Fuel mileage

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Fuel mileage

Postby Chris M. » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:35 pm

Im considering building a tear for a place to sleep for my motorcycle racing which is always a long way from home. Right now im hoteling it but at 80-120 a night and 3-6 times a month im curious to see if its worth dragging a trailer. Right now my 3.0l ranger v6 avg highway 24 or so with bike in the back and gear. I travel roughly upto 2000 miles round trip. What kind of fuel mileage are you getting? Are you pulling a foamy or woody? I would need to build a tear that was light (leaning hard on a foam) but strong enough to handle the rough roads and super rough dirt roads into the race sites. If i can maintain some fuel mileage i could see it being a huge benefit and maybe even save some money and sanity by not having to checkout of hotels at 6am to make to the races on time. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Fuel mileage

Postby tony.latham » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:13 am

I pull a 1300 pound teardrop with my Tacoma. As long as I keep my speed below sixty, I lose 1-2 mpg. Crank it up and it bleeds off quickly.
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Re: Fuel mileage

Postby rowerwet » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:10 am

I had a short bed ranger with a toneau cover on the bed when I built my tear. I never bothered to record the loss in mileage, but with the flatter front of a Benroy, I could really feel the drag above 60 mph. Of course this was with the anemic 2.5 engine, but if you can really feel the drag and notice how much the vehicle decelerates as soon as you let off the gas, it can't be good.
I planned on making a tongue box with nicely curved sides and top to sweep the airflow coming over the toneau out around and over the tear instead of letting it run into the flat front of the tear. I moved and had to get rid of the truck before I got a chance to try smoothing out the airflow with a tongue box.
Based on what I know now, the gap between the tailgate and the front of the trailer was to large, making the gap shorter with a tongue box would be the correct answer.
If you put a cap on the truck and made a mini toy hauler or just make sure your tear is set up right, your mileage loss would be small. Even with a poorly sorted out rig like I when I was towing with my Ranger, you would not spend as much on gas as a motel would cost. you can do a lot of driving on the $100 or so a room costs.
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Re: Fuel mileage

Postby 48Rob » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:37 am

Though you didn't ask... would you stay in your trailer at the race area, or would you have to seek out a campground?
While some people are "okay" with not showering for days at a time, I'd imagine after a race you would appreciate a nice place to clean up.
How about food? Do you eat out now? If you are camping cooking is usual, not a bad thing, but it takes more time.
If you camp at the races food my be available, most campgrounds don't have prepared food.
Just a few things to think about.

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Re: Fuel mileage

Postby Chris M. » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:44 pm

Showers are not a huge priority, for the lady they are nice but truck stop showers are fine along with baby wipes. And yes the idea is to stay at the race site which is usually in the middle of nowhere anyways. It would save us on our morning commute to the race which can be hour or so and is on top of our drive down and back. My thinking was to put the bike in the back of the ranger. Kick it sideways and lean it back and then the tear done up in a foamy so my mileage doesn't shoot out the window. But a wood i see being stronger and more durable for my use
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Re: Fuel mileage

Postby wincrasher » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:16 pm

You didn't say what your budget is, but this might be right up your alley:

http://www.amazon.com/Lifetime-Deluxe-T ... nt+trailer



I have one of these I tow with my Miata. Kinda pricey if you just buy it, but you could build something similar I suppose.
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Re: Fuel mileage

Postby gudmund » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:24 pm

2000 Chevy S-10 2.2L 4cyl - 5 speed manual (Chevy Caviler motor) with a raised roof canopy - 25 to 28 mpg without the trailer. With the 4x8 teardrop - 800 lbs. empty - 1200 lbs. loaded, I got 23 to 25 mpg overall on a long steady hiway run - its the stop and go stuff that really killed the mpg. Have replaced this PU with an 2007 Colorado Crew Cab 3.7L 5cyl now with twice the HP and torque. Towing the trailer with it doesn't seem to affect the mpg much at all being it doesn't work as hard -BUT!!- the Colorado isn't even close to what the S-10 got when just driven around without the trailer. 19 to 22 mpg at the most with or without the trailer so far. (S-10 was 120 HP/140 lbs. torque - now 242 HP/242 lbs. torque along with auto-air-cruse-power windows - haven't had a auto in over 30 years along with never having had air-cruse or power windows!!! am getting spoiled now along with getting older being this is also the first 4 door I've ever had - just turned 60)
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Re: Fuel mileage

Postby S. Heisley » Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:20 pm

By itself, (Well, with me driving. HaHa!) my block shaped 6 cyl Jeep gets 15-19 mpg, city-hwy. With the roughly 1200 lb block shaped trailer in tow, I get 15 mpg, city and hwy. Something lighter, smaller, and more aerodynamic, will work well for you.
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Re: Fuel mileage

