Alrighty, we drove our first TT, an Innsbruck 259bhl, home tonight and I already have a question regarding the brakes. We do have a brake box in the truck, it's all hooked up. My question is: how smooth should I expect the ride to be, particularly the braking? When I'm slowing down from an average speed, there's some bouncing pretty harshly. Do I need to turn the brakes up or down, leave it alone?
I did have another question: I have an f150 and when the dealer was working on the brake box and I was riding with him, he said just keep the truck in "3", no need to push the "Tow/Haul" button on the end of the lever. Good advice or not? Also, when I get up to speed on the interstate or something similar, should I shift the truck into "D" or leave it in "3"? Thanks again for any advice!! Happy camping.
Just adjust the brake controller( I think upwards) until it softens the trailer brakes. On mine one red light is the lightest setting and I move the dial up until one red light just barely lights up. When I get to two red lights (goes up to three) it really grabs and gets way too jerky.
With the suggestion about leaving the truck in gear 3 I can see the guys point. You surely don't want your transmission hunting for the right gear all the time. When I'm climbing a hill I will proactively switch into second and leave it there most of the time. On flat ground I think you should not leave it in third but use D instead. Maybe disengage the Overdrive but I would leave in D if the tranny isn't "hunting". Good luck!
You didn't say what brand of brake controller you have, but it sounds like that the boost may need to be lowered. From your description it sounds as if the trailer brakes are applying a little out of sync with your tow vehicle.
As for the advice on leaving the truck in 3 and not using the tow-haul option, I would think that this would not necessarily be the thing to do. It depends upon the terrain you are traveling in; hilly country that might cause your transmission to "hunt" between gears would call for the tow-haul position. Assuming that you have a newer model F-150 the following is how your transmission functions in the Tow-Haul mode.
1) Raises the shift point RPMs and internal trans shift pressures for a given engine load. This allows for much easier hill climbing, while keeping the torque up at a more constant level. Another result of this is covered in step #3.
2) Maintains the ability to engage overdrive gear, but eliminates the possibility of engine lugging by keeping it out of overdrive when the transmission senses the load is too great for it's use.
3) Controls shifting frequency to avoid shift hunting and
unnecessary torque converter cycling. This is very important, as it allows the transmission to run cooler, thus prolonging it's lifespan.
4) Engages the “coast clutch” and uses other internal transmission clutch/band application strategies in order to achieve engine braking through all gears as the transmission coasts down. This can be very helpful when descending long hills in hilly country. On a Ford I believe this is controlled by tapping the brake pedal if you want to use the feature going downhill. Perhaps another Ford owner will comment on that.
Just simply leaving it in 3 as a fit-em-all, is not proper procedure for all terrain, especially on mostly level terrain, where you should be able to tow in the "D" position without Tow-Haul being engaged so the truck would be able to shift into overdrive more easily and cut your fuel consumption. Just keep in mind, that if the transmission keeps shifting from gear to gear often, you probably need to have Tow-Haul engaged. Keeping these facts in mind, experience will eventually become your best teacher.
* This post was
edited 08/01/12 01:47am by Palm *
2011 Ram 1500 - Laramie Longhorn
Open Range - 281 FLR
Dividing our time between our homes in Alabama & Northwest Florida.
I recommend putting it in D and engage tow/haul mode. Leave it this way all the time regardless of terrain. Tow/haul will keep the transmission from hunting 99% of the time. During the rare situation where the transmission may want to hunt while climbing a hill, put it in 3rd until you reach the top of the hill - then back to D. Works for me!
I use tow haul mode and leave it in drive and use cruise control. I have learned to compensate on long hills by just pushing the gas pedal enough to keep speed from dropping off since the cruise control will cause the transmission to shift to 3rd and accelerate hard to speed back up. If I can't compensate enough I tap the brake and press the pedal to keep the cruise from overcompensating until I crest the hill then resume the cruise control. If needed I will manually shift to 3rd, but have not found it necessary too often but I have only towed in eastern Virginia so far.
Yes, what type/brand of brake controller? and when you have Tow/Haul, put in drive and engage the Tow/Haul. the manuf. designed the system for towing, so use it, it is much better than just putting it in "3".
Son Brandon 11yrs
Daughter Marissa 10yrs
07 Cherokee 32B
02 Excursion 4X4 V-10 4.30 gear 5Star tuner Y-pipe mod Hellwig sway bar
Reese HP dualcam Prodigy brake controller
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I highly recommend reading the manuals for both the brake controller and the truck. One will explain how to adjust the brake controller and the other will recommend how to use tow/haul mode.
If you have a 2008 or older F-150 (with 4-spd trans, I recommend using tow/haul mode and lock out overdrive. If you have a 2009-10, I recommend using Tow/Haul mode and D. If you have a 2011+ F-150, Tow/Haul with select shift to limit range to 5th gear max.
Brand/model of brake controller will help. There are some that are not worth $100+ some places charge for them.
A & A parents of DD 2005, DS1 2007, DS2 2009 2011 Suburban 2500 6.0L 3.73 pulling 2011 Heartland North Trail 28BRS 2012 VW Passat TDI
What to strive for with the brake setting is that you don't want the trailer to stop the tow vehicle and you don't want the tow vehicle to stop the trailer, but rather aim for a balance so that both are stopping equally. Make sense? With mine, I can't just leave it on 1 setting. Sometimes have to decrease the trailer braking at low speeds in town or it will grab and the wheels will lock and skid but then I want it set higher on the road.