Tow mode or not to tow mode - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:40 AM
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Tow mode or not to tow mode

Towed my 5th wheel for the first time this past weekend and just wondering how running in tow mode vs not affects fuel economy? I definetly see the value going down steep grades but it seems to stay in lower gears a lot longer.

Truck get's 16-17 MPG around town and got 10.6 pulling trailer in tow mode yikes! Any ideas or advise would be appreciated.

06 F350 6.0 stock
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:46 AM
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I don't use mine unless I want some engine braking but I don't haul that much weight, either. My trailer is only around 6k loaded.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:49 AM
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If your on flat ground you can leave it on, but if your in hilly situations and the trans is constantly shifting down and up down and up turn it off
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:04 AM
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Actualy its the other way around. If the trans is constantly changing to lower and higher gears then you turn the Tow Mode on.

Tow mode will hold each gear longer untill it passes a time line for that speed in that gear with a certain throttle position.

I dont see any real difference in milage when in Tow mode then in regular.

Once im up to speed on the highway and its looking pretty flat i will turn it off just to see if the truck up shifts and generaly it doesnt. I have just gotten in the habit of towing all the time with it on as it also helps the transmission.

As for milage it doesnt matter all that much what i tow. I get 11-12 towing a 2K boat and the same towing my 6K boat. I got 12.5 towing a U Haul transport trailer and an Expedition on it 8K. Only time i ever seen my milage drop below 10 was towing a 13K boat then i got 8.

Generaly speaking when i tow i always try to keep my RPM below 2K preferable 1750 this keeps my boost around 10 and my speed generaly is at 65-67 with the cruise on.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:06 AM
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You should use it when ever you tow above 4,000 lbs. Once you get past that you will be heating up your trans too much because it is sliping so much in the lower gears. I tow a 10,000 lb 5th wheel and I turn my tow haul off once I get on the HW on flat ground so I drop into 5th gear for mpg. But once I get to a a hill or slow down under 55 I will turn tow haul back on.

Use the tow haul
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:07 AM
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I noticed mine seems to smoke more on flat ground with the tow haul mode turned off. I just keep it in tow when towing.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:08 AM
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You should not be smoking at all... maybe from a stop on a high hp tune but thats it. I dont smoke at all with my IDP street tune except at high altitude. Then it will be there for less than 3 seconds at take off if I get it some push.


:EDIT: I just saw your 250 tune
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:16 AM
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I run a mild tune and i get smoke when i stomp on it. Thats normal right? Black smoke for a short bit then it goes clear again.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:22 AM
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What altitude? what hp? whos tune?
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:33 AM
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Thanks for the posts, I am pulling a 12-13 thousand pound 5th wheel up and down the mountains in AZ so I guess what I am getting is OK. Just wasn't sure if it was ok to go in and out of tow mode crusing down the highway.

06 F350 King Ranch 6.0
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