auto vs manual transmission - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-03-2014, 11:25 AM   #1
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auto vs manual transmission

Is a manual or automatic transmission better for towing or does it not make any difference? Many thanks. Rich Morrison
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:47 AM   #2
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No transmission cooler required on a manual transmission.
Clutch replacements are not required on an auto transmission.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:53 AM   #3
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I bought my 13' Scamp new in 2010. Have pulled over 8K miles with my Nissan 4 cyl w/manual shift. I LOVE a manual shift for towing. I dont have to worry about a tranny cooler and I can easily control the engine speed when/where I want it when pulling up steep grades. I can also easily downshift to help hold the rig back when descending.

Yes, they will wear you out in a high-volume traffic situation. But I can rest and the wear-n-tear on an automatic is there to stay. Now if I had a larger engine (v6), the automatic would be nice.

The CON side to mine is, my wife cannot drive a "stick" and that hampers us sometimes in campgrounds. While my next tow will most likely be an automatic, my personal preference is STILL a "manual" transmission. They just very RARELY give any trouble in my opinion.

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Is a manual or automatic transmission better for towing or does it not make any difference? Many thanks. Rich Morrison
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:55 AM   #4
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What do you have now? If it's an automatic I'd say stick, (no pun intended), with it. Today's automatic transmissions are a heck of a lot more robust than your farther's Dynafolw.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Morrison View Post
Is a manual or automatic transmission better for towing or does it not make any difference? Many thanks. Rich Morrison
I much prefer a manual transmission.
It depends on the skill of the driver with a clutch.
It is common for manufacturers to rate manual transmissions lower than automatics based solely on the anticipation of poor operating skills.
This is especially true when backing up with a trailer.Most people will find themselves slipping the clutch more than desirable when faced with a tight back-in.
I have always towed with manual transmissions with no associated problems.
Towing a trailer close to capacity can mean towing without using overdrive to avoid undue stress on input and output shaft bearings, but we have always towed fiberglass trailers using overdrive.
Know your friction point and accelerate after you get your foot off the clutch.

Tow vehicles with manual transmissions have an unsung advantage since they render the vehicle virtually theft proof, at least here in the U.S. where reportedly 87% of drivers can't drive a stick!
(Also you seldom have to lend them out)
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
No transmission cooler required on a manual transmission.
Clutch replacements are not required on an auto transmission.
actually they are! but I know what you mean.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:11 PM   #7
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My initial answer was going to be

YES.

I think the previous posters have backed me up already. Pluses and minuses to both.

I've been driving my BIL's truck for the last few days, though, and I will say there is a vast difference between Manual in my Forester and Manual in a 25 year old truck. I wouldn't call the stick in the truck "fun to drive". I don't know if truck manuals have improved but if I were driving a truck I might opt for automatic. On the other hand, trucks tend to have a very low first gear which can help get a trailer moving.
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:35 PM   #8
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I have an automatic dodge ram right now and the tranny just needed a complete rebuild at 97,000 at a cost of $3200. I tried very hard to find a used ram with a standard shift but just couldn't find one in the 1500 model.
Having driven semi's with manual transmisiions for 30 years says something about towing (98% are standard shift)...... An automatic will tow just fine and most prefer it, it would just cost more and require better maintenance.
Without a doubt me personally and i only speak for myself i would prefer a standard shift and as a previous poster stated they are more fun to drive and the ability to control the rpm's on the motor.
By the way a very good friend who tows all the time thinks i'm crazy to prefer standard and drives automatic all the time....so to each,their own
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:02 PM   #9
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Towing with a manual

We just traded our 2004, manual transmission, 4 cylinder Honda CRV with over 225,000 miles. We loved the manual and would have bought another CRV if the new CRVs were available with a manual transmission.

Our Honda CRV never had a a drive-line failure and had the original clutch when we traded it in. It is true that their are backup situations where one may slip the clutch more than necessary, however our clutch handled it. Personally I like the manual transmission, it gave great control and very good miles per gallon. It was a 5 speed but typically we towed in 4th.

The Honda transmission is very smooth and was easy to drive. Everyone in our family can drive a manual.

Since we could not get a manual Honda to tow our Scamp 16, Ginny thought it would be good for us to stick with Honda's reliability and get an automatic because we're "getting to the automatic age". As a result we bought a Honda Odyssey, unbelievably it gives better overall mileage than the CRV

It does seem that it is easier to back up the trailer with an automatic. Honda suggests a transmission cooler and once you buy it, it is invisible
and huge.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:09 PM   #10
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Man started walking, Man walked and pulled cart, man started riding a horse, Man got horse to pull wagon, man started driving car, man started driving truck, Man started driving truck to pull wagon. Poor man without truck got car to pull wagon. Too many cars, trucks and wagons too much work with manual transmissions. Man invents automatic transmission to make she man happy since she man cant drive manual transmission with high heels. She man happy buys many cars and overpopulates highway. Man stuck with manual transmission pulling wagon gets very frustrated in traffic caused by she man and sucks it up and gets automatic transmission. He man finds out she man can now drive truck and tow wagon. He man now gets to take passenger seat and nap while she man does all work. This is called progress why go back now?
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:14 PM   #11
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As an old fart, I've had both manual and automatic transmissions in vehicles. The argument of better control with a manual is bunk. In many ways you have better control with an automatic. As Norm said backing seems to be easier, that's because it's easier to move slowly. With a manual you have to slip the clutch a lot in some cases. An automatic is designed with slip built in. Modern automatic transmission have a converter lock that at highway speeds locks the torque converter so you're not burning up energy in heat in the torque converter. My tow vehicles both had/have tachometers and by watching the tack I can control when the torque converter lock engages.

I like many swore by manual transmissions for years until I discovered the benefits of automatic. My father, when he was alive, and I used to argue over that, he became an automatic guy after he started towing a TT.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
Man started walking, Man walked and pulled cart, man started riding a horse, Man got horse to pull wagon, man started driving car, man started driving truck, Man started driving truck to pull wagon. Poor man without truck got car to pull wagon. Too many cars, trucks and wagons too much work with manual transmissions. Man invents automatic transmission to make she man happy since she man cant drive manual transmission with high heels. She man happy buys many cars and overpopulates highway. Man stuck with manual transmission pulling wagon gets very frustrated in traffic caused by she man and sucks it up and gets automatic transmission. He man finds out she man can now drive truck and tow wagon. He man now gets to take passenger seat and nap while she man does all work. This is called progress why go back now?
Soon both can sleep while an App on their phone does the driving. Or they can sit back and browse their phones... which will have the only "windows" needed, not that they will see the crash coming anyway!
Maybe "virtual" lives will have resets or at least multiples? But then who will care?
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:33 PM   #13
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. The argument of better control with a manual is bunk.
That's right (at least for 87% of the driving public)
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:48 PM   #14
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I liked the manual because I can throw it into neutral and roll to stop signs and down hills.
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