using cruise control

Discussion in 'On The Road' started by Caper, Jul 21, 2020.

  1. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I RARELY use CC at all, regardless of towing or not...my mind wanders like a leaf in the wind, so all my mental faculties are concentrated & focused between the right side of my brain & my right foot, keeping myself & others safe in a hostile environment, in this case, the asphalt jungle...gas mileage be danged, God Save the Queen...
     
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  2. Sean T Smith

    Sean T Smith New Member

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    I use it as often as possible. If I don't, I tend to drive too fast.
     
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  3. kcrouth

    kcrouth New Member

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    i like to disable Overdrive on the transmission when i tow. it keeps the engine RPM a bit higher to avoid lugging and excessive downshifting.
     
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  4. tfischer

    tfischer A bad day camping beats a good day at the office

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    See I'm the same way, but just the opposite. If I don't use cruise, I will get talking, or mind-wandering, and look down and suddenly be going either 85 or 35 in a 60 zone lol.
     
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  5. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Lol, wife gets whizzed when we get in the truck, she'll say did you see that or check that out, I'm so focused I sometimes don't hear her...
     
  6. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    I keep our truck out of overdrive and don’t use cc. Mostly because I’d be turning it on and off too much. The answer probably depends on tow vehicle and what your towing. We have a 2004 Ford F-150 with a big V8, and tow a 25’ 5000# Avion. I’m very aware of my speed, And the speed of traffic behind me and who will be passing.
    Our truck gets pretty good mileage if I keep it at 60ish. If something big is coming up behind me fast, and there’s no room in the left lane I want to be able to react quickly.

    When we tow our new short and light trailer, I may feel differently. But I just am more comfortable not using CC when towing, so I doubt it.
     
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  7. Alan

    Alan Active Member

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    You don't state why you won't use cruise control...
     
  8. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    It can depend on the tow vehicle, and tow vehicle/camper configuration. We towed the first, tiny, popup with a '96 Subie Outback, stick shift. IIRC, it did OK with cruise but mostly we did without. Towed that same pup and the second, 8' Cobalt, with our '05 4Runner, we could use cruise on it. For the season and a half or so that we used the 4Runner with the Retro, cruise was OK with it - it was a bit stressed under some conditions, but cruise didn't contribute. We did a lot of turning cruise on and off, though, because cruise control can't look down the road an anticipate upcoming uphills, curves, and so on. The Silverado 1500 does better, though we still need to help it accelerate on uphills so it doesn't lose much momentum. My driving foot is pretty well trashed, so being able to use cruise control on long highway stretches is helpful.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
  9. generok

    generok Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    You have my posts in this thread out of order. The "Never!" comment is related to the quoted comment of the OP to "...slink away" because he did something he expected few others did. I encouraged the OP to offer contrary opinions even if it seems not to conform to the norm at times.

    Very early on in this thread I actually offered that I do use cruise when towing my TH, often.
     
  10. Fish N Farm

    Fish N Farm Well-Known Member

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    I do some of both. Cruise control has made me a lazy terrible driver as far as keeping my speed constant. I am going to start off by saying everyone has different driving habits and they need to use what helps them best. I am guilty of the 35-85 deal. When rolling off of a big hill and seeing another one ahead I will let the big dog run traffic permitting.
    First lets talk about how the cruise works. As soon as as it senses a difference in speed up or down it applies more or less throttle we probably don't feel it most of the time. Every time it opens the throttle we burn more fuel. Not all cruise controls are created equal. Some will respond sooner than others and as far that is not adjustable, the ones with more lag time seem to do better towing. I have had some that would drop the transmission out of overdrive going over an overpass on a flat ground freeway and some not on the same road towing the same trailer. Fly by wire foot pedals or foot feed like our grand fathers called it destroys the feeling in number 12 shoe on our right foot where the pedal is. My old time trail riding and hunting friend never drove with the cruise. When we were towing my Scrambler on the trailer going hunting or a trail ride he consistently got 2 mpg better than me driving my truck. I just could not maintain a constant speed like he could with his foot. This truck had a 4 speed overdrive transmission. So I am going to say you are all right but the other guy is not wrong.
     
  11. JustRelax

    JustRelax Well-Known Member

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    When I had the pup I used cruise when it made sense to.

    After reading responses I’ll add that I also switched in and out of tow haul. I started this with my boat and applied it to the pup. I made a mostly interstate trip and left tow/haul with overdrive off and I was amazed at how much gas it sucked down. The next time I went to that lake I turned the tow/haul off while on the interstate to have overdrive and the gas used difference wasn’t as bad.

