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Old 09-17-2012, 02:17 PM   #57
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When I bought my 08 Tundra, I bought 2wd to save initial cost and for better fuel economy. I bought the big motor, 5.7L, because it had lots of power and torque and came with a six speed tranny, thus resulting in less hunting for a lower gear when going up hills. The small V8 only got maybe 1 mpg better, so this was a no brainer. I also bought at the time when I was towing my 84 Excella 500, 31'. I now travel with a 66 24' TW that is about 2000 lbs lighter. My TV maybe overkill for towing the TW, but I can also tow with my Ducati in the bed while still closing the tail gate (see photo). I am not sorry I bought this truck. I do get an honest 13.5 mpg towing gently at 60-65 mph. The Ford EB might get 2 mpg better fuel economy, but my my Tundra was only 25K out the door and I bet that I will get to 300K with a lot fewer repair costs. I am quite happy.

All the new big pickup diesels are wonderful trucks but they are god awful expensive (at least 50K), twice what I paid for my 08 Tundra. The problem is that they are not really designed to tow Airstreams; They are designed to tow the huge heavy 5th wheel rigs.

The best shot at getting 15 mpg will be with a BMW, Mercedes or Jeep (its coming) diesel SUV that has been set up by CanAm (or somebody else with the capability) to tow the Airstream of your choice.

Dan
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:39 PM   #58
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Another idea would be if its just you and your honey camping, take out all the backseats in your 'Burb. If you know your goin somewhere with hook-ups, id also make sure all 3 tanks are empty. Might be a lotta hassle removin seats but less weight = more hp and more mpg!
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:32 PM   #59
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mpg

Has anyone done anything to improve their aerodynamics? It would be interesting to tape a bunch of yarn all over the front of the airstream, and see what the benefits of a camper shell are, tailgate up or off,(my tailgate won't go down when hooked up), or any other form of better aerodynamics. You see some big trucks with aero enhancements, would be interesting to know how much improvement they are seeing. Mike
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:37 PM   #60
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Has anyone done anything to improve their aerodynamics? It would be interesting to tape a bunch of yarn all over the front of the airstream, and see what the benefits of a camper shell are, tailgate up or off,(my tailgate won't go down when hooked up), or any other form of better aerodynamics. You see some big trucks with aero enhancements, would be interesting to know how much improvement they are seeing. Mike
A while back I looked into those "wings" you put atop the TV. I couldn't find anyone who could support more than a few tenths of a MPG improvement. I was surprised.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:39 PM   #61
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The best shot at getting 15 mpg will be with a BMW, Mercedes or Jeep (its coming) diesel SUV that has been set up by CanAm (or somebody else with the capability) to tow the Airstream of your choice.

Dan
Does CanAm have a US "equivelent?"

Do they modify the suspensions of the TVs? (generally).
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:50 PM   #62
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Ok here is another useless tidbit quoted from Bosch Automotive handbook.

"On an average production vehicle, 10% reductions in weight,aerodynamic drag and in rolling resistance result in fuel-economy improvements of roughly, 6%, 3% and 2%, respectively."

So bottom line it is a long way to major fuel economy improvements on a existing vehicle, other than slowing down.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:56 PM   #63
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I didn't read the entire topic, but another option would be to consider mods that increase the power of the engine. Even with those mods, if you still drive efficiently, you should get better mileage. Probably not 50% better than what you have now, of course. But a better intake or exhaust, depending on how restrictive your current setup is, could get you a couple extra MPGs. Much cheaper than a new vehicle, too.
The problem with a performance exhaust is many of them drone continuously when towing, which is a real headache so you need to be careful picking one without the drone.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:16 PM   #64
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My $42K 07 Ford F250 Diesel 4X4 towed our 25 Airstream at 14.7 mpg.

