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Old 11-01-2007, 05:41 PM   #29
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One of the diesel engine manufacturers has a whitepaper on fuel economy, in which it notes that polished concrete is a huge plus, and chip-seal is a 33% hit for rolling resistance.
One page is devoted to operator actions, and it's noted that drivers who get the best fuel economy use cruise, have high average speed but spend very little time at "peak" speed, and decelerate gently (few service brake applications). The paper is geared toward semi-trucks, but it's interesting.

I've noticed on our car, if I just drive around with the AC on and keep it around 68, we can get 32-33 mpg , but if I shut off the AC and play energy games on hills I can get up to 42-43 mpg on a 100 trip. It's a quick little car (Saab), and stickered at 30 hwy.
As far as towing, if I keep it to 58 (plus or minus depending on wind) and conscientiously try to minimize WOT or brake events, we'll get around 12 pulling the 31' Excella. Not towing, cruise at 65-70 we get 14, so I'm not too put off by this. (6.0L GM 4x4 with a 3.73). It runs around 11 in town.

The one time I did a lot of WOT (wide open throttle) driving pulling the trailer - a hilly afternoon in southern Indiana - we got nine. Nine. Ick. No more of that, thanks.
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Old 11-01-2007, 05:58 PM   #30
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Yep, and I've got not only a "juice slopper" (good one 2'air) but about the least aerodynamic car on the road. I can still get, pulling the Airstream, 12-14 mpg which for the car/trailer/power train combo is IMHO pretty goshed darned good. With the Boler we had before this, similar weight, 17' we were getting 12 and when I got 13 I would be surprised. Before that we had a 17' TravelAire - a virtual box, and getting double digits at all was cause for celebration.

Now, with my wife driving, if we get 10 I'll be surprised. She's not consistent on the throttle and she likes to keep up with who ever is beside her pulling away from stops . When the car is untethered that's fine with me, it gives the kids a bit of a scare to see some old broad staying with them in their P-shooters and her in a big old station wagon. But old habits die hard and with the trailer on back, well.....as was mentioned, driving habits need to be altered.

Now, if anyone shares my thoughts on my wife's driving with her I'm dead meat of course....so discretion at the campfire would be appreciated.

Bob - you are right, if the cost is spread over a lot of miles, and time, the whole installation makes sense. When it's done on a vehicle that is likely to get traded off in a few years, it may make sense just to drive slower and keep it well serviced.

Our friend with the '54 Ford wagon who's busy installing a 390 to replace the 351W so he can pull his Flying Cloud with relative ease takes a pretty even approach to gas mileage when towing - when people tell him his costs are going to go up he tells them "so what. In the overall scheme of things it means eating a few more times in the trailer per trip instead of going out to a local restaurant, and it makes staying in the trailer and using it that much more enjoyable anyways".

Barry
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Old 11-01-2007, 06:23 PM   #31
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yes, I know that...as do half the others here, who are also pilots. (its all part of the alluminitus ).

just fun-in' with ya. That's what I meant when I said "Andy must only camp at airports". and sure, while operating an airplane, you can get updates from various vhf sources. but what about when operating an airstream? Did you have a vhf radio installed, too, so you could pick up the local atis as you past by on the highway?
Bob's got the answer: gps. great! but more expensive than your altimeter idea. Oh, well. we're all airstream-millionaires, here, right? what the heck -- might as well go for the full panel. Lets see, I've got airspeed, altimeter, vhf, gps, CB, cell-phone, on-star, am/fm/cassette...and lets not forget Ipod...tranny temp guage, tach, manifold pressure, truck came with its own tach and oil temp, I already carry a compass (for checking my electric brakes), someone mentioned a vsi...nah, too much lag. Oh, yeah, I can use the parking/level guage mounted under the front window of the trailer as a turn and bank...
Holy crap!! It IS as complicated as flying an airplane. and expensive, too! no wonder, I haven't got any $$$.

