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Towing in 4th gear or D ?

Discussion in 'Towing' started by sabre99, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. Oct 18, 2009 at 7:38 AM
    #1
    sabre99

    sabre99 [OP] New Member

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    Rick
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    Hi II just joined the forum and have my first question. I have a 2009 4X4 TRD Sport with tow package and a 2009 Forrest River Surveyor SV235RKS travel trailer tow weight about 4,500 lbs. After looking through these posts I'm still not sure if I should be towing my trailer in 4th or 'D'. Should I start out in 'D' and if the transmission is going from 4th to 'D' then just leave it in 4th.

    Regards
     
  2. Oct 18, 2009 at 7:48 AM
    #2
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    FlimFlubberJAM
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    4.10 gears, sliders, and lots of buttons.
    I keep mine in "D", and only drop into lower gears if it starts to hunt around....shifting back and forth.
     
  3. Oct 18, 2009 at 7:51 AM
    #3
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Tacomas have gear hunting problems also? Our Dodge Ram did that even after I had the TSB computer flash. How annoying.... we ended up using the cruise control (increase/coast) buttons to force the damn tranny to downshift (or upshift) when you 'think' it should.
     
  4. Oct 18, 2009 at 8:00 AM
    #4
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    I have found my Tacoma doesnt hunt like my Dodge did.. Seems It is very reluctant to shift out of "D" when towing, unless 3/4 throttle. Most times I shit it manually. :)
     
  5. Oct 18, 2009 at 8:20 AM
    #5
    tegdog

    tegdog Taco Lover

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    I shift mine like chris but try to keep it in 4th unless Im on a nice flat interstate. My dad had a durango that my brother & I ruined the tranny on by towing in drive with alot of hunting. I tow about 5500 lbs too so I am cautious, if your pulling something like half that I would think D would be fine.
     
  6. Oct 18, 2009 at 8:41 AM
    #6
    OffroadToy

    OffroadToy This ain't Dodge City, and you ain't Bill Hickok

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    That's what I do... The manual says: When in "D", the automatic transmission system will select the most suitable gear for running conditions such as normal cruising, hill climbing, hard towing, etc. If the transmission repeatedly shifts up and down between forth gear and overdrive when climbing a gentle slope, shift into "4", but shift back into "D" immediately afterward.
    As far as maintaining engine braking efficiency while towing a trailer, it's advised not to use the "D" position.
     
  7. Oct 29, 2009 at 4:19 PM
    #7
    Isthatahemi

    Isthatahemi Well-Known Member

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    The tacoma tends to have more engine braking in D, than most other vehicles have in lower gears anyhow. But if you need more engine braking, into 4th is the way.
     
  8. Nov 10, 2009 at 5:30 PM
    #8
    roy826

    roy826 Well-Known Member

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    I tow a Kendon dual motorcycle trailer that weighs 400 lbs. with two bikes maybe 1500 lbs tops. I found the Taco tows it with ease in OD and gets about 17 mpg at 80 mph. Granted here in the south we have no mountains only rolling hills here and there. If it locks out I just let it do it's job and it will make the hill and the converter will lock back in. Did the same on my '02 for 125,000 miles no problems. My '02 had the TRD cooler with option fan that rated it at 5,000. My 2010 has the towing package from the factory. I am not pulling near the weight most of you guys are so don't go trying my driving methods on those 6k lbs campers:eek:
     
  9. Nov 10, 2009 at 5:39 PM
    #9
    jandrews

    jandrews Carolina Alliance Southwest Region Ambassador

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    Most of us have to.
     
  10. Nov 10, 2009 at 6:37 PM
    #10
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    Meh...when you get older, sometimes it goes on Auto....:D
     
  11. Nov 10, 2009 at 6:46 PM
    #11
    billas333

    billas333 They Still Love To Hate Me! - T.O.

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    I was towing a 6000lb trailer/boat this summer over some slightly hilly roads. I basically kept it in 4th the whole way to and from the lake.
     
  12. Nov 22, 2009 at 11:07 PM
    #12
    harr0007

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    I have a 2007 with a tow package , this summer I towed a 26 foot trailer all over the western states and up into Canada, over 7,000 miles. I always towed in 4th. No problems at all.
     
  13. Nov 24, 2009 at 9:32 AM
    #13
    Blue07Taco

    Blue07Taco Well-Known Member

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    So you guys dont think towing a 5500-6000 car/trailer wouldnt be problem in 4th gear? What about with 265/75/16 (32") This is the 1st automatic Ive even owned. Needless to say I can drive a manual better, and Im clueless when it comes to automatics. I live in a hilly town so I usually drive around in 4th in town. I feel like I dont have to push the gas down as far as I do when Im in "D" to get the truck to go up hill or to downshift.
     
  14. Nov 24, 2009 at 2:34 PM
    #14
    harr0007

    harr0007 Member

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    My 26 foot trailer weighs 4,600 lbs dry. Loaded up I was probably at 5,500 Lbs. I took it very slow on the hills, just followed the big rigs up over the mountain. Had no problems at all. I kept the RPMs under 3,000, in the range of 2,700. No over heatng issues. I have an equilizer brand trailer hitch which balances the trailer tongue weight and an excellent brake controller. I had no sway issues at all even in high winds. My truck is a 2007 4x4 4 door long bed with factory tow package, rated to tow 6,500 Lbs. I was very concered the trailer was too heavy, but this was not the case. I drove between 55-60 MPHs and got betweet 10-13 miles per gallon. Next summer I will take a 4-5 month trip from the west coast all the way to Maine then south to Florida, then west across the south to San Diego then north. Should be around 9,000 miles or so.
     
  15. Nov 29, 2009 at 3:48 PM
    #15
    radartech

    radartech Active Member

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    guys,
    my owners manual says to use 4th... and specifically not to use D...

    2010 TRD sport double cab long bed..


    thoughts?

    J
     
  16. Nov 29, 2009 at 3:50 PM
    #16
    genxer36

    genxer36 Lord of Tomfoolery

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    I use D & 4th to pass or going up steep grades.
     
  17. Nov 29, 2009 at 6:00 PM
    #17
    jandrews

    jandrews Carolina Alliance Southwest Region Ambassador

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    Thoughts about what? Don't use D.
     
  18. Nov 30, 2009 at 3:40 PM
    #18
    Isthatahemi

    Isthatahemi Well-Known Member

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    The only mention of using any other gear selection than D, furthur explains that it's use only supplements engine braking. Exact quote:
    In order to maintain engine breaking efficiency......do not put the transmission in D.....
    On the next page:
    To avoid an accident, do not exceed 45 mph or the posted limit, whichever is lower........
    There is no mention in the 2010 manual of any other reason to use D. If there was a reason, you can guarantee that the Toyota warranty department would have included that.
     
  19. Nov 30, 2009 at 3:52 PM
    #19
    Isthatahemi

    Isthatahemi Well-Known Member

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    BFG AT's, Weathertechs, Hoppy's brake controller.
    This will burn a lot of extra fuel. Putting it in D allows the fuel cutoff to occur for longer periods, and more often. As for not pushing the accelerator as hard, it still uses more fuel. I have a scangauge, and I have not found a single circumstance where a lower gear achieves the same mileage the next higher gear.
     
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