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Old 06-18-2006, 07:58 AM   #21
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1963 16' Bambi
1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Cost of towing

Fastrob, I'm right with you. The cost of towing your home with you does cost. I tow with a 1968 Ford F100 4x4. I upgraded it last year by putting a 1993 Ford 5.0 fuel injected engine in the vehicle. I got everything form a 1993 Bronco; Engine, wiring, computer, 33 gallon gas tank. It originally had a 300 straight 6. With the old engine I got 11 mpg. With the new engine I get 22 mpg. However I tow at 50 to 55 mph. If I go faster the mileage drops to nothing. I also stay off the freeways. We are what is called Red Roaders. One of the great discoveries we have found is that at 55 you can see the road the country side and enjoy the journey. After all don't we go on vacation to escape our daily life. I know I'm old and getting older. However when I'm on the road and see someone with a huge new pickup and a 40 foot trailer going 70 miles an hour, I ask myself, Why. They can't be enjoying what they are doing. Well anyway that's my 2 cents. Thanks again for the good words.
Don
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Old 06-18-2006, 12:28 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCal Bambi
.........With the old engine I got 11 mpg. With the new engine I get 22 mpg.......
Don
Are you saying you are getting 22mpg towing? If not what age you getting towing? and what are you towing?
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Old 06-18-2006, 12:56 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don
However when I'm on the road and see someone with a huge new pickup and a 40 foot trailer going 70 miles an hour, I ask myself, Why. They can't be enjoying what they are doing. Well anyway that's my 2 cents. Thanks again for the good words.
Don
Hi Don, So... you have seen my brother-in-law out on the road. LOL
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Old 06-22-2006, 05:06 AM   #24
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1963 16' Bambi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
Are you saying you are getting 22mpg towing? If not what age you getting towing? and what are you towing?
I don't get 22mph while towing. It sure sounds like I said that. My speedo and odometer are on the wack at presten. I'm working on that now. Have a new trip coming up next week. Hopefully I will have better numbers. I towe a 1963 Bambi.
Don.
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Old 06-22-2006, 05:07 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverleeper
Hi Don, So... you have seen my brother-in-law out on the road. LOL
Yes, and mine too.
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Old 06-22-2006, 10:14 AM   #26
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Fast Rob,

I'm as thrift minded as anyone in this thread, but I don't think a few pounds here and a few there have that much worthwhile effect on total costs. In fact, unless you're on the road most of the time, the costs of adapting furniture, structure, etc. probably will never be regained. I just returned from a trip back to Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas and have fresh data on costs. My trailer weighs 8400 pounds on the scale at the Cokeville, Wyoming Flying J. My truck weighs right at 7000 pounds on the same scale, making a gross of well over 15000 pounds. We have a ton of books in the trailer and, contrary to most opinions, I always tow with a full tank of fresh water (I don't want to get caught short on good water).

Total miles driven – 3726
Total miles solo – 1476
Total miles towing – 2250
Total gallons used – 243
Average MPG overall – 15.3
Highest MPG solo – 18.6
Highest MPG towing – 14.8
Highest price paid per gallon - $3.17 at Boise, Idaho
Lowest Price paid per gallon - $2.66 at Camden Point, Missouri
Total fuel cost - $672.39
Average fuel cost per mile overall – 18 cents

If one drives 4000 miles at an average of 15 mpg and pays $3 per gallon for the fuel, he will spend $801. If he ups his mpg to 17 his cost for fuel would be $705, or $96 less. Now I'd rather have that money in my pocket than in the Oil Company's pocket, but at what cost in dollars or in comfort and convenience? Right now I'm not highly motivated to prune too far back to obtain a few dollars savings annually. That's just one man's humble opinion.

Gene
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Old 06-22-2006, 10:52 AM   #27
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Hi genearnold--You said it right. Fuel cost differential between the best and worst fuel efficient TV that can adequately tow your A/S is small potatoes, compared to the really big items: depreciation, maintenance and repair. The only reason we get so hung up on fuel cost, is because we see cash going out of our pocket each week, to fill up. If you really want to save big on fuel cost, just stay home, but remember even when you are home deprecation just keeps ticking along. I'll pay for the fuel, and just keep enjoying all the freedom my A/S gives me.--Frank S
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Old 06-23-2006, 08:56 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genearnold
Fast Rob,

I'm as thrift minded as anyone in this thread, but I don't think a few pounds here and a few there have that much worthwhile effect on total costs. In fact, unless you're on the road most of the time, the costs of adapting furniture, structure, etc. probably will never be regained. I just returned from a trip back to Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas and have fresh data on costs.
............$$$......
Now I'd rather have that money in my pocket than in the Oil Company's pocket, but at what cost in dollars or in comfort and convenience? Right now I'm not highly motivated to prune too far back to obtain a few dollars savings annually. That's just one man's humble opinion.

