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Old 06-19-2024, 05:59 PM   #1
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Mountains

Hi All, I've looked through quite a few places and still am a bit confused so wanted to get opinions

We have a Redhawk 31F and pull a 4door wrangler. Headed on our first trip through mountains, out to yellowstone in a few weeks (from michigan). Ive seen folks say to just use cruise control to help on the down hill, just use the tow/haul, and some to shift into a low gear.

It kindof sounds like all will help engine break, and take the stress of having to constantly apply the breaks, but my question is, is one better than the other for the steep downhills?
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Old 06-19-2024, 07:52 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Jayco Owner's forums (JOF) When you can you should update your profile with your year model and perhaps add a tag line with your setup details.

In any case, mine is the 5 speed and the newer ones are 6 speed, not that it really changes the auto downshifting aspects.

I prefer not to use cruise control in the mountains, at least not when the grades are changing often but many do use it. The Tow\Haul mode is required to be on in order for the cruise control to auto-downshift and provide engine braking. I recommend tow\haul mode be on almost all of the time but especially when in the mountains. I have turned it off on some roads though (primarily flat roads) to help it stay in a higher gear.

All of the methods you mentioned are fine with the caveat that tow\haul needs to be on. I primarily use both shifting into a lower gear as well as the brakes providing for an auto-downshift which provides the engine braking. For example if I am pulling a steep mountain pass sometimes I will manually shift into a lower gear perhaps 3rd gear to keep the rpm's up and reduce any gear shifting while pulling the grade and if I know that at the top of the pass there will be a steep downhill grade, I will often just leave it in 3rd and if that doesn't keep me going slow enough then I tap the brakes which will shift the transmission down another gear for even stronger engine braking. However, if I am on a relatively flat section and then encounter a steep downhill section I will likely be in "drive" and then tap the brakes and each time I do that, the transmission downshifts and the engine rpm increases and the vehicle starts slowing down more, if not, I hit the brakes again and it will downshift again but only if doing so doesn't cause the engine rpms to be too high and in that case you may have to hit the brakes a little bit more to slow down to a speed that the computer will allow another downshift.

My overall suggestion and my preference is just to be sure to use tow\haul mode and then drive it as you prefer (manually shifting to a lower gear, cruise control if you prefer, or let the computer downshift when you hit the brakes, each choice will work). I most often just stay in "Drive", tow\haul on, and let the computer shift both up and down and then tap the brakes whenever needed while going downhill and let the tow\haul engine braking system do the shifting. ~CA
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Old 06-19-2024, 08:07 PM   #3
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On the other hand I found cruise to be the jewel of towing. we have some serious downgrades in Arizona and by setting cruise on 50-55 it will hold that number with about a 5 mph increase. So of you want to stay at 55 set it at 50. If you leave it there and use the peddle for straighaways where you need more you can fall back to cruise. There are 35-45 mph curves where you want less and you can set the cruise lower or gear down.



I had an exhaust brake, on the 04 Durmax and a turbo brake on the 14. By setting the cruise at a speed 5 mph less than what I wanted it actually would slow much lower on serious downgrades.



Try it you will like it!
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Old 06-20-2024, 08:26 PM   #4
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My take - experiment with both. I have. I prefer Tow/Haul. But that'll drop me into a lower gear more often and rev my engine much higher than I'm comfortable with. I don't like 4K or higher on the V10.

So I'll usually use Tow/Haul and when the engine revs high, that's my sign to hop on the brakes and slow way down. Then it's a lather/rinse/repeat thing.
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Old 06-20-2024, 08:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pconroy View Post
My take - experiment with both. I have. I prefer Tow/Haul. But that'll drop me into a lower gear more often and rev my engine much higher than I'm comfortable with. I don't like 4K or higher on the V10.

So I'll usually use Tow/Haul and when the engine revs high, that's my sign to hop on the brakes and slow way down. Then it's a lather/rinse/repeat thing.

Remember your engine runs on a computer that will not allow the engine to over-rev. It is set to run at the best rpm and speeds for the conditions so trying to "control" what the engine is doing can, and will set you up for failure, or for the engine to fail because you tinkered with what it was doing.


Set the cruise and let it do it's thing because the computer is controlling it not some dumb human messing with the system.


DANGER WILL ROBINSON!
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Old 06-20-2024, 08:49 PM   #6
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Remember your engine runs on a computer that will not allow the engine to over-rev. !
I'm aware. I just personally care for revs at 4K and up.

I'm surrounded by mountains so my overall lesson has been to just "slow the ^%$@ down" and not be in a rush anymore. Tow/Haul and braking are what I prefer.
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