Towing in overdrive - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-22-2018, 03:59 PM   #21
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the scenic route

we tried the scenic route in California had to quit it was taking forever jon is right.

we tried taking the scenic route in Italy we were never going to get anywhere it was horrible.

I guess in some cases we just have to relent and take the interstate but it aint fun sometimes.

bob
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Old 01-22-2018, 05:20 PM   #22
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many vehicles specifically state to NOT use overdrive or top gear when towing.

my 2008 Tacoma is a 6-speed manual, the owners manual says to not use 6th. My 2001 Ford E150 said to not use automatic OD (which was a '4th' gear).

I recently towed a Escape 21 1800 miles from Dallas to Santa Cruz via Reno... first leg in DFW traffic and heading west on I20, I maintained traffic speeds in the right lane, going about 75. gas mileage was AWFUL (had headwinds too), like 9.6 MPG, cruising in 5th. after that, we went mostly 60-65 on I20, US84, I40, and US95, and got 11-12 MPG, going 55-60 in California, got 12-13 MPG.

btw, the Carlisle Radial Trail HD St205/75R15 tires on my Escape are rated for 81MPH, so I wasn't real worried about going 75. however, the 9.6MPG knocked my per-tank range down so hard, I'll be sticking with 60-65 in the future
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Old 01-28-2018, 01:56 AM   #23
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I drive a manual shift so it isn't an issue.
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:20 AM   #24
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Taking the "Scenic rte"

Hi: All... I'm towing with a V6 Frontier Crew cab long bed w/ OD Auto trans. It's rated to tow 6100# and our Escape 5.0TA weighs around 4000#'s ready to camp. I use both OD and OD lock out. The RPM's are usually in the 2000-2500 range and sometimes as high as 3000 climbing in the mountains. The truck is now nearing its 8th birthday and 160,000 Km's. Still has the tranny fluid from the factory... and the dip stick is bolted down so its out of reach for BYM's. I have it checked every other oil change and so far its still ok. My MPG's don't seem to change much as long as I keep the rev's under control. If the towing gets tough... the tough get towing!!!
My bumper sticker reads "I'm driving as fast as I can afford" and the one on the trailer reads "I go where I'm towed too".
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:37 AM   #25
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I drive a manual shift so it isn't an issue.
Huh? It must be a really old one if it doesn't have OD.
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Old 01-28-2018, 03:47 PM   #26
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Huh? It must be a really old one if it doesn't have OD.
um, in manual land, its only considered an overdrive if its a seperate gearbox. volvo and others made 4 speed manuals that used external overdrives for a '5th' gear. but volvo also made straight 5-speeds (the 4 speed was stronger so usually used on the performance models). my 2008 toyota tacoma has a 6 speed manual.
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Old 01-28-2018, 04:19 PM   #27
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In manual transmissions, or automatics, any gear ratio of less than 1-1 (.85-1, for example) is an overdrive. That is what "overdrive" means. The output shaft turns faster than the input shaft. Typically, and specifically in the Tacoma, 5th and 6th are overdrives. Thus, towing in 5th or 6th is towing in overdrive. The OP said nothing about an auxiliary transmission.

If the question was worded, such as, "towing with a Gear Venders auxiliary overdrive", the answer might be different.

But the main point was more about running the engine that slow while doing work and the fuel economy that resulted.

Mikes comment didn't make sense to me since modern manuals are overdrive transmissions.
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Old 01-28-2018, 04:43 PM   #28
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every vehicle I've owned that I've towed with, the owners manual specifically says to never use the top gear (or OD if its so labeled) when towing, and to generally stay one gear lower than you would if you weren't towing. my 6 speed stick shift tacoma says to not use 6th when towing. my 2001 Ford E150 van said to not use OD (automatic with pushbutton OD disable). my 1992 Volvo 740 wagon said to not use OD (ditto, automatic with pushbutton OD disable).
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Old 01-28-2018, 05:28 PM   #29
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Towing in overdrive

Towing section of my 2011 Pilot owner's manual says to leave it in D on flats and lock out OD on hills. It is a 5-speed and both 4th and 5th are overdrive ratios.

My previous tow vehicle, a 2000 Sienna, said always lock out OD when towing. It was a 4-speed single-overdrive automatic.

Transmission control software has become a lot more sophisticated. Best to follow the instructions.
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Old 01-28-2018, 05:51 PM   #30
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Jon,
When you lockout OD, does it lock out 5th and 6th, or just 6th?

