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Towing in 4th

jnma1234

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Looking for opinions on towing my camper in fourth gear, which is direct in my 2500 6.4L with the automatic transmission.

My experience in driving truck and pulling heavy loads is that direct is the best gear and the easiest on the transmission, but I'm not sure on this automatic. When I'm towing my camper in this gear at the speed that I normally go down the highway, it feels like that's where the engine pulls the best and wants the rpms at.
 

H3LZSN1P3R

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Hit tow haul mode and leave it be… and unless you have a pre 19 6speed truck your 1:1 direct drive would be 6th gear on the 8speed
 

Dave01

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You're way overthinking things IMO. Put it in tow mode, then let all 8 gears do what they are designed to do. If you want to manually select 7 to keep it out of 8th go for it, otherwise leave it alone.

In mine, 4th gear runs at 2000 rpm at 30 mph. I wouldn't want to be locked into 4th to tow at highway speeds! "Direct" is meaningless in terms of tranny wear or easiest on the drivetrain on a modern 8 speed. The shift ranges have so much overlap that you simply want to let the gears do their work.
 

jnma1234

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Sorry, I should have mentioned that I have a 2014. My bad.

According to the transmission information I found, fourth gear is 1 to 1.
 

tchur1

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You're way overthinking things IMO. Put it in tow mode, then let all 8 gears do what they are designed to do. If you want to manually select 7 to keep it out of 8th go for it, otherwise leave it alone.

In mine, 4th gear runs at 2000 rpm at 30 mph. I wouldn't want to be locked into 4th to tow at highway speeds! "Direct" is meaningless in terms of tranny wear or easiest on the drivetrain on a modern 8 speed. The shift ranges have so much overlap that you simply want to let the gears do their work.
Agree, these trucks are way smarter than we are. Just hook it up, hit tow/haul and go.
 

Dave01

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Me too!

I'll still stand by my post, put it in tow mode and forget it.
 

JAPEKA

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Looking for opinions on towing my camper in fourth gear, which is direct in my 2500 6.4L with the automatic transmission.

My experience in driving truck and pulling heavy loads is that direct is the best gear and the easiest on the transmission, but I'm not sure on this automatic. When I'm towing my camper in this gear at the speed that I normally go down the highway, it feels like that's where the engine pulls the best and wants the rpms at.
After reading most of the posts I agree that using tow mode is a good idea.

Currently I have a 2016 Laramie, 6.7 Cummins, 68 RFE, SRW, long bed. 68 RFE is 6 speed, 4th is direct so 6th is double over.

I tow a 9000 lb 5th wheel and my habit has evolved to trying to avoid a downshift on a hard pull by shifting down one or two gears prior to starting up the hill. My reasoning is that when the transmission shifts down under load there likely is a bit of clutch slippage as the shift happens so better to avoid it if possible. I don't know if this is sound reasoning but it is now my habit. If I'm running fairly easily on flat ground with no head wind I just run in OD.
 

jnma1234

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Update;

Pulled my camper/boat combo for the first time last weekend in Tow/Haul mode, and found out that the truck limits you to 4th gear. The 6.4 pulled it like a champ, but coming home I had a huge headwind, so I manually limited it to 3rd gear and stayed around 60 miles an hour.
 

Dave01

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Update;

Pulled my camper/boat combo for the first time last weekend in Tow/Haul mode, and found out that the truck limits you to 4th gear. The 6.4 pulled it like a champ, but coming home I had a huge headwind, so I manually limited it to 3rd gear and stayed around 60 miles an hour.
Not that I've driven that particular 6 speed, but really surprised you couldn't use 4th even given the headwind, at least on level ground. What kind of rpm were you seeing in 3rd at 60 mph? Do you run stock tire size or something bigger?
 

jnma1234

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It would pull it, but it didn't feel like that's where it wanted to sit. Plus, I don't like pulling the guts out of my stuff, I wasn't in any hurry and it was no big deal to slow down a little bit.
 

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