The Burro and the bad tranny - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-31-2006, 04:49 PM   #15
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FYI from the AAA website;

Roadside Assistance for RVs, Motorcycles and Recreational Trailers
Feel more secure traveling in your recreational vehicle, towing your boat or riding your motorcycle with our optional RV and Motorcycle Towing and RV Tire Change service.

With a AAA membership, you already receive lockout/locksmith assistance and emergency fuel delivery for your RV and motorcycle. Our optional RV and Motorcycle Towing and RV Tire Change service extends these services to include:

A total of four RV or motorcycle towing or RV tire change service calls per household, each membership year. These calls are in addition to the four roadside assistance calls each cardholder receives per membership year.
Up to $200 in service per disablement for Classic and AAA Plus members (up to $800 per membership year).
Up to $300 in service per disablement for AAA Premier members (up to $1,200 per membership year).
Applies to RVs, recreational trailers or motorcycles you own, borrow or rent.
Benefits extend across the U.S. and Canada.
These RV and motorcycle benefits apply to vehicles and trailers used for recreational purposes, and motorcycles that are licensed for highway use. Vehicles eligible for our optional RV and Motorcycle Towing and RV Tire Change service:

motorcycles
motor homes
camper vans
cab-over campers
camping trailers
fifth wheel trailers
boat trailers
personal watercraft trailers
horse trailers*
ATV trailers
utility trailers carrying recreational equipment
Add RV and motorcycle towing and RV tire change service online or call 1-800-222-8794 or visit your local Auto Club office. For more information, please see the Guide to Recreational Vehicle and Motorcycle Roadside Assistance brochure available at all Auto Club offices.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You'll be eligible to call for an RV or motorcycle tow or RV tire change as soon as you receive your valid new card(s) noting "RV/Motorcycle" or seven days after receipt of your payment, whichever is earlier. Motorcycles that are licensed for highway use and are not altered, constructed or customized in such a way to cause damage or create a hazard when being serviced are eligible for service under RV and Motorcycle Roadside Assistance. Certain limitations on motorcycle towing apply. Service will not be provided except on hard road surfaces regularly traveled by private passenger automobiles. For example, open fields, beaches, creek beds, private logging or forest service roads and snow-filled lanes or driveways are excluded. Service will not be provided when the disabled vehicle cannot be safely reached or serviced without damage to the vehicle or servicing equipment. You or your adult or dependent associate must be with the RV or motorcycle to receive service. Service is generally provided by independent service providers. You are responsible for fuel charges. RV and Motorcycle Towing & RV Tire Change benefits are subject to the provisions of the Guide to Roadside Assistance brochure.

*This service does not include transportation for horses.
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Old 07-31-2006, 06:59 PM   #16
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Ah, me. Guess that proves you just can't believe what you read on a website, Lizbeth.

I couldn't believe it when my wife called AAA for help and they said they could not tow the trailer so I had her call them back immediately. As I recall, I said, "Ask them if we can ammend our policy right now to include the trailer and we'll gladly pay any premium." The clear, unmistakable response was "Sorry, no, we cannot tow trailers but we will tow your car."

Ask them why not, I said. The answer was "That's AAA policy."

Anyhow, I just found out my car's rear axle ratio. It is 3.27 (4x4 only). Max GCWR 7,500 pounds. Like I said, there was no noticable indication of any transmission stress of any kind during the ride. Page 166 of the owners manual says this:
  • Never drive faster than 45 mph when you tow in hilly country on hot days.
  • With a vehicle equipped with an A4LD Transmission, operate in Drive rather than Overdrive. This will eliminate excessive downshifting and upshifting to maintain speed.
  • When descending a steep grade with a trailer operate in Drive rather than Overdrive. This will eliminate excessive downshifting and upshifting to maintain speed.
That last reference implies using Overdrive is ok under other conditions, wouldn't you say?

