MPG Halved by Boler - Page 6 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-18-2012, 08:13 AM   #71
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Just a thought here regarding trailer 'bounciness'. Those that are experiencing that might want to look closely at the trailer suspension. Older torsion axles often 'collapse'. I've seen some that are just just sagging somewhat, and I've seen others that have dropped essentially to the bottom of their travel. A sacked out suspension will result in a bouncy ride. Take a look at an older Airstream that is in need of restoration. Almost every one of them is bottomed out as they sit there.

One of the differences in ST tires is they are designed to have sidewalls that are stiffer than passenger tires. One advantage of this is they are less likely to sway, but a bigger advantage is that on a tandem axle setup, there is considerable 'sidewall twisting' going on as you corner. This sidewall flex occurs in a way that the tire manufacturers claim can be destructive to a passenger car tire.

Having said that, here's a another ( probably useless ! ) data point for you all: I come from the world of horses, and I can't begin to tell you how many tandem axle horse trailer I see all the time that are running around on used car tires. Folks use them because they are an inexpensive alternative. Surprisingly ( or not ? ) these tires are actually fairly trouble free from what I see and hear.

YMMV.

ps. leaf spring suspension can sack out too. Leafs can be rebuilt fairly cheaply with good results. If rebuilding leaf springs, check with a spring shop. Many big cities have these shops as it is still common in the trucking industry to fix/repair/re-arch leaf springs.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:43 PM   #72
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ps. leaf spring suspension can sack out too. Leafs can be rebuilt fairly cheaply with good results. If rebuilding leaf springs, check with a spring shop. Many big cities have these shops as it is still common in the trucking industry to fix/repair/re-arch leaf springs.
Especially if it is a truck with lift blocks.
All spring or nothing.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:35 AM   #73
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I have pulled a 13 foot boler for several thousand miles, some of which was in mountain country and my gas mileage never dropped more than 20%. Sounds as though something may be binding or interfering with the pull. Should check it out.
Best of Luck,
Jim
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:01 PM   #74
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Ours is half as well

Car is rated 5.7L per 100km (41.27mpg US) and we are getting 8.4L to 11.2L per 100km (21-28 mpg US) do not know what effect a head wind would do to us yet. Will be going up the Bruce Peninsula tomorrow from Owen Sound and just did a fill-up at Rockford while towing home will be able to do an accurate estimate "We push a lot of air" thank goodness we are well rounded!

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We just took our new Boler on her maiden voyage and were shocked to see the MPG meter on our '05 Caravan reading 11-15, where it would normally be 24-27.

Last summer I towed a utility trailer which weighed roughly the same, but was about 3 feet shorter, and it had little effect maybe 2 or 3 MPG.

This means it's entirely a problem of aerodynamics. Really, really bad aerodynamics.

I really hope there are solutions to this, because otherwise we'll probably have to give up the dream and sell the Boler...
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:04 AM   #75
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I used to see a loss in gas milage from my front wheel drive car if I put too much weight in the back. I was essentially losing traction. It was not the total weight it was how it was pushing down the back and reducing weight on front drive tires.


With trailer hitched to car on level ground stand back and look. Does the car appear to have any upward slant toward the front?


If so You might want to check your hitch weight, and what weight you carry in the rear of your car. To some extent you can put more weight behind the axle and reduce hitch weight but you need to keep 10% of the total weight of trailer on the hitch to avoid sway and other unpleasant behavior by your trailer.


Overdrive gear is a big factor in the milage that high mpg cars get on highway. So when you turn off / disable overdrive to tow you can expect some mpg loss. If you don't turn off overdrive then transmission will be shifting everytime the road inclines even a little up or down and that will hurt you mpg. And probably your transmission.


If you have a tach watch your rpm's at your towing speed with and without trailer. Our v6 Escape has to turn over 500 rpm faster at 55 mph (88.5 kph) to handle a 13 ft Scamp in tow. That is a 3.0L engine.

Last but not least the mpg meter in the dash of cars may not be accurate, especially in "odd" situations. Only thing that will really tell you what you are getting is fill up, odometer reading, and second fill up so you can do the math on actual fuel used for actual miles driven.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:32 AM   #76
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Overdrive gear is a big factor in the milage that high mpg cars get on highway. So when you turn off / disable overdrive to tow you can expect some mpg loss.

You should never tow with overdrive engaged in a regular automatic transmission(Car, Minivan, "SUV" etc). It will overload the transmission and cause a premature failure. Hitting the overdrive cancel button will increase line pressure, disable overdrive and delay all shift points. This does hurt fuel economy, but it will extend the life of your transmission.

