Toyota Matrix, auto - overdrive?? - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-15-2010, 10:10 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
GordM's Avatar
 
Trailer: Boler 13 ft 1972
Posts: 103
I'm towing my little Boler with a Toyota Matrix. Tows nice and easy. But the manual says that I should drive in "drive" instead of "overdrive". What do most people do? Drive seems like the engine is running at more rpm's this way? What do you all suggest?
__________________

__________________
GordM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2010, 10:18 AM   #2
Moderator
 
Frederick L. Simson's Avatar
 
Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
California
Posts: 8,151
Registry
Send a message via AIM to Frederick L. Simson
Talking

With my Honda Odyssey I generally use "overdrive" (D) for most level flat roads.
When approaching a significant hill I watch the tachometer and when appropriate I downshift to "drive" (D<sub>3</sub>).

Kind of like driving a manual transmission... and when the climbing or engine control on the downside is no longer needed, I up-shift back to "overdrive." (D).
__________________

__________________
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
Frederick L. Simson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2010, 10:18 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Kevin K's Avatar
 
Name: Kevin K
Trailer: 17' Casita
Mpls,Minnesota
Posts: 3,052
Registry
Drive on hills.
Overdrive on flat.
__________________
Kevin K is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2010, 10:23 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
GordM's Avatar
 
Trailer: Boler 13 ft 1972
Posts: 103
Awesome thanks everyone! I live in Manitoba, contrary to popular belief it isn't as flat as you would think. I only plan for now to camp around my area, which does include hilly areas. Generally speaking though, its fairly flat, so OD it is for that, if I come across a hill, I'll down shift. We might (big might) take the little guy to the Black Hills in SD this summer, so for sure I'll keep my eye on the OD. Thanks!
__________________
GordM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2010, 11:03 AM   #5
Member
 
Will M.'s Avatar
 
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 13 ft
Ontario
Posts: 53
I pull my 13 foot Trillium with a Matrix, but with the standard transmission. I do not use fifth gear when towing unless I am on a long downhill. Even on flat land I find that fifth just is not up to the task.
__________________
Will M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2010, 12:42 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Raya's Avatar
 
Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
I also drive with a car - although not a Matrix - and one that has an overdrive that the manual recommends not to use when towing. That said, I believe it's a "blanket" statement of the safest possible practice, because the mfgr. doesn't know whether or not any given driver will understand the concept of rpms, etc. (especially a driver used to driving with an automatic transmission, not "tach aware," or etc.) Also, I'm towing a trailer that is less than half of the stated tow capacity of the car; I might not do the same if my car were rated for 1500# (just curious: what is the Matrix rated for?).

The main thing is to keep your rpms up and not lug the engine. Of course this automatically happens if you leave the OD disengaged. But then, as you have found, it gets a bit annoying to be "screaming" along all day in 3rd gear. So, like others here, I do use OD on long flat grades, and I take it out of OD on hills (of course it will downshift automatically, but I'm proactive before then).

I also take it out of OD on long gradual up-grades, in headwinds, and etc. Basically any time I am "asking anything" of the engine and not just gliding along. I also have an aftermarket transmission cooler.

Raya
__________________
Raya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2010, 12:45 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
GordM's Avatar
 
Trailer: Boler 13 ft 1972
Posts: 103
My brother in law used to have a boler and now he has an airstream with a big one ton. But when he towed his boler with a corolla, he said he never used OD. He said that if you drive in D, you are working your engine harder, but taking it easy on the transmission. And since I don't have a cooler, I'm thinking now maybe just D? But like Raya said, if I'm on a long flat part, with little head wind, I might feel like I need to go into OD.
__________________
GordM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2010, 03:13 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
paulw's Avatar
 
Trailer: Escape
Posts: 361
Registry
We tow with a Chev Trailblazer - 4 speed auto.
The transmission runs at least 20 degrees hotter if I leave it in 'D' instead of '3'. I believe the transmission pumps fluid through the radiator slower in 'D'.
paulw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 11:58 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Michel, Bouchard's Avatar
 
Name: Michel
Trailer: Boler 1300 1973
Quebec
Posts: 114
Registry
Not only that , simply more friction in between gears. In D3 or D4 (or the speed before last), usually on most of the brands, your gear ratio is 1:1, what should be used for towing, in D or last speed your ratio is usually around 1:0.717, which is hard on the transmission when pulling.

On a 5 speed tramission the difference in between D and D4 results in a change of about 500rpm, which is not that bad. Even if your engine spins faster it is in fact working less harder (closer to its maximum torque curve), if you have an instant gas/mileage readout on your computer you will also realise that you are not using more gas.

But overdrive or not, common sense is not trying to tax the engine, and if you feel that the torque converter is not locked up anymore then downshift.
__________________
Boler 1300 1973
Jeep Wrangler 2dr 2012
Michel, Bouchard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 02:10 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Chester Taje's Avatar
 
