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  #1  
Old 03-08-2012, 05:45 PM
joeyo67 joeyo67 is offline
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Question on towing

A neighbor told me that with when towing my 7000lbs TT that I should not only use the Tow/Haul mode, but I should also be driving in 3. I have been using D (Drive).

I tried looking up the info online, but could not find any specifics to address my question. I have a 2011 Expedition 4x4 Limited with 3.31 gear ratio. I'm also using a Hensley Arrow hitch.

Please let me know. Thanks, Joe
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:07 PM
joeyo67 joeyo67 is offline
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I'd really appreciate some feedback, I'm really new to towing and only interested to know if this is a prefrence thing or if its better for the tranny towing in 3 vs D.

Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:46 PM
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Unless the transmission hunts, there is no reason to do anything other than drive normally.

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  #4  
Old 03-09-2012, 06:01 AM
chuck s chuck s is offline
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When did the Tow-Haul mode get added to the Expedition? You have the HD tow option?

As noted, unless the transmission is hunting there's no reason to put the lever in anything but Drive. I suspect with a 7000 pound travel trailer and 3.31 axles you're not going to see 6th gear other than on downgrades and may not see 5th too much.

If you're curious you can put a scan gauge on the CAN buss and monitor things like transmission temperature. My 5000 pound camper with HD Tow and 3.73 axles rarely lets the transmission above 190°F and coolant temperature flatlines just under 200°F .

-- Chuck
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:20 AM
joeyo67 joeyo67 is offline
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I have a 2011 6 speed with the HD tow package, air suspension and the 3.31 grear ratio. Also included is the HD tranny & oil cooler.

What I was hoping to better understand is the Tow/Haul feature. Not certain if I should start out in Tow Haul Mode (when towing) in D or 3. I serached the forums and the manual but its confusing.

Since I don't have any dedicated guages to monitor the CAN buss (?) or Tranny, I'm SOL unless I buy/install those guages. If thats a must do for towing, please advise. I only tow when camping with the family 9 or so times a season. But if that's a wise investment let me know. Also, for safty sake, I use the Hensley Arrow Hitch as this trailer is 34' long.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:22 AM
Johnny Law Johnny Law is offline
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Well you can't start out in 3. My 2011 will actually stay in 3rd gear even from a stand still. Working the same way it would if you put it in 2nd. Just stays in the selected gear.

So that leaves you two options... Put in Drive with tow haul mode and just drive. I read someplace and know that the Tow/Haul Mode takes throttle position and inclination angle to determine what gear it should be in so it is a relatively smart system. The other option is to manually shift the car through the gears, 1...2....3 and keep it there. I suspect that will defeat the whole purpose for the Tow/Haul mode as it won't select the proper gear (i.e. downshifting down a hill etc...) Not a good option because if you leave it in 3rd and slow down it will stay in third and lug the engine and overheat the transmission.

I can't figure out why 3rd gear stays in third gear all the time. I have never had a car work like this but mine has done that from the minute it came off the lot.

If someone can tell me that there is something wrong with my truck I would appreciate it, I just assumed it was designed this way. Never use it because it is functionally worthless IMO.

Just keep it in drive and make sure you use the Tow/Haul Mode.

Johnny
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:45 PM
chuck s chuck s is offline
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When/where did this "tow/haul" mode get added? My olde 2007 ain't got it.

-- Chuck
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:57 PM
Johnny Law Johnny Law is offline
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It looks like it was introduced in the 2009 Expedition...

See Wikipedia section on changes

The tow/haul is on the shift **** on the drivers side.

Johnny
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  #9  
Old 03-09-2012, 07:20 PM
Johnny Law Johnny Law is offline
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Just checked my owners manual (page 257-259) and it states that Tow/Haul only works in "D" and all gear ranges are available when using Tow/Haul (meaning both 5th and 6th gear are also available). It also confirms that "3" on the shift lever operates the transmission only in 3rd gear. They say it is used for improved traction on slippery surfaces and downshifting. Just like 2nd gear is used.

The Tow/Haul mode does a good job IMO with downshifting. It will downshift when I have my boat behind me and keep my speed pretty constant down hill. When I apply the brake harder it downshifts again automatically. I actually like it.

