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Old 08-16-2013, 08:04 PM   #29
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Close to max towing and small tank may be your blessing for being able to tow without tearing anything up. Heat buildup is your enemy and you can dissapate the heat while slowing down to fuel up, and the tranny and motor will appreciate the break to farther dissapate heat while actually stopped. Run the motor with NO LOAD for 45 seconds to a full minute before shutting down, at 900 - 1,000 rpm. Cools the fluids that have been doing the work, and protecting the motor and trans.

I actually towed overweight about 6-8 times, but learned fast that the truck appreciates the fuel stops to cool things down. Never broke anything, but noticed the temp gauge was slightly higher after a good pull. No load fast idle helps alot more than you think. Never towed more than 2 hours at a time when overweight either.

Also used the oppourtunity to check tires, hubs, hitch, and anything else that I could think of.

SPEED is the biggest factor for economy and keeps heat down too. 9.3 mpg was my best ever average with a GMC Z71 extended cab 5.3/auto, towing 8,700 - 8,900 lbs at 57-59 mph. (2nd trip with trailer) a little too slow on a highway, but at about 62-65 mph fuel mileage dropped to 7.5-7.9 mpg. Speeding up to 66-70 got me 7-7.3 mpg! I tried to keep it at 60-62 for my last trip with my GMC and was very happy with 8.39 mpg! Wind coming off semi trucks was the cause of me trading from a 1500 GMC gasser to a 2500 Dodge Cummins. It got a little hairy on the last couple of trips when trucks passed me with my 27 foot of trailer (that grew each trip to 9,200 - 9,400 lbs) wagging the truck (YES - I have sway control too). Your trailer is much shorter and weighs less, so you may not have the wagg problem. I am waiting till the end of this month to tow my Toyhauler for the first time with the Dodge Cummins!

Another example of speed vs MPG: I just got back from Sturgis Bike week towing a enclosed bike trailer with the Dodge Cummins, getting 12.3 mpg for a trip average (3,940 miles). 80 mph got me a low of 10.3 mpg and 70-72 mph got me up to 13.9 mpg!
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:14 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by NFlcamper View Post
Close to max towing and small tank may be your blessing for being able to tow without tearing anything up. Heat buildup is your enemy and you can dissapate the heat while slowing down to fuel up, and the tranny and motor will appreciate the break to farther dissapate heat while actually stopped. Run the motor with NO LOAD for 45 seconds to a full minute before shutting down, at 900 - 1,000 rpm. Cools the fluids that have been doing the work, and protecting the motor and trans.

I actually towed overweight about 6-8 times, but learned fast that the truck appreciates the fuel stops to cool things down. Never broke anything, but noticed the temp gauge was slightly higher after a good pull. No load fast idle helps alot more than you think. Never towed more than 2 hours at a time when overweight either.

Also used the oppourtunity to check tires, hubs, hitch, and anything else that I could think of.

SPEED is the biggest factor for economy and keeps heat down too. 9.3 mpg was my best ever average with a GMC Z71 extended cab 5.3/auto, towing 8,700 - 8,900 lbs at 57-59 mph. (2nd trip with trailer) a little too slow on a highway, but at about 62-65 mph fuel mileage dropped to 7.5-7.9 mpg. Speeding up to 66-70 got me 7-7.3 mpg! I tried to keep it at 60-62 for my last trip with my GMC and was very happy with 8.39 mpg! Wind coming off semi trucks was the cause of me trading from a 1500 GMC gasser to a 2500 Dodge Cummins. It got a little hairy on the last couple of trips when trucks passed me with my 27 foot of trailer (that grew each trip to 9,200 - 9,400 lbs) wagging the truck (YES - I have sway control too). Your trailer is much shorter and weighs less, so you may not have the wagg problem. I am waiting till the end of this month to tow my Toyhauler for the first time with the Dodge Cummins!

Another example of speed vs MPG: I just got back from Sturgis Bike week towing a enclosed bike trailer with the Dodge Cummins, getting 12.3 mpg for a trip average (3,940 miles). 80 mph got me a low of 10.3 mpg and 70-72 mph got me up to 13.9 mpg!
Great info, thanks. The Tacoma TRD Sport (the one we have) comes with a factory fit tow package that includes a larger engine radiator and a tranny cooler, but I will heed your advice on heat.

I am beginning to conclude from this thread that some extra power might be good for not straining the engine as much, but that for a gas engine my 10mpg average is actually pretty good. My last RV unit was a class B camper conversions with a Dodge 318 engine that got 15-16 MPG on a good trip. The problem was that the thing felt truly dangerous anywhere near 70mph, and of curse there was very little room back there for anything. We are really very happy with the TT. I just need to get over the gas thing.

