Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-03-2009, 07:06 PM   #15
3 Rivet Member
 
catson4's Avatar
 
1991 34' Limited
Port Orchard , Washington
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 126
34 ftr & Chevy TV

My '07 Chevy HD2500 has the factory brake controller. I tow my 1991 34' AS and all works great.
If this will not work with disc brakes, then if I where to change from the electric magnet brakes I would have to change the controller too. No big deal.
I wish the controllers position on the dash was higher up for easier access for when applying trailer ONLY brakes. But I am used to it now.
I like the positive side of this factory controller, the very precise control. The trailer responds very nicely and when going down grade
w/Allison in MANUAL mode, I do not need much brake anyway.

On the Oregon coast is a different story. Always some person in a CAR going slow, 30 mph or less, in the hills & and curves and 90 mph on the straights.
But oh-well.
__________________

__________________
Claude
One bazillion fish
1991 34' 60th Aniversary Limited Edition #008
2007 Chevy 2500 HD Duramax/Allison
One big parade float & a 40' Wells Cargo 5th wheel trlr.

"Wake each morning & Smile at the GREAT DAY you about to experience"

www.catson4ponds.com
catson4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2009, 08:06 AM   #16
Rivet Master
 
Wingeezer's Avatar
 
2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,709
Quote:
Originally Posted by catson4 View Post
My '07 Chevy HD2500 has the factory brake controller. I tow my 1991 34' AS and all works great.
If this will not work with disc brakes, then if I where to change from the electric magnet brakes I would have to change the controller too. No big deal.
I wish the controllers position on the dash was higher up for easier access for when applying trailer ONLY brakes. But I am used to it now.
I like the positive side of this factory controller, the very precise control. The trailer responds very nicely and when going down grade
w/Allison in MANUAL mode, I do not need much brake anyway.

On the Oregon coast is a different story. Always some person in a CAR going slow, 30 mph or less, in the hills & and curves and 90 mph on the straights.
But oh-well.
Claude,

Can you fill me in a bit on the use of the manual mode svp.

I just bought a similar vehicle but haven't towed with it yet. I've read the manual through once but wasn't all that clear on the use of the +/- manual control.

Is it something you use instead of the tow/haul feature or instead of? What is the basic principal involved - do you then somehow take charg of doing all the shifting of the tranny when you use it?


Thanks ...... Brian
__________________

__________________
Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
Wingeezer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2009, 08:29 AM   #17
Rivet Master
 
AirsDream's Avatar
 
1999 23' Safari
Perrysburg , Ann Arbor
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 914
Hmmmm ... there are two "manual modes" in play here ... one on the brake controller, and one on the transmission. As to brake controller manual control - on most controllers, and on your '08, there are two "finger grip" knobs extending from it, one of which is a slider that controls a rheostatat. Once you're hooked up, you can (slowly) increase the amount of "gain" that the controller produces and then while driving at perhaps 30 mph, apply the trailer brakes only, by squeezing those two knobs together. My understanding is that you've got it dialed in right when on dry pavement at 30 or so, the trailer brakes, when fully applied (knobs squeezed fully together), almost but not quite, produce trailer wheel lockup. Then you have the choice of a) allowing the controller to apply the trailer brakes automatically, using whatever algorithm it uses to decide how hard to apply them, or b) apply them yourself by squeezing the slider. The latter is said to be a useful maneuver in some near loss-of-control situations ... but I've never had to use it (yet!).

The Allison transmission's also got "manual shift" mode that uses the little + and - buttons on the stalk to select gears. To access it, just move the gear selector until your readout says "M-1" or something like that. Using that, YOU select the gear with the + and - buttons, and it won't shift out of it unless you get quite high engine speeds or come to a near stop. I sometimes use this when moving heavy loads like a tractor on a trailer, at low speeds over uneven ground where I'm looking for constant low speed and I don't want it to change gears on me.

