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Old 10-28-2013, 07:18 AM   #113
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The Airspeed indicator will allow you to stay at a constant speed relative to the air and should allow you to get more consistant gas miliage. Yes there are second order affects but I was not trying to get to less than 1%. It is really not something I would consider. My V10 Excursion gets about 8 MPH driving hard and about 9 when I loaf along. There are other factors like the grade of gasoline, ethanol (evilnol) content etc that mess with your gas miliage. I think as others have stated that breaking the trip into shorter sections reduces the need for excess speed. We just got back from St Joe State Park in FL and I found myself driving a little too fast trying to get home before too late to unpack and get ready for work the next day. The trip was 441 miles. Less pressure makes for slower safer driving.

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Old 10-28-2013, 08:08 AM   #114
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I had been towing at 55 to save gas. Last week I started going 60. It doesn't seem to use any more gas at 60. I know by previous experimenting that it does use more gas at 70. I might try 65 some time for comparison to 70 and 60. Driving 55-60 does not bother me at all. Everybody else can go around me while I am saving gas.
I've noticed with our F-250 w/6.0L diesel that if you stay at 60 mph for a moment, it'll shift into overdrive even while towing. So, I wouldn't be surprised if 60 mph in our rig is just as efficient - if not more so - than 55 mph. The only downside is that at 60 mph, it has to downshift to do anything, even a mild hill, whereas at 55 mph it will react faster to additional load because it doesn't need to downshift.

Your tow vehicle might do something similar, but possibly at different speeds. Just gotta tow with it a lot to find out.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:15 AM   #115
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pedantic nerd challenge...I say that with admiration as a proud pedant myself..

(I have little/no physics expertise so I bow out of that debate )
I took a lot of physics. However the most valuable class I took was "How to Sound a Bit Like You Know What You Are Talking About, When You Really Have Know Idea" I think it was actually entitled, "Political Science 101" It was also offered in the Agriculture School as "Bovine Excrement Dispersal 301"

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Old 10-28-2013, 12:30 PM   #116
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:07 PM   #117
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...I am "relearning" my towing skills with my new 2014 Ram 2500 4x4 Laramie with the Cummins 6.7L diesel. The 2012 Infinity QX56 I towed with over the past year (around 16,000 miles) was fantastic. It is an ENTIRELY different experience with the Ram. In particular, having so much torque, a turbo-diesel AND exhaust braking has required me to go back to basics. While many of the skills (and they ARE skills) are transferable, everything from TV length, mirrors, braking distances are different. The differences in shift points could not be greater, and even backing requires rethinking. So, I'd say that it's probably not a good thing to do specifics on "how to's" from speed to you-name-it. Hitch set-up, a now modified PP drop and tons of other factors weigh into this. Frankly, I am enjoying the challenge and love my new truck but it is most assuredly a very different experience.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:17 PM   #118
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55 mph safe?

As I wrote above, do the work of planning in advance to lower the amount of work (mental) while on the road. And, to establish good habits from the outset. These are predicated on controlling costs . . and not just for the trip planned, but for the longest life of the vehicles concerned. So the daily details fall into a larger context. My wish is to understand the overall cost of living in this manner (from purchase to sale) so the costs of nights aboard is also related to travel speed however indirectly.

Safe is pretty much braking distance. Any need to maneuver sharply is contraindicated. I'd say that, for general purposes, that 45-mph is a speed that a decently hitched combination can deal with such changes from straight-line travel (pickups being lowest denominator). The ability to get to that speed -- time & distance -- is the "out" for which we plan as keeping the rig upright, lane-centered and aligned is basic.

Difficult winds & difficulties with road surfaces are all made easier with lower travel speeds. 60-mph is where, aerodynamically, wind resistance graphs upwards sharply. So travel costs are also on that line, and longest term costs as well. (If my TV didn't work well at 60 or slightly lower, I'd re-gear it as over a few hundred thousand miles the savings are at least a wash on fuel alone; tire and engine wear also figure).

Whatever the OP winds up doing long-term, the notes made over the first year or two -- when all of this is fresh -- will pay off long term. I like to be able to plan from any aspect of time and distance, be it daily, monthly or per 1000-miles. Etc. So, comfort in how it all seems to come together is what makes things automatic when another trip or move is planned. This, from doing this set of calcs on a daily basis running around the region (Eagle Ford), or from where do I want to be in three days so as to best plan today on other longer oilfield-related trips.

Choice of road, expected weather as well as load and traffic have to mix best to achieve an expected end. On TT journeys it is the mix of people along as well. Some discipline on their part can be learned, but I would like to emphasize that planning changes over a larger number of choices than just speed can be satisfying to all concerned, youngest to oldest.