My GPS is a USB device that plugs into my laptop. It was part of a DeLorme street map package that set me back all of $69.95 at Best Buy.
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:01 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Chuck
yes, I know that...as do half the others here, who are also pilots. (its all part of the alluminitus ).

just fun-in' with ya. That's what I meant when I said "Andy must only camp at airports". and sure, while operating an airplane, you can get updates from various vhf sources. but what about when operating an airstream? Did you have a vhf radio installed, too, so you could pick up the local atis as you past by on the highway?
Bob's got the answer: gps. great! but more expensive than your altimeter idea. Oh, well. we're all airstream-millionaires, here, right? what the heck -- might as well go for the full panel. Lets see, I've got airspeed, altimeter, vhf, gps, CB, cell-phone, on-star, am/fm/cassette...and lets not forget Ipod...tranny temp guage, tach, manifold pressure, truck came with its own tach and oil temp, I already carry a compass (for checking my electric brakes), someone mentioned a vsi...nah, too much lag. Oh, yeah, I can use the parking/level guage mounted under the front window of the trailer as a turn and bank...
Holy crap!! It IS as complicated as flying an airplane. and expensive, too! no wonder, I haven't got any $$$.

Upon further review, if we could only retract the Airstream's running gear, and get the flaps from 30 degrees down to zero, I bet we could pick up at least another few miles per gallon.

Don't laugh, just saw a guy that first put his hand in front of a torch with no ill effects, and then cut steel with the same flame.

Hold on, don't unfasten your seat belt yet, cause this torch was powered by "water."

Seems he also has his invention patented, too.

Now if water can be the source of heat for a torch that can cut steel, maybe, just maybe, we can use milk to power space rockets?

This same fellow, also fills his fuel tank on his car, with water, as the only fuel.

Science and physics must be working overtime, these days.

Now, if I can only catch some rain. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Not likely, in southern California.

Scary. And no, it was not a halloween prank, it was real.

Andy
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:16 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by safari57
Our friend with the '54 Ford wagon who's busy installing a 390 to replace the 351W so he can pull his Flying Cloud with relative ease takes a pretty even approach to gas mileage when towing - when people tell him his costs are going to go up he tells them "so what. In the overall scheme of things it means eating a few more times in the trailer per trip instead of going out to a local restaurant, and it makes staying in the trailer and using it that much more enjoyable anyways". Barry
Amen, Enjoy life always. If it means spending more time with your loved ones then so be it. Life changes a lot faster that I can go in a half mile.
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:08 PM   #34
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For a carb'd vehicle, the vacuum-operated secondary 4V is the best way to go: Rochester QuadraJet or Carter ThermoQuad. Testing the exhaust with a wide-band O2 sensor is the way to set up fuel delivery. Using the same, a complete mechanical and vacuum ignition advance curve should be mapped and installed.

As to gauges, yes on vacuum. Downshift for hills when vac drops (not rpm) and you'll hit the crest more easily.

The marine guys have an expensive but slick gauge that, combined with both a low-rpm tachometer (0-redline, no farther), an engine hour meter and a vacuum gauge will give you all the info you need.

FLO SCAN
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0-10 GPH

The gauges can be mounted together, upside down or in what manner that they all can "read" with the needles moving together; the same direction.

An airpseed indicator is a slick idea. I've always enjoyed having an alitimeter, even in forlorn Texas . . it reminded that there are mountains waiting.

As to driving for economy, well, never come to a stop, for one. 30 mph overall average or better (per hourmeter; miles divided by time; 100-minute hours) will generally give best mileage. Combine trips into a long loop. Never idle. Be religious about tire pressure, balance and alignment.
Arrive near torque peak relatively quickly and stay there if it is low. Use vac gauge to feather back. Be an eagle and read the road as far ahead as possible.

A new exhaust is nice, but really only broadens the envelope marginally. But that margin can be used to keep the throttle from opening further if the acceleration event is anticipated early: longer time, but less throttle is what I strive for.

In crowded traffic or not I look to be able to coast, so, yes, the cretins cut in front of me.

The speed limits are that. Never accelerate past the point of 7-5 mph BELOW the limit (or your speed). After that, glide on up when you hit a downslope.

