Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-19-2013, 11:40 PM   #21
4 Rivet Member
withidl's Avatar
2002 31' Classic
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 440
Images: 1
Originally Posted by JFScheck View Post
Peeps - my humble opinon, if you have to go through all that to tow in the mountains then you have either too much trailer or not enough of a tow vehicle....
OR, your a "gear head" like myself and thoroughly enjoy driving. I get a perverted pleasure out of "working" my tow vehicle. As a retired lubrication engineer who has dealt with a myriad of industrial matters, when I'm driving down the road my mind's eye can transparently see the entire drive train functioning; this understanding benefits my assembly's longevity and economy.

Most drive to get from A to B, I drive to enjoy that which is between A and B.

withidl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2013, 11:53 PM   #22
4 Rivet Member
withidl's Avatar
2002 31' Classic
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 440
Images: 1
Originally Posted by Steamguy View Post
One thing I haven't seen mentioned... something I learned from our old Master Mechanics: the engine itself will tell you what it's happiest in doing. Some like to rev up and just pull, others like to take it a bit easier. One of the biggest telltales is your oil consumption. If your oil consumption suddenly goes way up, then you're being too hard on the vehicle.

For my experience with an SOB and my particular tow vehicle, it's happiest if I let the Tow Mode and the automatic transmission do the work; I just go to Manual Mode if the transmission is 'hunting' for a gear. I allow my speed to drop by 5-10 MPH on the long hills; that's what the right lane is for.

The proof for me is going from using 1-1/2 quart between changes to none. Gas mileage has gone from a little better than 8 to a solid 10+ MPG. And where I live, you can't get anywhere without going over long hills...
For what it's worth, my X5 V8 4.4i consumes ~1 pint of oil between 6,500 mile oil changes (crankcase contains 8.5 quarts). A high viscosity oil offers the best protection for a heavily loaded engine and thus I use 15W-50 Mobil 1, and since I live in Houston I don't have to switch to a lower viscosity during winter.

withidl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 11:49 AM   #23
Rivet Master
Aerowood's Avatar

1971 21' Globetrotter
Arvada , Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2,974
The bulk of my towing involves the Colorado mountains and mountain passes. I tow a 21 GT with a 99 5.2 litre 4X4 Dakota with 150K miles. I never tow in Overdrive in the mountains, down hill is to fast and uphill the trans can't make up its mind. I drive the tachometer when going uphill regardless of which gear that I manually shift the trans into. My trans is a 3 speed overdrive so there are times on the steep long high altitude climbs I am in second. My power curve is in the 3000 to 3500 rpm range and everything is happy there on the long uphill climbs. The two gauges I watch the most is RPM and Water Temp. I do have to turn off the Air conditioning most times.
Aerowood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 02:52 PM   #24
Rivet Master
RangerJay's Avatar
2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 819
Images: 44
Gear down - slow down - then climb the hill at a speed that feels comfortable for both you and the truck.

In addition to a tachometer a Scanguage is very helpful - makes it easy to monitor the temperature and engine load.

And has been said - go down the hill in the same gear and at the same speed you'd climb it.

Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
(Oscar Wilde)
RangerJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 02:58 PM   #25
Rivet Master
2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,743
As some have said, I just keep mine in "tow/haul" mode and let it do its thing - performs great.

I especially appreciate the way it knows how to downshift when it senses me braking coming down the other side!

Wingeezer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 04:47 PM   #26
Rivet Master
SmokelessJoe's Avatar
1976 Argosy 24
now being enjoyed by Heath and Mary in , Vermont
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,425
The best way to charge up a hill is DON'T do it.

Follow instead the good advice given by RangerJay just above.

I too drive to the SCANGAUGE ll, constantly monitoring Percentage of Load.

I have also installed gauges to monitor the transmission temperature and the exhaust gases from the turbo charger in the SPRINTER. Less chance of harming things when you know these factors.

Full details, if you are interested, in post #686 on my main thread:


Click image for larger version

Name:	Sunset Grant.jpg
Views:	100
Size:	130.1 KB
ID:	191301

entire rig soon available
SmokelessJoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2013, 01:53 PM   #27
Rivet Master
JFScheck's Avatar
Vintage Kin Owner
Rockville , Maryland
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,484
Images: 33
Originally Posted by withidl View Post
OR, your a "gear head" like myself and thoroughly enjoy driving. .
Absolutely nothing wrong with that!
John "JFScheck" Scheck
In Between Units
Airstream On Order
**I Love U.S.A.**
JFScheck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2013, 03:42 PM   #28
DKB_SATX's Avatar

2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7,310
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 7
Originally Posted by DryFly View Post
You have a modern TV with state of the art (close anyway) computer controlled transmission - why not use it? Stick it in "drive" and go the speed you want. If you want to save gas then slow down. Manually shifting a modern transmission is gratifying only if you think you're better at shifting than the computer system in your TV -"(you're not). You don't own a manual transmission, you own an automatic.
If that's a response to ROBERTSUNRUS posting about manually shifting out of OD and later into 2nd as needed, you're a bit off-base. The 4-speed auto in his '00 Navigator is about the same transmission as the 4R75 in my '07 F150... and let me tell you, it ain't too smart.

I can often get smoother operation, maintain lower trans temps and keep things moving along better by watching ahead and kicking off the OD, or adding power early even when on cruise than by letting the transmission just do what it wants.

The newer 6+ speed transmissions that are better integrated into the engine-management systems are lightyears better, but my older 4-speed still hauls things along pretty well if I help out from time to time.
— David

Zero Gravitas — 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto — 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
DKB_SATX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2013, 04:39 PM   #29
Rivet Master
InsideOut's Avatar

1956 22' Safari
Vintage Kin Owner
Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 11,924
Images: 108
Originally Posted by jgerardi View Post
Best way to charge up a hill
I find both Visa & Mastercard work just fine...

Vintage Airstream Club - Past President 2007/2008
WBCCI #1824 - DenCO Unit Past President (2005)
AIR #30 - Join Date: 2-25-2002

RMVAC | WBCCI DenCO Unit | BIRDY - our 1956 Safari | 1964 Serro Scotty
InsideOut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2013, 05:30 PM   #30
Master of Universe
Gene's Avatar
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 11,456
Back around 1920 my mother was taken on a road trip in the family Buick. It was a big family and the car had trouble getting up the hills in upstate NY. The older kids got out to reduce the weight and push if necessary.

Those days are over. No need to charge up the hill or for anyone to get out. Automatic transmissions are computer operated and know what is best for the engine. Just drive up. You can let it slow down to save gas. Use tow mode to prevent the engine from laboring.

While the rule to go down in the same gear you came up is good advice, it works best for stick shifts. With an automatic, I don't count which gear I'm in going up, and although the transmission automatically downshifts going downhill, I downshift lower. Saves brakes and is safer. I prefer a stick (if you can get one anymore; they are victims of cellphones—can't talk and shift at the same time), today's automatics are more efficient.



The Airstream is sold; a 2016 Nash 24M replaced it.
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:30 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.