For the towing newbies...

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JJEH

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.... or the ones who are a little scared. Here's some real life data from a tow I did today. Nothing spectacular, I just want to put your mind at ease a little before perhaps you start to overthink this subject.

Our RAM 1500 is listed with a towing capacity of 10K and some change. Trailer weighs 2,200 and some change and the car 3,400 and some change curb weight, which makes it an approx. 5,700 pound tow.
Easy right?! And plenty of room to go.

InkedPSX_20230320_151535.jpg

InkedPSX_20230320_151606.jpg

Sagging a little, but nothing to be concerned about. Suspension wise our RAM is factory btw.

Look at this cute little fella:

InkedPSX_20230320_151727.jpg

It's a Weigh Safe hitch, has integrated scale, comes with 2 different ball sizes (3 available total), height adjustable, made in the U.S. and worth every penny!
Got mine at Summit Racing, my favorite store after a bakery.

PSX_20230320_151749.jpg

Under 800 lbs tongue weight. Perfect.

What's also important, if not more, is a secure load!!!!
Make sure you take extra time and care to secure your load. Buy books, consult the internet, take a course, I don't care.
This is time and money well spend. Take time preparing and you'll be safe and sound on the road!!!

InkedPSX_20230320_151703.jpg

Again, Summit Racing has you covered. I'm not getting anything to say that btw.

And for the people concerned about the gas mileage... how does 15MPG sound?

InkedPSX_20230320_151955.jpg

Granted, half that way I was empty, but still, I can't complain. This truck rode like a dream!
I did inflate both rear tires to 60psi and put it into tow/haul mode once loaded. Transmission shifted like butter, and you can control those shifts easily with your right foot, it really lets you use that power band.

Weather was dry, temp was between 40 and 50 degrees. Heavy traffic at times but I did only between 65 and 70 miles an hour, with plenty of space in front of me.
Again, safety first and all the idiots who can't wait to get to their destinations have 2 other lanes to pass me.

PSX_20230320_151933.jpg

PSX_20230320_151840.jpg

I hope this puts your mind at ease a little. Know the numbers (if you don't know your payload/towing/what class hitch you have/etc please contact RAM. They'll give you everything there is to know!), check your equipment, secure the load and take your time!!!!
 
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gofishn

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Why 60psi?

Thought they qere 44 or soem such
 

GTyankee

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it would be 44 pound running empty or a fairly light load.

I run about 500 to 700 pounds in my Rams bed, at all times
So i add a couple of PSI on the rears

If i were to pull a vehicle on a trailer, i would raise the PSI even more
 

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Trailer weighs 2,200 and some change and the car 3,400 and some change curb weight, which makes it an approx. 5,700 pound tow.

Under 800 lbs tongue weight. Perfect.
The tongue weight is 14% of the trailer weight, which seems to be a bit on the high side given the recommended of 10 to 12 percent for a bumper pull. I would think the trailer was just a touch unstable. I'm thinking the vehicle on the trailer could have been loaded with the front of the vehicle facing backward. That may have brought the tongue weight down a bit.

FYI, I have Weight Safe hitches for both my trucks and I love them. If you sign up at the Weight Safe website, you will receive special offers on sales. I recently enjoyed a 20% off everything sale with free FedEx shipping.
 

Sherman Bird

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.... or the ones who are a little scared. Here's some real life data from a tow I did today. Nothing spectacular, I just want to put your mind at ease a little before perhaps you start to overthink this subject.

Our RAM 1500 is listed with a towing capacity of 10K and some change. Trailer weighs 2,200 and some change and the car 3,400 and some change curb weight, which makes it an approx. 5,700 pound tow.
Easy right?! And plenty of room to go.

View attachment 516901

View attachment 516902

Sagging a little, but nothing to be concerned about. Suspension wise our RAM is factory btw.

Look at this cute little fella:

View attachment 516903

It's a Weigh Safe hitch, has integrated scale, comes with 2 different ball sizes (3 available total), height adjustable, made in the U.S. and worth every penny!
Got mine at Summit Racing, my favorite store after a bakery.

View attachment 516904

Under 800 lbs tongue weight. Perfect.

What's also important, if not more, is a secure load!!!!
Make sure you take extra time and care to secure your load. Buy books, consult the internet, take a course, I don't care.
This is time and money well spend. Take time preparing and you'll be safe and sound on the road!!!

