We just got back from a our vacation over Thanksgiving, a little over 1300 miles round trip. Just before we left we put new axles and brakes on our 1972 23' Safari with tandem axles. We finished putting the axles on last Friday afternoon and left Saturday morning. The truck is a 2007 1500
GMC Sierra which we bought to tow the Safari.
The first thing I noticed when I hooked it the Safari to the truck was that the trailer is now towing a little nose down compared to being perfectly level prior to changing the axles (the new axles raised up the camper an inch or two). I commented that it was different to my mechanic friend and his response was that it should get better gas mileage when towed a little nose down, otherwise it shouldn't make any difference.
The first thing I notices is that I think the truck and camper being blown around more; by the wind, other trucks, and cars driving a lot faster than I was. In the past the truck seemed to be more stable with the camper on than with it off. For this trip, that wasn't the case.
Last year when we took the Safari from Central Alabama down to South Florida, the truck recorded in excess of 11 MPG, about 11.5 or so which included running fairly fast (70+) on the way home. This trip the truck registered almost 10 MPG with significant portions of the trip being in the low 9 MPG which I have never seen before except when crawling up a small mountain. In addition to the towing angle, these are brand new brakes but I would thing that after 650 miles on the first leg, of which a significant portion consists of country and small town roads, they should be pretty well broken in. So much for better gas mileage.
Can all this be attributed to improper towing angle?
The hitch is a Reese weight distribution variety that I got from the local Airstream dealer in Michigan. Since it worked so well in the past, I assume that they picked the right one and set it up correctly. Of course, since the dealer did the installation and setup, I didn't get any of the documentation with the hitch.