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Old 07-31-2021, 12:38 PM   #1
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Mountain Passes----Downhill

Have a 2019 Minnie Winnie on a Ford E 350 Chassis. I will be pulling a toad and use the tow/haul mode when in use. Heading out west and wondering if you can still downshift to a lower gear even when in the tow/haul mode? How low a gear do you go and at what level of rpm's do you start to get concerned and need to back off?
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Old 07-31-2021, 12:49 PM   #2
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In tow/haul it will downshift with the touch of the brake pedal. No need to use the shifter.

Don't be afraid of 5000 RPMs
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Old 07-31-2021, 12:53 PM   #3
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Please verify that you have supplemental brakes on your toad.


What toad?


What supplemental brake system?
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Old 07-31-2021, 12:56 PM   #4
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Learn where your engine powerband is, on my v10 ford starts making power @ 2400 rpms up to 4500+ rpms , doesn't hurt a thing.
Reread post title, rule of thumb, go downhill in the gear you up in.. ymmv
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Old 07-31-2021, 01:07 PM   #5
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I will be towing a 2020 Chevy Sonic(about 2750#) and I have the Demco Duo Stay and Play supplemental braking system permanently installed. So, if I am in the tow/haul mode I dont need to downshift to a lower gear.....just touch the brake pedal and the transmission will automatically downshift? Might have to practice that before I get in the mountains as it will be a new feeling/process than I am used to. Again, no problem with the engine running up to 4-4500 rpms if necessary? Thanks....bob
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Old 07-31-2021, 01:16 PM   #6
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I will be towing a 2020 Chevy Sonic(about 2750#) and I have the Demco Duo Stay and Play supplemental braking system permanently installed. So, if I am in the tow/haul mode I dont need to downshift to a lower gear.....just touch the brake pedal and the transmission will automatically downshift? Might have to practice that before I get in the mountains as it will be a new feeling/process than I am used to. Again, no problem with the engine running up to 4-4500 rpms if necessary? Thanks....bob
Read your chassis owners manual, it thoroughly discusses tow/haul mode.
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Old 07-31-2021, 01:23 PM   #7
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In tow/haul it will downshift with the touch of the brake pedal. No need to use the shifter.

Don't be afraid of 5000 RPMs
LMAO, easier said then done. Exact reason I went to a Diesel.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:09 PM   #8
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MM42...I am happy for you but I dont have a diesel. Anything constructive to add?
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:14 PM   #9
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In addition when you do use the brakes use the jab method, hold the brake for a few seconds then let go don't ride them.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:18 PM   #10
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In addition when you do use the brakes use the jab method, hold the brake for a few seconds then let go don't ride them.

Or, better yet, use the brake pedal firm enough and long enough to allow you to drop to the next lower gear. Keep doing this until you find a gear that will hold speed in check without the use of the service brakes.


Easy rule of thumb-- you will be faster than the loaded 18 wheelers and slower than the empty ones.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:26 PM   #11
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Ideally a double tap on the brakes will downshift in tow/haul but it doesn’t always happen. I think it’s best to use the shifter liberally to lock it in the gear you want and keep it there, and use your brakes moderately to stay within the desired rpm range. The V10 can sustain 5000rpm but I never wanted to keep mine above 4500 for very long.

Also being in a lower gear is helpful, but it will still run away from you if you’re not careful and you’ll have to be heavy on the brakes to get back where you want to be. So the key is to start your decent at a low enough speed that you can control the rig with moderate (minimal would be ideal) braking. And as mentioned above, go down the hill on the gear you came up in.

If you start off too fast, or let it get going too fast while descending, you’ll put a lot of strain on your brakes to get it back under control. If his happens, and it probably will from time to time, use your brakes hard enough to get down to a manageable speed once, then get in the right gear for the conditions and use the brakes moderately to keep it there so the brakes can cool can cool.

One thing I would recommend against is just relying on tow/haul to keep you out of trouble. It’s just one tool in the tool box and it won’t fix everything. Used together with everything else you have, you’ll be in good shape. But I always prefer to do my own shifting in anything beyond mild conditions.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:27 PM   #12
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"Mountain Directory West" available online will give you information on grades. It's always good to know how steep grades are when planning your route.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:28 PM   #13
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Thanks guys for all the feedback. Probably just a nervous nelly and after the first couple of descents will be just fine.....much appreciated.....bob
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:33 PM   #14
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MM42...I am happy for you but I dont have a diesel. Anything constructive to add?
My post wasn't directed to you.
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