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Old 07-13-2016, 09:43 AM   #1
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Advice on tow vehicle with best gas mileage

My husband and I are looking at purchasing a used/newer model 25-27’ Airstream and would appreciate any advice you could give on which type of tow vehicle gets the best gas mileage. We are considering a Ford F-250. Also wondering or seeing if anyone has suggestions on how to calculate how much we might be spending on gas? I know that's a difficult/loaded question but any insight would be helpful. We are in the very beginning of our research so our knowledge is limited. Thanks!
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:57 AM   #2
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With out factoring in the initial cost of the TV (gas vs diesel)

I have a 2009 Dodge 2500 Diesel and a 25ft flying cloud. MPG range towing 14.5 to 16.5. So many factors weight, terrain, traffic conditions, air temp, ect, come into play. But the reality is a 25-27 ft trailer and the power needed to tow it will prevent any real MPG fluctuations. Gas truck or SUV, Diesel truck or SUV I can't see anyone doing much better that 17MPG and maybe as bad a 10mpg.

Fuel cost is a necessary evil if you want to travel. The unpredictability of the cost per gallon of fuel will have a more profound effect on the cost than a few MPG here or there.

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Old 07-13-2016, 10:54 AM   #3
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Diesel will give much better mileage than gas. Your driving style will be the next biggest factor.

Pete bragged to me that his 36' class A diesel towing a full size Chevy PU got 10 MPH because he never drove over 55 MPH. Rodney was getting 6 MPH with his 5th wheel going 75 MPH across the northern plains.
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:27 AM   #4
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Unless you are going to put 10s of thousands of mile per year towing it should not be a consideration. The difference per TV in a given generation will take way too long to amortize on fuel mileage.

Get what you will be happiest driving.

The maintenance costs of a diesel are much higher but if you are really traveling and intend to keep it for 5 years or more than diesel is the answer.

As President of my companies credit union I always had trouble talking members out of buying a new car just to save gas. The hundred or so dollars saved per year did not quite justify the cost of the new car. I lost more often than not.
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:49 AM   #5
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I consider form (e.g. mpg/cost) only after considering function (e.g. power/capabilities). Fuel mpg calculations and a knock-on "what TV to buy" decision, and, what the pump prices may be, and what total COO becomes just haven't been worth my time to pay attention to for a very long time now because towing, vs. not, invariably results in the lower end of mpg ranges w/ attendant higher fuel costs, and these no matter what TV is in question. At one time, I did pencil-whip claimed mpg's into cost-per-mile and etc. but these exercises proved, to me, that mpg a/o pump-price differences are just not *that* different, certainly not different enough to "drive" my TV buying decision, not different enough to continue the pencil-whipping exercises, and certainly not different enough to compromise on the important functions: the TV's real-world capabilities, or, will my TV meet/exceed the expected situations? and, will it *do* what I need it to do *when* I need it to do it? If we're going into mountains, or when doing a lot of Interstate miles, or especially for urban freeways, then it's the 8.1l Yukon XL 4x4 2500 that we'll tow with, hands down, due to its over-abundance of power and acceleration capabilities, which have allowed me many times to simply and quickly drive out-of/away-from problematic situations (e.g. mud/snow/steeps/sand/etc.), and away from "bad moves" made by other drivers on the road; otoh, if predominantly flats or country roads' lower speeds, then it's our trusty old 5.7l Suburban 1500 we'll take. Both tow just fine in any normal situations, but, for abnormal situations, or if I could have only one TV, then it would be the much more capable 8.1l Yukon XL 2500 4x4.
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Old 07-13-2016, 12:20 PM   #6
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For that size trailer you'll want a full size truck or large SUV. Gas will get about 10 to 13 MPG. Diesel a couple miles per gallon better. As others already mentioned, this is a secondary issue. If fuel consumption is a concern look to a popup trailer as air drag is a huge factor in determining fuel burn.
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:32 AM   #7
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We have a 2005 F250 super duty xl. pulling a 31' as we were getting about 8-10 mpg. We have the 5.4L gas engine.

We just purchased a 2016 Nissan Titan XD with 5.0L diesel. Will be curious to see what we get for fuel mileage....
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:35 AM   #8
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I just bought a brand new 2017 27 foot AS Serenity. New to RVing. I am not even buying a TV until I live in the AS for a while and understand what kind of hitch, etc I need. I'll have the AS towed around by professionals until then.
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Unless you are going to put 10s of thousands of mile per year towing it should not be a consideration. The difference per TV in a given generation will take way too long to amortize on fuel mileage.

Get what you will be happiest driving.

The maintenance costs of a diesel are much higher but if you are really traveling and intend to keep it for 5 years or more than diesel is the answer.

As President of my companies credit union I always had trouble talking members out of buying a new car just to save gas. The hundred or so dollars saved per year did not quite justify the cost of the new car. I lost more often than not.
I like this advice. Focus on getting a vehicle you can drive daily. The difference in mileage in modern vehicles is not enough to be worrying about it that much. Towing will impact your mileage, of course, but unless you tow every day, who cares? I drive every day though, so my tow vehicle needs to be comfortable and easy to park.
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:50 AM   #10
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I recently purchased a GMC Denali with a 6.2L engine to tow my 25' Flying Cloud. Incredibly, towing I get on average 12 mpg; not towing at highway speeds I average 24 mpg.
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:55 AM   #11
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I just did 8000 miles through the mountains out west and averaged 13.1 MPG with my 2500 GMC PU diesel towing a 25 Safari. I don't think there is a much better TV but it is a little big around town. However, I am use to it and it begs me to hook up to my AS and go!
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:14 PM   #12
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I think a Tesla X will give the best mileage.
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:20 PM   #13
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my 97 f250 PS Deisel 5 speed manual avg. 18 to 20 mpg towing a 77 ambassador
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
For that size trailer you'll want a full size truck or large SUV. Gas will get about 10 to 13 MPG. Diesel a couple miles per gallon better. As others already mentioned, this is a secondary issue. If fuel consumption is a concern look to a popup trailer as air drag is a huge factor in determining fuel burn.
Interestingly, The AS shape is better at air drag than even a smaller trailer with boxy shape. I routinely get 10.5-11 mpg with my 25 foot and I only get 10.5 puling an 8-foot U-haul on the same truck
JCW
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