How To Get Better Gas Mileage - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-25-2007, 07:04 PM   #1
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I was in the dentist office today looking through their collection of Trailer Life magazines, and found an article in the October 2007 issue on How To Get Better Gas Mileage. Unfortunately I just scanned it before I left, but did get a copy of the chart of MPG at different speeds for different rigs. Speed, along with tire pressure, seemed to be the gist of the article.

They did five speed tests, towing two different trailers with two different tow vehicles, and also tested a Class C rig. The closest they came to the fiberglass world was towing a 4,335# Fleetwood Orbit 260 trailer with a 2006 Jeep Commander with a 5.7-liter V-8. The results:
Speed - MPG
50 - 12.8
55 - 12.2
60 - 11.9 From this test, it appears 60 MPH is the "sweet spot".
65 - 9.0
70 - 7.9
75 - 7.1

A Host Quad-Slide Class C on a Ford F-550 4WD:
Speed - MPG
50 - 11.7
55 - 10.5
60 - 9.9
65 - 9.2
70 - 7.8
75 - 6.6

A 6,900# Holiday Rambler towed by a 2007 Dodge 2500 4WD diesel got 12.2 MPG at 60 MPH.
Speed - MPG - MPG w/o Trailer
50 - 11.8* - 21.8
55 - 12.5 - 20.5
60 - 12.2 - 20.1
65 - 11.1 - 20.0
70 - 9.9 - 18.3
75 - 8.5 - 16.2
* typo?
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:37 PM   #2
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I wish my response was not received as another Pollyanna police safety warning... but I am afraid it will.
If people only knew the explosive killing difference between 70mph and 55mph.
http://www.kanabco.com/casita/physic...c/kinetic.html

Ron
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:50 PM   #3
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From this test, it appears 60 MPH is the "sweet spot".
From this particular tug/tow combination, I'd agree. However, like most things in life, ya gotta check it out for yourself. Every tug/tow combination on this forum is different. The difference might be in the driver too. Have you ever followed someone who drove with two feet...and the left foot was constantly hitting the brake, or just "resting" there? That affects the "sweet spot." There are bunches of those conditions (two lanes or four lanes), etc. For the way I drive, for my combination, on the "Interstate," the sweet spot is 55 mph.

Your mileage may (and probably will) vary.
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Old 09-25-2007, 08:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
. . . . . .

They did five speed tests, towing two different trailers with two different tow vehicles, and also tested a Class C rig. The closest they came to the fiberglass world was towing a 4,335# Fleetwood Orbit 260 trailer with a 2006 Jeep Commander with a 5.7-liter V-8. The results:

Speed - MPG
50 - 12.8
55 - 12.2
60 - 11.9
65 - 9.0
70 - 7.9
75 - 7.1

The Quad-Slide Class C on a Ford F-550 4WD got 6.6 MPG at 75. The 6,900# Holiday Rambler towed by a 2007 Dodge 2500 4WD diesel got 12.2 MPG at 60 MPH.

From this test, it appears 60 MPH is the "sweet spot".
Patrick:

That's interesting. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

If I figure correctly, decreasing the speed from 75 to 55 decreases the fuel consumption by 41.8%.

I read somewhere a claim that the U S could almost eliminate imported oil if no vehicle was driven faster than 55 MPH. So, maybe that claim was exaggerated just a little if the RV figures represent all vehicles, which of course I know they don't.

Still, a forty-one percent decrease across the board would be a nice reduction.

Harold

P S - I know, figures can lie and liars can figure.
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:58 PM   #5
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I read somewhere a claim that the U S could almost eliminate imported oil if no vehicle was driven faster than 55 MPH.
Was it HERE?


And another article from WikipediaI added bold print for emphasis)
Quote:
The National Maximum Speed Law (in the United States) is a provision of the 1974 Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act[1] that capped all speed limits at 55 mph (90 km/h). [b]This cap was intended to conserve gasoline in response to the 1973 oil crisis. The law was modified in the late 1980s to allow 65 mph (100 km/h) limits. In 1995 it was repealed, returning the power of setting speed limits to the states.
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:20 PM   #6
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The sad part is that the speed limit of 55 was repealed because it was felt that better fuel-efficient vehicles had been made, and we were not using as much gas at 70 as we had in the past. However, that was just about when the SUV "revolution " occurred, and now I think we have as many gas guzzlers on the road as ever.

