Tow vehicles with good gas mileage?

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by FtWildernessBound, May 23, 2008.

  1. FtWildernessBound

    FtWildernessBound New Member

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    May 23, 2008
    I'm new here, and new to pop-up camping. I just bought one last night, sight unseen (it was only $150 - how could you go wrong?), and I'm wondering now about tow vehicles. Currently, neither vehicle we own will tow it, so it will stay down at the lake to use as extra sleeping space for overflow guests. But, in the next year or two, we need to buy a new vehicle anyway, so I'd like to get something we can tow with. Do any of you have a recommendation for a tow vehicle that gets good gas mileage? And, how much should I expect the mileage to decrease when towing? Thanks!
     
  2. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

    1,933
    66
    Feb 6, 2007
    Centerville, OH
    Give us more details about the camper. If we know how big it is, then we can chime in about what might be used to tow it and all of your other questions.

    ______________
    2004 Expedition
    2000 Palomino Mustang SL-SG-FT
    http://www.thecampingchild.com
     
  3. jwolfe01

    jwolfe01 Honeoye, NY

    779
    1
    May 5, 2008
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    We have a Jeep Cherokee that gets around 22 to 23 mpg normally and we have gotten around 18 to 20 on the highway with our 12 foot PU. More details on what yours is would help though.

    _________________________________________
    TV - 98 Jeep Cherokee Classic <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_jeep.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Jeep">
    PUP - 89 Starcraft Nova <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">
    Lima NY
     
  4. rmassing

    rmassing New Member

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    Oct 14, 2006
    Most Fords and Chevys will pull an empty weight PU because they all have a 3500 base limit. Dodge/Chrysler has a 2000 lb base

    DH Robert<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_tongue.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tongue">
    DW Sherry<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_blush.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Blush">
    DD Jessica 12
    DD Samantha 9
    DS William 6
    1995 Merc Villager<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle">
    1992 Palomino Filly<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">
    Nights Camped
    2007= 35
    2008= 4
     
  5. DobeFanatic

    DobeFanatic Age is only a State of Mind

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    May 18, 2008
    I have a Chrysler Town & Country extended mini-van 3.8L that tows a Coachman 17 ft PU. On the highway by itself we get 21 mpg, towing we get 16 mpg. It has the manufacturer tow package: with tran cooler and larger radiator, and I added a Class 3 hitch. We have no problems, no sway.
    If gas wasn't already so high I would reconsider giving up the Cherokee SUV I traded before I got the pu, but we like the added storage for large dog travel conveniences.

    Do any of you have a recommendation for a tow vehicle that gets good gas mileage? And, how much should I expect the mileage to decrease when towing? Thanks!


    [/quote]

    Anne & my Dobergirl-Morgan
    Florida <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_cool.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Cool">
     
  6. Shepherd

    Shepherd New Member

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    May 10, 2008
    I get nine in the City and 17 on the hwy with out the pup, is that considered good?<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Smile">

    I am keeping tabs on this thread, cause someday the TV is going to die and I am looking to get something that gets a little better mileage.

    2005 Fleetwood Niagara
    TV-01 Navigator
     
  7. Yellowkayak

    Yellowkayak Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you

    2,217
    5
    Mar 13, 2007
    It all depends on what you consider GOOD. To me 50 mpg is good towing a pu,,,but I don't see that reality ever happening in my life time.

    To me good gas mileage is close to what your vehicle gets without towing. My 4.8 liter V-8 Chevy Crew cab (2007) gets 21 on the highway 16 in town consistently, I get 16 towing. I have LOTS of room for extra gear, our kayaks, and their equipment. I can put two yaks on the pu roof, and three on the truck rack, and still get 16 MPG towing the pup and everything. To me thats good...do I wish I could get better...you bet. I'd like realistically 25 MPG towing and 30 not towing....I can live with that, but at 16 MPG and $4.00 a gallon, my 16 is hurting us badly enough to cancel traveling for 200 days of the year and staying local at the camp grounds. When the 2007 truck, 2007 Fleetwood Niagra, and 2007 purchased Thousand Trails membership gets paid off, I'm hopeing gas won't be any higher than $4.50 a gallon or we just may hang the whole camping thing up....and we love to camp and kayak. But we can't squeeze gasoline out of out pockets, and we don't own an oil well or refinery.....it surely is going to be interesting to what alternative CHEAP fuel we have to run our current vehicles in the next couple years.

    JJ

    Wichita Falls, TX
    USAF Retired
     
  8. FtWildernessBound

    FtWildernessBound New Member

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    May 23, 2008
    I know I didn't give much info, but I don't have much. We just bought the camper and haven't actually even seen it yet (long story). I know its a 1979 Starcraft, but I have no idea what model it is or what it weighs. I guess I was just asking in general. Is it possible to find a tow vehicle that gets in the mid 20's mpg? At least while you're not towing - I know it'll get less when we tow. I wish we could afford a Hybrid SUV, but thats not really an option. Thanks for your replies!
     
  9. grcooperjr

    grcooperjr Lunatic

    1,557
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    May 21, 2007
    Tigard, OR
  10. Big_kid

    Big_kid Virginia Beach, VA

    2,220
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    Jan 13, 2008
    We just got back from a trip. Our villager towed our Starcraft 8 90 miles to the CG, then came back solo. We averaged 22.5 or so MPG round trip. DW reminded me today that when we went to Florida 2 or 3 years ago, we got 29 MPG(pre-camper days).

