4th Gen Ram Tech2009+ and up Rams: This section is for TECHNICAL discussions only, that involve the 2009 and up Rams. For any non-tech discussions, please direct your attention to the "General discussion/NON-tech" sub sections.
I was wondering if I should bother with tow/haul mode. I'm going to be taking a 300mile trip towing a trailer with two dirtbikes this weekend. The only reason I ask is because the MDS will disable for the entire trip if I do. Is there a towing weight that you would consider the Tow/Haul mode unnecessary? I'm figuring the trailer and both bikes to be around 1,000 to 1,200 lbs.
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I use mine everytime I tow anything. It keeps the truck from hunting between 4th & 5th so much plus it will downshift the transmission if you hold the brake for a bit. Try it both ways and decide for yourself which way you like better. The MDS won't be on when pulling if you're using T/H mode or not. It may come on when you let off the throttle but you don't need a light to tell you that.
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I'd say any time you're pulling a trailer or any time you've got a larger load in the back like a bed full of dirt, full load of blocks, or something heavy back there. I wouldn't use T/H when only hauling a single bike in the back of the bed.
Alright, good info. If the fuel saver isn't going to activate whether tow/haul is on or off, then why not just use it. I was figuring if the tow/haul mode was going to be overkill, then why not save a bit of gas on the trip with and not override the MDS unnecessarily.
As far as dealer mechanics go, I am wary about their advice at times. Too often, they will just recite what their supposed to say to customers. Or, because they have to be knowledgeable of so many cars, they can't have intimate or detailed info on any. I like these types of forums, usually the actual owners will have the highly detailed, empirical knowledge that dealer mechanics often lack.
This mechanic is my Dad's best friend. We just had our 96' Dodge Ram 3500 dually diesel in the shop for transmission. It's only hauled a landscape trailer with a couple lawn mowers on it. He said no matter what truck and what your hauling, turn the overdrive off. Hence hit the tow/haul button. He said it takes all the work off the transmission.
I agree with using tow/haul always when towing or hauling, but disagree with the statement that mds won't engage when towing. Every once in a while I forget to hit the button, and the reminder is when mds kicks in.
Using the tow/haul is only going to increase the life of your drive train, stops the tranny from hunting, keeps the engine more in the power band. I only pull 5k boat/trailer so I always use it. If on a straight flat stretch only pulling 1200lbs I may be tempted to not use the tow/haul mode, the engine does have lots of torque?!?
Regardless of towing anything, T/H mode is also Great for driving down Mountain Roads... The added control provided by the "semi-intelligent / brake assisting" engine braking is rather important when your 5000lb truck is succumbing to the pull of gravity and your "normal" cruise control simply "gives in" after one down-shift that actually disables the second that you touch the brake pedal.
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