View Poll Results: your towing speed
55mph 167 13.11%
60mph 480 37.68%
65mph 450 35.32%
70mph 144 11.30%
75 mph or faster 33 2.59%
Voters: 1274. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-17-2009, 03:18 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
Sounds like a interesting thing to do. I can't argue with slowing down in a head wind will increase your MPG. However if you just drive the same speedometer speed all the time, I think it will average out over time, unless you are driving around the world. If you do drive around the world at mid latitudes in the northern hemisphere, I suggest you drive east. I think there is a law something to the effect of:
"For every wind, there is an equal and opposite wind somewhere".
Regards,
Ken
Aircraft Spruce has 0 to 100 mph airspeed indicators starting at $ 126.95. I would think that other companies may have them even cheaper, or visit your local airport and look for a used one.

The only suggestion I would make, is do not purchase one that goes above 140 mph, as the higher the numbers, the harder it is to read, especially at night time.

Averaging out, does not work for the airlines. They will change courses and/or altitudes, to minimize head winds, and to maximize tail winds.

Worked for me during my flying days, oh yea, and nights too.

Andy
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Old 12-17-2009, 04:27 PM   #170
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Hi Andy,
Thanks for the A/S indicator info.
I was an air traffic controller for 31 years and also have over 2000 hours as an aircraft navigator in the Navy. Trust me, trying to compare what aircraft do in regard to wind to what an automobile should or can do is comparing apples to oranges. The goals are usually different and tools available are vastly different. An airliner picks the route and altitude that is forecast to get it to its destination on time or early with minimum fuel consumption. What you are suggesting is slowing down to reduce fuel consumption and thus arriving late. Another main difference is that an automobile has wheels in contact with the ground and is greatly restricted in route and altitude.
I am saying to just drive at your normal speed and get to your destination on time. Accept the increased fuel consumption. The next day perhaps when you have tail wind, you will have better fuel consumption. It will all come out in the wash, unless you tend to lead an unlucky life.
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Old 12-17-2009, 04:45 PM   #171
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Ken.

Using the airspeed indicator worked for me.

Also being a pilot, I don't care if I am late, as long as I reach my destination, safe and sound. If that's the case, then why not conserve on fuel?

At today's fuel prices, I would think more thought would be put into economy, than years ago when gas was fifty cents a gallon, or less. Getting an airplane engine "on the step" to me, is not that far removed from maximizing fuel economy.

As you know, if a private pilot checks the enroute weather, they quite well may change their course of flight, to avoid bad weather. That can be done hours beforehand. To me, the answer was simple. Be late, or leave a little early.

You and I both know, all to well, what usually happens to those "bold" pilots, and to those who burn up the highways.

Planning, to me, is just as essential when traveling on highways, towing a trailer or not, as it was making out a flight plan. Be safe, not sorry, and let others know where your at, at all times.

Andy
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:35 PM   #172
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California has a 55 limit for vehicles towing trailers. That said, we try to maintain between 55 and 60 by setting the cruies control. We do stay in the right lane as much as possible, and out of the way of the lunatics. Of course, they will try to run over you, but we try.

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Old 12-18-2009, 06:58 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
The manual for my trailer says the maximum towing speed is 65. The manufacturer of my trailer tires says the max towing speed is 65. Therefore, that is as fast has I ever tow. What actual speed I tow at depends on traffic, weather, and road condition.
Regards,
Ken
P.S. if you tend to be timid, don't read all of the posts in this thread. You will be tempted to pull over and get out of the way every time you see another Airstream.
Gosh, had to jump in on this one.... again. For those who have raced bicycles in years past... many years past... we remember a rule that the wind is "apparent wind". This is a combination of forward speed and any wind coming from the right or left up to 90 degrees. Fifty percent of the time this is against you. And any push from the side, even slightly from the rear, causes higher rolling resistance on the pavement. No problem, easily understood. Wind is mostly against us. About averaging fuel mileage, however, another issue arises. Just as in averaging speed, one cannot drive 100 miles at 60 mph and 100 miles at 30 mph and expect to average 45 mph. What happens is the average is only 40 mph. Figure it out. 100 minutes plus 200 minutes for 200 miles is 40 mph.

In fuel mileage, as an example, driving the mileage above assume 20 mpg at 60 mph and 40 mpg at 30 mph. One would think overall the average should be 30 mpg... 100 miles at each 20 and 40 mpg. Wrong, the average is only 26.6 mpg.

So what all this is saying is.... once we use the fuel at a higher than necessary speed, we cannot make it up no matter how good our mileage. By driving appropriately at all times and slower into the wind, the overall economy increases.

I pull 61 mph headed West and 63 mph headed East... or try to... usually headed East is going home thus...

