Gas mileage ?

All about towing and tow vehicles

Re: Gas mileage ?

Postby canned o minimum » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:27 pm

As sumone so eloquently put it...Kinda like rollin a wheelbarrow empty as opposed to full...a little problematic to git rollin, but then nice an easy until ya hafta stop. Simple physics actually.Whilst I'm certain thaty sum "scientist" will give us all the "particulars", but plain and simple... lighter is better ( till ya git too light) and simple is better than complex and over built. As fer gas mileage...I DON'T CARE ! I love to drive my 65 VW beetle AND tow ,my teardrop behind it ! I doesn't has a $500 a month car payment and I can fix it MYSELF !
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Re: Gas mileage ?

Postby stoneycoyote » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:36 am

On our first time out. 2010 subaru , dropped 2 mpg is all.
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Re: Gas mileage ?

Postby Vedette » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:44 am

We get better gas mileage with Miss Piggy in tow behind Sandi's Hyundai Santa Fe than we do with out it.
But, my 46 Studebaker is a different story.
So "Draft" plays a factor in mileage also.
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Re: Gas mileage ?

Postby Cosmo » Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:16 pm

Was out again last week. 550 miles over rolling new England landscape. This time at a steady 65 - 60 mph I managed to get 26MPG average towing with the 2015 Subaru forester. Car was pretty loaded up with gear. Nothing on the roof.

I found this article to agree with my fuel economy results.
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.jsp


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Re: Gas mileage ?

Postby TechScott » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:23 am

Reading this thread everyone alludes to the same factors that effect mileage when towing:

    Trailer Weight
    Aerodynamics (width or resistance)
    Aerodynamics (shape or drag)
    Tow Speed (breakdown of aerodynamics)

Missing is the relationship of the horsepower, torque and aerodynamic efficiency of the tow vehicle.

Many vehicles are optimized to provide the proper horsepower and torque to maintain the best possible fuel mileage at a certain weight and drag. One of the posters has a Golf TDI, this is a highly optimized diesel that get great mileage; when you operate it a certain way. A couple of years ago I went on a trip with friends. We budgeted out money to share the expense of a long drive across Germany and France. We took out funds at the bank to cover the whole trip before we left to avoid ATM fees on the road. Then we met a couple of Americans backpacking across Europe who need to get to Frankfurt to return home to deal with a family emergency. No problem we were heading to Frankfurt anyway and they had plenty of time to make their flight. The problem, the additional weight of our passengers and gear (about 350 lbs by my estimate) total threw off the fuel mileage. The finely setup TDI dropped 8-10 MPG! We were driving on the same roads at the same speeds! I did notice we were: downshifting earlier on inclines, and lost some aerodynamic efficiency as the front end was slightly higher. I also noticed we were spending more money on fuel and ATM fees. But how could the addition of two passengers and a couple of backpacks cause so much havoc to the mileage?

The additional weight and loss of aerodynamics threw the diesel engine outside its most efficient operating range.
This is why cars with small engines and great gas mileage loose so much efficiency when adding a trailer.

They have the perfect weight to power and torque ratio until you add the trailer.

That's my 2 cents worth,

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Mission, Texas USA
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Re: Gas mileage ?

Postby DrewsBrews » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:21 pm

Comparing the MPG drop between vehicles look less spectacular when you look at the % loss. 40mpg normal and 30 towing, a 10mpg drop, is a 25% reduction. 25mpg down to 19, a 6mpg drop, is a 24% reduction.
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Re: Gas mileage ?

Postby bobhav » Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:16 pm

I just got back from CRA 2015. We were camping in a canvas covered Vardo that has 6'3"stand up space. My tow vehicle, a 1500 Chevy PU with a 4.3 L V6 regularly gets 19.5 MPG. Towing the Vardo up and down the hills in Spencer, In we got 13.5 MPG. That is a large percentage, 33.3% For the fun we had, I can easily live with that.

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Re: Gas mileage ?

Postby Dunenutt » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:22 pm

<<<< Mine get's 10MPG. Down hill, up hill, city, county, Hwy. I don't expect it to change much with a teardrop behind it. LOL
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Re: Gas mileage ?

Postby booyah » Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:21 pm

I just did a trip of a little over 500 miles, about two thirds of it was freeway (68 in a 70 zone) the rest was 55 mph two lane (I did 57-58)

Tow vehicle is a 2010 scion XD with a 5 speed manual and 1.8l 4 banger.

