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 12-07-2014, 08:40 PM   #211
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Hm. Another reason to go visit Andy ....


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Old 12-07-2014, 09:23 PM   #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstreamer67 View Post
QUOTE: An informative thread. An airspeed indicater, really?
Paul

I love instruments. So, I became interested in Andy's suggestion about an airspeed indicator a few years ago. As a result, I bought one from Aircraft Spruce. It reads 1-100 mph.

I use it just to keep aware of one of the important conditions influencing towing performance: wind conditions.

I was amazed at how accurate the airspeed indicator is. When my speedometer/GPS says 60 mph, so does the airspeed indicator. That is, if no wind is present.

However, if the speedometer shows 60 mph and the airspeed is 70 mph, I know I have a 10 mph head-on headwind, or perhaps a higher headwind coming from an angle.

The reverse is true of tailwinds.

Of course, for any given headwind or tailwind, the airspeed often jumps by 5 or 10 mph momentarily, reflecting wind gusts which are usually present.

Regarding sidewinds, the airspeed often is very jerky, moving up and down with the gusts. Overall, airspeed readings when encountering sidewinds seem to not be influenced up-or-down except, as noted, for the quick up/down movements of the indicator to reflect the gusts. However, I at times get the feeling a sidewind may show a slightly lower airspeed overall, perhaps because the sidewind is creating some sort of "vacuum" as it pushes the wind aside. I'm really not sure about this.

When being passed by or passing traffic, the airspeed jumps wildly until the passing/passed vehicles are gone by perhaps a hundred yards or so and the prevailing wind currents are no longer disturbed by the vehicles.

Along with flags waving and grass swaying and dust swirling and the correspondent influence on trailer handling, I find the airspeed indicator a useful tool while towing. I use it to predict my fuel mileage (higher or lower) while on the road and to be more aware of how the wind is affecting the trailer handling on any given stretch of road.

Is the airspeed indicator a necessary towing tool? Of course not. But I can say the same of many things I've added into my hobby's inventory over the years.
not quite ready to do the airspeed indicator so i use trees, grass, flags what ever to determine the wind direction and speed.. I have figured out if you can see the underside of leaves on trees in summer you are most likely heading down wind. While i don't have a TT now i try to adjust my speed if going more down or quartering rear wind vs heading into the wind or if the wind is quartering off the front.

Especially in my work van with ladders on top just slowing down 5 mph can make a nice difference in MPG,or if on an interstate i will get behind a tractor trailer or some other large vehicle to help break the wind for me.

Also when I was driving Over the road Tractor Trailer most company truck are limited to 65 MPH or like some, the big orange ones, only run 59 MPH. It was done to 1. limit insurance cost and 2. to get better MPG on trucks.
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:28 PM   #213
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Originally Posted by Nips n Nouie View Post
We try to keep it at 63 mph running at 2400 rpm. Mileage is a solid 12 mpg. We tow a 68 Overlander with a MB ML 320 6 cyl gas. I would feel better with 50 more ponies, and know I am underpowered from time to time.

We tow in the Piedmont and coastal plain of the Carolina's, so no major, or sustained grades.

Had this conversation at our first rally a few weeks ago, and a point was made and accepted that much above 65 you are beating the Airstream up for no good reason.
Towing a trailer, is some what the same as flying a airplane.

Installing an "air speed indicator" helps dictate the towing speed, to maximize fuel economy.

If the air says a higher speed than the speedometer, then slow down because you have a head wind.

If the air speed says a lower speed thasn the speedometer, then you can tow at a higher speed, becuase your rig now has a "tail wind".

I used that system many years ago, when I towed a loaded 31 foot Airstream all over the USA, and it made about a 15 to sometimes 20 percent increase in the miles per gallon.

Not bad for simplicity.

