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Old 07-25-2014, 04:11 PM   #1
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low gear?

I am somewhat new to towing, last weekend we took the trailer (198rd) up to Big Bear, the road is very steep and has a lot of twists and turns. My 2012 F150 3.7L spent most of the time in 2nd gear, and dropped to 1st a few times. The trans temp stayed normal most of the time, however it did start climbing towards the yellow zone once after a 10mph switchback followed by a steep grade in which I was in 1st gear for about a minute (felt like an hour). I pulled over and took a short rest (for me and the truck), the trans cooled down rapidly and I was on my way with the temp in the normal range for the rest of the trip. I am now wondering if maybe I should be looking to trade in the truck for a V8 or the ecoboost. Is being in low gear on a serious grade that big a deal?
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:14 PM   #2
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First off, I assume you mean Big Bear SFCG? Nice CG just wish they'd take the stupid posts out.

I'm not a transmission expert, but I'd say its probably not good for it in the long run. You will often be in a lower gear on grades but running in second and first continuously would concern me. The tranny is the weakest link in the TV/RV combo. I'd say ask a transmission person for the most accurate answer. Hopefully there is one on here. Everybody will give you different opinions on here about stuff like that but it'd be best to talk to someone who does work on these things everyday. Do not ask an RV dealer and not a car dealership.

I had a Pontiac Torrent with a 3.6L and pulled a trailer of similar weight. I upgraded quickly after finding out that just because it meets published specs on the TV, doesn't mean it's a good idea.

In that gear range driving up there, out of curiosity what mpg were you getting?
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:11 PM   #3
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we stayed at Serrano CG on the north side of the lake near Fawnskin, very nice place. I averaged 8.8 mpg on the way up, and ended up with 11.5 round trip. The fuel mileage with the 3.7 is good, I have been getting 11-12 on all my previous trips.
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrawf7 View Post
we stayed at Serrano CG on the north side of the lake near Fawnskin, very nice place. I averaged 8.8 mpg on the way up, and ended up with 11.5 round trip. The fuel mileage with the 3.7 is good, I have been getting 11-12 on all my previous trips.
My bad. I assumed you were from MI because there is a Hesperia here and a Big Bear. Anywho, that mpg is not as bad as I would have expected.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:16 PM   #5
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As long as you're maintaining your transmission properly you shouldn't have any problems. You might end up having to change the fluid and filter more frequently, as long as it's shifting properly in the normal ranges than it's function like it is designed to function. Just because it's staying in 1st and 2nd gear most of the time isn't a problem. I would be worried pulling that weight on that grade if it wasn't shifting down in 2nd and 1st as needed. You might check into a larger (heavy duty) transmission cooler for your TV.
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Old 07-26-2014, 10:20 AM   #6
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That is kinda what I was thinking, but I wasn't sure if having a more powerful motor would have made a difference. On my previous trips (3) the truck has seemed to have enough power, I can cruise fine @ freeway speed, but having nothing to compare to I was a little concerned after this last trip.
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:27 PM   #7
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I would just lock it in first for a while instead of making it work. Let the rpms run up a bit and let them work together. Like mentioned before is maintain trans and should stay problem free
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:33 AM   #8
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Change your tranny fluid today... even slight over heating causes decay in its properties.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:49 AM   #9
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What is the yellow zone ? Does it have actual temps? I would install a real gauge that monitors actual temps or connect a scan tool that reads temps. Yellow does not tell you anything..
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:00 PM   #10
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It does have an electronic display with the actual trans temp, but I was not on that screen (hindsight), it also has an analog gauge which is what was climbing rapidly, it never actually got into the yellow or red, but was coming close.
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