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Discussion Starter #1
So I have a question for the folks who pull trailers.

I will be towing a 16' camping trailer with my 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 5.9 ltr with auto transmission. When would I ever put the truck into overdrive? If I remember right overdrive just gives the motor a little more tork doesn't it. Would I use od for going up monument hill or coming down monument hill to help slow the truck trailer down without using the brakes so much. If you can put this into real life examples I sure would appreciate it.

Thanks
Jim
 

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jbrowning said:
So I have a question for the folks who pull trailers.

I will be towing a 16' camping trailer with my 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 5.9 ltr with auto transmission. When would I ever put the truck into overdrive? If I remember right overdrive just gives the motor a little more tork doesn't it. Would I use od for going up monument hill or coming down monument hill to help slow the truck trailer down without using the brakes so much. If you can put this into real life examples I sure would appreciate it.

Thanks
Jim
it's actually exactly opposite of this, jim.
od puts the tranny in a higher gear and drops engine rpm's.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I think when I hit the od button it is actually probably turning off the overdrive. Let me run out to the truck and check on this. Be right back. :)

ItsaBigun said:
jbrowning said:
So I have a question for the folks who pull trailers.

I will be towing a 16' camping trailer with my 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 5.9 ltr with auto transmission. When would I ever put the truck into overdrive? If I remember right overdrive just gives the motor a little more tork doesn't it. Would I use od for going up monument hill or coming down monument hill to help slow the truck trailer down without using the brakes so much. If you can put this into real life examples I sure would appreciate it.

Thanks
Jim
it's actually exactly opposite of this, jim.
od puts the tranny in a higher gear and drops engine rpm's.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
ItsaBigun said:
you may be thinking about a tow/haul feature... does your truck have tow/haul?
Ok so I had it backwards. When I start the truck it is in od. When I hit the od button it takes the truck out of od. So am I thinking about this correct. If I'm going up a hill and going kinda slow. Would I want to take the truck out of od for this?

Nope no tow/haul button on this truck. In fact it didn't even come with a towing package. I'm adding everything to it for towing.

Thanks
Jim
 

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jbrowning said:
ItsaBigun said:
you may be thinking about a tow/haul feature... does your truck have tow/haul?
Ok so I had it backwards. When I start the truck it is in od. When I hit the od button it takes the truck out of od. So am I thinking about this correct. If I'm going up a hill and going kinda slow. Would I want to take the truck out of od for this?

Nope no tow/haul button on this truck. In fact it didn't even come with a towing package. I'm adding everything to it for towing.

Thanks
Jim
yep, you had it backwards... turn off the od whenever you are under a load such as climbing hills etc... use od when cruising FLAT hwy. at top speeds and keep an eye on tranny temps while doing so. if you don't have a gauge for tranny temp. you mite not want to use od at all when towing ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
HA ha. It seems like I am always getting things backwards. ;D Ok so when I'm pulling the trailer turn off OD and check it out on going down hill. When you turn off the od will doi you see a difference in gas mileage? I know I will get less gas mileage pulling the trailer. I'm just wondering if taking it out of od would have any effect on mileage also.

I didn't think about having a gauge put in the truck for the tranny. Maybe I will check with Dave later on and have him put one in for me just to be on the safe side. Cause I know Dodge 1500's doesn't come with the strongest of trannies.

Might look at putting a heavy dutier (if thats a word) tranny in it when I have to replace this one.

Jim
 

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My 4runner doesn't have over drive vs regular drive. Well it does drop a gear if you need to pass... But my old car had overdrive, and shifting from OD to regular drive didn't sound too great. In fact killed a transmission trying it out... So if it doesn't sound right going from Over drive to regular drive, then don't shift down unless you absolutely have to.

I know that doesn't answer your question, but jsut something to look out for.
 

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My best sugestion to you being that you have a Dodge and the trannys have one of the most terrible reputations is to install a tranny cooler! And most def watch the tranny temp gage!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I forgot to mention that I do have a tranny cooler on it already. And will probably get a gauge put on the tranny soon. I didn't think about that earlier.

Thanks
Jim
 

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I had a Dodge 1500 with a 360 (5.9) about 12 years ago. I used it to tow a 4500 pound boat. The only time I would let the truck be in overdrive was when I was going out I76 or I25. I'd always shift out when I was going I70 through the mountains.

I doubt you will see a significant difference in MPG with OD off. Running a little higher RPM will be better for the transmission (which holds up fine under the loads and engine you are talking about).

If your trailer has electric trailer brakes, and you haven't already installed a brake controller, you should look at a Prodigy. IMO, it is the best reasonably priced brake controller out there and I think it will control the brakes on up to 6 trailer axles.
 

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The Tranny will slip in OD. The extra weight causes the Tranny to shift often causing it to burn up the clutches. Your owners manual should tell you not to tow in OD. I was towing a light trailer on I70 accross Kansas Tranny made it to Salina $3400 to get back on the road. I also had a transmission cooler and shift kit. Only 80K on the truck
 

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If you want to prolong the life of your tranny drive with overdrive off in all situations except prolonged highway, and especially keep it off at all times when towing.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you everyone. So it seems like the general idea is when I'm towing to make sure I have OD off.

Oh and someone asked about trailer brakes. I am 989% sure there aren't any trailer brakes. Probably for the summer (I will be east of the mountains at all times) I will run without the trailer brakes. By fall though I will get brakes put on the trailer and a brake controller on the truck. In the fall I will be hitting the mountains getting pictures of the elk and stuff at RMNP for sure.

Thank everybody for your replies I appreciate it.

Jim
 
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