Proper gear for towing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-11-2013, 07:28 PM   #1
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Name: Melanie
Trailer: Lil Snoozy "Marigold"
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Proper gear for towing

We will be picking up our new Lil Snoozy next Tuesday. My husband insists he either read or was told that he should pull it (using our 2013 Highlander) in 3rd gear, not in Drive. I can't find in the HIghlander manual any reference to this. Any advice? How does driving in 3rd affect gas mileage?
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:43 PM   #2
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4th gear, not overdrive, according to my owners manual. Look under 'towing' in the book.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:31 PM   #3
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I pulled my Snoozy 9000 miles with a 2007 V6 RAV4. 4th or 5th(drive) seemed to make little difference. For sure no difference in gas mileage. In drive the trans was actually in 4th most of the time anyway as the slightest bit of uphill or acceleration or even strong headwind would cause the trans to downshift.

My owners manual said nothing about towing is a lower gear.

PS: Enjoy your new camper.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:32 PM   #4
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If your owner's manual doesn't say, put it in drive and let the vehicle operate itself. If the transmission is hunting the correct gear by frequently shifting down and up, manually shift into a lower gear.

Frequent shifting creates heat and heat destroys transmissions.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCDenny View Post
I pulled my Snoozy 9000 miles with a 2007 V6 RAV4. 4th or 5th(drive) seemed to make little difference. For sure no difference in gas mileage. In drive the trans was actually in 4th most of the time anyway as the slightest bit of uphill or acceleration or even strong headwind would cause the trans to downshift.

My owners manual said nothing about towing is a lower gear.

PS: Enjoy your new camper.
I have a 2008 RAV4 V6. It's not easy to find, but in the manual it says to tow in 4 not in OD. It also says not to tow in 2 or 3 up hill for any extended time ( no definition of what that is ). If you look in the index under towing it tells you how to tow the vehicle. You have to search for the information. I think it's under transmission or something.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melanie B in NC View Post
My husband insists he either read or was told that he should pull it (using our 2013 Highlander) in 3rd gear, not in Drive.

How does driving in 3rd affect gas mileage?
I cannot speak to the specifics of the Toyota Highlander.
My Honda Odyssey's 4speed transmission has "Drive", D3, D2, and D1.
"Drive" is the highest gear, and some call the highest gear "overdrive". This is where you find the best gas mileage. As needed, the transmission can automatically shift into any gear in sequence. But under some load conditions, like pulling a trailer uphill, the automatic shift will "hunt", meaning it will be in "Drive" and then downshift to "D3" then after a few moments it thinks it has enough momentum to go back to "Drive" and then after a few more moments it will think, oops now there's a strain that this gear is too high for, and go back to "D3". The automatic setting seems to be searching for a gear between "Drive" and "D3" and since that does not exist, it keeps ping-ponging between the two gears. To avoid this Hunting, the advice is to manually shift into "D3" which becomes the highest gear instead of "Drive". Now it will stop hunting. But the downside is that the engine will run at a higher RPM, which will decrease gas mileage.

I tend to tow in "Drive" on flat land (like the Central Valley) and in "D3" on hills (like the Grapevine).
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:57 PM   #7
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We have a 04 Toyota Sienna V6 and pull a 13 Boler, it likes 4th and just shifts up and down if I try to use 5th.
V6 engines have to spin to make horsepower, they like it and they are built for it.
We went over the Creston-Salmo pass on our last outting, from approx 1500 ft to 5500 ft. climb in maybe 10 miles,,ya steep!! I put it in third stayed at about 65km all the way up,,heat gauge didn't move,,with the AC on low!!
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:38 PM   #8
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I pull with a 2010 Tacoma V6.
When we picked ours up I just left it in D.
We headed down to Florida from the plant and then back to Oklahoma.
I didn't notice any problems. Don't know if there's a big difference in trans.

But maybe pulling 70mph to 80mph gave it umph on the hills..............LOL

I have slowed down now, and still don't have any trouble.
Haven't made it to any real mountains yet, maybe next year.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:19 PM   #9
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When you notice problems, it's probably too late.
What does your manual say?
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
I have a 2008 RAV4 V6. It's not easy to find, but in the manual it says to tow in 4 not in OD. It also says not to tow in 2 or 3 up hill for any extended time ( no definition of what that is ). If you look in the index under towing it tells you how to tow the vehicle. You have to search for the information. I think it's under transmission or something.
I've heard this before and looked carefully in my 2007's manual - no mention of towing in fourth. Sold the car this summer in favor of a Jeep Grand Cherokee so I can't double check the book.
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