I figure it takes me a good thirty miles to overcome the acceleration (fuel) needed when towing to enter the Interstate.
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Old 11-02-2007, 07:51 AM   #35
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If I could add only one thing to boost fuel economy, it would be a vacuum gauge. That's assuming it's a gasser, the only use it would have on an oil burner is to tell when the aircleaner is plugged . Leaning out a diesel has another name, it's called "idle"...
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Old 11-02-2007, 08:52 AM   #36
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Upon further review, if we could only retract the Airstream's running gear, and get the flaps from 30 degrees down to zero, I bet we could pick up at least another few miles per gallon.
and think of the money we'd save on running-gear balancing!

I'd think that you'd lose some braking effectiveness, though...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Now if water can be the source of heat for a torch that can cut steel, maybe, just maybe, we can use milk to power space rockets?
hey, why not?! We already make "cold" with a flame, in our gas refrigerators. Makes about as much sense!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
This same fellow, also fills his fuel tank on his car, with water, as the only fuel.
that day is coming...(not soon enough!). One of the nifty side-benefits of a hydrogen powered vehicle is that we won't need electric hookups for the airstreams...you can get all the power you need from the TV.
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Old 11-02-2007, 11:14 AM   #37
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I use the Bully Dog diesel tuner and have found it provides more power and gives better mileage.

Pat
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Old 11-02-2007, 12:17 PM   #38
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Upon further review, if we could only retract the Airstream's running gear, and get the flaps from 30 degrees down to zero, I bet we could pick up at least another few miles per gallon.


and think of the money we'd save on running-gear balancing!

I'd think that you'd lose some braking effectiveness, though...

Not a chance.

For a super fast stop, you just engage the "reverse flush" toilet.

And if you want even more braking, you engage the reverse thrusters on the tow vehicles tail pipes.

Saves wear and tear on all the brake systems.

Andy
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Old 11-02-2007, 12:27 PM   #39
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I use the Bully Dog diesel tuner and have found it provides more power and gives better mileage.

Pat
Pat,
Have you done manual MPG calc's and compaired to the computer? A friend of a fried was bragging on his new computer, he said he jumped from 18 mpg to 25 hwy. yea, right...in a 3/4 ton at 75 mph? I've heard rumors that the jump was from the new computer fudging the display!
I'd like some first hand verified info - I drive 130 miles a day and if something really works I possibly could justify it.
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Old 11-02-2007, 01:02 PM   #40
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It doesn't matter whether an altimeter is set right or not. It'll always tell you whether you are going up or down even if the altitude is incorrect—unless you pass through a cold or warm front or a thunderstrom—then readings will be weather related, but the effect won't be so quick to make that much difference. I remember driving along the Pacific Coast Highway and we were at -30' because I hadn't reset the altimeter. That Toyota just plowed through the Pacific as if it wasn't there. You can reset the altimeter with a GPS.

We looked for one in a bunch of auto stores a couple years ago and no one makes them for the auto market anymore. I'm sure I can find one on the internet.

Putting an air speed indicater on a new truck with all that stuff packed into the dashboard would be quite a job. Just getting under the dashboard to make sure I wasn't drilling through the many wiring harnesses underneath would require me to be quadruple jointed. I think the main thing is careful use of the right foot to improve gas mileage. It is fun, though, to beat someone at the green light while towing an Airstream. Sometimes a pint of gas is worth it.

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Old 11-02-2007, 03:00 PM   #41
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Pat,
Have you done manual MPG calc's and compaired to the computer? A friend of a fried was bragging on his new computer, he said he jumped from 18 mpg to 25 hwy. yea, right...in a 3/4 ton at 75 mph?
We average 21/22 mpg (unloaded-ski trips up to NH. Probably a couple o' hundred pounds of "stuff" in the truck) hwy.
13/14 mpg towing.

I do not think it is unreasonable to get in the 20's with a diesel...

As far as the radical increase of your friends friend...well I don't know...

Bill
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Old 11-02-2007, 03:06 PM   #42
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...I do not think it is unreasonable to get in the 20's with a diesel...

Bill
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I'm with ya'
My computer show 23.4 right now but a fill up usually confirms it's 1 to 1.5 mpg high. I can run with the cruise off and usually coax the display to show over 24 average - but it's lying. One thing I did notice, the temps dropped over the last week and the MPG went up about 1 mpg. Too bad it doesn't offset the jump in diesel
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