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Old 03-17-2016, 09:56 PM   #1
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Diesel Mileage: The Perfect Storm

1. Coming downhill-all-the-way on I-25 south from the Colorado Plateau to the low desert of NM
2. Tail wind of 15 MPH
3. Empty water & holding tanks
4. No appreciable load in TV
Even taking away 1 MPG for computed versus hand-measured, still seems like a fine endorsement for medium sized diesels!



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Old 03-17-2016, 10:06 PM   #2
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I have seen 16.5 mpg with the 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI (V6 3.0L diesel) on the level towing the 23D loaded for camping at 6,083 pounds and our stuff in the car. So the smaller vehicles can get decent fuel mileage when driving at 55 mph.
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:45 AM   #3
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That's really impressive mileage for pulling a 23' FC, the same model I have. I have an oversized tow vehicle for mine, a Ford F-250 diesel, so I don't get anything like your mileage, but the thing that impresses me is how little difference there is in my towing mileage and my non-towing mileage. My towing mileage is usually about 15, and non-towing about 17.5, whereas in my previous truck, it was about the same for non-towing but about 8-10 mpg towing.


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Old 03-18-2016, 09:54 AM   #4
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Nice. But the next day you're battling a headwind to bring you off your euphoria.

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Old 03-18-2016, 12:19 PM   #5
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We have a 23FB, TV is a 2000 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 with a cap, we average 15 - 16 mpg pulling, the best we have gotten is 18 mpg. Not pulling we average 21 mpg, the best has been 23 mpg.
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Old 03-18-2016, 01:21 PM   #6
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We just got about 16.5 towing over 1000 miles in a brand new Ram 2500 with a Cummins 6.7 and we have an exhaust brake! Love the sound that brake makes!!!
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Old 03-18-2016, 01:44 PM   #7
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We just got about 16.5 towing over 1000 miles in a brand new Ram 2500 with a Cummins 6.7 and we have an exhaust brake! Love the sound that brake makes!!!
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It's been a lot longer than 4 hours, it's time to see that doctor!
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Old 03-18-2016, 02:32 PM   #8
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We pull our 2016 30' Classic with a 2015 BMW X5 diesel. We took it out west last fall and averaged around 15.5 mpg overall for the 8,000 or so miles. Considering the long climbs in the Rockies I was quite pleased.
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Old 03-18-2016, 02:53 PM   #9
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Our 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Eco Diesel (3.0 l) towed our 23 FB (5,600 lbs loaded - always full fresh tank) 14,000 miles rt from Seattle to St. John's, Newfoundland last spring/summer. Overall average was 16.4 mpg. Included Rockies both ways and a wide variety of road, high wind, and weather conditions.

Absolutely solid performance without sway or any white knuckles. Passing easily up mountain passes. Aided by a Equalizer hitch and Tekonsha controller, but I believe other brands would do as well.
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Old 03-18-2016, 07:56 PM   #10
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2014 Ram 2500 Cummings Diesel

16.5 without our 2001 30' Excella Airstream and 14.5 with
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:40 PM   #11
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The downhill over that route makes a BIG difference when towing.

A two way average will be more realistic.

Not meaning to be super critical here.... But just sayin.


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Old 03-18-2016, 09:49 PM   #12
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Diesel Mileage: The Perfect Storm

I'd intended that the expression "perfect storm" would imply the lack of realism! This was certainly over the top because of the unusually ideal conditions.

I get 16.5 under average, normal, two way conditions, but that didn't sound as posting worthy! :-)
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Old 03-19-2016, 10:29 AM   #13
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We have a 23FB, TV is a 2000 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 with a cap, we average 15 - 16 mpg pulling, the best we have gotten is 18 mpg. Not pulling we average 21 mpg, the best has been 23 mpg.

When I bought my '04 CTD in '07 I searched and found over a dozen others pulling 28-34' AS or kin in South Central US (7-11k trailers) and seeing 14-16 mpg with speeds under 65 on level Interstate. Consistent with my own experience pulling the 33' or 35' Silver Streak.

Solo is 24-27 mpg at the same speed. Roughly the 40% penalty one expects (1966 or 2016) for towing.

The round trip is what matters for fuel mileage average. Same route and same other conditions solo and towing for even roughly accurate comparisons.

It's the average that matters (as a percentage deduction from solo ). 40% means things are okay with this trailer type. 50% means work is needed. 30% means you've one helluva combo (and know how to drive).
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Old 03-19-2016, 10:48 AM   #14
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Diesel Mileage: The Perfect Storm

A gallon of diesel will have about 25% more fuel content in a gallon than real gasoline, a bit more than that when ethanol blends are factored in.

That will be the baseline, with a little variance for efficiency differences.

This just is.

There will be a bonus is the tow vehicle is aerodynamically friendly to the overall combination.

Driving a vehicle in a certain manner will increase its fuel efficiency per mile, but few will hold an extreme measure of driving to maximize fuel efficiency beyond the "test for maximum MPG" phase. (I wont stick to this mode if I become an unnecessary traffic nuisance or hazard)

In my experience, a long steady uphill vs. the same stretch downhill is about a 20% difference in normal Airstream towing.


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