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Old 04-26-2010, 03:31 PM   #1
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2011 28' Flying Cloud
chanhassen , Minnesota
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 143
Transmission Mode while towing

My G/T weights about 4,500# and I'm pulling it with a Dodge Ram 3500 with straight six Turbo Diesel.

I've not been towing in tow/haul mode because it pulls fine w/out any downshifting at all. Should I be?

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Old 04-26-2010, 03:52 PM   #2
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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I have a ford 6.0 and do NOT use tow haul mode for the same reason. One word of caution. Use want to have an exhaust temperature gauge to make sure you do not exceed the high limit temperature as towing in the higher gears will produce more heat.

i do not know what the limit is for the Cummings but a quick look on one of their forums will get you the answer.

Now that said I will switch to tow haul while going down a long hill to get the retard effect and save the brakes.

I drive by the tack and the exhaust gauge.

2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 04-26-2010, 04:45 PM   #3
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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I use tow/haul nearly all the time I'm towing. Gasser may be different that diesel, but mine has been known to hunt when not in tow/haul. Your results can and may vary from mine. It's my understanding that tow/haul does more than stop gear hunting. It changes shift points and possibly trans line pressures as well.
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:10 PM   #4
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1965 22' Safari
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Tow/Haul Mode

I use tow/haul mode with my 09 Silverado gasser 5.3 and it just changes the shift points giving me a bit more rpms in each gear. I haul most of the time in 3rd gear and the tran. runs much cooler. If I do not have any head winds or hills then I will use 4th with no increase in tran. temp. You folks with the big desiels have a bunch more low end torque so you should not have any issues other than really big hills....Tim

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Old 04-29-2010, 11:34 PM   #5
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My Tow Vehicle senses when a trailer is connected and automatically places the transmission into a "tow shift" pattern.

John "JFScheck" Scheck
2015 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL
2015 Mercedes Sprinter 3500 XL Chassis with Mercedes BlueTec V6 Diesel
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:42 AM   #6
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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If your truck came with an owner's manual, it should tell you when you should use tow/haul mode. It will tell you to use it when the vehicle load exceeds a percentage of capacity, and/or when you are towing a trailer of more than so much weight.
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:56 AM   #7
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Perrysburg , Ann Arbor
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I use mine!

Not sure about Dodges, but GM diesels at least, when in tow/haul, get several modifications: upward modified shift points and (I think) upped line pressures in trans, giving more positive shifts with less clutch pack slippage (i.e. less wear and tear and trans. heat), faster downshifts when decelerating, giving a bit more engine braking, and also changes to the lane-change blinker mode, so that when one just "bumps" the turn signal lever, it gives six "blinks" instead of three - presumably because some GM engineer thinks that when towing, we ought change lanes in a more gradual, dignified manner than when not. There may be other, more subtle changes that I've not discovered!

The only downside that I've discovered is that in tow/haul, the Allison won't shift into top gear until at least 55 mph even at a steady speed on level ground, and if it's indeed level, I don't need the extra rpms, etc. And guess what? Some traffic engineers seem to have specified 55 mph for long stretches of American two-lane roads (not that I'd ever speed! ) so sometimes when I'm loafing along slowly on flat terrain, I will shift out of tow/haul, just to get into top gear.

But mostly I figure that it can't hurt to use tow/haul and it may help, even with a relatively light trailer in tow.
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:09 AM   #8
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Our 93 Nissan Van had the tow/haul feature and we used it towing the 2,000lb pop up and the 4,500lb Airstream. It could have towed the pop up without it but we used it anyway. The tranny was still good and problem free after 16 years of use and over 300,000 miles.

Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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