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Old 03-12-2011, 11:21 AM   #11
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My worst experience with head wind was back in 2001 (I think). Had a 3/4 Chev with 454 engine and about 4.13 rear end. Was pulling a 24 ft. Terry 5th wheel. Kept wondering why the truck was kicking down to 3rd gear all the time. When got out at noon to make lunch, found out why as could hardly get the trailer door open from the wind. Got about 5 mpg on that stretch (usually about 9). Wayne
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:53 PM   #12
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mtnguy, you're really confusing me now. First, you said you had an F150, now you say it is a F350? Pretty hard to answer a question with changing parameters.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:33 PM   #13
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Today we towed our Surveyor (only 5,000 pounds) from St. Paul, MN to Kansas City. We hit the worst headwinds that I have ever encountered. Our F150 has a 4 speed auto. We couldn't hold 55 mph in 3rd with the torque converter locked! It would unlock from the load!! On the slightest of inclines, it would even seek 2nd! So we drove for several hours at 50 mph. That was the only way I could hold 3rd with the converter locked. Unbelievable! Huge gusts would hit that felt just like you hit the brakes. Makes for a LONG DAY . . .
A few years ago I was in a similar situation. We were diving on a slight upgrade against a headwind so strong that it was almost impossible to open my door to get out of the Power Wagon and once out, it was difficult to stand without holding onto something. I drove over 50 miles at 55 MPH in 2nd gear @ 4500 RPMs. I got 4.2 MPG for that stretch.
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:41 PM   #14
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Next day was a tailwind. Towed in overdrive and got 12mpg! Well I don't need more than a half ton for 5000 pounds. But am planning on an Ecoboost at some point for the extra torque.
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:40 PM   #15
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I drove over 50 miles at 55 MPH in 2nd gear @ 4500 RPMs. I got 4.2 MPG for that stretch.
Wow! I guess I wasn't willing to do that. No judgment intended.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:58 AM   #16
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I fully understand. Vehicles are different and that is where my Power Wagon settles in for hard pulls. The 5.7L Hemi gets max torque at 4200 RPMs and it doesn't really drop off much until about 4900 RPMs. It develops max horsepower at 5400 RPMS. As a result it pulls really strong between 4000 and 5000 RPMs. Here in Arizona, about any camping trip I go on I am going to pulling 6 to 7% grades which last 4 to 6 miles and I will find myself in 2nd gear at 55 MPH and 4500 RPMs for miles, so I am kind of used to it anyway. In that particular situation it would not hold third gear. In second gear it had plenty of power. I didn't have it to the floor. I could have accelerated, but could not keep it in third, so I let her run where she was happy at. In second gear, the torque converter is not locked and so it is better to be at higher RPMs for better fluid coupling and lower transmission temperatures. At least that is what I have found to be true with my Power Wagon.

Happy Camping!

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Old 03-23-2011, 06:20 PM   #17
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That's interesting Glenn. The torque converter on my f150 will lock in 2nd. The new Ecoboost produces max torque of 420 @ 2500 rpm so I'm thinking that will make for more relaxed towing. Not turning over so hard to pull. Some day! HA!
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