Postby Chris M. » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:01 am

Sweet those are the answers i needed. I will be leaning hard on a foamer tear drop just need to collect the parts. Another quick question. When they canvas the trailer are you using the glue on top or ?? I have read a bunch on canvas but i cant for the life of me see a way they are putting it on.
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Re: Fuel mileage

Postby Chris M. » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:03 am

Oh and wincrasher i have looked into those but im trying to stay away from the whole tenting it thing. Just wana open the door and throw my stuff in then hit the road
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Re: Fuel mileage

Postby wincrasher » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:07 am

Understandable. Thought that in your situation, it could hold your bike and tools and stuff really well. Also, you'd have room for a porta potti for the GF.
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Re: Fuel mileage

Postby jseyfert3 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:25 am

Chris M. wrote:Sweet those are the answers i needed. I will be leaning hard on a foamer tear drop just need to collect the parts. Another quick question. When they canvas the trailer are you using the glue on top or ?? I have read a bunch on canvas but i cant for the life of me see a way they are putting it on.

From my research it seems there are two main methods that people use. Either diluted Titebond II wood glue, rolled on like paint on the foam, sticking the canvas up to the wet glue, then rollering on more glue to wet the canvas completely. Then prime and paint. The other way is done with primer, often Glidden Gripper, applied the same way except not thinned. Roller it on the foam, apply canvas, then roller more on the outside of the canvas while it's still wet. Then paint (I'd imagine you may not have to prime, depending how much primer was applied when you put the canvas on, but it may still need another coat of primer first).

Many perforate or rough up the foam surface before canvasing, some don't and have no issues. I'll be using a spiked roller as recommended as a fast way to perforate the foam by another member.
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Re: Fuel mileage

Postby Chris M. » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:41 pm

Ahh ok that makes way more sense now thank you. Im lookin at some titebond II and it doesnt have a ratio for dilution what are your "ratios" for it. Or better yet what should the consistency be. Far as canvas goes does it matter what thickness? I image it works similar to fiberglass work.
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Re: Fuel mileage

Postby rowerwet » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:40 am

you don't want the TBII to soak through the fabric, if it does then you will have a spot that paint won't stick to very well. rather you just want a thin layer of TBII, just enough to tack the fabric to the foam. Then fill the fabric weave with paint after the TBII dries.
Using paint (gripper) you want as much on the foam as possible, and then to fill the fabric weave with more paint.
The TBII method is a much less forgiving method as the glue will be in the very tacky state and you pretty much get one shot at sticking the fabric with no wrinkles. The paint method gives you the drying time for the paint to work any wrinkles out.
The real choice comes down to cost, TBII costs $10 or so less per gallon than gripper.

You can use just about any thickness natural fabric, I used drop cloth canvas on my teardrop, while it is very tough, it really soaked up the paint, when I tested the TBII and paint method I used an old bed sheet, both will work. If you want a really nice finish use a finer fabric, one that has been talked about recently for toughness and smoothness is linen (made from flax) the cost per yard is high though. Drop cloth canvas is cheap but rough, it gives a textured finish, which I really like, not everyone does.

(details for both in the "poor mans fiberglass" link)
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Re: Fuel mileage

Postby GerryS » Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:02 am

My though was the same as 48rob. Sleeping is a small part - food showers and restroom facilities are also key. As GI showers are fine, food and restrooms are probably not a concern either. Do the venues you race at allow camping? Most do I'm sure, but know those rules first.....campgrounds tend to be the same distance or farther than hotels :). Unless you want interstate side sleeping....I don't. I don't want to be within 2 miles of an interstate...

Purely from a comfort point of view, I hate hotels. I've already decided that my teardrop or an RV will be the only way I'll spend any time away from home, unless it's corporate travel where I have no control. The fleabag hotels are just gross. The hHiltons cost way too much, and they all seem to be getting worse. The oldest and least well maintained campground I've been in was still better than the worst hotel...maybe it's just expectation. But $25 a night I can forgive a lot more than I can for $100, and I've still got my own mattress and pillows. Good shower shoes are a must.

On your fuel economy question, I'm a cheater, my rig is commercially made (camp inn). Weighing I can only guess on, but I figger (sic) around 1100 pounds estimated plus gear, I lose about 4 mpg when I tow. With a jeep liberty diesel and a Subaru outback 3.6 liter, I forget it's back there. I don't baby it too much, but I don't speed to begin with....sign says 65 I'll do 70 tops. Rarely will I go faster than that...

Where are you from? Look for a gathering in your area, stop by and get to know us. It's a lot of fun to see others work and meet some really good people while your at it...
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