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    Tow/Haul Mode question-gctid384806

    getting a lot of mixed reviews and opinions about this topic and when I had my 05 Dakota I always set the "Tow/Haul" button as the truck was just a V6 and a smaller vehicle.

    Two days ago I bought a new 2012 Ram 1500 4.7 v8 and the manual says that the max towing is 7600lbs. of course friends and family and co-works all come out and check out the truck (which is fine cuz I'm really happy about it.) but everybody now has a new opinion about what we need to do to tow our boat.

    some are saying since our boat is only 2900lbs (give or take) that we probably don't even need to set it and others are saying "oh no keep it set all the time when towing" etc...

    I'm not mechanic and the one person I trust when it comes to boating says he just makes it a habit to enable the tow/haul whenever he is pulling something so he won't burn out his transmission.

    so my question is (bout time! LOL):

    what actually happens to the engine when you are towing something that you should engage the tow/haul mode?

    and

    I'm in FL and we are headed to the Key's in June and will take our boat with us and we'll be driving down the turn pike which is pretty much flat so what happens to the engine on a flat road vs a hilly road?

    Thanks

    here's a photo of my truck

    Attached files [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/688333=28049-20120522_203134.jpg[/img]

    #2
    Tow/haul mode does different things depending on the brand/transmission, but basically it optimizes everything to take less stress off the transmission/engine and provide more power for towing, versus being focused on fuel economy.

    On my truck, it raises the shift points (i.e., 1-2 shift will occur at a higher RPM), locks the torque converter clutch much more quickly which eliminates transmission slip (heat), downshifts faster for slowing down (automatic grade braking) and allows engine RPMs to exceed "normal" redline when slowing down, keeps the torque converter clutch applied when slowing down to make engine braking far more effective, and probably some other power train changes to make things more efficient.

    I use it whenever I am heavily loaded (usually >5000 lbs I'll engage the tow/haul mode).

    Comment


      #3
      I have a 2010 Tahoe with a 5.3V8 and tow package. My owner's manual makes recommendations about using the tow/haul mode. I don't remember exactly, but there is a load at which it state you don't need to use it. You also have to factor in how much weight you have in the vehicle, not just the weight of the boat, trailer and gear in the boat itself. My tow rating is 8400 lbs, and my trailer, boat and gear is about 4500 pounds. Depending on the terrain, for example, level roads at 55-65 mph, I take it out of tow/haul and it seems to do fine. For accelerating under most conditions, I leave it in tow/haul mode. Either way, the Tahoe has a digital read-out of the transmission temperature, and I can tell when it is and isn't working hard.

      Depending on your vehicle, what tow/haul mode does is it adjusts the shift points to hold the lower gears longer on upshifting, and then on decelerating, it down shift earlier to take advantage of engine braking. It also monitors breaking effort, for example, a quick spike of the brakes, it detects that and there is an immediate down shift. Slight brake application from the same speed and the downshift does not happen or is delayed.

      I am sure that there are other things that this mode affects (maybe cooling fan operation or something), but your OM should provide some guidelines.

      Comment


        #4
        2900 lbs I wouldn't worry too much either way, and once you're at a consistent highway speed it does not matter if it's on or not.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks ishiboo & nit_lion

          that makes sense "adjusts the shift points to hold the lower gears longer on upshifting, and then on decelerating, it down shift earlier to take advantage of engine braking"

          I'll get the manual this evening and look to see what it says about it. just funny getting pretty much a dead split down the middle among friends/family/co-workers on the topic.

          my feeling is that since the vessel is only 2900lbs I probably don't even need to worry about it since 98% of where I drive is flat and I'm betting I really won't even feel the boat behind us like I could

          with the dakota.

          Comment


            #6
            With my Tundra it changes the shift points but it also disables the "overdrive" function. Keeps the transmission from hunting for gears.
            Boatless at this time

            A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including their life."

            Comment


              #7
              Besides checking the manual, did you ask the dealer about it when you bought it?

