Can I use cruise control while towing?

I recently bought my first truck and will be using it to haul my boat to my new house a couple of states away. It’s a long drive and I’d obviously like to use the cruise control. Is it alright to use the cruise control while towing a heavy load?

Patrick Price · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
A long drive without any
cruise control
can be brutal. Fortunately, you can use cruise control while towing.
There’s nothing to stop you from engaging your truck’s cruise control while you’re in tow/haul mode. This won’t necessarily do any damage to your vehicle. That being said, there are some risks associated with using cruise while towing.
When you set your cruise control, you are instructing your vehicle to do whatever it takes performance-wise to maintain your current speed. Normally, this isn’t a problem as your car will simply increase or decrease the throttle depending on its resistance.
When you’re towing, though, the demand on your engine can become quite severe.
Let’s say you come to a large hill in the road while hauling your boat. If you were driving without cruise control, the extra power required to move the truck’s weight and the boat would mean that your speed would drop. The harder your truck had to work to climb the hill, the more you would slow down.
In cruise control, however, your engine will fight tooth and nail to maintain the current speed. Which means it will be running at a higher intensity than normal. This can put enormous strain on your engine, so be careful.
When you’re hauling your boat, make sure to always take over and slow down whenever you come to a steep incline.
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