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Old 10-04-2015, 07:42 PM   #1
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Tow Haul Mode

Okay, not it is time for the really stupid question. What does the tow haul mode and the other button really work. I have seen some posts about not using it and others to do so. I have the 2016 F350 diesel. I would be interested on input from other F350 owners. Since this is such a basic question you have probably figured out that step-by-step instructions may be to my benefit. Be gentle. I cry easily.
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Old 10-04-2015, 08:25 PM   #2
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After you set up the driver configurations in the set up menu, tow haul, among other things keeps track of towing mileage. It's a must use feature in your new truck. It allows the truck to use its gears and engine settings to optimize towing. No crazy searching for gears or late or early shifts. It's also integral with the exhaust brake. Your 2016 now has exhaust brake that can be controlled by driver. I use the mode while towing and when truck is loaded down. I urge you to go into the computer and set up all the features. It will amaze you how Ford has designed the drivers custom features. You can name your RV and configure more than one trailer. My 2014 has performed well, and I congratulate you on your new truck ! Oh crying is what the others owners do, when you pass them going up hill!!! Btw lots of great "videos" about your truck on line. I also will tell you, my Ford still gets lots of comments from other truck owners. Wife says it better, cause I can't have a new one! Lol Lots of aftermarket stuff if interested. My chrome quotient is pretty high...
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Old 10-05-2015, 02:18 AM   #3
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For a newer truck that may be great. With both my previous '02 Chevy (8.1L gasser w/Allison tranny) and current '06 Ford (diesel) I don't use it save for either extreme uphill or downhill grades (gain a bit of engine braking). It just works the engine too much for regular towing and kills mileage without really helping anything.

We're completing our 8,700 mile trip from VA through WV, KY to Omaha, then to Denver, Ogden, Carson City, Fresno, San Francisco, Reno and straight back east. Only used tow/haul on steep downhill grades the entire trip. Did use 4 wheel drive on a couple of steep uphill gravel roads though.
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Old 10-05-2015, 02:18 AM   #4
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Good description above. Controls shift points in the lower gears requiring higher RPM before shifting. We love the 6.7 and ours has been trouble free. When climbing or going down slopes, it is best to turn off cruise control, as the tow haul and cruise control have a tendency to fight each other, as one is downshifting to control downhill speed, and cruise control is trying to maintain speed. Unless in mountainous terrain, I leave both on, and tow haul is always on when I am towing. You will like that truck!
Mike and Lorraine
2002 3655 FL, 2005 3650RK
2010 3665RE, 2015 3910FB
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:08 AM   #5
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On my 2012 F250 6.7 diesel, tow haul is ON when I tow. I only use cruise when I am on basically level with only low hills. Just crossed Wyoming on I-80 and NO CRUISE on the passes. I think you end up toping passes or hills with the accelerator pushing to get over the hill then you hit the downhill to fast. Sounds like Ford and probably others have really stepped up for towing. Does your new truck have a 50 gallon tank? We put one in our F250 in place of the original 26 gal--makes fuel stops more under my control--no trailer makes it easier. Enjoy the new vehicle.
F-250 King Ranch Crew Cab 2012, Single Wheel, 6.7 L Diesel, Transfer Flow Internal 50 Gallon Fuel Tank, Upgraded Ford Software for 50 Gallon tank, 2006 3475Rl with Mor-ryde King Pin, 2nd AC, 2nd Battery, Pressure Pro TPMS, Wet Bolt Shackle Kit
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:11 AM   #6
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My 2011 Ford DRW with the 158" bed comes standard with the 37.5 gallon diesel fuel tank. I use Tow Haul whenever I am towing, and I also use Cruise Control whenever possible.
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:44 AM   #7
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quote:I don't use it save for either extreme uphill or downhill grades (gain a bit of engine braking). It just works the engine too much for regular towing and kills mileage without really helping anything.
This has been my practice for 15 years with three different Duramax/Allison 2500 models, our current one a 2007 year model. The tow/haul is a great feature. I wouldn't do without it, especially on the mountain passes in Colorado, but I see no reason to leave it engaged on level highways. Just my opinion and my experience, of course.
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:22 PM   #8
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O.K. Mike, as someone who has owned and towed Montanas with a 2002 (7.3), 2004 (6.0), 2008 (6.4), 2011 (6.7), and now 2015 (6.7) Fords, I can give you my experiences with the 2015-2016 F350s.