It was traded for an $9K 2002 Chevy Suburban 4X4 with the 8.1 engine and their check. I get 11 towing. I figure it will take many years to eat up the check they gave us at 3.7 mpg.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:43 PM   #65
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I specified dual exhaust when I ordered our 2008 Tundra from the factory. Toyota selected pipes that are very slightly louder, but don't drone; and we are very happy with the option. However, in the real world, the factory duals do absolutely nothing to measurably increase horsepower, low-end torque, fuel economy or anything else; and about all they're good for is looking cool. So, for most people, my recommendation when shopping for a new TV is to save your money and skip this option.

The same goes for the "cold air intake", which we did not buy, that apparently triggers the "check engine light".

As far as options to improve torque, horsepower and/or economy, including aftermarket add-ons, our TV is "strictly stock". I would guess that if there was a way to do this without affecting long-term reliability, manufacturers would have already incorporated it in their designs.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:08 PM   #66
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In the sixties, I was handling several racing equipment accounts and racers were using ramp trucksequipped with tool boxes and sleeper cabs. These trucks were equipped with 454, 440 and 460 engines. We took one truck and equipped the 454 with tube headers, an Offy intake and a torquer cam. Also did a cold air package and tweeked the carb. The results were astounding. Gas mileage almost doubled and there was plenty of power.

The point here is that it's possible to go backwards in order to make progress. There is plethora of aftermarket drive train equipment and you can buy a 300 HP crate motor with a 24 month warrantee for less than $4000.

I suspect that you could get an early seventies 3/4 ton tow vehicle and put $10,000 -$15,000 into and have a better chance of getting 15 MPG with cheap registration and insurance.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:24 PM   #67
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Obviously, I overlooked adding an Edelbrock high-rise intake manifold, supercharger, twin turbochargers, tuned exhaust headers, Cherry Bombs, etc. -- I stand corrected.

(As an aside, if all of this was added, it would require great restraint to achieve any increase in fuel economy. I, for one, would probably have to keep open accounts with Discount Tire and Flying J to keep my rig on the road; not to mention getting a second on our house to pay for all of this.)

============

Above comments made in jest. Please do not take offense. My previous post referenced minor modifications that do require a significant cash outlay.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:00 PM   #68
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I suspect that you could get an early seventies 3/4 ton tow vehicle and put $10,000 -$15,000 into and have a better chance of getting 15 MPG with cheap registration and insurance.
Denis

No Thanks. After all that, you might get 15 mpg, but you might get only 10, 11 or 12. Your truck will be louder than the new ones, won't ride as well, won't stop as well because no ABS, won't handle as safely because, no vehicle stability control, inferior A/C, probably only a single cab, no 6 speed tranny and not as reliable. Now after all this, you may get 1k of your 10k investment back because nobody really wants it (including you).

All

I don't know of a USA equivalent to CanAm. If I were really serious about this now, I would talk to Andy, find the best TV and take it to him to have it modified to tow the Airstream of your choice.

Dan
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:04 PM   #69
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Ah yes the diesel vs gas question once again. Just back from our trip from Texas to Alberta Ca 4552 miles.
While in Banff NP we camped next to a very nice full time couple from California. They had a very nice typical white box and a new chevy 6.0 gas tv. Trailer weighed out at 4800 loaded. He said his mileage was 6-8 when traveling in hill country Much better in flatlands.
Ours, over 6 grand loaded with a 350 Ford Diesel averaged 19 the entire trip.
Passed many a gas tv struggling up the hills in Wyoming and Montana on I 25 and I 90.
Have to say that we felt more comfortable/safe in our truck. Did we feel overly compensated, yes
Mileage varies...
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:50 PM   #70
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No Thanks. After all that, you might get 15 mpg, but you might get only 10, 11 or 12. Your truck will be louder than the new ones, won't ride as well, won't stop as well because no ABS, won't handle as safely because, no vehicle stability control, inferior A/C, probably only a single cab, no 6 speed tranny and not as reliable. Now after all this, you may get 1k of your 10k investment back because nobody really wants it (including you).

Dan
I got a good chuckle out of that. I love the way my Suburban drives, the quietness, the ride, the ESC, the DIC, the folding seats, the features, the whole package is completely awesome, and I couldn't imagine going back to an old truck. On the "cool scale" it's the best I have ever owned.
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