View attachment 516905

Again, Summit Racing has you covered. I'm not getting anything to say that btw.

And for the people concerned about the gas mileage... how does 15MPG sound?

View attachment 516906

Granted, half that way I was empty, but still, I can't complain. This truck rode like a dream!
I did inflate both rear tires to 60psi and put it into tow/haul mode once loaded. Transmission shifted like butter, and you can control those shifts easily with your right foot, it really lets you use that power band.

Weather was dry, temp was between 40 and 50 degrees. Heavy traffic at times but I did only between 65 and 70 miles an hour, with plenty of space in front of me.
Again, safety first and all the idiots who can't wait to get to their destinations have 2 other lanes to pass me.

View attachment 516907

View attachment 516908

I hope this puts your mind at ease a little. Know the numbers (if you don't know your payload/towing/what class hitch you have/etc please contact RAM. They'll give you everything there is to know!), check your equipment, secure the load and take your time!!!!
Let's talk about the "Tow/ Haul" mode. Why is it there?

As a former automatic transmission specialist for GM and Ford, I'll happily share with you the training I got from world-class gurus at those factory training facilities.

Automatic transmissions with integral "overdrive" have a great advantage over non overdrive units in their abilities to reduce high speed cruising engine RPM, thus improving both fuel economy and engine life! Problem is, for every advantage, there are usually one or multiple disadvantages.

In the good old days, transmissions didn't have lock up torque converters, AND the final drive ratio OF the transmission was always 1 to 1. So, as my late grandfather would do, he would back his 455 powered Pontiac Grandville with the venerable TH400 tranny to his heavy boat trailer, hook said boat and trailer to the receiver, and put the shifter into "D", and go. No problem.

Enter the more modern 3-speed trannies of the early 80's that incorporated lock up torque converters, and the problems began. The twinky-noodle clutch in the converter for lock up was good only for cruise speeds at light throttle to maintain cruise conditions, NOT for towing of heavy loads. Period.
Add in the internal overdrive system of, oh, say the MD8 (TH 700R4) introduced in 1981. This combined both the overdrive WITH the TCC (Torque Converter Clutch) locking up. This was/ is a recipe for disaster when one tows a load or lades down a truck/van/ SUV and drives high speeds in overdrive. Why?

Enter that ancient dead dude, Archimedes. The laws of leverage and "mechanical advantage". See, most modern transmissions operate at anywhere between .69 to .75 to 1 ratio for overdrive. This means one is using the short end of a lever straddling a fulcrum to provide power to move a car/ truck. This is known as "Mechanical disadvantage". Add a load, and the stresses on the gear train of the O/D planetary set under overdrive conditions, and their longevity goes into the toilet, simply because the strain on them rises exponentially.

Add the twinky-noodle converter clutch into the equation, and what we have here in an unscheduled Bar-B-Que due to a combination of naturally lower line pressure and the mechanical disadvantage of overdrive AND NOW Ladies and Gentlemen!, We add WAY more heat into the equation! And "Whizz-Bang" go components!

Through much trial end error on the Big3 companies' R&D departments, they figured all these dynamics out! Upgrades over 40 + years have developed into a "Tow/Haul" mode which in many cases disables the overdrive, increases line pressures for the added stresses to the drive components IN the transmission, and in some cases turns off TCC. You ever notice, too, that Tow package equipped vehicles have larger radiators and external transmission oil coolers? Yup.

Some light trucks come equipped with transmissions originally designed for medium duty trucks... e.g. Allisons in GM's. This enables use of overdrive AND TCC in some instances, but let's talk overkill! ;)
 
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JJEH

JJEH

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Why 60psi?

Thought they qere 44 or soem such

Need to add more pressure for the added weight on the rear axle. Driving with flat tires is worse than driving with overinflated tires ;)

The tongue weight is 14% of the trailer weight, which seems to be a bit on the high side given the recommended of 10 to 12 percent for a bumper pull. I would think the trailer was just a touch unstable. I'm thinking the vehicle on the trailer could have been loaded with the front of the vehicle facing backward. That may have brought the tongue weight down a bit.

FYI, I have Weight Safe hitches for both my trucks and I love them. If you sign up at the Weight Safe website, you will receive special offers on sales. I recently enjoyed a 20% off everything sale with free FedEx shipping.