Tow Haul – Use it! It is the first thing I turn on after starting the truck with the trailer attached. The onboard computer (TCM) is a lot smarter and quicker responding to what is going on with the engine and drive train that anyone else’s seat –of-the-pants. It does two things (at least). It raises the shift points so the next up shift puts the RPMs in the sweet spot for towing a load. It also provides braking by developing back pressure via the turbo. This braking is most effective at higher RPMs (3000-3500). Do not be afraid when it does this. It is designed to work that way.

One way to invoke the braking is to press and release the brake pedal. This causes a downshift to the next lower gear (assuming it will not cause excessive RPMs – the TCM knows). The RPMs increase and with the throttle closed, the back pressure slows the vehicle. Keep pressing and releasing the brake pedal until the RPMs and back pressure are sufficient to hold the speed you desire. With the 2011 and the 2015 towing 16,500 lbs., I find 3rd gear will keep me in the 60 MPH range and 2nd gear holds me around 45 MPH. Depending on your gearing it the speed may differ for you.

One thing you will experience is after descending a hill w/Tow Haul and higher RPMs, is the application of throttle pressure to hold and increase speed causes the engine to increase RPMs before it up shifts. Rather than overspeed the engine (even though this is how it is designed to work), I prefer to turn off Tow Haul and then turn it on again. This results in an immediate up shift without increasing RPMs.

Manual Shift
– Your Ford has the manual shift feature. You can select “M” with the gear shift and change gears using the “+” and “-“ buttons on the column. I don’t know anyone who uses this regularly. What I do use is the “+” and “-“ buttons to down shift to specific gears before Tow Haul does or when I am not using Tow Haul. This function also limits what gears are available to up shift to. Assume you are climbing a grade with various degrees of slope. 6th gear won’t pull the steeper portion, and the TCM down shifts the 5th. Then the slope lessens and the TCM up shifts back to 6th. Oops, here comes the slope again and it down shifts to 5th, then you pull back on the throttle and it up shifts. This hunting will continue all the way up the hill. You can lock out 6th gear by using the “+” and “-“ buttons. Hit the “-“ button and the number 6 disappears from the LCD display (no numbers in the LCD display?? – hit the “-“ button and they will appear). It is no longer available to up shift to and the transmission will stay in 5th regardless. Hit the “+” button to restore 6th gear to the display and allow up shifts to it. You can do this with all the gears. I often lock the tranny into 3rd coming down the Siskiyous.

Exhaust Brake – The 2015-2016s have an Exhaust Brake function. The button to turn it on is located on the lower right of the dash. What it actually does is not very well documented. The Ford manual basically says it helps slow the vehicle. Speculation is that it locks up the transmission and employs the Turbo in some manner. I can tell you it does provide additional braking power than just Tow Haul by itself. I use it when I am descending steep hills with the RV (think Siskiyous again) along with Tow Haul. I use it when not towing if driving in the mountains. Since it seems to disable the “glide” mode of the transmission (where you coast along with no engine drag) I assume it will lower your mileage if you leave it on all the time. I haven’t used it enough to say for sure.

Cruise Control – I use it on relatively flat roads as do many others. I do turn it off in the hills as maintaining a constant speed is contrary to how I like to drive hills and conflicts with Tow Haul in some cases.

