

Ditto to Sue's comments, yes Browns mountain is steep......just drive to the conditions and you will be fine.

My suggestion for what it's worth......select third gear, monitoring your speed......try and keep speed around 50kph OR what ever your comfortable with......just touching the brake when required to maintain desired speed.

Browns mountain for me was the opposite story......we were going up the mountain towing the van with our first 200, the tug was performing beautifully until almost at the top when the electronics decided to go into limp mode....but that's another story!

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Sue and Tony,

 

Thank you very much for your feedback. We'll give it a go. We also have a Tekonsha brake controller, but I'm not sure what setting it's on. I'll check it and make sure it's aggressive enough.

 

When we went down to Kangaroo Valley last week we went down in first gear at about 30kmph without having to do a lot of braking. The engine did most of the work and we couldn't go much faster anyway due to the sharp bends. I tried it in second at the beginning but kept speeding up too much and needing lots of braking.

 

Once again, thank you. I'll let you know how we get on.

 

Bob and Janine

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I lived in Jindabyne for seven years.  One of my friends liked Merimbula so on the weekend he would ride his bicycle from Jindabyne to Merimbula, stay overnight and then ride back again.  Just think of his return journey as you enjoy the descent!

 

It is beautiful country.  Enjoy it.

Colin

 

BTW, we once avoided such steep descents but since changing to a Silverado with its exhaust brakes such roads are a breeze.

 

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We drove down Brown Mountain on Saturday - no problems at all. Put the cruiser in first gear and crawled down at about 30-35 kph. Didn't need to use the brakes much, mostly on corners. We couldn't go any faster if we wanted to - the mountain was covered in low cloud and we couldn't see more than 20 metres in front of us.

 

We found a couple of good spots for a free overnight stopover - the first one was at Bredbo where we parked on the side of the road next to the recreation reserve - a nice quiet and flat grassed verge, two blocks from the highway. Just parked on the verge for the night,no traffic at all and no close houses.

 

The second one was at Candelo, about 20km from Merimbula. Dr William Loftus park is opposite the shops. We didn't stop there but there were a number of vans there for the day. Flat, next to the creek, with cafe's across the road.  Good comments in Wikicamps.

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