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Thread: Tow haul mode

  1. Print this Post   #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    USA - IL

    Tow haul mode

    Hi all, I've only towed with my 2008 F250 for one season and it was primarily in the very flat Wisconsin area. I was just wondering about the tow-haul mode on these trucks. I think I understand the concept in that it primarily changes the shift patterns but I was wondering how some of you felt about the feature. Do you use it? Do you automatically use it when towing or just in hilly areas? Does it seem to make any significant difference that you can feel? Does it hurt fuel mileage that you can tell?

    I'm taking a longer trip this summer down to the Oklahoma/Texas area so I'll get my opportunity if I choose to do so. Any information would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Pete and Sharon
    Buttons (Lhasa Poo)
    2008 Bighorn 3055
    2008 Ford F250 Crew Cab Diesel

  2. Print this Post   #2
    Fulltime TXBobcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    USA - TX

    Re: Tow haul mode

    Hay Pete
    I have a 2006 F250. Tow/Haul is great. When towing I use Tow/Haul when I am in the City or heavy traffic. It helps you slow down fast...

    If your in a real hilly or mountains area you should probably use the Tow/Haul. It keeps the RPM's higher and the Torque Converter locked. The more you move the oil in your transmission the cooler it will be.

    If your in Tow/Haul and your speed increases up above about 63 MPH it automatically goes into OverDrive. If you slow down below 60 MPH your Tow/Haul is active again.

    If you leave it in Tow/Haul and going below 60 or so MPH you will get a lower gas mileage because the engine is running at a higher RPM than it might otherwise run out of Tow/Haul. I don't normally use it on the normal Interstate unless your in Montana, Wyoming, Utah or Idaho.

    Trust me, if you hit the brakes pretty hard you may have a nose imprint on the windshield.

    If you have any specific questions let us know..

    Travel safe & may God bless
    Bob Curry & Trevor
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  3. Print this Post   #3
    Senior Member Bighurt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    USA - ND

    Re: Tow haul mode

    You should always use tow/haul when the vehicle is equipped while towing or hauling near GVW/GCVW (3/4 capacity). The tow haul button changes the shift points, this allow the tranny to work easier and last longer. By raising the rpms it increases fluid pressure which dissipates heat during slippage, slippage occurs during the shift in gears. Some manufactures say it locks out overdrive others the shift point is just a precentage higher and at a higher speed, such that they will never get to it while towing. I myself have an 08 F350, but for the life of me can't remember what the manual says.

    You can override overdrive by just selecting 3 (or equivalent) on the column. Even when not towing I avoid overdrive in hilly areas cause its annoying I just slow down and downshift from D to 3.

    2016 Cyclone 4100 King
    2010 Sundance RLB (traded)
    2008 F350 SRB CC/LB Lariat 6.4L Spartan Tuned
    1984 M915A1 AM General

  4. Print this Post   #4

    Re: Tow haul mode

    I have the truck in my sig, and I use Tow/Haul every mile that the trailer is hitch to the truck. It might hurt the fuel mileage a bit, but in my mind a couple gallons of diesel is cheaper than a transmission service or re-build.
    Alan, Sandy, and 2 Corgis, Molly and Baxter

  5. Print this Post   #5
    Icantre Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    USA - OR

    Re: Tow haul mode

    I agree with Alan. Every time I hitch up the trailer, I put it in T/H mode, turn on the integrated exhaust brake (I have a Dodge) and forget about it.
    Bob & Joyce Krull
    Forest Grove, OR
    2009 Bighorn 3385

  6. Print this Post   #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    USA - TX

    Re: Tow haul mode

    If I'm towing- I'm in T/H

    TC and KC
    2009 Sundance 2998RB
    2007 Chevy Classic CC 4x4 2500 HD Dmax

  7. Print this Post   #7
    Senior Member jnbhobe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    USA - PA

    Re: Tow haul mode

    I use tow -haul anytime I am hitched up, I like it for the stopping power the transmission gives. The only time I take it out is when I want OD under 55 or 60 mph. My speeds are a little different because of the 4.30 gears. JON
    Patti & Jon Holbert
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  8. Print this Post   #8
    Senior Member rick_debbie_gallant's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    USA - MI

    Re: Tow haul mode

    2009 Dodge 2500HD. 6.7L TD, 6 speed automatic with standard exhaust brake. We drove from Texas to New Orleans up the Natchez trail to kokomo Indiana then on to Michigan. Averaged between 10.9 and 12.2. We had the T/H button lite, and drove in 5th gear all the time plus used cruise control. When not hitched and loaded for the winter I am getting between 20 and 23 mpg. I am still waiting for the truck to break in. Only have 15,000 miles on it right now.
    Rick and Debbie Galant and Ted E. Bear
    Mid Michigan

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  9. Print this Post   #9
    Senior Member Duramax1's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    CAN - BC

    Re: Tow haul mode

    I am not convinced that leaving your transmission in tow haul mode, when towing, reduces your gas mileage.

    I base this opinion on simultaneously observing the readouts on two different guages that I have on my truck.

    Yes, your rpms do increase which would suggest that your gas mileage would be reduced but let me explain about the two guages I have on my truck.

    I purchased an after market accessory called Scan Guage which plugs into the trucks computer module that the service departments use. Without going into a lot of detail as you can find that at the internet site, this device enables me to simultaneously see the read outs for:

    1. instantaneous gas mileage
    2. percentage throttle being used

    My visual experience in turning off the tow haul mode when observing those two guages is that the instantaneous gas mileage decreases and the percentage throttle being used increases. I should mention that I do this experiment while using cruise control.

    Intuitively I believe then that turning off the tow haul mode does not necessarily decrease gas mileage.

    A simple analogy is when you ascend a hill. If you depress the gas pedal, your speed and rpms may not increase but your gas mileage is certainly on the decrease. When you shift down a gear, your rpms increase but you are able to back off on the gas pedal if you maintain the same speed.

    I therefore always leave my transmission in tow haul when pulling the trailer.
    Last edited by Duramax1; 04-02-2010 at 12:15 PM. Reason: spelling mistake and additional information
    2008 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD D/A LTZ
    2009 Sundance 2900MK

  10. Print this Post   #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    USA - IL

    Re: Tow haul mode

    So..... what i'm hearing is that it is pretty universally liked. But let me make sure I understand here. I am now on the interstate and cruising along at 65 MPH which is where I typically max out. My understanding is that at this point, there should be no difference. I should be in OD with the torque convertor locked. It's only in getting up to cruising speed that the tranny would act differently in tow/haul. Do I have this correct? I had a Chevy with the old 6.5L diesel years ago and they flat out said not to tow in overdrive. I wouldnt want to go back to that scenario with the RPM's running that high constantly.
    Pete and Sharon
    Buttons (Lhasa Poo)
    2008 Bighorn 3055
    2008 Ford F250 Crew Cab Diesel

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