Tow / haul mode invokes a different shift regime for the Allison: it moves the shift points up quite a bit, so you stay in a lower gear for longer periods of time until higher engine rpms are achieved when accelerating, and when decelerating, it downshifts much earlier, helping a little in braking. It also will keep you in fifth gear instead of sixth, until you reach highway speeds - thus eliminating much of the "hunting" for the right gear associated with "regular" mode on some engine / transmission combinations. Staying in fifth gear is more useful in hilly country, less useful with a diesel due to having all that torque on tap.
__________________
AirsDream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2009, 04:41 PM   #18
2 Rivet Member
 
frlcad5's Avatar
 
2000 28' Excella
Stewartstown , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 21
When my 2007 chevy truck with the factory brake controller didn't work I checked with the folks who build the disc brake setup on the Airstreams. It seems that the reason it won't work is GM's controller is looking for a inductive load (brake coil) to sense the trailer is hooked up. No inductive load and the controller is disabled. It seems that Ford had the same problem and installed some coils to get around the problem. I guess GM took the same old position that has put them near bankruptcy and didn't bother to fix the problem. I love my truck but guys like GM's Wagner and the other "Fat Cat" need to listen to the costomers and react when needed.
__________________
frlcad5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2009, 01:21 AM   #19
3 Rivet Member
 
catson4's Avatar
 
1991 34' Limited
Port Orchard , Washington
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 126
Wingeezer - Technically the "M" stands for "Range Selection Mode" but has been and probably will into the future be called the "MANUAL" mode.

"AIRSDREAM" wrote:
{The Allison transmission's also got "manual shift" mode that uses the little + and - buttons on the stalk to select gears. To access it, just move the gear selector until your readout says "M-1" or something like that. Using that, YOU select the gear with the + and - buttons, and it won't shift out of it unless you get quite high engine speeds or come to a near stop. I sometimes use this when moving heavy loads like a tractor on a trailer, at low speeds over uneven ground where I'm looking for constant low speed and I don't want it to change gears on me.}

Actually the read out on your dash will say from left to right ; P-R-D-M-1,
If you select the "M" then you are in "manual" mode. If you select "1" then you are in low gear and the trans will not shift up.
As Airsdream says then you select the gear you want, up or down, using the rocker switch on the gear shift lever, as indicated with the + or - signs.
HOWEVER, the trans WILL shift down on it's own ,at it's pre-set shift points, IF you select ANY range ABOVE first.
In other words, if you select 3 and come to a stop light with out shifting up or down, The trans WILL shift down for you. Then when you start moving again, the trans will shift up from 1st through 2nd and into 3rd range as your speed and RPM's dictate but it will not go above that . You will have to shift it up or down OR move the selector lever to D and that would put you back into regular drive.
You can shift between Drive & Manual at any time.
If you are running on a level highway at 60 mph in Drive, you can shift into Manual and the display on the dash will show you are in 6th range.
In the "M" mode then you can shift down and the display will show which range you have selected. If you shift down to many ranges and the trans is not ready to take that range, it will decelerate until it can shift into the selected range. This is not a recommended shift as you will be putting the Duramax RPM's right at the top of each range as it shifts down.
Not good IMHO.

The manual mode works in either "Regular" or "Tow" modes.
It really works great on slippery roads as you do not need to brake as often because you can slow down with the trans and it is smoother than brakes.
And it is super in the mountains and even on the freeways. I use "M" when towing and set it to 5th range. that way the trans does the shifting as it needs BUT does not go into 6th and I get better MPG as the motor gets to use the fuel it is being fed rather than running at the lowest RPM in 6th. This works with my 34ftr and I have just over 21,000 miles in 16 months on my "07 Chevy now.
In 5th range I get right at .5 to 1.0 miles per gallon MORE than in 6th on the freeways running at 60 MPH.


Drive it a while and , like "MIKEY"-you will like it.
__________________
Claude
One bazillion fish
1991 34' 60th Aniversary Limited Edition #008
2007 Chevy 2500 HD Duramax/Allison
One big parade float & a 40' Wells Cargo 5th wheel trlr.

