fuel economy

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by JT1, Oct 6, 2021.

  1. Patrick w

    Patrick w Active Member

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    Aug 13, 2021
    I loose about 5-6 percent from my ski box. I can still avg 19-20 in the van so far. The Camry will still mid 20.
  2. TSQ

    TSQ Active Member

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    Mar 28, 2021
    Niagara Region, ON
    Same with our Odyssey - I find kayaks + bikes make a larger difference then the trailer itself (the top of the trailer being below the roofline of the van) especially at higher speeds.

    I suspect the 9 speed transmission in both the Pacifica and Odyssey (our vans both share the same ZF transmission) really enable the vehicles to maintain an efficient gear as the load varries.

    Overall on the highway I'd say the fuel economy hit typically varies from 5% with nothing on top, low wind, doing ~90 km/h (~55 mph) to 20% with kayaks & bikes, windy day, doing ~110 km/h (~70 mph).

    In the city or other stop & go traffic having to accelerate the additional weight of the trailer really kills fuel economy - if on a stop & go section of highway I'll try to find a tractor trailer to sit behind and take the slow and steady approach instead of converting my hard earned kinetic energy into heat energy by being constantly on the brakes.
    tfischer likes this.
  3. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    For me, i tow my 3000+ popup with my 4 runner and I typically see close to my city numbers on a highway and little lower in city. If I’m fighting wind it’s way worse, if I have the wind on my side I get way better numbers. If I’m towing in the mountains I’m watching the gas needle move so fast it’s nerve wracking. That has been my experience. So When planning/budgeting trips I use my city numbers for the most part and find that has been fairly accurate overall although do account for a few extra tanks of gas in my budget for the situations that kill gas mileage enroute . Only once did I blow through my entire budget plus some and that was just a bad luck trip all around getting there. Everything that kills gas mileage hit me on that trip for the entire 12 hour drive well ended up being 14+ at the end. Traffic, headwind, construction, emergency stops, and even added a massive hail storm. Ugh! If If I’m towing in the mountains I plan for like 7 mpg or less and keep way way extra in my emergency budget. If I got bikes or kayak that add more drag I budget to account for the extra drag. Over time you get to see what to expect with your vehicle. As mentioned everyone gets something different basing on what and where they drive, how heavy their camper and even their driving style. Thing you got to try and think, you get there when you get there, so long as you get there safely and without incident then you succeeded. Keep emergency cash in your budget for any trip as the risk of something going wrong is higher when you tow than without. Best of luck!
  4. Taxus812

    Taxus812 Member

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    Jun 1, 2010
    Lol - I have a 5500 lb HTT. I tow with a 2021 RAM (5.7l v8 with 3.93 rear end, towing package etc).
    17mpg city is my normal mileage. My trip meter calculates MPG for the trip.

    I just got back from VT. 180 miles, All hills (5-10% grade) and highway. 9.9 mpg there and 10.6mpg home. 36% drop in fuel economy.

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  5. Chris I

    Chris I Member

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    Sep 2, 2020
    Portland, OR
    We might have one of the more extreme differentials on here, because we're towing closer to the upper limit of our vehicle, and it's always in the hills/mountains. Our Outback will normally get 28-30mpg highway, and we get 20-21mpg when towing our Aliner Scout.
  6. curt86iroc

    curt86iroc New Member

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    Sep 28, 2020
    on our last trip of the season we averaged 15.5 mpg, which included towing over several high mountain passes (10 and 11k). our xterra will do about 19 mpg in normal driving, which is fantastic for a lifted truck!

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