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Old 09-25-2007, 11:16 PM   #7
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The sad part is that the speed limit of 55 was repealed because...
I don't think that the emphasis was on fuel economy in 1995.
"Speed Doesn’t Kill"
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:18 AM   #8
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Another factor in your overall gas mileage is the time you take to accellerate up to highway speed. While road and track magazines test 0-60 mph accelleration times, this ability to make it to 60 in 9.0 seconds (or whatever) uses fuel like you wouldn't believe.

When towing, or not, I take 60-90 seconds to get up to speed. I had a 1999 Dodge with a V-10 gas engine as a work truck and I could consistently get over 100 km more per tank when using slow accelleration.

Lead foot = empty wallet.
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Old 09-26-2007, 09:13 AM   #9
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Another factor in your overall gas mileage is the time you take to accellerate up to highway speed. While road and track magazines test 0-60 mph accelleration times, this ability to make it to 60 in 9.0 seconds (or whatever) uses fuel like you wouldn't believe.

When towing, or not, I take 60-90 seconds to get up to speed. I had a 1999 Dodge with a V-10 gas engine as a work truck and I could consistently get over 100 km more per tank when using slow accelleration.

Lead foot = empty wallet.
When my daughter had learned to drive, I drove with her up to college. The first few hours I drove, getting 27mpg. Then she drove and got 19. Then I instructed her in how to accelerate more gradually, anticipate stops and let the car slow naturally, not gun it when shifting, etc. She got up to 24 mpg. It was amazing the difference.

Bobbie
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:27 AM   #10
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I don't think that the emphasis was on fuel economy in 1995.
"Speed Doesn’t Kill"
I felt I should follow up a little.
As being somewhat proud of my knowledge of physics it would disturb me to no end to discover now -- after all these years -- that Mr Newton was wrong. Therefore I wont look for a scientific explanation of why deaths did not increase when the double nickel was repealed. Certainly we should be able to find rational explanations for it... I would think.
Maybe the speed people were driving before and after the 55 was the same? I have no idea.
Are there other "maybe"explanations for this?

Ron
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:34 AM   #11
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I felt I should follow up a little.
As being somewhat proud of my knowledge of physics it would disturb me to no end to discover now -- after all these years -- that Mr Newton was wrong. Therefore I wont look for a scientific explanation of why deaths did not increase when the double nickel was repealed. Certainly we should be able to find rational explanations for it... I would think.
Maybe the speed people were driving before and after the 55 was the same? I have no idea.
Are there other "maybe"explanations for this?

Ron
Seat belt laws and air bags.

Also, at faster speeds the driver may be forced to stay more alert.

I know that at 55, it is much more relaxing to drive. I enjoyed that part of the lowered speed limits. It's tiring to drive 70+. So perhaps at 55, more drivers get sleepy.
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Old 09-26-2007, 10:17 PM   #12
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[b]Lead foot = empty wallet.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:08 AM   #13
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I see this effect in my 3.0L Ford Ranger + our 5th wheel. When towing at 60-65MPH I get 16.5 MPG or so; at 55-60MPH that jumps to 18MPG -- a 10% improvement in gas mileage.

For Lynne and I the main consideration behind saving gas is wanting to minimize the environmental impact of our trailering around the countryside, but there are other advantages besides environmental and gas-money savings:

* Improved safety due to improved maneuvering capabilities and shorter stopping distances at lower speeds.
* Less wear-and-tear on the tow vehicle & trailer and on the tires.
* Scenery! What's the point in driving through beautiful scenery if you're driving through it so fast you don't notice!

--Peter
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Old 09-27-2007, 07:33 AM   #14
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Like peterh said. Travelling at 90 Kph (54 mph) I get 22-24 mpg vs 18 mpg at 110 Kph. I now self-enforce a 90 Kph limit while the trailer is being towed, for all of the reasons peterh enumerated. It also seems to prevent "gotta-get-there" syndrome, which has previously reduced my joy of travel.
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