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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All!
I've read many opinions on this matter and from what I can find, the masses are 50-50.....

Out of curiosity, when towing, do you use the tow/haul button or not?

Forgive me if I've missed a similar thread .
 

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all it does is turn the over drive off on the auto transmission. If you are on flat and level HWY, there is no need to have the OD off (tow haul on) you will just kill your MPG. If you are in the hills, passing or starting out or have any other reason you dont want the truck to go into OD then use the tow haul mode.
 

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It all depends on towing weight... When I am pulling an empty trailer I dont bother, but on my heavier loads 4,000#+ I use it. The truck shifts at a higher RPM and it also applies engine braking with slowing down. Why not use it? It's there for a reason. I dont see there being a drastic drop in MPG when comparing pulling a load with or without the tow/haul button. It's the trailer/load that is lowering the gas mileage.
 

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I use it for my 7,000# camper as well as my 2500# boat and it works very well. 6th gear is still utilized if the computer deems it appropriate. Other benefit is engine breaking is utilized when decelerating or steep downhill grades.
 

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The statement that tow/haul doesn't use 6th gear is not true. It may not drop to 6th as quickly, but it most definitely does drop to 6th if the road level permits.

On my last long distance tow, I drove the first 100 miles in tow/haul on relatively flat highway doing 65 MPH and I averaged 9.8 MPG (mostly in 6th gear). On the next 100 miles, I switched to manual shifting and did not shift higher than 5th gear. I still averaged 9.8 MPH. I have read that running a little higher RPM's (i.e. 5th gear) when towing and I would see better MPG's. Apparently that is also untrue.

I wonder why Ford didn't program the truck to automatically shift to tow/haul mode when a trailer is plugged in. The truck automatically switches to the tow screen in the dash when a trailer with electronic brakes is plugged in so obviously it knows a trailer is there...so why not? Several times while towing I have forgot to turn it on.

I like that tow/haul uses engine braking. Thats a nice feature, even though its not a lot of braking, every little bit helps.
 
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The statement that tow/haul doesn't use 6th gear is not true. It may not drop to 6th as quickly, but it most definitely does drop to 6th if the road level permits.

On my last long distance tow, I drove the first 100 miles in tow/haul on relatively flat highway doing 65 MPH and I averaged 9.8 MPG (mostly in 6th gear). On the next 100 miles, I switched to manual shifting and did not shift higher than 5th gear. I still averaged 9.8 MPH. I have read that running a little higher RPM's (i.e. 5th gear) when towing and I would see better MPG's. Apparently that is also untrue.

I wonder why Ford didn't program the truck to automatically shift to tow/haul mode when a trailer is plugged in. The truck automatically switches to the tow screen in the dash when a trailer with electronic brakes is plugged in so obviously it knows a trailer is there...so why not? Several times while towing I have forgot to turn it on.

I like that tow/haul uses engine braking. Thats a nice feature, even though its not a lot of braking, every little bit helps.
Agree 100% with what you said about mpg in 5th vs 6th. Seems to make no difference with fuel economy when you are towing a heavy trailer. Also like the idea about default to the tow haul when you plug in. They could even make it configurable when you set up your trailer into the tow menue.
 
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Agree 100% with what you said about mpg in 5th vs 6th. Seems to make no difference with fuel economy when you are towing a heavy trailer. Also like the idea about default to the tow haul when you plug in. They could even make it configurable when you set up your trailer into the tow menue.
Ironically, Yake Bait, when I did that 5th/6th gear test, I was towing to Silver Lake, Michigan last month.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great info.... I've always used it and like mentioned above, have not seen any difference in MPGs either way. I was just looking for your opinions.

Thanks all!
 

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One of the major reasons why you would want to use the tow/haul feature is for the additional cooling properties that come with keeping the temps down on the tranny. Also it is sugguested if you're stopped at a long red light or train it is recommended you place the selector in N, in order to keep temps down. Read the Manual under Towing with your F150.
 

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i dont agree with that MRT !
not saying you are wrong but.
i believe the use or dis-use of the tow/haul shouldnt affect temps that much or atleast only a few degrees
lets face it setting at idle there is no air pressure being forced through the rad but the electric fans should be more than enough to continue to cool down even with trans still in gear
i would sure hope that it had to be an extreme case that the dual E-fans is not enough cooling even while stopped
 

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Trailer towing tips

Practice turning, stopping and backing-up before starting on a trip to
get the feel of the vehicle-trailer combination. When turning, make
wider turns so the trailer wheels will clear curbs and other obstacles.

