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Old 01-01-2020, 12:40 AM   #1
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Tow Haul Mode - on or off

Rented an RV last spring from Cruise America before buying a sportsmobile (we really disliked the class c style motorhome). Anyway, it was based on a Ford V10 platform. The instructions were to turn on and keep on tow/haul mode at all times for best fuel efficiency and to keep the engine and transmission happy. Our 2001 e350 Quigley with v10 has a tow/haul button. What's the recommendation? Do you leave it on all the time as recommended by the rental company or only turn it on when towing or going up hills loaded. I have to think Cruise America has a lot of experience maintaining these engines and transmissions and would not recommend this practice unless it was beneficial. What is the consensus on tow/haul mode?
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Old 01-01-2020, 06:41 AM   #2
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I leave mine on all the time, and only diseguage when going up a long steep grade (and some instances on down-grades to keep from having to ride the brakes a lot)
Essentially it takes the Trans out of overdrive which helps limit constant shifting back n forth on a grade, and raises RPM's >>> helps lower my EGT's.
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Old 01-01-2020, 08:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twoxentrix View Post
I leave mine on all the time, and only diseguage when going up a long steep grade (and some instances on down-grades to keep from having to ride the brakes a lot)
Essentially it takes the Trans out of overdrive...
This. Twoxentrix is saying he leaves OD on all the time.

Just to be clear I would call this Tow/Haul mode mode off. Ie, the light on the shift stalk is off unless you are towing or climbing, etc. This is what the owners manual recommends.

The 4r100 transmission has OD 4th and 1:1 3rd gears. Locking out 4th all the time would be like going back to 1970s 3-speed transmission tech. There is no way keeping OD locked out would improve fuel economy. Running higher engine speed also puts more cycles (wear) on valves, rings, cylinder walls, bearings and so on. You would have sportier performance with OD locked out all the time, which is perhaps why they told you to leave it in tow mode. Hey...they’re not the ones paying for the gas.

Using tow/haul mode does make sense when there is high engine load or the trans is frequently upshifting/downshifting. Higher engine and transmission speeds results in lower torque through the gears and also higher cooling system flows, which will help keep the engine/trans in the right temperature range.

I leave tow mode off (OD on) in my van when I tow the boat unless I’m headed up/down a hill. There is no reason I see to spin the engine faster on the flats, otherwise it’s just a waste of fuel.
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Old 01-01-2020, 09:50 AM   #4
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I think to be crystal clear (you guys were saying this, too) - the 4r100 (which is what the 2001 V10 has) trans has an OD lock out button, this is not the same as Tow/Haul on the 5r110 (V10 & 6.0 from 2005 and newer)- very different in function.

“The O/D button only locks out 4th gear. Tow/haul modifies the shift pattern to optimize shifts when a load is present. For example, during acceleration, it will hold a gear longer before up-shifting. Tow/haul modifies the shift pattern to optimize shifts when a load is present”

There is no Tow/Haul on the 2001 vans.
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Old 01-01-2020, 10:16 AM   #5
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That’s a good point 1der. They are different. I think the same logic applies though. No need to be in 5r110 Tow/Haul mode at all times either.
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Old 01-01-2020, 11:52 AM   #6
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Sorry - It all sounded clear in my head as I wrote the initial reply, but Mikerson & 1der better clarified my response - apologies if I confused anyone... "YES" I normally leave my O/D "ON"
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Old 01-01-2020, 12:12 PM   #7
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I will share my experience, owning and towing a 8,000 lb. boat on my 6.4 F-350
I use tow haul every time. When not towing i run not in tow haul unless going up or down a steep grade, saving excessive shifting and the brakes. On the open road gives you better gas mileage, lower engine rpm.
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:37 PM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback folks. Sounds like the advice from Cruise America doesn't apply. Will use tow Haul as needed/applicable.
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