"Wake each morning & Smile at the GREAT DAY you about to experience"

www.catson4ponds.com
catson4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2009, 09:22 AM   #20
Rivet Master
 
Wingeezer's Avatar
 
2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,709
Quote:
Originally Posted by AirsDream View Post
Hmmmm ... there are two "manual modes" in play here ... one on the brake controller, and one on the transmission. As to brake controller manual control - on most controllers, and on your '08, there are two "finger grip" knobs extending from it, one of which is a slider that controls a rheostatat. Once you're hooked up, you can (slowly) increase the amount of "gain" that the controller produces and then while driving at perhaps 30 mph, apply the trailer brakes only, by squeezing those two knobs together. My understanding is that you've got it dialed in right when on dry pavement at 30 or so, the trailer brakes, when fully applied (knobs squeezed fully together), almost but not quite, produce trailer wheel lockup. Then you have the choice of a) allowing the controller to apply the trailer brakes automatically, using whatever algorithm it uses to decide how hard to apply them, or b) apply them yourself by squeezing the slider. The latter is said to be a useful maneuver in some near loss-of-control situations ... but I've never had to use it (yet!).

The Allison transmission's also got "manual shift" mode that uses the little + and - buttons on the stalk to select gears. To access it, just move the gear selector until your readout says "M-1" or something like that. Using that, YOU select the gear with the + and - buttons, and it won't shift out of it unless you get quite high engine speeds or come to a near stop. I sometimes use this when moving heavy loads like a tractor on a trailer, at low speeds over uneven ground where I'm looking for constant low speed and I don't want it to change gears on me.

Tow / haul mode invokes a different shift regime for the Allison: it moves the shift points up quite a bit, so you stay in a lower gear for longer periods of time until higher engine rpms are achieved when accelerating, and when decelerating, it downshifts much earlier, helping a little in braking. It also will keep you in fifth gear instead of sixth, until you reach highway speeds - thus eliminating much of the "hunting" for the right gear associated with "regular" mode on some engine / transmission combinations. Staying in fifth gear is more useful in hilly country, less useful with a diesel due to having all that torque on tap.

Many thanks for the info,

Your explanation and the added info from CATSON4 will help a lot.


It was specifically the tranny I was confused about. The Brake controller seems pretty much the same to use as aftermarket ones that I had on earlier tow vehicles.

Like you, I have never had need to operate the trailer brakes independently by squeezing the levers.

Brian
__________________
Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
Wingeezer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2009, 10:57 AM   #21
Rivet Master
 
Wingeezer's Avatar
 
2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,709
Quote:
Originally Posted by catson4 View Post
Wingeezer - Technically the "M" stands for "Range Selection Mode" but has been and probably will into the future be called the "MANUAL" mode.

"AIRSDREAM" wrote:
{The Allison transmission's also got "manual shift" mode that uses the little + and - buttons on the stalk to select gears. To access it, just move the gear selector until your readout says "M-1" or something like that. Using that, YOU select the gear with the + and - buttons, and it won't shift out of it unless you get quite high engine speeds or come to a near stop. I sometimes use this when moving heavy loads like a tractor on a trailer, at low speeds over uneven ground where I'm looking for constant low speed and I don't want it to change gears on me.}

Actually the read out on your dash will say from left to right ; P-R-D-M-1,
If you select the "M" then you are in "manual" mode. If you select "1" then you are in low gear and the trans will not shift up.
As Airsdream says then you select the gear you want, up or down, using the rocker switch on the gear shift lever, as indicated with the + or - signs.
HOWEVER, the trans WILL shift down on it's own ,at it's pre-set shift points, IF you select ANY range ABOVE first.
In other words, if you select 3 and come to a stop light with out shifting up or down, The trans WILL shift down for you. Then when you start moving again, the trans will shift up from 1st through 2nd and into 3rd range as your speed and RPM's dictate but it will not go above that . You will have to shift it up or down OR move the selector lever to D and that would put you back into regular drive.
You can shift between Drive & Manual at any time.
If you are running on a level highway at 60 mph in Drive, you can shift into Manual and the display on the dash will show you are in 6th range.
In the "M" mode then you can shift down and the display will show which range you have selected. If you shift down to many ranges and the trans is not ready to take that range, it will decelerate until it can shift into the selected range. This is not a recommended shift as you will be putting the Duramax RPM's right at the top of each range as it shifts down.
Not good IMHO.