Normally on the freeway stuff not running AC, and driving 70, I would be mid to high 30s, (35-37) and the 55 stuff driving 57-58 i would have pulled easily in the low 40s. so average say 38MPG for that type of a trip

Towing the tear I averaged 29, so a 9 mpg drop is pretty decent, but at nearly 30 average I'm certainly not going to complain.
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Re: Gas mileage ?

Postby felixx » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:33 pm

My 1967 ford anglia (997cc -60Cubic inch) does 34mpg unlaiden and 25mpg with the tear on the back (I have done one trip and it was uphill all the way there and into a howling southerly all the way home)

However it was my first trip with it

my 2015 outlander however, does 9.6 L/100 km (29.5 mpg)
However I do not care about the mpg with this wagon as fuel is paid for by work
(6000 personal miles a year)
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Re: Gas mileage ?

Postby KennethW » Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:44 pm

A 5 wide behind a ford freestyle. A trip from Minnesota to Devils tower,Yellowstone Flame canyon, Dinosaur and down thru Rocky mountain and home with two group meets in two weeks. Posted speeds +4 so at times 84 mph. I got 17 mpg which I thing is OK at them speeds.
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Re: Gas mileage ?

Postby deceiver » Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:33 pm

TechScott wrote:Reading this thread everyone alludes to the same factors that effect mileage when towing:

    Trailer Weight
    Aerodynamics (width or resistance)
    Aerodynamics (shape or drag)
    Tow Speed (breakdown of aerodynamics)

Missing is the relationship of the horsepower, torque and aerodynamic efficiency of the tow vehicle.

Many vehicles are optimized to provide the proper horsepower and torque to maintain the best possible fuel mileage at a certain weight and drag. One of the posters has a Golf TDI, this is a highly optimized diesel that get great mileage; when you operate it a certain way. A couple of years ago I went on a trip with friends. We budgeted out money to share the expense of a long drive across Germany and France. We took out funds at the bank to cover the whole trip before we left to avoid ATM fees on the road. Then we met a couple of Americans backpacking across Europe who need to get to Frankfurt to return home to deal with a family emergency. No problem we were heading to Frankfurt anyway and they had plenty of time to make their flight. The problem, the additional weight of our passengers and gear (about 350 lbs by my estimate) total threw off the fuel mileage. The finely setup TDI dropped 8-10 MPG! We were driving on the same roads at the same speeds! I did notice we were: downshifting earlier on inclines, and lost some aerodynamic efficiency as the front end was slightly higher. I also noticed we were spending more money on fuel and ATM fees. But how could the addition of two passengers and a couple of backpacks cause so much havoc to the mileage?

The additional weight and loss of aerodynamics threw the diesel engine outside its most efficient operating range.
This is why cars with small engines and great gas mileage loose so much efficiency when adding a trailer.

They have the perfect weight to power and torque ratio until you add the trailer.

That's my 2 cents worth,

-TechScott
Mission, Texas USA


I've also noticed that Cars seem to tach lowest at the old 55mph pike speed. Anything above that and it spikes.
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Re: Gas mileage ?

Postby gudmund » Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:29 am

2000 S-10 2.2 L-4 cyl, 5 speed w 3.73 rear-end gear (basic plan-jane el-cheapo PU - no options) 25 to 29 mpg everyday driving, towing 1250 lb tear 22 to 24 mpg. Now, 2007 Colorado 3.7-5 cyl, Auto w 3.73 rear-end gear (4 door with all the options) 17 to 21 mpg everyday, towing the same 1250 lb tear - 17 to 21 mpg - No difference overall but it's more 17 to 19 with slow stop and go driving back roads, no freeways and 19 to 21 mpg flat constant freeway cruising. The BIG difference between the two is POWER!! 120HP with the S-10 and 242HP with the Colorado along with almost twice the torque - 140 lbs S-10 and 242 lbs Colorado - a bit less gas mileage but worth it when it comes to the power difference. The Colorado has a cab high canopy which planes out the same height as the tear which probably helps on the aero part (S-10 also had a canopy)
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Re: Gas mileage ?

Postby vax » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:23 am

I average about 21-23mpg in my 2000 toyota tacoma on the highway, when I'm towing my trailer (cargo conversion not tear drop but its got the nose cone) I get around 18-20 depending on grade. all in all I cant complain, except that a bigger truck would more power would be nice = ]
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Re: Gas mileage ?

Postby deceiver » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:47 pm

I just picked up a new f-150 crew cab V8 2015. I haven't put the trailer on it yet but in 800 miles I've averaged 21.5 mpg. It keeps track in the electronics. That's with mixed driving. Aluminum body and 6 speed auto transmission might be the reason? My old 2003 silverado... 15-18 mpg depending on driving conditions.
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