Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-18-2023, 03:45 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
2018 16' Sport
Livermore , California
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 35
2023 4x4 best gas mileage tow vehicle?

Ok, I do see several posts about tow vehicles and such, but none are for newer models and hybrids so far as I can tell..

That said, in 2023 there were 4 hybrid tow vehicles, but not necessarily the best gas mileage.

We tow a 16' Bambi Airstream and it's only 3500 lbs... but may eventually grow bigger.

Currently tow with a 2014 Ford Expedition.. love it, but not the gas mileage... best we got from N. Cal to our S. Cal timeshare was 9 mpg overall.. awful seeing 6 mpg towing up the mountain

I thought hybrid would be better but looking at "REAL" milage from ppl, the Ford F150 is just as bad.. needing to buy something by the end of year.. thoughts on what would give us the best gas mileage? and have needed 4x4 at least 3x this year, so that's a factor.. help! Everything new is like $80K with tow package.. happy to buy used if gas mileage towing is worthwhile
Mom2twins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 04:22 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
2022 27' Globetrotter
DALLAS , TX
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 1,475
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2twins View Post
Ok, I do see several posts about tow vehicles and such, but none are for newer models and hybrids so far as I can tell..



That said, in 2023 there were 4 hybrid tow vehicles, but not necessarily the best gas mileage.



We tow a 16' Bambi Airstream and it's only 3500 lbs... but may eventually grow bigger.



Currently tow with a 2014 Ford Expedition.. love it, but not the gas mileage... best we got from N. Cal to our S. Cal timeshare was 9 mpg overall.. awful seeing 6 mpg towing up the mountain



I thought hybrid would be better but looking at "REAL" milage from ppl, the Ford F150 is just as bad.. needing to buy something by the end of year.. thoughts on what would give us the best gas mileage? and have needed 4x4 at least 3x this year, so that's a factor.. help! Everything new is like $80K with tow package.. happy to buy used if gas mileage towing is worthwhile
Are you only interested in hybrids? Or do you simply want better gas mileage?

If it's the latter, you might want to consider a diesel.

Porsche Cayenne diesels get 15mpg towing and 28mpg on hwy when not towing.

Slight Segway... I have been towing my 2022 Globetrotter 27FB Twin with my gasoline 2016 Porsche Cayenne S and it has been a fantastic combination, but it achieves 9mpg in the mountains out west and 10-11mpg on flatter ground.

Back on topic... BMW, Mercedes, and Audi Suv diesels perform similarly to a diesel Cayenne.

The Ford F250/F350 will get 15-18mpg when towing (depending on the size/weight of your Airstream) and 23mpg on hwy when not towing.

GM is offering a diesel now in their GM/GMC half ton trucks and SUV's with similar mpg performance. The GM/GMC heavy duty trucks perform similarly.

Something else to consider... While the Cayenne, BMW, Mercedes and Audi diesel SUV's and the GM/GMC diesel half tons will do the job on your current trailer, the 3/4 ton Ford, GM/GMC and Ram diesels will provide much higher payload levels when properly configured. Higher payload vehicles will provide future-proofing for you if you migrate to a larger Airstream someday. That way, you don't end up spending a ridiculous amount of money on a tow vehicle more than once, lol.

Last point to consider is the cost per 100 miles driven.

In spring 2023, we spent 6 weeks in UT, NM, CO, and AZ, towing 5000miles in total with our gasoline Cayenne. The cayenne requires super unleaded that cost $1.00 more on average than diesel on our trip (I keep a fuel log). Assuming 9mpg for the Cayenne and 15mpg for an F250/350 based on other airstreamers reported towing mpg, I reran my spreadsheet calculating average cost per 100 miles of towing from the cost I recorded at each fill up. The Cayenne cost $45 per 100miles towing my Airstream and the F350/F350 would have cost $22 per 100 miles. Yes, I recorded the diesel price also at every fill up because I was debating at the time whether I wanted to buy a 1 ton or 3/4 ton diesel truck.

I wish you the best of luck with your vehicle search and purchase.
foobar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 08:38 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
2022 25' Globetrotter
North AL , Alabama
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 568
Quote:
Originally Posted by foobar View Post
GM is offering a diesel now in their GM/GMC half ton trucks and SUV's with similar mpg performance. The GM/GMC heavy duty trucks perform similarly.
The 3.0l Duramax Diesel in the Chevy/GMC half-tons is a great little powerplant. When I was shopping in 2021 I looked long and hard for one with the Max Tow Package, but nobody had one or was willing/able to order one for me. Payload in the standard package maxes out at around 1600 lbs and shrinks quickly when you start adding options. And now I see that they're discontinuing Max Tow in the Duramax half-tons this year altogether. I can't imagine why as it seems like it would be a goldilocks combo.
Tyler2you is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 08:45 AM   #4
2 Rivet Member
 
Oak Park , Illinois
Join Date: Mar 2023
Posts: 98
In my opinion for what it's worth, if you are towing, don't expect great fuel economy. Sure there are different and better variations of bad, and it only exacerbated by the larger trailer you tow. You can throw a bunch of money at a diesel and get around 13-14mpg. Most hybrids I looked at are not able to handle much more than a 19' Bambi, if that.

