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shifting on downhills

timpitt
Explorer II
Explorer II
We have a 2021 7.3 v8 fleetwood bounder 33c. Does anyone have info on shifting when going down hill and up hill. Other than the Ford manual?
20 REPLIES 20

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
wallynm wrote:
IMHO you should be in the gear going down hill that you would be in going up the same hill!

timpitt wrote:
We have a 2021 7.3 v8 fleetwood bounder 33c. Does anyone have info on shifting when going down hill and up hill. Other than the Ford manual?


That is a great general rule of thumb. And a safe approach for nearly any combination of vehicle and driver, although somewhat outdated with newer transmissions with good shifting strategies and diesels being what they are now.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

wallynm
Explorer
Explorer
IMHO you should be in the gear going down hill that you would be in going up the same hill!

timpitt wrote:
We have a 2021 7.3 v8 fleetwood bounder 33c. Does anyone have info on shifting when going down hill and up hill. Other than the Ford manual?
Have a Diesel Engine Diesel RV Club

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THOSE THAT DO NOT KNOW HISTORY ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT

BarabooBob
Explorer III
Explorer III
When towing my TT in the high and steep mountains, I decide what gear to be in by watching the tranny temp. If the temps starts to climb I drop a gear or two to bring the rpm's up and the tranny temp down. It works for me.

When going downhill, I shift early and let the engine do what it can to slow me. I still have to apply the brakes from time to time because my turbo gas engine is not great at motor braking. Small engine, big horsepower and torque at low rpm's
Bob & Dawn Married 34 years
2017 Viking 17RD
2011 Ford F150 3.5L Ecoboost 420 lb/ft
Retired

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
dodge guy wrote:
obgraham wrote:
I think what Gritty is saying is, learn to drive the rig instead of having the rig’s computers drive you.


Don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve been driving since 85. I know how to drive manual transmissions and automatics. My Class A with the Tow Haul is the first I’ve had. It makes a huge difference when towing. Before this I always manually shifted my autos for down hill braking. After 38 years it’s nice to have a vehicle that will do this for me. I’m still watchful of the speed and rpm, but now I can concentrate on other aspects of driving.


I was saying what both of you are saying.
On one hand, anyone who’s been driving for 20-40 years AND thinks they’re even remotely qualified to pilot a motor home should look in the mirror and have an honest conversation with the person looking back at them. (no big deal for some, maybe should be a non starter if you never graduated from Ford Escorts and Priuses…I don’t think I should have my captains license and would never attempt to pilot a Deadliest Catch boat just because I’ve had a ski boat for 20 years…)

Yes one should know the basics like what gear to be in (and a host of other overtly basic knowledge that gets asked about on here from time to time). But by the same token, middle school reading skills and an owners manual is about all that’s needed to pass stage 1 of becoming a competent driver.
If you’re not smart or motivated enough to figure these things out on your own, stay in your Prius and call ahead for a hotel or pack a tent.
Sounds angry I know. But just in the last year, the plethora of unqualified bad drivers and meth bowl we all know as the Seattle area has cost me time and money and endangered my family. Multiple times.
From a trailer losing its tarp on the freeway and covering my kids windshield at 60 mph and damaging the car, to a tweaker causing the same son to crash my truck and almost injure his mom, the passenger, to my older son dealing with traffic on the freeway under construction and the dangers that a RV plowing through traffic barrels (and other vehicles as well), to the most recent, some old fart driving into my truck with his class A at the gas station. At least he just hit my trailer hitch and punched a hole in his bumper cover.

Basically, if you have to ask a stupid question about how to handle your transmission (especially one that handles it for you anyways) driving downhill in a big heavy ill handling “box”, you should exercise better judgement and stay off the roads that the rest of us drive on. Find a different hobby…

Rant over
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

dodge_guy
Explorer II
Explorer II
obgraham wrote:
I think what Gritty is saying is, learn to drive the rig instead of having the rig’s computers drive you.


Don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve been driving since 85. I know how to drive manual transmissions and automatics. My Class A with the Tow Haul is the first I’ve had. It makes a huge difference when towing. Before this I always manually shifted my autos for down hill braking. After 38 years it’s nice to have a vehicle that will do this for me. I’m still watchful of the speed and rpm, but now I can concentrate on other aspects of driving.
Wife Kim
Son Brandon 17yrs
Daughter Marissa 16yrs
Dog Bailey

12 Forest River Georgetown 350TS Hellwig sway bars, BlueOx TrueCenter stabilizer

13 Ford Explorer Roadmaster Stowmaster 5000, VIP Tow>
A bad day camping is
better than a good day at work!

obgraham
Explorer
Explorer
I think what Gritty is saying is, learn to drive the rig instead of having the rig’s computers drive you.

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
Some of y’all should maybe just practice driving your vehicles and learn the basic operational parameters or functions of them!
Given the avg age of the guys (mostly all guys, as some of these questions wouldn’t be AS ridiculous coming from women…) on here puts most of y’all driving since the 70s….60s or 50s for some, back when you actually had to drive a vehicle and know it’s capabilities and limitations just to get from A to B, much less with a big camper behind or on it, how are things like operating a vehicle with a transmission that’ll pick a better gear than you might 90% of the time an actual question or challenge?
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

dodge_guy
Explorer II
Explorer II
wowens79 wrote:
valhalla360 wrote:
dodge guy wrote:
Should always be in Tow/Haul! Anytime the engine is started, turn it on.


