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-   -   TV Woes: Small Fuel Tank, Low MPG (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238/tv-woes-small-fuel-tank-low-mpg-165020.html)

polyester 04-07-2017 01:20 PM

TV Woes: Small Fuel Tank, Low MPG
 
Hi there!

I'm the proud new owner of a brand new 16' Sport and this is my first post. I hauled the little Bambi on its maiden voyage last week. This is my first time towing a trailer. My TV is a 2014 Kia Sorento V6 AWD, which I've been mostly happy with until now. While it seemed to handle the "lightweight" trailer mostly ok, it struggled up and over the steep hills to the west coastline. It was continuously reving at around 3000 rpm to maintain somewhere between 40-50 mph and my fuel economy dropped drastically, resulting to just 12 mpg over the course of the trip both there and back. It's normally around 18-20 mpg not towing. It was a 2 hour drive. I had to fill up before leaving town and again before I made it back. My fuel tank size is only a minuscule 17.4 gal capacity. At this rate, I figure I can only count on getting about 200 miles to the tank. That's a problem. I've been on some long road trips where there's not exactly a plethora of gas stations to choose from in that distance, if any at all. We have a long trip planned for the summer that has us going through Glacier and up to Banff. I'm not feeling confident that the Sorento is going to make it those long distances, over huge mountains, in the heat, much of it in complete wilderness.

After rigging up the Sorento specifically to haul this trailer, as in installing the 7 way break connection and controller, and having just bought the car less than 2 years ago, I'm not excited about the prospect of having to get a new vehicle. However, I'm open to it if I thought it would be a significant improvement. Ideally, I'd be able to trade out my Sorento, plus my old Audi A3 that I use as a commuter car. That would mean the vehicle would need to replace both, as in significantly better gas mileage than the 18mpg I get on a daily basis, have a third row for moving the kids and their friends and all their stuff, but also has to be a little sporty, especially for commuting through city traffic and up and over hills. Then of course, it has to be reliable for towing my relatively small trailer.

Still weighing diesel options. I hear they're better for towing, but can be loud, that parts are harder to come by, maintenance is more expensive, and I wonder what the chances might be of diesel not being available at some fuel stations. My top choices are so far narrowed down to these:

1) 2016 Kia Sorento (newer ones have more towing capacity and slightly bigger fuel tanks)
3) 2017 Nissan Pathfinder (basically checks all the boxes, but is not very fun to drive and a little laggy)
3) 2017 Audi Q7 possibly older (my favorite to drive, but the least economical for both fuel mileage and cost)
4) BMW X5 (2014 or newer) (good fuel economy if I can live with diesel engine)

I wonder if anyone with more experience with towing with any of these vehicles or similar could help me decide whether I should feel more confident about my current vehicle, even with a small fuel tank and low towing capacity, if I should spend the extra money for a better "everyday" vehicle that will also be more reliable for towing, or if I should go for a more economical option that affords me a car that can manage better in the towing compartment and fuel economy but is perhaps not so fun to drive on a daily basis. Seeing as how I just bought the Airstream, budget is a bit tight, but I also don't want to hate what I'm driving every day, feel like I've wasted money, or worry on our long haul trips.

I know that's a lot of information, but I've spent a lot of time this past week researching, and I don't know how to feel confident about any decision.

THANKS!!!
Holly

polyester 04-07-2017 01:22 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Almost forgot the photo of my rig!

bono 04-07-2017 01:29 PM

I am towing big Jayco trailer with BMW X5 diesel. 14-16 MPG. Range 250-300+ miles. You will get better MPG with any airsteam.

NorCal Matt 04-07-2017 01:43 PM

Hi and welcome!

My wife's Q5 is very comfortable and would be able to tow the Bambi, though it does not have a third row.

A highlander should meet your needs as well, they also offer a hybrid version, but I'm not sure the specs of that.

You've probably gathered this already, but everything is a compromise. Great fuel economy with a long range that can also tow your trailer and haul the kids around is a mythical beast that only exists in blurry photos and drunken stories ��.

Glad to have you on board!

LBOskiBear 04-07-2017 01:49 PM

I had a 2014 Pathfinder which should still be similar to the current line-up. I had a 19' Bambi and it towed fine except up hills. Then, it would slow down and I wasn't too excited about the prospect of going up to the mountains with it, so traded in for an F150.

The mileage you're encountering sounds similar to what I had in the Pathfinder, so not sure you'd experience much change/improvement, if any.

AirMiles 04-07-2017 02:00 PM

I tested towing my 17' Casita, weighing approximately 3000#, with a new style Nissan Pathfinder with the CVT. Your experience with the Kia sounds just like my experience with the CVT Pathfinder. Yes, it had the towing package and was broken in. It was my daughter's vehicle. The engine was not geared well for towing. It revved too much in tow mode and lugged too much in overdrive. Gas mileage dropped to low double digits, just like your Kia, because of the revving engine.

I am a Nissan fanatic. Five of my last six vehicles have been Nissans. I currently have the new Nissan Titan XD Diesel and a Maxima. My Nissan Frontier was a great tow vehicle for lighter weight travel trailers (Towed my Casita all over the mountain west with ease). The old model Pathfinder, built on the Frontier frame, would be a much better tow vehicle for your application. So before you choose a CVT Pathfinder, go test drive one while towing. You will know within 10 miles what I am talking about.

