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Old 03-10-2018, 02:19 PM   #1
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2018 22' Sport
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Towing a 22' Sport with Toyota Tacoma MPG

Just Curious,
Around town in my Toyota Tacoma, I'm pretty careful (non-lead foot) and I get between 20 and as high as 22 mpg.
My wife and I just towed our 22' FB sport Bambi about 200 miles and the MPG went down to about 13.2 MPG!!!Just curious, is it because I was going around 65MPH average?? Is it because I am at altitude? (Around 5200 feet to aroun 4900 feet at destination) Or is this just the "price" of having your "Hotel Room" (all 4000 lbs) attached to your bumper of a 6 cylinder Tacoma? Just trying to find out what other peoples "real world" experiences have been.

Thanks again!! Look forward to other responses and things I might do to improve my MPG!!
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:59 PM   #2
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Take a chill pill, hit the back roads, slow down, and then post your new lower miles per gallon with one of those smiley mojo things.
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:17 PM   #3
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That's pretty typical. You just doubled your vehicle's combined weight, so your drivetrain has to work nearly twice as hard to keep things moving. We all experience it. You won't get a lot better at 60mph, but you will see some improvement if you're more patient when launching and smooth yourself out overall. Some folks prefer to run without cruise control, as there's been some effort put into determining that you get better mileage without it when towing, especially in hilly terrain. Also take some satisfaction in the fact that the AS will get better results than the guy (or gal) with the white box trailer.
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:42 PM   #4
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Sounds about right to me. I have used two different Toyota compact pickups to tow lighter trailers than your Airstream. My mleage was always 12-13.
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:55 PM   #5
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Yup, what others have said. I tow a heavy Airstream using a six cylinder Minivan and get between 12-14 Mpg across a season. It's a big drop from the 25-28mpg I get when not towing, but then the tow vehicle is working very hard when I'm hitched up. Most people will report similar figures.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:53 PM   #6
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As a general rule I believe that your fuel economy pulling your Airstream will be about 2/3 the fuel economy of your vehicle solo.

We have a Tundra with the 5.7L motor and six speed (2wd). We get about 20 mpg solo on the highway and about 13.5 mpg towing our 66 Tradewind (about 4,500 lbs). I drive gently and generally not over 60 mph.

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Old 03-11-2018, 01:04 AM   #7
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Towing a 22' Sport with Toyota Tacoma MPG

22 International and a 2012 Tacoma Crewmax. From what you note, it’s doing better than mine does. 2/3 of unloaded mpg sounds about right. You can’t expect the same as unladen mpg when you put a load on the tow vehicle.

We go down to 11 mpg or less climbing steep grades even without the Airstream.

The Cajon Pass or the Grapevine uphill grades eats our lunch on mpg and requires patience...and we try to go just as slow downgrade...
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:46 AM   #8
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Similar numbers

I pull a 2018 23CB with a 2016 Tacoma. Numbers are almost identical.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:15 AM   #9
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When not-towing... your vehicle's engine is hauling-around only ONE vehicle.

When towing... your vehicle's engine is hauling-around TWO vehicles.

Halving your mpg might seem normal...getting better than half non-towing mpg is a good-result...IMO.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:03 PM   #10
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I pull my 22ft Bambi with a Chevy Colorado. When I go on the highway at 65 without the trailer I get about 28 mpg. With the Bambi I get about 14 to 16
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:22 PM   #11
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Toyota MPG Disappoinment

I have towed 3500-5000 GVW with a variety of vehicles and found my Toyota Landcruiser (probably the same platform) to be the worst both in power and MPG. Although, it was otherwise a very dependable and low-maintenance vehicle.

My favorite TV for my 5000 lb Flying Cloud 20 is a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 6 cylinder engine. Yes, 6 cylinder! It averages 25-28 MPG on its own and 15-19 towing the Flying Cloud. It will haul it up a 7% grade at 55 mph (and about 5 MPG).

