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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Heading to the Rockies for 5 or 6 weeks.

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BarabooBob

Baraboo, WI

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Posted: 09/17/19 08:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well we have been traveling all over the place and I found out how my 3.5 EcoBoost would handle the Rockies. Going up hills I have no problem with power at all. I slow for the corners and speed back up to whatever speed I feel is safe. We have passed many gas Class A's that are in the slow lane with their engines screaming to get to the top.
On the downhill runs however, the engine is still a 3.5 liter gasser when it comes to motor braking. I have to use my brakes more than I would like on the long high speed drops. Today I came down what is probably my steepest, curviest downhill in my driving experience. This road was handled well by the EB because the speed limit was 25 and I could use first gear and had very good speed control with engine braking. I only had to touch the brakes a few times on that stretch. This was in Colorado between the towns of Dinosaur and Fruita. I don't remember the road number right now.
For an everyday driver with only limited towing in the mountains, I really like my EB and may buy another one in the future. I will have to do some serious thinking before I get a new truck because I may buy a diesel with exhaust brake. I don't know what size truck at this time. They keep changing options on trucks so time will tell.


Bob & Dawn Married 31 years
2017 Viking 17RD
2011 Ford F150 3.5L Ecoboost 420 lb/ft
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CloudDriver

New Jersey Shore

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Posted: 09/17/19 09:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I believe the road you are referring to is route 139. We drove that road several years back in our class C on the way to Vernal from Grand Junction.


2003 Winnebago Minnie 24F - Ford E-450">


Desert Captain

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Posted: 09/18/19 07:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It sounds like you are not using your Tow Haul so I would have to ask why? Any time you are towing or loaded heavy as in "hauling" the Tow Haul should be engaged. With TH on going down long steep grades, 5 or 6 percent, you will hardly use your brakes at all. Even better you won't be burning a drop of gas all the way to the bottom and will arrive with nice cool brakes ready to perform.

When climbing even a slight grade of 2 - 3 percent you are slowly but surely cooking your transmission by running with TH off. Once in a great while I forget to turn it on and my Scan Gauge quickly reminds me to do so as the trans fluid temperature quickly climbs 12 - 15 degrees... engage TH and I watch it drop by that much in just a mile or two {this on our 2011 V-10 in a 24' Class C}.

There is simply no good reason not to use Tow Haul.

[emoticon]





twodownzero

NM

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Posted: 09/18/19 07:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

New trucks have tons of power and are a joy to pull with compared to when I started driving. Power will definitely not be an issue with any newer truck, as they will pull way more than they can safely control.

OH48Lt

Whitehouse, OH

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Posted: 09/18/19 08:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did the same thing with my 2011 F150 3.5EB a few years ago. Handles uphill easily, does downhill OK with the tow/haul on, which it should be at all times when towing that trailer. Trans temp all the way out to the Rockies from Ohio stayed at 190. Going uphill wasn't an issue, and trans temp hit 205 by the time I got to the top of Wolf Creek Pass. That FAR from any problem.

Also, I towed most of the way with 6 gear locked out. RPM's stayed around 1900, better fuel mileage and the trans doesn't hunt around.


2017 Ford F-150 Crew Cab 4x4 3.5 EcoBoost
2014 Cruiser RV Fun Finder 215WKS
2015 Harley Road Glide Special in Amber Whiskey
2019 Mustang Bullitt
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Polaris Sportsman 500 H.O.(hers)

ReneeG

Meridian, Idaho

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Posted: 09/18/19 08:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Desert Captain wrote:

It sounds like you are not using your Tow Haul so I would have to ask why? Any time you are towing or loaded heavy as in "hauling" the Tow Haul should be engaged. With TH on going down long steep grades, 5 or 6 percent, you will hardly use your brakes at all. Even better you won't be burning a drop of gas all the way to the bottom and will arrive with nice cool brakes ready to perform.

When climbing even a slight grade of 2 - 3 percent you are slowly but surely cooking your transmission by running with TH off. Once in a great while I forget to turn it on and my Scan Gauge quickly reminds me to do so as the trans fluid temperature quickly climbs 12 - 15 degrees... engage TH and I watch it drop by that much in just a mile or two {this on our 2011 V-10 in a 24' Class C}.

