Towing with cruise control, bad idea? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 01-05-2015, 08:44 AM   #1
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Name: John Michael
Trailer: Scamp 13
Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 424
Towing with cruise control, bad idea?

Dave posted the following comment on another thread.

"I'm scratching my head over this comment. Other than in hilly terrain where your transmission tends to search for a gear frequently while using cruise, I see no issues with using cruise while towing .... Can you clarify?
Dave W - 2013 Escape 19' and 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser"

I agree with Dave. I have towed with cruise control with 3 different tow vehicles. Never seemed a problem. My Subaru manual cautions it may lead to loss of control; they say the same about wet conditions. I use it mostly on flat interstate highways. Other than helping me get some sleep while driving are there other dangers to me, other drivers or my rig when I engage cruise control?

Cheers FGRVers, john

BTW. I love the adaptive cruise control where I set the following distance (usually 190 feet) to any slower vehicle in front and my car slows to sync to their speed, even braking if they do. When I move over to pass my car accelerates to its original speed. Love those cameras and computers. Hope they don't get a virus.

John Michael Linck - Toymaker
Camping since 1960 - Scamp 13' Oak
Subaru Outback 4 cyl cvt
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:55 AM   #2
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I use mine all the time.
But never in the hills.

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Old 01-05-2015, 10:32 AM   #3
Name: Ron
Trailer: Casita
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wet weather,heavy traffic and icy conditions, cruise is a no no.
Reaction time is slower for you when using cruise
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:41 AM   #4
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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We use cruise. Most of the time we are traveling where there are few other vehicles. We pretty much use it on relatively straight, relatively flat roads.

Generally we do not drive in bad weather, so wet, snowy roads are rare for us. As well we avoid traffic situations. Most of our traffic is on our first day or two leaving the northeast. Once we get by NJ we're on roads with little traffic.
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:14 AM   #5
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
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Towing with cruise control, bad idea?

I use cruise on flats and, occasionally, downhill. The latter seems counterintuitive, but here's why I do it. My TV has a 5-speed double overdrive transmission. Locking out OD drops it down to third, which is great for steeper grades but too low for slight to moderate grades. When cruise is engaged, Honda has programmed the transmission to shift from 5th to 4th when it reaches 5mph over the cruise setting, which gives just the right amount of engine braking for a moderate grade. So, as I enter a grade, I slow to 5 mph below the desired speed, set the cruise, and the computer does the rest. I wish all 5 gears were manually selectable, but 4th is not. Strange, but it works. Modern, electronically-controlled transmissions are more sophisticated than the old, all-mechanical units.
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:20 AM   #6
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA
W. Mass
Posts: 299
While I know where Jim is coming from with his warning about not using it, I do. My old GMC, said no cruise, and no overdrive while towing.

Common sense tells me that I'm fine using cruise, until it starts to shift due to hills and such. If it shifts, or when I'm getting into hilly roads, I turn it off. For the most part it takes a fair hill to cause any shifting, pulling a 4000 lb trailer with a vehicle that can pull 11000. If I had an 11000 lb trailer I imagine I'd leave the cruise off.

When I had my Ford Ranger, it down shifted on just a head wind. I didn't use the cruise in that.

I noticed what Jon mentions, about it holding better on the down hills, coming through the Beartooths last fall. I played around with it some.
Bob & Deb
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:45 AM   #7
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Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
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I'm not comfortable using cruise control whether I'm towing or not.
I've tried it and I spend more time and thought monitoring it than if I just drive. To me, it's sort of like having a computer monitor your breathing. Too busy checking lights and gauges to do what's natural.
I have turned it on briefly to alleviate a cramp in my leg.
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:53 PM   #8
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Name: Frank
Trailer: 2012 ParkLiner #006
New York
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Because of a sciatic nerve condition in my lower right leg I've had for years, I can't keep my foot on the gas for any long time. So it's either cruise control or Gail has to drive, it's that simple. To me, how and when you use cruise control is like so many other things related to towing an RV just a matter of common sense.

2012 ParkLiner #006
2013 4wd Escape 2L Ecoboost with 3500# tow package
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:53 PM   #9
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We use it all the time. It especially helps us stay below 65MPH!
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Old 01-05-2015, 04:12 PM   #10
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Trailer: 2011 Escape 17B
Oswego, NY
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I use cruise control on the relatively flat interstates, but rarely for most of my driving, which is on the secondary roads. Any time the torque converter starts unlocking or the transmission starts shifting, I shut it off. I tow in 4th, as recommended by Toyota. (And have to admit to towing faster than 45MPH...)
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:16 PM   #11
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Name: Bob
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Gas Pedals

Originally Posted by frank_a View Post
Because of a sciatic nerve condition in my lower right leg I've had for years, I can't keep my foot on the gas for any long time. So it's either cruise control or Gail has to drive, it's that simple. To me, how and when you use cruise control is like so many other things related to towing an RV just a matter of common sense.

Not that it's a big deal, but most shops that outfit vehicles for those with disabilities can also fit your car with a left foot gas pedal to augment the stock one.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:34 PM   #12
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Name: jim
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As I posted in the other thread, cruise control and towing do not always mix, on some models the manual states using cruise eliminates engine braking while in the tow mode. But most people do not follow the manual anyway, like keeping your speed at 45 while towing or not using the tow mode, One wonders why we have so many automobile accident lawyers, they research the recommended guidelines and therein the lies the crux of most lawsuits involving automobiles accidents, negligence.
Never in doubt, often wrong
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:41 PM   #13
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Name: Bat Dude
Trailer: Scamp
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This is the first auto-trans vehicle I have owned )Ford Freestyle) and I no longer use Cruise control at all.
I had to replace both rear calipers and rotors as I learned something needs to slow the thing down and it is the rear brakes! With manual trans when you take your foot off the throttle the engine will slow you down, but will freewheel and keep rolling at more or less the same speed with this auto.

Once we hooked up the Scamp I also checked and Cruise control braking DOES not trigger the trailer brakes.

So for me not an option.

My $.02 worth
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:20 PM   #14
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Name: Pat
Trailer: Escape 17B Sold 5/2016
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I'm confused, BatDude, with all the vehicles I've owned the cruise control was deactivated the moment I touch the brake pedal so I would think trailer braking would be operational.

Life is Good
When "Escaping Reality" Sold 5/2016
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