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Old 10-27-2020, 02:52 PM   #1
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DX3 / Loaded up Ford Raptor Toad vehicle?

Hi folks,

We have a 2019 DX3 and have been traveling primarily through the west (steep grades, mountains,...) with a Jeep Toad. Generally, we do fine though do struggle a bit thru steep grades. On our next trip I want to bring along our dirt bikes and other toys. The cheapest option is to simply switch my toad to our '20 Ford Raptor and throw everything in the back vs a Hydra-Lift or something of the sort. While I know I can tow a much heavier load I'm curious if anyone struggles to tow, say ~7k+ lb load thru continuous grades/mountains and what you've done, if anything, about it; e.g., Cummins tune. Also, any substantial change in drivability? Tweaking recommendations?

The next trip will be lots of grades and a long haul indeed - FL to AK and lots in-between, hence I'm looking for a warm fuzzy. I don't want to "suffer" on this long of a haul. I have searched the forums and haven't found quite the detail I was looking for so I thought I'd throw it out here.

Appreciate any recommendations/thoughts before I dump $ into adding a tow bar, brakes, et al. into my truck.

Thanks!
Trey
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:28 PM   #2
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Define: Struggle

You wont maintain 70 or even 60 mph on steep grades, even with no TOAD.

That said I constantly tow 11-12k in my trailer on some of the steeper passes Colorado has to offer (Red Mountain, Wolf Creek, I70, Monarch) and would not say it struggles. Drops to 30mph? Absolutely. But it does not struggle, ie it gets to the top of the hill reliably every time with no overheating or other problems (even with the AC blasting in 90 degree weather). The same pickups tuned to maintain 70mph regardless of the grade often times are pulled over on the side of the road.

Anyways, I'd say you'll barely notice a difference if at all is the best way to answer your question. Whether that's acceptable performance or struggling depends largely on your expectations.
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:30 PM   #3
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I have a 2018 DX3. I live in Colorado and tow a 4K 16' enclosed trailer when I'm hauling the RZR/Harley or a 7K 28' trailer when hauling the race car.

I had Freightliner add the 350hp/1150 ft lbs tune a year or so ago. Yours may have come from the factory that way.

I never "struggle" towing either of these trailers through the mountains, but I also shift manually to keep the motor in the powerband. Even then when I have a really long, steep grade, like going up the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70, I am only able to maintain 40-45 MPH. If you get caught behind a slow poke in the left lane and lose your momentum, it takes a while to get your speed back. But I am still always passing the semi's.

The key is to shift the automatic manually. If you let the tranny do it automatically it will always lug down to 1,300 - 1,400 rpm before downshifting and thats just too low. Try to keep it in the 1,800 - 2,000 RPM range.
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Old 10-27-2020, 05:49 PM   #4
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I also got the 1150 torque tune installed and I think it made a nice difference. I pull a 5,000 pound trailer through West Virginia regularly, there are a couple of hills that I would have to go into 4th gear before the tune and now I can pull them in 5th.
The torque upgrade isnít night and day better but I definitely notice a difference.
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:54 PM   #5
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I have hauled a 35' TT that was close to 13K lbs. through northern us rockies.
Did I slow down yes. however never struggled to reach the top.

The DX3 is a very capable machine. If you drive it like a truck.
Preshift manually for the hills and keep your rpm 1800 to 2000 during the climb.
do not wait for the auto tranny to shift. Like said before it will shift too low (ie not in the power band)

You will slow but will still pass the semi climbing the same hill in most cases.
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Old 10-28-2020, 11:44 AM   #6
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Really appreciate everyone's thoughts and advice. I'll definitely be bringing along the truck next time. I suppose struggle is in the eye of the beholder - certainly no issues getting to the top. With 8k miles under my belt I'm still learning the rig. Interestingly, cruise control pulls the beast harder than foot on the pedal. I'll fiddle more with manual shifting and look into the tune. Thanks again!
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Old 10-28-2020, 11:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treydrake View Post
Really appreciate everyone's thoughts and advice. I'll definitely be bringing along the truck next time. I suppose struggle is in the eye of the beholder - certainly no issues getting to the top. With 8k miles under my belt I'm still learning the rig. Interestingly, cruise control pulls the beast harder than foot on the pedal. I'll fiddle more with manual shifting and look into the tune. Thanks again!
If the cruise pulls harder than the pedal...then you likely have build up (carpet, maybe mat) under the pedal and you are not getting 100% throttle.

The throttle can be adjusted for this by Freightliner. Or cut out the mat in that area.
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Old 10-28-2020, 11:58 AM   #8
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I've always found better performance with cruise. With the added benefit of not having to sit there with the pedal on the floor the entire climb. It's almost 2nd nature at this point for me to use the cruise to climb. Let's you focus on shifting better as well.
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Old 10-29-2020, 05:51 AM   #9
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For those with the Isata chassis that are curious about tow capacity, here is an interesting test of the RAM/Cummins tow performance on the I-70 Eisenhower grade.
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Old 10-29-2020, 11:27 AM   #10
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Good video but keep in mind the pickups get more horsepower and torque than the 5500 cab and chassis that the 5s are built on.
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Old 10-29-2020, 11:44 AM   #11
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Good video but keep in mind the pickups get more horsepower and torque than the 5500 cab and chassis that the 5s are built on.
True but these guys are pulling at Max Cumulative Weight whereas most of us are talking about something less.
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Old 10-29-2020, 07:25 PM   #12
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Not to mention this thread is about a DX3....
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Old 11-04-2020, 11:54 AM   #13
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I do exactly that, tow my Raptor loaded behind my DX3.



I fabricated my own tow bar mount for the Raptor that attaches solely to the front tow hooks. I didn't want to remove the tow hooks like the mounts that are made have you do. What you cant see in the pics is the Solid Steel Puck that fits in the center of the tow hook to make it stay in there tight with no movement.

My mount works great. I can send pics of the mount if you would like. Comes off easily when not needed.



I made a few for people who asked...$600.


FYI, pics of it on my white 2018, then pics of me towing my 2020 (Gray).


--John
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Old 11-13-2020, 06:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johndjmix View Post
I do exactly that, tow my Raptor loaded behind my DX3.



I fabricated my own tow bar mount for the Raptor that attaches solely to the front tow hooks. I didn't want to remove the tow hooks like the mounts that are made have you do. What you cant see in the pics is the Solid Steel Puck that fits in the center of the tow hook to make it stay in there tight with no movement.

My mount works great. I can send pics of the mount if you would like. Comes off easily when not needed.



I made a few for people who asked...$600.


FYI, pics of it on my white 2018, then pics of me towing my 2020 (Gray).


--John
John,

I may be interested in some of those. I recently traded my gladiator in for a 2019 Raptor (white btw...lol) I like towing my enclosed trailer but it would be a whole lot easier to just pull a truck.

Mark
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