Gene
Gene,

I agree with you 100%.
A little background, the wife's tuition and extras are about $20,000/year. The 3 teenagers are not cheap either when braces, food and clothes are considered. I am not complaining as they are the center of my life. The Airstream while important is not the highest priority. However while dreaming and scheming about the eventual renewal of our treasure I keep thinking about what will be the best for us. I crave simplicity, function and good looks.
This site has incredible artists, craftsmen and ideas. I love it!
The goal is to live on nothing but I know the government will tax me for the knowlege.
Thanks,
Rob
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:03 AM   #29
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fastrob, I'll chime in with the rest. Our first Airstream was a 62 Overlander, we pulled it with a V10 F250 4x4 CrewCab. Towing mileage was around 10 in general, sometimes more but I don't think ever less. After seeing some Caravels we decided that we could live with a smaller trailer (another lesson learned) so we sold the Overlander and bought a Caravel. Towing mileage was low and behold 10 - even though we were towing 1/2 the weight. In the meantime we hired someone to do the heavy towing and hauling I was doing at work so I no longer needed a V10 pickup. It was 2-1/2 years old and had 117,000 miles so I got a Honda Ridgeline. The Caravel more than fit in it's tow rating. Towing mileage with the Honda 9-10 mpg. It did get about 5 mpg better when empty but towing it was generally less than the V10. To save wear and tear on the Honda I bought a dedicated tow vehicle - a low mileage F250 4x4 460 V8 CrewCab. Towing the Caravel - 9-10 mpg (even hit 11.5 in New Mexico at Easter). Now we've bought a 25 International- about 6300 lb. Towing it so far with the 460 - 8-9 mpg.

It seems like no matter what I did, it cost the same to tow. We just bite the bullet, save where we can at home, and enjoy getting to go Airstreaming.
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Old 06-23-2006, 04:07 PM   #30
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Milage

I live in a Sail Boat half of each year. I get about 10 miles to a gallon at 5 nautical miles per hour, when I run out of money, I just play around until the gov. sends the next check. I plan to do the same thing with the airstream, but its a lot harder to find a free place to anchor. any good Ideas on where to stay thats cheap with a capital C. Slonezy.
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Old 06-23-2006, 04:47 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62 Overlander
It seems like no matter what I did, it cost the same to tow. We just bite the bullet, save where we can at home, and enjoy getting to go Airstreaming.
Not too surprising. The primary force you're overcoming at freeway speeds is air resistance. This is going to depend primarilly on frontal area. Yeah, you can play games to improve the aerodynamics but it's still all about frontal area. It takes a certain amount of power to drag the whole thing down the road. You only get so much energy out of a gallon of gas so it doesn't matter if you're trying to make the HP with a 6, an 8 or a 10 cylinder. Diesel vs gas is a whole different story but in general all the gas motors out there today have about the same efficiency.

I have my doubts about the curved corners of the A/S having a significant aerodynamic advantage over SOB. At the front they're in the turbulance of the TV and at the rear it's generally better to have a sharp edge for clean separation of airflow (note old cars were rounded in back and then air tunnel testing showed that was all wrong).

It's hard to say without testing but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts having a smooth underbelly does as much or more that the curved corners. A/S and older trailers in general I've noticed seem ride lower to the ground. Some of the new trailers have virtually no wheel wells. I don't get it? Maybe it's to increase interior room or (more likely) it's cheaper to build. Whatever the reason the higher CG and increased windage seem like a looser.

Mythbusters did an interesting episode on the idea a pick-up truck with it's tailgate removed or down got better mileage. Intuitively the tailgate would seem to be a big parachute. Turns out the truck does BETTER with the tailgate up! It took a little investigating, they used a model and a flow tank, and then it was obvious why the aerodynamics and mileage was better with the gate up.

The biggest thing you can do to decrease wind resistance is slow down! Resistance increases with the square of the speed.

-Bernie
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