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Old 09-22-2012, 07:10 PM   #1
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
deland , Florida
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First Trip! What can I expect for MPG?

so we are taking our first long distance trip with our trailer. its a 77 argosy minuete 6.0. the small single axle 20 footer. anyway my tv is a 03 silverado with the 4.8 in it. does anyone have or had a 4.8 chevy that they can give me some pointers on to save mpg? also what mpg have you averaged with it. we are going from fl to pa

what rpms is good to stay at? i figured i will have to keep it in third gear w the tow button on. sorry for the newb questions just trying to be safe
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:30 PM   #2
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Its not gonna be pretty lol. Thats a pretty small V8 and it definitly wont like hills.

Keep it at 60 or under and youll get the best mileage. If you get anything over 10, Ill be blown away lol.

And again Iv never drove a 4.8L. Actually, Iv never owned a Chevy truck period lol. That was a guess on my part
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:40 PM   #3
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You should do fine in the flat land around Florida. You might be able to use the regular auto cruise mode in regular drive gear. Putting it in tow/haul mode will change the shift points so it does not come in and out of 4th gear as much. If it auto shifts more than once a minute take it out of the auto cruise mode. The tow haul mode will also automatically do the engine braking for you as well as improve your acceleration. When you get into the "mountains" in Georgia you may have to drop down to 3rd. As long as you keep an eye on the coolant temperature and the transmission oil temperature you should be fine. That is a pretty small trailer and you should be able to 10 mpg.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:14 PM   #4
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If you have 4.10 gears you may get better mileage in overdrive above 50mph otherwise you will probably get better mileage in third up to 60mph or so (staying in the correct RPM range for the work the motor is doing gives better mileage, not always lower RPM). My guess is 11-12mpg, maybe down to 9mpg. Cruise control should help on flat ground but you may be much better off turning it off before you get to any slight hill or overpass. Unlike non-towing you may get better mileage staying above 2000 RPMs. If you have instant economy on your dash check it to see which gear gets you better mileage.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:44 AM   #5
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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well i definitely know i do not have 410 gears, infact i know i will have to stay in third for this reason. the truck is stock and after i got it i bought a set off 2010 silverado take off 20 inch rims and tires, now they are a bit bigger then my stock 16s were. my speedo is off by about 4-5 mph but in overdrive not towing of course, im at 1800 rpm going 70 mph so i will keep it in third and shoot for the 2000 rpm range?
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:41 AM   #6
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When I towed for the first time, I kept mine in overdrive and trucked along at 60-65. Anything under that and itd start lugging and wanna drop out of overdrive. Iv got 3.55s and you prolly have something close to that. 4.10s on a half ton usually have to be special ordered
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:37 AM   #7
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Not sure what the tongue weight on your Airstream is, but 20-inch wheels and P-rated (passenger car) tires are probably not well-suited for towing; especially if they look like "street rod" aftermarkets with rubber bands on them. While they may be OK, there is probably a reason why the previous owner took them off (e.g., did he switch to 16-inch wheels and LT tires, because he had just purchased a travel trailer, fifth wheel, toy hauler, or other RV?).

Personally, I would weigh your vehicle with the Airstream hooked up, to determine the weight on your rear wheels. Then, I'd check the ratings on your wheels and tires.

If you can't determine the load rating for the 20-inch wheels from an Internet search, the maximum load is probably printed or molded on the inside of the rims (you must break the bead on a tire to see inside). The maximum load rating (in pounds) and inflation pressure for the tires are printed on the sidewalls. It would be helpful to know whether these are P or LT tires; and if LT's, whether load range C, D, E or some other letter code.

Regarding the difference in wheel size and your speedometer error, the larger size may be OK if your pickup is primarily used as a passenger vehicle. However, if you plan to tow frequently, I'd feel more secure with LT tires in the same size, or even one bump up from what's printed on the factory sticker on the edge of the driver's door.

Just an opinion and a few suggestions...
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:51 AM   #8
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As a rule of thumb: deduct 40% from usual highway mpg at same given speed.

Much depends on driver skill. Finesse over time counts a very good deal.

Ignore highs & lows, just look at the overall average mpg and count it against the average mph (engine-on time). Trailering is slower (naturally) and folks have the tendency to drive as hard/fast as when solo. A 50-mph average is consistently good over the course of a long day when one includes time out for fuel, rest, and food (actually, it's high).

MPG improvements are the percentage gain from the established average.

Eventually, once one has some experience, predicting fuel costs is understood as a cpm calculation (cents-per-mile). My signature shows what mine has been, solo & towing, overall.

.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:15 PM   #9
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10 mpg
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:40 AM   #10
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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well thanxs for all the input but i got a lot better then everyone thought. all total my average mpg for the trip on flat and hilly roads is 13.2 stayed in third gear the entire time and kept it between 60-65 for the whole trip im hoping it will be better going home cause i brought up 1/4 of a bed full of firewood and some other stuff that will be staying here so im thinking 1000 lbs lighter trip on the way home
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:22 PM   #11
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Im impressed lol. Must not have been hilly
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:33 PM   #12
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The summer of '10 we towed a 23' Airstream to Alaska and back with a 1500 GMC with the 5.3L engine, 3.73 gears, and averaged over the entire trip, 12.4 MPG.

I would expect the OP to get simular mileage.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:35 PM   #13
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I chimed in late. My experience towing two different Airstreams is that the towing mileage was about 2/3 of the mileage of the solo TV.

13.2 is good. I figured that you would get over 12.

Dan
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:52 PM   #14
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You did well.

I tow my '77 23' Safari with an '05 Tundra 4x4 with the 4.7L V8, different than your truck but similar displacement and slightly larger trailer. We pulled it to Nashville from Niagara last fall and averaged 13MPG, driving at 65mph in 4th gear (the tundra has a 5 speed auto, no tow haul but overdrive lock out) I tried overdrive on a flat area in Ohio but any grade at all and it shifted too frequently so I just leave it in 4th all the time.

For what it's worth I did a little experiment once in my Mustang.
I had a 30mile all Highway commute for two weeks and drove the Mustang every day.
I'd reset the indash fuel mileage computer each time I reached the start of the on-ramp, and used the cruise control once I reached my traveling speed.
The first week I drove at 120kph (about 75 mph) and acheived around 20 mpg, which is the normal experience with this car, combined hwy/city for me.
The second week I drove at exactly 100kph the posted speed limit (about 62mph) and acheived an average of 29mph!
Now I'm sure that won't apply directly to towing but the difference was eye opening to me.
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