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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! Been the proud new owner of a '05 V8 Dakota (automatic transmission) for about 2 months now and loving it so far. One of the reasons I bought the V8 was so I could eventually tow a boat, and that time has come sooner than expected.

When reading the manual, I noticed that there's a sequence of steps needed in order to make the truck capable of towing (turn on key, put into neutral, press brake, use ballpoint pen to push "N" button for 5 seconds, etc.). Once the setting is complete, it says that the truck shouldn't be put into "park".

(1) Does this mean that once I've put my boat in the water and I'm leaving the truck on shore, I should turn the truck off while in neutral with the emergency brake on? ...or, should I go through the reverse steps to take it out of the tow setting and park the truck in "park"?

(2) When using this setting, do I still press the "tow/haul" button when driving?

(3) When towing a relatively light trailer (less than 1,000 lbs.), should I still do the sequence of steps for towing, or is it enough just to push the "tow/haul" button?

(4) Can the "tow/haul" button be used when not trailering...just to give me more torque when climbing a hill? OK to use it "on the fly" while on highways?

Obviously, my first truck. Thank you so much for any help you can give!

-Dave
 

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I don't have nor have I read the 05 owners manual, but that first sequence seems odd. I would think the tow/haul button activation is all that's necessary.

Maybe the first procedure is setting the truck up to BE towed (behind an RV)? Some vehicles have a similar procedure (some you put back into PARK though). I might be way off here though.

I wouldn't be afraid to use the tow/haul button when not towing something. Probably just locks out O/D and slightly changes shift points/line pressure. Let us know how it tows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
After re-reading, I realize you're right. That sequence is only if the truck itself is being towed.

Next question:
The manual says a recreational trailer needs to have electric brakes that plug into the blue plug under the Dakota's steering wheel. The boat trailer I'm getting doesn't have electric brakes and I'm wondering if this is something I should take very seriously and find a trailer with electric brakes.
 

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I assume it has "surge brakes" though, right? Electric brakes don't tend to last long on boat trailers, especially salt water. I personally wouldn't worry about the situation so long as you're legal in your state.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, there are surge brakes. Sounds like I'm set, although I'll check the laws. Thanks so much for your help!!
 

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towing

How new is the boat ??? most modern boat trailer setups will come with at least surge brakes on the trailer , electric is very uncommon setup for smaller boats (under 22 feet) . Surge brakes require nothing just , plug in your trailer lights and go . The brakes on the trailer work on a sliding piston on the trailer tongue which applies the brake fluid to the brakes .
 
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