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Old 10-24-2013, 11:46 AM   #1
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Tow Haul (grade brake)

While shopping for my MH I have seen some with Tow Haul Grade Brakes and some without....It seems like having a Tow Haul Grade Brake is a good idea or does it matter that much? Newby here...
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:02 PM   #2
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Assume you are referring to the Exhaust Brake on the DP Rigs? There are two types. Without getting real Technical,
Most common is the Exhaust Brake which is a valve on the outlet side of the Turbo Charger that closes when the driver activates a switch and the Throttle is released. When the valve closes, it restricts the flow of exhaust and thus assist with the braking effect of the engine.
The other type is what is more commonly known as a Jake Brake. This device actually controls the Exhaust Valves in the Engine to provide the braking effect.
These devices are installed on the heavier Diesel Powered rigs to assist with braking and to answer your question, Yes, they are a very good option and in most cases are Standard Equipment.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:32 PM   #3
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Thanks Dennis, No I should have mentioned these are gasers that are advertising these Tow Haul Mode Grade Brakes...
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Coopers Mom View Post
Thanks Dennis, No I should have mentioned these are gasers that are advertising these Tow Haul Mode Grade Brakes...
Will have to wait for another "Expert" to weigh in. I'm not familiar with that term.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:46 PM   #5
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Not an expert but had an Allegro gasser previously. The tow haul mode changes the shift points on the transmission allowing it to down shift more quickly when descending grades or in stop and go traffic. Mine worked very well on 5% grades which was about the steepest grade I encountered before trading the coach. I used tow haul when in traffic and in the hills, otherwise I just left it out of tow haul.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:25 PM   #6
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Reading about Tow Haul Grade Brakes, it's an option on GMC gas vehicles. It forces a downshift when brake pedal is held down. Seems to be a falsely named option, it's not actually braking like a Jake or Exhaust brake on a diesel, it just downshifts. If you start to over-rev the engine, it upshifts. I'm also hesitant to use an option that only works when you ride the brakes. I've always felt brakes are to be used sparingly, riding the brakes leads to overheating and wearing them out. Unless there's more to this than explained by GMC Tech site, I don't see how it's different than manually downshifting auto transmission unless it allows different shift points from manual selection.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:40 PM   #7
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You do not "ride the brakes" to activate the tow-haul system. When descending a hill, you place the transmission in Tow/Haul (if not already there) and apply the brakes. The transmission will downshift and start slowing you down; tap the brake again to slow more.

The Ford v-10 is a high RPM engine so no problems with 5000 RPM when descending a hill. The transmission is designed to upshift to a higher gear if the engine RPMs are too high.

We used it rather extensively in the mountains (up to 12% grades) when we had our gas coach and it worked as advertised.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:53 PM   #8
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+1 on the Tow Haul Grade Brake

We have that feature on our 07 Southwind Ford F53 V10 and it's great. As others have said, press the Tow Haul button and when you're going down hill just tap the brake and it'll drop down a gear or hold in your current one rather than a constant application of the brakes.

We just came back from a trip to the Oregon coast and used it on the short mountain pass from Portland.

From what I understand it's along the same line as the Allison Trans on the GM product....
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:14 PM   #9
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Sorry, I didn't even know it was available from Ford. I Googled "Tow Haul Grade Brakes" and every reference on the first page was either Silverado or GMC. The GMC Tech site and multiple reports by users talk about keeping foot on brake pedal or it upshifts. That's why my comment on it's not truly like diesel retarders. I'm all in favor of additional ways of keeping control of heavy vehicles on downhill grades. Banks also makes a system for gassers that is quite good, but quite pricey.
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:24 PM   #10
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I believe that in motorhome chassis "tow/haul" is Ford nomenclature, whereas Workhorse used Transmission Grade Brake (TGB) for its chassis. Not sure how the Ford T/H is activated, but Workhorse provided a switch to turn the TGB off /on, and when "on" the TGB feature causes the tranny to downshift one gear each time the brake pedal is depressed, assuming certain conditions are also being met. Coasting downhill and "safe" engine RPMs are among the requirements before the TGB will work. Using it is just an option that saves the driver from a manual downshift using the gear selector lever. Ed
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:30 PM   #11
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For our V10, on a downgrade, depressing then releasing the brake pedal engages an engine braking feature - a backpressure which slows acceleration during the descent. We've used it multiple times in the hills of PA & WV. Saves wear on the brake pads, although it can get a bit loud w/the increased RPM's.

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Old 10-24-2013, 06:33 PM   #12
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For our V10, on a downgrade, depressing then releasing the brake pedal engages an engine braking feature - a backpressure which slows acceleration during the descent. We've used it multiple times in the hills of PA & WV. Saves wear on the brake pads, although it can get a bit loud w/the increased RPM's.

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I don't always use tow/haul on my 06 F-53. I don't like the noise of high RPM's. I do prefer though to use my brakes. My pads are meant to be changed out, my engine and tranny are not.
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by luvlabs View Post
You do not "ride the brakes" to activate the tow-haul system. When descending a hill, you place the transmission in Tow/Haul (if not already there) and apply the brakes. The transmission will downshift and start slowing you down; tap the brake again to slow more.

The Ford v-10 is a high RPM engine so no problems with 5000 RPM when descending a hill. The transmission is designed to upshift to a higher gear if the engine RPMs are too high.

We used it rather extensively in the mountains (up to 12% grades) when we had our gas coach and it worked as advertised.
X2. We have a 2014 Thor Ace 30.1 gasser with the V10. Engage tow/haul and tap the brakes - your engine and transmission do the work of downshifting so you don't ride your brakes. 7% grades over four or five miles through the mountains of WV, and we did fine. It makes a huge difference. I wouldn't want to try it with brakes alone.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:01 PM   #14
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I don't always use tow/haul on my 06 F-53. I don't like the noise of high RPM's. I do prefer though to use my brakes. My pads are meant to be changed out, my engine and tranny are not.
The Ford tow haul works very well and should be used on grades and in mountains. The drive train, engine and trany are designed to take it. Your brakes are not. Ride your brakes going down a mountain pass and they will get hot and fade out. They will pick you up with a fork and a spoon in downtown Pagose Springs like the song says. When a rig goes off the road on Wolf Creek Pass all they recover is the bodies. And there is a lot of rigs down there from people who rode there brakes.
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