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Old 09-16-2012, 01:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
I get 15 mpg towing my 25' Excella. It is a '88 model and has a gross weight of 6800. We do not run it that heavy. I use a little 6 cyl engine and an automatic transmission. (5.9 Cummins). Before that I towed it with my 4.6 liter F150. I got 9 mpg and could not go very fast uphill.
What sort of vehicle exactly are you using with a little 6 cyl?
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:26 PM   #16
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That would be a dodge truck. I get 15 to 16 towing with my cummins at 60 mph. Jim
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:44 PM   #17
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I should allow Bill M to respond, but the Cummins 6-cylinder is a diesel, most likely in a Dodge pickup. Excellent engine; wish they would put one in a Tundra.

We had an old, 1978 Chevy crewcab pickup with a 454 V8. It would tow anything, but it sucked gas! Our average fuel economy towing our Bambi was 7-8 mpg, and about 3-5 on long hills. Our absolute worst gas mileage was on an uphill stretch approaching Flagstaff with our Bayliner in tow (cabin cruiser on a triple axle trailer); 2.5 mpg -- Yikes! We watched the gas needle drop a half-tank (on one of two 16-gallon saddle tanks) over a 5-6 mile stretch. So your 10.5 doesn't sound too bad.

I guess I should have asked details on your Suburban. What year and engine do you have? -- If your Suburban is an older model, a newer one would probably get better fuel economy.

Our current TV is a 2008 Tundra CrewMax, 2WD, with 5.7L V8; and we get about 13.5 mpg towing, on average. Our best towing mileage has been 16.5 mpg in the Rockies where speed limits were 35-45 mph; and the grades didn't seem to negatively affect mpg's. Our worst was 11-12 mpg while cruising on interstates at 75 mph; and we don't do that anymore (one quick trip to a funeral after switching to 16-inch wheels and LT tires).

The purchase of the Tundra was justified because of "Hal's" (the Chevy crew cab) age. Beside sucking gas, Hal was turning into a money pit that broke down almost every time we took our Bambi out.

Note: The Chevy earned the nickname Hal, from the computer in the movie "2001". Every time we talked about buying a new pickup, Hal would break down on the road. We knew he could read lips; so we started closing the curtains and whispering whenever we were at the dining table in the Bambi, and the discussion turned to new pickups.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:24 PM   #18
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Plenty of threads on this very subject, just as with causes of sway or WDH brand particulars. A search will be revealing. I recommend the revival of an older thread that looks promising to you (the OP).

As far as TV fuel economy goes, first, it is the relation of miles towing versus miles solo. Obviously the equation tilts towards best solo mpg that can also tow the trailer. Leaves out trucks entirely no matter the size of A/S.

Second, fuel consumption is only an indicator, a subset of concerns under a larger umbrella of Economy. The big one is the initial purchase price of both vehicles against depreciation (or repairs/restoration) understood as nights of use. All other questions about "economy" flow from that. It is the place to start (as only an individual can answer this per his private business).

More detail about general problems/specifics of FE in RV'ng in a post from, "Aerodynamics of It All" - iRV2 Forums as comparisons in the RV world are fraught with unaddressed problems.

.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:21 PM   #19
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Is the burb paid for? You can buy a lot of gas for $40k+ for a new tow vehicle. Everytime I think of even buying a used car that get 35MPG versus the 20 MPG my Ranger gets I start thinking of the break even time. Even for a cheap used car, it is several years down the road before break even. Now if someone gave me a higher MPG vehicle the choice would be easier.

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Old 09-16-2012, 07:47 PM   #20
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If gas prices are moving you to a new tow vehicle that gets better mileage, buy it soon! The same thing that has driven up the gas prices (money printing) is going to add $3-5K to a decent sized truck over the few years (inflation due to devalued dollar).

Replacing the crime syndicate running the Treasury and the Fed will do more to return the freedom of the road, than replacing our TVs.

IOW... treat the cause rather than the symptom.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:14 PM   #21
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Just to fill in details...
My Suburban is a 2007 1500 4WD w/5.3L/Auto/4:10 gears. It has 83,000 miles. We use it 75% for towing.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:27 PM   #22
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mstephens, thats a pretty young vehicle in my world. I'm guessing you don't tow an enormous amount of miles per year, like most of us. Hard to justify a trade to only get a few more miles a gallon, and if that margin is supplied by more expensive diesel fuel, even less justification.

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Old 09-16-2012, 08:40 PM   #23
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Running one of the smaller TVs around here, I'm always interested in its gas mileage compared to that of its more hefty cousins.

My TV is a 3.5 litre, V6 Toyota Sienna (8 seat) with a six speed auto transmission. Its curb weight is 4735lbs and it develops 266 HP. My trailer is a 2011 28' Serenity, claimed top weight 7300lbs.

I travel on mostly flat terrain and have either two adults plus 70lb dog or three adults, one pre-teen plus the dog when travelling.

