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Old 03-15-2020, 10:53 AM   #21
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Simi valley , California
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My sprinter is a 2007 Dodge 3.0 the first of the “new” body style, i have in a pinch towed my 25’ but have towed my 17’ Casita a lot. I have run into quite a few sprinter owners who have had tranny problems, One bit of advice would be to drop out of OD on almost anything with a slight grade. The engine will way outlast the transmission, I think they use this transmission on all the sprinters and even some of their SUV’s.
My advice keep the rpm’s in the correct range and
The Ford warranty saved me literally thousands of dollars in towing and repair bills, if anybody is interested I could give more details on the Ford warranty I had my covered to over 100,000 miles
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Old 03-15-2020, 01:08 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brentsdeal View Post
My sprinter is a 2007 Dodge 3.0 the first of the “new” body style, i have in a pinch towed my 25’ but have towed my 17’ Casita a lot. I have run into quite a few sprinter owners who have had transmission problems, One bit of advice would be to drop out of OD on almost anything with a slight grade. The engine will way outlast the transmission, I think they use this transmission on all the sprinters and even some of their SUV’s.
My advice keep the rpm’s in the correct range and
The Ford warranty saved me literally thousands of dollars in towing and repair bills, if anybody is interested I could give more details on the Ford warranty I had my covered to over 100,000 miles
That sounds like the 5 speed automatic. Newer Sprinters (since 2013) have the 7 speed automatic.

The 5 speed auto was generally known for being a reliable transmission over the multiple models it was used in, and was used in place of the 7 speed for many more years in high torque applications (like the V12 in sedans).

Automatics typically fail due to excessive heat, and two things that can increase heat significantly are continual shifting, and operating in other than torque converter lockup mode. Both of these issues can be exacerbated by towing. The solution, if the transmission is hunting for a gear at all, is to manually select a lower gear. This also applies to the transmission not going into lock up mode.
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Old 03-15-2020, 02:17 PM   #23
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Wrong transmission

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Originally Posted by jcl View Post
That sounds like the 5 speed automatic. Newer Sprinters (since 2013) have the 7 speed automatic.
The Sprinter did not go to the 7-speed transmission until the big change in 2019 models (2020 Interstates).

My 2018 Interstate (2017 Sprinter base) has a 5-speed transmission. I wish it had the 7-speed, but the 5-speed is a very good transmission.

Below, from my Sprinter manual
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Old 03-16-2020, 12:28 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brentsdeal View Post
My sprinter is a 2007 Dodge 3.0 the first of the “new” body style, i have in a pinch towed my 25’ but have towed my 17’ Casita a lot. I have run into quite a few sprinter owners who have had tranny problems, One bit of advice would be to drop out of OD on almost anything with a slight grade. The engine will way outlast the transmission, I think they use this transmission on all the sprinters and even some of their SUV’s.
My advice keep the rpm’s in the correct range and
The Ford warranty saved me literally thousands of dollars in towing and repair bills, if anybody is interested I could give more details on the Ford warranty I had my covered to over 100,000 miles
Thanks for sharing this info. I agree 100% about down shifting to 4th gear, that is direct 1:1 ratio and should always be used when towing. Slowing down to 60-65 mph while towing is also a good idea for many reasons. I've towed cars and a 26' Airstream trailer in the past with other vans. My Sprinter already has over 120,000 miles so I'm beyond any warranty. I've never towed with my Sprinter so I can't comment about transmission longevity since I've had no issues.

jcl's comment about heat destroying an automatic transmission is right on. Also it is important to get the Sprinter transmission serviced regularly. My 2012 requires transmission fluid change every 40,000 miles.
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Old 03-16-2020, 06:58 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brentsdeal View Post
One bit of advice would be to drop out of OD on almost anything with a slight grade.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
I agree 100% about down shifting to 4th gear, that is direct 1:1 ratio and should always be used when towing. Slowing down to 60-65 mph while towing is also a good idea for many reasons.
Thanks to both of you for the advice. I have downshifted manually on a routine basis whenever climbing or descending a grade while towing my Honda. And the Honda's owner's manual said "never flat tow over 65mph" due to limits on the Honda's automatic transmission, so I generally towed at 60mph to give myself a bit of reserve speed in case I wanted to pass someone who is going even slower. And so far, in eight years of Interstate ownership and 74,000 miles of driving (nearly 60,000 of which were towing the Honda), luckily I've not experienced any transmission problems at all.

I'm planning to do the same when towing the Jeep. Although the Jeep can be towed faster than the Honda (as one Jeep owner put it, "you can tow it faster than you can drive it!"), I don't see any reason to watch my Interstate's fuel economy plummet just to shave a few minutes off of my travel time while towing, even if I didn't have to be concerned about the Interstate's transmission.
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Old 03-21-2020, 04:48 PM   #26
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The Sprinter Store has a bigger oil pan for the transmission adding 2L of oil. This is a good solution for heavy towing add extra lubrications and reduces heat.
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