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Elevated Oil Temps when towing - potential solutions

1469 Views 29 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Brokedownbutgood
Hey all:

I live in the middle of a mountainous terrain of Western Canada, so we pretty much always deal with climbing steep terrain and mountain passes when camping with our travel trailer. I’ve been searching through the forums and getting lots of great info to help manage elevated oil temps when towing.

My current set-up:

2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab SLT, GDE Engine & Transmission Tune, 3.55 gears, Timbergrove ASAM, upgraded 275/65/20 rims/tires (17” original factory stock – I know the larger rims/tires are detrimental for towing, but appearance matters too…)

Travel Trailer:

2020 Springdale 220BHWE; 4,900 lb dry, ~6,600 lb loaded

I have snipped the stats on one of the larger mountain passes we travel below—I will hit the derate message for oil temps (130 C) during the ascent, and I currently follow @VernDiesel advice of keeping <3,000 RPMs and the speed ends up in the 60-70 kmh range.

Slope Rectangle Plot Font Magenta

Looking for some additional input/feedback on potential improvements with helping keep the oil temperatures down. Here is what I am thinking and have gleaned from other forum members (@Bounty Hunter, @Brokedownbutgood - always appreciate your contributions to the forum)

Any additional thoughts, feedback, and suggestions would be appreciated.
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What app did you use for the road profile? I think others would appreciate the info also.
I used the BC Provincial website - only lists summit and mountain passes within British Columbia, and has grade and distance data on a select few....

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If you still have the 17s that are shorter just for the trip. The SLT or Tradesman honeycomb style grill is a direct swap and can be picked up on mopar discount sites. GDE did proper testing and showed measurable temps improvements when towing the Dam in is it Arizona. But mostly tow haul and let it drop gears and speed as it needs to. Just adjust the throttle to keep it at or slightly below 3k as to avoid derate. This will give you the best average speed not be as hard on your truck and keep you from being a 15 mph rolling road block on the climb. You will likely be going 45 mph but it beats 15 mph because of trying to hold 60 or whatever. Good luck enjoy and let us know your experience.
Thanks Vern--I've always appreciated and value your advice and towing wisdom. I do have the SLT honeycomb grill too. I haven't truly experienced the derate, only getting the EVIC message that "speed may be limited". I typically end up holding 65-70 kmh (~40 mph) just fine while keeping the rpm <3,000 rpm. I've always been intrigued with the set-up @Bounty Hunter has, just wondering whether it is worth while for the 5-6 times a year we cross the pass.

Side-note: I was able to pick-up the Anderson WDH on sale this pass winter--plan on getting that set-up this week. Fortunately I have a free provincial weigh scale ~5 mi. away from my house--will go in the evening and try and get that dialed in.
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Ive tried multiple setups over the years including external oil coolers. For me the best setup so far is a free flowing grill with a lower temp thermostat and large aluminum radiator. The external oil coolers work well but add potenial leak points and can make it hard to warm up without added thermostat. They also make oil changes a pain if your like me and want all the oil out I can. Hopefully I well be pushing mine somewhat hard this weekend and see how it does with temps around 90 F.
I have seen through other threads the radiator you have--looks like a sweet set-up. What lower temp thermostat are you using? I would like to source one, however the only one I can find is the GDE 88 C thermostat (which requires their most-current tune option).
I have a solution and you won't like it.

Ram 2500 with the 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel. You will never have another overheating problem with that trailer.
Oh, I would like that very much… however, I couldn’t justify the current prices, and my driving needs don’t warrant a 2500 for the other ~345 days/year I am not towing (this is my primary family vehicle).

Lots of great feedback from very knowledgeable people - nice to have a community willing to share the wealth of information and experience!
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What was the largest oil cooler you used?

130,000+ miles on my oil cooler setup and it's been great. 30' toy hauler averages #8k
Did you have CFT install your set-up, or did you/another shop do your install?
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