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Old 06-18-2014, 02:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by bilb2765 View Post
Trying to stop without enought truck brake will be embarrassing, Not to mention, you insurance might not cover damages.
My2cents
This part of your post is untrue. Insurance will cover you if you get in an accident. If the accident is your fault it is your fault, and whether or not you are pulling a trailer (and how much that trailer weighs) is not a factor in the decision for the insurance company to provide coverage. I am not sure where that notion comes from, but I would like to dispel that myth whenever I can.

Let's say you rear end someone. You could not stop in time because you were texting, or not paying attention, or towing something light, or towing something heavy. Your insurance company is going to cover you despite your error. That is why you buy insurance.

Andre
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:29 PM   #16
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Hidee ho

Welcome to the forum!
We tow our 25' 5000lb trailer with a regular old weight distributing hitch and one sway control device with our 2012 Ram 1500 w/5.7L Hemi, 3.55 gears with no problems at all. I tow at 60mph as much as possible as it's my comfort speed, it's easier on the equipment and I have gotten as much as 15mpg on the flats! I always tow with the Tow/Haul switch on, using cruise control when safe and prudent on the flats and use the gearshift +/- to anticipate a lower gear for hills. Even with the weight of our trailer, I am only at 70-75% of capacity in terms of power and tow weight rating; I like to be safe. You should have no problems towing your lighter trailer with your rig. Just be slower than non-towing and be safe but have fun!
Happy Camping!
Pete
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:23 AM   #17
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... and use the gearshift +/- to anticipate a lower gear for hills. ... Pete
Pete,

Can you elaborate on how you use the +/-?

I have this available on my F150, but I thought (just based on my own thinking and rationale) that if I used it while having the tow/haul mode on (which I use always when towing) that I would just be overriding the benefit of using tow/haul.

For example, I notice that in tow/haul mode, going up an incline, the transmission will stay in a higher gear longer, and delay shifting down. This "feels" better to me than shifting down into a higher RPM gear.

Are you overriding that and forcing a downshift?

What is the perceived benefit of that, if so?
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:37 PM   #18
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Hi Loraura,
Let me see if I can explain the +/-!
With the tow/haul mode engaged and with the cruise control on and set at 60mph (my comfort speed), if I see a hill coming up, before my speed starts to decrease at the bottom of the hill, I downshift with the +/- button to a lower gear to maintain that 60mph. If the rpms then lower even more and speed decreases, I can downshift to a lower gear as appropriate to maintain that 60mph. At the top of the hill when the lower gear(s) are not needed to maintain 60, I will upshift using the +/- into the highest gear (my Ram has a 6 speed automatic so I tend to leave it in 6 while towing rather than Drive or D as shown on the gearshift selector because 6 will leave it out of overdrive whereas D or Drive will let the truck use it's MDS or cylinder deactivation to 4 cylinders and lug the engine until it decides to downshift by itself. Also, the cruise control in my Ram seems to let speed decrease by 5-10mph before it will downshift and I like to keep as consistent a speed as possible and use downshifting to anticipate the hill before my speed decreases so much that I am holding up traffic anymore than I already am at 60.
I guess the biggest benefit to me and why I manually downshift myself prior to the cruise control doing it, is to maintain as consistent a speed as possible and not lug the engine. Lots of guys don't like using cruise control while towing and while I use it a lot on the flats, if I know I'm entering a hilly area where there are lots of hills or mountainous driving, I will turn off the cruise control for safety.
I hope this helps!
Happy Camping!
Pete
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:46 PM   #19
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Part 2

Hello again,
I might add that from what my mechanic tells me, the purpose of the tow/haul mode is not only to keep the engines shifting rpms a little higher than normal but it also ups the transmission fluid PSI a little higher to help keep the transmission from slipping when shifting while under more load or towing weight than when not towing (that means the transmission fluid works with a higher pressure). Both of those actions helps the transmission operate at a lower temp and is 'less hard' on the transmission when towing. Tow/haul probably does other things as well but an engineer would have to explain that to us!
Pete
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:39 PM   #20
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Hi Loraura,
Let me see if I can explain the +/-!
With the tow/haul mode engaged and with the cruise control on and set at 60mph (my comfort speed), if I see a hill coming up, before my speed starts to decrease at the bottom of the hill, I downshift with the +/- button to a lower gear to maintain that 60mph. If the rpms then lower even more and speed decreases, I can downshift to a lower gear as appropriate to maintain that 60mph. At the top of the hill when the lower gear(s) are not needed to maintain 60, I will upshift using the +/- into the highest gear (my Ram has a 6 speed automatic so I tend to leave it in 6 while towing rather than Drive or D as shown on the gearshift selector because 6 will leave it out of overdrive whereas D or Drive will let the truck use it's MDS or cylinder deactivation to 4 cylinders and lug the engine until it decides to downshift by itself. Also, the cruise control in my Ram seems to let speed decrease by 5-10mph before it will downshift and I like to keep as consistent a speed as possible and use downshifting to anticipate the hill before my speed decreases so much that I am holding up traffic anymore than I already am at 60.
I guess the biggest benefit to me and why I manually downshift myself prior to the cruise control doing it, is to maintain as consistent a speed as possible and not lug the engine. Lots of guys don't like using cruise control while towing and while I use it a lot on the flats, if I know I'm entering a hilly area where there are lots of hills or mountainous driving, I will turn off the cruise control for safety.
I hope this helps!
Happy Camping!
Pete
Using tow/haul on the F150 does all this shifting for you and I would like to add it does it before losing any ground speed. That is the whole purpose of having the tow function. If you do it then you are just defeating the whole thing.
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:08 PM   #21
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Thank you both!
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Old 06-28-2014, 11:12 AM   #22
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schrod

Hi schrod,
You are correct to a degree; you must have a cruise control that kicks in before your speed drops so much it lugs the engine or you feel you have to downshift first manually to maintain rpms. The cruise control on my Ram lets the speed drop 5-10mph before it will downshift; it feels like it's letting the engine lug so then I feel it necessary to downshift myself, I wish mine worked as well as yours!
Happy camping!
Pete
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:53 AM   #23
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Too much truck is a good thing...

I think it's better to have too much truck than too little (or even enough truck).
Here's why:
1) you can get a bigger trailer later if you want
2) you are not putting a near-max load on your truck/tranny
3) better fuel economy
4) better weight and wheelbase ratio between truck and trailer
5) less need for additional equipment (weight distribution, airbag suspension, etc.)
6) exhaust brake on a diesel!! Can overstate the value of this enough.

Several people at campgrounds have joked that I have too much truck for my trailer when they see my Megacab 2500 (22' long) towing our mid size TT (25' long). Then I tell them I get 14mpg towing, have no need for WD equipment, and can pass trucks at 75mph without hesitation.

We just did a 5,200 mile trip, and I can tell you it was an absolute pleasure and stress free towing experience. And with the exhaust brake, we came down an 8%-10% grade from 10,000' and didn't touch the brake pedal once.

The only down side might be the large turning radius, but have not found a spot I couldn't back in to.
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