Finding the right gear while towing a trailer is easier said than done. The extra-weight will play spoilsport when you will be trying to control the vehicle.
Automatic transmission has made life a bit easier for drivers in more than one way. With Automatic transmission in place, you would not have to worry about crunching the gears while driving down a mountain or climbing up a hill. But things change dramatically when you are towing a trailer. Then you will have to cling dearly to the steering wheel to keep the vehicle in control. In order to maintain a desired speed while towing a vehicle, you will have to make sure that the gear selector is in drive. Transmission will then automatically shift to the appropriate gear after analyzing factors like – how hard the accelerator pedal is pressed or how steep the slope is. When you are climbing down the hill, the Automatic transmission will do most of the heavy-lifting. All you have to do is to use the brake every now and then to keep the vehicle under the speed limit.
Manual transmission is definitely a bit tricker than Automatic transmission but it gives you all the freedom you have ever wished for to control the vehicle. Here you get to choose the gear rather than the vehicle deciding it for you. If you manage to select the right gears, then you will be able to do away with the braking system of your vehicle as the speed of the vehicle will be controlled by the gear itself. The biggest benefit of this is – it will help you keep the braking system of your vehicle in good shape. If you know your ways around a manual transmission, you will not have any trouble climbing up and down the hills.
Tips for Shifting While Towing
Contrary to what most people believe, shift gears while towing a trailer is not that difficult. Check out these tips to make the switch less daunting:
Improper gear selection can lead to a complete disaster while you are trying to shift while trying to tow a trailer. It is extremely important to maintain a proper gear while towing. This will take the pressure off the tow vehicle. This applies to both automatic transmission equipped vehicles and manual transmission-equipped vehicles. Now, you might be wondering why on earth you will have to make gear selection in an automatic transmission equipped vehicle because it shifts gears automatically, right? Most modern manual transmission-equipped vehicles come fitted with a new feature code-named tow/haul mode.
The downshift and the upshift points of the vehicle gets controlled by this tow/haul mode. Tow/haul mode will make changes in the upshift and downshift points after analyzing the weight that the towing vehicle is carrying. This feature will do away with the constant searching operation that gets conducted by the automatic transmission. With this feature enabled, the automatic transmission will no longer have to go overdrive to find the perfect gear. Now, if your car comes equipped with overdrive off feature, you are in for luck. This will emulate the same effect; all you have to do is to lock out this overdrive gear and you will get the same result.
Manual Transmission Gear Selection
As the name suggest, in Manual Transmission Gear Selection, you will have to do the shifting of gears all by yourself. So, as expected, you will not get any helping hand here. Manual Transmission Gear Selection is definitely a bit tricky but once you get the hang of it, you will fall in love with it. There are few things that you need to consider carefully while towing a trailer with a manual transmission-equipped vehicle and the most important of them all is – staying alert all the time and keeping an eye on the terrain. For example if you are planning to climb a hill, you need to shift to a lower gear (L, 2, and 3) when driving through bumpy terrain.
Gear selection is also very important when you are climbing down a hill. Things get even more complicated when you are towing a trailer as the added weight makes it harder for you to control the vehicle. You will have to press the brakes a bit harder to stop the vehicle in the slope. Rather than relying solely on brakes, you need to make proper use of engine braking system as well. Engine braking will help you slow down the vehicle without destabilizing it in the process.
The mechanism is not that complicated. You just have to shift to a lower gear while climbing down a hill and don’t forget to remove your foot from the gas while doing so. The RPM will start to increase but the vehicle will slow down eventually as the engine of the vehicle will start acting like a compressor.