I recently towed a trailer with about 12,000 lbs total weight up from So. Cal. on 395 through the Sierra. I locked out 5th and 6th and let the cruise control handle all the grades. Much better than full throttle in the highest possible gear. With a bit more RPM, engines are always happier when working hard. And a bit higher RPM gives the engine brake much more authority.
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Old 01-28-2018, 06:37 PM   #31
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Towing in overdrive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
Jon,

When you lockout OD, does it lock out 5th and 6th, or just 6th?...
My Pilot has only a 5-speed automatic, and yes, locking out OD locks out both 4th and 5th. In the absence of grades or headwinds, I can tow at 65mph in 5th gear using less than half throttle at about 2000 rpm. Locking out OD under those conditions sends the engine up to around 4800 rpm. We're towing about half the rated trailer weight.

One absolute criterion in my next tow vehicle will be a full manual mode. I'd like more control. Many times- gentle grades or a little headwind- 4th feels like the happy place, but there is no provision to hold it in 4th.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:22 PM   #32
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Jon,
Over and over, while towing or just driving in the mountains, I wish I had a stick.

Automatics are constantly improving in their logic and controls and number of gears, but they are just approaching what a stick does and not improving on it. That is, in mountain driving, and specifically, while towing. Autos have their advantages too, so maybe I'm just focusing on the particular weaknesses I see. Some cars have paddle shifters that really give a lot of control and trucks should have that option too.

In my older Ram, I was able to re-wire a control circuit and lock the converter any time I wanted, and hold it locked. It turned out to be an excellent mountain strategy that stopped all the hunting for gears and upshifts on part throttle, while avoiding the slip and heat buildup of the converter.

Then, I bought a new Ram, and in order to get the stuff I wanted, I bought another auto! But at least its a newer generation with later strategy. Now, I'm looking a a new car, but the only way to get the stick is with the lower trim level. Sheesh.
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:38 PM   #33
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Towing in overdrive

A stick shift is great until you have to back a trailer uphill into a tricky campsite. Or get caught in bumper-to-bumper LA traffic with a trailer.
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:21 PM   #34
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A stick shift is great until you have to back a trailer uphill into a tricky campsite. Or get caught in bumper-to-bumper LA traffic with a trailer.

Yep. That's the other side off it.
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:25 PM   #35
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The other side of sticks is also the fewer gears, and regardless of how good you are, the computer controls are better at timing the up and down for fuel efficiency. And my aging knees fear better
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:46 AM   #36
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The other side of sticks is also the fewer gears, and regardless of how good you are, the computer controls are better at timing the up and down for fuel efficiency. And my aging knees fear better
Fuel efficiency is not my highest priority when towing, and many newer manual transmissions are 6-speeds. Does anyone really need more?

But like you, the vicissitudes of age- in my case a lower back injury- converted me to automatics. That and marriage. Whatever we tow with, my wife has to drive it, too. She can drive a stick, but never by choice.
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Old 01-29-2018, 08:20 AM   #37
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Fuel efficiency is not my highest priority when towing, and many newer manual transmissions are 6-speeds. Does anyone really need more?
..
Well, it looks like the new Ford Ranger comes with "Fordís new 10-speed automatic transmission."

But its not the 10-speeds that I wonder about.. its the "new." It's the same reason I stayed away from vehicles with CVT when it was "new." Reliability trumps gas mileage for sure and I stuck with a well established tranny with a record of reliability.
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:06 AM   #38
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I'm with you, but I do wonder about the 10 speeds as well. Surely we are well past the point of diminishing returns.

My first multi-speed bicycle was a 10-speed back in 1974. I now have a hybrid mountain bicycle with 21 speeds. It is really intended for maintained trails and back roads, not serious trail riding. All those gears just make for more hunting to find the right one.
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:58 AM   #39
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I haven't driven one, but it seems like a 10-speed would spend most of its time shifting.

And yeah, reliability is a concern. I'm perfectly happy with the proven 5-speed in my FJ Cruiser. Not to mention the proven non-turbo 4.0L engine, the simple part-time 4WD system... I fully expect this thing to last a long time. A brand new decaspeed tranny doesn't give me that peace of mind.
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:39 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
um, in manual land, its only considered an overdrive if its a seperate gearbox. volvo and others made 4 speed manuals that used external overdrives for a '5th' gear. but volvo also made straight 5-speeds (the 4 speed was stronger so usually used on the performance models). my 2008 toyota tacoma has a 6 speed manual.
Just a little history...
In the 40s and50s Hone and Columbia made separate add on overdrives.
A few overdrives replaced the transmission tailshaft housing. All these shifted separately using either a solenoid or a cable.
In my manual 5spd, fifth gear is .73:1... still overdrive.
In some cars the top two gears are overdrive.
In most manual 5spd transmissions, fourth gear is 1:1 which uses the main shaft straight through.
The internal 5th gear (overdrive) is on an separate offset shaft.
Fourth gear puts less load on the input and output shaft bearings and that's the primary reason for not towing in OD.
That being said, the main reason manufacturers rate manuals lower for towing is based on clutch size or a distrust of the buyers ability to use it.
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