Born Free Leap'n Lions RV Club

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 Post subject: Toad Towing Question
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:07 pm
Posts: 37
Location: Guthrie, Oklahoma
Getting ready to take off in our new (to us) 24' RB on a couple of week trip through Colorado, Utah, Arizona etc. It's a 2001 Model on the E-450 chassis with a V-10. I'm towing a Jeep Wrangler using a Blue Ox tow system. My question is whether or not I should select out of overdrive while pulling a tow'd. I seem to remember being told to not use overdrive in a Ford Explorer when towing a boat and didn't know if the same advice applied to the V-10 Fords.

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2001 24' RB, 2000 Jeep Wrangler Toad.
Previous coach - Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 6:55 pm
Posts: 1294
Location: Escondido. CA
I keep my overdrive ON when towing. I figure the tranny knows when to downshift. Never had a problem. If going downhill, I manually downshift to help keep speeds down and reduce need for braking.

Bill

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Barb & Bill
2004 Born Free 22' Built for Two (Sold)
no longer towing a 2008 Smart ForTwo

Escondido, CA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:05 pm
Posts: 1997
Location: Spencer, IA
41Woodie,

I have traveled extensively in NM, AZ & CA with our 2002 E450 26' RSB coach and agree with Bill above just to leave the transmission in overdrive (except for downhill grades discussed below). You will find that especially with a toad behind, that it takes only a slight uphill grade to cause the transmission to shift out of overdrive (4th) to 3rd. In fact you will encounter 6% grades in these states that are more than say 1/2 mile long where you will end up down in 2nd gear to climb them. You will also discover that when using your cruise control that the transmission will downshift automatically from overdrive (4th) to 3rd but if the coach continues to slow down because it can't handle the grade in 3rd that when your speed drops down to the area of 50 mph or so that the cruise control system just kicks off rather than shift down to 2nd.

You will learn to be ready for this so that you can quickly apply the throttle manually to minimize speed loss going up the grade. Any delay in taking over the throttle manually will quickly result in a great loss of speed that you will not be able to recover until you top of the hill.

I have a tach in my coach and can advise you that you can climb these 6% grades in 2nd at up to 55 mph if you are willing to run the engine at 4500 rpm. The gas V10 is a single overhead cam engine rated for this rpm but the engine really screams at that rpm. It will be easy to tell which of the 18-wheelers are loaded and which are not loaded as they pass you or you pass them going uphill.

I also recommend to take the transmission out of overdrive when going down the other side of these grades - the extra engine drag really does reduce the braking needed to keep the downhill speed in check.

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Bill Hemme - Spencer, Iowa
E-mail: whemme@earthlink.net
2002 Born Free (Ford E-450 V10) 26' RSB
2016 VW Golf GTI - toad


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:51 pm
Posts: 111
Location: IOWA
I have found that if I am in a hilly area I take the transmission out of the overdrive mode. I do not like the constant shifiting back and forth or the lose of speed that Bill is talking about. I agree with both of the previous post that using a lower gear going down the other side is a good idea. To each there own and what ever you feel comfortable with.

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2001 23RK


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:01 pm
Posts: 416
Location: Powhatan, Virginia
I have towed my jeep through the mountains all of two times with the bornfree. I tried it both ways and pushing the tow haul button meant less hunting. I also used the cruise control and it had hill decent control too. It was a surprise as I did not expect it.

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2015 Royal Splendor on Ford 550 none slide version
Former owner 2007 24foot rear bath painted and 2006 22 foot built for two
Former owner 1994 34 foot 2000 36 foot and 2001 42 foot FORETRAVEL's.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:38 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Pacific Grove, California
We don't tow but in our previous 2004 Ford E350 based coach (Chinook) we locked out the "overdrive" in some mountain driving and it was a much smoother drive ascending or descending in Baja or the Rockies and this lessened the constant shifting and seemed easier on the drive train traveling in the 35 to 55 mph speed range and this "overdrive" lock out was very useful.

In 2005 Ford production changed to a five speed transmission and in our true 2005 BF BFT, driving with Ford's new five speed transmission with the "tow haul" switch pushed in activates transmission programing that causes the transmission to shift down a lesser step, stay that way longer, hunt less as John says, and produce a smoother shifting pattern on climbs. On descents driving with the "tow haul" (the button pushed in) causes the amount of braking and rpm to be recognized and causes the transmission to automatically and progressively shift down as needed for compression braking when the brake pedal is used to certain points and then the transmission automatically shift up again. The "tow haul" function works well both climbing and descending or helps even level driving in the slow extreme "twisties" also.

"Tow haul" pushed in which actually could be thought of as activating it rather than deactivating it as in "overdrive" will eventually shift back to the same rpm to speed ratio as no "tow haul" in the overdrive gear range when the conditions are right but by then we have punched it a second time to get back to the higher gear ratios and deactivate the compression braking. It took us a while to learn how this "tow haul"worked and learn how to best use it.

"Tow haul" is a wonderful system and makes mountain driving much easier for us and has removed my wife's former concern about downhills (as did "overdrive" lock out) when she is driving. We are very happy to have this feature. "Tow haul" is one way to identify a true 2005 or newer five speed transmission (the five speed [shift indicator is marked D,1,2,3] vs four speed transmission [marked D,1,2]) also the button says "tow haul" rather than "overdrive". By the way another dating method of a coach chassis is the tenth character of the VIN as many know (there's a personal "hard lesson" story there, but for another time).

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Peter Robinson
2011 BF 22'


Last edited by Peter Robinson on Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:36 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: another time
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:14 pm
Posts: 381
Location: Seneca, SC
Are you allowed to now tell the secret of the tenth figure in the VIN ?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 4:08 pm
Posts: 63
Location: Orlando, FL, Area
bill crommett wrote:
Are you allowed to now tell the secret of the tenth figure in the VIN ?


VIN model year encoding from www.wikipedia.org

One consistent element of the VIN is the 10th digit, which is required (in North America) to encode the model year of the vehicle.
The letters I, O, Q, U and Z and the digit 0 are not used for the model year code.

Code=Yr . Code=Yr . Code=Yr . Code=Yr
. A= 1980 . L= 1990 . Y= 2000 .. A= 2010
. B= 1981 . M= 1991 . 1= 2001 . B= 2011
. C= 1982 . N= 1992 . 2= 2002 . C= 2012
. D= 1983 . P= 1993 . 3= 2003 . D= 2013
. E= 1984 . R= 1994 . 4= 2004 .. E= 2014
. F= 1985 .. S= 1995 . 5= 2005 . F= 2015
. G= 1986 . T= 1996 . 6= 2006 . G= 2016
. H= 1987 . V= 1997 . 7= 2007 . H= 2017
. J= 1988 . W= 1998 . 8= 2008 . J= 2018
. K= 1989 . X= 1999 . 9= 2009 . K= 2019

Dean

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Dean and Jan Preston
2013 24-ft Rear Bath
2014 Chevrolet Equinox LS AWD


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