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Fuel Mileage while Towing

Discussion in 'Heavy Duty' started by jwynnejr1, May 20, 2020.

  1. jwynnejr1

    jwynnejr1 Member

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    What kind of fuel mileage are y'all seeing while towing?

    I pulled a 4,000 lb load last week 175 miles and burned a half tank (around 15 gallons) of diesel. 11/12 miles per gallon with that light of a load is bothersome. Haven't pulled a goose neck or fifth wheel far enough to measure fuel mileage yet, but I'm afraid it is going to be very poor.
     
  2. PH Tanker

    PH Tanker Junior Member

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    I pulled my 37.5' travel trailer 8743lb from California to Texas averaging 9-10mpg at 70-75mph....
     
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  3. jwynnejr1

    jwynnejr1 Member

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    Did you calculate it or use the mpg the dash showed? I've found that the average MPG on the dash (on my truck at least) is off by a couple miles.
     
  4. sandawilliams

    sandawilliams Senior Member

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    Yep- the evic is a feel good gauge. Hand calculate and it may bring a tear to your eye. Mine is off by 2 mpg most of the time.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
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  5. Jaywoo

    Jaywoo Senior Member

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    2 gallons per mile? Geez! That’s some horrible mileage. Lol!
     
  6. jwynnejr1

    jwynnejr1 Member

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    I had a few friends back in the day with mud trucks that had fuel mileage in those units.
     
  7. chri5k

    chri5k Senior Member Supporting Member

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    The other thing to consider is frontal area of the trailer. It has as much or more of an effect on mileage than weight. A relatively light trailer with a large frontal area will put more drag on the tow vehicle resulting in reduced fuel economy. I pull a 13000 Lb horse trailer and get around 10 MPG (hand calculated) at around 65 MPH. If I increase speed to 75, my milage drops to around 7.5 MPG.
     
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  8. Elkman

    Elkman Senior Member

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    My truck averages between 9 and 13 mpg depending on how fast I am driving and whether there is a head wind. A 10 mph headwind makes the air drag at 65 mph the same as driving at 75 mph and no wind. Air drag increases with the square of your effective speed (truck speed and wind speed) so 4x as much air drag at 70 mph as compared to 35 mph. A cross wind exerts 2/3 the vector force of a headwind to a 15 mph crosswind is like pushing through a 10 mph headwind.

    Still my trucks diesel 13 mpg would be 8-9 mpg with a gas V-8 engine and I care less about the cost of the fuel as I pay $1.00 more for diesel than for regular gas, but I get 30% more miles on a tank of gas and when towing that is a blessing with fewer fuel stops.

    I periodically add a combination cetane booster and fuel injector cleaner to the tank. Having a better spray pattern can't hurt and cost of the additive is low at about $6 per use.
     
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  9. jwynnejr1

    jwynnejr1 Member

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    Very valid. I was pulling a flat front enclosed trailer


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  10. jwynnejr1

    jwynnejr1 Member

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    Damnit there’s always an engineer in the crowd.


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