10 to 15 percent, yes. The trailer was not unstable at all, but I also did only between 65-70mph, and I was looking very far ahead.

As to loading the car backwards; on a flatbed tow truck yes (if that's how you have access to the car), but not on a bumper pull trailer. You want the majority of the weight in front of the trailer axles.

Don't cheat tongue weight by wrongly loading the trailer, it will cause accidents.

And if you don’t set things up right you may be facing this. Camping season is near, everyone be careful and stay safe!View attachment 517315

I hate to sound like a wiseguy, but most of them accidents are preventable. Loading it correctly, reducing speed and looking far ahead makes a whole lot of a difference!! It's also more enjoyable to drive, no stress, take your time.

Through much trial end error on the Big3 companies' R&D departments, they figured all these dynamics out! Upgrades over 40 + years have developed into a "Tow/Haul" mode which in many cases disables the overdrive, increases line pressures for the added stresses to the drive components IN the transmission, and in some cases turns off TCC. You ever notice, too, that Tow package equipped vehicles have larger radiators and external transmission oil coolers? Yup.

Some light trucks come equipped with transmissions originally designed for medium duty trucks... e.g. Allisons in GM's. This enables use of overdrive AND TCC in some instances, but let's talk overkill! ;)
You say it like it's a bad thing to have :)

Not sure if it was really needed in this case, but it's a great feature since you really can use the powerband and it lets you control the shift points with your right foot.
 

gofishn

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... Enter that ancient dead dude, Archimedes....

Archimedes?
Duuude, this ain't the Prius forum, m8eee.

Archimedes?
WTH?

Throw out some Beers, definitely,
but leave that Math shirt, in school.

Oh, BTW, great rear. Just having Fun.
Sorta.
Could use a beer or 12, right now.
 

Sherman Bird

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Not sure if it was really needed in this case, but it's a great feature since you really can use the powerband and it lets you control the shift points with your right foot.
I rebuilt Many, Many transmissions under warranty which had bar-b-qued the internals due to towing in overdrive, especially GM's with 4L60E or 700R4s in Suburbans and trucks. The hapless owners would make subjective justifications to their reason(s) for ignoring the admonition in the owner's manual to not towing in overdrive, right before the innards were barfed. "I tow a little pop-up trailer, but it doesn't weigh that much!". Gee, it was enough to grenade your transmission...

I personally have towed/ hauled/ loaded my truck and my old Suburbans with these transmissions... did NOT tow in overdrive and got many thousands of trouble-free miles from all of them over the years.

Maybe the fellas which designed and developed these machines knew a thing or 2. :)
 

ramffml

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What's the stats on the ZF 8 speed used in the 4th and 5th gens. Does it increase line pressure in T/H? The only thing I notice when using TH is that my shift points change, but that's all.

TH will allow towing in 7th and 8th (depending on load and axle ratio), both gears are overdrive gears so on these ZF 8 speeds it sure doesn't seem to care about overdrive, but I have no idea what it's doing WRT to line pressure and torque converter lockup.
 

62Blazer

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I rebuilt Many, Many transmissions under warranty which had bar-b-qued the internals due to towing in overdrive, especially GM's with 4L60E or 700R4s in Suburbans and trucks. The hapless owners would make subjective justifications to their reason(s) for ignoring the admonition in the owner's manual to not towing in overdrive, right before the innards were barfed. "I tow a little pop-up trailer, but it doesn't weigh that much!". Gee, it was enough to grenade your transmission...

I personally have towed/ hauled/ loaded my truck and my old Suburbans with these transmissions... did NOT tow in overdrive and got many thousands of trouble-free miles from all of them over the years.