Last year over 5966 miles I averaged 12.5mpg (US). My best single trip was 14.8mpg over 156 miles, travelling with four people on a fairly flat Provincial road, sticking mostly to the 50mph limit. There was no wind and the weather was warm. I did the same trip last Friday, two people plus dog, driving into a stiff headwind and sometimes nudging 56mph and I recorded 12.3mpg

My worst trip last year was over 352 miles in reasonably flat terrain, in driving rain and into a head wind with four people on board and doing 62mph as an average, I recorded 10.4mpg.

My figures would suggest that load (people plus stuff) has no marked effect on gas mileage but that keeping the speed down and travelling without a head wind does. I struggle in the same way that everyone else does in the strong winds, despite the TV being fairly aerodynamic.

My real gain, though, is the 28mpg I get (as an average) when not towing.

None of these figures are very scientific but they do highlight speed and aerodynamics rather than weight/load as the key factors for better gas mileage.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:51 PM   #24
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Maybe it could be stated like this. Suppose one were to design a TV based on these goals:
- 25 FC
- Cruise at 60 MPH
- Climb grades at 50 MPH (or "safe speed" let's say)
- Get 15 MPG over all
They did. It is the 96-99 Gm Suburban with the 6.5TD or the Ford Excursion with the 7.3TD.

It kills me that Ford and GM have not added a small diesel to the line up for the 1500/150 series family movers... Or even the Duramax in a 2500 Burb!

My wifes Escalade ESV can't get 15 unloaded much less with anything hitched up. She has pulled a cargo trailer a few times and ends up at about 11 MPG. The LS engine is awesome unloaded, but suffers terribly when towing.

You can engine swap in a Duramax/Allison combo if you want. There are a few places that offer the service.

IMO with 75% towing in mind, it is worth the effort to go diesel.

FWIW at reasonable speeds (don't go over 65) my Burb does 20+ highway. City/mixed 15-16. Towing about 14+ on the highway. But this is with a few modifications, not stock.

Add: My trailer is about 5000 pounds, so not a heavyweight.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:01 PM   #25
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MrToad,

You can't tow with that! LOL I had to do it.

Quote:
My real gain, though, is the 28mpg I get (as an average) when not towing.
Amazing! Years ago the minivans with V-6 motors didn't fair much better than the SUVs. That MPG is better than most 4 cylinder sedans!
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:42 PM   #26
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I was unhappy when my mpg dropped to 13.5 in strong headwinds and temps > 100 down south this summer. I normally get 15-17 mpg when towing our FC23FB at 60 mph with our 08 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0L Diesel (full time 4WD, 370 ft lbs torque, non-towing avg 23.5 mpg). The best part is, we really like the vehicle whether towing, driving off road or running around town. That's the key - if you like your vehicle, and can live with the mpg, go forth and enjoy your adventures. If it's time for a change, there are good choices out there with increasing fuel efficiencies.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:45 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrUKToad
Running one of the smaller TVs around here, I'm always interested in its gas mileage compared to that of its more hefty cousins.

My TV is a 3.5 litre, V6 Toyota Sienna (8 seat) with a six speed auto transmission. Its curb weight is 4735lbs and it develops 266 HP. My trailer is a 2011 28' Serenity, claimed top weight 7300lbs.

I travel on mostly flat terrain and have either two adults plus 70lb dog or three adults, one pre-teen plus the dog when travelling.

Last year over 5966 miles I averaged 12.5mpg (US). My best single trip was 14.8mpg over 156 miles, travelling with four people on a fairly flat Provincial road, sticking mostly to the 50mph limit. There was no wind and the weather was warm. I did the same trip last Friday, two people plus dog, driving into a stiff headwind and sometimes nudging 56mph and I recorded 12.3mpg

My worst trip last year was over 352 miles in reasonably flat terrain, in driving rain and into a head wind with four people on board and doing 62mph as an average, I recorded 10.4mpg.

My figures would suggest that load (people plus stuff) has no marked effect on gas mileage but that keeping the speed down and travelling without a head wind does. I struggle in the same way that everyone else does in the strong winds, despite the TV being fairly aerodynamic.

My real gain, though, is the 28mpg I get (as an average) when not towing.

None of these figures are very scientific but they do highlight speed and aerodynamics rather than weight/load as the key factors for better gas mileage.
28 MPG? Our new 11 Escape V6 only gets 20. 28 solo, 12 towing is interesting compared to my 12/10.6
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:50 PM   #28
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When the California Air Resources Board (CARB) was formed in the 1960's to combat smog causing emissions, it led to the inclusion of eco-politics. That has cost the American vehicle buyer tens of thousands of dollars to please a voter block that is selfish and could care less about people outside their elite circle.

So far this year, it has cost me almost $3500 to repair the damage ethanol has caused to my boat and collector cars.
California desperately needed pollution controls on cars; the air in LA was just plain toxic. I remember - I lived there as a kid. You could not see the hill from Whittier... and it's crystal clear there most days now.

The inclusion of ethanol does help reduce emissions (it adds oxygen to the fuel), but the reason we have so much of it in our gas is that it is a subsidy for the corn growers. So it's not eco-politics - it's farm state subsidies for large corporate growers.

- Bart
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