It seems that the more powerful your TV, the less impact towing has on MPG. Also, wind, terrain and speed have a tremendous influence. Try to avoid driving at a time you will be facing a headwind. Conversely, I have gotten 5-7 additional MPG with a tailwind. Backing off on the speed and letting others pass on up hill grades will help a lot. My experience has shown 45-55 mph to give the best overall gas mileage. That has to be balanced with your patience in getting to your destination. But, if you choose more relaxing county and state highways over interstates, you will likely be rewarded in both experiences and MPG at the expense of getting to your ultimate destination a little later.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:25 PM   #12
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Our 4Runner is a virtual copy of your Tacoma only slightly heavier due to a longer SUV roofline. We get virtually the same results as you do pulling our 22FB. And we pull at highway speeds of 60mph on average. 13-16 mpg is about the best on flat terrain. 21-22 mpg while not towing.

I don’t know if you do this or not - I never use the 5th overdrive and hard lockup while towing. I manually shift the auto-stick in hilly areas but always keep the shifter in the manual mode and watch the tach to keep the revs at about 2800. I never let the TV get beyond 4th gear ever.

Cruse Control is a lost cause while towing unless you like continual downshifting on even minor hills. My towing rules: 60mph, manual shifting, never above 4th, and forget the cruise.

Oh and I usually buy mid-grade gas while towing. Normally I buy lowest grade for cruising.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:29 PM   #13
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the staff at CANAM AV in London ON, often pull at 25foot or larger As from the AS factory with their old VM jetta diesel.

Thus you should be ok.

Google their video and see
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:11 PM   #14
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I tow a 22' Argosy with a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel. I consistently get 22 mpg while towing. There's plenty of power towing. I live in the mountains of Western North Carolina and have no problem at all. The vehicle handles very well and I have been delighted with it.
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Old 03-17-2018, 03:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRBusse View Post
I pull a 2018 23CB with a 2016 Tacoma. Numbers are almost identical.
I pull a 2011 FC 20' with a 2012 Tacoma. Numbers are almost identical.
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:41 PM   #16
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Towing a 22' Sport with Toyota Tacoma MPG

2007 22’ International CCD with a crew cab short bed 4x4 Tacoma plus ProPride hitch system. Requires a little patience on steep grades...or longish periods of more throttle than I tend to use...we’re typically not in a big hurry
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Old 03-18-2018, 08:57 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the Responses

Thanks to everyone who joined in the conversation! I have learned a tremendous amount from everyone else's experience.I am going to plan for around 13 mpg on our journeys and should not run short on fuel that way. We have a trip in about 2 1/2 weeks upcoming and am greatly looking forward to learning more and more of the "Airstream World."
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Old 03-18-2018, 12:52 PM   #18
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You’ll want to set up your hitch rigging with a CAT Scale. The 3-Pass Method. Rough it in at home using fender measurements (see Andrew Thomsons website article on setting torsion bars; T-bar, Can Am RV).

One of those passes is the vehicle loaded and with max fuel, solo. Versus towing, the only difference is an adjustment for tire pressure).

In this condition does one test MPG against towing. Same type roads and same cruise control set speed.

The difference should be about 40% at 60-mph.

That can be a lower percentage penalty with attention to details.

As you noted, MPG is a tool for planning. But it is also a check against best hitch rigging thus steering, braking and handling.

Don’t assume TT brakes are properly adjusted, nor bearing preset correct. Verify.

Same with TV: pay to have alignment verified and that there is no brake drag occurring.

All other vehicle maintenance should be brought ahead by 10% in miles AND TIME.

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Old 11-19-2019, 08:19 PM   #19
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Drhodes22, Can't add much to the above, other than to comment that you must not have towed anything before the Airstream. If you'd had experience with a "parachute" trailer, you would be thrilled with your results. (My F150 V8 20 mpg solo, gets 13 -14 with 22 Sport, 16 with a tailwind, and got 9 to 12 MPG with a 10.5' tall box style trailer). I have not had the Bambi out west, but for some reason I got better mpg at altitude with the old trailer.
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Old 11-20-2019, 06:08 AM   #20
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If you don't actually use the Tacoma for serious off road use you can improve the fuel economy 1-2 MPG with a narrower tire size. The added bonus is a little more power and much tighter handling and steering feel.

If you would like to do that when you need new tires feel free to send me an email with your current size etc. and I can send you a couple of options. andy@canamrv.ca

Andy
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