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Old 12-18-2012, 10:06 PM   #57
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Regarding towed shapes, I had forgotten about when we towed boats. In the past, we owned the following:

* 16-foot, open bow, (fish & ski) tri-hull with 70 hp outboard that weighed about 1500 pounds (including single axle trailer).

* 19-foot, cuddy cabin (closed bow), deep-V with 120 hp inboard/outboard that weighed about 3000 pounds (including single axle trailer).

* 27-foot, cabin cruiser, deep-V with 360 hp inboard/outboard that weighs about 9,500 pounds (including triple axle trailer). (We still own this boat.)

The first two boats had practically no wind resistance over and above that of the tow vehicle. I guess since the hulls were designed to minimize drag in water, they also reduced wind resistance at highway speeds. I don't recall them increasing fuel consumption much, if any. And, I hardly noticed any additional drag/weight, except for the 19-foot boat on long upgrades.

The 27-foot boat probably has low wind resistance, too, since it is not seriously affected by passing semi's and crosswinds. However, the weight of the boat and motor, along with the triple axle trailer (which weighs 2,000 pounds without the boat) seriously affect fuel economy, even on the flats.

Maybe, a skirt is unnecessary; if we could put a long, pointed bow on the Airstream, and literally make it look like a "land yacht".
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:28 PM   #58
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My opinion.

Hi, I find it very interesting that many people on this forum [some on this thread] talk about, "If you can afford an Airstream" you can buy this hitch, change to this type of brakes, buy this type of brake controller, buy these tires and wheels, buy this type tow vehicle Etc Etc Etc. Like money is water and now they want to squeeze every mile per gallon from their fuel. Hey, if you can afford an Airstream, then you can afford to buy the fuel to tow it with too; And drive at a comfortable speed that is usually with the flow of traffic. For me to get better gas mileage, it will have to wait until I buy a newer, more efficient tow vehicle. Until then I get between 10 to 11.5 miles per gallon with the conditions that the traffic and weather give me.

I refuse to drive at 47.153624 miles per hour to pinch a few more miles from a gallon of gas.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:01 AM   #59
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Ha Ha. I was thinking that too. I get about 12 on average with my 2011 1/2 ton Chevy. But I drive closer to 65. So, I can go 10 miles farther per hour. In a 10 hour trip that keeps me from driving in the dark because I refuse to get up early just to get somewhere earlier.
Nonetheless, its good to know that 55 is a speed for much improved fuel economy. I once got caught low on fuel somewhere between Casper WY and Custer SD. I probably would have run out of gas but for driving slower.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:30 AM   #60
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I have had over a dozen experiences pulling U-Haul equipment such as car haulers and small trailers. Lack of preventative maintenance has contributed to rental units providing challenging experiences. The brakes were operational on one side of a car hauler, thus we experienced a jack knife going down a hill when we started using the brakes to slow speed creep [I called this a laundry generating experience]. I have had several tire failures (usually the GYM brand) and once a unit with a broken spring. U-Hauls suggested 55 mph was probably a good thing as the incidents would have been more challenging at higher speeds.

Our first RV trailer is our Airstream. I find that driving at 55 mph when towing allows for more reaction time when in traffic and allows for time to react the the road alligators we have in Arizona. In my experiences driving 55, I have seen new items of interest beside the highways in terms of scenery and physical structures that were missed when concentrating on the road ahead at 75. I can drive more relaxed, except for construction zones with concrete barriers can still generate a high level of concentration to maintain center in my lane.

On the interstates, many of the semi trucks are not running at the higher posted speeds for several reasons. Of course there is increased fuel economy, but there is less wear and tear on the brakes, transmission and engine. The faster one goes, the more horsepower that is required to overcome the air resistance, ground friction etc and that generates more stress in the internal components of the engine.

There are some highways where there is also a posted minimum speed and it is usually 45 mph.

My tire conversion from 15" GYM to 15" Michelin will allow me the option for higher speeds without fear of tire failure.