Fun discussion though, especially when I hear about the folks outside this forum who tell me their "chip" in their Diesel gives then 24 mpg pulling a trailer. They should watch the show "Lie to Me". I used to do that for a living, LOL
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:43 AM   #174
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My usual towing speed is 60mph. I will let it creep up to 65 on smooth roads though. To go faster than that is just asking for trouble.

Notice a few comments from pilots. My wife and I have an old saying when fly our plane, "when you have time to spare, go by air".
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:16 AM   #175
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so at 30 miles headwind u go 35mph, and with the same tailwind u go 85mph? Copy that...

Not everyone has the luxury of taking whatever time it takes to get there... If I have a 3day weekend to get out there, I want to get there - safely of course but with the least delay possible...

While aerodynamics play a role in your mpg the more weight you tow the less it matters... The significant mph improvement might be just the difference in speed... But u tested it I'm sure and it works for you, that's all that matters...

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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
The fuel consumption rate, for various tow vehicles, is all over the place.

With some vehicles, little to no difference is noted, and probably because that vehicles is a fuel hog to begin with.

During my years of towing a loaded 31 foot Airstream, all over the USA, I used an 'airspeed indicator" from an aircraft. They are easy to install in any tow vehicle.

They basically provide wind speed and direction for you.

As an example, if you speedo says 60 mph, and the airspeed guage says 50 mph, you have a 10 mph tail wind, therefore you could increase the towing speed, if you wished.

On the other hand, if the speedo says 60 mph, and the airspeed says 70 mph, then you have a head wind, of ball park 10 mph.

Regulating your towing speed based on the wind speed and direction, makes a significant difference in mileage.

Andy
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:31 AM   #176
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Looks like we could use some more expertise with the aircraft correlations... from my days playing "F-18 Hornet" fighter-jet simulator, I learned the effectiveness of radar absorbing paint. I slathered all 50+ linear feet of truck and trailer, and am now virtually invisible to the Staties speed guns. Getting there ahead of schedule is never a problem.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:45 AM   #177
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Msmoto, my chip tells me the truth... Unfortunatly it's not 24mpg... But I tested it by the 'fuel used' on a full tank of 80gal it's not off more by 1/4gal... Close enough for me... I seem to average between 14 and 15 towing...
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:59 PM   #178
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Average TOP speed you tow at.

Hi, this thread should be corrected to read "Average top speed that you tow at."
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Old 12-19-2009, 05:21 AM   #179
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OK, I do not have a chip. My reference was to those folks who claim 400+HP and over 700 lb-ft of torque with their after market computer chip and open exhaust on their Diesels. My standard Cummins gives me about 12 - 13 mpg average pulling at 61 mph headed West and 13 - 15 mpg average pulling headed East. North and South tend to be closer to the West number although wind is such a big factor. I also find the relatively slow pulling speed is more relaxing and allows on the Interstates about 600 - 650 mile days quite easily. My overall average speed with all the stops old folks have to make (67 year old female) is 50 mph. Amazingly enough this average is very consistent. Thus I plan on 600 miles = 12 hours + prep and set up if required. My figures are all based on adding receipts and figuring at the end of the day and at the end of a 3,000 - 4,000 mile pull. This is about as close as I can figure.
Incidentally, I try to begin my day by 6 - 6:30 AM. Up at 5 AM usually. Beautiful this time of the day.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:45 PM   #180
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I have a tendency to tow 5 to 10 mph over the posted speed limit. No problems. I buy large enough and strong enough tow vehicles that are up to the task, perform all of my own maintenance, and perform a thorough "preflight" check before every trip. Take care of your equipment and it will take care of you.

However, in heavy traffic, I just roll with traffic. Sometimes driving too slow is just as dangerous as driving too fast. Make sure that you have those 4 ways on when struggling in the slow lane on the hills under 40mph. I prefer to have enough power to maintain the speed limit on even the steepest of grades, but that's just my preference.

I've raced cars for years hitting 200mph. I have had advanced drivers training and TEVOC and passed testing with A+ marks. However, the speed limit is the speed limit and it's there for a reason although sometimes it seems arbitrary.

Driving fast alone is not necessarily unsafe. Driving too fast for conditions is. There's a difference. If you drive at 50mph in a poorly maintained, or insufficient vehicle, are accident prone or inexperienced, then I could consider that unsafe.

I only had a tire compromise one time due to a small piece of steel that it caught. The trailer never moved from its intended path, it just started to vibrate significantly. I just pulled over when I felt the vibration and checked it out, then changed the tire. No drama.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:47 PM   #181
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60 mph is my max speed. Limited travel on interstate hiways. Only when there is no other route.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:22 PM   #182
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During our trip last year we drove Denver to Missoula 935 miles in one day running 75 to 80 mph. My 2011 23' Intl. towed like a sports car with not an issue. We drove I25 to I90 all the way through Wyoming and half of Montana. It was a long day for sure but when you need to tow at high speed I'd rather have an AS behind my Chevy 2500HD then another SOB.
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