Drew.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:16 PM   #31
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I have a 05' 4-Runner. The v-8's came out in 2003. 03' & 04" they had 235 HP. In 05' it was bumped to 272 HP. I believe 2009 or 10' was the last year for the V-8's. I had a 1990, 95 and now the 05' 4-Runner.

I only have 49k on my 05' and have 18 months left on a extended warrantee. With the 2014 vehicles coming out shortly that makes my Toyota 9 years old...Just kind of want a updated vehicle as my tow. I would have to move up to a Toyota Sequoia which is out of my price point.

Again getting back to gas mileage, it all comes down to personal driving habits. Our other vehicle is a Toyota Corolla that is listed at 38 MPG highway, which I have gotten 45 MPG on longer trips.

I would like to hear from anyone towing with a 5.7L Tundra...More than one person said they took off the stock exhaust and added something like a Cat-Back system..
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:28 PM   #32
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80 to 90percent of engine power is overcoming wind resistance once you are up to speed. Towing the 8 by 8 sheet of ply into the wind (the front of your tt) is going to cost no mater what you tow with. 10 is about right.
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:19 AM   #33
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I have a 05' 4-Runner. The v-8's came out in 2003. 03' & 04" they had 235 HP. In 05' it was bumped to 272 HP. I believe 2009 or 10' was the last year for the V-8's. I had a 1990, 95 and now the 05' 4-Runner.

I only have 49k on my 05' and have 18 months left on a extended warrantee. With the 2014 vehicles coming out shortly that makes my Toyota 9 years old...Just kind of want a updated vehicle as my tow. I would have to move up to a Toyota Sequoia which is out of my price point.

Again getting back to gas mileage, it all comes down to personal driving habits. Our other vehicle is a Toyota Corolla that is listed at 38 MPG highway, which I have gotten 45 MPG on longer trips.

I would like to hear from anyone towing with a 5.7L Tundra...More than one person said they took off the stock exhaust and added something like a Cat-Back system..
I tow with 2008 tundra, 5.7 limited double cab. First towed a 2006 26' Jayco @4500 lbs and got 12-13mpg up the blue ridge parkway. Then towed 8700lb, 2010 wildcat 5th wheel and got @7-9 mpg. Just traded in for 2013 rockwood ultra lite 5th wheel @7700lbs and been getting a steady 10 mpg.
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Old 08-17-2013, 05:09 AM   #34
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Many have made the point that wind resistance is a huge factor in fuel economy... I believe this to be a valid statement.

But to say that weight is not as big a factor is probably not accurate... at best it could be said that "it depends." In stop and go traffic, or in hilly or mountainous terrain where speeds may never go above 30 or 40 mph, weight will play a much larger role in fuel economy than wind resistance.

Weight will also play a larger role in the reliability of the drivetrain. If you're driving around in your V-6 tow vehicle pulling 5,000 lbs with your foot mashed to the floor all the time to get you moving and to keep you moving, you can bet you're putting extra strain on things. Especially engine head gaskets and transmission clutches. When an automatic transmission upshifts at 5000rpm pulling that kind of load, there will be a certain amount of slippage of the clutches, and tons of heat produced.

Add to that the fact that many vehicles have a "tow rating" but aren't really built for towing. Most will cycle the torque converter in and out of lock-up way too much... also generating heat... Towing in overdrive also generates more heat.

Stopping to cool the engine and tranny down every tank of fuel will not prevent damage if your driving around overheated between fuel stops. Vehicles aren't like people in the sense that they need to rest... they should be able to keep running until they're worn out. Your engine and transmission's cooling systems must be adequate for pulling that kind of load, and capable of carrying away the heat under the conditions that you drive in or you're just asking for problems. Period

I'd wager a guess that most vehicles with a V-6 power plant really aren't outfitted properly for towing. Most of them don't have transmission temperature gauges for sure. Heck, even on your half ton pickup trucks with V-8's, they recommend a "tow package" which includes extra cooling capacity for the engine and tranny.

I'm not saying you can't tow 2.5 tons with a V-6... people do it all the time... I am saying that if you do there is good reason to be a little more cautious about how much weight you pull, how often you pull it, and the way you drive if you want your vehicle to last.

Just my $0.02. Take it or leave it.

-cheers
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Old 08-17-2013, 05:27 PM   #35
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Spoke to a guy today who just got an F150 with the 3.5V6 Ecoboost. On paper the stats are impressive for torque and HP. I was wondering if anyone on here is using this vehicle for towing?