Maybe the fellas which designed and developed these machines knew a thing or 2. :)
Quite familiar with the 700r4 trans as I've been a Chevy guy for a long time and have owned several. They did have some strength issues with the OD gears and TCC, but another big factor that caused issues when towing in OD that they constantly wanted to shift into and out of OD and constantly lock and unlock the torque converter. All that shifting causes wear and a LOT of heat. Also, if they were running in OD and the verge of having enough power they would unlock the TCC and running at higher speeds with the TCC unlocked also caused a lot of heat. My dad actually cooked a 700r4 in his work truck with no towing or hauling.....he was always checking out jobsites and ran over some brush or something that ripped out the wiring harness to the TCC causing it to run unlocked all the time and cooked the trans in about 5,000 miles. He was putting 50k+ miles a year on trucks during this time and had at least 4-5 similar trucks with that trans, and that was the only one he fried.
In regards to towing in OD, they have made improvements over the years that let you tow in OD. For many years now most vehicles still allow shifting into OD with tow/haul mode engaged. On my '16 2500 Hemi the tow/haul mode still allows up to 5th gear, which is an OD gear.
 

Sherman Bird

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What's the stats on the ZF 8 speed used in the 4th and 5th gens. Does it increase line pressure in T/H? The only thing I notice when using TH is that my shift points change, but that's all.

TH will allow towing in 7th and 8th (depending on load and axle ratio), both gears are overdrive gears so on these ZF 8 speeds it sure doesn't seem to care about overdrive, but I have no idea what it's doing WRT to line pressure and torque converter lockup.
Over 90% of the heat in an automatic transmission is from a combination of transient heat from the engine (very little). The remaining heat is from embroiling the trans fluid inside the torque converter. THAT is the chief culprit of the heat. The friction caused by shear forces inside the stator is incredible! I can remember pulling a GMC/ Chevy truck or Suburban in from the parking lot at the dealer.... after it was stone cold from all night sitting; knowing I needed to pull the unit to fix it. I'd pull it 150 or so feet into the bay and shut off the engine. The torque converter would be hot enough from that bit of operation so as I'd need gloves to handle it!

Today's transmissions have been very much improved since my transmission specialty days. I won't debate about someone telling me how their family truckster goes into 20th gear in tow/haul mode, and everthin' is just peachy-keeno ;). My thought is this: Those trucks of the 80's and 90's sported 3:08 and 3:42 differential ratios back then. Few, if any ran 3:73's or 4:10's. Some did, and those didn't cross my path very often. Perhaps that made a difference.

I had a 1976 Suburban which I retrofitted a 305 HO Z-28 engine with a 700R4. It had 3:42's in it. I never hooked up wiring for TCC. I did leave the flywheel cover off. Went over 110K miles like that.... I sold it to a buddy, and 5 years later, that tranny was still plugging along.

Maybe a fellow would drill several well placed holes in the trans bell housing for ventilation. GM did it on some cars in the 70's.

These new cars/ trucks have radiator cooling fans that are electric and move WAY more air volume than the old style clutch mechanical ones. Also, the fluids are chiefly synthetic.
 

StMapleBury

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In ‘03 I bought new a Ram 2500 4x4 QC HO TD with a 48RE. I did a few minor mods for fuel economy, otherwise left it stock sort of… I planned to drive it a long time and did. I knew the limitations of the 48RE. My plan was to always have 1/3 more truck than trailer. My trailer never exceeded 9K for a rated 13K towing capacity. I towed over 100k miles including round trip to Fairbanks from St. Paul MN. I towed plenty in OD, but limited to flat portions and never much over 62 MPH. Yeah I babied it and finally sold it in 2019. I never had any transmission trouble, and did regular transmission service at recommended intervals. I never got close to burnt fluid. I replaced it with a 2019 Ram 2500 gasser 8 SPD. Same rules apply, 1/3 more truck than load. I hope to hit Alaska again this summer.
 
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JJEH

JJEH

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What's the stats on the ZF 8 speed used in the 4th and 5th gens. Does it increase line pressure in T/H? The only thing I notice when using TH is that my shift points change, but that's all.

TH will allow towing in 7th and 8th (depending on load and axle ratio), both gears are overdrive gears so on these ZF 8 speeds it sure doesn't seem to care about overdrive, but I have no idea what it's doing WRT to line pressure and torque converter lockup.
To my knowledge the tow/haul mode extends shift points and eliminates 8th gear.
 

