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Old 03-29-2013, 08:44 AM   #1
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Heading out April 3rd

I have just a few questions before we hitch up in April to make our maiden 350 mile trip to Kansas. We have new tires with well greased bearings. We have Robert C's Reese Hitch (Thankyou Robert for that deal).
Ok - so lets say we are hitched up and pulling out. There is an over drive button on the end of the gear shift. I depress it and go from there, leaving it turned on the whole time.
So now for example I am approaching a steep incline, such as the one at the entranceof the lake we are going to.
Am I going to need those lower two gears 1 or 2 below DRIVE to go up the incline when I get there - or does over drive do all the work?
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:29 AM   #2
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Bill, They recommend to turn off the overdrive when towing to prevent constant shifting when doing hills. Between you and destination I don't see many hills to worry about. If you do, push the button and come out of it till flat again. The overdrive helps a little on milage.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:09 AM   #3
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Should I stay out of the 1 and 2 gear positions too? And just keep it in the DRIVE.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:52 AM   #4
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Drive versus 1st or 2nd...

Hi AIR-Quarius,

Nice...getting a head start on the season.

When the shift lever is in 'Drive' this means that the automatic transmission will shift through the various gears, as needed.

Your 'Overdrive' or 'Tow-Haul' button, limits the transmission from shifting into the lowest numerically set gear (i.e. 4th) where 1st is the highest gear ratio. Sorry for the technical stuff.

If you manually select 1st or 2nd then your vehicle will be able to pull harder but also be limited to speed, i.e. used when going up a steep incline. But, as mentioned will lower fuel mileage.

I would depress the 'Overdrive' button and let the transmission select the gear needed. That way you let your vehicle do the work that it was designed for and you enjoy the ride.

Safe Driving,
Chris
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:06 AM   #5
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Well- actually the snow that keeps creeping across Kansas is stalling us from making the trip. Which is good, as this allows me to go through all the steps to make this pull happen right. I am not a ROCKET SCIENTIST like the rest of you lol and I appreciate learning everything I have learned on the site. There are three great mechanics in my family (One sister was even a jet mechanic )...but as a kid, I was always told to get lost while they worked on their cars. But thats ok, because now I have a great truck and a great Airstream....and they don't. ha ha
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:39 PM   #6
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OD / no OD depends on what you are driving. I have a Dodge w/ Cummins diesel and it doesn't seem to matter. The engine has enough torque to manage whatever I can throw at it. It will downshift when necessary but I just let it do its thing. Tow/haul will alter the shift points internally but to me it doesn't seem to matter. Watch the temp. gauge if you have one and if you notice it beginning to climb drop it out of OD or shift to a lower gear. These modern transmissions seem to know what's best better than we do.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:03 PM   #7
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We are towing with a 96' Ford F250 with a 5.8 L engine. Included isa Takonsha Brake control, plus a Reese weight distribution hitch with friction sway. Here's a photo of the truck at one of my projects.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:10 PM   #8
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I would leave the OD turned off on that rig. I would consider manually shifting down to a lower gear on a long pull up to keep from having the transmission shifting back and forth between gears and to keep from having to run high revs to keep it in the lower gear. And going down hill I would go slow over the top and shift down to a lower gear for braking.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:17 AM   #9
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Your 5.8 liter engine doesn't have much torque and what it does have is developed about 3,000 rpm.
Don't use overdrive for towing, keep the rpms in the power range, don't worry if 65 mph is your maximum comfortable speed, don't downshift (if you keep your rpms up your transmission will shift on its own) and stay at home if snow is in the forecast.
After the trip is over, you will be amazed about how easy it was.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:20 AM   #10
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I forgot to add. Don't worry if you get terrible fuel mileage. I got 8-9 with my Ford Expedition.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:04 PM   #11
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OK....does any one else have their two cents worth of Over drive vs. Not using Over drive advice.?
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:38 PM   #12
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You decide..drive in over-drive for a while then drive out of over-drive..I'm guessing you will see a big difference that will answer your question
Hope you enjoy your maiden voyage
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