YMMV
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:46 AM   #61
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Good discussion! Many valid points made regarding improved safety, fuel efficiency and equipment life simply by backing off to 55 or 60 mph. It's not just about squeezing a few more miles per gallon, or lessening impact on the environment, it's the entire equation that can make the journey a safer, more rewarding experience. I'll take cruising the scenic byways at 55 to racing down the Interstate at 65 any day.
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:01 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, I find it very interesting that many people on this forum [some on this thread] talk about, "If you can afford an Airstream" you can buy this hitch, change to this type of brakes, buy this type of brake controller, buy these tires and wheels, buy this type tow vehicle Etc Etc Etc. Like money is water and now they want to squeeze every mile per gallon from their fuel. Hey, if you can afford an Airstream, then you can afford to buy the fuel to tow it with too; And drive at a comfortable speed that is usually with the flow of traffic. For me to get better gas mileage, it will have to wait until I buy a newer, more efficient tow vehicle. Until then I get between 10 to 11.5 miles per gallon with the conditions that the traffic and weather give me.

I refuse to drive at 47.153624 miles per hour to pinch a few more miles from a gallon of gas.

Exxon, BP, and Shell would love you! I'll give you plenty of room to pass.
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:15 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, I find it very interesting that many people on this forum [some on this thread] talk about, "If you can afford an Airstream" you can buy this hitch, change to this type of brakes, buy this type of brake controller, buy these tires and wheels, buy this type tow vehicle Etc Etc Etc. Like money is water and now they want to squeeze every mile per gallon from their fuel. Hey, if you can afford an Airstream, then you can afford to buy the fuel to tow it with too; And drive at a comfortable speed that is usually with the flow of traffic. For me to get better gas mileage, it will have to wait until I buy a newer, more efficient tow vehicle. Until then I get between 10 to 11.5 miles per gallon with the conditions that the traffic and weather give me.

I refuse to drive at 47.153624 miles per hour to pinch a few more miles from a gallon of gas.
With it being 500+ miles most any direction for me out of Texas to get somewhere significantly different, I agree with you, for what it's worth.

All you other guys, please keep to the Right.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:54 AM   #64
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We towed our Airstream around 15,000 miles this year. A quick estimate shows I could have saved 243 gallons of fuel by driving 5 mpg slower at 55 mph, instead of 60 (using the rough calculations in my original post). This would be a savings of about $900, using $3.75/gallon as an average fuel cost (just a guess).

We only cover a few hundred miles a day; so that 5 mph only lengthens the daily driving time by about 20-30 minutes, which doesn't mean anything to me, because we're retired and we enjoy the ride.

I can see that in Texas you might want to maximize the distance traveled each day, because everything is so spread out. However, in the Four Corners area, the next campsite is only a couple of hours away; so a few extra minutes doesn't make a hill of beans to me. I'll take the reduced stress and look out the side windows more often, and pocket the $900 savings per year to spend on local attractions at the next stop.

As an aside, my wife and I live on a budget, as most people do. And, the 16-inch wheels and LT tires we bought were not an extravagance. We bought these as a necessity, to stop replacing ST tires and repairing wheel wells. We both view this upgrade like repairing a hole in the roof; we had to stop the leak (in money). Otherwise, our 2005 Bambi is original, except for a few extra dents and stains that document our travel history. We didn't buy an Airstream because we are wealthy, as we certainly are not. We got it because we wanted an RV that would last. And, despite all the leaks, cabinet doors, etc. that used to fall off, and other little design deficiencies, it's still the best RV we've ever owned.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:38 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, I find it very interesting that many people on this forum [some on this thread] talk about, "If you can afford an Airstream" you can buy this hitch, change to this type of brakes, buy this type of brake controller, buy these tires and wheels, buy this type tow vehicle Etc Etc Etc. Like money is water and now they want to squeeze every mile per gallon from their fuel. Hey, if you can afford an Airstream, then you can afford to buy the fuel to tow it with too; And drive at a comfortable speed that is usually with the flow of traffic. For me to get better gas mileage, it will have to wait until I buy a newer, more efficient tow vehicle. Until then I get between 10 to 11.5 miles per gallon with the conditions that the traffic and weather give me.

I refuse to drive at 47.153624 miles per hour to pinch a few more miles from a gallon of gas.
There is a difference between spending money and wasting money. I can totally see investing in a good tow vehicle, new tires, hitch etc if it means having a rig that will give you the enjoyment and safety you desire.

I can also see planning trips, road speed etc. to maximize economy.

A lot of this is a matter of using your own judgement. For example, it would be false economy to spend $30,000 on a new truck to save $1000 a year in fuel. But if you can save a few hundred $$$$ bucks in fuel, not to mention wear and tear on yourself and your rig, by spending a little more time en route it is something to consider. Whether it is worth it or not, is up to you.
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