...Benny, do you have an Explorer? I'm not the original owner of mine. Bought the car at 104K miles a couple months ago. Was told the previous two drivers were dealers who used it to transport antiques. (None of you guys say what your TV is.) I will buy the "wind resistance is increased due to trailer angle" theory. It could account for the poor gas mileage. The trailer weighed 1130 pounds before being loaded for the trip and I think I added no more than 200 pounds to that. I will be generous and say the car had an additional 150 pounds, plus my wife Nancy in it (weight classified on a need to know basis).
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
FYI from the AAA website;

Roadside Assistance for RVs, Motorcycles and Recreational Trailers
Feel more secure traveling in your recreational vehicle, towing your boat or riding your motorcycle with our optional RV and Motorcycle Towing and RV Tire Change service.

With a AAA membership, you already receive lockout/locksmith assistance and emergency fuel delivery for your RV and motorcycle. Our [b]optional RV and Motorcycle Towing and RV Tire Change service extends these services to include:

A total of four RV or motorcycle towing or RV tire change service calls per household, each membership year. These calls are in addition to the four roadside assistance calls each cardholder receives per membership year.
Up to $200 in service per disablement for Classic and AAA Plus members (up to $800 per membership year).
Up to $300 in service per disablement for AAA Premier members (up to $1,200 per membership year).
Applies to RVs, recreational trailers or motorcycles you own, borrow or rent.
Benefits extend across the U.S. and Canada.
These RV and motorcycle benefits apply to vehicles and trailers used for recreational purposes, and motorcycles that are licensed for highway use. Vehicles eligible for our optional RV and Motorcycle Towing and RV Tire Change service:

motorcycles
motor homes
camper vans
cab-over campers
camping trailers
fifth wheel trailers
boat trailers
personal watercraft trailers
horse trailers*
ATV trailers
utility trailers carrying recreational equipment
Add RV and motorcycle towing and RV tire change service online or call 1-800-222-8794 or visit your local Auto Club office. For more information, please see the Guide to Recreational Vehicle and Motorcycle Roadside Assistance brochure available at all Auto Club offices.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You'll be eligible to call for an RV or motorcycle tow or RV tire change as soon as you receive your valid new card(s) noting [b]"RV/Motorcycle" or seven days after receipt of your payment, whichever is earlier. Motorcycles that are licensed for highway use and are not altered, constructed or customized in such a way to cause damage or create a hazard when being serviced are eligible for service under RV and Motorcycle Roadside Assistance. Certain limitations on motorcycle towing apply. Service will not be provided except on hard road surfaces regularly traveled by private passenger automobiles. For example, open fields, beaches, creek beds, private logging or forest service roads and snow-filled lanes or driveways are excluded. Service will not be provided when the disabled vehicle cannot be safely reached or serviced without damage to the vehicle or servicing equipment. You or your adult or dependent associate must be with the RV or motorcycle to receive service. [b]Service is generally provided by independent service providers. You are responsible for fuel charges. RV and Motorcycle Towing & RV Tire Change benefits are subject to the provisions of the Guide to Roadside Assistance brochure.

*This service does not include transportation for horses.
Quote:
As I recall, I said, "Ask them if we can [b]ammend our policy right now to include the trailer and we'll gladly pay any premium." The clear, unmistakable response was "Sorry, no, we cannot tow trailers but we will tow your car."
Ah, I see the problem here. I neglected to say that I already had the optional extra [b]RV-motorcycle endorsement on my AAA account. Apparently, Myron did not. That would make all the difference in the world.
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:08 PM   #18
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Got it to New Jersey and within 18 miles of home when the end finally came.



Local tow guy brought a flat bed truck and actually never loaded either the Ford or the Burro on it. He just slipped a hydraulic lift under the Ford's front wheels, locked in and pulled my entire rig like that, right to our door. We were home safe by 8 pm, delighted.
Unless I'm mistaken, towing almost any vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission for any distance with the drive wheels on the ground and the engine off is a definite no-no. Very few vehicles are equipped with oil pumps in the transmission which are driven off of the output shaft; almost all are driven off the input shaft only. What this means is that all the internals of your transmission were spinning around for 18 miles without the benefit of normal lubrication. The fact that the fluid was already considerably lower than normal couldn't have helped matters any as it would have reduced whatever splash lubrication you might have had.