As someone who grew up riding the backseat of a big American car pulling an aero aluminum trailer the memories are often not the planned high points . . it may have been a far distant thunderstorm moving across Nebraska with Dad explaining weather-phenomena from the aspect of a pilot. With further elucidation from Mom about her 19th-century grandparents gathering livestock in advance of threats as seen . . and we, in air-conditioned limitless 1960's America working from yet another set of choices.

Is 55mph "safe"? Sure . . but it's more a guideline than anything else (and learning to manage overtaking and passing traffic -- two different things -- is itself a challenge), so expand the playbook and be willing, within a framework, to make changes where hard and fast rules are explored.

.
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:48 PM   #119
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That i can believe.. my wife drove from NC with her mother to Glacier 2 summers ago as the MIL was working at Lake McDonald Lodge for the summer. (retired Liberian) She was telling me about being on a 2 lane road in montana with a 70 MPH speed limit.. That was how you know you are in the boonies.. There was not a lot of traffic and yes they did see the triples going the other way.


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These data on traffic fatalities per state may be of interest. They are adjusted to show fatalities per 100,000 people, to level out the effect of state population size.

Montana (4th worst) has a 70 mph speed limit on the 2-lane windy mountain road we drove home on last week. They also allow triple-bottom towing: truck, trailer, boat. Just cuz it's legal doesn't mean it's safe.

Traffic Deaths by State - Fatal Car Crash Statistics
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:58 PM   #120
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that could be dangerous especially if you have a 15-20 MPH head wind and you are trying to only do 55 MPH wind speed you could be only going ground speed of 30 MPH .. that is dangerous and not legal on interstates. I understand the reason but that is, in my mind, a suggestion..

I do try to see which way wind is blowing.. If i am down wind i might bump speed up a bit and if head wind slow a bit. (this is not pulling a trailer i have a van with ladders on top so wind is a big deal)



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Inland Andy said that putting an Airspeed indicator in the tow vehicle was a good way to stay at 55 MPH wind speed. It does not matter what the ground speed is. The drag is a function of the wind velocity squared.

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Old 11-02-2013, 11:29 PM   #121
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Airspeed indicators are for airplanes. Speedometers are for land vehicles.
If you have the right size tires on your vehicle. The speedometer will be very accurate.
With an airspeed indicator. If you are driving into a head wind of 25 MPH and the airspeed indicator reads 55. You are actually doing 30MPH. If you are driving with a tail wind of 25MPH and the airspeed indicator reads 55MPH. You are doing 80MPH.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:45 AM   #122
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Common sense here guys. It is a tool and if you blindly use it without common sense then you are better off without it. It will allow you to maintain consistent gas mileage with a strong head wind but driving 30 MPH is stupid and so it driving 80. It is just a topic for discussion more than anything.

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Old 11-03-2013, 07:41 AM   #123
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Common denominator here: think ahead - take your time - keep distance - track mileage and conditions - plan - etc

A lot of good info here you all - thanks!
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:57 AM   #124
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It's all about reaction time. If you are moving a little slower you have increased distance to react to a hazard- deer, driver pulling out from a side street- for accident avoidance or to minimize damage/injury.
It takes 2 seconds for you to identify a hazard, process it, and react with braking or steering.
In other words- 2 seconds go by from the time you see a hazard till your foot touches the brake.
In that amount of time you have traveled something like 120 feet per second at 55- 240 feet from the time you see danger till you react.
I'm sure you can see the benefit of how towing at a slower speed can increase your odds for safely avoiding an accident/crash/collision/wreck.
I'm also sure you can see the benefits of towing at a slower speed for increased fuel economy and saving money- that's what I'm talking about.
Also, I enjoy being the slowest vehicle on the road because I can see and absorb/mentally process more- more scenery, signs, other good looking vehicles as they go by me...
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:04 AM   #125
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Quote:
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It's all about reaction time. If you are moving a little slower you have increased distance to react to a hazard- deer, driver pulling out from a side street- for accident avoidance or to minimize damage/injury.
It takes 2 seconds for you to identify a hazard, process it, and react with braking or steering.
In other words- 2 seconds go by from the time you see a hazard till your foot touches the brake.
In that amount of time you have traveled something like 120 feet per second at 55- 240 feet from the time you see danger till you react.
I'm sure you can see the benefit of how towing at a slower speed can increase your odds for safely avoiding an accident/crash/collision/wreck.
I'm also sure you can see the benefits of towing at a slower speed for increased fuel economy and saving money- that's what I'm talking about.
Also, I enjoy being the slowest vehicle on the road because I can see and absorb/mentally process more- more scenery, signs, other good looking vehicles as they go by me...
Good thoughts but 55mph is only 80.7 fps.
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Old 11-03-2013, 12:18 PM   #126
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So- i got a stat wrong-
The principal is the same-
Your odds are better with 5 or more seconds following distance and traveling 5 mph or more under the posted maximum speed limit while towing. Increased reaction/correction time is vital to avoiding crashes or minimizing damage or injury.
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