Water Weight and Miles per Gallon - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-11-2014, 07:27 AM   #15
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It might be best to generalize it down to:

travel as light as is practical
eliminate as much drag as is practical
keep the speed down

Rick
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:44 AM   #16
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When I need the water, I fill 'er up. When water is readily available at the destination, only bring enough to get me there.

Though I have never checked the fuel economy both ways, I am not too concerned, as I too believe that the water volume alone does not make a huge difference in overall fuel economy, other than with lots of hills, and we do tend to have lots of those where I travel.

What I do find with reducing the amount of water onboard though, is much better performance, on hills, passing, or wherever needed. While I don't shy away from taking along what I need, I do tend towards minimization, and watch weights and volumes of all the gear and supplies I carry.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:15 AM   #17
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Most vehicles are designed to get the best mileage at about 45 miles an hour. Anything over that and mileage drops. However, as in all things with our trailers, we have to compromise. I travel at 55 on my trips, but will go faster if folks are pushing me. On our recent trip folks seemed to be content with our 55 mph, even on the interstate. Truth be told, I think most folks that pass us are thinking, "those poor guys are never going to get where they're going."

Let's not forget proper tire inflation, TT and TV. Improper inflation definitely has a negative effect on mileage.

Given that most of us are pulling somewhat aerodynamic eggs, we are about as streamlined as we are going to get, so prudent driving is key to getting better mileage; keep it steady, nothing overly fast


As the Little Joe water tank is right in front of the back bumper, we run with it full to better balance the trailer.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:29 AM   #18
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Jim,

Minimizing what you carry carries a few benefits particularly on long trips. In our case everything is packed away and has it's defined spot. We tend towards small locations so there's little piling of stuff.

I think low weight and 'centered' weight are important. We actually carry some of our weight below the floor, mostly rarely used tools.

We certainly attempt to keep our total weight under control, mostly by not carrying surplus stuff. For us that means no coolers, screen tents, and so on. If it isn't used we don't take it next time.

Though up hills reduce mpg significantly, with our Honda Civic's manual transmission we drop into neutral on the down hill side and recover some of the mpg. Returning from Crater Lake we averaged over 30 mpg on the 100 mile trip down, little traffic and lots of downhill.

Probably the one heavy item we carry that provides little function is the air conditioner. It weighs 32 lbs and is probably used no more than 5 times a year.

We view some water as essential and half a tank in the Scamp is only 6 gallons, part of the emergency stash. Of late I've become a little 'Moromonish' in our planning.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:33 AM   #19
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Speed, grade ,and whether we have a tailwind or a headwind have the largest effect on mpg for us . We normally carry 6 gallons of water ,which seems to do little to our mpg
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:29 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Jim,

Minimizing what you carry carries a few benefits particularly on long trips. In our case everything is packed away and has it's defined spot. We tend towards small locations so there's little piling of stuff.

I think low weight and 'centered' weight are important. We actually carry some of our weight below the floor, mostly rarely used tools.

We certainly attempt to keep our total weight under control, mostly by not carrying surplus stuff. For us that means no coolers, screen tents, and so on. If it isn't used we don't take it next time.

Though up hills reduce mpg significantly, with our Honda Civic's manual transmission we drop into neutral on the down hill side and recover some of the mpg. Returning from Crater Lake we averaged over 30 mpg on the 100 mile trip down, little traffic and lots of downhill.

Probably the one heavy item we carry that provides little function is the air conditioner. It weighs 32 lbs and is probably used no more than 5 times a year.

We view some water as essential and half a tank in the Scamp is only 6 gallons, part of the emergency stash. Of late I've become a little 'Moromonish' in our planning.
Norm,
If you all will go south in the summer time, you WILL use your Air Conditioner a whole lot more!!!!!! It will become necessary for you to enjoy camping in the south!
Stay cool,

Carl
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:37 AM   #21
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Carl,

I installed an air conditioner for the year we traveled all summer, returning home thru the midwest. It turned out that we did not use it, probably because we did not come home until October. We ended up spending August driving thru Idaho.

I can understand the need of southerners and summer campers in the south for air conditioners.

We are truly out of 'phase campers', avoiding weather extremes. Even here in NH it rarely gets very warm and living a couple of blocks from the ocean insures cool air for part of the day. The ocean here is 56 F today.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:42 AM   #22
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My mom has good tasting well water and I fill my tank and water heater with it (15+6) and I carry one or 2 7gallon blue jugs from Wal-Mart with me when I go away camping. My trips are less then a week so I'm good. I will look into a filtration system eventually for when I take a longer trip one day.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:06 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
When I need the water, I fill 'er up. When water is readily available at the destination, only bring enough to get me there.

Though I have never checked the fuel economy both ways, I am not too concerned, as I too believe that the water volume alone does not make a huge difference in overall fuel economy, other than with lots of hills, and we do tend to have lots of those where I travel.

.
I also only pack water if I know I will not be able to get any at my destination. I don't notice much difference when pulling the trailer with water on level ground but the less weight I have in the trailer going over some of the long steep passes here in BC and Washington which I do frequently, the better.

Even if the hit on mpg isn't a biggy the issue of stability created by carrying all the water in the rear as many of the trailers are set up can be under certain conditions. Like a steep down hill run at highway speeds in windy conditions in the Columbia River Gorge for example. Don't ask how I know that!
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:09 PM   #24
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I do exactly what Jim Bennett said.

Why take along things that you can get at the campground and/or Walmart.
As far as gas mileage, It's just math. Add more weight and it takes more power to pull it.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:14 PM   #25
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I thought about the aerodynamics &MPG issue after a thread a while back on the topic. I have not checked the MPG towing my Scamp (but will next month) with my F-150 but suspect it is not a whole lot worse that running just the truck down the road. Once the truck with camper shell busts the wind the Scamp may even help smooth the flow out a little!
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:17 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Timber Wolf View Post
Once the truck with camper shell busts the wind the Scamp may even help smooth the flow out a little![/FONT]
Wouldn't count on it! Headwinds tend to be those times when you look down at your vehicles MPG gage and wonder if you have something wrong with your engine! LOL
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:22 PM   #27
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Most people who row a car behind their motorhome, typically in the frontal area shadow of the motorhome, will tell you that the extra weight of towing a car is virtually invisible in terms of mpg. In our case the car represented 20% of the the weight.

Carol's point that the water in the Scamp is at the rear and she has found it effects her handling in down hill, windy situations is interesting. Certainly all weight in a trailer is not equal in it's effect on handling. Side winds and long downhills deserve care.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:28 PM   #28
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Water moving around in a tank effects handling so that is why tank trucks have baffles inside. It would be best to either have the tank full up or completely empty.
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