Be wary of the health of the transmission until you get some time on it and see if it actually shrugged it off or not. You may have gotten lucky, or it may come back to bite you.

I'm surprised that the tow truck operator pulled it like that with the wheels on the ground - unless he figured that the transmission was already toast and he wasn't going to worry about it.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.... I'd be interested to see what your owner's manual says about towing with the drive wheels on the ground. I'm going to bet it says something like a maximum of 10 miles and 30 mph.
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:31 PM   #19
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Hmm, we shall see. Could find no reference in owners manual to towing with drive wheels on ground. When towed, ignition was on, car was in neutral.

That AAA person on the other end of our cell phone left us with only one impression, and that was this: they don't do trailers.

Left us no wiggle room. You can be certain I will call them on this.
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:56 PM   #20
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...Benny, do you have an Explorer? I'm not the original owner of mine. Bought the car at 104K miles a couple months ago. Was told the previous two drivers were dealers who used it to transport antiques. (None of you guys say what your TV is.) I will buy the "wind resistance is increased due to trailer angle" theory. It could account for the poor gas mileage. The trailer weighed 1130 pounds before being loaded for the trip and I think I added no more than 200 pounds to that. I will be generous and say the car had an additional 150 pounds, plus my wife Nancy in it (weight classified on a need to know basis).
No Myron, don`t have an Explorer......with my 90 GM truck, I used to pull a car trailer and put a flat front on the trailer to protect the car we used to tow to shows.....I used the trailer empty to go home from my cottage and if I drove at 60 mph and tried to accelerate higher in Drive the truck just sounded like a ghost`s Whoooo, but no acceleration...had to let it shift down to 2 nd and then could accelerate to 70 and then it would hold that speed in Drive.....the front I put on was 8' wide and 3' high with another 1' at a slope back at 45 degrees.......the truck has a 305 engine.....when I`d towed it empty when we first got the trailer, and had no front, I could accelerate at will....the wind load amazed me.....guess you know what it`s like to carry a full or part sheet of plywood with a wind blowing.. .....Benny
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Old 08-01-2006, 01:30 PM   #21
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I'm sure others will chime in here, but I would not recommend towing in overdrive, especially not with a V6. My truck has the GM "tow" mode (which keeps it out of overdrive), and I tow our 13' in tow mode. Even then, it does occasionally downshift when on an upgrade (it is a 4.8L V8). For what it's worth, I have towed it in overdrive just to measure the gas mileage, and have found that gas mileage is essentially the same either way. To me, it's not worth the slight improvement in gas mileage to risk possible damage to the transmision. In your situation, it's hard to speculate as to whether towing a relatively short distance in OD did anything to contribute to your transmission troubles, however.
Hello Jason;

I was told by a GM mechanic that the GM tow/haul mode, only extend the speed range of the first, second and third gear. The gear are changing much faster, but at a higher RPM, in order to minimise tranny slipping (which causes heat). The OD remains enabled, in tow/haul mode, and you still must select the third gear to tow (if you need to).

Yves.
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Old 08-01-2006, 02:14 PM   #22
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...AAA RV service will not tow a trailer here. They will tow the tow vehicle and leave your trailer on the side of the road. Its really a moho plan. They give no consideration to travel trailers being RVs...
I light of the very clear statements that they will tow travel trailers (for members with the RV option) on both the Alberta site (which I linked) and the AAA site which Lizbeth quoted, I would not accept the trailer being left at the roadside. Benita's experience sounds like either a misunderstanding by a member, or a lazy (or even dishonest) auto club tow truck driver. Any thoughts, Benita?
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:57 PM   #23
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Hi again Myron, I`m guessing that on most 4x4 vehicles, when the transfer case is in neutral, there is no drive on the transmission....the rear diff free wheels.....so from that, guess you probably don`t know if your transfer case was in neutral or not.....in neutral, if it`s the same as my GM truck would be with a 4x4, you should be able to tow the Explorer across the country.........also.... Hi, Jason, in my manual it states that tow haul is only useful at 75% of GCWR or about 8,250 lbs. or more and using it with light loads won`t cause any damage, but may cause unpleasant driving chacteristics and reduced fuel mileage.......my fuel mileage is about the same as yours when towing the 13' Boler....21 mpg Canadian with a 1/5 larger gallon conversion factor, so our trucks do well towing, although could use more power in the mountains.......on the flat lands with my 17', it won`t go into OD if there is any amount of headwinds, so only use 3rd all the time but never figured out the fuel because of the shorter trips......anyway, back to the topic... ....Benny
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Old 08-06-2006, 10:34 AM   #24
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Yes, I drove the Ford yesterday, after writing a check for $710 to the transmission guy, who spent $510 of that money (he said) for something called a "T Converter" which I guess is the transmission seals/gaskets/thingo, which is what blew out on me when towing the burro to the Catskill Mountains last weekend.