Ford makes a pretty good V6 ecoboost, but even with that, good headwinds, mountain towing and though it will do better than say a big V8 in terms of MPG, it may only be sight given the RPMs may be higher.

Bottom line, pick the least unattractive option, but know there is no silver bullet in tow vehicles. You can try the pure EV route, if you have several extra days to keep stopping to charge. Most EVs now are rated for about 300 miles, but real world towing has yielded half of that range, so until they get north of 500 miles on a charge (which today translates to about 250 miles towing), that too is somewhat vaporware in terms of towing with one as it is today.
sfranklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 11:16 AM   #5
Tom and Phyllis
 
Lucky Tom's Avatar
 
2018 30' Flying Cloud
Currently Looking...
Tuscaloosa , Alabama
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 137
Images: 2
Dodge is putting the half-size diesel in half ton pickups and men I have spoken to about MPG when towing are not happy at all. It seem the MPG drops to amounts equal to full size trucks, with a lot less power for mountain climbs or passing.
__________________
Tom, Phyllis, and two Siberian Huskies
2018 30ft Flying Cloud
2015 Ram 2500 Cummins Turbo Diesel Crew Cab
LD Valley w/ 800 lb trunion bars
Honda eu3000is & 2200 generator
Lucky Tom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 11:34 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
InsideOut's Avatar

 
1956 22' Safari
2015 27' Flying Cloud
Vintage Kin Owner
Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 12,645
Images: 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by foobar View Post
<snip>... you might want to consider a diesel.

Porsche Cayenne diesels get 15mpg towing and 28mpg on hwy when not towing.
I rarely get involved with TV threads, but I'll second the Porsche Cayenne Diesel for smaller trailers. We actually get 19-21 miles per gallon towing our 3500 lb vintage Safari with our Cayenne Diesel...and that's in the mountains here in Colorado.

We just added a 27' FBT Flying Cloud to 'our family' and expect our mpg to drop a bit - but it's still one of the best TVs out there! Plenty of torque & towing capacity - just a smidge light on the tongue weight. We are actually leaving this afternoon to go up to Can-Am to get outfitted for towing the "new trailer" with the same.

Shari
__________________
Vintage Airstream Club - Past President 2007/2008
WBCCI #1824 - DenCO Unit Past President (2005)
AIR #30 - Join Date: 2-25-2002

RMVAC | ACI - CO Unit (Formerly WBCCI) | BIRDY - our 1956 Safari | 1964 Serro Scotty
InsideOut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 11:47 AM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
Gsnedike's Avatar
 
Phoenix , Maryland
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 52
Gas mileage towing

We tow a 2020 Flying Cloud FB Bambi with a Ford 2018 six cylinde, 3 liter, F150 turbo diesel. Highway 65-75 we get 27-28 mpg, towing our Bambi, 17-18. There arenít a lot of them out there and they arenít available new. Find a good used one and you will be very happy!
Gsnedike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 12:02 PM   #8
1 Rivet Member
 
Clearwater , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 6
Images: 1
You don't need this information for your Bambi but if you do upgrade to something bigger then it might be useful.
We have a 25' FC. When we bought it I had just purchased a 2020 F150 4x4 with a 3.5 Ecoboost. We would get 20-22 freeway not towing and 10-12 mpg towing. This year we traded in the F150 for a F250 diesel Super Duty. (Best thing I ever did, but that's another story). We now get 24-25 mpg freeway not towing and 15-17 mpg towing. The diesel has way more torque and power. The better mileage well makes up for the increase in price of diesel in Florida.
doctorpm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 12:26 PM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
2016 19' Flying Cloud
Walnut Creek , California
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 44
I have a 2022 f150 hybrid and tow a 25’ international. In tow mode I get about 14 mpg on the flats. Up hill about 9 mpg. Diesels tend to get better mileage
Sgilcrest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 12:34 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
switz's Avatar

 
2014 31' Classic
2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 6,163
Images: 9
We initially towed our 2015 23D International Serenity (scales 6,069 pounds camping ready) with my 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI turbo diesel. It got 28 mpg not towing and our best towing was 15/16 mpg on the flats. Unfortunately in early 2020, the third occurrence (every roughly 75,000 miles) was appearing for a $4,000 gasket repair. At 207,000 miles, it was not a good use of money.

