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Old 10-04-2013, 03:09 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Four Winds Hurricane 33T
State: Florida
Posts: 12
THOR #484
Towing Mode Light Illuminated

I posted this earkier tonight on the towing forum. That might be the wrong place to ask this question, so I will post it here also. I will confess right up front that I have just joined the RVing community. Recently purchased a used Thor Four Winds Hurricane 33T on August 9th. Only had it on the road for 4 days. The rest of the time it has been in a repair shop for several electrical problems. While driving it home from the shop tonight, I got a "TOW Mode " light illuminated on the instrument panel. I looked through the manual for the motor home, but can find no mention of a tow mode. Is there something wrong with the tranny, or is it a switch somewhere in the wrong position? Sorry if this seems like a stupid question but can't find the answer for this on the internet. Thanks for reading.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:30 AM   #2
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Brand: Redwood
Model: 38GK
State: Texas
Posts: 37
THOR #439
Not being familiar with which engine/tranny combination you have, I will offer a wild guess based on other towing platforms I've owned...

MOST trannies have a tow/haul mode which is used by some to change the tranny programming a bit to hold a gear a bit longer, and some downshift sooner in the expectation that you are hauling a LOT of weight...

99% of the time I never use it - although the engine braking when it downshifts helps you when stopping...

If the light is on it either means you/or someone pushed the tow button
or less likely there is a problem with the tranny (but typically it blinks if there is a problem and the tranny acts up)...
this is a bad picture I found on the net - but it LOOKS like the stalk has a push button on the end ?!? click on the pic for a closer look...

look on your shift stalk for a switch/button etc... that you can push to toggle tow mode off... (it may be on the end of the stalk)

ah, and on edit, the pic tells me you have a ford chassis, so those are what I have a bit of experience with (having owned about 10 or 20 fords over the years )
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Old 10-04-2013, 08:06 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Four Winds Hurricane 33T
State: Florida
Posts: 12
THOR #484
That was the problem. Looks like I inadvertently pressed the button while looking for windshield wash in the dark. Appreciate your help. Looks like I need to het out there in the daylight, now that I have it back from dealer, and really go through it to learn. Thanks again.
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:35 AM   #4
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Brand: Crossroads
State: Wisconsin
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THOR #124
I don't know about MHs. but on pickup trucks you are advised to use the tow haul mode when ever you are towing. They put it on there for a reason, and I would tend to believe it's to safe guard the tranny.
Don't know if you are towing with your MH or not, but it might be good to check/ask your local Ford dealer. Not the salesman either. Go back to the service dept and ask the supervisor.
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:41 AM   #5
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Four Winds Hurricane 33T
State: Florida
Posts: 12
THOR #484
I wasn't towing it when the light was on. I plan on trading my Toyota Corolla for a vehicle that can be flat towed in the very near future. I've looked at the tow dollies and am not particularly impressed with them. Looks like a flat tow is much simpler and much, much safer. Looks like I inadvertently turned on the towing feature accidently when driving it home from the repair shop last night. Still learning how everything works on this rig. Thanks for responding.
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Old 10-05-2013, 01:03 AM   #6
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THOR #124
The tow haul mode will shut it self off when ever you turn the ignition off. So it's not something you have to worry about turning off. Just have to remember to turn it back on when you start out again. As far inadvertently turning it on, that is not going to hurt. I run mine all the time when I'm towing.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:52 AM   #7
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Brand: Redwood
Model: 38GK
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THOR #439
It's a matter of personal preference to use the tow/haul mode or not....
I'm on my 5th or 6th (I forget ) ford deezle and rarely if ever use tow/haul...
all it really does it hold a gear longer using more fuel... (IMHO and experience)
when I'm towing 15k I'm not in any rush, so staying in a lower gear longer only makes for more ' drama' and noise
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:39 AM   #8
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Brand: Crossroads
Model: Zinger ZT26BL
State: North Carolina
Posts: 446
THOR #91
I always use tow mode when towing. Yes it holds your gears longer and yes it burns more fuel. Holding your gears longer helps with towing especially when towing up and down hills. It is also my understanding that the computer records your tow modes and if you break down when towing and the service techs discover you were not towing in tow mode, ford can and has voided warranties (then again ford loves to find all kinds of reasons to void warranties but that is another topic for another thread).
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:32 PM   #9
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Brand: Crossroads
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THOR #124
[QUOTE=johnboytoo;2046]It's a matter of personal preference to use the tow/haul mode or not....

If it wasn't needed, why did they go to the expense of engineering it.
It's on there for a reason, and that's to safeguard your transmission. Ask any Ford service tech.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:19 PM   #10
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Brand: Redwood
Model: 38GK
State: Texas
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THOR #439
Maybe because it's a 'feature' they want to market ?!? like color or bed steps or .....

Why so angry ?!? You win I'm out... to the OP - good luck on your rv...
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:59 PM   #11
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Brand: Crossroads
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THOR #124
johnboytoo:
No anger intended, sorry if you interpreted that way.
I just don't want to see erroneous information posted.
Here is a pretty clear and simple exclamation of "tow haul mode"

Trucks with Tow/Haul Mode

Your bumper isn't the only thing to consider when hauling a heavy load. Another important factor is your truck's power. While many trucks have the ability to haul a trailer, some have a special tow/haul mode that helps you tow heavier objects safely.
The tow/haul mode changes a vehicle's transmission shift patterns. Pulling a heavy load requires a lot of power. The tow/haul mode reduces shift cycles. Depending on the truck, it may also boost torque and engage an engine braking mode to help drivers maintain control while driving up and down hills.
In general, the tow/haul mode changes shift points to higher RPM limits. This helps you keep moving as you haul your trailer. As you go down hills, you may notice that your transmission will downshift earlier than normal. This allows the transmission to help you slow down and saves wear and tear on your brakes, too.
Many manufacturers design the tow/haul mode so that it disengages a vehicle's overdrive feature. Shifting frequently can cause overdrive to burn out.
Check your owner's manual to see if your truck has a tow/haul mode. If it does, consider engaging it when you need to haul a heavy load. It will help you maintain control of your vehicle and trailer and cause less stress to your truck's transmission over a long haul.
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