Transmission Temperature Gauge

Those folks who own trailers or diesel pushers can skip this verbage, since all diesel motorhomes seem to come equipped with a Transmission Temperature gauge.

Almost none of the gasser motorhomes are equipped with a Transmission Temperature gauge. (The 2006 and newer Ford V-10 motorhomes have a Transmission Temperature gauge in the instrument cluster—but it is only useful to tell you that you have a problem. Both the Water Temperature and Transmission Temperature gauges on the newer Fords are "damped"— meaning that they almost always stay in the middle of the gauge, unless the temperatures elevate to unsafe levels.)

Adding a Transmission Temperature gauge to just about every gas motorhome is a very wise investment. Many of the newer chasses have fairly powerful engines—that can climb a hill, often without causing the transmission to shift down. However, the transmission can get rather hot trying to drag a motorhome (and, usually, also a toad) up a hill in high gear.

If you have a Transmission Temperature gauge, you can often see that the transmission is starting to get hot, and the driver can then manually shift the transmission into a lower gear— increasing engine RPM, but usually lowering the transmission temperature.

You are urged to get a Transmission Temperature gauge that is NOT damped—so you can watch the fluctuations of the transmission temperature and alter your driving style to keep the temperature in a safe range.

An electrical gauge is much preferred over the old style gauges, since there is only a couple of wires between the electronic sender and the temperature gauge mounted somewhere where the driver can easily see it. The temperature Sender (the small part that actually measures the temperature) is usually located in the transmission "return line" from the oil cooler mounted in front of the radiator. However, some RVers prefer to mount the Sender in the line running from the transmission to the oil cooler.

If you, like most RVers, are not comfortable is messing around with your transmission oil cooler hoses, almost all RV repair shops can install the Sender for you at a nominal charge. Just about any "hands on" RVer can run the wires from the Sender to the temperature gauge near the driver's seat.

By being alert to the changing transmission temperatures, a seasoned RV pilot can manually shift down when the transmission temperature begins to climb beyond the "normal" range.

Spending about $100 for a Transmission Temperature gauge just might save you from spending more than $3,000 for a complete rebuild of your transmission.

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