How To Get Better Gas Mileage - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-27-2007, 03:11 PM   #15
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I've always thought one more thing that affects gas mileage is my tire pressure. I put the max recommended in the trailer tires and inflate my truck tires to near the max stated on the side of the tire. I suppose for the last 40 years or so I've exceeded what the vehicle manufacturer suggests but stay below what the tire manufacturer says. For example if GM says 32 and Goodyear says 40 Max. , I go with about 37 or 38. Is that what you guys do? Tires seem to last well and maybe the ride is not as good but I haven't noticed it.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:40 PM   #16
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The maximum tire inflation pressure is safe for the tire, but rarely ideal for actual use. Vehicle manufacturers recommend pressures, which they have determined are adequate to handle the load (more load needs more pressure, roughly), as well as meet other considerations such as handling, ride, and fuel economy.

The highest pressure which the tire allows will probably mean less drag, and thus less fuel consumption, but in most cases it will mean inferior traction and ride. The right balance for a particular situation may well be higher than the vehicle manufacturer's standard recommendation, especially in heavily loaded cases, but in many cases it won't be the number on the sidewall.

Having said that, my Boler tires are run at their maximum, and so are my van's summer tires when towing... because in both cases they are only rated for 35 PSI and all of that is useful for the relatively small tires involved. My van's winter tires (the same size as the summers) are rated for higher pressure, and I pump more into them when I carry a heavy load, but I don't take those all the way to their 51 PSI maximum, because they would have less traction and wear unevenly (centre first) if I did so.
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Old 09-27-2007, 04:12 PM   #17
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ORRRRRRR!
Do what I suspect most do, that get great mileage, when talking to them...........lie a lot!
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Old 09-27-2007, 07:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
ORRRRRRR!
Do what I suspect most do, that get great mileage, when talking to them...........lie a lot!

Thanks for that James... except it made me spit out my beer.

To be perfectly frank I don't worry too much about 3mpg plus or minus. Not trying to be ostentatious or anything (I mean for gawds sake its hard act better-than-thou in a CASITA)... but the difference in gas millage is much less of an economic issue than a technical one I think.

Cheers and thanks for the laugh

Ron
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:09 PM   #19
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Having said that, my Boler tires are run at their maximum, and so are my van's summer tires when towing... because in both cases they are only rated for 35 PSI and all of that is useful for the relatively small tires involved. My van's winter tires (the same size as the summers) are rated for higher pressure, and I pump more into them when I carry a heavy load, but I don't take those all the way to their 51 PSI maximum, because they would have less traction and wear unevenly (centre first) if I did so.
Tire wear patterns can tell you a whole lot about the health of your tires, steering, and suspension system. In general:

When the inside edge of both tires on the front OR rear of the vehicle are worn with a smooth, glossy kind of look, your wheels are mis-aligned in a "toe-in" condition. Same thing when the outside edges are worn, except the mis-alignment is "toe out." Either way it's time for a trip to the alignment shop.

When the inside or outside edge of one tire of the pair on the front OR rear of the vehicle is worn, the "camber" alignment is most likely off on that wheel, and you need to have your wheels aligned. (Most common on the curb-side-edge of curb-side wheels.)

If your car pulls left or right, has been that way for a while, and you don't see "toe-in" or "toe-out" wear marks, your front wheels' "Caster" needs adjustment.

If the tread depth of the outside edges of a tire are worn more than the middle section, the tire has been chronically under-inflated. (You can measure tread-depth by inserting a coin into the treadline in several places on the tire and see if it sinks into the cracks an equal amount across the tire.)

If the tread depth in the center of the tire is worn more than the outside edges, the tire has been chronically over-inflated.

If the tires are missing from all sides of the vehicle, you have parked in a bad neighborhood. (This happened to a friend while I was living in Los Angeles.)

If the new tires you bought have disappeared, replaced by some barely-serviceable balding tires, you have parked in a bad neighborhood with polite thieves. (This happened to another friend in a different part of LA.)

If your tires are missing along with the rest of your vehicle, look for a "Tow Away Zone" sign and check your pockets for car keys. Chances are you'll find one but not the other. (Two more friends . . . in LA.)

--Peter
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:10 PM   #20
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Hi: Isn't towing a trailer and talking fuel economy an axlemoron??? Still lower speeds, higher tire pressures, slower getty ups and coasting to a stop are all valid points to towing safely and usually only serve to upset those other motorists who just don't care!!! Should we be using slow moving vehicle triangles like farm vehicles??? Speed limits are supposed to be maximums not minimums
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 09-28-2007, 12:10 PM   #21
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I'm with you, Alf. Mpg or that ludicrous Canadian invention "litres per 100 km"( I never remember to fill up when I've reached an even multiple of 100 k's ) -doesn't much matter...Like a garage owner friend of mine remarked, "Over the life of the vehicle, gasoline is the least of your costs!"
Drive sensible and safe and enjoy the journey
Cheers...Alistair
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Old 09-28-2007, 12:37 PM   #22
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While no one is going to great fuel economy while towing, and the cost of fuel is probably not the most important aspect of the trip, I think it still makes a difference.

