Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Tow Vehicles: Tow Haul Mode
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 > Tow Haul Mode

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valhalla360

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Posted: 12/01/20 11:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I realize Tow Haul Mode isn't new but only recently got experience with it and figured I would share some thoughts.

We've had the truck (2008 F250 V10) for 3 years but life only allowed for some local trips in relatively flat areas and I never remembered turn it on. This year we can't get out of the country for the winter, so we loaded up and headed west.

On flat roads and accelerating, I'm kind of indifferent to it holding the gears a little longer. Doesn't really impact the driving experience much.

What surprised me is the downshifting when coming to a stop and semi-automatic downshifting on hills (tap the brake and it downshifts). At first, I just heard a whining coming to a stop light and until I caught on the truck was downshifting to help slow down, I thought something was wrong.

This truck really holds speed nicely on steep down grades. We've had several 6-7% downgrades of several miles this fall and almost never have to touch the brakes (RPM never going much over 3000 or making any really noticeable noise).

I drove my Dad's trailer out to Phoenix for them a couple times and coming down out of Flagstaff, you had to pay attention. It was a 3/4 ton dodge van with a 360 and even downshifting, you really had to work the brakes to keep speed from getting out of control and the engine was screaming if you let the speed get too high.

Then our first truck was a 1992 F250 with the 7.3 diesel (but before they added turbo). Generally loved the engine but it did almost nothing to help out on downgrades.

Then I found myself playing with it in some of the national parks not towing. Lots of steep switchback roads where you want to go 20-40mph. Following cars that are riding the brakes pretty much for miles and one tap and it downshifts and just strolls along without having to touch the brakes but when you hit a straight section, no need to touch the gear shift, just give it some gas and she shifts to a higher gear.

I haven't had a diesel with the newer exhaust brakes but this truck really does such a nice job downhill, I can't see having a need. Mind you we are pulling a 7500lb trailer so up hill is no issue even with some altitude thinning the air out.

Hope people find this useful.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and 5er


BB_TX

McKinney, Texas

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Posted: 12/01/20 11:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I engage tow/haul as soon as I hook up the 5er no matter the distance, speed, or terrain. And I use tow/haul descending some steep winding grades even without the trailer behind. Less need to use the brakes.

Lwiddis

near Bishop, California

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Posted: 12/01/20 11:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On my 1500 and past Tahoe I do what BB TX does.


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Sjm9911

New Jersey

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Posted: 12/01/20 01:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On my 2020 chevy as soon as I plug in to the 7 pin it reminds you to enguage tow haul mode. TbH dont remember if i used it all the time on the 2012 sierra.


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rlw999

Washington State

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Posted: 12/01/20 01:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Can confirm that this is how Tow-Haul works on my E-450 Class C

It holds low gear longer when accelerating, probably not that useful for flat roads (and I usually don't turn it on for the flats), but it really shines in hills. It downshifts sooner on uphills, but the real benefit is on the downhills where it downshifts to maintain speed with engine braking, I've never needed to downshift manually when using tow-haul mode.

way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 12/01/20 01:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use it when not towing in stop and go traffic. It really helps slow you down quicker and keeps you from having to apply the brakes at all in some cases.


2020 F350 STX 6.7L Turbo Diesel
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valhalla360

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Posted: 12/01/20 01:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sjm9911 wrote:

On my 2020 chevy as soon as I plug in to the 7 pin it reminds you to enguage tow haul mode. TbH dont remember if i used it all the time on the 2012 sierra.


That's something I don't get because the built in brake controller knows if the trailer is hooked up. You would think the default would be if a trailer is hooked up turn it on and make the driver manually turn it off if they don't want to use it.

That's why I didn't use it the first couple years was because we weren't towing often or long and they were relatively flat areas so I simply forgot to engage it. Now that I have been using it, it's a great feature.

Diamond c

West ky

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Posted: 12/01/20 04:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a 2020 f250 6.7l diesel and when you plug in to the trailer light plug it automatically engages the tow/ haul mode for you. We also have what the truck drivers call a “ jake brake” to help with braking.

dodge guy

Bartlett IL

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Posted: 12/01/20 06:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wish I had the 5 or 6 speed in my 02 Excursion with the V-10. Our 12 F53 chassis has the V-10'5 speed combo and tow/haul is amazing! The shift strategy could use some changing (which 5 star addresses) but other than that I love it. Every time I start it I engage it. Wish there was a way to have it always defaulted to on.

I'll be getting a tune from 5 star next year and will check to see if it addresses the tow/Haul default setting.


Wife Kim
Son Brandon 17yrs
Daughter Marissa 16yrs
Dog Bailey

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LIKE2BUILD

Decatur

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Posted: 12/01/20 06:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On my Ram I can manually engage the exhaust brake and Tow/Haul mode. I always drive with the exhaust brake on and whenever I hook onto any trailer I engage Tow/Haul. The Tow/Haul mode does a great job of managing shifts when a load is connected and it also makes the exhaust brake more aggressive. Actually, the exhaust brake works so well I've had to tap the throttle descending a hill because it was slowing me too much...and that was towing a 13,000lbs 5er on a 10% grade [emoticon]

I figure transmissions are extremely expensive and Tow/Haul mode gives better shifting performance under load so I might as well use it.

KJ


'14 Ram 2500|Crew Cab Long Bed|4X4|Cummins
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