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Old 01-30-2008, 11:35 PM   #1
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Question How do I tow with O/D?

I have a 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab short bed 4x4 and I have been pulling utility trailers for 3 years now and am under the assumption that ANYTIME I am pulling something (no matter the weight) I need to push in the little "tow/haul" button on the end of the shifter. I assume this is turning overdrive off??

This info was given to my by the dealer service guys upon purchase of the truck. With the small utility trailer I noticed nothing, but with my new Flagstaff 831 KRSS I notice that the transmission shifts up and down a lot. The truck pulls fine as far as I can tell.

Could someone please explain how I want to operate my truck for towing to get the best results? I keep hearing o/d on unless... or 3rd gear for this situation and 2nd for that etc...

I just want to know the concept of how I need to pull to get the best performance. I am not a "gear head" so I don't know what is needed to get this done however, I do understand basic concepts of transmission etc...

Thanks, Frank
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:52 PM   #2
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When I tow with my Nissan, with a similar TOW/HAUL switch...
I towed my trailer with the button ON. It changes the shift points, and does away with a lot of that up/down shift. It also helps a lot starting/stopping. That constant up/down shift will heat up the tranny real fast...and we all know what happens then!

I'm not a gearhead either...but I always use the TOW/HAUL button, and downshifted one gear. (The Titan has a 5 speed tranny)
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:52 AM   #3
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If you find your tranny shifting as you stated you need to manually shift to a lower gear, probably 3rd(?). If you don't you will overheat your tranny and then be stranded on the side of the road.

It sounds like you bought the truck new. Now is the time to "READ" the owners manual. Lots to learn in there, may even answer your question about the tow/haul mode.

JMHO...........

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Old 01-31-2008, 01:49 PM   #4
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My dually has an overdrive on/off button probably serves the same as your tow/haul button. This is how I tow and is my opinion and observations only. Starting off and going through town where there are a lot of starts and stops I disengage the O/D. This keeps the transmission from shifting so much. On the highway once Iím up to speed 50-55mph I will re-engage the O/D so that the transmission shifts into the higher gear thereby increasing my fuel economy. On hills if I am loosing speed I will disengage the O/D to downshift the transmission to maintain speed. By disengaging the O/D going up hills it increases the RPM of the motor and keeps my EGTs (exhaust gas temperature) down as I have a diesel this is a concern.
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Old 01-31-2008, 03:37 PM   #5
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my truck to has a tow/haul button
but it does not lock out OD or any other gear, it is a 5 speed as well, but in t/h it becomes a 6 speed by splitting one of the shift scenarios, its pretty neat. basicly locks the torque converter between 1-2 and creates a 1 1/2 gear
it does however
raise shift points, gives great engine braking when slowing down
my book says to use the t/h anytime a trailer is used.
i use it empty alot if i am in traffic as it raises the shift points but also limits the constant up shift and down shift stuff which created tons of heat.

i recommend what ever brand you have to read the onwers manual thoroughly.

i am sure ford, gm and dodge have pretty similiar programming in these newer trannies,
i also use cruise quite often pulling the rv, until we get in the mountains,
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:26 PM   #6
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OK, so I read the owners manual, and they advise that you switch to OD on flat areas, and turn on the tow/haul switch (which turns off o/d) when you are on hills or notice a lot of shifting of the transmission.

Now for my question... It says also that if you notice a lot of shifting on hills you should downshift manually. I have 1 2 and D (I assume this is 1 2 and 3) so I am in 3 normally and I move down to 2nd on hills so the trans does not shift? So when you get to the top of the hill do you just shift back to D from 2nd while on the fly?

The manual said don't downshift above 5800rpm, but that is all they mentioned.

Frank
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:46 PM   #7
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You need to engage the tow mode not the overdrive mode while towing. By doing this you don't have to worry about down shifting on hills and upshifting on level terrain. The trans will give resistance on the down hill grades and you will save your brake pads and be more attentative while driving. Relax and have fun-Life is short!!
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:03 PM   #8
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Still not clear

I talked to the dealer via phone and I am going to talk to them when I am in for service etc... since one of his techs hauls a large trailer all the time with his truck and it is the same is mine.

I only have a tow/haul on the shifter, not familiar how to engage overdrive mode or tow mode as you describe it.

Thanks, Frank
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:21 PM   #9
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I agree with greg (aintgotnun ) normal terrain I leave it in over drive, when it gets hilly i'll turn the overdrive off
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by budfans View Post
I agree with greg (aintgotnun ) normal terrain I leave it in over drive, when it gets hilly i'll turn the overdrive off
The tow/haul (on_off) option is not the same as the O/D (on-off) option....the tow/haul mode changes shift paterns depending on the load on the truck.....in any event it will not let the tranny shift as early or as smoothly....it increases line pressure..........and you still have O/D with the tow/haul mode engaged.......it will very rarely go into O/D unless you are on very flat ground or down hill.
The O/D option simply disables O/D.
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