This kind of baffles me. MHs should be set up to be in Tow/Haul as the default and you should have to turn it off manually if you don't want it for some reason. Same with trucks...the trucks know if a trailer is hooked up, so if it senses one, it should go into tow/haul as the default.


My F-350, once you put it hook up the trailer and put it in tow/haul mode, it stays in it when you stop for gas etc. Then when you disconnect the trailer it asks if you want to stay in tow/haul. I don't think I'd want my truck to automatically go into it. If I'm pulling my 14' jon boat, I don't want tow/haul. On a motorhome I agree, it might as well only have tow/haul mode.


Yes, n MH’s it should be set as defaulted to always on. Why they don’t do that is behind me.
Wife Kim
Son Brandon 17yrs
Daughter Marissa 16yrs
Dog Bailey

12 Forest River Georgetown 350TS Hellwig sway bars, BlueOx TrueCenter stabilizer

13 Ford Explorer Roadmaster Stowmaster 5000, VIP Tow>
A bad day camping is
better than a good day at work!

dodge_guy
Explorer II
Explorer II
time2roll wrote:
way2roll wrote:
I don't know about the newer models but in previous versions that's what the tow/haul mode was for. When descending if you tapped the brakes it would downshift.
Does tapping the brake cancel the cruise control?
Or would the activated cruise control initiate a downshift on its own to limit speed?


Yes, when in T/H with the cruise on it will downshift and hold the set speed.
Wife Kim
Son Brandon 17yrs
Daughter Marissa 16yrs
Dog Bailey

12 Forest River Georgetown 350TS Hellwig sway bars, BlueOx TrueCenter stabilizer

13 Ford Explorer Roadmaster Stowmaster 5000, VIP Tow>
A bad day camping is
better than a good day at work!

time2roll
Nomad
Nomad
way2roll wrote:
I don't know about the newer models but in previous versions that's what the tow/haul mode was for. When descending if you tapped the brakes it would downshift.
Does tapping the brake cancel the cruise control?
Or would the activated cruise control initiate a downshift on its own to limit speed?

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
wowens79 wrote:
valhalla360 wrote:
dodge guy wrote:
Should always be in Tow/Haul! Anytime the engine is started, turn it on.


This kind of baffles me. MHs should be set up to be in Tow/Haul as the default and you should have to turn it off manually if you don't want it for some reason. Same with trucks...the trucks know if a trailer is hooked up, so if it senses one, it should go into tow/haul as the default.


My F-350, once you put it hook up the trailer and put it in tow/haul mode, it stays in it when you stop for gas etc. Then when you disconnect the trailer it asks if you want to stay in tow/haul. I don't think I'd want my truck to automatically go into it. If I'm pulling my 14' jon boat, I don't want tow/haul. On a motorhome I agree, it might as well only have tow/haul mode.


It's a nuisance more than anything but have found myself tapping the brake going down a hill and it doesn't downshift...before I realize I didn't turn it on.

Particularly for 3/4 & 1 ton trucks, I'm betting when it senses a trailer hooked up, 95% of people should be in tow/haul.

Of course, with modern electronics, it should be easy enough to have a setting so the owner can select what they want to happen and the stray guy who needs a diesel dually to pull a jon boat can set it to be turned off unless they manually activate it.

Alternatively, if you are pulling a jon boat, it's probably a 4 wire connection, so if the truck doesn't find a brake circuit, it could leave tow/haul off.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

wowens79
Explorer III
Explorer III
valhalla360 wrote:
dodge guy wrote:
Should always be in Tow/Haul! Anytime the engine is started, turn it on.


This kind of baffles me. MHs should be set up to be in Tow/Haul as the default and you should have to turn it off manually if you don't want it for some reason. Same with trucks...the trucks know if a trailer is hooked up, so if it senses one, it should go into tow/haul as the default.


My F-350, once you put it hook up the trailer and put it in tow/haul mode, it stays in it when you stop for gas etc. Then when you disconnect the trailer it asks if you want to stay in tow/haul. I don't think I'd want my truck to automatically go into it. If I'm pulling my 14' jon boat, I don't want tow/haul. On a motorhome I agree, it might as well only have tow/haul mode.
2022 Ford F-350 7.3l
2002 Chevy Silverado 1500HD 6.0l 268k miles (retired)
2016 Heritage Glen 29BH
2003 Flagstaff 228D Pop Up

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
dodge guy wrote:
Should always be in Tow/Haul! Anytime the engine is started, turn it on.


This kind of baffles me. MHs should be set up to be in Tow/Haul as the default and you should have to turn it off manually if you don't want it for some reason. Same with trucks...the trucks know if a trailer is hooked up, so if it senses one, it should go into tow/haul as the default.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

dodge_guy
Explorer II
Explorer II
Should always be in Tow/Haul! Anytime the engine is started, turn it on. When descending press the brake pedal. Each press of the brake will downshift the trans one gear. Don’t worry about the rpm, the computer will handle it!
Wife Kim
Son Brandon 17yrs
Daughter Marissa 16yrs
Dog Bailey

12 Forest River Georgetown 350TS Hellwig sway bars, BlueOx TrueCenter stabilizer

13 Ford Explorer Roadmaster Stowmaster 5000, VIP Tow>
A bad day camping is
better than a good day at work!