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 > Towing up grades with "M" and 1 gears

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MitchF150

Puyallup, WA

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Posted: 04/03/21 06:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Anyone can just put it in "drive" and engage "tow/haul" mode and go up and down the road and get to where they are going... Easy, peasy... No real worries.

But, that's not what I do..

I'm not here to tell "YOU" what to do.. This is just what I do..

I like just putting it in drive and going. I like running it in M mode and I like towing WITHOUT T/H mode turned on and I'm still here to tell the tale and the truck with almost 100,000 miles on it is still around too.

There are times when the towing conditions require more attention than others and there are times when I like to tell the truck what I want it to do and not the other way around.

I monitor ODB2 sensors that are not on the dash and by adjusting how I let the truck do things make a difference in my towing experience and how the engine temps go and just makes me more engaged with the experience and not just looking out the windshield and turning the steering wheel.. [emoticon]

Anyway, you can drive the truck or the truck drives you I guess.

New vehicles can basically 'drive' themselves, so why do we need to be present? ha, ha..

I know I'm being over dramatic on this, but I see too many lights come on in the side view mirrors of cars I'm next to... Do you really need a light in the mirror to tell you there is a vehicle next to you? Do you really need a dial to back up your trailer?

I have to admit.. The setup for being able to get your truck to backup your trailer with a dial is WAY BEYOND my setup level of understanding than just putting it in R and looking in my mirrors! ha, ha.. (remember, I'm an old fart!)

Anyway, more of a rant than any use for the OP on his original question..

Mitch
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deltabravo

Spokane, WA

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Posted: 04/03/21 10:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

Just put it into to drive and enable the "towing/haul" mode and forget about that "M" mode.


No Bueno.

By the time the computer/transmission decides to downshift as it loses speed on a grade, all bets are off for maintaining a decent speed.

My rig is a different animal (Duramax / Allison). I run it in Manual mode and 5th most of the time. I watch my RPM and speed. I have driven the truck long enough that I know at what RPM (and corresponding speed) I need to down shift to the next lower gear, but that RPM isn't the same for each gear.
I keep the RPMs in sweet spot and can maintain my speed relatively well, or lose very little.

The point I'm making is that my "manual down shifts" are pre-emptive. The computer will shift too late, unless I put the hammer down on the skinny pedal and force it to shift earlier... but there goes my EGTs!

My suggestion: Drive it and try things out, that's the only way "you" will get the feel for "your" vehicle. The internet, nor a dealer, can tell you what "gear you should be in" because there are far too many variables involved.

When I'm towing heavy, I change up my shift points vs when I am towing light.


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noteven

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Posted: 04/04/21 05:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes read the manual.

* This post was edited 04/04/21 09:16am by noteven *

JIMNLIN

Oklahoma

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Posted: 04/04/21 06:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1. Depends on tranny brand....tranny type.....tranny year model.
Not all auto trannies work the same so what someone with a a different year model/brand tranny says works... will not work for yours.

2. see #1.

I have a '16 1500 chevy 6 speed auto and it works completely different than a '16 2500/3500 Allison transmission. Apples vs oranges.
Using T/H mode with this tranny does nothing for gearing down on steep mountain grades. The only way is use manual mode M and I do the proper gear selection. I've drove manual trannies since the mid '50s for work and play so I understand when its time to down shift or up shift.

If your not up to using M mode on steep grades follow your vehicle owners manual and ask questions for your specific brand/year model/vehicle type tranny.
If your tranny has a ***TH mode that does all the thinking and gear selections then let it do its job. You can learn how to manual shift gears by paying attention to when the tranny shifts and listen to engine rpm.
***change to TH mode ..jim

* This post was edited 04/04/21 08:26am by JIMNLIN *


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John Burke

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Posted: 04/04/21 06:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have towed with a 3500 for over 20 years. Current camper is 39 ft. from ball to bumper and around 11,000 lbs. I have the 6.0 engine.
I almost always use the M setting when towing, normally M-5 and tow/haul button engaged. Tow/haul changes your shift points for towing. When using M I use the RPM view and keep it around 2200 on fairly flat ground, through the mountains and hills I use whatever gear keeps it in the mid 3,000,s. At times it will be in the 4000,s to keep up speed.
With the using the M and not in really large hills I am able to use the cruise set at 62.
Read your owners manual under towing.
Using just the D setting and you are not on flat ground and no wind causes the transmission shifts A LOT, especially in and out of overdrive. That causes the transmission to heat up more and shortens its life.

dodge guy

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Posted: 04/04/21 07:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No one I know tows using the M mode. Use the T/H button and leave it at that. If you want to tune it to get more perf and better shifting, then check out Black Bear Tuning. They specialize in tuning GM gas engines.


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GrandpaKip

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Posted: 04/04/21 07:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have found that, with our rig, using tow-haul works very well.
But, I don’t have your setup and neither does anybody here.
The manual, then trial and error and going slow will probably serve you best.


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Thom02099

Loveland,CO

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Posted: 04/04/21 07:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That 7% grade will frequently be in combination with a lot of twisties and turnies. To expect to maintain a certain speed, either up hill or down hill, is not realistic. Having to drop down to the 25-30MPH range (or maybe even slower) would be prudent.

In my set up with a 2007 "classic" Sierra 3500 with the Duramax/Allison combo, I almost always use both tow/haul and M. I prefer to select the gear I want to be in and know my truck well enough that I know the gear that will allow me to use the brake pedal at a minimum. Let the engine/tranny do the work.

Here in Colorado, that 7% grade will likely be for a lot more than 4 miles. Throw in the usual canyon curves, or hairpin curves and being more in control of your truck can be essential.

One of my favourite examples is going up the South St. Vrain between Lyons and Allenspark CO. A lot of steep (7-15%) grades, a lot of curves and a few downhills thrown in. I always use the M and T/H mode combo. For ME, that is the safest way to do this stretch of highway. Did the same with Wolf Creek Pass, Cameron Pass, Slumgullion Pass and a whole lot of canyons. Others may have a different opinion and that's OK. Pick what works best for YOU and your comfort level for safety.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 04/04/21 09:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JIMNLIN wrote:

1. Depends on tranny brand....tranny type.....tranny year model.
Not all auto trannies work the same so what someone with a a different year model/brand tranny says works... will not work for yours.

2. see #1.

I have a '16 1500 chevy 6 speed auto and it works completely different than a '16 2500/3500 Allison transmission. Apples vs oranges.
Using T/H mode with this tranny does nothing for gearing down on steep mountain grades. The only way is use manual mode M and I do the proper gear selection. I've drove manual trannies since the mid '50s for work and play so I understand when its time to down shift or up shift.

If your not up to using M mode on steep grades follow your vehicle owners manual and ask questions for your specific brand/year model/vehicle type tranny.
If your tranny has a ***TH mode that does all the thinking and gear selections then let it do its job. You can learn how to manual shift gears by paying attention to when the tranny shifts and listen to engine rpm.
***change to TH mode ..jim


Agree, different transmissions shift different.
And there’s something wrong with your 2016 Chevy if it doesn’t downshift on downhill grades in tow/haul.


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morley

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Posted: 04/04/21 10:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This might be a dumb question so excuse me if it is. My 2009 Chevy Duramax with Allison has the engine brake for descending down steep hills (not a Jake brake), it works well and I use it all the time when descending. Now my dumb question and I ask myself this every time the engine brake is required and comes on.
Is more fuel used during this downhill braking scenario???


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