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Old 06-19-2008, 10:43 AM   #71
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What, no altimeter?!

I've got a spare ASI down in the shop in a cabinet, but I don't think I'll install it. Saw a big hole in my new truck's dashboard to house an aircraft instrument that looks out of place? Don't think I'll do that.

I find that what I'm tending to do when towing is to a) "know" where the wind's from ... forecasts and loading up and every rest stop or fuel stop give me a chance to gauge the wind; and b) keep an eye on the TV's MPG readout. Going west is typically into a headwind and heading east is typically a tailwind. If it's a headwind and the wind is significant and the mileage is down, I MAY slow down a bit to compensate for the headwind ... or if I don't slow down, I just grit my teeth and know it'll cost me more next time I stop.

On the other hand, if going with a tailwind, I probably don't speed up just because I can do so more cheaply ... the constabluary take a dim view of that! ("Honest, officer, she just got away from me, what with all that tailwind and all!") Instead, I just smile a little more.
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:06 AM   #72
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It's all about DRAG , aerodynamic waste. Does anyone have any idea about the Reynolds number of their trailer. FWIW airstreams are quite "clean". The rear awning supports in the back of the trailer do a lot to disrupt the laminar airflow and "suction" area created aft of the trailer, VG's need to also be placed on the airconditioning shroud. I'm gonna use the altimeter just for fun. FUN is good!!
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:32 AM   #73
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This spring I towed a 29' A/S back to the mid west for a member.
One of the days I had a significant tail wind that enabled me to tow in Drive with tow-haul on. This dropped my RPM and increased my mileage.
While I'm not knocking the wind speed indicator, if you have good awareness of what the wind is doing you can use it to your advantage without spending any more money. Or sawing a hole in your dash.
Next time you're out on the road, pay attention to flags and banners. They give great indicators of both wind direction and speed.
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:49 AM   #74
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Improving MPG

I installed a K&N Cold Air Intake that boosted me about 3 MPG around town and even as much as 6 MPG on the highway. That worked until all the "real gas" went away. Now we are on the mixed fuel with "up to 10%" ethenol and so my gas mileage is back down. Now I'm glad I didn't install one of the superchips because you really have to use premium high octane to get any real benefits. Only other modification I would consider is something to the exhaust system, but not certain of what at this time. We will tow our 25er again in July, about 200 miles so I'm curious what kind of MPG we will get towing at highway speeds with the "funny gas." By the way, we tow with our Ford F150 1/2 ton and thats also my commuter vehicle.
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:17 PM   #75
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Don't have to cut holes in anything.

Attaching the meter on top of the dash with Velcro, works fine.

Then when your running around town, remove the meter and put it back in your garage.

As doorgunner said, it's all about drag. Like it or not, drag has an effect on a car, truck, trailer, and even humans.

Walk against the wind, and you will immediately learn that lesson.

Having towed probably at least 50,000 miles using the airspeed indicator as a guide, more than adequately pointed out, lesson well learned.

Those that express an "opinion" negative to it's use, obviously don't care what mileage their tow vehicle gets, towing or not.

Some people buy an Airstream trailer, because they can tow it at 100 miles per hour, if they wish. Obviously, that person could care less about fuel economy.

In California, the average speed on the freeways is 80 to 85 MPH. Cops don't care because those speeds help the bottle necks. And obviously, being concerned about fuel economy, is not something most California drivers want to talk about, until they reach in their pockets to pay for the next tank of fuel. Hmmmmmm.

Andy
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Old 06-19-2008, 01:34 PM   #76
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Andy,

You still haven't explained how an airspeed indicator helps you save money on fuel. I understand that it may give you a better idea of how the wind is blowing but what exactly do you then change with regard to your driving? If you change your route you add miles so that doesn't seem to be viable. You can only drive so fast to gain any benefit of a tail wind without being unsafe or getting stopped for speeding. You can only drive so slow to minimize the detriment of a head wind without being a traffic hazard or breaking the threshhold of time vs. distance fuel economy. So where's the logic in all this? Or is it just "magic"?

Incidentally, general aviation pilots are more concerned about wind speed and direction for the purposes of heading/course compensation than fuel economy. If you gotta go from here to there and you gotta do it now then there isn't much you can do to compensate for lost economy due to wind. The guys flying the big jets have to think about fuel economy with regard to wind a whole lot more because they only load the fuel necessary for any given flight plus required reserves so they don't have much to spare. They are also under continuous company scrutiny to conserve as much fuel as possible to keep operating expenses down. But, they can also do a lot more with speed, course and altitude alteration to achieve better fuel economy than a guy flying a Cessna (or pulling an Airstream).