Of course, he made me feel better about it when he said, "actually your transmission itself was in good shape." Was no need to replace it, and, he said, often when this happens there's a fire, and the whole Ford burns up. (Aaah-hah!) I felt congratulated on my smart, fast-thinking, field-expedient, transmission-saving solution to the problem, which, of course, I owed to my old OCS training from back in the day. Didn't wanna burn up no Ford. Like the car now even more, now that I saved it from the fires of hell. BTW Ford manual says put it in neutral and don't go over 35 mph when towing it. We done that. Maybe I can keep this car forever.

Just submitting paperwork to AAA on hoped-for towing reimbursement. Am tippy-toeing around that issue right now.
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Old 08-06-2006, 03:23 PM   #25
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...spent $510 of that money (he said) for something called a "T Converter" ...
That would presumably be the torque converter, which serves both as a clutch (to allow the engine to run while stopped and in gear) and as a sort of continously variable transmission (the output to the rest of the transmission can be slower and have more torque than the input from the engine). It is a hydraulic turbine device; if you have no fluid, you have no drive. It typically looks like a big donut, and sits in that flared area of the transmission housing against the engine (just where the clutch does with a manual transmission), called the bellhousing. I've never had to replace one, but the cost quoted doesn't seem surprising to me.
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Old 08-12-2006, 09:27 AM   #26
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Correct. The torque converter was the problem, Brian. I am now good to go.

Just to make sure, I took the rig out yesterday for a 50 mile test run out to the Delaware River, up the hills and down the hills and back home again, to see how things are.

Must admit to having a few butterflies as I pulled out, but they all went away. I had also installed a standard class 2 hitch underneath the factory installed Explorer bumper hitch, to eliminate a severe towing angle. Stopped at a country store in Layton, NJ, not far from Dingman's Bridge, for a snack. Out came a charming couple all smiles wide as the Monongahela, very curious about this marvelously strange trailer. Happy to get my first taste of FB celebrity, I gave them an enthusiastic nickel tour. Later on, at Millbrook Village, a restored 18th century farm center in the parks system, a park ranger followed me into the parking lot and we did the tour thing again.

It's going to be a fun year.
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Old 08-12-2006, 10:21 AM   #27
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Interesting thread and good transmission story! I was under the impression that when the torque converter goes, the rest of the transmission often goes with it. Sounds like your actions paid off. Appreciate the info about AAA road service.
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Old 08-12-2006, 06:56 PM   #28
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You have a complete sentence there saying "Don't tow in OD", so I wouldn't do it except maybe downhill on an Interstate highway -- The risk of transmission repair isn't worth the low potential for fuel savings.

My 98 Ranger has the same engine and 4x4 setup, but I believe my auto transmission is slightly different (5R55E) and my rear-end ratio is 3.73; my tow capacity is 5,960. There is an auxilliary trans fluid cooler in addition to the standard one in the bottom of the radiator.

BTW, with my trans, when "2" is selected, the trans is locked in third gear (of 1-4+OD) for traction on slippery surfaces and when "1" is selected while moving, it downshifts to third gear and then (when speed drops below 30 mph) directly to first gear for engine braking.

Towing nose-up creates a really bad air-dam effect under a trailer and also increases the tendency for the trailer to sway -- Towing level is best, nose-down is second-best and nose-up is worst.
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