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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin Northwoods
    Posts
    2,889

    Question Towing in Overdrive

    When pulling heavy loads, do most of you just keep it in 6th or drop it down to 5th?



    With my truck, I've noticed that towing my 9,000# camper seems to work a little better in 5th versus 6th gear. The transmission doesn't constantly down and up-shift on hills and the engine feels like it's not working as hard. Running 70mph, still only turning about 2,300 rpm. Fuel mileage between towing and 5th versus 6th seems about the same.
    2013 Ram 1500 4x4 Big Horn, 5.7 Hemi, 8-speed auto
    2010 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI 6-speed DSG
    2010 Ram 2500 4x4 Lone Star, 6.7, 68RFE (sold)
    1997 Chevy Silverado 4 X 4, 4.3, 4L60, 200K miles (possible candidate for 4BT conversion)
    Actively Searching for a 1989-1997 12-valve!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    6,943
    Towing our 16K GVWR 5th wheel, as a general rule I engage Tow/Haul and let the computer decide. If we're in rolling hills or some other terrain where the transmission starts hunting constantly between 5th and 6th, I'd downshift it to 5th, but otherwise I let the computers run the truck. Bear in mind that my truck has 4. 10 gears, so 6th is more useable for towing than 3. 73s or 3. 42s might be.



    Rusty
    2011 Ram 3500 Laramie 4x2 Dually crew cab long bed, white with tan/brown leather, 6.7L Cummins, 68RFE, 4.10LS, B&W turnoverball & 20K companion 5th wheel

    2014.5 Mobile Suites 38RSSA 5th wheel

    2007 BMW K1200GT - BMWMOA 120519; 1971 Honda CB750K1

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin Northwoods
    Posts
    2,889
    My truck has 3. 73s which explains why I get some hunting between 5th and 6th on hills.
    2013 Ram 1500 4x4 Big Horn, 5.7 Hemi, 8-speed auto
    2010 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI 6-speed DSG
    2010 Ram 2500 4x4 Lone Star, 6.7, 68RFE (sold)
    1997 Chevy Silverado 4 X 4, 4.3, 4L60, 200K miles (possible candidate for 4BT conversion)
    Actively Searching for a 1989-1997 12-valve!

  4. #4
    I tow trailers that are in the 19000 to 21000 lb. range. I put it in Tow/Haul, turn on the exhaust brake, get up to cruising speed, set the cruise and enjoy the ride. For the most part the truck does things very well. I like to stay below the 2000 RPM as much as possible for cruising.
    2012 Longhorn 3500 dually crew cab, Max Tow, White, Centramatics, Willmore 1 piece stainless boards, Reese Elite 25K Fifth, Mobile Suites 36TKSB3

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Oswego Il
    Posts
    1,246
    I have an 11. 5K, 5er that I pull with the truck in my signature below. This is a 4X4 with 3:73 gears with the 6 sped auto; also your tire size will also determine what RPM your engine is turning. I am running the stock size tires that came with the truck, LT265/70R/17E. I do engage the Tow/Haul mode and let the computer determine the shift points most of the time. When I am towing on the highway on flat land I will tow in 6th gear doing around 1600 RPMs' between 60 to 65 MPH.

    I will drop to 5th gear in the mountains but this is because I am trying to keep the egt's under 1000F when towing up hill. I will stay in that gear going downhill also since it is not wise to up-shift or down-shift when going downhill with a load. Another thing that I do is lock out 5 and 6 gear in town when the speed limit is under 45 MPH trying to keep the RPM's between the 1,400 and 1,900 range.

    Jim W.
    08 2500HD Mega Cab SLT, 6.7L CTD 68RFE,Optix Gauges Pyro,Boost,Trans Temp A Piller mount, Mag-Hytec Trans Pan, Front & Rear Diff Cover, Smarty, MBRP 5" Exhaust, Silver, Westin Side Steps, Line-X Spray in Bed Liner over the rails, Bed Cover, Prodigy BC, 15K Reese hitch and pulling a 11K 5er

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Shell Knob Missouri, 30 miles from Branson
    Posts
    1,484
    On these trucks with the 6. 7, 5th & 6th are overdrive. I tow our 40' fifthwheel in 6th all the time.
    If you're not in trouble or causing trouble, you're not having any fun, and I'm having a blast! How about you?

    2014, 3500, 6.7, Aisin, DRW, 3.73, 4X4, Laramie, Crew cab, Sirius, 75 gal transfer tank, lights & siren

    06 Landmark, Mt. Rushmore 5th wheel, 40', wt 16k

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin Northwoods
    Posts
    2,889
    I'm still freaked out from the old days when I had a 1990 Ford Ranger and toasted the auto tranny by towing a U-haul in overdrive across the country. Ever since then, I've always been careful not to tow in overdrive. Of course our 68RFE is a whole different animal so it doesn't look like I need to be as careful.



