2004 Chevy HD w/ Duramax and Allison Transmission Downshifting Issue

I have a 2004 Chevy HD with the Duramax engine (LLY version if it matters) and the Allison Transmission with which I pull a 5th wheel camper. We go
camping in Tennessee every year (Fall Creek Falls State Park - Beautiful Place) and of course we have to travel up and down some steep mountains. The truck tows the camper without any problem except when traveling down a steep grade. Almost as soon as I start braking to keep from building up too much speed, the transmission automatically downshifts causing the RPMs to jump sky high, a few times even into the red. I know that the transmission is supposed to downshift while in Tow/Haul mode but it seems like it should allow me to slow down enough with the brakes before downshifting to keep from red lining the RPMs. I guess my question is: Am I doing anything wrong and will it hurt my truck if the RPMs jump up to the red area every now and then? In doing a little research, I have found some programmers/chips that claim to help with the downshifting problem. One even says "Virtually eliminates downshifting while towing". I'm not sure I want that, but if anybody has any recommendations on a good programmer/chip, I'd love to hear about it.
Thanks, Cory
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At 2004, it's going to be under warranty - I'd be contacting the dealership pretty quick and getting the 'issue' documented with them as a potential warranty claim. At least if SOMETHING happens a year or so down the road they can't say "but you never told us!". Know what I mean? :)

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Greetings,
Just as a precaution I would take it to your dealer and ask them is anything is wrong, but from your description I would say that it sounds like it's running as it should. This sounds completely like a operator-induced issue. When in Tow/Haul mode as you describe, the tranny is doing exactly what it is supposed to do and is giving its best effort at helping to save your brakes. A brief excursion into high engine RPM's will not hurt your truck because it's not staying at that level. If you want to avoid going to that level in the first place then start slowing down before you build up too much speed, that way your engine will not rev as high when you apply the brakes.
Regardless of how capable your truck is, 5th wheels are heavy and carry a lot of momentum. Better to shave off the speed early than to try to slow down after you've already sped up too much. Anyone behind you who doesn't like it can just get over it.
Cheers - Jonathan

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You have two red rpm zones, the "dashed" section, and the solid. you can safely use the dashed section with no harm to the engine, you will not have any power in this range, this is by design. Do not run the engine in the solid range under any curcomstances because you will harm your truck.......
sounds normal to me.....

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I'm in agreement with the others, sounds pretty much normal. I have the 8.1L w/ the Allison and tow a 32' 5'er. I will not tow, even on flats, beyond 70 MPH. It's not worth my family's lives or risking other's to get there only a few minutes faster. Going down the mountains . . . as the other poster stated it, they can just get over it. They don't have 16K pounds to keep under control! Mine has never hit into the red when braking itself. Another key point is I don't generally have it in tow/haul mode unless in stop and go traffic. This prevents it from downshifting as quick.

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