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Old 10-20-2008, 12:49 AM   #1
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2007 25' International CCD FB
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TV towing question setup

I have just purchased a 25 International FB OB and have towed it from the dealer down though the tenenssee hills though Alamaba and then back to San Antonio. The T/V is an 07 Chevy Silverado ext cab with a 5.3 gas and a 3.42 final drive. The truck was factory set up with a trailering package, locking rear Differential, and High Performance suspension. We towed the A/S over 2000 miles and for the occasional getting stuck behind a very slow moving truck with out the oportunity to pass, I began to smell something burning. Engine temp was fine, but the transmission temp got as high as 196, but quickly came down. We have always used the tow button on the end of the gear select lever, per dealers instructions.
Any way I felt it towed well, with out any noticable sway, or interfearence from large trucks, but I would like to reiterate, that I am new to to this, and might not know if I was undersized.
Other than that the vehicle towed great, got respectable gas mileage and was quite comfortable. I found that at higher speeds, I needed to keep reminding myself that I was towing a heavy Airstream.
Any suggestions, questions, or commments, would be very much appreciated. Incidendally, the maual says that this vehicle can tow up to 6800 lbs, but the dealer says this number is usually conservative. The A/S weighs in at 5400lbs so with another 1000 lbs of gear, and fluids, I am sure it is pushing the upper limits.
Thanks,
Barry
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Old 10-20-2008, 05:43 AM   #2
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Barry,

Glad to hear about your Airstream and hope you will have many years of great camping.

I'd definitely get that burning smell looked into.

I wouldn't trust what a dealer about conservative tow ratings. If anything, I think your rear end ratio may limit you to exactly what the book says, not a pound more.
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Old 10-20-2008, 05:58 AM   #3
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Not really enough info, but my first guess is the tranny, how many miles are on the truck?

Are you sure the temp never went higher?
Why did it get higher?

Also what do you mean you have to remind yourself you're towing at higher speeds?
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:36 AM   #4
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Barry,

I tow a 25' AS also with virtually the same truck (GMC version), except mine has the 3.73 rear end ratio. Are you sure yours has the 3.42? If you do in fact have the 3.42, I believe you are on the raged edge.

Anyway, last summer we towed our then 23' 11,000+ miles to Alaska and back with the vehicle with no problems. I did determine on this trip, however, that the truck seemed to do much better, stayed cooler, and just basically seemed "happier" when I kept it in 3rd gear rather than let it go into overdrive.

I certainly don't profess to come close to knowing it all about towing, but I have been towing travel trailers of one sort or another since '71. So, since we are in the same town, tow the same size trailer with the same truck, if you want to talk, I'd be happy to help you in any way I can. Probably the thing to do is PM me a telephone number so we can talk, and hopefully I can be of some help.
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:48 AM   #5
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Barry: Take your rig to a scale and weigh it. There are several threads on how to get a good reading. You need to find out the weight of your trailer loaded so you know if you was overloading the TV.
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:01 AM   #6
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums, Barry. We're glad to have you with us. Congratulations on your new baby. We also have a 25FB, and love the size and floor plan.

We also pull with a GM, and the transmission temp regularly gets up into the 200 degree range during a hard upgrade pull. I can not explain your burning smell. If it is something that occurs on each hard pull, you need to get to the bottom of it. You have not mentioned what type of hitch system or brake controller you are using.

Our 25FB weighs more in the 7000# + range ready to go camping, so you may be pushing your tow vehicles capabilities. The 3.42 differential ratio in your truck is good for gas mileage, but a poor choice for heavy towing.

Keep us posted on your progress and post some pictures of your rig.

Brian
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
Barry,
Are you sure yours has the 3.42? If you do in fact have the 3.42, I believe you are on the raged edge.
.
Steve's certainly identified the place to start looking. 3:73 is minimum. I'd consider 4:10's - you will be amazed how much better it tows and you'll probably see an increase in towing mileage.

I do not know Chevy trannys but you should find out if your tow switch just disengages the torque converter lock, or if it drops you out of overdrive. Going slow uphill would require shifting down a gear or two.

Consider upgrading your transmission cooler - automatics take the brunt of towing abuse on 1/2 tons.

Regardless of what you do, have your transmission fluid changed to Redline ATF or Redline Hi Temp ATF.
http://www.redlineoil.com/products_g...8&categoryID=8

..............Scott
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:42 AM   #8
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If you intend to leave Texas again you will want to change the rear to at least a 3.73. Another approach would be a Gear Vendors splitter installed as an overdrive and tow in 3rd gear. The GV would give you 8 forward speeds of which you would use 5 while towing 1st, 2nd, 2 over, 3rd, and 3rd over. I towed a 34 ft Airstream all over the country with a GV and a 1/2 ton Suburban. Yes I also dropped the rear to 3.73.

As far as temperature do not trust factory gauges. They are installed in the trans and thus do not see the high temperature coming off the convertor but rather the average temperature. Consider a transmission temperature gauge, make sure it is installed it the output cooling line from the trans, and a trans cooler.
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:22 AM   #9
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Glad to hove your here Barry... I don't know a whole lot about the tow switches in trucks or mine... But I prefer to tow with it off... I get better MPG than with it on. my TV downshifts later than it normally would in tow mode... It doesn't need too..