-Kevin
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:00 PM   #77
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Found a little trick

I was watching "Mythbusters" a while back. Their topic was wind drag. Now, these guys do some really goofy stuff, but this time they seemed to make sense. They had all kinds of measuring devices. They drove a car at various distances behind a big rig. The closer they got to the big rig, the less energy it took to move the car they were driving. The funny thing was, they didn't have to get right up behind to gain benefit. They got measurable benefit starting at about 50 yards.

I don't like to tow my single axle trailer over 60, but here in California I often find a big rig, usually a UPS big rig, running between 55 and 60. Not the best view, but any gas saved is welcome.
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:09 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by COLORADO_CAMPER View Post
Andy,

You still haven't explained how an airspeed indicator helps you save money on fuel. I understand that it may give you a better idea of how the wind is blowing but what exactly do you then change with regard to your driving? If you change your route you add miles so that doesn't seem to be viable. You can only drive so fast to gain any benefit of a tail wind without being unsafe or getting stopped for speeding. You can only drive so slow to minimize the detriment of a head wind without being a traffic hazard or breaking the threshhold of time vs. distance fuel economy. So where's the logic in all this? Or is it just "magic"?

Incidentally, general aviation pilots are more concerned about wind speed and direction for the purposes of heading/course compensation than fuel economy. If you gotta go from here to there and you gotta do it now then there isn't much you can do to compensate for lost economy due to wind. The guys flying the big jets have to think about fuel economy with regard to wind a whole lot more because they only load the fuel necessary for any given flight plus required reserves so they don't have much to spare. They are also under continuous company scrutiny to conserve as much fuel as possible to keep operating expenses down. But, they can also do a lot more with speed, course and altitude alteration to achieve better fuel economy than a guy flying a Cessna (or pulling an Airstream).

-Kevin

I am also a private pilot wih over 1200 hours, single engine, with more night time cross country than day time.

Minimizing the effects of drag, is the whole purpose of using the "airspeed indicator."

However, is doesn't really matter what anyone may suggest, as to what to do or how to do whatever, to increase fuel economy, because there will always be someone who wants to be ahead of the traffic, and who also don't care at all, about fuel economy or fuel prices.

My suggestion is solely for those that want to improve fuel economy within reason.

Getting to your destination, as fast as one can, is not the idea, at least to me. When you get there, you get there, but safely, for yourself and others.

If the winds are against you, then just leave earlier, instead of going faster.

Arrival times are always secondary, to safety.

Changing routes of travel tto save on fuel costs, I don't believe is very practical.

Certainly, changing towing speeds because of wind speeds and directions, worked for me.

Quite well, many people that tow, may noy be interested at all, at least not until they see the price of fuel, at there next refueling stop.

Andy
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:21 PM   #79
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I notice my mileage suffers when going on and off the highway for fuel stops and rest areas. I'm installing an aux fuel tank to cut down on the number of stops I need to make for fuel. Seem to waste a lot of time too while waiting in line to fuel up.
Rest areas are easy on and off while fuel stations usually are not as close to the hwy.
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:55 PM   #80
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... I thought it would be good idea to put all the ideas in one place...
well that's a great idea and one of the mods TRIED to do just that here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...ads-18186.html

the info is ALL still current, even as fuel prices have changed.

and new threads on the various issues proliferate, like energy futures and spec u late ors...

often bogus, often vendor driven, often silly and so on...

the new threads on old stuff keep on rolling.

1. going slower is STILL the primary way to extend a gallon of juice...

along with

2.proper tire air pressures and

3. regular vehicle maintenance....

next comes the fuzzy...

4. modulating the rate of acceleration helps too, but this is a challenge base on driver brain and foot...

5. some additives may help, but most of the info is hype to sell stuff

then the stuff that needs an accountants meter...

6. added gadgets (exhaust, air intake, gearing... EVEN IF there are small gains, DON'T usually off set the INITIAL COST for years, if ever.

7. EXTREME mods can really add mpg (aerodynamic changes like lowering, mirrors, wipers, fairings, low drag wheel/tires)

but again are COSTLY to undertake and have done WELL...

or the natural holistic approach...

8. traveling down hill or with a tailwind helps but limits directional options significantly...

and asi on the ground is just another silly gadget, how about just sticking yer head OUT d'window...

followed by the absolutely bogus stuff..