Truck Apps – This is a selection in the LCD display panel (along with Gauges, Trip, Fuel, Settings, and Info) which contains the Trailer Mileage app Artimus Gorden referred to. The Ford will track the mileage your trailer has been towed. It senses when the 7 Pin plug has been connected (apparently the integrated brake controller is what triggers it) and records how many miles you have gone with the trailer attached. There is a default trailer bucket which you can rename to something meaningful. If you have multiple trailers you want to track, you can create buckets for them and name them. Then you have to manually switch the “Active” trailer to the non-default one you are towing. I only have one trailer to track and the renamed default works well for me.

Tail Gate – You didn’t ask about the tail gate but you should. The Ford tailgate, particularly those with the man-step and/or backup camera, is a valuable item. Low life’s know they can get $1,500 for one, no questions asked, at the local chop shop. Unlocked it only takes seconds to remove it. Even locked it can disappear in a minute. It costs around $5,500 to replace (ask me how I know). There are several tail gate locks available which will prevent the easy theft. I bought the Jimmy Jammer Gate Keeper (http://www.jimmijammer.com/Product,%20GK.htm) to protect mine. Now there are a couple of competitors. This is cheap insurance against the tailgate walking way.

If you have any questions, let me know.
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:37 PM   #9
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My older truck is way easier. Just turn on Tow/Haul when towing or with a fully loaded truck. It increases RPMs before shifting and when going downhill and tap the brakes the truck downshifts to prevent runaway. All I watch for is that the RPMS down go too high but the truck definitely whines to keep the speed manageable. This is one way I avoid going faster than 65 mph since I have only have STs on my rig.

Not sure how the tailgate discussion came about but I bought an aftermarket locking bolt to prevent theft. It was quite a task to get it installed until I finished and THEN it all made sense. The hardest part was finding the wire that controlled the unlock. I found the particular color coded wire under the passenger side entry door jamb cover. I don't remember the vendor, but the feature is described in my signature part about my truck..
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Old 10-05-2015, 06:34 PM   #10
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Best thing to do is drive with and w/o tow haul and exhaust break. Try it with and without the trailer. Huge difference particularly in stopping and downhill control. I could get by w/o tow haul when going forward and maybe even climbing (though I haven't tried) but downhill is a different game all together.

As DuneBuggyBuilder said, buy yourself an aftermarket lock for the tailgate. They are available at most auto parts stores for $20 or so. It took less than 1 minute for the scumbags to pull my tailgate off and cart it away in a cadillac. Captured the whole thing on security camera right in front of my office but nothing ever came of it.
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Old 10-06-2015, 04:11 AM   #11
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I toss this in, while not a Ford, the GM version to Tow/Haul causes the Torque Converter to lock up in Lower Gears, thus limiting some slipage and helping the Tranny to run cooler. Now running Solo, it's not recommended to use Tow/Haul as it will hurt Fuel mileage, but when towing Heavy (like we are at 18K) it should help improve mileage by reducing Transmission slipage.
Now again this is how the Duramax/Allison combo functions.
Michelle & Ann
2018 Chevy 3500HD High Country DRW 4X4 Crew Cab w/Duramax/Allison, Formally 2010 Montana 2955RL, Now Loaded 2016 SOB, Mor/ryde IS, Disc Brakes & Pin Box, Comfort Ride Hitch, Sailun 17.5 Tires.
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Old 10-06-2015, 04:23 AM   #12
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After learning how t o use TH we use it at all time when towing.We only use the CC on fairly level roads.
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Old 10-06-2015, 04:57 AM   #13
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We had an '07 Chevy Duramax dually. The manual said to use the T/H when the actual GCW was 75% or more of the GCWR.
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Old 10-06-2015, 05:34 AM   #14
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I use tow haul mode all the time plus use CC. I almost never have to use the brakes nor does it drop below speed except on pretty steep mountain roads. The exhaust brake really holds the downhill speed too.

