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Old 04-08-2017, 01:15 PM   #29
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We pull our 2015 Bambi with a 2013 Nissan Pathfinder. It's an ideal match for the trailer. I would definitely suggest AWD option for those times when you find yourself in an unforeseen snowstorm. We've been thru the Tetons, Yellowstone, and pretty much all of New Mexico. The CVT will rev up to 4500 on the steepest hills, but will also maintain 60 MPH. Fuel economy averages 12 MPG. We try to not to drive more than six hours per day, so basically 2 gas stops with our 20 gal. tank.
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Old 04-08-2017, 02:36 PM   #30
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WHY are you doing 40 - 50 mph up hills / grades / mountains???? I do 30 to 35 and get 14 - 15 mpg on my 4runner V-6. I am not going to push the engine and Tranny. Enjoy the trip. Stay 'behind' the 18 wheelers.
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Old 04-08-2017, 03:18 PM   #31
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Diesels are good for towing

Look at the various BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche. posts on these forums. With a Bambi, you should find one of these cars able to fill your needs. I tow my 23 ft. Safari with a Mercedes ML 350, get 30 Highway without the trailer, 15-18 with the trailer, and it does ride like a Mercedes. The GL has the sixth seat, and the new Blue Tec diesels are as quiet as gas engines. Yes, when you get in back country, you watch for Diesel stations, but with a 25 gal tank, and even at 15Miles Per, you get 375 mile range at least. Never missed finding diesel, though in the early years of blue tec, sometimes it was hard to find the additive. Try the new style diesels, they are not the black smokers of olden days.
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Old 04-08-2017, 05:09 PM   #32
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Get a truck & don't look back.
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Old 04-08-2017, 05:19 PM   #33
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Houston , Texas
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Not now!

Basalt has the right idea. Extra gas if you're that concerned. If you've made only one trip you need more experience and 3,000 RPMs is annoying more to you than the engine. In Australia where I towed, they almost-legally require you to stop and stretch every two hours. And don't stress over your experience so far. Stay calm and soldier on. (another Aussie directive)��
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Old 04-10-2017, 11:31 AM   #34
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I only get about 200 miles per tank on my Dakota pulling a 25 ( allowing 50 -70 miles for insurance) The 4.7 V8 turns about 2800 with OD off at 60 Mph. I need to nudge it up to 3300 -3800 on hills, so 3000 sounds not bad for a V6. BTW I don't think anyone should be towing in OD with a base vehicle that doesn't have 6 or 8 speed tranny that can find its own best gear ratio.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:12 PM   #35
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TV Woes: Small Fuel Tank, Low MPG

An old rule of thumb is that consumption should not be more than 80% of capacity for trip planning.

Pulling an Airstream should exact a 30-40% mpg penalty where all else is the same. 50% means something is wrong somewhere. The OPs fuel mileage is relatively 60% of solo.

If the TV is well suited to solo duties I wouldn't consider it much of a burden. Dads 8-liter luxury car saw 150-mile range on average pulling his Silver Streak. 21-gals at that point.

The next TV saw 225 mile range, but that was a 32-gal fill-up.

Both of these big V8s ran at 2800-3200 rpm as was the norm. Just below peak torque.

Working hard up a grade is no indictment. Not a good reason to change if all else is good. Those two vehicles of my Dads were kept a total of 27-years and close to 400k. WOT, and a downshift, on the upgrades was the norm.
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Old 04-19-2017, 06:08 PM   #36
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I doubt you'll get much better mileage with any other gasoline engine tow vehicle. You seem to recognize the pros and cons of diesels. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is available with a diesel- same engine is available in Ram 1500, which a number of Airstreamers seem to like. I'm not sure I'd put 10 gallons of anything on the roof of my vehicle although carrying extra fuel is an obvious solution to your problem. I also wouldn't like to carry fuel in the passenger area of my vehicle. That's why folks use pickups to tow trailers.
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Old 08-02-2017, 12:02 AM   #37
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TV Woes: Small Fuel Tank, Low MPG

Completed the trip through the Rockies, and my little weekend warrior (the Kia Sorento) handled like a boss! Fuel economy capped at about 13.8 mpg one one tank (after a lot of coasting), and dipped under 10 mpg while fighting 30-40 mpg head winds in the Columbia River Gorge; still averaging around 12 mpg. But we had no trouble finding gas stations. Waze came through for me. I had all my stops planned each day and never felt anxious about running out of fuel, and it all worked out just fine. She struggles a bit on the hills, but only once was I revving in the 5k rpm range. After a few thousand miles of mountains, hills, and wind, I think I'm starting to get the hang of this.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:14 PM   #38
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Polyester... whoa there a bit.

By the time you figure out an economical, larger tow vehicle, you will be wanting to get a larger trailer after spending the money for the replacement vehicle. You have to think... horse or cart, cart or horse at this moment in your life. You cannot get a 12 foot Bambi... and I am certain you will be getting a longer Airstream, before needing a larger tow vehicle for the 16 footer..

The 12mpg is less expensive for fuel than another vehicle purchase. In the Rocky Mountains with a V8... that is respectable going UP. Going DOWN we all get fantastic mileage and it averages out.

Your tow vehicle may be smaller than what most of us would choose, but then again, pulling the 16 foot Bambi with a 3/4 ton truck is the other end of the spectrum.

Some of us pulling a trailer on flat highways with a big head wind would not find 10 mpg disappointing.

Give it time. I see nothing unusual about your mileage. If the Kia handles 'like a boss'... sounds to me like you already have a winner.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:26 PM   #39
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It is kind of fun learning to balance power economy and choosing the right gear to optimize both. My parents generation did that just to drive a car so towing was just an extension of what they already knew.

My summer car weighs 4000 pounds and has 476 horsepower. Last winter I drove a 1.6 Litre Kia Soul manual. The opposite end of the spectrum but rewarding when you could make it perform. Just proves there is no perfect answer everything is a compromise you just have to find the one that suits you.
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