To aid in engine/transmission cooling and A/C efficiency during hot
weather while stopped in traffic, place the gearshift lever in P (Park).

After you have traveled 50 miles (80 km), thoroughly check your
hitch, electrical connections and trailer wheel lug nuts.

If you are driving down a long or steep hill, shift to a lower gear. Do
not apply the brakes continuously, as they may overheat and become
less effective. Also, see the information on tow/haul mode operation
under
Automatic transmission operation in the Driving chapter.

If you will be towing a trailer frequently in hot weather, hilly
conditions, at GCWR, or any combination of these factors, consider
refilling your rear axle with synthetic gear lube if not already so
equipped. Refer to the
Maintenance and Specifications chapter for
the lubricant specification. Remember that regardless of the rear axle
lube used, do not tow a trailer for the first 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of a
new vehicle, and that the first 500 miles (800 km) of towing be done
at no faster than 70 mph (113 km/h) with no full throttle starts.

Vehicles with trailers should not be parked on a grade. If you must
park on a grade, place wheel chocks under the trailer’s wheels.

My bad, it wasn't neutral it was Park.

 

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The reason for that is anytime there's a load against the torque converter, the pump and the stator pressurize and direct fluid through to the turbine, except at the stop an in gear the turbine isn't spinning nor moving much fluid through the converter, this creates heat. There is typically more heat built up than can be exchanged or cooled thus potentially harming the transmission.

Similar situations occur with a race car running a transmission brake. The transbrake essentially engages 1st and reverse with the effect being preventing engine power from being transmitted to the transmission output shaft. Thus it gives you the ability to rev the engine into the converter, say 4000 rpm while 1st and reverse gear is engaged the car won't move. This creates a tremendous amount of heat with the pump and stator spinning fluid and the turbine sitting static. Release the transbrake reverse is disengaged and the car launches like a wild animal at 4k rpms in 1st gear. It was a general practice you didn't want to be in the transbrake for over 5 seconds.

Same thing applies to our trucks or most any car. Prolonged idling while in gear isn't a good thing.

They likely suggest park, someone less than smart doesn't leave their vehicle in neutral and let the vehicle roll into someone or something and then sue Ford. Thus the manual states park, even though park and neutral still deliver the desire to remove any load and heat generation off the converter and transmission.
 

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Here's a couple of things I've discovered towing my 8000 pound toy hauler with two different EB F-150s. Tow/haul mode ( on mine at least) gives more fluid pressure during shifts and holds gears until much higher rpms before they shift. Shifts are often more firm and actually jolt the truck if I unhook from the trailer and forget to take it off after towing the big trailer for a while. Temps while towing don't differ using one mode over the other.
Tow/haul mode does help with downhill speed control by downshifting but with the little v6 engine braking doesn't do a lot in front of an 8000 pound trailer. You end up running down hill at way too many revs.
When pulling a big load, lock out 6th gear by using the rocker button on the shifter. My EBs have both been able to pull the TH in 6th at highway speeds but you can tell the transmission doesn't like it.. Temps rise on average 6-10 degrees in 6th and running in 5th gets you closer to the fat part of the torque curve. Slightly better fuel mileage but not enough to write letters home about.
For those who may not be aware of the select shift features, locking out gears from 6th on down still allows the transmission to function normally up to the gear you locked out. It just won't let it go any higher than the highest gear you choose to run in.
FYI, I tow the big trailer at 60-65 around here mostly due to West Texas having ridiculous cross winds on most days but if I'm in places where it's really calm, 70 works great. If you've never experienced the anti sway feature in the F150 it works really well. You can actually feel the brakes being applied on either side of the vehicle to stop the swaying.

Towing with these things is a blast. It's the first 1/2 ton truck I've had that allows me to drive it and forget its pulling a big load. Set the cruise and forget it. I did install Firestone air bags on both trucks. No sag and the ride is like there's no 1100 pound trailer tongue weight trying to overpower the springs. They ride like the proverbial Caddy!
 

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I think the only good use for tow/haul is when your trans. is having trouble staying in one gear as in going up slight grades. It keeps it in a gear longer instead of shifting down and then up again continuously. At least for medium sized trailers I don't find it very helpful to use Tow/haul. I found it hurt mileage and the Ecoboost has enough torque to pull my 6K trailer without tow/haul. It may be different with a maximum load.
 

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My experience with tow-haul is that it works well when you have around 3000 lbs + loads behind the truck, - below that, Ford and GMC trucks seem to be better off just leaving it in normal mode. Just my 2 cents...
 
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