Sherman Bird

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In ‘03 I bought new a Ram 2500 4x4 QC HO TD with a 48RE. I did a few minor mods for fuel economy, otherwise left it stock sort of… I planned to drive it a long time and did. I knew the limitations of the 48RE. My plan was to always have 1/3 more truck than trailer. My trailer never exceeded 9K for a rated 13K towing capacity. I towed over 100k miles including round trip to Fairbanks from St. Paul MN. I towed plenty in OD, but limited to flat portions and never much over 62 MPH. Yeah I babied it and finally sold it in 2019. I never had any transmission trouble, and did regular transmission service at recommended intervals. I never got close to burnt fluid. I replaced it with a 2019 Ram 2500 gasser 8 SPD. Same rules apply, 1/3 more truck than load. I hope to hit Alaska again this summer.
The 48RE and all of the Chrysler transmissions of that era were designed like the old bolt on overdrives of the 50's and had the overdrive unit inside the tail housing. Most of Ford and GM products of the 80's thru early 2000's overdrove the input. Inherently, the GM/ Ford designs were weaker. My 5R55W in my 2004 Ford Ranger accomplishes a "5-speed" nomenclature by overdriving second gear on the way upshifting.... then turns off the overdrive for literal 3rd then 3rd, then 4th. Stupid busy in that unit. Not really well suited for towing, although the truck has a bumper hitch. I never use that feature.
 

gwilburn

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I have a 2014 Ram Laramie Crew 4x4 with 6'4" bed and 3.92 rear... It has nearly 97,000 miles on it. 25,000 of those miles has been pulling trailers (it keeps track of that you know). The primary trailer is a Triton Prestige Elite... 26' long 102" wide and 6 feet tall inside. It's a v-nose aluminum dual axle. Weight is likely somewhere north of 5,000 loaded. Usually carrying 4 guys and gear. (I've also towed one of those junk Chevy Cruize cars like the OP).
I drag the primary trailer 800 miles one way each year (sometimes twice per year), from the mountains of Western MD to the UP of Michigan. I run anywhere from 70-80 mph and always in tow haul mode. Most of the time is spent in 7th gear... it will drop to 6th on hills. It ABSOLUTELY will run in 8th gear. Ran the OH turnpike home in 8th a lot my last trip (slight tailwind).
FWIW I will get anywhere from 8-9.5 mpg. I got 10 mpg once towing 2 Harleys to Maine... but that was the truck calculation which is usually 1 mpg too high.
 

turkeybird56

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I have a 2014 Ram Laramie Crew 4x4 with 6'4" bed and 3.92 rear... It has nearly 97,000 miles on it. 25,000 of those miles has been pulling trailers (it keeps track of that you know). The primary trailer is a Triton Prestige Elite... 26' long 102" wide and 6 feet tall inside. It's a v-nose aluminum dual axle. Weight is likely somewhere north of 5,000 loaded. Usually carrying 4 guys and gear. (I've also towed one of those junk Chevy Cruize cars like the OP).
I drag the primary trailer 800 miles one way each year (sometimes twice per year), from the mountains of Western MD to the UP of Michigan. I run anywhere from 70-80 mph and always in tow haul mode. Most of the time is spent in 7th gear... it will drop to 6th on hills. It ABSOLUTELY will run in 8th gear. Ran the OH turnpike home in 8th a lot my last trip (slight tailwind).
FWIW I will get anywhere from 8-9.5 mpg. I got 10 mpg once towing 2 Harleys to Maine... but that was the truck calculation which is usually 1 mpg too high.
Towing a stock trailer, 2150 lbs, hay loaded, so 6-7K total, no WDH, just local, running 65-70 in Tow/Haul, I get 12.2 ish MPG. If a lot of head wind, drop to 11 ish.
 

Travelin Ram

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What's the stats on the ZF 8 speed used in the 4th and 5th gens. Does it increase line pressure in T/H? The only thing I notice when using TH is that my shift points change, but that's all.

TH will allow towing in 7th and 8th (depending on load and axle ratio), both gears are overdrive gears so on these ZF 8 speeds it sure doesn't seem to care about overdrive, but I have no idea what it's doing WRT to line pressure and torque converter lockup.
Today’s transmissions have a lot more computing power than the old days. Clutch pressures are modified continuously depending on applied torque, measured slip, and so on. To improve fuel economy for one big factor, minimizing pumping losses.

I think it’s nice that we still have the option to input a desire to prioritize load handling over economy. But in truth the PCM and TCM have all the information needed to compute GCW and whether we use TH or not, the trans is going to use all the pressure needed to prevent slippage and choose the right gear to provide adequate torque from the engine.
 
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