There is simply no good reason not to use Tow Haul.

[emoticon]


Is Tow Haul mode available in the new gas Ford models and if so, does it have the braking capability as the diesel's Tow Haul mode?

We had a 99 F250 V10 and have towed over that pass in CO. Anytime we towed over any steep pass, we had to brake fairly hard to come to a near stop, let off, then repeat as needed. No Tow Haul mode in that one. Fast forward to our F350 Diesel with Tow Haul. Only have to brake to activate the engine compression to slow the rig and hold it. Each press of the brake pedal results in an additional 5mph slow down. Love it and wouldn't go back to a gas for towing our FW.


2011 Bighorn 3055RL
2011 F350 DRW 6.7L 4x4 Diesel Lariat and Hensley BD3
1992 Jeep ZJ and 1978 Coleman Concord Pop-Up for remote camping
Dave & Renee plus (Champ, Molly, Paris, Missy, and Maggie in spirit), Mica and Mabel, both Rat Terriers!


wing_zealot

East of the Mississippi

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Posted: 09/18/19 08:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Desert Captain wrote:

It sounds like you are not using your Tow Haul so I would have to ask why? Any time you are towing or loaded heavy as in "hauling" the Tow Haul should be engaged. With TH on going down long steep grades, 5 or 6 percent, you will hardly use your brakes at all. Even better you won't be burning a drop of gas all the way to the bottom and will arrive with nice cool brakes ready to perform.

When climbing even a slight grade of 2 - 3 percent you are slowly but surely cooking your transmission by running with TH off. Once in a great while I forget to turn it on and my Scan Gauge quickly reminds me to do so as the trans fluid temperature quickly climbs 12 - 15 degrees... engage TH and I watch it drop by that much in just a mile or two {this on our 2011 V-10 in a 24' Class C}.

There is simply no good reason not to use Tow Haul.
This !
I didn't even realize my ecoboost had engine braking until I went to Hocking Hills last summer. The engine braking in tow/haul mode works awesome.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 09/18/19 09:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

More importantly.....awesome trip! Western Slope of CO is one of the best places on earth!


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 09/18/19 09:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK, I am going to reveal my ignorance -- how is tow/haul different from manually downshifting? On long steep downgrades, I select second gear and just let the compression do the braking for me. My Tacoma does not have a separate tow/haul setting, as far as I know.

(Don't be too hard on this naive question -- I did say I was ignorant, right?) [emoticon]


2012 Fun Finder X-139 "Boondock Style" (axle-flipped and extra insulation)
2013 Toyota Tacoma Off-Road (semi-beefy tires and components)
Our trips -- pix and text
About our trailer
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single list."


Desert Captain

Tucson

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Posted: 09/18/19 01:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

OK, I am going to reveal my ignorance -- how is tow/haul different from manually downshifting? On long steep downgrades, I select second gear and just let the compression do the braking for me. My Tacoma does not have a separate tow/haul setting, as far as I know.

(Don't be too hard on this naive question -- I did say I was ignorant, right?) [emoticon]


No harm in asking...

Engaging the Tow Haul, that is now found on most late model trucks and SUV's, tells the ECM to adjust the shift points making them more efficient. You will notice a tendancy to hold each gear a little longer - to a slightly higher rpm. It also locks up the torque converter eliminating any slippage which = friction, which = heat.

If you manually shift to a lower gear it simply stays there whether or not that is the most efficient selection. TH will continue to shift up and down as is appropriate for your driving situation. As noted another plus is that on long downhill grades the engine compression gives controlled braking while burning no fuel... win - win.

On older vehicles having a manual Overdrive button, the {off/on} accomplishes much the same thing just not as efficiently as a dedicated TH. Turning OD off locks out your highest gear. I always figured the engineers that built my vehicles have forgotten more than I ever knew about getting optimum performance so I tend to read the owners manual and pretty much do what they recommend... but then that is just me.

[emoticon]

* This post was edited 09/19/19 01:27pm by Desert Captain *

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