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Old 10-01-2013, 01:58 PM   #1
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Hi - we recently upgraded from a pop-up to a TT. I was shocked at drop in MPGs. What do you all get for MPGs? What do your drive/tow/weight. We drive a '05 Ford Expedition and tow a KZ Frontier 2505. (About 6500 lbs).

We average 14 MPGs without trailer and 8.55 MPGs with trailer. Yikes!

Any suggestions on improving MPG's.
I made sure all tires we filled properly and set cruise control for most of this trip (600+ miles).

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Old 10-01-2013, 02:14 PM   #2
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With our Jeep GC (V8 Hemi), we'd get about 16 to 18 towing our pop up. Now we have a Freedom Express 233RBS that probably weighs between 6,000 and 6,500# and we get between 7 and 10.

I never use the cruise control when towing the trailer. I feel I can control the RPM's a little better.

Other than just towing downhill and with the wind, you are destined to low gas mileage. One of the downsides of a full sized travel trailer. However, in my opinion, it is well worth it.

2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2013 Coachmen Freedom Express 233RBS
Prior: Jayco Pop Up, Shasta Bunkhouse, Rockwood Pop Up
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:34 PM   #3
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best advice for mpg is SLOW DOWN!! the slower you can comfortably go the better gas mileage you will get. I get 13.5 at 60mph towing and 10.5 at 75 (both figures hand calculated over several tanks)... needless to say I drive 60-65 when towing the camper now!!
chev 2500-LBZ, efilive/dsp5, prodigy P3, equilizer

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Old 10-01-2013, 09:28 PM   #4
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Yep, exactly . We pulled a 13 ft TT with our Freestar mini van. At 60 mph, I could run with cruise on in O.D. & get 10mpg, at 65 to 70 I'd get 8.5
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:30 PM   #5
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Now we have a 34 ft class a motor home, it's a big difference in mpg if u go 55-60 vs 65-70
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:33 PM   #6
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camp4life.....If you are going to camp for the rest of your life you better get used to low MPG.

From where I'm sitting 8.5 looks pretty good. I average 7.1.

Always takes me two swipes, sometimes three, to fill my tank. I've learned to never look at the amount of money, just the gallons.

Tire pressure and speed are the two main culprits. Looks like you've done everything you can.....be careful of people pushing things that will increase MPG, especially K&N.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:46 PM   #7
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+1 on the speed. We try to maintain 60-62 on the highways. As far as number of swipes to fill up I have been able to cut down on that by filling up sooner. It just makes me feel better.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:18 AM   #8
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26'9" TT at 6,300 lbs. or so with 5.7 Tundra and I'm getting 9-10 mpg.
ditto about speed
All you can do is figure out the total mileage for a trip, calculate how gallons of gas you'll burn and see if the cost fits with your budget. If it doesn't...stay closer to home.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:22 AM   #9
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Towed a 24 5th wheel GVW 5600
lbs with an 86 6cyl Ranger for 3 years'and got 12mpg. Now tow a 15000lbs unit and get same numbers with a F250 diesel.
It's not the weight that determine the MPG but the shape. My friend with similarly equipped Explorer at the time with simllar weight TT could not keep 60 MPH and fuel mileage was awfull. He could not believe me when I did my 2k miles one way trips to Florida every spring.
Barbara and Laurent, Hartland Big Country 3500RL. 39 ft long and 15500 GVW.
2005 Ford F250 SD, XL F250 4x4, Long Box, 6.0L Diesel, 6 Speed Stick, Hypertech Max Energy for Fuel mileage of 21 MPusG empty, 12.6 MPusG pulling the BC. ScangaugeII for display..
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:50 AM   #10
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Thumbs up Thanks

Thanks for all the feedback! Looks like I'm in the ball park and will use this advice. I was back and forth with whether or not to use the cruise. I'll try no cruise next time. I was right around 60 with the cruise but sometimes popped out and could push 70-72. Looks like staying 58-60 will help.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by camp4life View Post
We average 14 MPGs without trailer and 8.55 MPGs with trailer. Yikes! Any suggestions on improving MPG's.
You are pretty much normal at 8.55.

If you think that's bad, try towing with an underpowered V6 1/2 ton. Our last trailer was 20' & 5K lbs and we were under the max. tow capacity but we were frequently getting in the 5-6 range because the little engine was always running at higher rpms and at or near max. output. Would get down to around 35 mph flat out on steeper hills.

Towing our current 29' 6600 lb TT (also a KZ) with a V10 3/4 ton varies between in the 8 range to over 10 mpg depending on the driving conditions. If we're on twisty and hilly roads, the mpg drops significantly and there's not much you can do.

The biggest factor in towing any trailer is the speed and wind resistance. Trailer weight and length is not much of a factor compared to speed, it's the frontal area of the trailer. Wind resistance varies with the square of the distance so slowing down another 5 mph or even 10 mph can make a huge difference. MPG of a fifth wheel or toyhauler will be less because of the additional height.

There's no need to tow at 65 mph or higher. 60 is a decent speed and you can set your cruise control at 60 and relax. Going 65 and higher is not relaxing and can be a lot more of a handful to drive. At slower speeds you can catch a bit more scenery along the way too.

