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Old 01-12-2013, 02:40 PM   #15
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Just checked through Dodge data. Dodge added the features in 2012 for towing as per their 2012 brochure- only trailer sway control listed in 2010 and 2011.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:40 PM   #16
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...I stand 7' in height and in a Chevy pickup, the ceiling liner bump where they run the wires to the center overhead light is too far forward and I cannot sit back enough without it interfering in my seating...

Ian
I think you've identified what would be my prime consideration. A vehicle has to fit me, not vice versa.

I'm only 5'11", and I find it difficult to reliably get enough leg room. I had a loaner 2010 F150 XLT recently that had plenty of room. It also had adjustable pedals. It was only the 2nd vehicle I've ever driven where I scooted the seat up some (any at all) from all the way back.

I guess a lot of people must like driving around with their knees up level with their ears.

On edit. If the legroom is poor, that's even more reason for an automatic.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:55 PM   #17
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I have owned two GM/Duramax trucks. I have had great success with both.

I like the Allison. My 2012 has the manual select mode and it is very nice on grades. I also like the exhaust brake.

No numbers, no facts, just an opinion.

Best Regards,

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Old 01-12-2013, 03:01 PM   #18
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I've towed with a manual transmission car for the past 6 years, and am now switching to an automatic. Slow speed backing should be much easier!

I never found the manual to be an issue in the mountains. It just kept me busy shifting. I figured out how to double-clutch on downshifts a long time ago, so downshifts were usually smooth with no shock loads on the driveline.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:37 PM   #19
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I normally prefer manual for myself but there are some limitations.

First, my wife doesn't drive manual, so any vehicle she may drive has to be automatic.

Today's automatics are very reliable if treated right, services properly and up to the job of towing your load.
I am in the same boat. Only auto's in the driveway now.

A few years ago I was on the verge of buying a Lincoln LS 5 speed manual for our daily driver and TV. I ran the idea past Andy T at Can Am and he said it would work but an auto tranny is less work and more user freindly for towing. He also commented that the clutch can heat up when making a number or attempts to back into a campsite. We ended up with a car with a 5 speed auto. Has worked good to date.

PS... But sure miss my 1970 AMX 360/4 speed M.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:54 PM   #20
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The automatic transmission’s torque converter (fluid coupling which supplants a manual clutch) multiplies engine torque at stall (start-up) and thus provides more torque to get the assembly moving than a manual clutch transmission can. Modern automatic transmissions also “lock-up” the torque converter at highway speeds which provides a direct mechanical link to the driving wheels on the same basis as a manual transmission, thereby providing equivalent (while locked-up) fuel efficiency.

An automatic with a “manual” mode, to keep the transmission from “hunting” gears to maintain speed, is the only logical way to go (in my opinion).
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:34 PM   #21
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Thanks withidl....

for your clear, concise, and absolutely logical explanation of why most of us (even the oldtimers like me) now prefer automatic transmissions for towing.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:27 PM   #22
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If you are going to keep the truck more than 10yrs then get a manual. Otherwise plan on automatic transmission failures. I expect Ford is going to have a better more reliable transmission. The automatics are nice especially when backing up. I really can't see why a turbo diesel needs 8 speeds since it has a huge amount of torque at different RPM's. The self braking features are nice. I expect most Airstreamers are not going to be keeping a truck forever since most are retirement age already.

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Old 01-12-2013, 07:30 PM   #23
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The reason you want a lot of gears in an automatic that tows is to keep the engine and transmission operating in efficient rpm ranges. Since my old F250 has only four speeds, I end up using 4low with the hubs unlocked to pull the Airstream in and out of some of the best camping spots ; without the four low range we'd be heating the tranmission something fierce to climb the 10-12% grades with our 12k+ lbs rig. The, when you're on the open road you want to be able to slow that monster motor down to save on fuel - so you want some tall overdrive gears, too.

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Old 01-12-2013, 08:40 PM   #24
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well.... if I get an automatic for the now obvious reasons for towing efficiencies... anyone know where I can get a retrofit floor high beam selector so I have something to do with my left foot? :-P
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:46 PM   #25
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well.... if I get an automatic for the now obvious reasons for towing efficiencies... anyone know where I can get a retrofit floor high beam selector so I have something to do with my left foot? :-P
Well, it won't dim your lights, but it will give you something to do with your left foot. http://www.amazon.com/American-Scien.../dp/B000NJBRPA
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:58 AM   #26
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First a Hello to Gary(I had no idea you were here)
Dodge has had the trailer sway control system for a number of years in it's 1500 line up that is enough truck to haul the Majority of the Airstreams.It now has it available in the 2500+ sizes.The addition is due to going to 4 channel abs.The rest of the electronics have been there for years.
I have been towing for all my adult life-my teenage grandchildren love to go camping with us a a hint to how many years that amounts to.
I enjoy Towing with my manual trans as well as my automatic.Both my trucks have an abundance of power and will pull my Safari at higher speeds than many empty vehicles,for the majority of average drivers the new class of automatics today is the way to go.They integrate the engine,braking and sway controls along with shift strategies in such a way a rookie can more safely tow.
That being said if you are a true driver who wants to be in charge of all aspects of the driving experience go manual.
I spoil myself,I have both so depending on the mood I swing both ways
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:14 AM   #27
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well.... if I get an automatic for the now obvious reasons for towing efficiencies... anyone know where I can get a retrofit floor high beam selector so I have something to do with my left foot? :-P
That brings back memories of my 1950 Cadillac Coupe DeVille; it had the dimmer on the floor; also had a chrome "push button" starter just above the key; those are coming back; mabey the floor dimmer will also.

As to what to do with your left foot; my X5 has a "dead pedal" to press the left foot against while running the twisties; works for me.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:56 AM   #28
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Just bought a new Ram 1500 auto trans. No doubt if the 6-speed manual was available I would have it for the control and reliability, and $1000 more in my pocket now and many thousands later when the auto finally needs replacement(s).

But then that's what I have always driven since my 1950 Ford in high school. Fortunately we've got two other "sticks" Jetta TDI and Suzuki Samurai.

To me they are a joy to drive and the savings can add up over the years.

doug k
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