Example:
I take a 2000 km (1200 mile) round trip into the mountains.
  • If I just drove the van maybe I would use 10 L/100km (24 miles/USgal), so that's 200 L of fuel, costing $200.
  • If I tow the Boler a moderate speeds maybe I would use 15 L/100km (12 miles/USgal), so that's 300 L of fuel, costing $300.
  • If I tow the Boler a breakneck speeds maybe I would use 20 L/100km (16 miles/USgal), so that's 400 L of fuel, costing $400.
15 L/100 km (12 MPG) isn't great, but it saves $100 on this trip compared to blasting through at higher speeds. $100 is not a big part of the trip cost, but it's still $100 more left in my pocket, and 100 L (26 USgal) of fuel not depleted from the earth's resources, or burned in our atmosphere.
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Old 09-28-2007, 07:52 PM   #23
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We just got home from a week up north and put about 800 Km on the rig. Then turned around and added another 500 or so to Niagara Falls and back.
Was very diligent to convert my litres used to Gallons [now is that US Gal or Can Gal], and divided into distance. WOW What terriffic mileage.
OOpps!!!!
forgot to convert Kilometres into miles
Now is that can. miles or US miles...
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:24 AM   #24
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Hi: The formula I use is Total Km's driven per trip towed X .621= Miles. Total Ltrs of fuel used divided by 4.54= Imp. Gal. Now divide the Gals into the Miles and PRESTO...aw heck...Just have fun and Tow safe... you didn't want to know anyhoo
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:49 AM   #25
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Hi Alf
A do anything conversion for those of us that are a little slower with the math
http://www.unit-conversion.info
Yes, I do it the way you do but not trusting my own math I use this programme as a double checker. I find it's more reliable than I am.
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Old 09-29-2007, 11:06 AM   #26
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Hi Alf
A do anything conversion for those of us that are a little slower with the math
http://www.unit-conversion.info
Yes, I do it the way you do but not trusting my own math I use this programme as a double checker. I find it's more reliable than I am.
My brother moved to Germany . . . he thinks in MPG and has the same problems.

--P
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Old 09-29-2007, 12:46 PM   #27
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I convert between the litres/100km which I use and the miles/USgal ued in the U.S. for the purpose of sharing information with others... but for my own use, I can't see any reason to bother.

If you're in the U.S., your odometer is in miles, the gas pump shows US gallons, and you divide miles by gallons... no problem.

If you're just about anywhere else in the world, your odometer is in kilometres, the gas pump shows litres, and you divide the litres by the kilometers, then multiply by 100 (or just slide the decimal point over two places)... still no problem.

Neither method is easier, and if you stay with the one which matches the readings you see (on the odometer and gas pump), life is simple.

I encourage people to give themselves more credit for ability to adapt. Sure, you remember fuel economy numbers from your youth in miles/gallon... but those were different vehicles, under different conditions. You'll get used to new standards in the new units, just as you have adjusted to different standards for the prices of everything.

One system is in economy (distance per unit of fuel used) and the other is in consumption (fuel used per unit of distance traveled), but I think we're all adaptable enough to go between "higher is better" and "lower is better".

The US gallon versus Imperial gallon thing is one reason to abandon the whole convoluted and inconsistent system of old units anyway. I'm sure a lot of Canadians are converting their consumption to miles/Imp.gallon and inappropriately comparing them to published numbers in miles/USgallon; I suppose that makes them feel better, since their own values are higher... but it sure doesn't help understanding.
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:23 PM   #28
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Another factor to consider that effects mileage is air temperature. I used to have a motorhome with a large frontal area. I had a Zemco trip computer on that unit that gave an instant miles per gallon/liters per hundred kilo. reading. I found that 85-90 kph was the "sweet spot" with this unit. But I noticed quite a variation in the mileage figures from day to day. One day, while driving with an outside temperature in the high nineties, we ran into a thunderstorm and the temperature dropped to the sixties. I noticed an immediate jump in my fuel consumption. The reason, which you pilots out there will twig onto immediately is air density. Hot air is less dense, giving less wind resistance. Cold air increases your wind resistance. Engines of course are more efficient with colder air but with any vehicle with a lot of frontal area, such as a motor home or trailer, this slight increase is more than offset by the added air resistance. So, if you want the best fuel ecomomy, travel when it's hot!
Al
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