              If you don't end up getting a clear answer, you'll know if you need to use the tow mode if the truck seems to be struggling to get going and if it is constantly downshifting out of overdrive (and shifting back into it). Chances are, the manual will say something about it. My previous '05 Ram with the 5.7L hemi wouldn't have even scoffed at an additional 2900 pounds behind it, but the 4.7L is a bit smaller.

              Comment


                #8
                Dave, tow haul on your Ram will disable the MDS if the truck has it (5.7 yes, 4.7 not too sure), alters the shift pattern, holds a gear longer, and keeps you out of OD. Tradeoff is better performance but a bit less MPG.

                I have a 2011 Ram SLT 1500.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have a 2007 Ram 2500 with the Cummins, and I own a car dealership. In my opinion, use the tow/haul. It will reduce the stress on the truck by optimizing shift points in order to better accommodate the load. Nice truck!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Lovely truck!
                    2007 Discovery 246
                    300mpi BIII
                    Welcome island Lake Superior

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you, I'm loving it! never had a truck with so much room it before I feel like sleeping in it for a week or two....

                      fortunately I DID have the manual in the truck (and not at home) and here's what it says:

                      When operating in TOW/HAUL mode, transmission upshifts are delayed, and the transmission will automatically downshift (for engine braking) during stead breaking maneuvers.

                      being that I'm still wet behind the ears (pun intended) when it comes to towing a boat that "automatic downshifting" is probably something I should take advantage of.

                      I'm assuming (my 05 dakota v6) got 10mpg while hauling the boat that since this truck is a v8 and larger towing capacity I'm sure fuel mileage will suffer but (hopefully) it'll do better than 10mpg.

                      I'm anxious about putting the boat in the water with this thing to see how it does...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I have a 2011 Durango 5.7 engine, automatic, and a boat 2900 lb apox.

                        On flat road I don't use the T/H and run in fifth gear without problems.

                        On roads with slopes or low speed I use the T/H.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Got home from work and connected the boat, took a short drive and you can't even tell there is anything there!..the truck didn't perform any different T/H on or off other than ECO mode didnt engage with it on. I'm sure from a mechanical stand point the engine performed differently but from the feel this new truck just spit on the boat and said "if you must be there, Follow me!"

                          Comment


                            #14
                            My new 2012 Ford diesel with 6-speed auto has the tow/haul also. I tow two different boats, a 7000 lb. pontoon and a 13,000 lb. Bayliner. I tried the T/H with both, and the pontoon doesn't need it, the Bayliner does. Based on this and my many years of heavy towing, I would advise the following for your truck and boat: Don't use the T/H, unless the tranny starts hunting, down/up/downshift, etc. You have a pretty beefy truck for the load you're towing, and it's a good looking truck too!
                            Jeff & Tara (And Ginger too)
                            Lake Havasu City, AZ
                            |
                            Current: 2008 Playcraft 2400 MCM 350 Mag B3
                            2000 Bayliner 3388 Cummins 4bta 250s (SOLD 2020)
                            2000 Bayliner 2858 MCM 7.4 MPI B3 (SOLD 2018)
                            2007 Bayliner 305 MCM twin 350 Mag B3s (SOLD 2012)
                            2008 Bayliner 289 MCM 350 Mag Sea Core B3 (SOLD 2009)
                            And 12 others...
                            In memory of Shadow, the best boat dog ever. Rest in peace, girl. 7-2-10

                            Comment


                              #15
                              jeffw wrote:
                              My new 2012 Ford diesel with 6-speed auto has the tow/haul also. I tow two different boats, a 7000 lb. pontoon and a 13,000 lb. Bayliner. I tried the T/H with both, and the pontoon doesn't need it, the Bayliner does. Based on this and my many years of heavy towing, I would advise the following for your truck and boat: Don't use the T/H, unless the tranny starts hunting, down/up/downshift, etc. You have a pretty beefy truck for the load you're towing, and it's a good looking truck too!
                              Jeff you nailed it, but since I devoted my life to reading the thread I just had to get in.:hypnotysed:

                              Davem2421; First, nice truck! Second, you got it! Have a blast in the flatest land I ever drove in since having left Chicago.:arr

                              Comment

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