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Old 06-22-2014, 10:03 PM   #1
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Mountain Driving

Vacation time has finally arrived and we will be hooking up the trailer and headed to Salida, Colorado. I have not had the opportunity to pull a trailer in the mountains. I have several questions about mountain driving:
1. Do I use the tow/haul selector or put it in manual mode?
2. If I am in manual mode, when do I change the gears and what gear should I use?

Thanks,

Randy
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:17 PM   #2
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Absolutely use the "tow/haul" mode in the mountains. In fact, it's a good idea, safer as well as better on your transmission, to use it whenever you are towing any decent sized load or RV.
PS -- your transmission knows better than you (applies to all of us) which gear to be in to handle the load it's hauling/towing. It will also help you going DOWN the hills too. Also, be sure your electronic brake controller is set properly to control the trailer brakes. If not set correctly, you may be relying on the tow vehicle to do all the stopping which is a very bad idea.
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grif76040 View Post
Vacation time has finally arrived and we will be hooking up the trailer and headed to Salida, Colorado. I have not had the opportunity to pull a trailer in the mountains. I have several questions about mountain driving:
1. Do I use the tow/haul selector or put it in manual mode?
2. If I am in manual mode, when do I change the gears and what gear should I use?

Thanks,

Randy
ALWAYS use Tow/Haul!

The engineers who made the transmission are smarter than us stay out of manual mode, use cruise control when level, and plain automatic when not. Do not expect to do 65 or even 55 in the Mountains of CO (personal experience )
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:42 AM   #4
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I don't have a 2014 Chevy Silverado, but I found an owners manual online here:
http://www.chevrolet.com/content/dam...4silverado.pdf

on page 9-36 it says:
Use D (Drive) and Tow/Haul Mode
when towing a trailer, carrying a
heavy load, driving on steep hills,
or driving off-road. Shift the
transmission to a lower gear
selection if the transmission shifts
too often.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:01 AM   #5
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Tow/Haul also depends what truck you have. 2014 Silverado, but is it 1500, 2500, 3500, gas or diesel? Diesels have a good engine brake. Had mine pulling a 42' 14k 5er down a 9% grade and the engine brake held it under 40mph. I turn tow/haul off on straight semi-level hauls, then flip it on when slowing (better engine brake) or climbing short hills. With gas engine, I would use tow/haul all the time, except going down hill on twisty road, then I would go to manual.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:19 AM   #6
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I'd say Yes and Yes. For most trucks the Tow/Haul mode adjusts shift points in the transmission. I use it anytime I'm carrying or towing any weight. But here in Colorado you'll encounter steep down grades where you really need to downshift to provide engine braking. My work truck is a diesel with an engine brake switch and it will literally slow itself to a stop.

The last thing to do is to overuse your brakes. Way too many times I've smelled the distinct odor of overheated brakes. Like the time I was following a semi with SMOKING brakes into Silverton. Got him to pull over but had to throw chocks under his wheels as he wasn't sure the brakes would hold him once stopped. My advice is to SLOW down on the down hill runs. Use engine braking, "stab" braking (3 - 5 sec pulses of braking to slow down before going into turns), and take your time.

Having said that please, Please, PLEASE pull over and let the flow go when you stack up vehicles behind you. In Colorado it's against the law to hold up more than four vehicles behind you if you can't do the speed limit. It will make them happier and it's the right thing to do.

PS Check out the ghost town of Tin Cup. And I highly recommend a meal at Quincy's - unless you're a vegetarian.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:51 AM   #7
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Absolutely use tow haul mode. I use it every time I tow. Remember to go down the mountain in the gear you went up. Don't be afraid of higher rpms. Your engine is your friend. Use the engine instead of brakes. When you have to use your brakes do a quick hard Jan to decrl approx 10mph or so and let go. Don't do a prolonged slow down or frequent use but an occasional pump on the brakes. If there is a truck pull off lane for brake check before a decent, I usually pull off there too, check the brakes, let cars pass and then proceed.
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