If you were to calculate the extra time it would take over a 400 mile drive to drop from 65 to 60 mph or even 55, you are talking about minutes longer for the trip. There's just no need to push it and you're not a truck driver on a clock...

I think you may find it is more tiring to drive with cruise control off especially on longer trips. If you are driving on relatively flat freeways/highways, it's the way to go. If it's hilly and twisty and/or gusty, you'll find it's better to turn it off.

There are some other tactics:

Avoid the temptation to pass other vehicles in front of you. If you are driving at say 60 on a 2 lane (or more road) don't let vehicles behind you intimidate you into speeding up. (Besides, it doesn't matter what speed you're at, many drivers think RVs are waay to slow no matter what your speed.)

Try to avoid slowing down and speeding up and keep as steady a speed and rpms as you can. Accelerate slowly when you need to gain speed. When approaching a stoplight or stop sign, slow down gradually and try not to come to a complete stop.

Avoid the urges to see how much power your engine has.

Turn your cruise control off when approaching a hill, coast up the hill and slow down a bit. Then resume speed after you've crested the hill.

Avoid using A/C in your TV if possible unless it's unbearably hot.

Try and learn to drive by maintaining a steady rpm and not by speed on hills or in windy situations.

Shut off engine when stopped for a minute or longer.

Use overdrive to reduce rpms when you can.

An enclosed underbelly will reduce drag. If you don't have it, consider installing something.

Use sway control. If you don't have it, your TV has to work harder to maintain a straight course.

Make sure your TV is in top shape. Replace filters and make sure oxygen sensor is good. Do oil changes in engine and transmission. Replace shocks if tired. Replace spark plugs if getting old.

Yes, make sure tire pressure is where it should be. Should be done anyway for handling, safety and tire life reasons. Higher tire pressure will reduce rolling resistance.

You could consider a wind deflector like the Aeroshield one. Have not seen figures claimed for mileage improvements. http://http://www.icondirect.com/cat...rs/AeroShield/

I suppose there's always engine mods, but you could end up spending a LOT of money for little improvement compared to simply slowing down.

Another idea is to try and ensure you have stocked up on all the groceries and suppies you need before you get to a campground. If you have to run around finding stuff, it can really eat up gas, esp. if it's some place you are unfamiliar with
Gil & Deb & Dougal the Springer Spaniel
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:22 PM   #12
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I have a 2004 Chevy half ton with the 5.3 L engine pulling a 20 foot TT that weighs 4580 loaded (I've had it on the scale) I get about 14 MPG with the truck running empty and 12 pulling the TT. But,, I live in flat country, I go 60-62 MPH, I never go more then 70 miles from home, and I read the road ahead. By that I mean that if I see a little hill coming I keep my foot steady on the gas and let the truck drop off a few miles per hour. Then going down the other side of that hill I keep my foot steady on the gas and let it gain a few mile per hour. That way when I come to the next hill I have some momentum built up to pull me up over the hill. With the small rolling hills we have around here this is how you get the best gas mileage. Forget cruise control. It's doing exactly the wrong thing. But, again this is in my area . And, it's hard to do with this chevy pickup because the gas pedal pushes so easy it's hard to keep your foot steady against it. If I was young again I would crawl under the dash and hook up a heavier spring.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:49 PM   #13
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Trailer is a 2006 Salem LE Toyhauler, weighs 9,400 lbs.

Old truck was a 2004 GMC Z-71 Extended Cab w/5.3L gas, 4 speed auto, and 3.73 ratio. Truck weighed 5,500 lbs. Fuel consumption was 12 mpg solo around town, up to 16.6 solo highway keeping it under 70. Towing was 7 MPG @ 70mph, 7.8 - 8 mpg doing 62-65 mph.

New to me truck is a 2006 Dodge SLT Quad Cab 4x4 w/ 5.9 diesel, 4 speed auto, and 3.73 ratio. Truck weighs 6,900 lbs. (1,400 lbs more) Fuel consumption now is 16 mpg around town and I haven't done a long solo trip yet. I have managed 10.6 mpg towing the same trailer @ 65 - 68 mph! (2 trips so far) I haven't checked the MPG towing slower yet, but I imagine an improvement.
Bob and sometimes - Nina - a Staffordshire Terrier/a SPOILED pit and her kitty Spaz
2006 Dodge SLT 2500 4x4 Cummins Quad Cab w/AT and 3.73
2007 Salem Sport LE 26FBSRV (TH) w/ my Victory Motorcycle in it or a EZ GO Shuttle cart.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:52 PM   #14
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I tow a 28' TT with a 01 Dodge 3500. I get 15/18 empty and 13 towing. The TV weighs 8K and the TT weighs 9K when traveling. Also get 13 with 8.5 slide in TC and 12/13 when we take both. (TC is taller than TT). TV has 4:10 rear end so pulls easy. I haven't found any hills that I can;t hold 50 in 5th gear. I run 60 or less. When I get over 60 mileage starts dropping. TV has Cummins with a chip so it has about 300HP and has plenty of power.


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