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Old 06-14-2006, 11:25 AM   #1
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towing with cruise control

hi the community,
as my french friend frederic01 about the question towing with OD, i wonder if it was a good way to tow with the cruise control ? I 've driven to the south of FRANCE with the CC on so, is it wrong or right for my F150 ?

thank you for your advices;


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Old 06-14-2006, 11:37 AM   #2
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New to towing but my experience, a whoping one trip, I found the cruise control to be quite useful. I'm towing an Argosy 24 with a 2000 GMC Safari (same thing as a Chevy Astro). First of all I use the tow haul switch which reprograms shift points and does an excellent job along with the 3.7 gears of keeping the engine in the middle of the torque curve at ~55 mph. I found that with cruise engaged the throttle control and shifting were in general smoother than if I was running without. Without cruise control I was able to maintain a more constant speed on rolling hills but caused a lot more downshifts than if I was patient and let the computer decide. Also, when the computer did decide to downshift it modulates the throttle during the shift like you would with a clutch resulting in much smoother shifting.

There were occasions when the computer couldn't figure out what to do; like sudden steep grades and long downhills. The cruise control would just seem to "give up" leading to a disconcerting loss of power. Also in curve mtn roads it was far better to leave it off.

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Old 06-14-2006, 11:38 AM   #3
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Cruise control

I use my cruise control all the time when on a highway. I'm not an expert but I don't see anything wrong with it. I tow with a Chevy 1/2 ton pickup.
Bob & Carla
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Old 06-14-2006, 11:48 AM   #4
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I use cruise control AND overdrive whenever I can. However with my setup I don't feel that I am taxing my tow vehicle unduly. The TV is rated for 12,500 and the A/S maxes at 6,300. It is fun to pass people up a grade (like the Grapevine). I am a firm believer in not pushing the limit on a TV. We test towed a '01 Expedition from a local dealer. They let us hook up the A/S and take it out. I think it could have done it but I didn't get that warm and fuzzy from it. There was too much laboring up hills and too much white-knuckles coming down. We ended up with an Excursion at that time. The extra braking ability comes in handy also. Without it we probably would have rear-ended Uwe in Mexico.
Roger & Roxie (rore62) Smith (Air#178 - WBCCI#1646)
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Old 06-14-2006, 12:00 PM   #5
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hi bruno and others....

driving without your right foot?


some t.v. owners manuals caution against doing this or using overdrive....

while others make no mention.....

my view.....
if the tv has a much greater power reserve than needed it's probably ok....
if the tv has a tranny cooler or towing package it's probably ok...
if the tv isn't constantly seeking gears or shifting it's probably ok....
if the terrain is flat or gently graded it's probably ok.....

i use the cruise contol on the f250 on the long flats, but prefer my foot on rolling hills since i can allow speeds to flow better with de foot....the cruise control maintains mph in a narrower range....

also i like to let the rig roll down big old long hills while the cruise will hold maintain speed...seems my mpgs are better with cruise 'off' on anything that isn't flat....

on the f150 with your trailer......should be fine.....if the tranny isn't shifting too much.

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Old 06-14-2006, 01:39 PM   #6
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Cruise Control Sometimes...

Cruise control is great for the open stretches of I Interstate Highways (here in the U.S), but in the hills and mountains, I revert to "human-in-the-loop." Otherwise the, cruise control will try to maintain speed when it really isn't safe or fuel efficient.

I also revert to HITL when the traffic is heavy. Cruise control just doesn't know about keeping a safe (8-12 second) distance.
Ken L
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Old 06-14-2006, 01:51 PM   #7
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I asked my salesman when I bought my F-250 desiel with tow/haul. He said cruise would be ok when not in the mountains, but make sure NOT to use the overdirve, i.e. use the tow/haul setting. In the mountains, I wouldn't trust it anyway. Like has been said, it doesn't know when it is safe to accelerate and when it isn't. I like to be incontrol on inclines and curves even on four lanes.
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Old 06-14-2006, 04:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bhayden
There were occasions when the computer couldn't figure out what to do; like sudden steep grades and long downhills. The cruise control would just seem to "give up" leading to a disconcerting loss of power. Also in curve mtn roads it was far better to leave it off.
When the vehicle speed drops more than about 10 mph below the programmed speed, the cruise control will cut out. We use our cruise control locally, because it is tabletop flat arounmd here, but when we go where there are mountains (hills), we leave the cruise off, as it will allow the speed to drop too much, then floor the accelerator in an attempt to catch the speed back up. This cannot be good for the engine, transmission, or anything else connected to them.

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