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Old 12-07-2014, 10:31 PM   #214
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What ever my lovely wife can stand? I try to average about 70 on the Interstate. However with my new Gen 2 Powerstroke, I find that it is very easy to be going 75 before I realize it. I don't like to be passed, if at all possible. Although it has happened a few times. I once got stopped by a Trooper in Texas for doing 80 in a 70. I was pulling a 33ft. HR and the Trooper let me go. He told me that was the fastest that he had ever clocked a RV and just had to stop me to tell me that! That was one of my proudest moments! I don't think that my wife or I will ever forget it. I didn't buy the most powerful truck and a RV to try and save fuel. I am trying to leave the largest "carbon footprint" behind, just for Al.
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:03 PM   #215
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I don't tow just by speed indicated on the speedometer. I tow with a close eye on the tachometer. My Taco seems to be most efficient if the engine is turning over between 2000-2500 RPM, so I adjust speed and gear selection to stay on that zone.

I also try to stay reasonably close to speed limit with RPM as priority. I have caught strong tailwinds and been able to truck along at a smart clip across Texas under the right conditions. I have also climbed long grades at 2500 RPM in 3rd (of 5) at 45 miles per hour and let lots of big rigs get by me. I officially not in a hurry when I'm towing. We get in to campsites so late at times that they have actually called me out of concern when we are super late....

The airspeed and altimiter indicator idea is appealing, if only to get an indication of possible wind resistance, which translates to MPG almost directly. Temperature is also important--hot and high means less dense air and less power...that's built into the truck, along with a digital magnetic compass display in the rear view mirror.

We also keep a very detailed trip log that includes mileage, cost of fill-up, locaion of fill-up and accumulated mileage. The logbook is in the same skinny notebook that contains campground reservation and contact data from the trip planning cycle. A little after-action analysis tells you a lot from that data.
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:57 AM   #216
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In looking over this stuff I am really in to the idea of a wind speed indicator. And I have not searched this out but am wondering if there are data showing fuel mileage on various Interstate highways. My experience has suggested traveling west, I-10 has such headwinds as to make me use I-20 when I head to southern Texas (Houston). However east bound the tail wind is great. This also seems to be a large factor on I-90 in southern Minnesota.

A typical long distance towing day for me is 600 - 700 miles, averaging about 50 - 53 mph, as I stop to nap, eat, and refuel often. While towing at 65 - 70 May seem to be faster, I can average nearly the same at 60-65 due simple math. Stopped time kills your average speed so dramatically I find 60 - 65 more relaxing and within 15-30 minutes of time going much faster each day.


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Old 12-08-2014, 09:08 AM   #217
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IMHO
A wind speed indicator and altimeter are just another thing to distract one from the duties of driving safely. Between the fuel mileage indicators on the dash. The rear view cameras, cell phones and GPS.
Are we becoming addicted to the gadgets?
I know I am. I have been looking at cameras. Not a rear view, but something for that blind spot on the right side of the TV and trailer.
The problem is where to put the monitor screen. I could replace the radio with one of the Double DIN units that is video capable. Most of the units have touch screen controls. It means looking away from the road to make any changes.
There are a few side view cameras out there. But wiring for video and power can be difficult. The wireless units tend to have interference problems.
But I keep coming back to the distraction issue.
While I like getting good fuel mileage. I don't understand the fixation with it.
Most of us are running around the country with towing rigs that cost tens of thousands of $$$$'s.. How Many travel so far in a year that fuel costs over all have a big impact on the expense of trip?
I just have to force myself not to get too excited about whether I get 12 mpg or 15. Or whatever the number is.
I just have to tell myself. If you can't afford it. Then stay home.


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Old 12-08-2014, 09:43 AM   #218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
IMHO
A wind speed indicator and altimeter are just another thing to distract one from the duties of driving safely. Between the fuel mileage indicators on the dash. The rear view cameras, cell phones and GPS.
Are we becoming addicted to the gadgets?
I know I am. I have been looking at cameras. Not a rear view, but something for that blind spot on the right side of the TV and trailer.
The problem is where to put the monitor screen. I could replace the radio with one of the Double DIN units that is video capable. Most of the units have touch screen controls. It means looking away from the road to make any changes.
There are a few side view cameras out there. But wiring for video and power can be difficult. The wireless units tend to have interference problems.
But I keep coming back to the distraction issue.
While I like getting good fuel mileage. I don't understand the fixation with it.
Most of us are running around the country with towing rigs that cost tens of thousands of $$$$'s.. How Many travel so far in a year that fuel costs over all have a big impact on the expense of trip?
I just have to force myself not to get too excited about whether I get 12 mpg or 15. Or whatever the number is.
I just have to tell myself. If you can't afford it. Then stay home.


