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Old 09-04-2012, 11:42 PM   #1
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Tow Mode or Not Tow Mode that is the question...

Tow Mode or Not Tow Mode.

Had this discussion with my father-in-law, we both have Dodge with 5.9 Cummins. He has 2500 auto, don't know what rear end he has. I have 3500 auto with 4:10 rear end.

He does not use it unless he is areas with lots of grades (mountains, hilly, etc.). He clams to get better MPG with it off.

I use it when ever the TT is hooked up, as per the truck manual. And before this turns into a "my trucks better than yours" thread, Make of truck does not matter.

What say you and why?

Thanks for your input...
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:06 AM   #2
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For what it is worth, and regardless of brand, "tow mode" does NOT alter the transmission or the rear end ratio. All it does on most is move the shift points, to keep the engine in the power band, and keep the tranny from "hunting" gears. the constant gear swap is hard on clutches, and accelerates wear. As for keeping the engine in the power band, yes it will use more fuel. When you are getting 10 mpg on a 100 mile trip, in regular mode,that is 10 gallons. If you used "tow haul" and got 9.5 mpg, you burned an extra 1/2 gallon. You spent at most an $2.00 for fuel. Is your $3000 transmission worth it?
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:31 AM   #3
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I always use it on my Nissan Titan. I notice it most at slower speeds. Not so much while cruising the highway. I switch gears my self it's easier on the truck for me to switch to a lower gears and let the truck stay in that gear till I get up a hill. Other wise it will shift back and forth through gears. I know my Nissan isn't as dramatic as others. My work truck is a Chevy 2500 with 6.0 and six speed auto. Sometimes I think the engine is gonna blow and then when stopping sometimes it almost put you through the windshield. My Nissan is nothin like that at all.
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:57 AM   #4
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On my f two fiddy, the tow/haul locks the tq more frequently to keep temps down, optimizes shift points for better pwer delivery, and activates the exhaust brake . With that said, it actually says on my info screen to use tow/haul for hills, and to turn it off on flats for better fuel economy.
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:21 AM   #5
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For what it's worth my manual read " no need to use TOW MODE until your at 80% of max gross combined weight. I normally don't need to use Tow Mode. I have used it going down Mount Eagle on I75 N to assist with engine braking. My weights are 22000lbs GCWR and I'm at 18000lbs combined weight ready for camping.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h20ski View Post
For what it's worth my manual read " no need to use TOW MODE until your at 80% of max gross combined weight. I normally don't need to use Tow Mode. I have used it going down Mount Eagle on I75 N to assist with engine braking. My weights are 22000lbs GCWR and I'm at 18000lbs combined weight ready for camping.
Correct, my manual indicates this also, my GVCW is about 80% and I use it. I found that I actually get better mileage than not using it and it does keep the trans temp down.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:33 AM   #7
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I use mine whenever I am towing my 5th wheel (except when I stop and forget to engage it again!). As noted above, it activates the engine braking in our F-250's, and does all that other stuff. But it only shifts when needed. Since most of my towing is on the flatter areas of Texas, it makes no difference in mileage for me, since my tranny stays in 6th gear once I get cruising. I think that holds for most with the tow/haul as well. If it's staying in 6th gear (or that highest gear for your truck/tranny), mileage is probably not affected much, if at all, and it will give you the engine braking if needed.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:59 AM   #8
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The manual for my Chevy says to use above 75% of max load. Also says that using it below that will not hurt the truck, but you will see lower fuel economy.

What I notice is definately higher rpms at cruise with a trailer attached, and lower mpg. I don't really know if it helps or hurts on downhill slopes. On my 2500, I engage my exhaust brake in hilly country to keep from gaining too much speed. Definately tow mode has a bigger effect on my Suburban than it does on my 2500 - probably because with the gas truck, I'm solidly above the 75% threshold.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:02 AM   #9
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Also holds the gear longer when upshifting from a stop.
1St to second shift about 800 to 1000 rpms higher than with t/h off. On a gasser.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:27 AM   #10
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I use it whenever I'm towing my TT
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