    The tow/haul also changes shift points to higher revs so when rolling through towns or in traffic when you need the advantages of the tow/haul I’d turn it back on.

    The same with cruise if I’d hit a slight hilly area that would have the trucking hunting back and forth out of overdrive I’d turn tow/haul on.

    As others have said the pup (or boat) didn’t stress my vehicle. I cannot do this with my tt.
     
  12. McSkippy

    McSkippy Active Member

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    It depends on the terrain, but I usually have it on.
     
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  13. Old School Rob

    Old School Rob Member

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    I use CC all the time. Except in the mountains, on steep grades.
     
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  14. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't even know how to turn it on. Here in NJ the roads are too crowded to use it. So its probably safer i dont fiddle with it while driving.
     
  15. Jimbow

    Jimbow Well-Known Member

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    Vehicle manufacturers with early versions of cruise control warned against using it while towing. I believe some still do. Perhaps Toyota. As cruise control has gotten smarter, computer controlled, and better linked with the transmission I assume many of those issues have been solved.

    In the 80s I was told by the dealership mechanics that cruise caused transmission issues while towing and to avoid it. That was when I was towing a relatively heavy boat. I never really thought about it again until my 2006 F150 specifically mentioned it was OK to use cruise while towing.

    Now I use it for about half of my towing miles.
     
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  16. A-Ranger12

    A-Ranger12 Active Member

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    I use it when the road is flat and traffic is at a steady pace. That happens to be most of our towing. It gets turned off on hills or in heavy traffic.

    The transmission in our tow vehicle is pretty smart. It will lock itself out of top gear except on downhills. Yes, temperatures are fine at 180*F going into the cooler.
     
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  17. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    I use it all the time, including the hills here in KY. I’ll kick it out if the transmission wants to hunt on a hill, but if it needs to downshift once and then holds the gear till the top then it’s doing it’s job, which is 99% of the time. Per Toyota I’m towing in 4th gear anyway (5th and 6th are both overdrives) so the engine has plenty of power to pull most hills without downshifting, and if it does need to there is definitely way more than enough in 3rd and it usually does a good job of holding that till the top. I also monitor my tranny and coolant temps to keep an eye on everything.

    On older cars without computers the cruise and transmission would work against each other causing the transmission to hunt between gears, which creates a lot of heat, which is what kills transmissions. The 1993 Dakota I used to have was a prime example of this. Even without towing it was bad on hills with cruise control. It would start to slow down at the bottom of the hill, then the old-school cruise control would gun the throttle to speed up, which would trigger the old-school transmission to down shift. Then with the lower gear and higher revving engine it would race past the set speed before the cruise control would catch up and back way off on the throttle, prompting an up shift. Then it would be bogged down and running too slow to hold the set speed and the cycle would start all over again. This type of behavior is what led to the “no cruise control while towing” mantra.
     
  18. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Un-Supported Member

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    I had one of those Dakotas. Hated the cruise control on it. Unlock, down shift, upshift, overdrive, repeat, repeat about three times to get up a hill on the interstate. Seats were made from recycled generator coils. It would almost electrocute you when you got out. I kept it for 18 months and it had to go.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2020
  19. Fish N Farm

    Fish N Farm Well-Known Member

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    Nothing hauls the mail like cubic inches. That means high torque at low rpm. Yes you can put a hair drier engine in and help that out but it ain't going to be cheap long term. We still have no free ride. Some of us can't manage road speed with our right foot me probably the worst here on that. What we need is a cruise control that can see that we are about to start up a hill not wait until it can feel it. We have systems that do all of the driving except tell the GPS where to go.
    Just think put your jalopy on the street, strap junior in his car seat in the back so he don't get a ticket from being in the front seat. Tell the computer to drive the speed limit when possible. Yell out Grand Ma's address to the GPS as you drop the tranny in gear and say parallel park on arrival as you slam the door. Then go in the house and open a cold one as you watch football. Sounds crazy right? Well we are not far from that. Mass transit no accidents no gas. Put a Trolley car type chain in the road figure out how to engage cars getting on and disengage ones wanting to get off. Hook your motor home up and go to the back with Momma have a few adult beverages, close the blinds and have a real fun vacation. We will Prolly need wind generators up and down the highway to power all of this but the state of California will figure out how to do that and get the Feds pay for it. And yes I am still a bad man:)>) nothing is impossible for the man that doesn't have to do it or pay for it, ask your boss at work and the law makers about that.
     
  20. KeizerTrailer

    KeizerTrailer Member

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    I use cruise control when cruising on the highway/interstate, but never when its remotely twisty, hilly or when the weather is wonky. It is more of a common sense, when deeming the use of CC and when not to. YMMV
     

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