9. and i so ain't gonna give them my air time...

so while the current fuel pricing sparks LOTS of new threads on these issues....

the best stuff is still much of the older stuff which WAS COMBINED to save us ENERGY...

but scatter happens, just like most traffic is 1 person per big arse suv...

searching old threads is STILL free and adds nothing to your carbon foot print...

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:19 PM   #81
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Andy,

Don't get me wrong - I am as interested as the next guy in improving fuel economy. I just didn't and still don't understand how an airspeed indicator helps achieve that. But it does seem we are in agreement that reducing your speed (or at least driving no faster than the speed limit) is an effective practice in improving mileage. But, I don't need an airspeed indicator to tell me that.

Out of curiosity, what make/model of airplane do you normally fly? Up until three years ago my experience was limited to some minimal time in a 1965 twin Comanche with most of my hours accumulated in a 1956 C-172 (the 33rd ever built, in fact) I still have both of those airplanes but I bit the bullet and bought a new Piper Saratoga II TC back in 2005. That changed my perspective and fun factor immensely! All glass panel and more info than I could ever process at one time. Anyway, just curious what you fly.

-Kevin
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:03 PM   #82
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Andy,

Don't get me wrong - I am as interested as the next guy in improving fuel economy. I just didn't and still don't understand how an airspeed indicator helps achieve that. But it does seem we are in agreement that reducing your speed (or at least driving no faster than the speed limit) is an effective practice in improving mileage. But, I don't need an airspeed indicator to tell me that.

Out of curiosity, what make/model of airplane do you normally fly? Up until three years ago my experience was limited to some minimal time in a 1965 twin Comanche with most of my hours accumulated in a 1956 C-172 (the 33rd ever built, in fact) I still have both of those airplanes but I bit the bullet and bought a new Piper Saratoga II TC back in 2005. That changed my perspective and fun factor immensely! All glass panel and more info than I could ever process at one time. Anyway, just curious what you fly.

-Kevin
What I once flew was a Navion. Mostly at controlled.
airports. More night time cross county than anything else.

The airspeed indicators don't do anything more than give you information.

How you use it, is up to you.

I choose to use it to the max That saved me as much as 20 percent. Other times, nothing.

At today's fuel prices, the fuel savings using an airspeed indicator, would soon pay for itself.

Aircraft Spruce has them for as little as $ 117.95, indicating from zero to 80, or 100, or 120, or 140, or 150 mph.

To further help fuel economy, I also has a sensitive altimeter on my car. After your on many interstate highways, especially those that you have never been on, it's very difficult to tell if your climbing, decending, or staying at the same altitude. Again, depending on what the altimter is telling you, you can alter your foot on the gas pedal.

That also worked for me very well.

But, driving a car, or towing a trailer, we all know changes the fuel mileage. To some folks, altering their driving habits, can make a noticeable difference in fuel consumption. Some may believe this, and some will poo poo it, probably because it can't be true, unless it came from them.

Again, Aircraft Spuce has non sensitive altimeters from $111.00 to sensitive altimeters for as low as $ 229.00.

But once again, to each his own, as always.

It's sort of difficult to understand how some folks can nix the idea, that never tried it.

Instruments rarely tell us what to do, but they feed us information, the lets a driver now what's going on. Now it's up to the driver to determine what to do, if any thing.

Andy
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:16 PM   #83
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What I once flew was a Navion.
Andy
Was it a sliding canopy one? Didn't they later make door slammer?

What I really want is an airspeed indicator for my bicycle. It would make me feel better when I am slowed down to 10 or 11 mph in a strong headwind.
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:24 PM   #84
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If I may offer a re-wording for CC's benefit....

I think what Andy is trying to say is this:

when the asi indicates a significant headwind...slow down.

when the asi indicates a significant tailwind, you can speed up a little, (how much???), without as much penalty.


I can see how this could be helpful, beyond our general awareness of wind speed/direction, or watching for flags by the roadside, etc. Its easy to get disoriented on roads as to exactly which direction you're moving. at least here in my part of the world, roads don't go in a straight line for very long. and, of course, weather is constantly changing, whether you're moving or not. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that my truck is "working much harder than I thought", based on such information. I don't think I'm really conscious of the wind effects, unless its blowing really hard, or gusty, and you can feel yourself being pushed around side to side.

Of course, I can also see the flip side of this, which is (I guess) "just go slow all the time". that'd work, too.
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