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#1 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 12:31 AM
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what gear/speed do you use while towing?

im expecting my new 24' jayco x213 hybrid(4,200 lbs. dry) around the first week of june. i am new to towing and never had any kind of camper before. i just picked up a new 2011' crewmax 4x4 trd package as a tow vehicle.

now my question is this??..the dealer told me to just press the tow/haul mode button while towing. but i see folks on this website talking about how they tow better in 4th or 5th gear??

besides, pressing the tow/haul mode, are you supposed to manually shift the truck in sport mode? or just leave it in drive?

thanks in advance for your tips/info!!
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 12:44 AM
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I see you're as new to this forum as I am but RTFM. Will do yo well. Or google search is your friend.
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#3 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 12:50 AM
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when i haul alot of weight in the bed (1900+) i usually tend to keep it in 4th or 5th on the highway depending on how fast i am going. 60 is the norm with a load that heavy so usually 5 gear when cruising and 4 when i start breaking. in the city i keep it in 3rd or 4th and downshift to help stop. trick with towing and hauling isnt how to accelerate trust me the 5.7 will still haul ass no matter how heavy the item is youre pulling, its stopping where you need to shift.


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#4 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 01:16 AM
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I see you're as new to this forum as I am but RTFM. Will do yo well. Or google search is your friend.

what does rtfm mean?
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 01:18 AM
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what does rtfm mean?

nevermind, i just figured it out
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by azguy View Post
im expecting my new 24' jayco x213 hybrid(4,200 lbs. dry) around the first week of june. i am new to towing and never had any kind of camper before. i just picked up a new 2011' crewmax 4x4 trd package as a tow vehicle.

now my question is this??..the dealer told me to just press the tow/haul mode button while towing. but i see folks on this website talking about how they tow better in 4th or 5th gear??

besides, pressing the tow/haul mode, are you supposed to manually shift the truck in sport mode? or just leave it in drive?

thanks in advance for your tips/info!!
I just got back from an 800 mile trip where I was pulling my 6000 lb trailer over some pretty hilly terrain. I used the "S" mode most of the time. I really didn't like the "tow haul" mode. I felt I had better control with the "S" mode. I ended up using 4th and 5th most of the time. I would use 5th while cruising along and 4th when pulling the hills. I tried using 6th gear a few times and in a few places it would work OK but usually it would start to hunt and I would end up shifting back down to 5th. I ended up just staying in 5th and not using 6th at all. I hope this helps a little.

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#7 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 01:37 PM
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Towing a trailer that size you should have a trailer brake controller installed for one. As for gear selection, you should use tow/haul mode as it aids in keeping the transmission in a lower gear longer to help with acceleration, it also helps when slowing down as it will tell the transmission to downshift to lower gears sooner than normal. I haven't ever had or saw the need to use manual mode on the transmission even with a 2650lb car trailer with a Ford Ranger loaded on it. However some people think that its better to manually shift, that's up to you what you want to do. Too much shifting though will cause the transmission to get hot quicker.
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#8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 09:16 PM
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I just got back from an 800 mile trip where I was pulling my 6000 lb trailer over some pretty hilly terrain. I used the "S" mode most of the time. I really didn't like the "tow haul" mode. I felt I had better control with the "S" mode. I ended up using 4th and 5th most of the time. I would use 5th while cruising along and 4th when pulling the hills. I tried using 6th gear a few times and in a few places it would work OK but usually it would start to hunt and I would end up shifting back down to 5th. I ended up just staying in 5th and not using 6th at all. I hope this helps a little.
No one should be towing anything in 6th gear. It's a high overdrive and the weakest gear. If your trying to cause a trans failure though it would be good to tow with.



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#9 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 11:03 PM
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I have nasty hills and terrain around here, so i am in T/H for the extra holding power in the gears, and run S-4 so its not hunting all the time. But i am also usually only doing around 60 MPH. don't want to heat the trailer tires up too much as they are only speed rated to 65.

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#10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 11:54 PM
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No one should be towing anything in 6th gear. It's a high overdrive and the weakest gear. If your trying to cause a trans failure though it would be good to tow with.



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Think about what you're saying. If you use the "Tow/Haul" mode you have no choice. The tranny will pick the gear it wants to be in and you have no control. If Toyota thought that the 6th gear would not hold up to towing then they would have locked it out so it couldn't be used, wouldn't you think? Going down hill with your foot off the throttle in 6th gear will not hurt a thing. Aside from that if you are pulling the tranny will not stay in 6th gear so in reality the tranny will not let you pull hard in 6th. Sometimes you just need to use your head.

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#11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 02:45 AM
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Tow/haul merely bumps the pressures and modifies the shift points. it doesn't lock out gears at all.

The type of terrain you are driving, and the size of your load is going to be the biggest factors. Tow/haul can suck in town, (shifts can be harsh, but it is less slippage between gears, thus generating less heat and less wear on internal components) but on the highway, it works rather well. The downshifts maybe early, but better to be in the powerband rather than powering out. the biggest factor in deciding in between driving in D and driving in S-whatever, will be what gear you can reasonably hold, without alot of shifting. as smart as these trannies are, they will still hunt. Hunting makes for jerky ride/poor fuel economy and its hard on the tranny, both in heat and wear and tear.

I run S4, and yes i may sacrifice .5-1 mpg vs running in s5, but there is much less strain on the engine and transmission for the terrain i am driving in, and i'll easily make up the extra couple dollars in fuel in repair costs by babying my truck.

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Last edited by Ditchhooker; 05-15-2011 at 02:56 AM.
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#12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 09:04 AM
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Azguy, along with looking in your manual from time to time, you'd be much better off taking your truck out and learning about how the Sequential Shifter works. If you're going to leave your truck in "D" then Tow-Haul mode is there to do your thinking for you, so use it. If you'd rather choose which gear to be in,for how long,at what speed in the given conditions,then use "S" mode. Transmission rebuilders will tell you the main reason people burn up trannys is not allowing the Torque Converter to lock-up. That's where the heat comes from.Our Tundra tranny's "lock-up" in 4th,5th and 6th gears. We can control when this happens...everytime. With a little effort and practice,we're all capable of "out-thinking" a few chunks of metal!
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#13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 11:13 AM
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I've said it before, put it in D, press Tow/Haul and fugetaboutit
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#14 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 01:01 PM
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I've said it before, put it in D, press Tow/Haul and fugetaboutit
Bungee-cord the shifter over to the right,that way you'll NEVER inadvertently move it into "S"!!
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#15 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 04:44 PM
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Bungee-cord the shifter over to the right,that way you'll NEVER inadvertently move it into "S"!!

so your saying that you also prefer not to use "s" maunal shifting while simultaneously having the tow/haul button engaged?

the owners manual doesn't have very specific info. other than to just simply press the tow haul button while the truck is in "drive"

the tt is fairly light at only 4,300lbs. dry. it's just seems a little confusing when i get so many conflicting reports where some people swear by manual shifting and others just leaving it in "d" (both while simultaneously having the tow/haul button pressed).

just like others have said, i guess i just have to take it for a ride and see how the truck performs and get a feel if i'm constantly struggling to find gears on hills.
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