Tom and Gail
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Old 10-06-2015, 05:48 AM   #15
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If you have a Dodge the first thing you turn on is the exhaust brake, loaded or empty. This is a must to keep the gunk from building up in your turbo and exhaust. If you don't, you will have problems down the road. Ask any Dodge tech. When driving in town you also want to keep your RPM's up for the same reason. Manually set your tranny to do this and you can also use Tow/Haul to help. When loaded, Tow/Haul should always be on. It will keep your tranny in lower gears longer to get the best power to get you up to speed. If it is not on and the tranny shifts too soon the engine will lug, also bad. On diesels you must keep the RPM's up for both power and clean running. Also per Dodge techs manually lock your tranny in 5th gear. It is not Tow/Haul that will keep your truck hunting gears, but the RPM's in 6th are not high enough to keep power to the rear wheels to keep it in 6th. It is hunting in and out of overdrive which is no good for the tranny. Only shift it into D when it is very level out where it will maintain the speed without shifting. You will see when in 5th on hilly roads the truck will just drone along and only shift when confronted with the steepest of hills. Why? because the RPM's are high enough to maintain the speed. You will also get better fuel mileage too. Also some people think when you shift the truck into 5th gear you have to manually down shift when coming to a stop.....no, you just stop and go, no manually shifting. If you tow in 6th gear and the truck hunts gears it will heat up your tranny=not good. Not sure on other trucks but even on steeper hills keep Tow/Haul on...and you can still use cruise. Using cruise even on steep hills will work with your tranny and exhaust brake to maintain the speed it is set at....Let the truck do the thinking...it can do the job better then any human. Now that is not to say on the really steep hills you may have to step on the brake too...lol lol lol....Too many guys are still of the impression that they want manual trannys cause they think they can shift better....nay, nay, nay says Dodge. The trucks now days do a better job.
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Old 10-06-2015, 07:47 AM   #16
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I find all this discussion on what to not use and when a bit funny. These are HEAVY DUTY trucks, and are made to work. Most mechanics will tell you to drive them like they were stolen, but of course don't intentionally abuse them. If you are babying them, the turbos will be the first thing to fail, because they will carbon up, especially with the variable vanes. We are over 105K on our 2012, with maybe 40K towing the Montana, and the Tow/Haul and the Exhaust brake are activated before pulling out, and the cruise as soon as we are on the road where possible. The computer will not allow the engine or transmission to do anything beyond what they are capable of, and it sure makes driving much less stressful. Maybe the older trucks needed extra care, but the newer ones are really tough. My last company truck, before retirement, was an 08 F450, with the 6.4 and Allison transmission, and it was also an amazing rig for the conditions it was used.
Bob & Becky
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:26 AM   #17
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quote:Originally posted by rohrmann

....the Tow/Haul and the Exhaust brake are activated before pulling out,....
To be accurate, the Exhaust Brake wasn't available on a Ford until 2015.

My last company truck, before retirement, was an 08 F450, with the 6.4 and Allison transmission
The Ford F450 has always used the same tranny as the F250 and F350. While modeled after the Allison, it is not an Allison tranny.
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Old 10-06-2015, 02:33 PM   #18
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Don't know about Ford exhaust brakes in 2015, by our 2012 Chevy has an exhaust brake, and it is used in the mountains with and without the trailer in tow, and always in the flats with the trailer. Only thing I know about the Ford I drove a work, is what I was told, and that it had an Allison.
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Old 10-06-2015, 02:53 PM   #19
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I like steelpony5555 explanation. We have the 08 Ford but that is pretty much how we drive when towing. If you had a set of gauges that monitored all those parameters it would be easy to see what he is talking about. We need to keep the RPMs up and at the same time watch the EGT and tranny temps.. CC with TH engaged on steep grades will run the RPMs EGT and tranny temps to high.
We drive by our gauges.
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Old 10-12-2015, 04:10 AM   #20
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Tow haul and cruise control together! pulls you up the hills at a consistent speed without excessive shifting, and down hill it automatically downshifts and deploys engine and exhaust brake, you do not even need to touch the brake pedal.
Jason & Wendy
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