Remember that front wheel drive vehicles are not meant to tow every day. They're inherently weaker due to limitations from size and cost to manufacture.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:45 AM   #77
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Remember that front wheel drive vehicles are not meant to tow every day. They're inherently weaker due to limitations from size and cost to manufacture.
Not sure about this one. Our Nissan Quest had a very HD tranny that is almost identical as the tranny found in the full size RWD Infiniti Q45 sedan, (a V8 powered vehicle). Our van did a lot of towing and was still good at 435,000klms (300,000 miles).
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:22 PM   #78
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Not sure about this one. Our Nissan Quest had a very HD tranny that is almost identical as the tranny found in the full size RWD Infiniti Q45 sedan, (a V8 powered vehicle). Our van did a lot of towing and was still good at 435,000klms (300,000 miles).
As always YMMV

The different hardware combinations manufactures use in cars and trucks make for some unexpected results. Sometimes they do use an "available" design or component that is well above what they would design from scratch for that vehicle.

Always good to know about these "good deals". Do tend to think a car designed as a high milage front wheel drive passenger vehicle will generally have less designed in towing functionality. Frame strength = more weight, gear ratio for economy is not gear ratio for torque, surplus power in engine for towing is typically more weight plus more fuel consumption.

That is not to say there are not some vehicles that are very good options, that hit the sweet spot of dual use well, just that as a general rule it probably should not be expected as a given.
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:22 PM   #79
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Roger, you summed it up nicely.

I have followed the FWD Mini Van towing craze for many years now.

The following vehicles seems to have very stout trannys.

Nissan Quest, Toyota Sienna's, Ford Windstars/Freestars and Honda Oddy's. I know of many examples of these that did extensive towing of various sizes of TT's without any tranny issues.

Note the Honda Oddys did have an issue with lubrication that a TB fixed. The problem was not a weak tranny as many suspect.
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:43 PM   #80
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I had a '96 Windstar, and we heard that the transmission was known to be, shall we say, less than great. Ours failed in '07 when a line ruptured and all the fluid ran out, ruining the tranny before the vehicle could be parked. Another tranny would have cost more than the van was worth, so we scrapped it.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:25 AM   #81
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Roger, you summed it up nicely.

I have followed the FWD Mini Van towing craze for many years now.

The following vehicles seems to have very stout trannys.

Nissan Quest, Toyota Sienna's, Ford Windstars/Freestars and Honda Oddy's. I know of many examples of these that did extensive towing of various sizes of TT's without any tranny issues.

Note the Honda Oddys did have an issue with lubrication that a TB fixed. The problem was not a weak tranny as many suspect.
What, exactly, was the issue with those Odyssey transmissions? I remember some people going through one every 30,000. (Which still beats the Kokomo built Chryslers by 29,999- if anyone still remembers that fiasco)
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:31 AM   #82
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Not sure about this one. Our Nissan Quest had a very HD tranny that is almost identical as the tranny found in the full size RWD Infiniti Q45 sedan, (a V8 powered vehicle). Our van did a lot of towing and was still good at 435,000klms (300,000 miles).
300,000 miles from a passenger vehicle auto trans? You should go out and buy some lotto tickets.

Passenger vehicles are for just that- passengers. They can occasionally tow, but are not meant to do so every day. There is a huge difference between an Allison and anything made by Nissan. (Remember, Nissan stops at 1/2 ton)
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:01 AM   #83
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Well, I guess you're smarter than the Carlisle Engineers.

From my experience with Carlisle tires, that wouldn't take very much at all.

As to the OP: Towing anything is going to kill mileage, that's just a simple fact. You just have to live with it or get a hotel room.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:13 AM   #84
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300,000 miles from a passenger vehicle auto trans? You should go out and buy some lotto tickets.

Passenger vehicles are for just that- passengers. They can occasionally tow, but are not meant to do so every day. There is a huge difference between an Allison and anything made by Nissan. (Remember, Nissan stops at 1/2 ton)
It is not about being lucky. It is about researching and investigating the specs and data on the equipement in question.

Actually many cars have very heavy duty parts. Our 2nd Nissan Quest a 1997, has almost 200,000 miles on it and again the tranny works like new.

Our 03 Infiniti sedan with 125,000 miles on it has no tranny issues and it has 200hrs of towing on it and we are talking a dual axle TT.

If you do the reseach you find that our passenger car tranny is the same Jatco 5 speed that is used in the larger Infiniti FX35 and the V8 Infiniti FX45 SUV. There is so much more to the subject than vague, general assumptions.
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