Name: Ches
Trailer: 1992 Kustom Koach 17 FT
British Columbia
Posts: 4,897
Tow capacity of Matrix is 1500 lbs.
__________________
Retired Underground Coal Miner.
Served in Canadian Army (1PPCLI)
Chester Taje is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2010, 08:53 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Trailer: 1982 Burro
Posts: 4
Quote:
I'm towing my little Boler with a Toyota Matrix. Tows nice and easy. But the manual says that I should drive in "drive" instead of "overdrive". What do most people do? Drive seems like the engine is running at more rpm's this way? What do you all suggest?
I recently purchased a 1982 13' Burro, which I think weighs about 1000 lbs. (does this mean empty of everything?) Other than a sink and stove (not sure what to do about the fridge, but will use a cooler for now) I'm not adding anything (not even a table). I have an '04 Pontiac Vibe (Matrix clone) with automatic. I have been so discouraged by my mechanic and others that I was seriously considering buying a new Subaru Forester to pull my $500 Burro. I plan to take it from WV to Florida for a month or so--only one mountain and the rest flat interstate. Would a transmission cooler and synthetic fluid get me there and back without damage to my Vibe (that I've grown quite attached to)? Can trailer brakes be added to such a camper? I read somewhere that without them your tow capacity is only half of whatever your vehicle is rated. Am I being foolish or thrifty?
__________________
Anne F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2010, 09:47 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
GordM's Avatar
 
Trailer: Boler 13 ft 1972
Posts: 103
Hard to say Anne if that means empty. I find that a lot of weights floating out there are up for debate. With that in mind, I'm assuming your Vibe is 1500 lbs like my Matrix. My brother in law towed a Boler, which can be anywhere from 900 lbs, to 1500 lbs depending on who you talk to, and what's all in the unit etc, with a little Toyota corolla. And he didn't have any issues. I spoke to a hitch and trailer guy a bit ago and he said that a person could probably tow 10-20% over the tow capacity, as long as you take it easy, go easy on hills, and try to avoid hills as much as possible. Now, I don't recommend doing this AT ALL, and he could even be full of you know what, for all we know. But, I will say this, I am towing my Boler with my Matrix and haven't noticed any adverse effects. Maybe say 5 years down the road something might rear its ugly head, I just don't know. The absolute best thing to do would be to pack the camper as you would for a normal trip, or maximum trip (most stuff that'd ever be in the camper) and put it on a highway scale. This way you know the weight of the trailer. And if it is under 1500 lbs, then I wouldn't sweat it. Why would Toyota or Pontiac for that matter put a tow rating, if they didn't think you should tow at the weight? Now again, I'm not advocating packing a camper to the hilt and go right to 1500 lbs, I'm just saying that those weight maximums are there, and the manufacturers of the cars know they can pull that. Obviously it'd be great if the trailer only weighed 500 lbs, but that's just not going to happen. And I'm not about to go out and buy a truck just to haul my little bullet. I already own the Matrix and towing a Boler was part of the reason I chose this car. I hope this helps

Edit: In regards to the transmission cooler, I suppose it couldn't hurt. My manual says that if I'm towing over 1000 lbs, I should have trailer brakes. It never mentions a trans cooler. A transmission guy said I should have one (of course he would) but the trailer guy said I could go either way. BUT, it definitely wouldn't hurt to have one I suppose. As for trailer brakes, again probably couldn't hurt.
__________________
GordM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2010, 10:44 PM   #13
Moderator
 
Frederick L. Simson's Avatar
 
Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
California
Posts: 8,151
Registry
Send a message via AIM to Frederick L. Simson
Arrow

Quote:
I recently purchased a 1982 13' Burro, which I think weighs about 1000 lbs. ([b]does this mean empty of everything?)
If you are referring to a published or advertised weight, that is the DRY weight which means empty of Everything Not Fastened Down... and possibly empty of some of the fastened down stuff too.

Dry weights do not include optional equipment. The kicker here is that things like the [b]spare tire and the [b]12 volt battery are considered as optional by many of the manufacturers, even if your trailer came with those things. This is how the trailers made in the 1970's and 1980's got away with advertising that "It only weighs 950 pounds."
__________________
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
Frederick L. Simson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2010, 12:52 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Raya's Avatar
 
Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
Quote:
Would a transmission cooler and synthetic fluid get me there and back without damage to my Vibe (that I've grown quite attached to)? Can trailer brakes be added to such a camper? I read somewhere that without them your tow capacity is only half of whatever your vehicle is rated. Am I being foolish or thrifty?
Hi Anne,

As others have mentioned, load up your Burro as you would for the trip, and then have it weighed. I would not be surprised if it were 1200# to 1500#. It's good to know for sure.

Trailer brakes can be added, and are an especially good idea if your trailer is close to your vehicle's capacity. Stopping is even more important than "going." You would also then need a brake controller in your tow vehicle.

As far as your vehicle's tow capacity with or without trailer brakes, check your owner's manual. It will tell you the exact facts, and then you won't have to rely on other people's guesses (not meaning people here necessarily). For example, my car is rated to tow 3300# with trailer brakes; 2000# without (or something close to that; I'm going on memory right now). There is no consistent gap in the figures between vehicles.

A transmission cooler would be a good idea if you have an automatic transmission.

Towing a trailer will be harder on your vehicle than not towing, of course. If you decide that the weights are okay, know that keeping your RPMs up is important, and also keep an eye on your temperature gauge. Also, I would change the oil more frequently (just before and just after towing). Your owner's manual probably specifies more frequent changes for "hard driving" or something like that.

It would be interesting if you want to report back after you weigh your camper.

Raya
__________________

__________________
Raya is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Towing in Overdrive ? Ken C Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 9 02-03-2010 09:44 AM
Auto Aging ronsmith100 General Chat 11 01-17-2009 09:20 PM
Overdrive question..... kentj Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 8 07-18-2008 06:51 AM
Auto-Logon Patrick M. Forum Admin, News & Announcements 4 06-19-2006 12:59 AM
Towing in Overdrive? Legacy Posts Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 19 05-05-2003 10:04 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.