From what I understand most of the tow modes just shift the gears later... But then I don't know everything or understand it....
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:41 AM   #10
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Glad to hove your here Barry... I don't know a whole lot about the tow switches in trucks or mine... But I prefer to tow with it off... I get better MPG than with it on. my TV downshifts later than it normally would in tow mode... It doesn't need too..

From what I understand most of the tow modes just shift the gears later... But then I don't know everything or understand it....
The purpose of the Tow Haul Mode is to reduce the load on the engine by holding a given gear longer on the upshift and down shifting sooner as the load increases.

Yes mileage will be lower in Tow Haul Mode but the biggest problem in not using it is the exhaust temperature will go sky high. Not sure what the limit is on a gasser but on a diesel an exhaust temperature above 1200 degrees on a none oil cooled piston begins to melt the tops of the pistons.

If you are interested in engine life and warranty use the Tow Haul Mode. Remember the newer trucks have a computer that records everything you do so looking at the service manager and trying to say you never overloaded the engine he has the ace in his hand.
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Parkof View Post
I have just purchased a 25 International FB OB and have towed it from the dealer down though the tenenssee hills though Alamaba and then back to San Antonio. The T/V is an 07 Chevy Silverado ext cab with a 5.3 gas and a 3.42 final drive. The truck was factory set up with a trailering package, locking rear Differential, and High Performance suspension. We towed the A/S over 2000 miles and for the occasional getting stuck behind a very slow moving truck with out the oportunity to pass, I began to smell something burning. Engine temp was fine, but the transmission temp got as high as 196, but quickly came down. We have always used the tow button on the end of the gear select lever, per dealers instructions.
Any way I felt it towed well, with out any noticable sway, or interfearence from large trucks, but I would like to reiterate, that I am new to to this, and might not know if I was undersized.
Other than that the vehicle towed great, got respectable gas mileage and was quite comfortable. I found that at higher speeds, I needed to keep reminding myself that I was towing a heavy Airstream.
Any suggestions, questions, or commments, would be very much appreciated. Incidendally, the maual says that this vehicle can tow up to 6800 lbs, but the dealer says this number is usually conservative. The A/S weighs in at 5400lbs so with another 1000 lbs of gear, and fluids, I am sure it is pushing the upper limits.
Thanks,
Barry
Barry, Always use the tow mode when towing your Airstream. It does several things, on hills it will stop the transmission from hunting-shifting in and out of overdrive- that builds heat,heat KILLS transmissions. On downgrades it will stop the transmission from freewheeling.Ie it will lock the trans in a predetermened gear which will provide engine braking to keep you from having to ride your brakes all the way to the bottom of the hill. On new trucks this is all done with the PCM.(powertrain control module)In the old days you would manually place the trans in 2 or 3 gear for engine braking on hills. Your burning smell should be investigated. Sounds to me like your catalitic converters are getting hot, which is probley normal, but you should check it out. If you are happy with the way the truck performs with your 3.42 gears then leave them alone,you will get better milage when not towing. John
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
The purpose of the Tow Haul Mode is to reduce the load on the engine by holding a given gear longer on the upshift and down shifting sooner as the load increases.

Yes mileage will be lower in Tow Haul Mode but the biggest problem in not using it is the exhaust temperature will go sky high. Not sure what the limit is on a gasser but on a diesel an exhaust temperature above 1200 degrees on a none oil cooled piston begins to melt the tops of the pistons.

If you are interested in engine life and warranty use the Tow Haul Mode. Remember the newer trucks have a computer that records everything you do so looking at the service manager and trying to say you never overloaded the engine he has the ace in his hand.

My exhaust comes out the back, and I melted the big mud flap set up on my friends hitch two weeks ago while towing..... You converted me,,, Tow mode it is........ Thanks...
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:17 AM   #13
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2007 25' International CCD FB
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Thank you everybody for responding to my question. I look forward to meeting you all at one time or another. In answer to some of the responses;
The truck has about 30k miles on it, and it does have the 3.43 rear end, at least that's what the invoice says. It always seems to have enough power, the only time I noticed the burning smell, was when I was following a large slow vehicle up a long incline several miles long, that I could not pass, and when I pulled over at a gas station to fuel up, that is when I noticed the smell. First time and only time. Otherwise, the truck seemed to handle quite well.
Hitch system is a dealer installed Reese dual cam high performance sway control #26002 with trunnion style weight distribution kit.
I mentioned that I need to remind myself at higher speeds that I am still towing something. It's very easy to be going 75 or 80 and then I look in the mirror and realize that I have a trailer following me. That's when I come back down to a resonable 65 - 70 mph. The truck drives smooth except for those few miles on I-10 in Louisianna where the bumps are amplified.
I will definetly look into changing the fluid to the high temp ATF.
Thanks again for all of your responses.
Barry
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:43 AM   #14
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I would guess that the exhaust system got good and hot, and that was responsible for the "burning" smell. Your truck is fairly new as well.
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