We acquired one of the last 2021 Toyota Land Cruisers (built in December 2020) to replace the Mercedes. The 5.7L V8 with 8 speed transmission can get 21 mpg at highway speeds. Towing we see 12 to 14 mph. We are careful on what we load up in the LC as cargo but don't need a generator with 500 watts of solar on the roof of the 23D and a 315 amp hour lithium battery inside.

That is better mpg than my 2012 Ram 2500HD Cummins gets towing our 9,200 pound camping ready 2014 Classic.

Welcome to the real world of 10 to 12 mpg towing full size Airstreams with reasonable cost tow vehicles that can have a full day's load of fuel on board (we have a 54 gallon fuel tank under the truck to replace the stock 26 gallon tank).

The actual tongue weights can be be a surprise and the Airstream literature number is usually woefully less than reality. Our Classic's tongue weight was at 1,350 pounds with the initial battery conversion and is now down to 1,200 pounds with a lithium battery. Literature tongue weight is 773 pounds. Our 23D's literature tongue weight was 720 pounds and real world is 928 pounds.

So there is more to this homework assignment than it first appears. Getting some real world numbers and a pencil and paper to push the numbers around is far less expensive than trying multiple tow vehicles and multiple trailers.
__________________
WBCCI Life Member 5123, AIR 70341, 4CU, WD9EMC

TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

2014 31' Classic w/ twin beds, 50 amp service, 1000 watt solar system, Centramatics, Tuson TPMS, 12" disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
switz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 12:53 PM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
2017 25' Flying Cloud
Woodway , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 139
Better Mileage in a TV

We've considered an F-250 as a possible future TV because of payload. Our current '19 F-150 w/5.0 and 4x4 tows our 25FC just fine but if we take bikes, kayaks, generator(s), etc., we're really pushing the limit of the stickered payload.



A 2000 mile round trip will generally get us around 10 mpg, sometime a little better but it's interesting that we can trailer a 20 foot boat and trailer weighing about 2500 lbs and only get about 14 mpg so the AS shape does have a lot going for it.


And we'll probably get gas. With a $10K upcharge for diesel plus the cost of maintenance--as always with me doing all that's required--the break-even point is just a little under 100K miles even vs the 7.3 "Godzilla" engine. Yes, I realize that some of that will come back at trade-in time but that's assuming I won't have any issues come up with Ford's latest iteration of the 6.7, a crapshoot.
emelaich01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 01:50 PM   #12
4 Rivet Member
 
JeffKim's Avatar
 
2023 25' Globetrotter
2021 16' Bambi
Forest Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 380
Joining the TV wars... We tow with a 2017 Audi Q7 (gas) and are very pleased with its performance. It is rated 7,700lbs towing capacity and 770lbs tongue weight. We originally towed our dearly departed 16' Bambi with it and got around 12mpg. We towed without any weight distribution and sway bars and had no issues. It does 25mpg or better when not towing and is a very fun car to drive.

If you do get a bigger SUV there is an upgrade path. When we bought the 25' Globetrotter we considered a truck, but I hate the idea of driving a truck around as a daily driver and it was going to cost a lot. The GT is 7,300lbs GVWR, so within our TV range although the tongue weight (885lbs) exceeds the spec. We made the pilgrimage to Can-Am (like Shari is doing) and had them do the hitch upgrade adding weight distribution and sway bars (@foobar posted an inspirational testimonial for his Cayenne, but alas has now gone over to the truck-side). Can-Am had done hundreds of these mods and have never had any issues (they say). Despite the increased weight we get about the same gas mileage (11-12mpg). We just came back from a trip to Montana (including the Bear Tooth Highway) and the set up handled well with plenty of power.
__________________
2023 Globetrotter 25FBT "Curly"
2017 Audi Q7 3.0T
JeffKim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 02:57 PM   #13
1 Rivet Member
 
2008 16' Bambi
San Francisco , California
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 9
We tow our 16íBambi with our 2017 BMW X5 diesel. It regularly gets 33-34 mpg when not towing and 20-21 towing. It handles the trailer with ease and plenty of power for steep climbs. We have found it does not need weight distribution bars for tongue weight or wind stability either.
Funshram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 04:16 PM   #14
1 Rivet Member
 
2018 19' Tommy Bahama
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 11
GMC Canyon 2.8 diesel

