PDA

View Full Version : Tow Vehicle Cruise Control Usage


WildPeace
08-06-2010, 08:50 AM
We will soon tow round trip from Tulsa, Ok. to Page, Az. Boat/trailer weight near 10% tow vehicle maximum. Obviously lots of hills and a continental divide to be crossed on I-40. As a general rule, I do not use cruise control because it forces the transmission to shift gears frequently. Looking for your opinions which are much appreciated. Thanks.

MartinCaron
08-06-2010, 09:05 AM
I only use cruise when towing on flat otherwise the trany down**** and the engine start reving like there's no tomorow... being gentle on transmission is always a good idea

Willski
08-06-2010, 09:08 AM
Same here. I'll tow with the cruise until I get alot of shifting, then turn it off.

06197ttlq9-footer
08-06-2010, 09:13 AM
Same here. I'll tow with the cruise until I get alot of shifting, then turn it off.

Ditto, Also not hard to Double the size of your trans cooler with aftermarket parts.

Ski-me
08-06-2010, 09:16 AM
It depend on your vehicle but I basically just listen to what the truck is doing. I use cruise all the time unless I'm going up a large grade. My truck want to downshift too far so I just back off on the speed as it climbs. I will just manually shift it down if needed.

While on cruise, if the tranny is shifting back and forth too much, I'll just drop it down a grear. I have the 8.1L engine in our suburban and it doesn't really have any problems. While towing I also use my "tow/haul" button. This will allow the tranny to shift a little more firm (to create less heat) and also does a decent job "braking" a little while going down long grades....keeps me off the brakes.

thatsmrmastercraft
08-06-2010, 09:39 AM
If your trans is wanting to downshift out of OD, its because you are in a situation where you shouldn't be in OD. Your engine isn't turning enough RPMs to stay in the power band and you are probably using more gas, and certainly being harder on the transmission than you want to. Turning the cruise control off only makes the problem less noticeable.

So many people don't remember the days before OD and hearing the engine work a little more. Granted OD is a great thing - it just can't, or shouldn't, be used all the time.

deminimis
08-06-2010, 11:28 AM
Ditto. Drive slower and do not use OD is my recommendation. If your rig has a trailering/tow mode, then that takes care of it. I always trailer in tow mode (now anyway). Depending on make, you might get the added benefit of engine braking when needed. As a cautionary tale, I destroyed a trans towing a light dune buggy on a light trailer in OD (V-8 Jeep Grand Cherokee...POS).

thatsmrmastercraft
08-06-2010, 11:33 AM
I use OD when I am on flat ground, just shift out of it when I am in hilly areas.

I tend to drive slower - I try to stay under 70MPH. :D

joecarew3
08-06-2010, 12:11 PM
If your trans is wanting to downshift out of OD, its because you are in a situation where you shouldn't be in OD. Your engine isn't turning enough RPMs to stay in the power band and you are probably using more gas, and certainly being harder on the transmission than you want to. Turning the cruise control off only makes the problem less noticeable.

So many people don't remember the days before OD and hearing the engine work a little more. Granted OD is a great thing - it just can't, or shouldn't, be used all the time.

Could you go into more detail on this? I was under the assumption if you are towing a decent load that you should have OD on? If I am understanding this correctly you should not use OD in hilly areas because of the constant shifting. I only towed my boat over 50 miles one time and that was the case, constantly shifting up and down some smaller hills. Any input is appreciated.

As far as that tranny cooler upgrade, how much could you expect to pay, and I imagine it would benefit for plowing in the winter as well???

Thanks guys... sorry for the threadjack

deminimis
08-06-2010, 12:25 PM
Probably the best advice on towing will be found on a rig-specific forum. For example, those that tow with a D-Max dually will often suggest always trailer in tow mode if so equiped (engine braking benefits, out of OD, etc.). The Power Smoke folks (I'm a former) will often suggest taking it out of OD whenever the trans is searching for gears (hills, flat or whatever (which is pretty good advice)). A VW forum would ask why are you towing a boat with a VW?

flipper
08-06-2010, 12:29 PM
I just put a brick on the pedal and call it good

silverblueBP
08-06-2010, 12:51 PM
I tow the boat occasionally and hardly ever have to get out of OD, but when towing the Mustang to the track, there are a few sets of hills where if I left it in OD it would constantly downshift. I have been towing now for 5 years and have had zero problems dropping out of OD when it needs it, but leaving OD on while on flatter roads.

It worked the same way while towing the car back and forth from Oregon too.

My truck is a F250 SRW with the 7.3 PS.

smiller
08-06-2010, 02:40 PM
I just put a brick on the pedal and call it good

My 'ol Chevy ain't got no fancy cruise control neither.

I blast the AM radio, manually roll down the winders and let 'er roll.

thatsmrmastercraft
08-06-2010, 03:29 PM
Could you go into more detail on this? I was under the assumption if you are towing a decent load that you should have OD on? If I am understanding this correctly you should not use OD in hilly areas because of the constant shifting. I only towed my boat over 50 miles one time and that was the case, constantly shifting up and down some smaller hills. Any input is appreciated.

As far as that tranny cooler upgrade, how much could you expect to pay, and I imagine it would benefit for plowing in the winter as well???

Thanks guys... sorry for the threadjack

Simple mechanical advantage. In Drive you have a 1:1 engine to transmission output ratio. In overdrive, your engine is turning less than one revolution for each turn of the trans output. If you are towing a 14 foot aluminum fishing boat that weighs 700 pounds, you could tow in OD and never have a problem. The more weight you pull, the more mechanical advantage you will need.

Wake2004
08-06-2010, 05:17 PM
You have to give us vehicle type, I pull a 33' 5th wheel with my boat behind that with about 99% of the time the cruise is on but I have a D-max.

deminimis
08-06-2010, 05:44 PM
Hellya Wake! We D-max people have it going on.

psychobilly
08-07-2010, 08:42 AM
I use it the whole time. Like some said, listen to what yer motor is do'n. When you start up a hill step on the throttle so the tranny don't shift. You can play with it and keep up with it for the most part. I pulled that 240SC home from northern Bama at 80 to 85 all the way on cruz, no problem.

DooSPX
08-07-2010, 09:03 AM
all good advice. I towed my 91 from WV to FL with out one problem.
also, remember this. lower rpm does NOT always mean less fuel used. if the engine has to work harder to do what you are asking and stay in the low rpm you are asking it will use less fuel then if it was a little higher rpm but hardly working to do the task.

my rig is a 04 GMC Sierra 2wd ECSB. 5.3L 3.73 rear. not one issue. I also used it to tow my car to the track and/or my friends broke car all the time. lol
heaviest I have towed with it is about 6,000 lbs and didn't even know it was back there.

east tx skier
08-07-2010, 09:48 AM
When I bought my truck, my dealer told me to try towing with OD on and if I noticed the truck downshifting frequently, to turn it off. After about 10 miles my choice was clear and I now always leave it off.

TXX9
08-07-2010, 07:09 PM
We will soon tow round trip from Tulsa, Ok. to Page, Az. Boat/trailer weight near 10% tow vehicle maximum. Obviously lots of hills and a continental divide to be crossed on I-40. As a general rule, I do not use cruise control because it forces the transmission to shift gears frequently. Looking for your opinions which are much appreciated. Thanks.


Option 1: Try a lake closer to home
Option 2: Tow it with a Duramax/Allison

If these options are not available, follow the advise of some of the previous posts and let whatever else you are driving tell you what it can do.

I use Option 2 with a few additional diesel junkie extras like tuners, intakes, exhausts, turbo upgrades, aftermarket injectors, etc.