Thx.
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:09 PM   #36
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Here's something that's not on paper that may answer some of your questions about the Eco-boost 3.5
Ford - F150 Ecoboost Torture Test Episodes 1-6 High Quality - YouTube
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:51 AM   #37
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Your mileage is about normal, but I applaud you for having thought your way through your choice of tow vehicle. Sure you could drop an extra $20,000 for a Cummins or Power Stoke and maybe improve your mileage to 12 mpg. Do the math on that! I remember when we worked our way to a travel trailer in the early 1970's and I was using a Chrysler wagon with a 440 two barrel carb and towing package. It did a great job. Some of the old timers ridiculed me as I needed a pickup truck to pull that 26 ft. trailer. I bought a Chevy half-ton and kept the Chrysler. That Chevy would not plow the ground! I quickly went to a 3/4 ton Chevy and it was almost up to the performance of the Chrysler, but it would not haul my family. Glad I kept that worthless Chrysler.

I spent way to long in the mid-east and remember the old Toyotas that they used to haul their camels with. I called the Toyotas "two camel" trucks. The Chevys and Fords were one camel trucks. I never did the max gross weight calculations on that situation but I am pretty sure two camels exceeded all limits. These were not full-size trucks, but compacts! It worked for them.

Just pull your load and enjoy camping and don't take too much stock on what others say about their bright shinning examples of the perfect tow vehicles. It seems to e working for you.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:11 AM   #38
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Gear ratio is everything. Gear em low and drive em slow. Always get the lowest gear ratio available in any truck. Highest number. Better towing and empty performance. And usually better fuel millage. The dealers will tell you anything.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:29 AM   #39
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Your mileage is about normal, but I applaud you for having thought your way through your choice of tow vehicle. Sure you could drop an extra $20,000 for a Cummins or Power Stoke and maybe improve your mileage to 12 mpg. Do the math on that! I remember when we worked our way to a travel trailer in the early 1970's and I was using a Chrysler wagon with a 440 two barrel carb and towing package. It did a great job. Some of the old timers ridiculed me as I needed a pickup truck to pull that 26 ft. trailer. I bought a Chevy half-ton and kept the Chrysler. That Chevy would not plow the ground! I quickly went to a 3/4 ton Chevy and it was almost up to the performance of the Chrysler, but it would not haul my family. Glad I kept that worthless Chrysler.

I spent way to long in the mid-east and remember the old Toyotas that they used to haul their camels with. I called the Toyotas "two camel" trucks. The Chevys and Fords were one camel trucks. I never did the max gross weight calculations on that situation but I am pretty sure two camels exceeded all limits. These were not full-size trucks, but compacts! It worked for them.

Just pull your load and enjoy camping and don't take too much stock on what others say about their bright shinning examples of the perfect tow vehicles. It seems to e working for you.
Thanks Vraines - we sure are enjoying the trailer. The Tacoma is built like a brick house and feels so tight to drive. I have had 1/2 Ton GMC, 3/4 Ton GMC Diesel, And a Mazda B4000. None of them felt like the Toyota. I just want to make sure I don't Kill it
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:43 AM   #40
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One word: Gearing...

Jeep JKU get around 13-14 mpg with 3.5 gearing in overdrive...installed 4:56 gearing and turned off overdrive...Jeep 3.8L V6 likes about 2800 to 3000 rpm for crusing...16 mpg now...change to a lower geared rear end and you'll see much better results with your V6...the V6 have a sweet spot where they make horsepower and torque and this is where they run the most efficient...and get the best mileage...
And no I thought it was BS as well from other Jeep owners...soon as I changed gearing I started gaining mpg immediately on the drive home from the shop....never to old to learn something even if I think it is BS...
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:49 AM   #41
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One word: Gearing...

Jeep JKU get around 13-14 mpg with 3.5 gearing in overdrive...installed 4:56 gearing and turned off overdrive...Jeep 3.8L V6 likes about 2800 to 3000 rpm for crusing...16 mpg now...change to a lower geared rear end and you'll see much better results with your V6...the V6 have a sweet spot where they make horsepower and torque and this is where they run the most efficient...and get the best mileage...
And no I thought it was BS as well from other Jeep owners...soon as I changed gearing I started gaining mpg immediately on the drive home from the shop....never to old to learn something even if I think it is BS...
Thanks LTZ470 - I am not sure how/if I can change my gearing. I will do some research (always fun). That said, I am reluctant to change much whiled the warranty is in place.

Drew.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:51 AM   #42
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I get about 10-12 in my Tacoma 4.0L V6 when pulling a two horse tagalong trailer on flat land. Not as heavy as yours. I get about 12 pulling the same trailer with my F350 7.4L powerstroke DRW. I learned that skimping on the tow vehicle doesn't save any money in fuel, it costs more money in maintenance. I never tow with my Tacoma any more for that reason.
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