    Welcome aboard!

    Me 66
    DW I value my life
    DD 96
    DD 00
    DS 03
    Starmaster 8 68
    Mercury Villager 95
     
  11. Tikker

    Tikker New Member

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    May 9, 2007
    Humboldt, Saskatchewan
    we tow our 12" coleman with a jeep liberty and get 22-24 mpg out of it
     
  12. Bummer72

    Bummer72 Lancaster, PA

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    Nov 1, 2006
    Lancaster, PA
    1987 Volvo 240 DL wagon, 5-speed, 4 cylinder 2.3 litre engine, towing a 2500#1985 Jayco 10' PU.
    Towing from PA to Cape Cod, I got 22 mpg.
    Average without PU attached: 26-28 mpg.

    Doug Rice, Lancaster PA <img src=../Images/flags/us.gif border=0 align=middle alt="United States"><img src=../Images/flags/us-coastguard.jpg border=0 align=middle alt="US Coast Guard"> <> DW Heather, M.Div. <> DS Andrew <> DS Benjamin
     
  13. TJ

    TJ New Member

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    May 23, 2008
    I'll be picking my new Rockwood 1980 (~1600lbs) this week and I drive a Mercury Mariner AWD Hybrid. I used to pull my 1900lb boat with no problem so I should be OK with the pop up. I normally get 30.5mpg average...I haven't reset my mpg in two months so this isn't just highway miles. I recently pulled a utility trailer loaded to ~900lbs, the wife, two kids, and the dog to the Outer Banks and I averaged 28mpg. The tow rating for my truck is 1000lbs but I find that is a very conservative number. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is rated to tow 3500lbs but gets about 25% less gas mileage.

    Tom

    2007 Rockwood 1980 PUP
    2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid
     
  14. Zamboni

    Zamboni Member

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    Apr 11, 2008
    1900 lbs boat? That thing musta been bigger than the Mariner!!

    ME 32
    DW 24
    DS 5
    DD 3
    DS 2
    Ringo the long haired Dachshund
     
  15. TJ

    TJ New Member

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    May 23, 2008
    Actually it was a 17' deep V Grumman ALUMINUM boat. The hull was 900lbs, but when you add in the weight of the 50hp motor, trolling motor, two big batteries, anchor, filled livewell, 20gal of gas, all the rods and reels, tackle, and the galvanized trailer and spare tire.....it really adds up.

    It was funny when I would launch or load the boat at the ramp because the truck would run off the battery and be super quiet...people would always ask me if the engine was running :)

    Tom

    2007 Rockwood 1980 PUP
    2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid
     
  16. Martinfamily3

    Martinfamily3 New Member

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    Feb 23, 2008
    We have a 2000 Dodge Durango and we get 18mpg when towing.

    Nothing left to do but smile,smile,smile!
     
  17. coleman83

    coleman83 New Member

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    May 24, 2008
    I have a 2005 chrysler town & country 3.3 liter v6 by itself 30 hwy 27 city with the pop up we get around 26.4
     
  18. jwolfe01

    jwolfe01 Honeoye, NY

    779
    1
    May 5, 2008
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    rmassing, I have to disagree with you on that. Ford and Chevy are notorious for over rating their towing ability. The reason why you see such a difference in "towing capacity" between some Chryslers and comparable Ford and Chevys is that Chrysler under rates their towing capabilities because some people see the advertised capacity and then overload it. Ford and Chevy will tell you what the very top limit is. For example, Chevy and GMC offer a 1/2 ton pickup with the "Vortech Max" in it that they rate for a 10,500lb capacity. Anyone that would tow that with a 1/2 ton frame and brakes is insane and unsafe. My brother in law bought one and it didnt tow his 9,000lb boat for squat, way worse that the 3/4 ton Avalanche he traded in. The frame and brakes are just as, if not more important while towing than the drive train. Just my 2cents though...

    _________________________________________
    TV - 98 Jeep Cherokee Classic <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_jeep.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Jeep">
    PUP - 89 Starcraft Nova <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">
    Lima NY
     
  19. JamesRL

    JamesRL New Member

    1,721
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    Nov 1, 2007
    Brampton, Ontario
    The new Dodge Journey is rated for 3500 lbs(for the V6) and is available with a factory sway control if I read it correctly.

    Its got the 3.5 litre engine, fair amount of power. Its a crossover but really a minivan without sliders.

    James

    1976 Lionel (model name?)
    2002 Mazda MPV
    Wife/3 Kids/Black Lab
     
  20. TJ

    TJ New Member

    6
    0
    May 23, 2008
    Coleman83...how in the world are you getting those kind of mpg numbers? I just went to http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm to look up your car and that site states the 2005 Town & Country 3.3lit gets 17city 24hwy with a combined 19mpg. Actual users are getting an avg 18.3. How are you able to get 26.4 while towing a trailer? I'm not questioning that you are getting that mileage, I just want to know your tricks for fuel economy. I own a Mercury Mariner Hybrid and I'm always trying new tricks for getting maximum mpg.

    Thanks,

    Tom

    2007 Rockwood 1980 PUP
    2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid
     

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