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Old 08-04-2016, 03:20 PM   #21
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I have a diesel and have checked the mileage using tow and not using tow several times and found that there is no difference in the mileage. And I like the fact that it saves my breaks on both my truck and my trailer.

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Old 08-04-2016, 03:48 PM   #22
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I tend to leave it on while towing. Yes, it sometimes doesn't do what I want. Sometimes when I want to just coast, it will take this as me wanting to slow down and it will downshift for me. If that happens, I'll just switch it off temporarily.

I know a lot of people are thinking that the downshifting is only helpful in the mountains but I was thinking I'd like to have that extra help in stopping if I have to do a panic stop - but I'm not really clear on this.

On a flat road, if I have to brake hard, will the tranny downshifting because it's in Tow mode help me stop quicker? I don't know if the help from the downshift is overwhelmed by the much larger braking force from the brakes or if "every little bit helps" in this situation.

Anyone have any insight into this?
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:38 PM   #23
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I was out West in April with my E450 MH and I only used it when going down steep grades. I found that before starting down I would put it in tow mode hit my brakes to the speed I wanted and just let the transmission brake the MH.
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:50 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by tmhudg View Post
I tend to leave it on while towing. Yes, it sometimes doesn't do what I want. Sometimes when I want to just coast, it will take this as me wanting to slow down and it will downshift for me. If that happens, I'll just switch it off temporarily.

I know a lot of people are thinking that the downshifting is only helpful in the mountains but I was thinking I'd like to have that extra help in stopping if I have to do a panic stop - but I'm not really clear on this.

On a flat road, if I have to brake hard, will the tranny downshifting because it's in Tow mode help me stop quicker? I don't know if the help from the downshift is overwhelmed by the much larger braking force from the brakes or if "every little bit helps" in this situation.

Anyone have any insight into this?
Yes, just try a controlled quick stop,and you will notice a considerable diffenence
With it on versus off. I have an F250 and use mine anytime I'm towing just for that purpose, especially in town traffic. I have not seen any difference in fuel economy and on flat roads cruise along in 6th gear until I come to an overpass and will maintain 6th most of the time.

I read my manual and it said you don't need to use it unless in hills or mtns. I did not see any warning that said I would damage the truck or the tranny of I did engage it.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:05 PM   #25
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Always use it when towing. But in steep mtns like here in Colorado, I disengage it and manually downshift and use my experiencec and common sense to keep rig at a safe downhill speed.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:08 PM   #26
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I only use it in the mountains. Mainly for the transmission/engine braking going downhill. Every place else I just use regular mode. It also looked to me that my mileage is a bit better, 1 or 2 mpg, by not using it for driving on your typical flat to somewhat hilly highways.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:16 PM   #27
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I only use it when towing in the mountains and going up steep grades. Flat level...no tow/haul. Gas mileage really suffers if you do it all the time.
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:22 PM   #28
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I only use it in the mountains. Mainly for the transmission/engine braking going downhill. Every place else I just use regular mode. It also looked to me that my mileage is a bit better, 1 or 2 mpg, by not using it for driving on your typical flat to somewhat hilly highways.
I had an F150 EB, it does not have engine brakes... My F150 would downshift but had such little engine pressure it did very little to slow the truck.

Much different in a diesel. When the engine brake on the diesel engages it grabs hold hard.
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:37 PM   #29
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I had an F150 EB, it does not have engine brakes... My F150 would downshift but had such little engine pressure it did very little to slow the truck.

Much different in a diesel. When the engine brake on the diesel engages it grabs hold hard.
It did a good job for me the last time we came down out of Black Mountain. Kept us around 35 mph for the most part. With the old Explorer I would have been using a lot of brake to keep that speed even using lower gears. Of course I don't tow a lot of weight with our TT coming in around 3100 lbs loaded.
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Old 08-05-2016, 07:35 AM   #30
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Those of us with a F53/V10 the tow mode reveals a gear not available in the non tow mode. At 60mph in the tow mode, my 2013 Georgetown shifts to a gear that pull's most medium hills without shifting to the dredded 4.5k rpm noise gear. I tend to use to tow mode only when I'm on the highway in the hills and need the power to climb or the drivetrain to slow down.
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:05 AM   #31
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Always use it when towing. But in steep mtns like here in Colorado, I disengage it and manually downshift and use my experiencec and common sense to keep rig at a safe downhill speed.
Agree. On a recent trip through hilly Georgia/TN/NC, I was finding that since I could see upcoming downgrades well before the trans could feel it, I found it very effective to manually start the slowing process by just locking out the top gears as I needed. A couple of times, I took it out of Tow mode and just used the lock out toggle to tweak my speed up and down without even touching the brakes. It was actually kind of fun!
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Old 08-05-2016, 12:06 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by keith_h View Post
I only use it in the mountains. Mainly for the transmission/engine braking going downhill. Every place else I just use regular mode. It also looked to me that my mileage is a bit better, 1 or 2 mpg, by not using it for driving on your typical flat to somewhat hilly highways.
X2 on this and many other similar answers.
YOU should experiment with you own driving style. From my experience for example driving down the interstate highway say at the same speed as some semi trucks then you come to a moderate down hill grade. When NOT in tow mode there will be a increase in coasting speed the same as the semi does. When you start up a moderate grade say in cruise control it will maintain speed fine. At this time the semi may fall back more in speed than you.
IF IN TOW MODE the braking action that the transmission goes into will slow you down and maintain cruise control set speed or if not in cruise will slow down below your flat land speed if you let off the gas. Going up grade the shift points are changed dropping into lower gears to climb the grade.
RESULT is the semi will pass you down hill then you may catch up going up hill and possibly pass him.
I find driving similar to the traffic that may be going my speed is easier than jockeying positions all the time.
LARGE HILLS is another story use TOW MODE or manual shift if that works better.

Whatever you find works best for you is the way to go.
Enjoy your new toy and GET OUTDOORS.
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Old 08-05-2016, 02:24 PM   #33
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The person is right, read your owners manual. The shift points and timing is changed for hills and engine braking occurs when applying the brakes twice when going down a grade. You can use to we/ haul mode if you are towing a heavy loads, but for best fuel economy don't use tow/ haul mode on level roads.
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:56 AM   #34
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WOW. Hi Sharp, great thread! I leave it on. I like the modified shift points and figure it might also keep the brakes a little cooler and possibly last a little longer. Related...? I would like an option on the Cruise to select throttle lock vs MPH lock for that little MPG help. Sometimes if I'm bored I kick off the cruise and hold the pedal steady, let speed drift down a little going up grades. Helps maintain flow with the big trucks. Ttyl
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