I'd have to agree with Ron, mpg reports can be somewhat of a fishing tale.... There are so many variables, beginning with the accuracy of records used to determine the mpg. I keep a very detailed log book. You'd be bored looking at 18,000 miles of records.
Trailer: 17 ft Oliver
Tow vehicle (most of the time now)
2008 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 crew cab with the big hemi
We drive with the traffic, and/or with the tach. Average, on interstate, 65 to 70. On back roads (which we prefer, for the scenery), mileage often suffers due to start and stop traffic thru towns, at least a little, even with the 4/8 feature of the Dodge. Headwinds and sidewinds can also make a dent in mpg.
Best mileage towing, around 14.5. Worst, around 11. Worst, when using 10% ethanol fuel, which cuts our mpg by a good 10% or better. Mountains make little difference, the truck really doesn't feel the difference. Rough roads make more of an impact. Overall average, around 12.75 to 13. Carrying the ATV in the bed ( extra weight
, and also, no bed cover) cuts mileage by .5 to 1 mile per gallon, but this is included in our numbers. (Most of the time, it's worth it.)
One might wonder, why not buy a big vehicle to tow a little trailer if there is so little difference in towing mpg? Many people use their tow vehicle every day as a commuter vehicle (as do we, no designated tow vehicle, three hitches and brake controller harnesses). We bought the 4x4 for a specific need, and we use it. However, it's not only the quietest, most comfortable tow vehicle we own, but averages the same as or better than the smaller two when towing.
For most of us, the best tow vehicle is one we already own.
Just my two cents. Good thread. Thanks.