Johnny
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:53 AM
chuck s chuck s is offline
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Thanks for the info on Tow/Haul and how it works. That's the OD lockout button on my '07.

The automatic downshifting seems to be the main benefit unless the shift points also change. I know when I manually switch out OD on down grades or shift to 3 on the really steep descents the transmission remains in 3d or 4th with I put it back in Drive/OD until off the grade and back on the throttle.

Ford transmissions have "always" (or so it seems) been limited to the gear selected. 3 is only 3. Not 1 thru 3. Starting out in 3 on very slippery surfaces works well and was all we had before traction control.

-- Chuck
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:09 PM
Johnny Law Johnny Law is offline
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It does change shift shift points. I believe it uses an angle sensor to determine if you are going downhill or uphill that's how it knows to downshift. I barely put my foot on the break in tow/haul and it will immediately downshift and hold speed even if I let off the break. If I press the break harder it will downshift again. In turn, it will also downshift as I begin climbing a hill before I have really needed to strain the engine. So some electronic thought is involved in the downshift point going up a hill as well.

As you can tell, this is my first Ford. GM has had a different philosophy. I would be leary starting out in third. A whole lot of slippage going on in the tranny. Probably where the debate lies.

Thanks for the info Chuck.

Johnny
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  #12  
Old 03-11-2012, 10:43 AM
chuck s chuck s is offline
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My trailer is about 5000 pounds but these are all massive air drags.

I have an Aeroforce Interceptor gauge to monitor transmission temperature, transmission, slip, and other parameters. These will pod mount but mine just sits on top of the dashboard "temporarily."

Click the image to open in full size.

-- Chuck
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Old 03-16-2012, 02:14 AM
joeyo67 joeyo67 is offline
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checking in - (I did not abandon the post). Thanks Johnny Law and Chuck S.! My neighbor is a Tahoe owner and he refrenced how he tows with his Tahoe.

I have been driving my set up for the first time this week, specifically to familierize myself with towing, using side roads and some main roads to better learn the feel of towing and listening to the engine. I can hear shifting while driving, but my practce has been limited to flat and some curvy roads, no incline or descents nearby unfortunately. The Hensley Arrow hitch is great so far, but speeds have been only up to 45MPH so far. I can hear the up and downshifts in Tow/Haul mode using only D (Drive), so its consistant with Johnny Law's comments.

yesterday I dropped off the TT for some warranty work and had a quick discussion with one of their service guys. He said the Expy's Trailer Anti Sway feature might conflict with the break controller and tow hitch. Meaning that the Expy might be breaking more and unneccessarily, but that I should read up on it as he wasn't 100% on his advice.

In my Expy set up I have the Trailer Anti Sway and Load-leveling Air Suspension ON, I have a Prodigy P2 controller and the Hensley Arrow hitch. As soon as I get back onthe road with the TT, I plan on getting my family and I over to the weigh station to check out all the numbers. I want to make certain I also have my weights in check.

On anothoer forum site discussing a similer topic, I found this statement and wanted to ask your thoughts -

Note you want the tongue weight to be about 13% of the FULLY LOADED TT weight. Ignore the manufactutrers pipe dreams on tongue weight.

With an Expedition, be sure you watch your rear GAWR. It will take some proper WD hitch adjustment to keep it under the spec when towing.

Thanks Joe
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  #14  
Old 03-18-2012, 02:08 PM
chuck s chuck s is offline
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Check the setup of your WDH with the air leveling suspension OFF. When ON it disguises poor weight distribution by self leveling but that doesn't move any weight off the rear suspension. Switch it back on when done to take out the last 1/4 of level. It's not about "level towing." It's about weight distribution.

The key with a WDH is to measure the suspension heights with the truck just sitting there first. Ground to top of outside wheel well is a good measurement. Then add the trailer and adjust the WDH settings. The front suspension MUST compress or you're not moving any weight off the rear. Ideally both should compress the same amount and leave your trim at the same point albeit with some suspension compression all around.

-- Chuck
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:08 PM
 
 
 
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