The manual mode works in either "Regular" or "Tow" modes.
It really works great on slippery roads as you do not need to brake as often because you can slow down with the trans and it is smoother than brakes.
And it is super in the mountains and even on the freeways. I use "M" when towing and set it to 5th range. that way the trans does the shifting as it needs BUT does not go into 6th and I get better MPG as the motor gets to use the fuel it is being fed rather than running at the lowest RPM in 6th. This works with my 34ftr and I have just over 21,000 miles in 16 months on my "07 Chevy now.
In 5th range I get right at .5 to 1.0 miles per gallon MORE than in 6th on the freeways running at 60 MPH.


Drive it a while and , like "MIKEY"-you will like it.

Thanks much!

Your explanation gives much more detail than the info in the GM manual!


One thing I did not in the manual however - if I read it correctly - is that when in tow haul mode, the transmission has a grade-braking feature, bgut if you select M, (even if in tow/haul) you cancel this feature.

If that is so, then I presume you would not want to be in "M" on long downgrades?

Thanks again for taking the time, its very helpful! ........ Brian
__________________
Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
Wingeezer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2009, 10:29 PM   #22
Rivet Master
 
66Overlander's Avatar
 
1962 22' Safari
2016 30' Classic
Somewhere , in the USA
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,975
Images: 41
To clear things up, there are at least two types of "manual mode" that can be applied to automatic transmission vehicles.

One type allows you to directly select the transmission gear (e.g. "3" = 3rd gear). These types will hold the selected gear as long as the engine rpms are within acceptable ranges, but if holding the gear would cause an engine stall, they will generally downshift. Likewise if holding the gear will over rev the engine they will generally up shift.

The second type allows manual selection of transmission range, or maximum gear (e.g. 3 = 1st thru 3rd gear range). In this case the transmission shifts normally within the allowable range, but will generally only upsihft beyond the range if the engine is going to be over rev'd.

Sports and touring cars typically use the first type of "manual mode" (gear select). Trucks, including those equipped with Allison transmissions, generally use the second type of "manual mode" (range select). There may be exceptions both ways.
__________________
Joe
Wally Byam Caravan Club International Historian
Vintage Airstream Club Historian
WBCCI/VAC #6768

(Looking for a vintage 1960's fiberglass front window guard)
66Overlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 01:05 AM   #23
3 Rivet Member
 
catson4's Avatar
 
1991 34' Limited
Port Orchard , Washington
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 126
You are correct, the grade braking can only be put into operation in "TOW MODE".
And the Grade Braking works great on LONG down hill runs.
The Westbound lanes of I-90 on Snoqualimie Pass in Washington, from the summit down hill for about 4 miles, is a good example. And the Siskiyu Pass on I-5 at the Oregon / California border.

Unless the steep grade is more than a few miles long , I find the "Manual" mode better. But that is just personal preference.

Enjoy your clean burner.
__________________

__________________
Claude
One bazillion fish
1991 34' 60th Aniversary Limited Edition #008
2007 Chevy 2500 HD Duramax/Allison
One big parade float & a 40' Wells Cargo 5th wheel trlr.

"Wake each morning & Smile at the GREAT DAY you about to experience"

www.catson4ponds.com
catson4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Integrated brake controller rpcarlson Tow Vehicles 16 06-30-2008 07:07 PM
Prodigy brake control LI Pets Brakes & Brake Controllers 0 12-18-2006 02:56 PM
GM brake control ? richnritab Brakes & Brake Controllers 10 07-03-2006 03:42 PM
Brake control till Brakes & Brake Controllers 1 12-16-2004 09:26 AM
Prodigy Brake Control mopar7 Brakes & Brake Controllers 2 01-23-2004 05:22 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.