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I disagree.

An altimeter as well as an airspeed indication, is not looked at anymore than your speedometer.

Cell phones, because of lack of training, are indeed "killers".

Good vehicles already have a radar system, that tells you when someone is close to you on either side.

Monitor screens are OK, BUT they must be looked at with no more than a glance.

Agreed, distraction is bad, but when it's less than 1 (one) second, that's less time than when a driver sneezes. Staring, is out of the question.

Using a cell phone, is out of the question, unless a person has been trained properly.

Compare it to a pilot. They must use both eyes, both hands, both feet, both ears, receive or transmit information, all while landing an aircraft. FAA, awards a "license" to those that can not only do that, but handle an aircraft, all at the same time.

The equation for safe towing, does not include, I can do it because I own one.

A training course, is extremely helpful.

Automobile and small truck drivers would PROTEST such examinations, which basically, do what?

SAFETY

Safety is not only protecting one's self, but their passengers, AND, the public.

Unfortunately, all to many use the motto of GET OUT OF MY WAY, and yes, many people that tow a travel trailer as well.

I did accident investigations for the old insurance division of Airstream, for over 7 years, covering all 50 states. I assure you, all to many of them happened because of pure carelessness, such as not paying attention.

AND, that was before cell phones.

Instruments are guides, nothing more.

To kick them to the curb, is also kicking safety, in many cases, to the curb.

Andy
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Old 12-08-2014, 03:42 PM   #219
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I use many items for the acquisition of information, and I tow my trailer much the same way I drove my moho with towed, and rode across country on a motorcycle. My visual field cycles between, the road about 12 seconds ahead, my right and left mirror, rear monitor, and instruments., including GPS units showing a lot of info. This works well in routine traffic, and I am often listening to some audio entertainment.

However, when I am nearing a point where turns may be directed by the GPS, traffic is moderate to heavy and includes the issue of other drivers being more anxious than I am, my focus is on the traffic and the acquisition of more vehicle data showing my position in the traffic pattern, a critical fact in avoiding accidents IMO. I usually turn off the radio, turn the CB down, and focus only on navigation as the route changes demand.

Any instrument must be utilized in a manner to assist in one's driving, not as a distraction. For me, the prioritization of data input is important.
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:34 PM   #220
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Any instrument must be utilized in a manner to assist in one's driving, not as a distraction. For me, the prioritization of data input is important.
Amen, amen.

Instruments present data.

Wisely used, they keep us informed.

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Old 12-08-2014, 04:44 PM   #221
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New airspeed indicators 0 to 80 mph, or 0 to 100 mph go for less than $ 160.00.

New altimeters 0 to 10,000 feet go for less than $ 180.00.

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Old 12-08-2014, 07:57 PM   #222
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So! Lets say! You know that you get the best mileage at 60mph.
Now you are on the highway driving at 60mph into a 20mph head wind. Now your wind speed indicator reads 80mph.
What are you going to do? Slow down to 40mph? Knowing that you are probably the only one on the highway within 100 miles that has any idea of the reason you are slowing down. They are probably cussing you out because you don't have enough truck to pull that rig into the wind.
Just asking.


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Old 12-08-2014, 08:01 PM   #223
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63......just 8 above the Cali trailer towing speed limit.
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Old 12-08-2014, 08:48 PM   #224
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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
So! Lets say! You know that you get the best mileage at 60mph.
Now you are on the highway driving at 60mph into a 20mph head wind. Now your wind speed indicator reads 80mph.
What are you going to do? Slow down to 40mph? Knowing that you are probably the only one on the highway within 100 miles that has any idea of the reason you are slowing down. They are probably cussing you out because you don't have enough truck to pull that rig into the wind.
Just asking.


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Is the question asking are you trying to please yourself, or others on the highway?

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