    With my 3. 73 gears and stock tires, probably best to tow in 5th on hilly terrain to minimize gear hunting and EGT, and just leave it alone on the flats.
    2013 Ram 1500 4x4 Big Horn, 5.7 Hemi, 8-speed auto
    2010 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI 6-speed DSG
    2010 Ram 2500 4x4 Lone Star, 6.7, 68RFE (sold)
    1997 Chevy Silverado 4 X 4, 4.3, 4L60, 200K miles (possible candidate for 4BT conversion)
    Actively Searching for a 1989-1997 12-valve!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Shell Knob Missouri, 30 miles from Branson
    Posts
    1,484
    With the travel trailer you have listed in your signature, I doubt you will have any problem towing in 6th. It the transmission hunts, take it down a gear, if it doesn't, run with it. My 08 had 3. 73's in it, and it would pull my 40' 5ver with out any issues.
    If you're not in trouble or causing trouble, you're not having any fun, and I'm having a blast! How about you?

    2014, 3500, 6.7, Aisin, DRW, 3.73, 4X4, Laramie, Crew cab, Sirius, 75 gal transfer tank, lights & siren

    06 Landmark, Mt. Rushmore 5th wheel, 40', wt 16k

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin Northwoods
    Posts
    2,889
    On anything more than a small to moderate grade, I start getting a little gear hunting. Gear hunting is much more evident when I'm using cruise. If I turn cruise off (normally tow about 67-70 on freeway) and go easy on the foot, I can keep it from downshifting without losing much speed.



    Cruise in hilly terrain seems to work the engine and tranny a little more. I'm sure when it's trying to take a long grade in 6th with the cruise on, the EGTs soar.
    2013 Ram 1500 4x4 Big Horn, 5.7 Hemi, 8-speed auto
    2010 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI 6-speed DSG
    2010 Ram 2500 4x4 Lone Star, 6.7, 68RFE (sold)
    1997 Chevy Silverado 4 X 4, 4.3, 4L60, 200K miles (possible candidate for 4BT conversion)
    Actively Searching for a 1989-1997 12-valve!

  10. #10
    I leave mine in 6th, when the up ship, down shift is a issue, I leave it in 5th, but that isn't often
    2012 Ram 3500 2 WD Laramie CC, DRW, Max Tow (SOLD)
    2005 Dodge Ram Laramie 4X4 3500 SRW (SOLD)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Ut., USA
    Posts
    3,716
    Aharis,

    I have 15K 5th wheel. . I have the stock diameter but 19. 5" rims. . (225/70 R-19. 5") . . 14 ply "G". . the trailer has BF Goodrich Commercial T/A 16" "E" tires. this combo has reduced some of the drag with my unit. . The transmission likes to hunt when going up even a moderate hill. . I drop to 5th and use tow/Haul. . the TH mode reduces the chance for a downshift based on your throttle position. . In other words, you can push more. . this is true as well in 6th gear. . I try to pre-empt the shift by manually clicking down at 1600 rpm or so. . This puts the engine at a better RPM to pull the hill. . . When going downhill, I turn off The TH mode as it will try to downshift and slow down. Hope this helps.
    New 2009 SXT 3500 LB. Bright Silver..Stock for now. Rhino Liner, Ricksons 19.5" rims andToyo 225/70R-19.5" tires.. "G" Rated,. 14 ply.. Stock 17" tires in winter ..Self Made Winter fronts... Truck name is Silver Bullet!

  12. #12
    I'm pretty new to all of this. I thought the tow/haul mode automatically kicked out the overdrive 5th and 6th gear? Usually I put it in tow/haul and put on the brake system and drive. Is there a better way?? I'm pulling a 40' 5er that's 11,900 dry. It seems to be okay so far.
    2010 Ram 2500 Laramie Crew Cab, Cummins, Reese 5th wheel slider hitch. 4:10 rear.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    6,943
    Quote Originally Posted by bob257 View Post
    I'm pretty new to all of this. I thought the tow/haul mode automatically kicked out the overdrive 5th and 6th gear?


    Nope, not with the 68RFE in the pickups.



    Like you, I typically just turn on the tow/haul and exhaust brake switches and let the computers manage the oily bits. It works quite well for me that way.



    Rusty
    2011 Ram 3500 Laramie 4x2 Dually crew cab long bed, white with tan/brown leather, 6.7L Cummins, 68RFE, 4.10LS, B&W turnoverball & 20K companion 5th wheel

    2014.5 Mobile Suites 38RSSA 5th wheel

    2007 BMW K1200GT - BMWMOA 120519; 1971 Honda CB750K1

  14. #14
    Always have EB and TH on at all times. I tow my 27,000# combined in 6th on flat to small hills at 60 mph. When I get into 5 to 10 mph head winds I will hit 5th and on small hills. I use cruise set at 60 and manually adjust as needed before the computer can decide what to do, it keeps me doing something while driving and I do get better mileage that way. 3:42 gears.
    2011 HO Laramie Longhorn 3500 Dually Crew Cab Long Bed 4X4 auto 3:42 Loaded. Mag Hytec trans and rear diff covers, B&W Companion 5th wheel hitch, AMZ/OIL top to bottom, 304 rwhp May Madness 2012. 2007 1/2 Mobile Suites 36 SB3 28,000 combined loaded.

    1998 12V 4X4 Quad Cab Auto 300 RWH 750 TQ

  15. #15
    If the tow/haul mode doesn't shut off overdrive, what exactly is it doing?
    2010 Ram 2500 Laramie Crew Cab, Cummins, Reese 5th wheel slider hitch. 4:10 rear.

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