We tow our 19 foot Tommy Bahama with mid size truck 2.8 GMC canyon diesel itís never got less than 15 mpg and has got as good as 20 mpg we travel full time all over the western states great power for the mountain passes exhaust brake for going down hill itís a perfect choice for a smaller trailer
CandTSmith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 05:31 PM   #15
3 Rivet Member
 
sbreech's Avatar
 
2023 23' Flying Cloud
Central , Ohio
Join Date: Feb 2023
Posts: 118
We tow a 23’ FC FBT with a ‘21 F150 2.7 supercrew 4x4 with 3.73 rear end. Average towing MPG this year, 2372 miles including a trip through the mountains Ohio to Georgia and back is 16.2mpg. Not towing, I average 25.6mpg. I drive with a light foot, but usually do the speed limit.
sbreech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 05:56 PM   #16
Rivet Master
 
Life is a Highway's Avatar

 
2018 25' Flying Cloud
2019 25' Flying Cloud
2021 30' Flying Cloud
Lady Lake , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 1,072
(The Ford F250/F350 will get 15-18mpg when towing (depending on the size/weight of your Airstream) and 23mpg on hwy when not towing.)

With a 25 or smaller 13.8 towing is a stretch at 65 our 40 ft FC with 6.7 Ford can go as low as 11.2 towing high as 14. Tailwinds Headwinds weight and Diesel Fuel economy. Lots of variables. Only one guaranteed positive is the smile it puts on your face when towing
Life is a Highway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 06:01 PM   #17
Rivet Master
 
Flagstaff , Arizona
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 665
These milage threads can be so misleading when missing the detailed circumstances associated with a towing MPG observation.

We need to know.

1. The trailer type (ie different drag profiles depending on the trailer).
2. The trailer weight.
3. The towing speed.
4. The towing conditions including: grade, wind, elevation, precipitation and road surface.

Without these variables detailed comparisons between different TV configurations are absolutely meaningless.

Example. Towing my 25' Airstream GT at 7,300 lbs at sea level will yield an MPG (all other variables the same) 1.5 mpg lower than towing the trailer at 7,000' above sea level. This is due to the difference in aerodynamic drag with a lower density altitude at high altitude.

Each of the other variables detailed can also have a dramatic impact on reported efficiency.
__________________
2022 25' GlobeTrotter FB <->2023 Ford F-150 PowerBoost 7.2kW ProPower
Electric Globetrotter
goldenchase is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 06:03 PM   #18
1 Rivet Member
 
2010 19' International
San Luis Obispo , California
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 7
I have a 2018 F150 2.7 turbo. Daily driving I get 21 MPG. Towing our 19' Bambi I usually get 17-18 MPG. Less up mountains as you would expect. It's a great vehicle for both towing and as daily driver.
Coastal3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 06:14 PM   #19
Rivet Master
 
aftermath's Avatar
 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Spokane , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,774
There is much more to economy than just mpg while towing. How much towing are you doing? Are you full timers? The hybrids and the ecoboosts are pretty good when not towing, but very little difference when towing. I tow my 25 FB with a Tundra and get 11-12 towing. With over 60K miles towing I am pretty sure I get 11 to 12. Yes, sometimes more and very seldom less.
I would love to have a diesel but the jump in cost is too much for me. I also like the sounds of some of these other trucks but I am on my second Tundra and have had exactly zero issues. I see that as part of the economic picture. The Tundra doesn't do very well around town even without a trailer behind it. On the highway I can get close to 20 but won't swear by that. I am retired and don't have to drive my truck much. Every situation is different and would require a different truck to optimize the cash flow. Lots to think about.
aftermath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2023, 06:18 PM   #20
2 Rivet Member
 
Cincinnati , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 22
The ‘24 Toyota Land Cruiser will get 27 mpg combined. With 465 lbs of torque, it’s 6,000lb tow rating seems low.

Cost is supposed to be in the mid $50s. Looks a lot like the Ford Bronco, to my eyes anyhow.
Kitcat7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tow vehicle gas mileage Gizmosp641 Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 67 03-22-2021 12:08 PM
Advice on tow vehicle with best gas mileage kekimball3 On The Road... 31 09-28-2016 07:27 PM
2008 Dodge Hemi 4x4 Pick up 1970 Safari gas mileage drm101 Tow Vehicles 3 08-12-2009 07:11 AM
Tow Vehicle gas mileage, towing & norm Denbear Member Introductions 10 04-16-2008 08:10 PM
Tow vehicle Gas Mileage ??????? searcher Tow Vehicles 79 04-02-2006 12:24 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.