Now I know others will say they love their Pathfinder and I hate writing negative reviews on the internet. But my towing experience with the CVT Pathfinder was so bad that I wanted to help you avoid making another tow vehicle mistake.

Good luck with your decision.

gandttimes 04-07-2017 04:22 PM

Hi. In your intro you said that you are constantly around 3000rpm to maintain 50 mph.
Was that up hills only or all the time.
Those engines love to Rev. That's not going to hurt anything except mpg, and if it's only on the hills , again I wouldn't be concerned.
My only concern is how safe you feel with your setup, and if you are comfortable and the only issue is mileage and fuel costs, buying newer is going to cost a lot too and if it's only for a couple of mpg then I would say to wait it out and make sure that this rig is what you want to stay with.
Most long hills have lanes for the slower vehicles and if you can get between 40 and 50 mph I would say you are doing better than most.
If however you just want something newer, bigger, and better then go for it.

polyester 04-07-2017 04:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gandttimes (Post 1933300)
Hi. In your intro you said that you are constantly around 3000rpm to maintain 50 mph.
Was that up hills only or all the time.
Those engines love to Rev. That's not going to hurt anything except mpg, and if it's only on the hills , again I wouldn't be concerned.
My only concern is how safe you feel with your setup, and if you are comfortable and the only issue is mileage and fuel costs, buying newer is going to cost a lot too and if it's only for a couple of mpg then I would say to wait it out and make sure that this rig is what you want to stay with.
Most long hills have lanes for the slower vehicles and if you can get between 40 and 50 mph I would say you are doing better than most.
If however you just want something newer, bigger, and better then go for it.


Only up hills is it reving at that rpm. My biggest concern is actually not so much the mpg but the Sorento's tank capacity, which is something I can't fix without swapping for a different vehicle. It becomes a downward spiral at that point. My commuter car is getting up there in miles and needing repairs more often, and it might be a good time to try and consolidate to one car. I've been reluctant to get rid of my Audi because I don't particularly enjoy driving the Sorento all the time and like even less the mpg in comparison, but the Audi repairs are starting to outweigh any cost savings on fuel.

polyester 04-07-2017 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NorCal Matt (Post 1933240)
Hi and welcome!

My wife's Q5 is very comfortable and would be able to tow the Bambi, though it does not have a third row.

A highlander should meet your needs as well, they also offer a hybrid version, but I'm not sure the specs of that.

You've probably gathered this already, but everything is a compromise. Great fuel economy with a long range that can also tow your trailer and haul the kids around is a mythical beast that only exists in blurry photos and drunken stories ��.

Glad to have you on board!



[emoji38] I have heard the legends of which you speak, yes.

I made a spreadsheet comparison of all the 3rd row SUV contenders; the Highlander was somewhere in the middle and didn't do much for me aesthetically. I drove my mother's and found it pretty underwhelming overall, and it felt as big as it is. I know that's lame and being picky only limits the options further, but there are certain vehicles that scream "soccer mom" to me and it just doesn't suit me quite right. I love those Q5s though! That was on my wishlist as an upgrade from the A3 until I was hauling a bunch of kids around and found myself often needing an extra seat. Ironically, it started with soccer practice. Yes, I tried to be a soccer mom; it didn't really work out.

polyester 04-07-2017 05:16 PM

Thanks for the quick response, by the way! You guys are great.

To complicate matters, a friend bought his airstream FC just before I took the plunge on my Bambi. Of course they bought an Audi Q7 for it. Now I'll feel like a total copycat if I end up with a Q7 as well. We already have multiple camping spots booked together over the summer. How ridiculous would that look.

gandttimes 04-07-2017 05:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by polyester (Post 1933321)
Thanks for the quick response, by the way! You guys are great.

To complicate matters, a friend bought his airstream FC just before I took the plunge on my Bambi. Of course they bought an Audi Q7 for it. Now I'll feel like a total copycat if I end up with a Q7 as well. We already have multiple camping spots booked together over the summer. How ridiculous would that look.

A fine complement😉

AirMiles 04-07-2017 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by polyester (Post 1933321)
Thanks for the quick response, by the way! You guys are great.

To complicate matters, a friend bought his airstream FC just before I took the plunge on my Bambi. Of course they bought an Audi Q7 for it. Now I'll feel like a total copycat if I end up with a Q7 as well. We already have multiple camping spots booked together over the summer. How ridiculous would that look.

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." I'd bet they'd be fine with you purchasing the same vehicle, even the same color. My son-in-law and I both have Titan XD Diesels (different colors). My daughters both had silver Pathfinders (and my sister). We had three Frontiers at one time, two the same color. My daughter and her mother-in-law both have matching silver Altimas. Like I said, we are Nissan fanatics!

Piggy Bank 04-07-2017 06:27 PM

Would also suggest looking at the Honda Pilot. We drove one for 10 years and it was a very good highway car. If we had decided on a 16 Bambi we would have kept it.

Isuzusweet 04-07-2017 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Piggy Bank (Post 1933343)
Would also suggest looking at the Honda Pilot. We drove one for 10 years and it was a very good highway car. If we had decided on a 16 Bambi we would have kept it.

Or the Honda Ridgeline is a pickup with an Accord ride and very capable of towing an AS easily up to 23' or larger. 1600 lb payload gives it more payload than a lot of full size 1/2 tons.

Cheers
Tony


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