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Discussion Starter #1
I'm towing a 12,000# fifth wheel in hilly country. I have the 6.4L with 4.10 gears. The transmission usually stays in 4th gear, sometimes goes into 5th. When I go up a hill, it starts slowing down, it lugs, and finally shifts back, but ... It sometimes goes from 4th into 3rd and then right into 2nd or it just goes from 4th to 2nd seeming to skip 3rd. I would expect it to shift into 3rd sooner so it doesn't lug the engine down so much.

Many times I've shifted into 3rd before it lugs down too much and it does a fine job of getting over the hill!

I've wanted to get it into the dealer, but on vacation in the Rockies and there aren't many dealers around. Can they do a flash to fix this?
 

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Now if you had paddle shifters or a console shifter, you could put it in exactly what gear you want, when you want, instead of hoping the CPU/Trans control gets it right. Welcome to the club.
 

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Yeah for some reason this site doesn't let members edit their own thread titles. I fixed it for ya.


You can hit the (-) button to force a downshift if you want
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Thunderhorse, I saw that right after I hit the post button and went back to try to edit it ( and failed ).

And yes, it does it with or without tow / haul

Thanks
Sheldon
 

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I'm towing a 12,000# fifth wheel in hilly country. I have the 6.4L with 4.10 gears. The transmission usually stays in 4th gear, sometimes goes into 5th. When I go up a hill, it starts slowing down, it lugs, and finally shifts back, but ... It sometimes goes from 4th into 3rd and then right into 2nd or it just goes from 4th to 2nd seeming to skip 3rd. I would expect it to shift into 3rd sooner so it doesn't lug the engine down so much.

Many times I've shifted into 3rd before it lugs down too much and it does a fine job of getting over the hill!

I've wanted to get it into the dealer, but on vacation in the Rockies and there aren't many dealers around. Can they do a flash to fix this?
The key to towing with any pickup is downshifting prior to starting up a hill. Waiting until the truck downshifts on its own will always put you behind the 8 ball.
Always keep your RPM's up when going up hill. (I'm from Colorado and tow often). There are times when I am well over 4000 RPM.
 

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The key to towing with any pickup is downshifting prior to starting up a hill. Waiting until the truck downshifts on its own will always put you behind the 8 ball.
Always keep your RPM's up when going up hill. (I'm from Colorado and tow often). There are times when I am well over 4000 RPM.
I cross passes at least a couple times a month here in MT. Using Tow/Haul quite often here in MT both towing and not going down passes, I find it works to let it go until you reach a speed you want then hit the brakes relatively hard (you can feel it) and it will hold that speed unless the hill gets steeper but it will slow the speed increase and generally fight it and you do it again. I do note the shift point differences going up. I never manually down shift going up just have to remember to hit tow haul in the first place. The tranny seems to know what it is doing, BUT I also have a very light TT (under 4K).

So the down hill thing isn't perfect and occasionally I will use the (-) button for a gear, but I love tow haul even when not towing or towing going down a pass. I seldom use the brakes and take pride in doing so. I have to hit the down shift all the time with the Subaru to not use the brakes.

I get behind people all the time on passes towing, not towing, cars, SUV's and trucks who ride the brakes all the way down. I cringe occasionally wondering if they are going to hit those brakes with a few miles left to go and there isn't going to be anything there.

As Click and Clack and my father said (and I am paraphrasing) often, the transmission is designed for this. Brakes are always a last resort.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I was in the Canadian Rockies. I would think that tow haul should be smarter than that. First it lugs way too low in 4th gear before shifting. It's almost like it has a groove that it wants to be in 4th or 2nd. Occasionally it will shift into 3rd and it happens more often if I'm running cruise control. Still haven't gotten a chance to take it to the dealer.

I love the fact that it shifts back going down hill, but.... If you are going down a loonnngggg hill, and 3rd isn't enough to keep your speed down, hitting the brakes again puts you into 2nd even if you're doing 50 MPH. On that long of a hill we were taught to pump the brakes, to let them cool in between. But that will cause it to jump down a gear and rev up to 4500 :)

I really like the truck. On this trip I've towed the 5th wheel over 10,000 miles. But it has a few issues that upset me.
 

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I was in the Canadian Rockies. I would think that tow haul should be smarter than that. First it lugs way too low in 4th gear before shifting. It's almost like it has a groove that it wants to be in 4th or 2nd. Occasionally it will shift into 3rd and it happens more often if I'm running cruise control. Still haven't gotten a chance to take it to the dealer.

I love the fact that it shifts back going down hill, but.... If you are going down a loonnngggg hill, and 3rd isn't enough to keep your speed down, hitting the brakes again puts you into 2nd even if you're doing 50 MPH. On that long of a hill we were taught to pump the brakes, to let them cool in between. But that will cause it to jump down a gear and rev up to 4500 :)

I really like the truck. On this trip I've towed the 5th wheel over 10,000 miles. But it has a few issues that upset me.
If you manually downshift when approaching a hill you will pull the hills far better and easier on the truck. Keep in mind that all our vehicles are designed to squeeze every drop of gas savings they can. That's why you have the 4th gear lug and then the downshift directly to 2nd. I tow a lot and this method works the best IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
At this point I've given up on tow/haul. I lock out 6th gear using the selector. Most of the time ( 70 MPH) it rides in 5th gear - in tow / haul it would occasionally get into 5th but almost always 4th. Going up slight inclines, it shifts back to 4th or 3rd if necessary and as I would expect it to.

Going down hill, I shift back when needed. In tow / haul, the first time you hit the brakes it goes down one gear. The next time you hit the brakes it goes down another gear. If 3rd isn't quite enough to hold it back, you use your brakes ( not ride them as I've always been taught not to) and it shifts another gear and over revs the engine. If not in tow / haul, I can backshift as I like.

Just not impressed, rather do it myself. And the trip is so much more enjoyable.
 
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